Most financial advisers live and breathe helping clients prepare for retirement. But financial matters are only one part of the retirement readiness equation. Have you considered the nonfinancial challenges clients may face once they retire?
In Retirement, Money Isn’t Everything
All too often, even clients who are financially set end up unhappy post-retirement. They may be ready for retirement money-wise, but many are unprepared in other areas, such as:
- General attitude toward retirement and aging
- Finding satisfying work or activities to replace their former career
- Interpersonal relationships, especially with their spouse
- Overall health and wellness
These nonfinancial issues will only become more significant as retirements grow longer. In the past, people might plan for 10 years of retirement. Today, we may be retired for as long as we’re employed.
One predictor of a happy retirement is success in multiple aspects of life before retirement—not just the financial aspect. Think about it:
- If a client has never exercised or taken care of his health, will he suddenly develop healthy habits in retirement?
- If a marriage has been troubled for decades, is it likely to improve in retirement? “Gray divorces” (those among people over 50) have doubled in the last 20 years. You see the thinking: Maybe I was willing to stick with you for 10 years, but 30 or 40 years? No thanks.
What’s an Adviser to Do?
Clearly, addressing some of these issues falls outside the typical financial adviser’s purview. You probably have good listening skills, but are you equipped to deal with these potentially complicated nonfinancial challenges? And even if you are, is serving as a marriage counselor, life coach, or health guru the best use of your time and energy?
Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll highlight action steps you can take to enhance your value in this critical area and help clients prepare for a truly successful retirement.
Managing Principal of Practice Management
Commonwealth Financial Network
Editor’s note: Join Joni at FPA Retreat 2015, April 20-23, where she’ll share more of her insights on retirement readiness beyond the numbers.