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How to Bring Multi-Generational Planning to your Practice

How to Bring Multi-Generational Planning to your Practice

Most people are familiar with the parable of “The Prodigal Son.”  In it, a young man asks for his inheritance early and ends up squandering it, only to come back and beg for forgiveness from his father.

This story helps illustrates a surprisingly common modern trend in American financial planning. Sixty percent of family wealth is squandered due to lack of communication and trust. Your clients work, not only to provide for themselves and their family while they are alive, but also to pass down their earnings to their children and leave them with some semblance of generational wealth. This is a noble endeavor and as your clients’ financial advisor, you should be similarly concerned with multi-generational financial planning.

Including adult children in the financial planning process matters

Families can sometimes be a challenging topic to approach as an advisor. Every family interacts differently and every client most likely has plans on who in their family will get what. While it’s not your place to direct these decisions, you should be working to include children in the financial planning process.

Ask your clients if they would like to include their children in the planning process. If they are reticent, encourage them to take the long view and think about how their children will be involved in their lives in a decade or two. Often times, many caretaking duties, at least to some degree, fall to the children. This makes them a critical component in planning for your clients’ futures – both for your client and their children.

If you get to know their children (or designated financial recipients), ask permission (from both parties) to set up a private meeting with them at a later date. This meeting can be high-level in nature just to get a feel for the plans those children have for their parents’ wealth. It doesn’t have to be intrusive and you shouldn’t try and steal clients from another advisor, but rather approach it looking to find there is at least some financial planning in place when they receive these funds. As long as no confidential information is shared, you can report back to your clients what you think the status of their wealth will be once it is passed down. You can then encourage conversations between the two parties if a plan is not in place.

The importance of including the whole family

While ensuring a financial legacy is in place may seem necessary for the mass-affluent, it’s actually important for all of your clients. Kathryn Swain, Director of Wealth Solutions at BNY Mellon’s Pershing, agrees.

“It’s important for high-net worth clients, but it’s really important at any level because if you’ve got someone who has a special needs child or children that have other dependencies, then they should be planning for their grandchildren. All advisors are going to have a spectrum of clients who will need some components of multi-generational planning.”


Multi-generational planning can be tricky given the dynamics of many families, but as long as you approach the topic sincerely and with tact, most people will be open to talking about finances. There will be uncomfortable meetings – that’s a given – but your clients will benefit in the long-run and hopefully their wealth will be preserved to benefit future generations.

Not only does including the whole family ensure your clients and their children are taken care of, it also improves overall communication and relationship-building with your clients. Close to 70 percent of widows take their money to another advisor after their spouse passes, but if you build a relationship with the spouse and their family, you’ll reduce that churn significantly and see an increase in AUM.

A Gift to You: A Guide to Keep you Financially Balanced During the Holidays

A Gift to You: A Guide to Keep you Financially Balanced During the Holidays

Taking the time to better manage your money can help you during difficult times or during the holidays. It can help you better manage your living expenses, debts, and improve your saving skills. For that reason, we’re providing you with an essential money guide for the holidays! There is no need for you to leave the holidays with large debts – you can always enjoy the holidays on a budget!

Your Budget

To begin, do you have a budget? Budgets include how much you spend toward several areas of living such as household bills, necessities, insurance, travel, and leisure. They help you organize how your wealth will be divided. With a budget, you are less likely to have debt, have unexpected costs, and be able to identify opportunities for saving.

When it’s the holiday season, identify the amount of money you have left over from important expenses. How much can you spend during the holiday season without getting yourself in a tight situation? Make a list of the individuals who will receive gifts and set aside how much will be spent on these individuals. Once you have set a budget, do not deviate. Stick to your budget!

In your budget, include hidden expenses such as wrapping paper, shipping costs, and an increase in your electrical bill (if you plan to set up lights). These costs can slowly increase, causing your budget to increase. Make sure you include these costs in your holiday budget.

Find the Right Price

Several stores stock the same products. However, they do not always offer the same price. Prices usually fluctuate during the holiday season. Do some online research to find the right price. If there are sales that make your product more reasonably priced, make the purchase.

Shop for What You Need

We have all been there. We have bought our loved ones a present, but when something else catches our eye, we want to buy that item for them, too! Resist the urge to buy more presents than you need! If you purchase more presents than you need, you have the potential to go over your budget. Once you have reached the budget given to an individual, cross them off the list and do not buy more presents for them.

Avoid Gifting Yourself a Present  

When we see an item that we just love, we always think, “It wouldn’t hurt to buy it for myself.” However, this extra cash makes a huge dent in your holiday budget. According to the National Retail Federation, 57 percent of Americans spend approximately $127 each holiday on gifting themselves items. Re-evaluate your need for those items and allow your loved ones to buy your gifts during the season if it’s something you truly want.

While it is the holiday season, do not leave the holidays with huge debts. Making a budget and sticking to it can allow you to enjoy the holidays without a fear of debt!

 

Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health wealth factors to provide personalized reporting. Genivity can assist you in determining the future costs of care, and provide you with more information needed to plan for retirement. To learn more, ask your financial advisor about Genivity’s HALO!

Financial Literacy: The Impact on Client Comprehension

Financial Literacy: The Impact on Client Comprehension

When it comes to investing or saving, clients need to understand the language involved. If they fail to understand the language, it can be difficult to discuss with your clients which plan is beneficial for them. Their future financial stability depends heavily on financial literacy. With the improvement of your client’s financial literacy, it will profoundly impact your clients future. For example, those with higher financial literacy have higher wealth in regard to retirement planning. Those with a lower literacy tend to have higher debts, do not invest, or have little understanding on mortgages or loans.

What is financial literacy?

Financial literacy is the ability to understand the language that involves daily financial activities such as understanding the function of a checking account, how credit cards work, how debt is accumulated, how a credit score is calculated, etc. It can impact the way your clients save for their children’s future education or for their retirement. To make a summative statement, it is the necessary knowledge needed to make the proper financial decisions that impact one’s current and future life.

Shockingly, financial literacy is not only a problem in developing economies but also in advanced economies such as the U.S. In fact, some consumers who think they have adequate financial literacy, tend to lack it. Education and income levels also play a role. Those with less education and lower income tend to be less financially literate, while those with more education and high income are the opposite.

This is why you should care.

  • Your clients are living longer. With this longer lifespan, your clients need more financial assistance and planning for their retirement. It is important that your clients are educated on financial literacy so their retirement can be better prepared.
  • Your clients will make the bulk of the decisions. While you will assist with providing them options in terms of services, if your client has little understanding of the terms involved, it can be difficult for them to gauge the proper decision for their situation. If your clients have financial literacy, the confusion can be reduced.
 
  • The lack of government aid toward retirement. Retirement planning used to involve Social Security. However, with the current knowledge that Social Security is expected to be depleted by 2033, this avenue is more as a backup plan than a secure method for retirement. Your clients must be financially literate to make preparations sooner and prevent their dependence on Social Security.

Overall, improving the financial literacy of your client can improve your client’s understanding and enhance the discussions made during client meetings. Financial literacy, no matter the age or wealth, is important for preparing future plans. Start educating your clients are an early state. Financial literacy classes are typically available for your clients at adult educational centers, colleges, or through federal government programs and events. However, if your clients are short on time, emphasize online learning such as searching the internet or reading business newspapers and magazines. Websites like MyMoney.gov is also useful as they focus on financial education.

Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health wealth factors to provide personalized reporting. Genivity can assist in helping your clients understand the health factors that should be considered in terms of financial planning. This service lays the information in an easy-to-read manner, allowing your clients to better understand the importance of financial planning and their health.

Beyond Valuation: Next-Gen Strategies to Boost Your Business

Beyond Valuation: Next-Gen Strategies to Boost Your Business

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial element in managing your business. Along with this factor, the satisfaction of next generation family members should also be considered. To put this into perspective, approximately $27 trillion are predicted to pass from parents or grandparents to their next-generation family members. As financial advisors, a large portion of these individuals who will inherit this fortune are potential clients. A study conducted in 2014 concluded that 69 percent of the individuals surveyed would likely use the same financial advisors as their parents’ or grandparents’. This is great news for your business!

To retain these individuals, however, there are next gen strategies that must be implemented. The overarching concepts involve strong communication skills alongside education.

Face-to-face

The coming generation tends to be described as “tech savvy”, but old-fashioned values are still treasured by these individuals. In a 2014 study, 82 percent of the participants stated that they preferred in-person communication. This was followed up by phone, email, social media, and other communication services. When it comes to the dissemination of information with next generation family members, consider the value of face-to-face communication.

Begin discussions early

For trust to develop within a relationship, time and energy must be placed into this friendship. The same concept applies to the relationship between financial advisors and next generation family members. The best time to involve these individuals in the discussion are approximately 20 years old. The financial advisor at this time can describe their involvement in the financial planning process. After introductions, financial advisors can delve into the educational aspect of their services such as describing the importance of wealth planning. However, determine that your clients agree with the diffusion of this information to their heirs.

Identify and implement values

Respecting the values of next-generation clients is crucial. A predominant amount of heirs share the same values as their parents or grandparents. On top of this, they also shared a sense of social justice. They seek to create a positive impact in the world. Emphasizing these values and comparing them to the importance of financial planning can create an engaging discussion for heirs. This allows for an opportunity to educate heirs, as well

Education

Implementing these strategies are central to your business. Each of these strategies allows an opportunity for next gen family members to be taught the importance of financial planning. Not only that, those that are educated are more likely to be happy with their financial advisors and their financial plans. However, we understand this can be time-consuming. That’s why we also suggest educational programs to be used. In other words, older generations and future generations should be invited to an education program to learn more on wealth planning. This allows for education to happen at a much larger scale.

Whatever strategy you decide to implement, these next generation strategies are sure to increase retention rates and the satisfaction of next-gen family members. Not only that, it will also help to increase the revenue of your business and allow an easier and happier transition of wealth between your current clients and your future clients.

Genivity is here to help. We place emphasis on helping advisors with goal-based financial planning that incorporates health wealth factors to provide personalized reporting. Using this personalized report, the family and their next-generation relatives become more engaged in discussing their financial plan. This becomes an educational moment for the next-generation family members as they determine how their health choices influence their financial planning. Furthermore, it allows these individuals to determine the values that they place on these health factors. Using Genivity can create a bond between your client, their next generation family members, and your practice.