Longevity Planning 101: Discussing Longevity Planning with Clients
If you were to imagine retirement as a vacation, longevity planning is more akin to prepping the boring logistics of said vacation than the fun you’re actually going to have. Both are critical, but they don’t rouse the same amount of excitement in your clients. We’ve referred to longevity planning as the post-retirement period. The time when all the fun of retirement is likely not feasible, but end of life is still a ways off.
An Uncomfortable Discussion with long-term benefits.
It’s a tricky topic to discuss with clients, but highly necessary if they’re going to enjoy their last years on earth. No one likes to discuss being frail, old and near death, it’s only natural to avoid such a topic, but your job isn’t always comfortable. Failure to plan for a long life can end in financial ruin for your clients. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can breach this topic with as an advisor.
Topics to discuss when planning for longevity
The first and foremost point you need to convey to your clients is that they will likely live longer than they are anticipating. In this case, you have a powerful tool at your disposal: data. A quick internet search will yield hundreds of thousands of results that could back up your claim, hopefully this will convince your clients that longevity planning is necessary for their ability to thrive later in life.
Like everything we talk about, money will be at the forefront of the discussion. How much they are willing to spend on longevity planning will be up to their current financial state. The simplest recommendation you can make to them right now is to start saving more than they already are. Don’t have them jeopardize their current liabilities, but if they can give more to their retirement, they should. There’s no telling how long this money will need to last them.
Finally, have them think about how they would like to live in their late age given an ideal and nonideal circumstances. For instance, if their in good health, do they want to stay where they’re at or downsize to a designed community? Similarly, if they’re in poor health, what kind of assisted living community would they like to be in and where?
Again, no one wants to have these conversations, but it’s a must if you’re going to do your job properly. Uncomfortable situations pass, but failing to plan for the future can have long-term consequences.