Money

The Case for Elder Care Specialists in Financial Advising


It’s hard to decide on a single reason that we need more genuinely-committed elder care specialists in the financial planning industry. Is it simply based in numbers, because over 13% of the US population is aged 65 and older? Maybe it’s because Americans aged 60 or older have 60% less savings on average than those aged 55-59. Or maybe it’s because despite that lack of savings, retirees today will still need to spend an anticipated $730,000 or more to survive their years in retirement.

Regardless of whether it’s these facts or others that convince you America’s senior population need advocates and supporters in the financial industry, here’s what you need to know about showing up to give them the resources they need to make retirement the golden years they’ve always imagined.

What Special Financial Planning Needs Do Seniors Face?

Seniors today face unique social, psychological, medical, environmental, legal, and financial conditions. For many, the biggest top-of-mind concerns are paying for basic essentials and medical care. Anyone who hasn’t retired already is likely panicking, thinking they will never be able to afford it, while those who have already retired may now be realizing they don’t have as much to live on as they thought.

One of the biggest oversights many seniors make in their financial planning is failing to discuss and adequately understand the roles of Medicare and Social Security in their budgets and futures. On the other hand, they also need financial professionals to help them protect themselves against fraud and scams, as seniors are common victims of these tricks.

In short, seniors need financial planners that can keep them from panicking, help them understand the many risks in today’s financial world, and point out the opportunities to get ahead.

How Do Some Financial Planners Fail Senior Clients?

Since that description basically sounds like any financial advisor, many make the mistake of thinking they don’t need to approach serving their senior clients differently. This means some give investment advice that is too risky for someone who needs to be certain their nest egg funds will be available in a few short years. Others might give advice about Federal benefits or other programs that is based on outdated or incomplete knowledge. Still others will allow the traditional approach to financial management to prevent them from bringing up more innovative solutions like life settlements to their clients, even when those options could provide tangible immediate relief to a client’s problems.

What Can You Do to Help?

For this reason, it’s often the case that financial planners or advisors looking to do better work for elderly clients will become licensed as professional fiduciaries. Becoming licensed as a fiduciary probably isn’t unknown to you, but if so, just know it means you’ll be empowered to take action as the client’s representative or even guardian if they hire you in this capacity. Financial professionals can also be licensed as financial gerontologists, meaning they earn unique accreditation after learning more about seniors’ needs. Advisors who don’t want to go the full distance of these unique specializations can at least educate themselves about common concerns for seniors like Medicare, Social Security, and managing and reducing living expenses through simple solutions like a life settlement. If you’re looking for more resources on all these topics and others relevant to retirees and the elderly today, check out the Life Settlement Advisors website. If what you find there gets you curious or inspires a question, don’t hesitate to let me know.

CASE STUDY:

William, now 82, no longer wanted to pay the premium for the life insurance policy as his spouse passed away last year. William contacted his financial advisor about selling his policy. His financial advisor is prohibited from helping William sell his policy. William’s financial advisor referred him to a company that specializes in this service.
William sold his policy for $250,000 and his financial advisor helped William determine the best place to invest those funds.

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