I’m not sure anyone could count the number of related cause-and-effect relationships that transpired due to the pandemic. But there is one thing I’m certain of: Every day during the pandemic, the coaches at Carson spoke to advisors who made a positive impact on the lives of their clients.
In times of tension and uncertainty, our profession clearly rises in partnering with our clients to make sound decisions based on the plan, the strategy and the long haul – not based on fear. Because you rose to provide your clients with sound advice and guidance, you and your peers are likely seeing the effect of significant growth in your business.
Whether it’s a pandemic or just some random Wednesday, there will always be uncertainty and a need for your services. Along with that comes the opportunity to continue to add value and grow your business.
The latest potential effect of the pandemic contributing to uncertainty was recently covered in the The Wall Street Journal: People are leaving jobs at the highest levels in two decades.
Again, the causes for this are many. People had time to reflect, they developed courage to finally make a long-wanted shift, they became overworked, their companies were not adaptable – or for some, it was simply time to take that first step into their retirement journey.
Whatever the cause, the effect is that retirement money is in movement. Job changes are major life changes that can become overwhelming for many. As an advisor, this is an opportunity for you to guide your client through this important transition.
Here are two strategies to consider given this significant need.
1. Be Proactive and Offer Additional Guidance
Ask your clients about their employment and if they are thinking about making any changes in the near future. Talk to them about the trends you’re witnessing or reading about, such as the one I previously mentioned from The Wall Street Journal. You can do this in meetings or during your check-ins. If they are considering quitting, encourage them to use this checklist that we created for you to send to your clients.
Additionally, ask your clients if they’re seeing this trend in their business or with the people in their network. If they are, tell them to share our article on what to do when you quit your job, or our checklist of tasks to do when changing your job.
If your clients still active in the workforce are making job transitions, offer some additional support and guidance. Consider the following:
- Offer to meet for coffee and just listen. Making a career move is a very private and confidential matter, and you may be one of the few people to whom they feel comfortable disclosing their concerns. Don’t try to solve the problem or answer the questions for them, but be willing to connect them to someone who might be able to do that.
- Connect them with a career coach who specializes in job transitions.
- Share resources with them, like blogs, books and relevant articles.
- Hold an educational seminar about job transitions, where you can go over the steps they should take when considering a transition.
- Offer your guidance on the financial decisions they’ll face in periods of transition.
- Educate them on their options for handling any existing company-sponsored retirement plans/accounts and equity.
- Review with them the total compensation they are receiving and any types of insurance or coverage they may be changing with a move.
If you don’t already have a plan in place with your clients, now is a great time to get one implemented. There is no better time to focus on the things that you can control.
2. Helping Soon-to-Be Retirees
If you have clients who are expressing a desire to retire, consider the following in creating a strategy to serve those clients:
- Take them to lunch and listen. Ask them questions. This is meaningful for many, but especially to the clients who are verbal processors. Maybe help them visualize what retirement looks like for them.
- Hold retirement-focused workshops, which could be on topics like Social Security, Medicare and how to handle the transition, among others.
- Share with them resources, books and other information that might be helpful in the process.
- Revisit their financial plan and help them understand their options.
- Offer to help anyone in their network who is also thinking about retiring.
- Remind them to contact you before accepting any type of package from their employer to be sure that they are choosing the best possible option given their personal situation.
- Review their estate planning needs and make referrals to other professionals.
Retirement is an important milestone for your client, and you should celebrate them. Send them a gift to their office before they leave, such as flowers, their favorite wine or spirit, or a gift card to their favorite restaurant. You may even consider throwing the client a retirement celebration.
Whatever the exact cause may be, the effects of the last 15 months continue to provide you new opportunities to add value for your clients.