SUPPORTING YOUR CLIENTS THROUGH LIFE'S JOURNEY

Supporting your clients through life's journey

 

The right financial advice lasts a lifetime. Here’s how you can continue to play an important part in your clients’ lives, even after they’ve retired.

As an accountant or financial adviser, the relationships you build with your clients are key to the success of your business. These relationships are founded on trust, which you gain over time as you manage their finances throughout their working lives and help them achieve a comfortable retirement.

But even after your clients have retired, their financial needs will continue to evolve for years to come. And because you already understand their circumstances, you’re uniquely positioned to give them the right guidance whenever their situation changes. What’s more, if your clients see you as the first port of call for all their financial needs, you’ll be well placed to offer your services to multiple generations within the same family.

Here are just the some of the ways you can expand your service offering to build even stronger client relationships and ensure the future sustainability of your firm.


Navigating the aged care system

At some point in your clients’ lives, they’ll probably have to explore residential aged care options, either for themselves or an elderly relative. This is often a challenging process for many families, especially when there’s an urgent need to find the right aged care solution for their loved one as quickly as possible. The emotional stress can be even greater if the family home needs to be sold to cover the cost of an aged care placement.

Because of the financial complexities around aged care, it has become an increasingly sought-after area of financial advice. Advisers who are accredited in this field guide their clients through different financial scenarios for managing the upfront and ongoing costs of care. For instance, they often help their clients to minimise the costs of care, maximise any social security entitlements and meet their cashflow needs. They also help families structure their finances, so they can cover unexpected expenses in case their loved one’s health declines.

The paperwork associated with an aged care placement can also be overwhelming – from resident/accommodation agreements with care facilities, to assets and income assessments with the Department of Human Services to determine the level of care fees payable. If your firm is licensed to provide aged care advice, you can make things a lot easier for your clients at this difficult time, and they’ll appreciate knowing that someone they trust is looking after the financial side of things.


A smooth transfer of wealth

Estate planning is another specialist advice area in which you can provide valuable guidance to your clients.

Naturally, your clients want to make sure that after they die, their loved ones will be provided for. But the reality is that at least 45% of Australians die without a legal Will, which can lead to financial uncertainty for their beneficiaries when they pass away1. In particular, conflicting opinions about how an inheritance should be divided often causes enormous tensions within families.

Firms that offer estate planning services can play a vital role in ensuring their clients’ wealth is smoothly transferred from one generation to the next. For instance, you can help your clients by:

  • connecting them with an estate planning solicitor to make a Will and put enduring power of attorney and enduring guardian arrangements in place
  • working with their estate planning solicitor to create a binding/non-lapsing death benefit nomination for their super and review beneficiary nominations on their insurance policies
  • structuring their assets to minimise their beneficiaries’ tax liability
  • adjusting their estate plan in line with tax and super legislation changes.

By working with an estate planning solicitor to help your clients put together an estate plan, they’ll have peace of mind knowing that their assets will be distributed according to their wishes when the time comes.


Helping the next generation

In the decades ahead, the majority of Australia’s wealth will be held by millennials. But research shows that Gen Y professionals currently spend just two hours a month managing their finances – and many recognise that they need to give their money more attention1.

When it comes to financial advice, millennials are likely to seek a different experience to their parents. For instance, the majority would prefer their advice to be at least partly delivered through digital channels rather than purely face to face2.

This market presents a major opportunity for you to reach out to the next generation of potential clients, particularly if you can offer a flexible client experience incorporating online platforms and robo-advice tools. And one way to tap into this market is through direct referrals from your existing clients.

By tailoring your services to suit the needs and preferences of your clients’ adult children, you can make sure they get the right advice early on. That way, they’ll be able to make informed decisions that will set them up for a successful financial future.

Best of all, if your clients are confident that their entire family’s finances are in safe hands, they’re likely to become your firm’s greatest advocates.

 

If you’re a Member of the Count network, you can find out more about aged care advice accreditations and register for a FirstTech workshop, by clicking here.

1. NSW Trustee & Guardian, Wills: Frequently asked questions, 2016.
2. KPMG, Banking on the future, 3rd edition, 2017.

 

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