When you think of yourself as the general manager of your client’s financial plan, you’ll guide the client to successfully achieve their goals and you’ll reach higher levels in your career. In sports, a general manager acquires the best coaches and players to create a winning team. In financial services, the advisor coordinates the client’s financial assets, plans and government programs so they work together harmoniously, creating a win for the client. This approach provides better service to the clients, and it’s more efficient for you as their financial advisor.
This means that you as the financial advisor provide holistic planning to clients.
Creating the game plan
When you offer holistic planning, it means that you don’t isolate a particular segment or area in a person’s overall financial plan. You create the entire game plan for them that will carry them successfully to and through retirement, or whatever their goal may be.
As financial advisors, we also can’t overlook those areas we don’t actively manage. For many clients, Social Security or other government pensions make up a significant portion of their retirement income. Social Security is between 30% and 40% of the retirement income for many of my clients. How can we ignore something that’s going to be such a significant part of a client’s income? While we can’t manage Social Security, we can advise clients about the best time to take Social Security. This is valuable advice for a client.
Another important area that impacts a client’s overall retirement income is taxes. We’re not accountants, and we’re not going to take the place of one. Yet, if we don’t account for tax brackets, how can we call ourselves holistic advisors? We must look at all the key topics that will impact retirement.
Your responsibility then as the general manager is to find those people who can coach and advise your clients about issues such as taxes so they can have the “win” of a successful retirement. This also allows you to build key relationships with centers of influence, such as attorneys and accountants, where you can perhaps mutually refer clients. Being on the same “team” is a victory for clients and advisors.
Relationships with centers of influence and being a holistic advisor is what allows me to provide outstanding service to my clients. It also took me to the Top of the Table, and it can take you there too.
Aleen Swofford, of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, is a 34-year MDRT member and Top of the Table member.
For more on holistic financial planning:
- Watch “Why clients pay for holistic financial planning ”[MDRT member exclusive]
- Read “When science changes everything” [Available in nine languages]
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