Applying AgeLab in GPM

Practice Management

Applying AgeLab in GPM

Technology eases quality-of-life discussions

Applying AgeLab in GPM

Technology eases quality-of-life discussions

  1. Who will change your light bulbs?
  2. How will you get an ice cream cone?
  3. Who will you eat lunch with?

How do these three questions apply to retirement planning? Well, they can lead to meaningful conversations about your clients’ future quality of life, including answers about:

Housing – Your client may want to stay at home, but there may come a time when simple, routine tasks, like changing light bulbs, become challenging and could result in injury if an older person falls.

Transportation – Your clients want to remain independent as long as they can, able to get an ice cream cone on a whim. But they should plan for the possibility that they may one day lose the ability or desire to drive.

Social network – As your clients age, their social circles may shrink, leaving them isolated, which could negatively impact their emotional, mental and physical health.

These three things have broad implications, but there are ways to address these issues and avoid unnecessary risks if you plan for them in advance. In fact, there’s software that can help you document various scenarios centered on your client’s future quality of life and help your clients visualize – and plan for – the outcomes.

Here’s how to use technology to add to these important conversations.

  1. Start by discussing the clients’ financial and lifestyle goals – for now and in retirement.
  2. Categorize those goals by needs (highest priority), wants (mid-level priority) and wishes (lowest priority). Input the rankings.
  3. As you ask the questions above, listen for the following information among your clients’ answers and include them in the planning software:
  • Desired retirement age
  • Sources of reliable income
  • Fears, concerns, risk tolerance
  • Estimated living expenses and how long these expenses recur (for example, mortgage payments will end at some point).
  • Realistic healthcare expenses
  • When they’ll want to replace their cars or if they hope to move
  • What they want to leave their children or favored charities
  1. Enter additional retirement goals (needs and wants) as well as a time frame. In the first phase of retirement, usually the first 10 years when clients are more active, expenses may include traveling, hobbies and lots of activities. Less active phases (Slow-Go and No-Go phases) may require less income for activities and more dedicated to healthcare expenses.
  2. Once that’s done, the three questions come into play. The first may trigger conversations about aging in place, which can spark ideas on renovating the home to make it more comfortable. If so, estimate when they expect to make improvements and how much to budget.

HINT: Consider establishing a relationship with local Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) to provide cost estimates for this type of specialized remodeling.

  1. That may lead to questions about your clients’ ability to maintain their home. Here’s where you budget for lawn service and routine home repairs, as well as smaller items like changing air conditioner filters, house cleaning, laundry and yes, even light bulb changing. Be sure to also factor in the frequency.
  2. When the conversation turns to transportation, consider the need for a car or taxi service, the costs and the frequency of use. Input amounts based on your local area in today’s dollars.
  3. The third question should spark a discussion about your clients’ social circle – who’ll be there for them when they need it. What happens if your client needs more care or more social interaction down the line? It may never happen, but it’s important to have a contingency in place before the time comes. A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) offers older adults the option to live in one location for life and can provide opportunities to socialize with other residents with similar interests. But, many CCRCs have buy-in fees in addition to monthly costs. So that should be reflected in the plan, as well.
  4. If they do need to move, do your clients want to sell their home? If so, add in selling costs, capital gains taxes if applicable, and how to deploy any potential profits.

10. Once you have entered all of the appropriate goals for the client, all that is left to do is get the results. The program will automatically integrate the answers into the client’s retirement plan in a way that will help then evaluate important quality-of-life factors and ideally differentiate you from your competition.

Cost estimates provided are for illustrative purposes only. Be sure to research typical costs in your area to provide accurate projections. This process may be more or less detailed based on the personal situations of your clients. These are merely suggestions to consider when discussing these important topics. 

View more

Back to Top

Related articles

Increasing asset inflow through client referrals
Increasing asset inflow through client referrals READ READ
Change begins with understanding
Change begins with understanding READ READ
What good mentors do
What good mentors do READ READ

Sort by topic

Sort by Topic