The growth of later life adviser association SOLLA and the awareness that older clients need special care when it comes to financial advice in later ages are one of the most positive developments in Financial Planning in recent times.
There are all sorts of extra challenges with older clients: mental capacity, inheritance issues, long term care issues and the like and the all need special handling. Financial Planning switches more from accumulating assets to protecting wealth and lifestyles.
I’ve had a look at SJP's Care Concierge website, or at least the care home part. It’s ok but comes over as more of a listings service for care homes. The fees for most of the homes listed are noticeably missing at present.
SJP says it’s just part of the package and there is a telephone advisory service to provide individual support. Its partners will also be trained to deal better with older clients and that's the most important step forward.
Regardless of any shortcomings, SJP has made a start in an area destined to become a mainstay for many Financial Planners. It's an area unlikely to be threatened too much by robo or hybrid advice propositions. It also a market set to grow massively.
I recall attending a Paraplanning Conference a few years back in the good old days of live conferences (let’s hope they return). In a session on older clients delegates were asked to put up their hands if they had clients over milestone ages, 80, 90 and so on. Most had clients over 80 and two had clients over 100.
I’ve no doubt many planners reading this will have clients of over 90 and perhaps a few entering their second century.
Longer lift is a gift to be celebrated and should not be seen as a threat to the economy but it needs careful financial handling. Cashflow models will need to be extended to 100 or more and with this will come a need to assess long term care and social care needs for clients.
As trusted advisers, Financial Planners are well established to provide this advice. Managing the decumulation stage of clients’ lives will become ever more important to ensure clients are happy, healthy and financially secure.
SJP’s initiative will be first of many, I’m sure, and planners who capitalise on this emerging market could do very well.
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Kevin O’Donnell is editor of Financial Planning Today and a financial journalist with 30 years experience. This topical comment on the Financial Planning news appears most weeks. Follow @FPT_Kevin