Helping Clients Navigate Life Transitions Part V: Retirement/Empty Nest & Death of a Loved One
by Tony DiLeonardi
While I've noted previously that life transitions in themselves
are emotionally charged, these final two events offer you the
opportunity to truly break away from the pack in terms of service
and support. And I'm not suggesting you get a degree in grief
counseling or become a life coach for your empty-nesters. A few
easy gestures or some early planning will be remembered longer than
a flower arrangement.
I'm grouping retirement and empty nest in the same discussion as
in either case, your clients' needs may be similar. Their
retirement plans will need reviewed for either maximization or
distribution choices. Similarly, their insurance needs will change
and they may be looking to down-size their homes. In either
case, there is ample opportunity for your help and a thoughtful
retirement/empty nest gift as well.
Before we get into the death of a loved one, I want to venture
off the path a bit to a related discussion on Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's affects about 4.5 million Americans, so the
chances that this disease will impact someone in your clients'
lives is quite high. When faced with the disease, clients
will appreciate your guidance in helping them plan for the impact
of medical expenses on their financial plans. Additionally,
any help you can offer with finding nursing homes or assisted
living centers can alleviate some of the stress they may be
facing. A similar offer of help will also be appreciated with
the death of a loved one. From pulling together the
will/trust, insurance policies and related financial documents or
contacting all of the related professionals to facilitate the
necessary planning, you will have taken on a burden that your
client may not be ready to address. As time passes, remember
to check in with them periodically to see how you can continue to
be of help.