Life Transitions

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.