In Focus: When Clients' Plans Change  

How to help clients when family plans go awry

How to help clients when family plans go awry

Advisers need to help signpost clients undergoing fertility towards support networks as well as make financial provision for them, specialists have claimed.

With the average cost of fertility treatment in the UK running into the high thousands - and even as high as £14,000 for frozen donor cycles - people needing fertility treatment have turned to credit cards, family members and to remortgaging their home to finance the cost of conception.

But while the cost of raising a child is something many advisers discuss with clients, either on marriage or when the first child is born, very few advisers discuss what might happen if clients are unable to conceive and need fertility treatment?

Such massive life changes come with massive bills - and advisers are best placed to help put financial plans in place to cover the costs of the unexpected. 

Talking to senior editor Simoney Kyriakou on this latest FTAdviser In Focus podcast is Charlotte Gentry, founder of the IVF Network, and Dr Emma Cannon, founder of the Emma Cannon clinic.

They discussed various ways in which advisers can raise this sensitive topic with their clients and help them cover the cost of conception.

According to Gentry: "I ended up spending a lot of money on my treatment. The perspective appears to be 'have another go, have another try'. But this is just throwing more money at something that didn't work the first time."

She added: "The financial stress is huge. We had challenges around that. And when you compile the financial, emotional and physical stress of this, you have to find a way through this journey."

This was one reason why Gentry set up The IVF Network after her six-year journey. "My experience was not fantastic. I needed a diversity of opinion about what my journey should look like. I felt I was throwing good money after bad."

Moreover, for Gentry, there were not even payment plans available - or she had not been made aware of these - so it is important to have a trusted professional to guide people on the financial aspects, and encourage them to talk about their families.

This is where putting a family financial plan into action can come into its own.

Cannon agreed that communication and a wide package of support was essential, from GPs to families, from private medical insurance to financial advisers, to help people achieve their goal.

She said: "These days it takes a village to create a child... You need to be signposted in the right way."

Cannon added: "You can invest so much you do not know when or whether to stop. You've already thrown so much money at this you don't want to stop."

The IVF Network is a platform to deliver content on a variety of fertility topics, from specialists across the UK, to help provide information to allow people to make measured decisions much faster.