In Focus: Intergenerational Wealth  

Four in five advisers ask retirement clients about happiness

Four in five advisers ask retirement clients about happiness

Around four in five financial advisers (78 per cent) go beyond financial matters and ask retirement clients what gives them meaning, purpose and happiness, according to research by Aegon.

The research, which surveyed 212 financial advisers, found advisers increasingly expected their role to extend into "retirement coaching" and become less focused on solely dealing with products and investments choices.

It found advisers ask clients as part of the fact find what gives their life meaning and purpose and have discussions around what will bring them happiness in retirement. 

Advisers said these discussions were a useful way of understanding a client’s hopes and fears in retirement and can be used to support their broader financial wellbeing.

Tim Morris, IFA at Russell & Co Financial Advisers said he did not see himself as a coach as he tended to work with clients who are good with money and had a clear retirement plan. 

“Many are business owners. I work with them to ensure they adequately fund these plans,” he said.

“However, I can understand why advisers are increasingly involved in their client’s longer term living standard, their health and long-term care needs.

“Due to increased life expectancy, access to healthcare and the popularity of pension drawdown; the adviser relationship for most clients will continue longer than it used to.”

The research was conducted with Next Wealth in December 2020 and called Managing Lifetime Wealth: retirement planning in the UK 2021 Report. 

It highlighted how many firms were already concentrating on understanding client wider life needs and providing more holistic retirement support.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “While advisers remain focused on helping clients achieve their financial objectives, the research points to an increasing focus on broader financial wellbeing.

"Advisers are going beyond their valuable role in recommending products and investments to optimise portfolios, towards a more holistic approach that offers coaching on life after work.

“Through open discussions during the fact find, advisers can gather a fuller picture of a client’s wider life goals and priorities to help finance aspirations and mitigate fears in retirement. 

“Clients not only benefit from advice to support their financial future but also have someone to help them identify what gives them joy and purpose and picture their ‘future self’.”

Clients' hopes and fears

The research also asked advisers about what some of the biggest hopes and fears are for clients in retirement.

Four in 10 (39 per cent) advisers said the hope for the majority of their clients was to have the ability to maintain living standards in retirement and 43 per cent said it was some of their clients.

Nearly all advisers surveyed said their clients are concerned about their health or that of loved ones. Alongside this are fears around the ability to pay for potential long-term care costs in later life.

Cameron said: “The research highlights that the aspiration to maintain living standards in retirement is the primary objective for the majority of advised clients. To truly deliver on this, people often need help from their adviser to picture their future lives.