Healthcare, Estate, and Tax Planning: How They Benefit Advisors & Clients
February 7, 2024
The three service offerings (healthcare planning, estate planning, and tax planning) listed in this blog all fall under one core strategy: offer services to your clients that go beyond basic financial planning.
Financial advisors are well suited to help clients with all the important decisions in their life, and clients know this. That’s why most clients expect their advisors to provide help beyond basic financial planning. Providing just one of the additional services that clients expect means you’ll meet their expectations, but if you provide multiple services (and do it well) you’ll exceed expectations. And exceeding expectations is how you increase client retention and growth.
Below, I’ll go more in-depth about each specific service offering, how it meets client expectations, and how you can implement it to wow clients.
What is it?
Healthcare planning is the comprehensive overview and optimization of clients' present and future healthcare costs based on personalized needs and budgets. Healthcare planning is the practice of finding cost savings opportunities at multiple points in a person’s life as they relate to healthcare. Healthcare planning can be as complex as an analysis of different plan options and how each plan works with a client’s health needs, budget, and other important factors, or as simple as a conversation about how to best use a client’s Health Savings Account funds.
Why is it beneficial to offer healthcare planning as a service? Because:
- Eight in ten retirees list out-of-control healthcare costs as a top concern.
- The #1 factor retirees report as the key to a happy and fulfilling retirement is good health.
- Only 14% of pre-retirees say they feel they have a trusted resource to help them understand Medicare options, and just 11% feel they know where to turn to figure out how to cover healthcare costs in retirement.
- 47% of clients report feeling “somewhat” or “very concerned” about issues relating to healthcare.
How can you incorporate healthcare planning into your service offerings?
There are many major life events you can use to bring healthcare planning into the financial plan, but the most common is retirement. Odds are, even if you don’t currently do healthcare planning, you do talk about retirement with clients. Clients’ 64th birthdays are a great trigger to bring up retirement and healthcare planning.
You can send clients a birthday card along with a note prompting them to schedule a meeting with you to discuss retirement plans. During the meeting, as you go through the important aspects of retirement, touch on their health insurance options and costs. Medicare is, of course, the most common health insurance for people 65 and older. Discuss what Medicare is, how it works, and their different plan options.
Ask clients about their current and future expected healthcare needs in retirement. It’s also important to note that if they’re retiring before 65, their health insurance options are much different than clients who retire post-65. You can read all about pre-65 retiree health insurance options in this free guide.
And of course, the simplest way to incorporate healthcare planning is to partner with a company that provides software to make healthcare planning easy and fully customized, like Caribou.
What is it?
Our friends at Trust & Will explain estate planning as:
“An Estate Plan is much more than a Will. It is a comprehensive and complete way to prepare yourself, your assets, and your loved ones for the future. Remember - the first step to creating an Estate Plan is understanding the basics. A Trust-Based Estate Plan does not force individuals to go through the probate court process, allowing one's assets to pass seamlessly to their beneficiaries while keeping their personal matters out of the public record.”
Why is it beneficial to offer estate planning as a service? Because:
- 93% of those surveyed expected their advisor to help with estate planning, but only 22% received that service.
- 94% expect to receive trust services, but only 10% do.
How can you incorporate estate planning into your service offerings?
There are a few life events you could use to bring up estate planning. Getting married and having children are both great opportunities to bring up estate planning. You could also bring up estate planning after your initial meeting with a new client and present it as a basic component of a secure financial plan. Alternatively, tax season can also be a good time to incorporate estate planning since clients are already in “paperwork mode.”
The easier way to offer estate planning to your clients is to choose a technology provider, like Trust & Will. Other options include (but are not limited to) Yourefolio, Asset-Map, and Vanilla.
What is it?
Our friends at Holistiplan described tax planning as this:
“Tax planning is not defined (or regulated) quite as clearly as tax advice. Tax planning can be defined as the analysis of a specific situation or longer-term financial plan with the goal of reducing someone’s tax liability. Some choose to define this as ensuring a taxpayer’s tax liability in a given year is as low as possible. However, taking a longer view may adjust that slightly to ensuring that a taxpayer’s lifetime tax liability is as low as possible. As any advisor (or accountant) knows, it may be advantageous to pay some taxes in one year – even if you don’t need to – if that means paying significantly less in future years.”
Why is it beneficial to offer tax planning as a service? Because:
- Sure, you could point your client to a CPA to take over tax planning. But as you can probably guess, clients expect their financial advisors to provide some advice around taxes. 92% of clients, to be exact.
- One study found that Gen Z clients reported tax planning as their number one reason for hiring a financial advisor.
How can you incorporate tax planning into your service offerings?
There are several ways financial advisors can help clients with tax planning year-round, but since we’re in the midst of spring, let’s focus on how you can incorporate tax planning in the current season. You can:
- Review clients’ IRA/Roth IRA and Health Savings Accounts contributions for the previous tax year
- Help clients with tax return preparation, such as identifying Qualified Charitable Distributions and other tax-related activities performed during the previous year.
- Review clients’ tax returns and identify planning opportunities for the current year.
Choosing a technology partner that offers clear step-by-step tax planning opportunities and strategies is also a great way to easily add this service to your financial planning offerings. One example is Holistiplan. A few other examples of tax planning software include Corvee and NaviPlan.
32% of high net-worth clients leave their financial advisor because the advisor didn’t discuss their full financial situation, and 60% of clients leave their advisor because they felt their needs weren’t being listened to. Based on the data in this blog, we have a clear picture that the “full financial situation” and “needs” clients want their advisors to listen to go beyond basic financial planning. They want help with tax planning, estate planning, healthcare planning, and much more. For example, one study found that the number one area clients wanted assistance from their financial advisor on was retirement income planning. Even retirement income planning ties in with healthcare planning, estate planning, and tax planning. After all, healthcare costs are the third highest area of spending in retirement, retirement is when clients need to be considering creating an estate plan, and taxes greatly affect retirement planning.
At the end of the day, if you want to be a truly comprehensive financial planner, you can’t afford to not offer the services mentioned above. It can feel daunting to add so many services, especially ones that require a lot of knowledge and expertise if you were to do it completely on your own. But that’s what technology providers are for. There are many you could choose to go with, but the providers mentioned in this blog will hopefully give you a good start in your research.