How Financial Advisors Can Use Healthcare Planning to Help Relieve Client Anxiety & Stress
February 7, 2024
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but as everyone knows, mental health is important year-round. And since finances are the number one reason for stress among 73% of Americans, it stands to reason that financial advisors are in a great position to help relieve clients’ anxiety. Additionally, one study found that healthcare is currently the top financial concern for Americans and 45% of Americans reported feeling very or somewhat worried about being able to afford various healthcare costs.
With rising healthcare expenses, it's no surprise that clients feel anxious and stressed about how they'll manage these costs. Especially during their retirement years. In fact, eight in ten retirees list out-of-control healthcare costs as a top concern. But as a financial advisor, you have the opportunity to ease this anxiety and provide a sense of security. Here are some tips on how you can help alleviate client stress with healthcare planning:
Listen to your clients
The first step in alleviating client stress is to actively listen and understand their concerns. It can be an emotional topic, but clients are looking to you for guidance, so make sure they feel heard and understood. By acknowledging their concerns and addressing their questions, you can help alleviate their stress and build a stronger, trusting relationship.
Incorporate healthcare costs into the financial plan
One of the most effective ways to relieve client anxiety about healthcare costs is to actually plan for those costs. Of course, you can’t plan for emergencies, but you can plan for monthly premiums, what their worst-case scenario for out-of-pocket costs would be based on their deductible, medication costs, and plannable procedures. By completing a HealthPlanning Analysis, you and your client can even see what their future healthcare costs would be based on the information they provide. From there, you can optimize their healthcare costs based on the analysis. By proactively planning for these costs, you can help clients feel more confident in their financial future.
Have conversations about Life Events
Retirement, having a baby, and moving can all be exciting events, but they can also cause anxiety. As a financial advisor, you are well-suited to guide clients through these milestones and ensure they make informed decisions that align with their long-term objectives. If you have a client with one of these major life events soon approaching, be sure to bring it up proactively, talking through risk management strategies and any modifications needed to their financial plan.
Discuss healthcare options and review their insurance coverage
As a financial advisor, you can also help clients explore various healthcare options, such as Medicare or long-term care insurance. Discussing these options can provide clients with a better understanding of their healthcare coverage and how it fits into their overall financial plan.
Regularly reviewing insurance coverage is also essential in relieving client anxiety about healthcare costs. Ensure that clients have adequate insurance coverage and that their policies align with their overall financial plan. By staying up-to-date on insurance coverage, clients can feel more secure in their financial future.
Help clients plan for the life they want in retirement
Retirement planning often ranks high on the list of financial stressors for individuals. One study found that 58% of Baby Boomers surveyed reported feeling overwhelmed and 54% feel confused by retirement healthcare costs and insurance information. Financial advisors can address this concern by putting an emphasis on retirement planning, helping clients set realistic retirement goals, determine appropriate savings targets, and create diversified investment portfolios. Ask clients what they want to be able to do in retirement, this will help inform how much they need to save. You can also help them determine what their healthcare needs might be in their retirement years and include the associated costs in their plan. By addressing concerns surrounding retirement income and healthcare expenses, you can empower your clients to face retirement with confidence and peace of mind.
Finally, one of the most effective ways to reduce client stress is through education. Provide resources, articles, and webinars that empower clients to make informed decisions. Educated clients are more confident in their financial choices and less likely to succumb to anxiety-driven reactions. Educating clients, rather than just telling them what to do, will also lead to improved financial literacy. And being financially literate helps clients to make smarter financial decisions, improves their financial confidence, and can help clients reach their goals.
As a financial advisor, you have the opportunity to alleviate client stress around finances and healthcare by helping them proactively plan for healthcare costs. Incorporating healthcare planning into your practice, having open conversations about life events and clients’ health, actively listening to client worries, and educating clients will help them to not only feel confident and prepared for their financial future but also confident in you and your abilities as a financial advisor.