How Healthcare Planning Deepens Client Trust

Christine Simone
February 7, 2024

I’ve talked and written a lot about how healthcare planning saves clients money, optimizes their healthcare coverage, and reduces risk exposure. All of that is important and beneficial, but as most financial advisors know, dollar signs aren’t always the most valuable thing to clients. You can create an amazing financial plan that will increase clients’ savings and maximize their income, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t feel confident in the plan. They won’t trust you if they don’t feel that you understand them or their core motivations and beliefs. Studies show that trust is an important factor in not only the success of a financial plan but also in client retention. Plus, clients who highly trust their advisors are more than twice as likely to refer their advisor to friends or family as those who have more modest levels of trust with their advisor.

Healthcare planning makes it easier to dive deeper into clients’ lives, which will allow you to better understand their goals, fears, and motivations, resulting in better client trust.

53% of respondents listed the emotional component as the most important component of trust in their advisory relationship.

A recent Vanguard study discovered that the three components of client trust were functional, emotional, and ethical. Vanguard asked survey respondents which of the following things were most important to them:

  • The advisor does what they say they will do (functional).
  • The advisor's actions allow me to sleep better at night (emotional).
  • The advisor will act in my best interest at all times (ethical). 

Unsurprisingly, the emotional component was most important to the majority of survey respondents. The study also found that building trust takes time and opportunity. 

So, how can advisors create these opportunities without adding more to their plate? Healthcare planning. Dozens of life events necessitate a need for a HealthPlanning Analysis, and they all create personalized touchpoints that build trust with clients and show that you care about them and their entire financial situation. The best part is that it can take little time and effort on your part if you partner with a healthcare planning software provider, like Caribou.

Additionally, healthcare-related decisions tend to create high (and often negative) emotions in Americans. Eight in ten retirees list out-of-control healthcare costs as a top concern, 47% of clients report feeling “somewhat” or  “very concerned” about issues relating to healthcare, and 58% of Baby Boomers surveyed reported feeling overwhelmed and 54% feel confused by retirement healthcare costs and insurance information. When you’re the one providing clarity, peace of mind, and guidance in all these areas, you reduce client stress and prove that you are a trusted resource for all facets of their life.

32% of clients leave their financial advisor because they do not discuss their entire financial situation.

Just as discussing clients’ entire financial situation (including healthcare costs) can improve client trust and retention, not doing so can reduce client trust and retention. Even if you think you’re already addressing every area of a client’s life, you might be wrong — one study found that there are big disconnects between advisors and clients about how comprehensive their financial plan is. When asked how much they agree with the following statement, “Planner communicates the importance of considering all areas of life when creating a financial plan.” 81% of planners agreed, but only 47% of clients agreed. One way to ensure that you’re considering all areas of clients’ lives when creating a financial plan is to incorporate healthcare planning. Especially since 40% of respondents in a survey reported they're looking for insurance advice as a product/service beyond core investment management. Meeting client expectations will deepen their trust and confidence in you as their advisor since it shows that you care about their overall well-being and are acting in their best interest.

Final Thoughts

The success of a financial plan, client retention, and transparent communication all depend on high levels of client trust. Building that trust with your clients takes time, but there’s only so much time you can spend on each client after factoring in your other tasks. That’s where healthcare planning can come in to create several opportunities that take little to no time on the advisor’s part to create valuable touchpoints, create a more comprehensive financial plan, and show clients that you care about their entire financial situation — all of which deepens client trust and ultimately benefits your bottom line.

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