Are advisers ready for an ageing population?
It’s widely known that there’s an ageing population in the developed world. In the UK, for example, the Office for National Statistics predicts that by 2045, nearly a quarter of the population will be over the age of 65. In some countries — Japan, German, Italy and Portugal for example — more than 20% of the population have reached that age already.
Barry LaValley says the advice profession is woefully unprepared for the demographic changes expected over the next two or three decades.
Based near Vancouver, Barry is an expert on retirement planning and a consultant to financial advice firms around the world, and he is my guest on the latest Intelligent Adviser Podcast.
He explains in the interview how advice firms need to prepare themselves for clients spending longer in retirement, and how they have to feel more comfortable addressing sensitive issues such as dementia and end-of-life care.
He also talks about the vital role that advisers play in helping clients to get the most out of their later years, and why it’s so important that client conversations don’t just revolve around money.
“We’ve given the client the idea that you’ve got to have a million dollars in the bank,” says Barry. “A lot of people can live on considerably less than they’ve been told. It all comes down to how you want to live your life.”
He also explains how people have a natural tendency not to try new things in retirement, even if they say they want to.
“There’s this thing called continuity theory,” he says, “which psychologists use to describe the ageing process and how we handle it. We don’t want to do new things, even if we say that we do. We just want to put a blanket around us and be safe.”
The challenge for advisers, Barry says, is to shake people out of it, and he offers some useful insight on the podcast into how advisers should go about it.
You can listen to the podcast here: