The world’s population is aging and so are our customers, this brings new planning challenges for these clients and their families.
As financial planners, we want to help our clients organize and analyze their economic reality to answer the many questions that lie ahead. We want to make sure we have asked the right questions and that every detail has been investigated.
So how do you create a framework for a family conversation ahead of the challenge of their retirement and planning the passage of wealth from generation to generation?
Some think that planning the transfer of wealth from generation to generation is only for the ultra-wealthy, but this is not true. All the population accumulates wealth throughout their lives and most of them leave wealth for future generations (apartments, savings, pensions), and without planning a large part of this wealth will not pass smoothly to them. Whether it’s family asset planning or building a tax strategy, planning will save a lot and make sure our assets arrive where we want them to.
The 4 Main Categories of Needs and Issues of Families
Over the years I have gained a lot of experience in working with families and I believe that the needs and issues of families are divided into four main categories:
- Cognitive and Psychological
In this article I would like to explore each of the categories and offer questions and advice that may bring the families value:
this means the physical effects that the aging process has on our bodies. Chronic conditions can include limitations in movement, hearing, vision, heart problems, diabetes, and more. These problems lead to concerns about where to live, and who will take care of us.
- What effects do you think physical aging will have on you?
- How do you plan to deal with healthcare decision-making in the future?
- Have you been concerned about having sufficient resources with the rising prices of healthcare?
- What kind of decisions will you have to make about your living situation?
- What types of transportation decisions will you need to make?
- Do you understand the implications of the insurance you have (private and HMO)?
Cognitive and psychological
Most clients are looking forward to retirement and see it as an opportunity to enjoy travel, well-being, community service, and perhaps even start a second (or third) career or start a small business. As time goes on, many senior citizens experience periods of sadness, worry, and depression. Memory loss and unfortunately, dementia and even Alzheimer’s develop.
- What do you want to do or are you already doing to maximize your enjoyment of your retirement years?
- Has your family made plans to plan in case of a decline in cognitive abilities?
Additional topics for discussion:
- What do you do with your free time?
- How should you prepare to avoid scams?
- Discuss employment opportunities for senior citizens.
- How to identify signs of dementia and cognitive decline?
- How to prepare for the reality of declining cognitive ability?
Over the past few decades, many changes have arisen in the family structure and even the meaning of what a family is in general. Adult children may continue to live with us at home or on the other side of the world with the same likelihood. These changes may affect relationships and family communication.
There may be a reality in which the children have multiple families, due to divorce. Multiple relatives from different legal jurisdictions will further complicate the problem.
- What is troubling you about your intra-family relationships?
- Could geographic distancing be a problem in family communication in the future?
- Have you decided on a family representative to be in charge of family communications?
Additional topics for discussion:
- Understanding intergenerational differences.
- How to improve family communication?
- How to arrange family meetings?
- How to handle intergenerational wealth transfer from multiple jurisdictions?
- How to choose a trustee for making decisions on matters of inheritance, health, and generality?
Although the elderly population has a lot of issues that concern them related to their finances, the main issue that discourages everyone else is whether their assets can be enough for them to live the life they are accustomed to. We all want to make the right decisions about pensions, withdrawing allowances, tax planning, and allowances but we must see the big picture otherwise every little decision we make becomes extremely difficult and can affect our destiny.
- How do you want to manage your assets to last your lifetime?
- What help do you need to achieve this goal?
- What happens if the moment comes when you are no longer able to make your financial decisions?
Topics for discussion
- The National Insurance Institute and the tax system revolve around the withdrawal of income for retirement.
- Wills and Trusts
- Building a legacy.