Technology And Life Insurance Can Help Advisors Meet The Varying Needs And Expectations Of Boomer, Gen X And Millennial Clients
Just as members of different generations might use different slang and hold different values, the definition of financial security and the kind of relationship clients want with their financial planner varies by age group.
When equipped with knowledge and tools to cater to the financial habits and preferences of various generations, financial professionals can more easily pivot to meet their needs. Flexibility is key as financial advisors help clients build generational wealth in a challenging market environment.
Different Generations’ Varying Expectations
As baby boomers increasingly prioritize retirement and estate planning, financial advisors have an opportunity to engage the next generation of their client base who might be looking to safeguard their financial interests amid large life events and a volatile economic climate.
For example, members of Gen X might be looking at life insurance policies or other investments to help pay for their children’s college education. Millennials – who are largely responsible for a recent marriage and baby boom – might also be catalyzed to prioritize their personal finances.
Gen X and millennial clients are going about building wealth in different ways than boomers. While their parents might rely on property and stock investments, younger generations are exploring alternate routes to generational wealth, such as cryptocurrency, and seeking transparent conversations about money, their financial situation and overall financial planning goals.
Technology Can Help Advisors Meet Expectations
Nearly all millennials and most Gen Xers rely on a mobile banking app to perform routine tasks like viewing their account balance, checking their credit score and making deposits. Mobile banking platforms draw from users’ personal data to shorten access timelines for generations that are increasingly accustomed to near-instant gratification.
Digital life insurance policy applications operate in a similar manner. They leverage data to slash processing timelines to meet younger generations’ standard of convenience.
With 56% of millennials willing to switch brands to enjoy a more personalized experience, financial advisors should offer younger clients the best of both worlds – a digitally convenient experience combined with the availability to answer questions personally.
Overcoming Barriers To Planning And Life Insurance
There are certainly barriers to financial planning for younger generations, including the emotional undercurrent to conversations surrounding finances, family and legacy. In addition, clients just beginning to prioritize their personal finances may feel self-conscious about their lack of knowledge and experience in front of an advisor.
Purchasing a life insurance policy can be especially daunting, as the process requires applicants to answer questions on potentially sensitive topics including their finances, motor vehicle history, health and family information.
However, today’s financial planning environment can address these concerns. For example, a digital policy application process offers clients a degree of anonymity. Further, millennial and Gen X clients can embark on their personal finance journey at their own pace, in the privacy of their home rather than a planner’s office.
Aligning with a life insurance provider can also help financial advisors connect with baby boomers. Boomers who suffered in the bear market could use a life insurance policy as a safety net, and a policy can pad their children’s inheritance though real estate as stocks decline in value.
Wade Seward is Head of Distribution Strategy at Haven Life, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MassMutual.