Solve Major Social Challenges and Take Your Practice to New Heights

Tactics for elite advisors to advance their practices while making the world better

By Valentino Sabuco, CFP®, AEP®

Key Takeaways:

  • Families of aging baby boomers are expected to transfer more wealth in the next ten years than at any previous time in history.
  • An estimated 120 million Americans—including perhaps half the adults in your community— have no up-to-date estate plan to protect themselves and their families.
  • Think “family office” for small and aspirational clients—it’s not just for the ultra-wealthy
  • Take an active leadership role in one of the most amazing, broad-based, multifaceted campaigns for improving financial awareness and financial literacy.

We live in one of the most exhilarating times in the annals of all mankind. However, there are many challenges to attracting, retaining and growing satisfied clients on the path to building a successful practice. The following outlines a significant opportunity for elite financial advisors to advance their practices by attracting motivated and primed clients while helping to grow strong and financially sound domestic and international economies.

The big challenge

Managing personal finances today is more complicated, more time-consuming, and more important than ever. We are living longer but saving proportionately less. We feel less secure in our jobs, homes and overall outlooks than previous generations did. We watch, helplessly, as our money evaporates due to exorbitant costs of housing, taxes, education, health care and life’s too many “unexpecteds.” Many clients and prospects worry about the future, or, unfortunately, in many cases, they simply try not to think about it. Until “it” happens—a financial catastrophe that could have been avoided with some advanced planning.

Did you realize?

An estimated 120 million Americans do not have an up-to-date estate plan to protect themselves and their families. Hard to believe, but it makes estate planning one of the most overlooked areas of personal financial management.

Estate planning is important for everyone, not just the wealthy: Advance planning issues such as guardianship of children, managing assets of a business in case of sickness or disability, care of a special-needs child, long-term care needs, proper distribution of assets to the next generation, or funeral arrangements can all be handled with sensitivity and care and at a reasonable cost.

Elite Advisor Note: Rich, poor or somewhere in between—that’s about half the adults in your hometown: many prospects who need your assistance and are able to pay for your expertise. For more information about estate planning, see my previous Elite Advisor Report article.

Many people mistakenly believe they are not “rich” and assume they don’t need estate and financial planning.

Elite Advisor Note: This attitude can be very harmful financially and can be avoided with some education and proactive actions. As renowned tax expert Sidney Kess noted in an earlier Elite Advisor Report, “ … families are expected to transfer more wealth in the next ten years than at any previous time in history… It’s clearly an opportunity for smaller firms to jump into the market.”

The majority of Americans who are over age 65 are totally dependent on their Social Security checks.

Elite Advisor Note: With proper knowledge, motivation and planning, future generations can have a more secure future; think “family office” for your midsize and aspirational clients. The typical definition of “family office” clients is those with assets in excess of $50 million. However, if you can talk with your smaller and aspirational clients about combining several generations of their families to work together, then you can increase the size of your client base while retaining and helping to manage those assets more efficiently than you would by keeping the clients as individual clients.

A solution and master plan

As longtime financial service professionals and leaders in the financial and estate planning communities, you have firsthand experience about the challenges Americans face with saving, retirement planning, investing, taxes, risk management, estate planning and overall planning for their financial futures. Share your knowledge and experience by taking an active leadership role and being part of the concentrated financial and estate planning content media campaign during National Financial Literacy Month (April) and National Estate Planning Awareness Week (the third week in October).

Tenth anniversary of national financial literacy month

In 2004, the Senate passed Resolution 316, officially recognizing April as National Financial Literacy Month. In 2011, President Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation designating April as National Financial Literacy Month. Please add the following link to your web browser to see the text of the proclamation and some further background information. www.TheFinancialAwarenessFoundation.org/pdf/About-NationalFinancialLiteracyMonth.pdf

Sixth anniversary of national estate planning awareness week

In 2008, Congressman Mike Thompson and 49 bipartisan congressmen and congresswomen co-authored and passed H. Res. 1499, which officially made the third week in October National Estate Planning Awareness Week. The full text of the proclamation can be found here.

Take a look at what your colleagues are doing, as reported in the latest Campaign Report & Scrapbook.

Promote your business while improving financial awareness and financial literacy

Here are some fun, easy ways to help improve financial awareness and financial literacy while building your practice:

  1. Place financial and estate planning editorial content in support of National Financial Literacy Month and National Estate Planning Awareness Week within your web sites, newsletters, social media groups, local newspapers and radio/television/web-based shows.

  2. Email us your articles, checklists, ads and seminar/webinar activity notices so we can highlight them (and you) in the current Campaign Report & Scrapbook.

  3. Invite your organization and associates to host or take part in communitywide and national public outreach programs built around financial and estate planning during the months of April and October.

  4. Circulate Financial Awareness Campaign materials and the press and industry media kit and guides to your colleagues, associates and others who you know will benefit. These materials can be found under the Campaign tab at www.TheFinancialAwarenessFoundation.org.

  5. Urge local politicians to issue supporting proclamations each year for National Financial Literacy Month (April) and National Estate Planning Awareness Week (the third week in October) like Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan did. (See Page 8 of the Campaign Report & Scrapbook noted above.)

  6. Create a contest involving your colleagues to see who can come up with the best:

  1. Motivational article for the public
  2. Financial planning checklist
  3. Estate planning checklist
  4. Communitywide event
  5. Financial planning app
  6. Estate planning app
  7. 2015 campaign slogan

Please join together to help advance and contribute to one of the most amazing, broad-based, multifaceted campaigns for improving financial awareness and financial literacy. This is an engaging and real winning approach to solving a major social challenge while building your practice and helping nonprofits.

  • American families benefit by learning how to prepare for and deal with personal financial challenges on a cost-effective basis.
  • Financial professionals and their companies benefit by acquiring new business from more informed and motivated clients.
  • Nonprofits win with increased donations, planned gifts, alternate beneficiary selections and bequests.
  • The overall community wins with a stronger and financially sound economy.

Wishing you much success and all the very best! -Valentino.

About the Author

Valentino Sabuco, CFP®, AEP®, is the executive director and publisher of The Financial Awareness Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Sonoma County California. Valentino has pioneered the financial planning profession for over 40 years. TFAF serves as a nonpolitical and neutral “financial awareness advocate” for the public, the professionals and their associations, educational institutions, and nonprofits. Our mission is to significantly help solve a major social problem by dealing with the lack of financial awareness and financial literacy. We believe teaching financial literacy is very important as it gives people the essential tools to address everyday financial decisions in a more informed manner. Valentino can be reached at V.Sabuco@TheFinancialAwarenessFoundation.org or (707) 586-8620.