Risk-Protection Solutions Should Be Part of Any Financial Plan

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Stop and think about the most “real” human event you experienced in the last year. What moved you? What shocked you? What caused you to question if you were in control?

I suspect that in reflecting on those questions you thought about the family whose dad was just diagnosed with cancer, the grandparent lost to COVID or the friend who was unexpectedly laid off. You didn’t think about anything that was ordinary or expected.

But that’s how life goes. As John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.”

How do you prepare your clients for what can happen while they’re busy making other plans? Is your client ready for all that life will throw at them today, tomorrow and 20 years from now? One of my mentors told me that a real financial plan doesn’t just deal with what we hope will happen but is something that endures through all the future’s uncertainties – in the markets, workplace, personal health and more. And further, he says wryly, “A plan should deal with the one certainty we all share: One day, we will die.” He is quick to remind me that he hasn’t been wrong yet!

While advisors believe that evaluating a client’s risk is a part of the comprehensive planning process, there is a mistaken perception among many financial advisors that offering commissionable insurance solutions is inappropriate. This attitude runs counter to my belief that one of the most important roles a financial professional/advisor can play is ensuring everyone has a plan that brings them financial clarity. It is the job of the advisor to help people see how they can plan to achieve – and protect – their hopes and dreams. This happens through an advice experience – when an advisor has built trust, understands the unique values, goals, and beliefs of a client, and ultimately, helps that client take action to meet their current and future financial needs.