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A mid-year review checklist helps connect with clients

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One-on-one reviews offer a great opportunity to touch base with clients, review current strategies and evaluate whether they align with your client’s current financial goals. While you may typically conduct these reviews annually, mid-year meetings give you an opportunity to add more value and show your clients you can be their go-to resource to help them stay on track for a financially secure retirement.

6 clues that financial strategy adjustments may be needed

Your client has experienced a change in:

  1. Marital status, living situation or family
  2. Health or caregiving responsibilities
  3. Income or career
  4. Children in college
  5. Future projects
  6. Retirement date

Proactively staying on top of these and other significant changes can help you build trust with your clients and adjust financial strategies according to their evolving needs. 

“Quick 6” checklist can help guide mid-year client reviews

Using our “Quick 6” checklist when you connect with your clients mid-year can help you uncover situations that could affect them financially now and in retirement. Have your clients experienced any of these significant changes?

1. ❑ Major life event

As life changes, so can income needs. Touching base with your clients about major life events in the last six months can help uncover what’s on their minds and determine if their overall retirement portfolio needs adjusted. Asking clients these questions can help start the conversation: 

  • Has your marital status or living situation changed? 
  • Have there been any changes in your health?
  • Have you changed jobs or had a change in income?
  • Have you recently welcomed a child or grandchild into your family?
  • Have one or more children entered (or graduated) from college?
  • Will you be caring for an aging parent or relative?
  • Do you have new future projects, plans or a change in your retirement plan?

Checking in on current life events can help you to determine if a client’s income strategy is sufficient, if beneficiaries need to be updated and how to proceed with the rest of the review.

2. ❑ Different income or job change

Has your client recently changed jobs, been promoted, received an inheritance or experienced a layoff? Any of these situations could have financial impacts, which may mean an individual’s overall retirement strategy should be rebalanced. If a client receives a pay increase and their standard of living changes, it may be time to bump up retirement savings contributions to stay aligned with a new lifestyle. On the other hand, if a client is laid off, a mid-year review allows you to offer reassurance and help keep things on track during the transition.

3. ❑ Children entering college

Your clients may have diligently saved for a child or grandchild’s education, and now it’s time to put those dollars to use. Would it make sense for an annuity to be part of an overall college savings strategy to help supplement tuition payments? If this important milestone is approaching, you can help your clients be financially prepared to meet the costs, while ensuring their future goals, like retirement, can still occur as intended.

4. ❑ Starting or selling a business

Some people dream of starting a new business or selling their company as retirement approaches. Others may want to keep working but change careers. While new horizons can be exciting and challenging, it’s essential for clients to revisit their retirement savings strategy to determine if changes should be made while there’s time to maximize them. 

Starting a new business

Helping clients who have started a new business or want to think through their retirement savings strategy can help them stay on track for a financially secure future. For example, you could start by asking:

  • Do you need money to start your business, and if so, how much?
  • What are your short- and long-term goals for the business?
  • Do you plan to run this business in retirement? 

Selling a business

If a client sold their business or plans to in the future, discussing how the sale may impact their retirement strategy can help you determine if adjustments are needed now to help them live comfortably in retirement.

5. ❑ Future plans

Goals can evolve over time. Perhaps extended travel or a large-scale home remodel has been added to a client’s wish list. If a large portion of savings will be used to pay for those plans, you can help:

  • determine how the costs may affect your client’s overall financial plan
  • recommend necessary adjustments

An important part of a mid-year review is to align a client’s retirement strategy with their changing goals.

6. ❑ Adjusted retirement date

During fact-finding client conversations, you may discover that projected retirement dates have changed. If the adjusted target date for your client or spouse causes them to spend more or less time in retirement, you can help restructure their savings strategy to align with the updated goal. 

Connecting with your clients halfway through the year could be valuable for both of you. Touching base more often can help strengthen those relationships and help ease clients’ minds that they’re financially prepared for retirement. Our “Quick 6” checklist can help guide your conversations.

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