Women aged 50 and over have specific needs when it comes to who manages their finances. But an adviser that a twenty-something would choose may not be ideal for a 50, 60, or 70-year-old woman. In the same way, an adviser for a 60-year-old man may not be appropriate for a woman of the same age. Let’s take a quick look at exactly what women 50+ should be looking for in a financial adviser.
A Combination of Respect and Financial Prudence
Women age 50 on up should look for a financial adviser who respects them and their personal quest for financial freedom. Respect, civility, and social graces combined with proven performance are essential to maintaining the business of Baby Boomer women. In particular, older women are quite demanding of their money managers. The older women get, the more pronounced their needs and desires become in the context of financial planning.
Most older women demand clarity when discussing finances with their advisers. This clarity should pertain to the subtleties of investment strategies as well as ongoing communication. Semantic complications and indirect communication will steer women in this age cohort toward competing financial advisers. In particular, women 50+ should seek a financial adviser who clearly communicates the fee structure for services rendered.
If the financial adviser’s fees are difficult to understand, a potential female client age 50 on up is more likely to gravitate toward an adviser who presents pricing in clearer terms. Furthermore, if fees are not reasonable, they may pivot toward another financial adviser, largely because they understand what constitutes fair pricing for such services after years of paying such fees to industry professionals.
Comparably younger women are more likely to pay exorbitantly high fees simply because they lack the experience necessary to determine what, exactly, constitutes reasonable and fair fees for financial adviser services.
A Willingness to Simplify the Complex
It is no secret that financial adviser services are becoming more complex with each passing year. The rise in the number of securities combined with an ever-increasing number of brokers has the potential to lead to confusion. A woman who came of age when life was comparably simple will often seek a financial adviser who makes a concerted effort to explain complex concepts in plain terms that can be understood with ease.
In contrast, those in their 30s and 40s came of age when the financial industry heightened in complexity, meaning they have kept pace with the industry’s dynamic verbiage and new investment vehicles that continue to expand as time progresses. The moral of this story is that financial advisers who present investment strategies in understandable terms that average women aged 50+ can understand without an MBA degree are more likely to secure the business of women who are near or in retirement.
Accessibility and Acknowledgment
Older women often feel invisible to those who provide financial services. Part of this invisibility stems from the fact that the financial services industry has long been geared toward middle-aged men. However, society has changed and men are no longer the primary breadwinners in many households. Marketing campaigns for financial advisers rarely reflect society’s evolution, rendering older women somewhat marginalized and isolated.
Financial advisers who proactively recognize the hard work of successful older women along with the ensuing financial gains have a better chance to retain their business. Some of these women will gravitate toward a financial adviser based on his or her willingness to acknowledge their need for ongoing financial guidance. Financial professionals who tailor their outbound and inbound marketing campaigns toward women aged 50+, even if only in subtle ways, really are that much more likely to land these coveted women as clients.
Every financial adviser should be hyper-aware of the fact that the Great Recession of 2008 motivated women in the Baby Boomer demographic to learn more about financial management, investing, and establishing a nest egg for their retirement. Advisers who proactively recognize this personal growth will tailor their advertising accordingly and ultimately reap the reward in the form of securing the business of these women.
Those who continue to acknowledge their lifelong financial success have the potential to retain their business across posterity, building impenetrable professional bonds with women who have the potential to remain in the fold as loyal clients for decades to come.
A Financial Adviser Willing to Recognize the Unique Challenges of Women 50+
Women over 50 came of age in a time when childbearing was a societal expectation. The birth rate has plummeted in recent decades, changing the dynamics of gender roles to a certain extent. Older women are more likely to have spent their prime earning years caring for children, selflessly sacrificing their own financial interests for the betterment of the family unit. Now that these women are empty-nesters, the spotlight is on their financial picture and setting the stage for enjoying their life as they age.
Financial advisers who recognize the unique challenges faced by these women are more likely to bring them into the fold and hold onto them as paying clients. The bottom line is that a considerable number of older women are worried about running out of money in retirement. Financial advisers should recognize this insecurity, listen closely when such concerns are raised, and tailor financial advice or any debt solutions accordingly.
In some cases, merely acknowledging the needs of these women and their challenges will inspire confidence and trust, setting the stage for a mutually beneficial relationship. Ideally, the adviser will build on establishing lasting financial security throughout the entirety of retirement. The best in the business acknowledge this very real concern, address potential financial challenges and proactively plan for those hurdles with realistic solutions grounded in logic and rationality.