Love letters, family events, and birthdays provide opportunities to connect with family members. With a huge wave of wealth projected to transfer from boomers to the next generation over the coming three decades, engaging the entire family is important for financial professionals.
Here are some strategies gathered from meeting with advisors across the country:
1. “I love you” letter. Create a template for a letter that can be used by a spouse to document important information for the other spouse who is not generally involved in the daily household finances. The letter could also be prepared by parents for children. It can include financial account numbers, insurance policies, passwords for digital accounts, as well as names of trusted advisors and someone to call in case of emergency. It could also include the financial advisor as the “quarterback” to handle affairs in conjunction with others, such as a CPA and an attorney.
2. Family fun day. Suggest and organize an event that brings together clients, children, and grandchildren. Individuals with grandchildren are proud to introduce them, and the event allows the advisor to meet all generations in a relaxed social setting. Many family events center on an activity such as a minor league baseball game, which is fun and cost effective.
3. Account beneficiaries. A helpful first step in meeting family members is to connect on LinkedIn. Older clients may not be on LinkedIn, but adult children usually are. Ask your clients if you can introduce yourself to them through LinkedIn. Consider a personalized invitation such as “Hi, I’ve been working with your parents as their financial advisor for years and thought it would be a good idea to connect with you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if I can help you in anyway.”
4. Birthday greetings. When account beneficiary information is collected, the data includes birthdays. Some advisors tap into this information to set up alerts to send a brief note, card, or a small gift. Most people enjoy a birthday recognition.