The Game Plan: 10 value-adding services for advice-only financial planners.

We believe that removing regulated advice from financial planning is not a service people would value and pay for, as advisers have trained clients to believe what remains is free.

We need to add value to the service. We do this with the Game Plan. Here are ten additional services offered by Academy members to their clients.

1. The financial advice is only half the service. We must plan the client before we plan the money. For example, we must plan retirement before we plan retirement income.

2. We plan all assets, not just financial assets. Financial assets make up just 13% of total assets for the average Brit (source ONS WAS – excludes business assets). For example, property sales, business exit strategies, inherited assets, and occupational pension options need planning.

3. We would support the conversation with a lifetime cash flow forecast. This app improves the confidence of the client that they will not outlive their capital. Knowing their number and that they would be comfortable if they retired today is just the beginning of the planning conversation. Knowing they have comfort helps the client focus on growth.

4. We ask clients if they wish to retire for comfort or growth. 1 in 4 retire for comfort. For them, retirement is a cliff edge. 1 in 4 unretires within five years. The 3 in 4 who retire for growth seek meaningful projects for growth, some of which can be paid. We help with these too.

5. We measure the level of client activation with their finances. Are they deserters, disjoined, delegators, or devotees? Our initial assumption is that everyone can manage their own finances with the right support. We increase the activation levels of our clients with financial literacy, such as Your Money or Your Life, Stand & Deliver Workbooks, HapNav Tech Spec, and recommending the book How to fund the life you want by Robin Powell and Jonathan Hollow, publicly available unbiased surveys (Which? Money), customer-centred financial planning apps linked to Open Banking (HapNav), and low-cost subscription to hundreds of financial education training modules (Money Fitt).

6. We look at every area of the client’s life, not just their bank account. We look at their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial well-being. If there is a deficit in one area, there is a deficit in all areas. We create a whole-person Goal, a Future Self vision of their next chapter. We coach for commitment, agency, and action over the planning cycle.

7. We look to help our clients live longer better. This week, a client said their father passed away three weeks after he retired. According to NHS studies, with the right support, someone retiring at 60 has a 50% chance of living until they are in their 90s. I’m sure you would agree your clients would prefer to live longer better, and planning for three weeks or 30 years can make a big difference to your financial recommendations. We refer to a Living Longer Better training programme to provide expert support.

8. As part of helping the client live longer better, we help our clients to live values-driven and purpose-driven lives. We do this by helping them design a portfolio of meaningful projects. Each combines what they are good at, love, what the world needs, and sometimes what the world would pay for. This nexus creates eudemonic well-being, a reason for being that gets them up out of bed in the morning. It improves not just life expectancy but also healthy life expectancy to increase the period of active retirement and minimise passive retirement.

9. We perform an intangible asset audit. Intangible assets can be leveraged to create future financial assets. These are reputation, connections, skill, time, location, and know-how. We create a business plan for clients to leverage intangible assets to produce income from work that doesn’t feel like work (meaningful projects) that fills the cashflow valley from now until the State pension age and beyond. Income earned replaces the drawdown on life savings.

10. We stress test the plan with multiple what-if scenarios, market crash, illness, care needs, death, and making introductions to other service suppliers where necessary. For example, for protection needs, we refer to Life Search.

The clients of Academy members can expect to enjoy an exceptional second life. As Stephen R. Covey said in the 8th Habit, “If you want to die early, retire to golfing and fishing, popping prescriptions and occasionally seeing the grandkids.”

In short, we design a brilliant next chapter of the client’s life and then put in place the financial architecture to support it.

We sell plans, not products.

This blog was written in response to an adviser question.

Adviser Question: What can a financial planner who is not also authorised as an investment adviser do?

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