Lifestyle financial planning is a term that is growing in popularity in the world of financial advice. It’s a relatively new approach to wealth management that is more holistic than traditional methods and essentially does what it says on the tin: it’s about getting to know your clients, their current lifestyle and the life they want to live in the future and creating a bespoke plan to help them get to that point.
Whether they are looking to buy their dream house, grow their wealth or want to retire at a young age, it’s about looking at each client’s goals individually and helping them find ways to achieve them. So what’s the difference between traditional financial advice and lifestyle financial planning? What does it involve? And how can offering a more holistic approach benefit your financial advice firm? Read on to find out…
Traditional advice versus lifestyle planning
When it comes to traditional financial advice, making your clients’ as much money as possible is the name of the game. From budgeting and tax to investments and insurance, it’s all about recommending the right products to manage and grow your clients’ wealth. But lifestyle financial planning goes beyond what is traditionally seen as wealth. It’s not just about assets or net worth – it’s about goals, ambitions and personal wellbeing.
Financial lifestyle planning is more personal – it’s about getting your clients to where they want to be and helping them live the life they’ve always wanted. As a financial adviser, you wouldn’t usually expect your clients to tell you about their dream to trek through the Costa Rican jungle, their desire to abandon city life in favour of a move to the country, or what universities their kids want to go to. But when taking a more holistic approach to financial advice, these things are all important.
Lifestyle planning is client-centric and completely bespoke to each client. It’s about getting to grips with each individual situation and looking into your client’s future in order to understand what needs to happen today to make their future dreams a reality. Post RDR, it’s no longer about pushing products in exchange for commission. Instead, whether you’re fine-tuning existing financial arrangements or starting from scratch, wherever your clients are in their financial journey, you can use a wide range of products, investments and bespoke advice to get them to where they want to be.
How it works
Lifestyle financial planning is all about the client. It’s about exploring every aspect of their financial world and taking everything into account to create a financial plan that works for them. It’s not about promoting products or giving your view of what is or isn’t a good investment; rather, it’s a more objective approach that allows you to offer bespoke advice to help them achieve their goals. Here’s how:
Build a relationship
Sit with your clients and get to know them. Yes, it’s really that simple! The aim here is to get to know them and what they want to achieve. Whether they want to protect their wealth, grow their wealth, create the retirement they want or send their children to university, every client’s situation is different. By getting to know them and what they want to achieve, you can develop a strong relationship with your clients and earn their trust.
Offer bespoke solutions
Once you’ve identified their goals, it’s time to work out the best strategy to help your clients realise them. With lifestyle planning, you don’t just ply them with information and push products for commission – instead, it’s about adding value. Sit down with your clients and run through all the different options available to them based on thorough research and analysis, from cash flow modelling to investment opportunities. As well as offering short term and long term solutions, you should also highlight the benefits and risks involved with each investment so they know exactly what their options are. You want your clients to feel empowered and in control of their future.
Give ongoing advice
Lifestyle financial planning is also about giving the right advice at the right time. Monthly updates, quarterly meetings, and getting to know the wants and needs of the whole family – your job doesn’t stop once your recommendations have been implemented. A key element of this more holistic approach to financial advice is embracing the fact that people’s needs change over time. You need to build long-term relationships and regularly review each client’s situation to ensure that you are consistently helping them to reach their goals. When change happens, whether it’s marriage, divorce, a new business venture or a bereavement, your clients need to have someone they trust there ready to provide advice.
The benefits of lifestyle financial planning for your firm
The benefits of offering a more holistic approach to wealth management speak for themselves. When it comes to winning new business, word of mouth is key. Trust is the highest currency of success, along with being personable, highly responsive, and empathetic. So, by understanding every aspect of your client’s life and providing a service that suits them, you can earn – and grow – their trust.
Whatever the type of business, positive experiences convert people into loyal customers who then tell others – and consistently delivering an exceptional, personal experience makes for good business. Basically, it’s about staying one step ahead at all times so you can keep on top of what your clients want and make sure you manage your relationships effectively. By ensuring you keep up-to-date with your clients’ needs and take a proactive response to their finances, you can stay ahead of the game, nurture your relationships and win new business.
Look to the future with Recruit UK
When it comes to financial advice, nothing is more important than relationships and human interaction. Despite the rise of robo advisers, there will always be a need for face-to-face financial advice and a holistic approach to wealth. It’s not just about getting the highest returns – it’s about understanding personal goals and putting together bespoke plans.
The same can be said for recruitment, too. At Recruit UK, we are niche financial adviser recruitment specialists with regional recruiters. Because many of us are ex FS industry professionals, we have an in-depth knowledge of the market and pride ourselves on taking a mindful and holistic approach to your career so that we fully understand your needs. Wherever you are in your career and whatever you are looking to achieve, you can count on us to provide bespoke advice – simply contact us today to find out more.