Successfully Engaging Today’s Modern Family

The following scenario is all too common.

An advisor works with a couple successfully for many, many years, and over time, the advisor’s efforts result in the accumulation of a sizeable nest egg from which the couple begins drawing income in retirement. Even after a decade or more of withdrawals, a considerable sum remains.

All too often, after the passing of the spouse with whom the advisor had the primary relationship, the surviving spouse closes the account and moves to another advisor. Similarly, when a child or children or others inherit the wealth, the nest egg is removed and the advisory relationship begun by the parents ends because the inheritors have no tie to the advisor.

Whenever such events occur, advisors may be surprised or even hurt by the seeming betrayal after years of successful and appreciated service. But the transfer of assets after the death of the person we can call the “primary client” is almost always the result of a failure of the advisor to develop a relationship with a less-involved spouse and the client’s or clients’ adult children.

The loss of assets that occurs due to a lack of engagement results not only in reduction of immediate income for the advisor, but also a decline in future wealth due to a lower value of their business, say advisory firm valuation experts.

To help advisors stanch the outflows that too often occur when clients pass away and to assist them in developing relationships with heirs, our next few blog posts will discuss the importance of an engagement plan, how to better involve a spouse, understanding the needs of Millennials and Gen Xers in order to succeed in developing relationships with clients’ children, and ways to effectively work with elderly clients and their families.

These strategies will help to increase wallet share with existing clients in the short term and improve retention rates in the long run. To learn more, visit: