Thursday, March 21, 2024
HomeFinancial AdvisorKitces & Carl Ep 134: Helping Clients Who Can’t Ever Get To...

Kitces & Carl Ep 134: Helping Clients Who Can’t Ever Get To ‘Enough’ (And When They Don’t Really Want To)

For many financial advicers, helping long-time clients identify and progress toward their goals eventually transitions into conversations around the best ways to enjoy the fruits of their labor once they reach them. Yet, for some clients, making the shift into retirement (or any other new stage of their lives) can often be a challenge for myriad reasons, which places the advisor in a unique position to help these clients understand the roadblocks they face and explore ways to overcome these obstacles.

In our 134th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss the unique paradox faced by some clients who may not be ready (or willing) to step away from the work they’ve been doing to realize their financial goals… even after they’ve attained the goals they’ve committed to working for in the first place.

While this disconnect might seem to be a logical inconsistency, there are many reasons why clients may find it challenging to switch gears from their current work. One common reason is that they may be perfectly happy with where they’re at and actually find the process of realizing their goals more meaningful than reaching the destination itself. As while many clients may look forward to retiring from their careers to spend time doing something else, others enjoy and experience meaningful satisfaction from the contribution and impact that their work may allow them to make.

Alternatively, some clients may be anxious or fearful about transitioning to a new stage due to concerns about their financial situation and whether they truly have the means to stop working. While reviewing the integrity of their financial plan can often help clients resolve their reservations, sometimes there are deeper reasons for a client’s reticence to fulfill their goals. In these instances, it may be worthwhile to investigate these reasons, which may even necessitate professional counseling or therapy.

Ultimately, the key point is that while advisors often have implied permission to point out and challenge the apparent inconsistencies in their clients’ behavior, keeping their own values separate from their clients’ plans and focusing on what really motivates and concerns their clients will help advisors guide their clients past many of the roadblocks they face. And by ensuring that their clients are equipped with (and know how to follow!) well-designed financial plans created specifically with the client’s goals and needs in mind, the advisor opens the path for clients to eventually make the transition to enjoy their realized goals, and to identify and obtain the help they may need to get there along the way!

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