4 in 5 advisers go beyond strict ‘money matters’ to ask clients about meaning, purpose and happiness

by | Aug 19, 2021

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Aegon research highlights that the majority of advisers go beyond dealing with pure financial matters with their retirement clients to provide coaching on life after work.

The research among 212 financial advisers showed that 4 in 5 (78%) advisers ask clients as part of the fact find about what gives their life meaning and purpose and have discussions around what will bring them happiness in retirement. These discussions are seen as a useful way of understanding a client’s hopes and fears in retirement and can be used to support their broader financial wellbeing.

During an interview for the research, one adviser said: “What can we do at a human level to have an impact on people’s lives? Connect more with what they really want to do rather than do the same as everyone else; that means we can be far more effective and open and hopefully help them be even happier.”

Moving forward, advisers increasingly expect their role to extend further into “retirement coaching” and become less focused on solely dealing with products and investments choices. The research highlights how many firms are already concentrating on understanding client wider life needs and providing more holistic retirement support.


Hopes and Fears

The research shows the ability to maintain living standards in retirement is the top client aspiration. Four in ten (39%) advisers said this was the hope for the majority of their clients.

Figure 15. Aegon Next Wealth Managing Lifetime Wealth: Retirement Planning in the UK.


Maintaining good health and longevity is also important for clients. Nearly all advisers (>99%) surveyed said their clients are concerned about their health or that of loved ones. Alongside this are fears around the ability to pay for potential long-term care costs in later life.

Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon, (pictured) comments: “While advisers remain focused on helping clients achieve their financial objectives, the research points to an increasing focus on broader financial wellbeing. Advisers are going beyond their valuable role in recommending products and investments to optimise portfolios, towards a more holistic approach that offers coaching on life after work.

“Through open discussions during the fact find, advisers can gather a fuller picture of a client’s wider life goals and priorities to help finance aspirations and mitigate fears in retirement. Clients not only benefit from advice to support their financial future but also have someone to help them identify what gives them joy and purpose and picture their ‘future self’.


“The research highlights that the aspiration to maintain living standards in retirement is the primary objective for the majority of advised clients. To truly deliver on this, people often need help from their adviser to picture their future lives. To make this goal attainable, individuals should look for ways to plan well ahead to ensure they are on track and have the best investment approach to meet this objective.”

Tom Morris APFS, Director & Chartered Financial Planner, Ovation Finance:

“The results of this survey are very heartening. Being able to find things that give us meaning, a sense of purpose and happiness in general, goes a long way to helping us live fulfilled lives.


“Working out what this is doesn’t necessarily come easily for some and is where an adviser with good questioning and listening skills can be a huge help. Coupled with the technical skills we have; you can then create a meaningful financial plan that enables a client to live a fulfilled life, as well as providing crucial reassurance along the way.

“If there is still some difficulty in finding the answers, research suggests that a good starting point is thinking about areas such as improving our social interactions, with friends and family for example, as well as getting involved with the local community in some way.”

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