Recent reports continue to show the challenges that the mass affluent face in the coming years. For those in financial services marketing, the data points to a high value opportunity to help a large population that is generally underserved by our industry.
The key is getting beyond the scary scenario the data illustrates and helping the mass affluent understand what choices they have. By putting the focus on their choices, you can help them feel empowered and position yourself as the partner that will help them navigate the journey ahead. There are 3 pointers to becoming that partner.
1. Be relative
More than one-third of pre-retirees over age 45 do not expect to be able to retire – a 6% increase over 2009 according to a 2011 report from the Society of Actuaries. Among pre-retirees, only 1 in 10 believe they will retire before age 60. Half expect to work until at least age 65.1 It’s information like this that helps mass affluent clients and prospects see where they stand. And when you can deliver content that offers a rule-of-thumb or a snapshot of the average person’s situation, you build real value for yourself.
Action: Share data and use case studies or sample profiles to help clients see where they stand.
2. Be real
According to a 2012 report from the Insured Retirement Institute, 35 percent of Boomers plan to work into their late 60s. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010, only 17.4 percent of those aged 65 and older were still in the workforce.2 This is an interesting disconnect between what the mass affluent think the future will hold and what the reality is. The reasons for the disconnect may surprise your clients and prospects. For example, 50% of surveyed retirees retired earlier than planned – 51% due to a health issue or disability, 21% due to changes at their company, and 19% due to family caregiving responsibilities.2 When you can provide a reality check like this, you can help your clients and prospects prepare for what may lie ahead.
Action: Employ scenario planning worksheets and exercises to help people consider future possibilities and explore adjustments they could make. It is a powerful way to help them feel more prepared and, as a result, more at peace.
3. Be a resource
Help them understand their choices. According to a report in the Washington Post, people have poured record amounts into saving accounts, raising the level to $6.9 trillion in the spring. That’s a 5% increase and the highest level that the Federal Reserve has reported. At the same time, interest rates are at historical lows, which means average Americans may be missing out on a booming stock market.3
Your mass affluent clients and prospects may think they are reducing risk by moving money to the safety of savings accounts. But the reality is, it may be a riskier move in the long run. Financial services marketing can help them grasp the ramifications of these decisions. You don’t have to promise them that everything will be rosy. You just need to help them identify and understand their choices.
Action: Create or adopt tools that allow your clients and prospects to explore their choices. This can include everything from calculators to needs & wants assessments and more.
Leveraging content for financial services marketing
Smart content marketing can position you as the financial partner of choice for your clients and prospects. Explore how you can deploy information to help them see where they stand, help them grasp the realities, and then help them explore the choices that their situation presents. After all, choices lead to possibilities. And possibilities give us hope. That can be very empowering. Both for you and your clients and prospects.
- Data continues to show an underserved need among the mass affluent
- Financial services marketing can mine the opportunity by helping clients and prospects see where they stand, understand the realities ahead, and explore the choices they have
- Content marketing is ideal for delivering the help that can position you as the financial partner of choice
1Financial Advisor, “Actuaries Say Retirement Worries Are Increasing”, August 16, 2012
2Insured Retirement Institute, “IRI: Boomers Relying Too Heavily Upon Employment During Retirement Years”, September 26, 2012
3The Washington Post, “Wary Americans Saving More, Even As Government Encourages Risk”, October 1, 2012