Aging Clients and Your Firm
You’ve been building your business and developing relationships for many years, possibly even decades, and you’ve seen your clients’ needs shift over time. As your clients start to age, what changes can you anticipate? Are there ways you can better suit their needs? Here are some things to consider.
What services would be helpful to them as they transition into another phase in life? Your older clients may be interested in having you manage their day-to-day finances. They could be developing some cognitive issues or they might just want you to do it for the sake of convenience. Of course, you have been helping your clients plan for retirement for as long as you’ve known them, but now they might need additional help with budgeting.
Will you need to offer other billing arrangements? You may offer to restructure billing options for some of your aging clients. Service needs increase as individuals get older, especially if Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia are a factor, and your rates will increase accordingly.
Who will be making the decisions or helping them make their financial plans? These people will be involved in the process of taking the next steps for them. In addition, these individuals might be receptive to your services for themselves as well.
Keep in mind that, as your client’s CPA, you might be the first to notice fraud. You may want to offer your older clients assistance with monitoring investments and reviewing bank statements. It’s estimated that almost one in five Americans over age 65 has been a victim of elder financial abuse. This can take the form of inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services, or other types of fraud. You can read more about this from the AICPA. Hopefully your clients will all have successors who care for them and have their best interests at heart, but it’s good to be informed in case you come across something unusual or suspicious.
These are some things to think about, as you continue to provide world-class service to each of your clients. What changes have you noticed in your clients’ needs, and have you made adjustments to accommodate those? Share our blog with others and keep the conversation going!
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