Well, it’s been lovely to see a little bit of sunshine, even if it was only a brief appearance. I live in Scotland so, believe me, it was very brief. Of course, with even the tiniest hint of spring, thoughts turn to the inevitable clearout that must take place. And that got me to thinking about our finances and how a spring healthcheck might be a good idea too.
There’s an enormous amount of apathy out there. Naming no names, but someone in my circle is on the same mortgage deal he got with the house 14 years ago. He’s never reviewed it, has no idea what the deal actually is or if it’s good bad or indifferent. Until auto enrolment he had no pension provision in place and he hasn’t even heard the word protection. He’s not stupid, has a good but extremely pressured job and he likes to spend his time having a good time! Reviewing his financial arrangements is a chore for another day but that day never seems to come. He knows his apathy is costing him money but his time is worth more than his money at the moment. And he’s not alone, many others are in exactly the same position.
The MMR may have presented some challenges but the biggest win for advisers and consumers is that more people than ever before have been forced to seek professional financial advice. That creates an opportunity to talk about more than just the mortgage. Of course that comes with its own pressures, and many advisers have found it difficult to juggle everything. Under such pressure it can be easy to overlook the protection conversation, saving it for another day, but we all know that once the client has the mortgage, curtains, furniture and flooring become the priority. Unfortunately, missing that opportunity could be catastrophic for the client should any interruption to income take place.
Some of the biggest supporters of protection are those advisers who’ve had to take what we call the “killer call”. That’s the call from a client or their surviving partner following a tragedy, asking why no one told them about the need for enough of the right cover. It’s not a comfortable position to be in and advisers who’ve been there never want to be there again.
So as spring finally makes an appearance perhaps it’s a good opportunity to take stock of the missed opportunities in your client bank. You might be surprised by how many opportunities lie hidden within your existing book of clients? Take a look at who has what, where the gaps are, who hasn’t reviewed their position for a few years? Remortgaging to a better deal might free up income for the protection they need, or enable them to make additional contributions to their pension. Will there ever be a better time to do it? And those who’ve maybe married, divorced or had children since their last chat with you, could probably benefit from a review of their protection needs.
Reminding your clients to spring-clean their finances might just deliver positive long-term results for you and them.
Denise Wond, Marketing Manager