Choose New Shoes For A Complete Retirement Plan

Creating a retirement plan for your clients is just like when you choose new shoes: You need to get them as a pair to be complete. And just like new shoes need a pair to be complete, so too do retirement plans need a pair of benefits to be complete. Why? And what are the pair of benefits needed for your clients to have a complete retirement plan?

When helping people prepare for retirement, financial advisors must help them to both build their wealth and protect their health for a safe and secure future. Yes, you need to help clients make money; but nothing will ruin their retirement faster than a serious health problem that drains all their lifetime savings you worked so hard to help them build.

When it comes to wealth building—the first of the two benefits in their complete retirement plan—you know there is no shortage of financial advisors who want to help clients do just that. After all, everyone wants to tell your clients how to save their money. Everyone wants to tell them how to invest their money. And everyone wants to tell them how to manage their money. This means you’re already in serious competition just based on the sheer number of other financial advisors in the marketplace. Then maybe you just might want, or need, to be a bit different and distinguish yourself from “the pack.”

Because here’s the “dirty little secret” about our business: Too many financial advisors think they’re in a “Zero-Sum game” with their clients’ money. They might think a dollar spent to protect health is a dollar they can’t spend to build wealth. “So forget about spending on health care,” those financial advisors will tell their clients. “You don’t need that,” they will say defensively.

But does that make sense to you? Do you care more about your clients than that? Do you only want to build their wealth? Or do you want to be different, do more, and help them protect their health, too? Remember “health care,” the other part of the complete retirement plan? Please don’t forget it like all the other financial advisors who are too busy building wealth to remember about protecting health. “Just put all your eggs in this one basket of investments,” they will tell their neglected clients. But what happens when that basket gets dropped and all your client’s nest eggs are shattered by a drop in the stock market—just when they’ve had a massive stroke and are forced into a skilled care nursing facility costing $10,000 per month? What can you do for them then? (That’s called the “sequencing” risk.)

This is why building your wealth without protecting your health is just like buying one shoe! You need the pair of these benefits to complete your clients’ retirement plan properly.

Moral of the story? You’ve got to be sure to also create your clients’ health care coverage for a complete retirement plan, or partner with someone specializing in Seniors Health Care to help you do this. It’s the right thing to do—and there’s still plenty of this pie left for you to share with this partner anyway.

Eventually, health care coverage always pays off when it’s needed most—when serious health problems arise. It’s much easier then for your clients to spend “other people’s money” to get well rather than having to spend their own. And it’s much smarter, too. (Remember that word, “smart”; we’ll get to it again soon.)

Your clients will realize when health care problems arise later that the coverage you helped them get now costs them just pennies on the dollar rather than the dollar for dollar cost they’ll have to pay later without it. (P.S.: They won’t have to cash in your accounts then to pay for it, either!)

Don’t let poor health cost your clients the dollars they can’t replace in retirement. Help them arrange now for the coverage they’ll need later, so they don’t have to spend their out-of-pocket dollars when they need it then. When it comes to health care costs, it’s just like the old saying: “Pay me now, or pay me later.” And pay more later, when it’s their dollars at that time.

So help your clients do what everyone needs to do: Create their own health care program to go with their wealth care program for a complete retirement plan. I recommend that you deploy something I call, “Six Steps to Smart Seniors Health Care.”

The title of this program always raises the question of whether it’s the “Six Steps to Health Care” that are smart, or if it’s the seniors who take the “Six Steps to Health Care” that are smart.

The answer, of course, is both. Yes, the “Six Steps to Health Care” is smart. But it’s also the seniors who take these “Six Steps to Health Care” who are really smart. And you should help your clients become these smart seniors too!

This is a real “Win-Win” situation, and not another “Zero-Sum game”. So, let’s learn how to help your clients’ play this win-win game. Here are the “Six Steps to Smart Seniors Health Care,” and what you must do to help your clients’ play this win-win game:

  1. Learn about our great “Social Insurance” system here in the United States (great so far, still great today, but how great tomorrow?), and how to help your clients plan their complete retirement based upon it.
  2. Learn what the “Original Medicare” plan is that clients will get when they turn 65, and why they may want to change it as their foundation for a health care plan in retirement.
  3. Learn about the two alternatives to Original Medicare: the Medicare Supplement, and the Medicare Advantage. Learn how to help clients decide if this may be a better alternative for them, and then which one of the two they should pick.
  4. Learn what the “Cost of Living” really is and really costs, and how best to pay for it (or, what will happen if you don’t).
  5. Learn about the most affordable approach to the most likely outcome for your future, and what to do about it now.
  6. And lastly, learn the reality of “the End of your Story,” and how to best prepare for it–emotionally and financially.

These are the Six Steps that your clients’ New Shoes need to take for a pair of benefits to complete their retirement plan. So let’s help them put on these New Shoes now, and…start walking!

Jay Cox, CRFA, CPIA, is an independent healthcare consultant in Indianapolis, representing companies like Anthem, Aetna, Humana, Centene and many of the smaller specialty firms. He has earned designations as a Certified Retirement Financial Advisor and a Certified Professional Insurance Agent. Cox is a Marine Corps veteran who served on the White House Honor Guard and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Sergeant. He attended college on the G.I. Bill and earned a Masters Degree from The American University in Washington, D.C.

Cox has nearly 40 years of experience in financial services and has owned his own independent insurance agency called Personal Benefits Service since 2003.

Cox can be reached by telephone at 317-559-2140. Email: