From Boomers To Zoomers: The Seasoned Silver-Haired Advisor’s Guide To The Zillennial Gold Mine

I’m a young, anxious, confused, and overwhelmed consumer and if you’re reading this, there’s a high likelihood that you retain more financial knowledge than me. I disclose this at the risk of some readers stopping here before they get to the end because I believe this presents a much more advantageous opportunity than it may seem. As a young professional born on the cusp of the Millennial and Gen Z divide, I have a unique position that allows me to understand the perspective of a largely untapped client base in the financial services industry and with the greatest wealth transfer in human history unfolding, your client base is going to start looking a lot like people such as myself if it doesn’t already. By providing you with my insights on what older generations need to know about working with younger generations, my goal is to help bring about a closure of the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be.

The desperate need for financial advising among both Gen Z and Millennials is not something to ignore. In a survey by The Harris Poll in June of 2023, it was revealed that 82 percent of Gen Z (ages 18-26) and 84 percent of Millennials (ages 27-42) say there are financial topics they need financial advice on.1 Growing up through the major periods of devastating economic downturn such as the lost decade, the great recession, and a global pandemic, we are more familiar than we would like to be with the precarity of financial stability. That being said, you do not need to convince us that we need your services–we already know, we just do not know what to do about it. If you want to tap into the 76 percent of Gen Z and 71 percent of Millennials who haven’t sought advising from financial professionals, there are three big things you need to understand about Zillennials.

The first big thing is that we are fully aware of the uphill financial battle we face. Secondly, we need to trust you to work with you. Lastly, and perhaps the most important of all, is that our communication preferences will dictate how our relationship forms and develops.

As I mentioned previously, Zillennials are fully aware of the uphill financial battle we are facing. In fact, 65 percent of Gen Z and 74 percent of Millennials believe they are starting further behind financially than other generations at their age.2 The combination of our exposure to detrimental economic disasters, skyrocketing cost of living, and a lack of dependable financial knowledge are all major contributors to our inability to establish strong financial foundations in adulthood–not because we are frivolous with our money and waste it all on Instagram-worthy avocado toast. While we feel set back by the aforementioned economic conditions that are out of financial professionals’ control, there are things that you can do to address these problems in a way that makes us open to not just any solution, but your solutions.

First, ditch tradition and embrace modernity. We cannot trust traditional methods of financial planning. We watched our parents struggle through the lost decade when the 50-30-20 rule didn’t work then, and it’s not working now. How can we save when inflation drives up the cost of living before it drives up our income? It’s no wonder 40 percent of Gen Z have no retirement savings.3 We cannot depend on 401(k)s and we absolutely cannot depend on Social Security when it’s expected to be depleted before we even hit the halfway mark of our professional careers. Zillennials need out-of-the-box, holistic financial planning that works with our conditions and unique situations on a case-by-case basis.

The next thing you need to know about working with Zillennials is that we need to trust you. For most, if not all of our lives, we’ve had access to the internet and all of the mis, dis, and over information that comes with it. Because of that, we approach information cautiously and have developed advanced online literacy that determines where we do and do not place our trust. For instance, when it comes to making investment decisions, 42 percent of Millennials do not trust algorithms or artificial intelligence, including 51 percent of younger Millennials, while 92 percent say they trust their financial advisor.4 This demonstrates that the problem isn’t that we trust AI or computers more than you and value it higher than your expertise, it’s just that you haven’t given us a reason to trust why we should work with you.

The solution to this problem of gaining trust all rests on developing and demonstrating your authority in the field in a way that’s accessible to us. It’s important to have an online presence that is active, personable, and transparent in order for us to see you as a person with a knowledgeable background who wants to help as opposed to a person trying to take advantage of our lack of financial literacy. If our perspective of you shifts from feeling on guard to feeling advocated for, we are much more willing to work with you.

It’s also important to highlight that we aren’t getting word of mouth recommendations or references and depending on the internet as our place to research and learn more about you online. Because of this, you should establish your own referenceable place for prospects to learn more about you and your authority in the industry. Maybe it’s a website that has your bio, some family photos, some highlights of industry recognition you’ve received, or impactful client testimonials. Zillennials love reviews from others, and we tend to trust those endorsements because there’s no obvious ulterior motive from a fellow consumer.

Lastly, our communication preferences define how our relationship forms and develops. The first thing to keep in mind when prospecting for Zillennial clients is that we aren’t going to reach out to you, you need to come to us. Although 38 percent of Gen Z and 27 percent of Millennials have not sought financial advice from a professional when they needed it because they did not know where to find the right financial advisor for them, 79 percent of Zillennials have gotten financial advice from social media.5 If you are not advertising your services on social media, then you are giving away business to those who are.

Our world is evolving very quickly and it’s time to ditch antiquated marketing methods that are becoming more and more obsolete by the day. Adapting your prospecting efforts to align with our
communication preferences has the power to revolutionize the number of prospects you’re able to turn into clients. What I’m about to say may come as a surprise, but I had never heard of a mailer until this year. If this is your primary mode of marketing, you need to let that sink in and think about what a large chunk of the market you’re missing out on. I do not check my mail often, but I often check my phone which is always in my pocket. If you can deliver your message to my pocket as opposed to my rarely checked mailbox, it’s going to be a lot easier for us to find each other and start building a relationship.

Over the course of this brief article, I have covered the top three things I believe to be causing the biggest divide between our generations working together and provided solutions that you can incorporate in your business to close the gap. We are all aware of the uphill financial battle that future generations face, but by incorporating ways to build trust and meet us where we are at, we can find and create solutions together. The distance between you and your success is the same distance between you and members of the greatest wealth transfer, and vice versa. For the sake of both our generations, I ask that you do not let our gap distance us from mutual success and open yourself up to adding more Zillennials to your client base.



Brittany Maples is a marketing coordinator at LifePro Financial. She works with a team of marketers in developing creative content, implementing effective communication strategies, and helping advisors grow their practices. She works with financial professionals across the country on strategic marketing and branding campaigns to deliver relevant and timely content to their communities. After graduating with her M.A. from San Diego State University, she brought her knowledge in rhetorical writing, social media marketing, and content creation to the financial services industry where she finds immense value and opportunity in helping others.

Maples can be reached at LifePro Financial Services, Inc., 11512 El Camino Real, Suite 100 San Diego, CA 92130. Telephone: 888- 543-3776 ex 3306. Email: