Smooth Transitions and Aging with Safeguards
Ashley Copp, CFA, Wealth Management Advisor, Partner | Brooke Boone, CFP®, MACC, Wealth Management Associate | June 7, 2018
Smooth Transitions and Aging with Safeguards
Weatherly is committed to working with clients on a multi-generational basis and we continually review industry and demographic trends that impact our clients. In recent years, both the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) have pushed forward with new regulations intended to promote financial education, transparency, and protect all generations of investors from financial abuse. Specific focus has been dedicated to the fiduciary standard. and retired investors who have diligently saved over their lives to achieve financial security. The who, what, where, and why of your and your family’s financial lives have never been more important – engagement with key professionals, prudent investment of your assets, and protection of personal data are top priorities.
Statistics – Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that:
- The Baby Boomer generation will include 78 million individuals over the age of 65 compared to 76.4 million people under age 18 (Generation Z) by 2030.
This will mark the first time in U.S. history that older adults outnumber teens and youth.1
- 71% of Baby Boomers still have one living parent due to increased life expectancies.2
- These statistics illustrate the need for clients to be aware of vital areas of best practices for all generations of your family. Whether you are evaluating your own individual situation or working with an aging parent or friend we recommend focusing on the infrastructure and safe guards in place outlined in this blog to maintain and promote financial security over time.
How is Weatherly designing the infrastructure for our clients?
Collaboration with Your Advisory Team: We work with key professionals to generate the most impactful analysis and recommendations for our clients. This team includes Weatherly, CPA, estate planning attorneys and may be expanded to a trusted family member, business manager, bill pay service professional, real estate agent etc. Teamwork is implemented with conference calls or meetings as appropriate for the unique needs of each client. Please reference our 4Ws Score Card to evaluate best practices in critical areas including estate planning, healthcare, financial, and data security.
Client Information Release Authorization Letter (CIRAL): We created CIRAL to document each client’s emergency contacts and key professionals. In the occurrence of an unexpected life event, this document allows Weatherly to assist and support your designated representatives and family.
*If you have not completed CIRAL for your family please do so via the CIRAL document link above.
Internal Procedures and Systems: To create infrastructure, safeguards, and oversight we have implemented the following policies and procedures:
- We maintain oversight for any unusual activity and client cash flow requests are confirmed verbally.
- Communication involving client sensitive information adheres to our strict Privacy, Email, Cybersecurity, utilization of a secure portal, Wireless Internet Service Provider, and File Sharing Policies.
- We provide ongoing training for our team members covering red flags, swift and appropriate responses if a concern arises, and the best tools available to support clients through transitions.
Investment Assets – A good health check
Investment accounts should reflect the appropriate risk and return strategy to fulfill long term goals. Ask your financial professional the following questions:
- Where are your accounts held? Can they be consolidated?
- Is your investment professional a fiduciary? Do they communicate clearly and provide education?
- Is the overall asset allocation appropriate for long-term needs and risk tolerance?
- Is there any unnecessary single stock risk due to a concentrated investment position?
- Have you completed a long term financial plan? Is it reviewed at least annually?
- Is your investment professional overseeing cash flows and requiring confirmation for any unusual activity?
- What are the total fees? Are they transparent?
- Are you provided clear and easy to read reporting of assets and performance with comparison to appropriate benchmarks?
We encourage clients of all ages to have a dialogue with key individuals and ask questions to gain clarity. The greatest value is driven by dynamic and collaborative relationships with transparency and education to empower independence.
Cybersecurity and Data Protection
Our world is becoming more intertwined with technology; from implantable medical devices to smart homes and everything in between, we are enhancing our efficiency. However, with this evolution comes an elevated potential for cybersecurity threats and need to protect yourself. According to a 2018 Cybersecurity study:
- 33% of Americans fall victim to a cyber hack (i.e. phishing scheme, ransomware, etc.) annually.
- Every 39 seconds, there is a cyber hack.
- By 2020 the average cost of a cyber data breach is projected to be greater than $150 million3.
Even further, a 2016 study by Home Instead Senior Care found that of U.S. seniors who use the internet, approximately 66.67% have fallen victim or been a target of online financial schemes, making them the largest victim group to lose money online4.
It is vital that you educate yourself and your family members on the schemes that cyber predators are utilizing. Please reference our cybersecurity blog and the link below for more information on the most prevalent cyber scams used today and prevention methods:
Most importantly, the safeguards and infrastructure must develop over time as you or your family members situation inevitably changes. Regular check-ins and follow up are key to smooth transitions. Refer to our4Ws Score Card for a review. As we all grow and develop we hope our family, friends, and professionals remain engaged to create an environment of mutual success.
** The information provided should not be interpreted as a recommendation, no aspects of your individual financial situation were considered. Always consult a financial professional before implementing any strategies derived from the information above.