Later life advisers must broaden approach to suit client needs

Later life advisers should look to broaden their range of services and offer an "ensemble" proposition to better serve changing client needs, reports Jenna Towler

Later life advisers should look to broaden their range of services and offer an “ensemble” proposition to better serve changing client needs, delegates heard.

Personal Finance Society (PFS) later life advice specialist Tony Miles said the traditional concept of retirement would increasingly be seen as a “20th century concept”.

He said they should move away from a “silo approach” towards an ensemble or holistic way of working by linking up with other specialists including lawyers, care providers and accountants.

Miles was speaking at the inaugural National Later Life Adviser Conference in Gloucester.

He said: “The three-stage traditional period of life – education, employment and retirement – is being undermined by a series of forces of change.

“These include the transfer of risk from the state to the individual, increased longevity, technology and legislation which all add a deeper layer of complexity. Pensions freedom, in particular, has been a game changer in terms of how people manage their assets and retirement income.”

He said advisers had to decide if they wanted to offer specialist services or provide a more comprehensive range of services, adding if they wanted to offer a broad range of services would that be in-house or outsourced.

Miles later suggested advisers have an advantage in providing a range of services to later life clients because “most consumers want one entry point for advice”.

“Access to advice is always a critical issue,” he said. “In that sense, professional, valuable and engaging later life advice is increasingly an ensemble proposition.

“This single point of entry proposition is not new – just look at the supermarkets and companies like Amazon – and customer’s experience is being shaped by their retail experience.”

He said the trend for advisers to shift from offering just retirement, mortgage or equity release advice was being overtaken by integrated financial advice and in future would shift to holistic financial planning.

“An increasing number of clients transitioning into later life will be on a much longer journey than perhaps they anticipated. Clients will need an adviser’s help in a slightly different way and taking the ensemble approach means working hand-in-hand with other specialists,” said Miles.