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Intergenerational planning: Have you met your clients' children?

26 November 2018

Few advisers are forging links with beneficiaries ahead of record wealth transfer from baby boomers…

Students talking

Few advisers are getting to know the adult children of baby boomer clients – despite an unprecedented transfer of wealth to younger generations anticipated in the next 30 years, Zurich research suggests.

Only 7% of clients of retirement age say their adviser has introduced themselves to their children, according to a YouGov poll of almost 200 people whose pension is in drawdown.

The findings suggest advisers could be missing out on chances to connect with the next generation of investors ahead of the impending transfer of wealth from baby boomers.  

It is estimated that £1.2 trillion* in wealth could cascade down from baby boomers to younger generations over the next 30 years.

Alistair Wilson, Zurich’s Head of Retail Platform Strategy, said:  “Baby boomers are set to trigger the biggest ever generational wealth transfer, yet advisers are missing out on critical opportunities to connect with their heirs. 

“By building trusted relationships with beneficiaries, advisers can help families to preserve their wealth, as well as enhancing their own prospects of managing assets across generations.

“Firms that don’t forge links with the next generation could begin to see their asset base decline.” 

Some 14% of advised consumers said they had introduced their adviser to their children – twice the number of advisers who have themselves taken this step.

Estate planning

When it comes to estate planning, just 4% of consumers surveyed said their adviser had involved their children in discussions about what happens to their wealth when they pass away.

“Advisers should consider how they can become a trusted family adviser,” Wilson said.  “It’s hard for people to think about a loved one passing away but involving heirs in conversations about inheritance is a good way for advisers to connect with beneficiaries, and demonstrate their value early.” 

Wilson also said it is important to review how their platform is geared-up to support intergenerational planning.

“Advisers need to ensure their platform offers solutions that support intergenerational planning, whether that’s a junior ISA or ‘family linking’ of accounts, which lowers costs for multiple generations of investors.

“It’s also crucial advisers consider how their platform technology appeals to the next generation of tech-savvy consumers.  Younger investors who have grown up in a digital world are likely to demand a very different user-experience to their parents which, at the very least, means mobile access to their investments.”

Family linking

Investment platforms can help advisers connect with the next generation. Here are five helpful features to look out for…  

Family linking of accounts to allow multiple generations to benefit from lower charges

Junior pension and ISA to help parents and grandparents save for the next generation

Trusts for passing on wealth tax efficiently

Mobile-enabled client portal for access to investments on the go

Engagement tools to help consumers understand the advantages of saving and investing lump sums early

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 660 adults whose pension is in drawdown, of which 190 have children and use paid-for advice on how to manage their pension. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3 and 15 October 2018.