Want loyalty? Help clients with caregiving

Taking these extra steps with clients who are caring for loved ones will strengthen those relationships

May 15, 2014 @ 11:14 am

By Liz Skinner

+ Zoom

Financial advisers who can help clients with the overwhelming job of caregiving will create tremendous loyalty, a client and "semi-professional patient" told advisers at the NAPFA conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

Alan Blaustein learned firsthand when he was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2005 that the health care system is challenging and can be financially debilitating when tackled alone. During his journey through the health care maze, he encountered doctors who misdiagnosed his condition, one who charged $3,000 for a 30-minute meeting and one who just told him he "was screwed."

Mr. Blaustein's own financial adviser played a key role in making sure he wasn't taken advantage of by hospitals, insurers, doctors and the other professionals who must be "tackled," he said.

"Families cannot take care of it themselves, they can't do it on their own," Mr. Blaustein said at the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors spring conference. "Becoming an educated resource can enhance your relationship as a trusted adviser."

About 20% of adult Americans are caring regularly for sick or elderly parents or other relatives. Advisers should reach out to clients who they know are caregivers, or those who may be, and proactively offer to help, Mr. Blaustein said.

Advisers should position themselves to help with legal concerns and financial obligations, and should help the client assemble a team of professionals, he said. They should be a resource for help in finding health insurance and long-term care, as well as dealing with insurance coverage and claims. Helping them organize the piles of bills and other insurance and medical documents is a great start, he said.

"Being the party that helps them get organized will keep you remembered for a long time," said Mr. Blaustein, who has created Careplanners.com as a nationwide network of nurses, social workers, billing experts and others that can be a resource for advisers and clients.

Carl Lachman, a financial adviser with Eclectic Associates in Fullerton, Calif., said he talks to clients who he knows are caregivers and recommends that advisers spend the time it takes to go through all bills carefully to look for erroneous charges.

"I try to pump them up and let them know it's not going to be easy," said Mr. Lachman, who attended Mr. Blaustein's session.

Mr. Lachman also recommends that clients talk to doctors upfront about costs and tells them that sometimes doctors will agree to take less.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

RIA Data Center

Use InvestmentNews' RIA Data Center to filter and find key information on over 1,400 fee-only registered investment advisory firms.

Rank RIAs by

Featured video

INTV

Ed Slott: The conversation advisers need to have with spousal IRA beneficiaries

Clients who inherit IRAs from their spouses need to decide whether to remain beneficiaries or do spousal rollovers. One important factor in that decision is their age, according to Ed Slott, founder of Ed Slott's Elite IRA Advisor Group.

Latest news & opinion

Eduardo Repetto to leave Dimensional Fund Advisors

Gerald O'Reilly, currently co-CIO, will take over as co-CEO with David Butler.

Alternative strategies boomed after crisis, but haven't been tested

Because the S&P 500 has outperformed, convincing clients they need protection is a hard sell.

7 ways advisers fixed clients' biggest financial dilemmas

Sometimes it takes creativity, along with knowledge and outside help, to get a client out of a jam.

LPL Financial buys NPH, a broker-dealer network with 3,200 advisers

The deal, part of which is based on the advisers and revenue that eventually will move from NPH, could potentially cost LPL $448 million.

3 things advisers should make sure their clients' children take to college

Advisers can help clients avoid scary and painful situations with kids age 18 and older.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print