For advisors, working with retired investors is different than working with working investors for a host of reasons, including less frequent portfolio changes and fewer financial concerns than working investors. They have probably dealt with their education costs and debt, and have moved on to health costs.
On the whole, working with retired investors is less time-consuming and less frequent than working with working investors for whom their portfolio is more fluid and in greater need of attention.
But retired investors do require communication with their advisor from time to time, and because they are older, and because they are retired, they are likely to communicate differently than the working investors, for whom time is more of the essence.
The Spectrem study Communicating with Advisors and Providers examines all the ways investors can communicate with their advisor and determines the communication preferences based on many different segmentations. When working status is examined, retired investors are less likely to use social media or digital forms of communication (i.e., texting) than working investors.
However, there are sensible indications about communicating for retired investors when an advisor or provider is interested in promoting a new product. While working investors are more likely to want to see an e-mail with attached information, retired investors are more likely (35 percent to 31 percent) to want to hear about the information in an in-person meeting. They are also more likely to want a phone call with information (24 percent to 19 percent) when hearing about a new product.
Assuming that retired investors are more comfortable with old-fashioned communication, it makes sense that they would prefer to get key information via a phone call or in a face-to-face meeting.
After years of being told that they need to modernize their communication techniques to reflect the interest of investors in texting and social media communication, now advisors need to be reminded that they have a large segment of their clientele who prefer old-fashioned communicating, especially when the message is important and timely.
Retired investors express very little interest in communicating with advisors via more modern methods mentioned above. Only 25 percent of retired investors text their advisor (compared to 50 percent of working investors). Even more amazing is the fact that retired investors are much less likely to communicate with their advisor via e-mail, a communication form that has been around for at least 25 years. Only 25 percent of retired investors e-mail their advisor at least once a month, compared to 35 percent of working investors.
Asked to register their interest in texting their advisor on a 100-point scale, retired investors averaged a response at 32.40, which is low to begin with, and seemingly very low when compared with working investors, who registered a rating of 47.25.
There are reasons retired investors prefer a more personal response to their communication needs. It may have to do with the time they have available to them to request personal responses, or it may have to do with the fact that retired investors see a greater value in the personal relationship they have with their advisor.
©2019 Spectrem Group