Spring cleaning is an effective way to create a fresh start, eliminate unnecessary items, and achieve the goals set earlier in the year. But it doesn’t have to stop there. Since people are already organizing their drawers, why not encourage your clients to do the same for their finances? Spring is a perfect annual reminder to check in on finances and get organized. This annual organizational to-do can even help retirement planning.
Let’s explore a few ways agents and advisors can help encourage a deep clean of their clients’ finances including a budget review, documentation security checks, and following up on hidden fees and overlooked rewards.
1. Refresh Budget and Review Finances
When people think of budgets, words like sacrifice and giving up comforts to save some cash come to mind. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, reframe the way your clients look at budgeting. Instead of a sacrifice, think in terms of prioritization and intentionally focusing their goals on what is important to them. Encourage clients to cut some of their monthly spending and save up for a trip, saving over the course of a few months, instead of taking a year to save for goals.
If budgeting hasn’t worked for your clients in the past, try budgeting after organizing finances. A clear and up-to-date review of their finances could be the push they need to stick to a budget. Remember to ask your clients specifically what is challenging them in setting, utilizing, and sticking to a budget. Remember, it usually takes people three months before they find one that works for them.
2. Secure Documents and Passwords
In today’s digital world, most of our finances are accessible online. Spring is the perfect time to review clients’ financial and data security as an annual reminder. Encourage your clients to update their passwords with long, strong passwords for all financial accounts and your email, and that they are all unique. The best passwords include several symbols, lower-case letters, and seemingly random numbers and symbols. DMI published a blog post written specifically for agent and advisors looking to protect their client information. Now is a perfect item for agents and advisors along with clients to audit their data security practices.
3. Review Fees and Rewards
Spring clean those hidden fees and evaluate rewards for your clients. Now’s the time to evaluate any hidden fees and/or use more rewards in the coming year. Reduce or close any extra accounts to help eliminate any unnecessary spending of hard-earned money on banking fees.
The banking industry is quite competitive. If your client is not getting any perks from your credit card company or bank, it’s time to make a switch. Many credit card companies offer everything from travel rewards to gift cards to cashback. These hidden fees and rewards can impact your client’s budget which can impact their financial security and retirement planning.
Agent/Advisor Relationship is Not a CPA
Remind your clients that you are there to help them with their finances, not give tax advice this tax season. Helping clients spring clean their finances and get organized can help you guide a client’s retirement planning as well and provide another valuable touch-point for you and your clients throughout the year.
As part of the DMI Agent/Advisor library, we offer a Financial Spring Cleaning Checklist which can be branded to your business. Existing DMI Customers can find this documentation within our advisor portal, My Back Office, under My Resources > Consumer Marketing > Branded Brochures. Contact your DMI sales representative for access to branded marketing collateral and a wealth of client-facing resources for partner agents and advisors today.