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Why Healthcare Planning is Becoming a Critical USP (and How to Painlessly Offer it)

August 14, 2018

Longer life spans mean healthcare costs are increasingly making up a significant part of clients’ financial lives, Investor’s Business Daily writes. Financial advisors who can help clients manage these costs stand to set themselves apart from the competition, according to the publication.

But healthcare planning can be a tricky matter, according to IBD. For clients who aren’t eligible for Medicare, out-of-pocket expenses can be tough to estimate, while the healthcare landscape is constantly shifting, the publication writes. There’s also the psychological aspect: addressing sensitive topics such as personal health requires tact and empathy, according to IBD.

For Jim Shagawat, a certified financial planner in Paramus, N.J., the solution was to partner with a consultant specializing in healthcare planning, he tells the publication.

Shagawat pays the consultant a retainer based on the number of clients who use the service, which Shagawat offers to them for free, according to IBD. The consultant can help clients find the right health insurance plan, medical providers and, in some cases, review their medical bills for errors and inaccuracies, the publication writes. And the fact that neither Shagawat nor the consultant sell insurance, meanwhile, means their advice is objective, Shagawat tells IBD.

It’s also essential for advisors to have difficult conversations with clients about medical issues, ideally before they arise, the publication writes. Advisors can plan for even the worst calamities by running through worst-case scenarios, according to IBD.

Paul Sarama, an advisor with Steward Partners Global Advisory, adds healthcare as a line item, assuming an annual increase in costs of 5% to 5.9%, he tells the publication.

The clients may be shocked at the expenses over time, but they’re assured that they’ll be able to tackle them, Sarama tells IBD.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Investor's Business Daily article cited in this story, click here.