This week we interviewed Michael Solari, founder and principal of Solari Financial Planning, a fee-only firm with locations in Boston and in Bedford and Nashua, N.H. Solari, who is based in the greater Boston area, recalls how he adjusted his planning process to appeal to younger clients.

I used to work for a fee-based firm. When I set out on my own a few years ago, I knew I wanted to do a few things differently. I really enjoyed working with younger clients, people in their twenties, thirties and forties. I also knew attracting and retaining clients in that age group would require a different approach from what I had been taught at my old firm.

One thing that had always bothered me at that firm was that quarterly client meetings were seen as a way to drum up more business — that is, to sell more investment products. I could tell that some clients dreaded coming in for those meetings, because they felt like they were getting a sales pitch every time they walked into the office. To me, that seemed exactly the opposite of how a client meeting should be. I wanted my clients to feel comfortable reaching out to me when they had a question, without worrying that I would try to sell them something. Plus, with younger clients, investment products are often not the solution for their financial issues.

Furthermore, when you’re working with a young client base, it doesn’t usually make sense to work for a percentage of invested assets — because people in this age range generally don’t have huge savings yet. So I decided the best way to attract clients in my target age range was to charge a monthly retainer.

For example, recently a young married couple in their mid twenties met with me for the first time. Their combined income is about $150,000. Like many other millennials, they have some credit card debt, they want to buy a house and they’re still paying off their student loans. At our first meeting, they asked about my fees, and I explained the monthly retainer concept. While the idea may be unfamiliar to older clients, it actually makes a lot of sense to young people. They’re used to paying monthly for their cellphone, their gym membership and their cable service. It’s a pricing model that’s intuitively easy for them to grasp.

Over the past four months, I’ve been able to work with this couple to hammer away at a lot of their credit card debt. Recently, they saw a house they were interested in buying. We walked through the pros and cons of making the purchase now, and they decided to wait until they can build up a big enough pot of money to put 20% down. They’ve told me how grateful they are to have had help and guidance through these important, sometimes complex decisions.

Clients in their twenties and thirties definitely need financial help — this is the period in your life when you’re getting married, paying off student debt, having kids and buying a house. Those are all really important decisions that can have a lasting financial impact on your life. The model of the monthly retainer has helped me attract clients who might not ordinarily think they can afford a financial advisor. It also allows me to have more frequent, shorter meetings with my clients. I try to keep meetings under an hour. I think millennials, myself included, have a shorter attention span. Rather than fighting that, I embrace it.

It’s a very different model than retirement planning, for sure. For most millennial clients, planning is really an issue of cash management. Finding a fee structure that works for that kind of service has helped me meet the needs of a younger client base.