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Category: Leads · 4 min read

Holistic Planning: How and Why Financial Professionals are Offering More

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on May 23, 2019

author profile photo

on May 23, 2019

Financial professional going over solutions with clients

There’s a problem with how many people prepare for retirement right now. 

The problem is, they don’t prepare. According to Retirement Security, 59 percent of households in America don’t have any retirement account assets.1 This could be because of lack of income, lack of knowledge, or lack of planning, but the point is that most Americans aren’t ready for retirement. 

One way to help this 59 percent is to offer holistic planning. But what does that mean? And how do you do that? And also, why should you? 

Lots of questions that deserve in-depth answers. Let’s break them down one by one.  


Holistic Planning Defined 

At its core, holistic planning is an all-encompassing approach that’s focused on achieving clients’ retirement and financial goals. Depending on your certifications and licenses, it could include insurance, investment management, debt management, taxes, employment benefits, Social Security strategies, retirement strategies, and estate planning. 

Basically, holistic planning differs from the standard way of doing things in how you treat your clients. With a holistic approach, you ask them about their goals for retirement, their wants and needs, and their lifestyle, and create a strategy that draws on a broad range of products and services to help get them there. 

At its core, holistic planning is an all-encompassing approach that’s focused on achieving clients’ retirement and financial goals.

How to Become Holistic 

To implement a holistic approach, you can consider doing a few things. First, you can grow your suite of services. Is there something that you’re not offering right now that you could be? This may require getting a new certification or series, such as Series 66, but it can be worth it to take your services to the next level. This is what can really set you apart from your competitors.  

Second, you can implement this way of retirement planning in your client process and client experience. Like I mentioned before, this means asking about your clients’ goals and what kind of retirement they want, rather than focusing on how much money they will need in retirement. Yes, money plays a key part, but it’s not the only part. By knowing their goals, you can more easily determine the right approach. So, change how you run your initial discovery meetings with clients and prospects. Make it about them, and not about what you can offer them. Ask lots of questions that will get them to open up about what they want their retirement to be like, and you’ll be on your way to offering them a holistic approach to their retirement strategy. 

Lastly, there are also some third-party services that can help expand your offerings without licensure, such as estate planning or other legal assistance. Or you could partner with related professionals in a different area of expertise, like a CPA or an attorney. All of these options get you closer to becoming holistic.  


Why it’s Important 

Here’s the hard truth: Robo-advisors are here, and they aren’t going anywhere. A prospect can get a human-less experience online, instead of having you help them. But by using a holistic approach, you can be seen as different from robo-advisors and other financial professionals. You can offer prospects something they can’t get anywhere else: a human way of talking about retirement.  

Holistic planning is also important because it helps your prospects and clients think about the long term. Instead of focusing on how old they are right now and how much they make right now and how much they have saved right now, you’re having them think about their future. Now they’re thinking about what they want their retirement to look like. Now it’s feeling more real to them. Now they’re realizing how serious it is to be able to have enough money for all of retirement and to achieve the lifestyle they want. Bingo.  

That kind of long-term thinking can also lead to long-term client relationships with you. By being so focused on them and what they want, holistic planning can help build your credibility and create lasting relationships that go beyond the initial sale.  

You can offer prospects something they can’t get anywhere else: a human way of talking about retirement.

In the end, a holistic approach shows that you truly care about their goals and life in retirement, and from your conversations with them, you can provide an accurate strategy and solution for them. That’s holistic planning. That’s how it can benefit your client experience, sales process, and overall business strategy. What do you say?  



1. National Institute on Retirement Security. “Retirement in America: Out of Reach for Working Americans?” Sept. 2018.


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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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