The timing of two events in life are almost always paired together:
- Enrollment in Medicare and
- The retirement plan rollover
The two largest employee benefits are group health insurance and the retirement plan. As our clients retire and transition from the group health plan onto Medicare, it usually triggers consideration of a retirement plan rollover. If an advisor is disconnected from conversations about Medicare, retirement health care costs and the overall transition from the group plan onto Medicare, they run the risk of being disconnected from a client’s decision on how to best handle their largest financial asset. To put this in a positive frame, if your clients think of you as a resource regarding retirement health care, they will be seeking your input and advice at an ideal time.
There are a number of ways to engage our clients on the convergence of health care and financial planning. Here are three:
1. Provide a retirement health care cost estimate for the year in which your client expects to retire (for more information watch this WealthWacth video). Make sure they understand how Medicare Parts B and D premiums increase for individuals with higher incomes.
2. Explain the benefits of accumulating tax free and tax favored assets, in order to lower these income based Medicare Premiums. Roths, HSA, and tax deferred annuities all offer creative financial planning strategies.
3. Make sure clients understand how Medicare considers income from two years ago to determine current Medicare premiums. More importantly, explain how to avoid this costly look back with tax form SSA-44.
Ideally, financial advisors have consistent, timely communication with all of their clients and prospects. As major financial decisions present themselves, the advisor is informed, equipped and ready to act. Retirement health care is among your clients’ greatest concerns and will represent their largest retirement expenditure. Being proactive with insightful, relevant health care content will place you in the right place at the right time.