‘White knight’ of financial advice sector

At a time when many have described the financial advice sector as reeling, and some advisers are saying they feel depressed and afraid about the future, there’s a good news story emerging from the wreckage – aged-care advice.

The white knight of the financial advice industry may not be overtly sexy, but it’s steady, reliable and growing – both in consumer demand and profitability.

Kate Phillips is the Principal Adviser of Tend Financial Planning in Adelaide.

‘There’s a steady stream of new people coming through the door,’ she says. ‘It’s about capturing that opportunity.’

Principal Adviser at TBA Financial Advisers, Sarah Hall, is in strong agreement, with the business now receiving two to five calls a week from prospective aged care clients.

‘It’s become a big focus point for our revenue,’ she says.

Drew Potts from Potts Duhring Financial Advisers in South Australia is feeling positive about the future.

‘I wish we had recognised the value sooner…it probably took around eighteen months for us to get the commercial aspects right.’

But it’s not just the business rewards that are appealing. It’s the opportunity to provide real and practical support to people at a stressful and emotionally challenging time.

Di Chalk, Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Aged Care Advisor ™ from Hillross in Fairy Meadow, describes it as some of the most satisfying work she has ever done.

‘It’s incredibly complex; people are just so relieved when they realise you can help them.’

‘I’ve had a six-foot fireman in my office, in tears and hugging me, because we understood and could genuinely help, right down to the paperwork.’

It’s a specialised and complex area of advice, but the potential benefits to clients are significant.

Proprietor and Financial Adviser at RI Advice in Circular Quay, John Walker, reflects on a recent outcome, where his firm was approached to help a family struggling to make the payments for a grandmother already living in residential care.

‘It took several months to sort things out, but we were able to increase her cashflow by $48,000 a year.’

Reflecting on his career, Geoff Whiddon, Director at Dome Financial Group in Charlestown, goes one step further, saying that, if he had his time again, he ‘would focus solely on aged care advice’.

‘I would get rid of every other part of my business,’ he said.

Co-founder and director of Aged Care Steps, Assyat David, is not surprised by the emergence of aged-care advice as a significant business income stream for financial advisers.

‘Aged-care is a critical component of what we refer to as the third phase of retirement – the frailty years,’ she explains.

‘Whether advisers address it proactively with existing clients – as part of their retirement planning service – or prefer a more transactional approach to supporting new clients in crisis – the business case for providing aged care advice is without question.’

Assyat David says the future is bright for those advisers who understand the new advice paradigm.

‘Those advisers who have embraced the opportunity to really engage with their clients are feeling positive about the future,’ she says.

‘In many cases, providing aged care advice to a family has yielded multiple contacts within that family group, which means there’s an added opportunity for the business to benefit from intergenerational wealth transfer.’

‘Aged-care advice is personally satisfying and professionally lucrative.’

The advisers quoted here feature in a new ACS Adviser Insights video series, explaining their aged-care advice business journey.

Advisers considering their future and wondering what direction to take are encouraged to speak with Business Partnership Manager, Lisa Gregory. Call 1300 226 816 to find out more about building an aged care advice business with the support of Aged Care Steps.