The industry is struggling with a conundrum…what to do with the Millennials? And we seem to want to make it really complicated.
Supposedly Millennials want:
In my experience, Millennials want the same thing that every other client wants; to know that they are going to be OK.
I was reminded of this fact during my last meeting yesterday. Maybe it is more accurate to say that I was slapped in the face by this reality.
So, I have these clients who have been with me since they were 25. They are Millennials by every definition. They are a young, married couple with massive student loans. They want to travel the world and they're frustrated that they aren’t getting ahead.
They are 35 now and I forgot to let them grow up.
I have spent most of the last 10 years helping them pay-off debt, build-up savings and start investing. You know...all the things we are "supposed" to help Millennials do.
But, I never did any long-term planning with them. It was always about the budget and their lifestyle choices.
We came to a cross-roads last night. Their planning fee (less than my normal client) was due and I could feel the resistance. It was time for the ‘come to Jesus’ conversation. Either you are in or out.
I got it out on the table that they weren’t happy. They were feeling frustrated about always talking about debt. They were feeling ‘behind their peers.’ They didn’t trust me that we were doing the right things based on where they were at this point in time.
They had three choices:
-Pay the planning fee and continue with a comprehensive relationship
-Drop down to a product only, once a year meeting
-Find another advisor…hopefully one that would make them happy.
We had a very frank conversation and in the end, they decided to pay the planning fee, but they wanted to do more traditional financial planning, not the Millennial Model that we had been working off of.
No problem, I had already prepared their financial plan in the software and was ready to deliver on the spot.
What happened, was nothing short of miraculous, but it shouldn’t have surprised me. I have seen it happen a hundred times.
We talked about goals and input everything. We ran the plan and lo and behold, their plan had a 97% probability of success. And early retirement still had an 84% probability…just with what they were currently doing!
Suddenly, I saw their shoulders drop. They took a deep breath and for the first time in our relationship, they felt like they were going to be OK.
They could SEE it. They believed it. We didn’t change anything we were doing with their investments, but suddenly it felt like they were making progress.
Suddenly, they were incredibly excited to be working with me again. Their planning fee felt totally worth it.
I wanted to kick myself. Why hadn’t I done this for them 1, 2, or 3 years ago!?
I got caught up in the hype that these young clients needed to focus on the near-term goals to get out of the hole they were in and I forgot to inspire them with the hope and optimism that planning provides.
This story has a happy ending. They are still clients and they are more hopeful than ever. And hopefully I learned my lesson!
Millennials are people and people need to know that their actions will make a difference in the long run.
What do you think? What should the Millennial Model look like? What do Millennials want and need? I would love to hear from you!
Join me in the TIA Mastermind Group and lets build the Millennial Model together!