Practice Management

Building True Relationships with Participants

Some retirement plan advisers strive to offer complete, holistic advice.

By Lee Barney | February 19, 2014
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Group participant meetings continue to be a critical way for most retirement plan advisers to communicate with participants, but some advisers go above and beyond, and use one-on-one meetings to delve deeper into individual participants' interests, gleaning more than just their retirement goals and 401(k) balances.

For Marilyn Timbers, a financial adviser and retirement coach with ING Financial Partners in Stamford, Connecticut, the objective is to get to know each participant’s “personality and experiences [in order to] be more attuned to their risk tolerance and find solutions that fit them personally. My clients and I discuss more than financial goals,” Timbers says. “I want to know about their dreams, passions, purpose and values.”

Kelly Campbell, CEO of Campbell Wealth Management in Alexandria, Virginia, has an 80/20 rule. At his initial one-on-one meetings with participants, he uses 20% of the time to discuss finances. “The other 80% is spent identifying what’s really important to these folks,” Campbell says. “Is it their children and grandchildren, travel, entrepreneurship or a second or third career? The true beauty about starting a retirement planning discussion with the non-financial aspects is that it creates a partnership and helps establish trust in the client/adviser relationship. It also leads to a responsible financial plan, which will achieve those important things in their retirement lives.”