When was the last time you had any sort of health check? Just this year? Last year? Five years ago? Never?
You might not be aware that the Government offers all adults between 40-74 a free health-check every five years – it doesn’t sound like much but it could be the difference between spotting the early signs of a potentially dangerous illness, or leaving it too late. My advice would be to take up this opportunity if you’re within the right age demographic.
A number of firm owners reading this might also have a regular health check as part of, for example, their key man/woman insurance or their private healthcare policies. Writing this into the company offering can be a good ‘perk’ and shows that the firm is a place which values its employees’ health. There’s no way we should be underestimating the health and well-being of those who work in our businesses, and there’s obviously private medical insurance that can be offered plus I’ve seen a number of forward-thinking initiatives focused on mental health, which can often be overlooked.
For our clients, financial matters can be a major source of stress and frustration, and particularly when it comes to poor mental health, I’m sure we’re all aware of family, friends or clients who have suffered with money worries.
Part of the job of an adviser is to – like the health check itself – head off potential concerns at the pass, so to speak. There is often a solution to be found but the important point to address is for clients not to keep concerns to themselves, and to seek help, and gain an intervention from advisers, as soon as possible.
I write this as the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has launched a website aimed at getting people to take a ‘mid-life MOT’ which focuses on both health and wealth. That’s a positive sentiment but I’m not sure clients need to be in mid-life to benefit from a review of their finances – and that’s clearly where advisers can be of great benefit.
We’re all acutely aware that many people will currently be worried about their future; we’ve all seen the recent news from a number of businesses who are perhaps looking at closing down factories, moving operations abroad, or have put investment on hold while we get some Brexit-based certainty.
For those impacted, and indeed many, many people who are concerned, having a financial health-check from a trusted adviser might not only provide them with peace of mind about their current situation, but it could also save them money on their mortgage, allow them to increase their protection, secure better insurance cover, and essentially solidify their financials for a period of time to allow them to cope with whatever might be coming over the horizon.
Offering such a service, free of charge, could not just result in the opportunity to help existing clients, but could also be used as a marketing tool in order to draw in new business. Piggy-backing off the DWP’s push on taking a ‘mid-life MOT’ is no bad thing, and given that people are much more likely to be thinking about their financial future at the moment, it could unlock a significant number of potential clients.
Well-being does not just come from one area – health, of course, is so very important but there will be other parts of our lives which may also require some TLC in order to add to our overall well-being. The financial situation can clearly weigh heavily on an individual if they feel they are not just in a bad place, but there is no-one to help them. Advisers have the opportunity to provide their services and to deliver that peace of mind which seems all the more relevant given the current outlook.
Richard Adams is Managing Director of Stonebridge Group