Jessie Hinds

Transitioning to retirement is often one of the most stressful times for clients, and requires soft skills that not all advisers possess.

Hari Maragos, a principal and founder of Victoria Wealth Management, says advisers are so often “focused on strategy, the technical aspects, legislation, regulation, compliance and governance as a sector that we have lost our bedside manner in the process”.

“Many advisers don’t know how to have a conversation because there is no competency mapping, accreditation or continuous professional development points allocation to soft skills,” Maragos says.

What If Advice senior financial adviser Ashley Bishop says that retirement is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people.

“They are going from getting paid regularly to not earning money anymore and relying on an income that is no longer under their control,” Bishop says.

He says clients will have lots of questions. Advisers need to be patient and occasionally, they will have to challenge clients’ expectations.

Elston strategy adviser Jessie Hinds says empathy is one of the best skills advisers can draw on for anxious clients transitioning to retirement.

“Not only do clients worry about the financial implications of retirement, a lot of the time we find that clients feel like they’ve lost a major purpose in their life,” Hinds says.

“This can lead to feelings of unsettledness.

“It takes patience, active listening and empathy for clients to feel heard and understood.