Sometimes, the small talk you have with clients at the beginning of a meeting can lead to deeper discoveries about their planning needs. Here’s an example.

In the first 10 minutes of a meeting, your client says:

“I came from lunch with my niece to celebrate her getting into university. Now she just has to win some scholarships!”

At that moment

  • Congratulate your client, and ask which university and program her niece got into. Offer to provide her with a list of relevant scholarships, and contact information for the financial aid officer at her niece’s future school. Go to advisor.ca/ scholarships for help.

At your next meeting

  • Ask how her niece is enjoying university and how her financial situation is. Offer to send your client budgeting resources that she can share with her niece. Go to client.advisor.ca/budget for more.
  • Ask if your client has other family members she wants to help. Review her estate plan and talk about the pros and cons of gifting while alive (e.g., the tax implications).

Later in the meeting

  • Ask your client if she thinks her niece will have trouble paying for school, and whether your client might want to help. Ask if her niece’s parents are helping out or if she’ll have to get student loans. If your client wants to give her niece money, run the numbers to show what’s possible, and discuss tax-efficient ways to gift the funds (e.g., via an RESP). Go to advisor.ca/RESP for more.

Originally published in Advisor's Edge

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