When we’re mentally healthy, we have the potential to cope with the normal stress of everyday life. But if our mental health is compromised, small challenges can seem monumental.

Stress is a factor that can impact our physical and mental health. For some boomer clients, the emotional side of retirement is a very real and often stressful transition. Fearing they’ll run out of money, 65% of Canadians surveyed in Sun Life’s 2014 Unretirement Index plan to work past age 65.

Another source of stress may be this grim reality: financial abuse is a common form of elder abuse in Canada. As their advisor, you may be the first to recognize financial abuse. Sudden changes in a seniors’ financial situation, significant withdrawals or the unexpected sale of their home are all signs of possible financial abuse.

A key part of good mental health is building supportive networks and recognizing emotions. Mental Health Awareness Week is May 4-10. It’s a good reminder that mental health can impact your clients’ well-being and ability to make sound decisions.

The following articles provide insights into issues that may be stressors for your clients.

Alzheimer’s and dementia – Reducing stress and maintaining good brain health may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. There are no clear-cut solutions on what to do if you think a client’s mental faculties are failing, but this article on dealing with clients who may have dementia provides some guiding principles. And it’s important to have a crucial conversation with your female clients, because The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada has identified that 72% of Canadians with the disease are women. They’re more likely to need long-term care in their future.

Financial abuse of seniors: more common than you may think

Tricking or pressuring seniors into situations that affect their finances equates to financial abuse. As the senior population grows in the coming years, the problem will likely become more prevalent.

When retirement triggers emotional turmoil – How to help your clients

After years of working, some clients may question their identity or purpose. Others will feel a sense of loss or despair. When you recognize the emotional aspects of retirement you can suggest ways to address them. Here are some discussions you can have with your clients that may reinforce your role as their trusted advisor.

Understanding the role stress and declining mental health can play in money matters is key to providing clear advice to your clients.

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