Press Release Date
Financial Advisors, Representatives, and Agents Missing Major Opportunity to Meet Needs of Mature Clients
New York, NY, February 10, 2003 -- Despite increasing awareness and receptivity, much of the public is still uncertain about what they need to do to manage their financial lives over their increased life span -- their "wealth span". Moreover, they are making some wrong assumptions about where to find the answers.
According to the American Institute of Financial Gerontology (AIFG), research has shown that among people aged 65-74, 44% more are worried about spending all their money on the costs of long-term care than worry they will outlive their pensions. And relatively few insurance agents even call on these 18 million people.
Across all age groups, 75% to 85% of people feel the cost of long-term care will reduce both their income and their assets. From their own family experiences, they are vividly aware of what lies in their future. According to gerontological researcher Neal Cutler, Ph.D., Dean of AIFG, "Nowadays, fully 80% of 50-year olds have at least one living parent. For 60-year olds, it's 50%. Many are currently serving as caregivers for their aging parents, or will in the years ahead. Parental care -- as well as their own -- may be the biggest expense they face for the rest of their lives."
Despite the need for informed advice, very few people seek professional financial advice in this area. In the key demographic, baby boomers, fewer than half use professional advisors. National survey data show that among those who do not use such help but who are in the wealth and income segments that need it, 85% think they can do it themselves. "Planning for long term risks involving care and extended longevity is a new challenge for middle-agers, requiring professional advice," Cutler emphasizes. "It is not a do-it-yourself project."
By the same token, few financial professionals have the background to work with clients in this area. Product training is not sufficient. To help meet this need, AIFG, in partnerships with the American Society on Aging (ASA) and Widener University, has introduced a course of study leading to the Certified Financial GerontologistTM (CFG) designation. Targeted to all financial professionals who advise older adults and their families, the CFG program is uniquely designed to provide an education responsive to the wealth span issues facing an aging population.
According to John N. Migliaccio, Ph.D., president of AIFG, "Instead of focusing on the sale of specific products, CFGs will be able to help clients finance their wealth span with an enhanced sensitivity to and knowledge about older consumers."
Graduates of the Certified Financial Gerontology program will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Deliver comprehensive financial solutions, armed with increased knowledge of the older client's broad-based needs,
- Enhance their credibility and competitive advantage in the marketplace, and
- Increase sales or fee income and improve client service.
The inaugural CFG program is scheduled for March 12-15, to be held in conjunction with the 2003 Joint Conference of the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) and the ASA in Chicago, Illinois.
Financial professionals who would like more information about becoming a Certified Financial Gerontologist or to register for the CFG program should visit www.aifg.org.
About AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF FINANCIAL GERONTOLOGY
The American Institute of Financial Gerontology (AIFG) provides unparalleled education, support, and certification to financial professionals advising older consumers and their families regarding wealth span planning. AIFG's mission is to be the preeminent educator of Certified Financial GerontologistsTM capable of providing expert, unbiased financial planning information, client-oriented health/wealth solutions and ethical service to older consumers and their families. For more information, please visit www.aifg.org.
About AMERICAN SOCIETY ON AGING
The American Society on Aging (ASA) is the nation's largest association of professionals working in the field of aging. ASA's mission is to increase the knowledge and strengthen the commitment of professionals working with and on behalf of older adults and their families. Its membership includes practitioners, educators, researchers, business people, service providers, policy makers, administrators, aging network staff and students from every discipline and setting -- adult education, religion, medicine, long-term care, business, nursing, social work and more. Visit ASA online at www.asaging.org.
About WIDENER UNIVERSITY
Based in Chester, PA, Widener University is one of the leading educational institutions building university-based programs for professionals who choose careers to serve the financial needs of the senior market. Founded in Wilmington, Delaware in 1821, Widener is a private, non-profit, doctoral/research intensive institution. For more information about the university, visit www.widener.edu.
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