Wednesday, May 02, 2018

What Is Holistic Planning?

The phrase “holistic planning” or “life planning” has become more widespread throughout our industry in recent years. By definition, holistic means that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts. As it relates to our industry, the term refers to a financial professional, either on their own or with the help of others that specialize in a specific area, who helps to address a client’s life goals, not just selling a product to fill one specific need. The term “planning” in a financial services context is typically reserved for investment advisor representatives, however, here it refers to the strategy rather than the act of giving investment advice for a fee.

A financial professional may incorporate goals such as college savings, retirement savings, elder-care needs, and estate and tax considerations in addition to investment and insurance needs.[1] Many times the financial professional works alongside the client’s lawyer, tax advisor, and other financial professionals to help clients achieve their goals.

Many of you may already provide these types of services for your client – you may think of this as providing comprehensive financial services. But holistic planning goes one step further by coordinating all efforts to develop a single, comprehensive strategy that hopes to achieve the individuals’ unique goals in a more coordinated manner.[2] The goals are not all dollars and cents – they encompass emotional satisfaction as well.

Holistic planning can provide direction and meaning for a client. It can help a client better understand how their financial decisions affect other areas of their life. They can consider how their immediate decisions will impact their short-term and long-term life goals. Your relationship with your clients will be strengthened by their heightened engagement in their goal setting and attaining process.

Typically, a series of exercises helps establish the client’s goals. Next, appropriate recommendations are given to address the client’s goals. Then, these recommendations are reviewed to verify that these solutions are achievable and will allow the client to make informed decisions. All parties communicate their involvement in the holistic plan. Then they are reviewed and revised on a regular basis to keep them up-to-date. It is a very connected, personal journey for all parties involved. This is the case for all aspects of the holistic plan, with the end goal of providing a more secure, confident client that is invested in their future and feels that you have helped to provide a path to success.

Clients have many options on who to choose to help them navigate their future. They also have many choices to make along the way. If you can help them identify what is important to them and provide solutions to attain these goals and stay on course to fulfill those milestones in their lives, you will create a client that is just as invested in you as you are in them.

Dina Mestel | Sales Trainer
Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange
Ph: 800.321.3924 x119 | Dir: 734.786.6119

Please ensure that you have the proper licenses, registrations, and state appointments for the types of business you conduct and advertise.

[1] Bartolameolli, Nancy. “The Key Benefits of Holistic Planning” 27 Jul 2015. Web. Accessed on 20 Sep 2017 at
[2] See note 1

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