The Impact of Longevity on Clients and Advisors

Mar 15, 2019 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Assistant Editor

This Schwab Advisor Services study looks at the dynamics shaping the independent advice industry with the goal of shining a light on the opportunities and challenges facing RIAs. They asked advisors to look beyond the immediate forces influencing the advice and wealth management space, and to consider six larger trends currently being navigated at the individual and societal level. Namely: increased human longevity, changing workplace dynamics (automation, changing job skills), medical advancements, information privacy and data integrity, artificial intelligence (AI), and climate change. “Longer client lifespans” was seen by advisors as the leading dynamic that could impact advisory firms in the decade to come. Here are some more findings from the study:

Impact on advisors:

  • 44% believe longer clients lifespans will significantly affect their businesses
  • Why? 57% cite ensuring clients' funds last for a lifetime
  • 24% are very concerned about the impact of longer client lifespans—62% believe the impact will be mostly positive, 13% believe it will be mostly negative

Impact on clients

  • 64% of advisors believe longer lifespans will have a significant impact on their clients in the next 10 years
  • 71% believe the impact will be mostly positive, 10% believe it will be mostly negative
  • The top areas of financial lives that will be impacted are planning goals, timing and duration of working/retirement, and spending


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