Tax accountants deal with a range of different clients, from businesses to individuals of all ages and stages of life. One demographic that many tax accountants have the privilege of working with are retired tax clients. Their unique experiences of the past combined with their upcoming life changes makes helping retiring tax clients a real challenge. Tax accountants are in an excellent place to help these clients transition from one phase of life to the next by offering financial wisdom and guidance.
In recent decades, the lifespan of American seniors has continued to push toward the century mark, with more people living to 100 years old. Changes to diet, better health care, and a focus on health and wellness mean that seniors are living well beyond the life expectancy of generations past. Since many retirees are living longer and better lives than ever before, it means their finances need to fit their lifestyles.
There are three areas where tax accountants can help their retired tax clients get their finances in order in the present and make plans to provide positive results well into the future.
Wages from working
While some seniors may want to kick back and golf for their entire retirement, many of today’s aging Americans are looking to pick up some work, both to supplement their retirement income and provide meaning and a sense of purpose. Retired clients in their 60s and 70s often seek out part-time employment or work as consultants in the industry they spent their whole lives in.
It's also becoming more common for elderly adults to become entrepreneurs and start a little business or participate in the gig economy. In these instances, they will need a tax accountant more than ever to help them navigate the best financial course. Living longer and healthier lives means that aging adults have a lot to contribute, and their financial planning and tax plans must reflect that.
Health care costs
Health care is the number one issue in the country, with coverage and costs being a major concern for people of all ages. Longevity plays a big role in today’s retirement planning and health care costs for individuals, and people need to plan for longer living expenses, including health care, than ever before. With costs expected to rise and elderly adults requiring more health care services due to age-related issues than younger generations, making plans around medical care is imperative for retired tax clients.
Not only do clients need to think about health care costs in the near future, but also their long-term care options. Some retired clients may even have a spouse or significant other already in a nursing home and need to adjust their finances accordingly. Tax accountants can help educate their retired tax clients on how health care choices affect their financial health, too.
Many retired tax clients are focused on their assets and what they will mean to their loved ones after they’ve passed on. Tax accountants can play a big role in making sure their retired clients are dealing with estate planning the way they want. Changes in a retired client’s personal situation can mean big changes for their estate plan. Even preparing in advance to deal with estate taxes and other financial obligations is critical for seniors to consider. Tax accountants with knowledge about the best ways to approach these sensitive yet important topics will be providing a valued service to their retired tax clients.
Don’t overlook retiring tax clients
It would be a mistake for tax accountants to think that because their retiring tax clients have a lot of their finances straightened out that they wouldn’t benefit for some advice and guidance. Clients are always open to hearing about ways that they can do better when it comes to taxes and financial planning. When tax accountants work with retiring tax clients, they address unique aspects of their lives and help them with options to make their golden years the best they can be.
Also, keep in mind, pre-retirement planning can be very beneficial for many clients. Once someone has retired, your hands are tied in many areas, but pre-retirement planning can have a big impact on your relationship with a client.
Interested in helping other tax clients in unique situations? Check out How to Manage Freelance Clients.