How to create great client personas – part 3: Later life

By AdviceBridge

This is the final article in a series of four aimed at improving your marketing effectiveness, particularly when it comes to your less profitable clients.

In the first article, we looked at the importance of knowing your clients, with a particular focus on the use of client personas. We then drilled down into two specific cohorts of clients – the ‘40 something accumulators’, and those ‘at retirement’.

In this final article, we look at another segment – clients in later life.

As we have said in previous articles, we aren’t looking to create the profile of an exact client here. Client personas aim to look at a cross-section of many clients in the same segment and look at what they have in common, and which of the characteristics are most common.

Introducing the later life client

In this segmentation exercise, we’re looking at clients who will be over the age of 75. They will be in retirement and could well have been for at least ten years.

They may be a widow or widower, living alone. They could well have two, or even more, generations of family.

Their income will be primarily drawn from pension arrangements which will be fixed income from annuities and the State Pension. The fixed nature of their income provides reassurance that they can meet their day-to-day commitments but does not leave scope for any big additional spending or expenses.

They are very unlikely to still be working, although they may still be doing some work on a consultancy basis or helping their family with childcare.

Beyond pension income, they could have other wealth. They won’t have any mortgage on their property. They may have previously downsized to a property of a more appropriate size after their children left home and they became less mobile. At the time they may have released some of the value of the property which now provides a lump sum they can draw on.

They could have investments and other savings.

Their working life and financial awareness

They are more likely than other cohorts to have been in the same job for their whole working life, and are benefitting from a Defined Benefit pension scheme, which provides an inflation-linked income for life.

They are likely to be financially astute when it comes to retirement. They will probably be careful with their budgeting and will still be trying to save where they can – of all age groups, they are most likely to have substantial ISA savings.

They are also likely to be aware of the impact that Inheritance Tax could have on the value of assets that will pass to their family on death. Of all age groups, they are the most likely to have a will

If they don’t have a financial adviser, they could have had some transactional advice – maybe around annuity purchase, or advice provided by their employer as they retired.

What keeps them awake at night

There are three key issues that will concern them:

  • They are likely to not want to be a financial burden on their family but are aware that this might be inevitable, depending on their circumstances.
  • If they are still part of a married couple or civil partnership, they will be concerned about what happens to their partner if they pre-decease them.
  • They will worry that they could run out of money and no longer be able to finance their needs.

How do they get their information and make decisions?

They will still have an affinity with printed media and will get a lot of their financial information from what they would consider being reliable and traditional sources like Money Mail and the weekend personal finance sections of newspapers.

Financial decisions they make are liable to be based on a safety-first cautious attitude.

Why would they contact you?

There are several issues that someone in later life might seek your advice and guidance on:

Ensuring their inheritance is protected as far as possible, so their family get more of their wealth than HMRC when they die.

If they haven’t already, they might want to explore the possibility of releasing some of the value of their property – either through downsizing or through equity release.

They will be concerned about the possibility of needing long term care – either in their own home or in a care home and may want to discuss how this could be funded.

So, how can you help those in later life?

As well as advising on the four issues we’ve highlighted above, there are two other matters where financial advice could prove crucial to someone in later life.

Firstly, there’s the issue of post-75 pension planning, and ensuring this is structured in such a way that it meets client income requirements and minimises future tax liability.

Secondly, there are general issues around ensuring financial matters are in order. Making sure there is a valid and up to date will in place is an obvious one, but it could also include ensuring there is a power of attorney set up and making sure there are trusts in place to protect assets for children and grandchildren.

But is supporting this segment of the market profitable?

Many may have existing clients in this segment who aren’t really that profitable or who you may not want to take on exactly for this reason. However, there has been significant development in digitised solutions to allay these fears.

If traditional advice models are no longer viable for this segment of clients, you may well find that a digital solution could offer an effective, and profitable way forward.

Where does AdviceBridge fit in?

AdviceBridge has developed an automated digital solution specifically aimed at meeting advisers needs in addressing clients in the later stage of life, delivering a service that is profitable to them and engaging to this segment of clients.

Find out more about how our service and how we can help you by emailing us at or giving us a call on 0203 925 3850.