Living in an era defined by rapid technological advancement has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives. Digital platforms provide us with a level of convenience and access that we couldn’t have imagined several decades ago.
Despite all the benefits, however, the digital nature of modern life can be overwhelming for the oldest members of our society. After all, they didn’t grow up with these technologies, so it’s no wonder they often have trouble navigating them. Imagine being an older person contending with online shopping, virtual healthcare services, online banking, and more — all for the first time!
This is why connecting our senior clients with untapped technological solutions can be so powerful. One of our central goals as life insurance policy appraisers is to uncover hidden financial opportunities for our senior customers. Most often, we do this by identifying untapped capital from outdated life insurance policies. What other opportunities can our senior clients access when we help them tap into the digital side of life?
Why Help Your Senior Clients Achieve Digital Literacy?
It’s worth putting some extra time and energy into helping your older clients navigate the digital landscape. Here’s why:
As a financial advisor, when your senior clients are digitally literate, your life is made that much easier. It enables smoother communication through channels like email and text, facilitates more efficient access to clients’ financial data, and makes it possible for seniors to actively manage their finances online.
With greater digital literacy comes a more informed, engaged client base, which leads to better-informed financial decisions and more successful advisor-client relationships. Digital literacy also affords seniors more agency over their financial situations. They feel confident, instead of feeling helpless in the face of the many digital resources they’re unable to access.
Encouraging Digital Literacy Among Older Clients
Encouraging seniors to embrace digital literacy isn’t just about a vague idea of “keeping up with the times.” It’s about ensuring that they have the tools they need to stay connected, informed, and in control of their lives. However, seniors may encounter hurdles when adapting to new digital tools. These challenges can include feeling fearful of/overwhelmed by technology or lacking access to the necessary educational resources. By directing their senior clients toward digital skills courses tailored to older audiences, financial advisors can bridge this digital divide.
Online Banking and Financial Management for Seniors
Online banking and other financial tools have made financial management infinitely easier and more efficient. For seniors, these tools can make it possible to maintain greater control over their financial affairs. If possible, financial advisors should provide step-by-step instructions on securely creating accounts on and utilizing online banking platforms. This will help seniors feel more confident navigating these digital spaces. Financial advisors should also stress the importance of vigilant password management to protect against potential security risks.
By empowering senior clients with the knowledge and skills to manage their finances virtually, financial advisors help enhance their clients’ financial independence and effectively make them better clients.
Other Areas Where Digital Literacy Can Empower Seniors
Unfortunately, you may find that your senior clients are resistant to adopting new technologies, preferring to do things the way they always have. If so, remind them that there are many other ways that digital literacy can improve their quality of life. Here are a few common examples that you can use to support your argument:
- ● Social media: Social connections are extremely important for everyone’s mental and emotional well-being, including that of seniors. Social media platforms make it easy to maintain and strengthen social bonds with friends and loved ones. Facebook is the most common social media platform among the older generation, with about half of all seniors in the United States using it, according to Senior Living.
- ● Online shopping: Offering home delivery and a much broader product selection than any brick-and-mortar store, online shopping is extremely useful for seniors.
- ● Virtual healthcare: Since the pandemic, telehealth services have become much more widespread. Many of your older clients’ doctors and specialists are likely to offer telehealth at this point. These services save seniors the hassle of going to a physical location for a doctor’s appointment.
- ● Entertainment and learning: Online entertainment options include streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, e-books, and e-learning platforms. Some platforms may even provide discounts for seniors — for example, a membership to Amazon Prime’s streaming services costs just $6.99 per month for seniors on
The wealth of resources listed above could provide the motivation your senior clients need to start learning to access the digital realm.
Our ever-evolving digital landscape provides financial advisors with unique opportunities to empower their senior clients to harness the benefits of technology and enrich their lives in the process. By helping them make the most of online resources, advisors can equip older adults with the knowledge they need to confidently and effectively navigate the digital world. As financial professionals, our roles have added significance, as we guide seniors to uncover the untapped financial resources in their redundant life insurance policies.
By embracing the digital age and unlocking the hidden financial potential in their life insurance policies — that is, taking advantage of both the financial and the technological opportunities available to them — our senior clients are doubly empowered to live their golden years to the fullest.