Financial services professionals cannot make assumptions about what younger people know and think about wealth when it comes to intergenerational financial planning, Gillian Hepburn has said.
The head of UK intermediary solutions for Schroders said it would be a “win-win” for advisers if they were able to get the conversations right around helping pass wealth down through the family. 
It would help keep the wealth within the family – and help the adviser maintain relationships with their clients’ descendants. 
But for Hepburn, all too often these conversations around later life and inheritance seem too difficult to broach, and this is where advisers and providers needed to think differently and engage better.
She told FTAdviser: “It’s about engaging that next generation and understanding the wealth within the family: where is it going to be held, and what is it going to be used for?”
She said these can be difficult conversations but we need to engage and help people to access advice, especially amid a cost of living crisis.
Hepburn said: “We are living in challenging times. Some 69 per cent of advisers have told us that some of their clients will have to adjust their investment plans as a result of the cost of living crisis.
“We are aware many people are having to take income from their savings and investments to get through things. 
“But how soon is too soon to think about pensions and investing?”
She said we needed to rethink and reshape the whole conversation about investing into a pension. “There’s a myth that young people are not engaged in their finances”, she told the editor during the latest FTAdviser Fireside Chat.
“They might not be engaged in the way that we would [think about engagement], but there is a shift there.
“They are thinking about money and thinking about about how they fund their future, and we need to wake up to that and look at how we can use all sorts of opportunities, including technology, to engage them and give them advice.”
Hepburn asked whether, as providers of investments and as advisers, how well does the industry generally understand these different generations, and what make them tick?
She added: “We’re already seeing people of that age inheriting wealth as grandparents Let’s not assume that if you are 24 or 25 you don’t have money and don’t need advice, but how do they access [advice], and at a cost that works for them and the adviser?”
To watch the full interview, click on the video image above.
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