“Which one of your children would be the best at bathing you?” asks Jim Sumpter, certified financial planner and wealth manager with RFG Advisory in Birmingham, Alabama.
It’s a somewhat shocking question, but Sumpter has learned that posing provocative questions helps clients face the realities of potential future scenarios.
In the above case, he wants clients to understand what could happen if they fail to plan for their own eldercare and let the responsibility fall on their adult children.
“As a neutral professional, I can facilitate asking those difficult and emotional questions. I can translate abstract questions into real-life scenarios,” Sumpter said.
Here are some other tough subjects he tackles:
Sumpter has experienced his share of life’s ups and downs, including a divorce and the loss of an adult child. Over the years, he has guided clients in thinking about uncomfortable but necessary topics.
“It’s important to live life and enjoy it,” he said. “We don’t want to overspend, but we need to plan – including for the unexpected. It’s difficult, because it’s so emotional.”
He added, “And it can be even more impactful for women clients, because, as men are statistically more prone to die sooner, widows often have to make these planning decisions on their own. I want them to know that I’m here to help them.”