How Financial Advisors Can Find Simple Opportunities for Clients to Save

Image: How Financial Advisors Can Find Simple Opportunities for Clients to Save

At a high level, the basic principles of saving money that can help lead to better long-term financial outcomes are relatively simple. Plus, most clients already know a few easy ways to increase the size of their savings—but struggle to follow through. That leaves financial advisors with a perfect opportunity to showcase their value and help clients achieve their long-term savings goals.

How to help clients to save more money as an advisor

Changing a learned behavior is never easy, but undoing years of a client's "Treat Yourself" mentality and installing a financially literate mindset may be one of the most valuable things a financial advisor can do for a client. And luckily, there are simple ways to do it.


  • Support clients on a personal level

Human-to-human connections are powerful, and as a financial advisor, you have the unique ability to act as your client’s partner, mentor, and copilot when it comes to enacting better everyday money behaviors. Build a relationship with your client and be there to support them every step of the way—especially if the client struggles to meet their savings goals. Creating a "partnership" with the client will show them you truly care about what happens to them long-term and have their best interest at heart.

Plus, since social tendencies are powerful, the thought of disappointing someone who has been an important influence in life (whether that be a parent, a friend, or a mentor) can seriously motivate clients to hold themselves more personally accountable. Just keep in mind that harsh or judgmental feedback isn’t needed—but kindness, empathy, compassion, support, and the ability to speak the “hard truth” with grace, when necessary, are.

Read more: How to Build Relationships with Clients as an Advisor


  • Show the value of starting small

If your client is just starting to save for the future or has struggled to build a sizeable nest egg in the past, it’s a good idea to remind them to start out slow. When developing a savings plan, encourage clients to save an amount they feel comfortable with. At the very least, if their place of employment offers a company match for retirement savings, encourage them to save enough to get the full match. Then, have your client regularly bump up their contributions by one or two percent —either on a yearly basis or whenever a raise is earned.


  • Help automate savings solutions

If your client is forgetful or has failed to follow through on savings goals in the past, consider automating savings contributions—whether that be to a retirement plan or a general savings account. Have your client set up regular and automatic deposits into their 401(k) or their personal savings account directly from their paycheck. They can't miss money they never had the chance to see, after all! Automation is a great, easy way for clients to get the savings train back on track.


  • Develop specific savings "action items" for clients

Experts have long said that vague goals don’t lead to tangible results, and the same principle can be applied to money-saving goals. Realistically, setting a goal to “save more” probably wouldn’t yield the same results as setting a goal to increase 401(k) savings by $5,000 by the end of the year would, for example. Setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals will give clients a roadmap and better overall understanding of how to get their savings from Point A to Point B.

Correcting everyday money behaviors that clients have practiced for years or even decades won’t happen overnight, but luckily, there are easy ways for advisors to align themselves with clients and help them reach their savings goals. Growing your relationship with your clients and encouraging them to follow through on all the goals they’ve never been able to before will show your worth and make your clients feel more financially secure—both now and in the future.

You might also be interested in: How to Talk to Clients About Their Risk Tolerance


Here at Ascensus, our goal is to help more savers reach their savings goals—whatever they’re saving for. That’s why we’ve partnered with financial advisors for more than 40 years to offer a wide variety of savings solutions to their clients. Whether clients are looking for options to help them save for retirement, education, or disability-related expenses, our flexible offerings are designed to fit their needs.

View our Advisor Toolkit for additional tools and resources to use with your clients, or contact our team of retirement specialists at 800-345-6363 to learn how partnering with Ascensus can help you grow your book of business.