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Advisors are Increasingly Expected to Play a Role in Clients' Healthcare

Dammit Jim, I'm a financial advisor, not a doctor!

Wealth managers believe health insurance is the single biggest healthcare-related issue currently facing their clients, according to a recent study.

In its inaugural Healthcare Study, The Family Wealth Alliance surveyed 50 wealth management firms to gauge the scope of involvement by family wealth firms in the healthcare needs of their clients, evaluate client demand for services and assess trends in healthcare-related services.

Most participants were multifamily offices (52 percent). Also represented were single-family offices (20 percent), wealth managers and firms serving as external chief investment officers to families (14 percent), and industry support firms (14 percent)—chiefly accounting-based service providers.

"As we all live longer, families are being challenged to adjust their plans to keep pace,” said Thomas R. Livergood, Family Wealth Alliance Founder and Chief Executive Officer.  “So too are family wealth firms being called upon to expand the healthcare-related services for aging clients and their private families."

In fact, the study showed that 7 in 10 firms play a role in the healthcare needs of client households, with involvement ranging from providing referrals to actively assisting clients with assessing and managing their healthcare needs.

Longer life spans are also having a substantial impact on many firms and client families according to the research. Increased longevity complicates wealth transfer planning, poses challenges to family governance and succession plans, increases cash spending needs late in life and brings demands on firms from clients to provide such services as eldercare advice.

One half of firms report increased medical issues among client households and now recommend health advisors when the need arises. One half also indicate serving clients who pay for concierge physician services or hospital VIP programs.

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