Heather Holmes, Genivity

Nov 30, 2018, 06:30 PM

What’s The Next Technological Leap For Financial Advisors?

The Fintech Focus podcast is taking another look at the changing world of financial planning this week, and how technology is redefining the way advisors work with their clients.

It’s no secret that healthcare costs are a huge burden on American families—multiple studies say medical costs are the number one cause of personal bankruptcies. This week’s episode features an interview with an entrepreneur that asked how financial advisors could help families plan for medical costs.

That’s the thesis of Genevity, the fintech startup that’s working with financial advisors to help their clients plan for long-term and even generational costs of medical complications like hereditary diseases and elder care.

How Can We Change The Way We Talk About Healthcare Costs?

“It really hit me that to truly make a difference, what we needed to do is not help educate families around health risks at a hospital setting. We needed to educate them in a technology-based way, and we needed to show the financial impact of those risks. Because even though people know maybe they should eat better, drink less, exercise more if they have different risks, it's really hard to make those changes from a behaviors perspective. But you really care when you realize it from aa financial perspective.

“And so that's what Genevity does, is it looks across your lifestyle, your family risks, your health risks, and your family longevity and several factors. And we'll show you, what does that look like for you across your lifespan in a reference to healthy go-go years, along with some of those slower-go years. And then showing you how if you make these changes, you can improve your longevity, you can reduce those slow-go years and ultimately reduce cost. [We’re] here to help families and their financial planners too with them.”

How Do You Get Financial Advisors To Talk About Health?

“An individual is gonna spend way more time over their lifetime with their financial advisor than they are with their doctor. And because health and elder care costs are one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy in retirement, it can decimate a financial plan at any point in time. So if you're not planning for these things, you have this big blind spot in a plan.

“We were just really surprised when we learned from an advisor who had contacted us that there wasn't a good way of personalizing this information for individuals. And you think about it, in this day and age, why are we not personalizing about these sort of risks to a financial plan if you could?”
How Technology Can Start To Undo The Misogyny In The Way We Approach Family Medical Decisions

“What advisors would share with us is that, ‘Look, we tend to have a relationship with one person in the family who's that financial decision-maker, and more often than not, it tends to be the man. Not always. But it can be really hard to engage that other spouse who maybe isn't as interested in the numbers in those conversations.’

“And that's where health is that perfect bridge. Because coming from the healthcare industry, as my co-founder and I both come from, what we've always talked about in healthcare is the CMO of the family, or the Chief Medical Officer of the family, and that tends to be the woman, whether that's the mother, the daughter, or the sister. And so she may or not be the financial decision-maker when it comes to sitting down and doing the really detailed planning with the advisor. But she will almost certainly be the person who is very involved around the health of the loved one and also you know, wave more heavily towards here from the caregiving, whether it's children or elderly parent.

“This is the perfect bridge to her where she may not want to sit down and talk about the numbers or what Halo, our product, does, it sits down and talks about those health concerns and risks within the family, which speaks a different langua...