Advisers should use their expertise to help people cope with the mental health issues that can stem from financial concerns, says tax and financial planning expert
Speaking to COVER's sister title Professional Adviser during Mental Health Awareness Week, Quilter's Rachael Griffin (pictured) said: "Mental health awareness plays an important role in combating the stigma that prevents people form talking about their mental health issues.
"A similar problem continues to exist when it comes to money as money matters remain off-limits in conversation."
She went on to argue that this was where advisers play a "crucial role" to get their "foot in the door" with clients to help them create a suitable financial plan, whatever their financial wherewithal may be.
"Once they are in the door, then it is about giving clients the security that they are going to be fine as well as a plan of attack so they can reach all of their financial goals," she added.
Indeed, Griffin highlighted the difference between generations and how advisers should be away of the types of clients they are working with in order to create the most appropriate conversation.
She said there were many challenges to think about when dealing with mental health in later life, and financial matters can understandably feel a low-priority.
"The reality, however, is that some people may become incapacitated to the extent they are unable to make informed financial decisions for themselves," Griffin added.
For the older generation, power of attorney was of "vital importance", she stressed, while advisers were also well placed to start a conversation between family members to ensure an appropriate power of attorney is in place for both financial matters and health and welfare.
For the younger generation, Griffin said concerns consisted of paying school fees, mortgages and saving for retirement, and advisers should work to help their clients create a financial plan that was suitable to their needs and, as such, should help improve their mental health.
"Once appointed, an adviser can then help facilitate frank conversations between their clients and their power of attorney so everyone is clear on the financial situation and the clients' wishes."
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