Financial Advisors: Engage Your Clients in the Financial Planning Process by Starting with a Retirement Vision

Dec 14, 2023

As a Financial Advisor or Planner, you already know how challenging it can be to get your existing and prospective clients engaged with the financial planning process.

What we have found, in practice, is that starting with creating a retirement vision first can make all the difference in the level of engagement and interest from the client.

Let’s dig into some of the specific reasons why this has proven to be both helpful and impactful for Advisors when it comes to getting client engagement. Then, we can talk about the “how”.

Why should Advisors start the financial planning process with helping to create a retirement vision?

  1. Personalization and Customization:
    • Creating a retirement vision allows Advisors to tailor financial plans to each client’s unique goals, aspirations, and lifestyle preferences.
    • Personalization makes the financial plan more relevant and meaningful, increasing the likelihood that clients will actively engage in the planning process.
  2. Motivation and Commitment:
    • A well-defined retirement vision can serve as a powerful motivator for clients. When individuals have a clear picture of their desired retirement lifestyle, they are more likely to commit to the financial strategies necessary to achieve those goals.
    • It helps clients stay focused on the long-term benefits of financial planning rather than getting bogged down by short-term challenges.
  3. Risk Tolerance Alignment:
    • Understanding a client’s retirement vision helps Advisors assess their risk tolerance accurately. Clients are more likely to accept and adhere to a financial plan that aligns with their comfort level regarding investment risk.
  4. Communication and Collaboration:
    • Discussing retirement visions fosters open communication between Advisors and clients. It encourages a collaborative relationship where clients feel comfortable sharing their dreams and concerns.
    • This collaborative approach strengthens the Advisor-client relationship, promoting trust and confidence.
  5. Realistic Goal Setting:
    • Establishing a retirement vision aids in setting realistic and achievable financial goals. This prevents clients from setting overly optimistic or unattainable objectives, which can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.
  6. Long-Term Planning:
    • Retirement visions shift the focus from short-term financial concerns to long-term planning. This shift encourages clients to think strategically about their financial future, promoting a disciplined and sustainable approach to wealth management.
  7. Emotional Connection to Planning:
    • Connecting financial planning to personal goals and aspirations creates an emotional link for clients. This emotional connection can drive a deeper commitment to the financial planning process.
  8. Adaptability to Change:
    • Life is dynamic and circumstances can change. A retirement vision provides a framework that can be adjusted as life events unfold, ensuring that the financial plan remains relevant and adaptable over time.

Helping clients create a retirement vision is a holistic and client-centred approach that goes beyond just numbers and investments. It makes financial planning more meaningful, relevant, and engaging for clients, fostering a collaborative and committed relationship between the Advisor and the client.



This Marketing Guide has been created to provide Financial Advisors & Planners with the foundational knowledge needed to build an online presence, create and share valuable content, and engage with prospects and clients through email marketing.

Download your free Financial Advisor’s Digital Marketing Guide here, released January 2024.

Do you find it difficult to get your existing Advisory clients and new prospects interested in financial planning? Are you sending out financial planning questionnaires that rarely get completed and returned?

This virtual financial planning session will provide you with a proven process to get existing clients and prospects on board and engaged with the financial planning process.


Advisors can generate interest in the financial planning process by first helping to create a retirement vision.

Each practice will develop their own tailored financial planning process that is aligned with their clients’ unique needs, but the starting point can remain consistent — and that’s leading with creating a retirement vision. What we have found, in practice, is that Advisors who lead with creating the retirement vision first have a much higher success rate in generating interest in the financial planning process.


Canadian Financial Advisors can now create a one-page financial plan summary report with Snap Projections financial planning software.




Here are some ideas that are specific to parts of the financial planning process where you can dig deep to try and further uncover your client’s retirement vision:

  1. Discovery Session:
  2. Financial Health Assessment:
  3. Risk Tolerance Assessment:
    • Evaluate the client’s risk tolerance by discussing their comfort level with investment volatility and potential financial uncertainties.
    • Align investment strategies with the client’s risk tolerance to ensure a suitable and sustainable approach.
  4. Lifestyle Budgeting:
    • Work collaboratively to create a detailed retirement budget that reflects the client’s desired lifestyle. This includes estimating expenses for housing, healthcare, travel, entertainment, and other discretionary spending.
  5. Scenario Planning:
  6. Contingency Planning:
    • Address potential risks and uncertainties, such as health issues or unexpected expenses. Develop contingency plans to mitigate these risks and ensure financial resilience.
  7. Education and Awareness:
    • Educate clients about government benefits, tax implications, and other financial considerations specific to retirement in Canada.
    • Increase awareness of the importance of estate planning and legacy considerations.
  8. Regular Review and Adjustment:
    • Establish a schedule for regular reviews to assess progress toward retirement goals and make necessary adjustments.
    • Encourage clients to update their retirement vision as life circumstances change.
  9. Collaborative Goal Setting:
  10. Visualization Techniques:
    • Encourage clients to use visualization techniques to imagine their ideal retirement. This can include creating vision boards or writing a detailed narrative of their envisioned retirement lifestyle.
    • Use financial planning software that supports creating visualizations with colourful, easy-to-understand graphs and charts.
  11. Technology and Tools:
  12. Family Involvement:
    • If applicable, involve family members in the planning process, especially when considering legacy planning and potential financial support for family members.

By combining financial expertise with a client-centred, holistic approach, Advisors can help their clients create a retirement vision that is both realistic and personally meaningful. Regular communication, ongoing collaboration, and a commitment to adaptability are key elements in ensuring that the retirement vision remains relevant over time.

Canadian Financial Advisors, Planners, and Investment Managers are eligible to start a 14-day Free Trial of Snap Projections financial planning software.

The Financial Advisor's Marketing Guide


The Financial Advisor’s Marketing Guide

Learn how to build an online presence, create and share valuable content, and engage with prospects and clients through email marketing.