October is such an exciting time of year. The nights grow longer, the air feels crisper, and kids young and old can’t stop thinking about their Halloween costumes.
As if that’s not enough to get your heart racing, it’s also Financial Planning Month.
I’m kidding (sort of). I mean, some people do get fired up about financial planning topics (the team here at SuperScript, for example). But chances are, your audience is a little more “meh” on the subject. If you’re a financial marketer who feels like you’ve covered all the financial planning basics already, finding a new angle can be a challenge.
Lucky for you, finding new angles to old money stories is our jam. Let’s explore some fresh takes on financial planning themes — and get your audience pumped for planning season.
Financial Planning Month is one of those “holidays” like National Donut Day (June 2nd) or International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th) that seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the last decade or so. However, like the financial planning profession itself, the idea has grown to a point where even non-financial planners may be vaguely aware of its existence.
Why is Financial Planning Month in October? One theory is that it’s right before the holiday spending season and the end of the year, so it’s an opportune time to talk about budgeting, saving, spending, and year-end planning.
(Psst! If you know the true origins of Financial Planning Month, please comment below. After extensive Googling and decades working in this industry, we still can’t figure it out).
In any event, Financial Planning Month is a thing, and most of us financial marketers agree that it exists. Which is awesome, because it’s an opportunity to educate and engage our audiences about the wonderful world of financial planning. Some key financial planning topics include:
Basically, if it will help your audience plan for a better financial life, it’s a good topic to tackle this month.
Many financial marketers use themed months like these to cover the basics. Having a collection of evergreen blogs that educate your audience on the essentials will help them achieve their goals and help you build brand awareness and authority.
Some evergreen financial planning themes include:
If your financial planning content is feeling a bit thin, these timeless topics are a great place to start.
Tip: Evergreen content doesn’t have to be boring. Can you hit a trending theme in your intro? Can you customize a generic topic for your ideal audience? Either of these tactics should help liven things up — and don’t forget to update it on a semi-regular basis.
Some evergreen financial planning content we love:
If you’ve already covered the basics, you may need to dig deeper to attract interest to your blog and create some social media buzz this month. We’ve lined up 5 compelling content themes that make Financial Planning Month a fake holiday to get real excited about.
Theme #1: Money is stressful — but financial planning can help
If you feel like we’re all more stressed than ever these days, you are not imagining things.
According to ValuePenguin, 84% of people report feeling stressed on a weekly basis, up from 78% last year. Not surprisingly, money is by far the biggest stressor. 32% say that money is their biggest source of stress, while 11% cite work as their main pain point. Considering the close link between the two, it’s pretty clear that our finances are freaking us out.
We see a lot of financial planning content that deals with dollars and cents, but not enough that gets into the emotional side of things. Your audience wants you to acknowledge their pain — in fact, 72% of respondents in an eMoney survey said having a financial advisor understand their stress was key to personalized services.
Theme #2: Financial planning in a post(ish)-pandemic world
The pandemic changed a lot of things in our society, but arguably one of the biggest shifts was how we “do” work. People quit their jobs en masse in the Great Resignation, choosing to switch careers, start businesses, seek new employer benefits, or better handle the growing workload at home.
It’s pretty clear that values around making a living have evolved, and financial plans will need to evolve with them.
Theme #3: The rise of alternative financial planning models
Historically, you could get financial planning services in one of two ways. Your could go to an advisor, who likely has a hefty investment minimum and charges a percent of assets under management. Or you could pay hundreds — even thousands — for an ad hoc plan from a financial planner.
Both of these models have flaws. For example, the first one is not accessible to people who don’t yet have assets to manage, and the second one is just a plan on paper that clients can easily ignore or forget after leaving the planner’s office.
Fortunately, new models have come into play to solve these problems, including subscription services and financial coaching. These approaches typically don’t require investment minimums and are usually more budget-friendly. And because they’re designed to provide ongoing support vs. a one-and-done financial plan, they can evolve with the client’s needs.
Coaches in particular focus on the behavioral aspects of finance, which tends to be a gap in traditional financial planning. They may also offer group coaching services which can significantly lower the price of admission.
Theme #4: Retirement goal posts are
Retirement has long been the undisputed champion of financial goals, but that may be changing.
A recent Transamerica study found that 49% of Baby Boomers and 38% of Gen Xers plan to work past age 70 or, get this, do not plan to retire at all. The reasoning appears to be a combo of not being financially prepared and also wanting to stay active and healthy in old age.
From a financial planning perspective, there’s a lot to unpack here. The report also includes data on Millennials and Gen Z — worth a read to understand how different generations view and plan for retirement.
Topic #5: The great generational wealth transfer
A lot has been said about the great generational wealth transfer — where an estimated $84 trillion in accumulated wealth is expected to pass from older to younger generations in the next few years — so we won’t go into detail here.
Suffice it to say, this is a big deal in the financial planning space. As Stefon would say, this story has everything — estate planning, tax planning, charitable giving, and that thing where a lot of families don’t talk about money until something terrible happens and everyone has to drop everything and deal with it.