Over the past thirty years that I have worked as a financial advisor, my role in a client’s life has dramatically changed. More often than not, I find myself guiding my client’s life, not wealth. I help get each client through tough life transitions, situations, and family matters. When it comes down to it, money doesn’t matter if your quality of life isn’t where you want it to be during your retirement.
On September 27th, 2017, I hosted a live on-air drive-time radio show at News Talk 990 AM WNTP Philadelphia. I dedicated this opportunity to educate the public on the opioid epidemic. I interviewed the Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy, a crusader for addiction awareness, and a person who went through the battle himself, to discuss the national crisis and what can be done. Kennedy and I called opioid addiction a crisis then, and shortly after, President Donald Trump declared a national public health emergency to combat the opioid crisis on October 26th, 2017.
For the opioid epidemic, I do not have a case study for just what one client went through, I have a case study for many. The truth is, many of my clients have experienced the impact of opioid addiction with someone in their families or someone close to them.
Contrary to what one may think, a good financial advisor can get an indication just from budgeting and spending habits some signs of addiction in a family. Early in my career, addiction used to be primarily alcohol or gambling, but unfortunately now the opioid epidemic has taken over.
Some tell-tale signs I have noticed in clients who have had a loved one suffer from the disease over the years are:
1.) Mood, character, and lifestyle changes.
2.) Unusual spending habits.
3.) Questions on how to help a family member with a job, money or legal issues.
4.) A complaint from a client about a family member asking for money.
From my experience, my clients either have children, grandchildren, in-laws, or relatives struggling from this addiction. A good chance is, your financial advisor is aware that there is an addiction. It might be time to open up to your advisor and seek guidance on these matters.
In the next installment of this blog, we will discuss how to talk about your pain points, how to plan for a loved one suffering an opioid addiction, and helpful ways to discuss the matter. It’s time to break the silence and get the guidance you deserve.