Just what the doctor (and financial advisor) ordered
Healthcare expense is the number one driver of personal bankruptcy in America and also one of the top three expenses we will face in retirement. Add the fact that, according to the Federal Reserve, the median balance of retirement accounts held by Americans totals less than $60,000. Yet, a couple retiring at 65 can expect to spend approximately $220,000 on health care costs during retirement. These facts demonstrate the challenge Americans face when attempting to plan for a prosperous retirement in the face of rising healthcare costs. My project, Healthcare Financial Advising™, is a solution.
At Allegacy, our mission is to help members make smart financial choices. Our core focus is coupled with a well-established internal culture focused on investing in the wellbeing of our employees. In 2009, we began laying the foundation to build a culture of health at Allegacy. This investment has resulted in powerful outcomes as our employees achieved a 50% reduction in controllable risk factors that lead to future chronic conditions. They are avoiding unnecessary healthcare costs, increasing productivity, and experiencing a higher quality of life. These strong outcomes have earned us several wellness awards which you can view here.
The goal of Healthcare Financial Advising™ is to provide financial planning that is distinctive, reliable, and meaningful. Participants receive a Health Risk Assessment that provides a highly accurate prediction of their future health based upon their current state of health. This part of our process is fully managed by our partners at Novant Health. The participants then partner with our experienced financial advisors to receive a prediction of how their future health will impact their future financial plan. Simply put, if healthcare expense is one of the top costs during retirement, we are able to use predictive analytics to help participants in a way not possible previously.
Allegacy’s Healthcare Financial Advising™ service is distinctive, because we are the only providers in our marketplace that surround your planning process with experts in both financial planning and healthcare with the desire to help you have resources to improve both sides of the health and wealth conversation. It is reliable, as it is facilitated by trusted organizations that have served our community for a combined 170 years. Lastly, it is meaningful, as we are addressing how to plan for a top driver of retirement expense, while simultaneously extending resources that support our participant’s ability to make lifestyle changes that may result in avoiding unnecessary future costs.
We vetted this project by including physicians, healthcare administrators, corporate wellness consultants, legal experts, our investment group program manager, certified financial planners, registered financial assistants, and our broker dealer. Each party reviewed the model, goals, and process through their unique subject matter lens. The ultimate goal of this vetting was to ensure we launched with our best foot forward.
We have extended this service directly into the healthcare community and are actively training a team of physicians to introduce the collaboration to their patients. Over the next months, two physicians and their supporting staff will be fully trained as an additional educational arm for our efforts. The positive feedback received through the testing and training, combined with the use of well documented process maps, confirm our belief that we will be able to guide other credit unions to provide the same service to their members.
Our overarching goal is to provide an exceptional experience that facilitates membership growth based in strong relationships. As we actively move from concept, to strategy, to implementation, we also set a goal of engaging 75 participants by the end of the year. That is 75 individuals who, prior to partnering with Allegacy, did not have previous access to resources which build a bridge between their health and wealth!
Our mission, helping members make smart financial choices has guided our organization’s decision making for decades. It’s simply the right thing to do for our community and our members’ wellbeing. My experience designing an organizational culture of health, combined with a background in healthcare and financial services, fuels my passion to connect the dots between topics of health and wealth.
What giant problems are facing the broader communities you serve? How can you play a strategic role in creating solutions through collaborating with partners outside your credit union? If you find these questions to be far-fetched, I challenge you to consider that they are likely the same questions the founders of the credit union industry asked over 100 years ago.