While saving, investing, and planning are at the foundation of secure, long-term retirement portfolios, the close relationships and personal connections financial advisors share with their clients are at the center of what’s important.

Sometimes advisors can get caught up in market returns, advising, or planning, and look up only to realize they’ve forgotten a special birthday, new grandchild, or anniversary. As an advisor, beyond the fiduciary standard to place clients’ interest before your own, having a genuine interest in the personal lives of clients and their families is important for strong long-lasting relationships.

Money is personal, and many people avoid talking about it. Advisors can be tasked with hosting difficult meetings and communicating information to family members that the client is reluctant to discuss themselves. Client-advisor relationships that are formed through and based on trust are crucial to planning for future generations.

Trust grows when an advisor can anticipate a client’s needs and resolve problems before they ever materialize. That kind of personal attention and focus is the hallmark of a good advisor. When clients know that their advisors are paying closer attention to their portfolios than they are, it allows them to sleep better at night knowing they are in good hands.

Some financial decisions aren’t made based on numbers in a spreadsheet. A lot of them are made with and driven by feelings and emotions such as fear and anxiety. Making difficult decisions and being faced with challenging circumstances are inevitable, and having an advisor whom you trust to help navigate those situations is valuable when the time comes.

Financial advisors are sometimes the first to hear news about an unexpected surgery or a lost job. They can be called on to help sort out Medicare and Social Security applications or to help with an estate plan. Questions can come up about selling a home, buying a home, or even repairing a home. While advisors may not have the expertise or the credentials to help with home repairs, the good ones know people who can.

When the advisor role extends beyond financial guidance and provides comprehensive support and understanding through the complications and celebrations in everyday life, true value is created.

I had the good fortune to work with an award-winning veteran in the Oklahoma City financial community, and he would always remind me, “this business is about the people”.