Worry can paralyze you. You don’t want to make any important decisions because disaster might be around the corner. Different people worry about different things. Some worry about world events, others, the economy. Let us not forget the stock market. Worrying is bad for your health. As their financial advisor, can you help remove the burden of worry?

Here is a personal example: My divers license was up for renewal. This happens every four years. During the pandemic, it was done automatically. This year, I would need to show up and go through the process in person. I worried about lots of things: Do I have a record of traffic violations? (You see those traffic cameras everywhere!) Will I need an eye exam? If so, can I wear my glasses? I even went to the optometrist for an exam months before the renewal time.

I showed up, checked in and waited my turn. The procedure took a few seconds. No checking traffic records I could see. No eye exam. I got my photo taken, answered general questions on a touch pad and waited about 10 minutes to be handed my new license. So, what was I worrying about? It all went fine!

Let us look at some of those client worries and to see if they are rational.

1. I am worried about the stock market. It has been said the stock market climbs a wall of worry.

What is their fear? Although it is unlikely, the stock market will go down to zero. Their assets will vanish.

Is it likely? Not very. The economy runs in cycles. There are support and resistance levels. Do they believe in capitalism? Yes.

Talking points. The stock market has historically done well over long periods of time. The CEOs who run big companies are good at cutting expenses and raising prices to keep earnings growing. We have gotten through tough times before.

2. I am worried about inflation. It was a big problem in the 1980s. The Federal Reserve got it down and it stayed down, until around the time the pandemic lockdown ended, and supply chain disruption entered our vocabulary.

What is their fear? High inflation will not go away. It will only get worse. Their expenses will keep climbing forever.

Is it likely? No. The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates high to navigate through this high inflation period, until the inflation rate falls.

Talking points. The silver lining is you can get decent returns on bank CDs now. Some companies might have pushed up prices more than they should have because they saw an opportunity to make money. When prices get too high, less people buy. They find alternatives. New competitors enter the market. From the stock market perspective, some companies do well in inflationary times. What are they? What are inflation-linked government bonds?

3. I am worried about interest rates. We had very low rates. Then inflation came. Now we have higher rates.

What is their fear? This is a good question. Do they feel rates are too high? Their variable rate debt like credit cards and HELOCs are more expensive? Do they feel rates are too low? They cannot lock in a high enough return on a 30-year bond.

Is it likely? Both extremes are likely. Rates will probably stay high for a while longer, until inflation comes down. At the same time, rates will probably stay low, meaning not go much higher. If they are waiting for 10% CDs, that is unlikely.

Talking points. If they think rates will go higher, have they discovered TIPS, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities? If they think rates will go lower, what attractive yields can you show them on longer term insured CDs?

4. I worry I will run out of money in retirement. This is a worry many people have. They know there are big unknowns like healthcare costs. They do not want to become a burden to their children.

What is their fear? They will have to move in with their kids. Their kids are worried about this too.

Is it likely? Hopefully not. You have been doing retirement planning, projections and saving for years.

Talking points. If they are really concerned, it is a great motivator to save more before retirement. They can also get their overhead expenses down. You can run various “what if” scenarios using retirement planning software from your firm.

5. I worry about the amount I owe. They might be carrying lots of credit card debt. Tax time, when they meet with their accountant, is a time for this come to the surface.

What is their fear? They have taken on debt that they can never repay.

Is it likely? You need to look at the big picture. Generally speaking, if they have enough assets to become your client, it’s unlikely their debt exceeds their assets.

Talking points. You know the old expression, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Help your client regain control of their spending. Can they consolidate debt at a lower interest rate? What does your firm charge in interest on debt? Is there an appropriate solution?

6. I worry about my health. We are all getting older. If you watch TV ads for new drugs, the side effects mentioned sound very common. (Nausea, chills, loss of appetite.) You get the feeling you have this newly discovered illness.

What is their fear? I am going to die. I am near the end of my life.

Is it likely? Probably not. They are seeing their doctor(s) on a regular basis. These professionals are engaging in preventive medicine.

Talking points. The U.S. probably has the best healthcare in the world. Does your doctor say you are sick, or does he think you are healthy? Keep in touch with your doctors, but leave the worrying about health in their hands.

7. I am worried I weigh too much. Don’t we all. It is easy to indulge, but suddenly your pants no longer fit.

What is their fear? They will be this size or bigger forever.

Is it likely? This depends on if they are proactive. They should consult with their family physician. They should also keep track of how much they eat (and drink) and when.

Talking points. Defer to their family physician. They should not self-medicate. Watching their diet and exercising are good starting points.

8. I am worried about getting older. Although the human body seems like the only thing on Earth that can run for 100 years on its original parts, these parts wear out. We slow down.

What is their fear? Probably dying. They feel they have less days in front of them than behind them.

Is it likely? We will all die, but a lot depends on the medical care we get and taking care of ourselves.

Talking points. Are they seeing their family doctor on a regular basis? If your client can afford it, encourage them to spend some money traveling or doing things they enjoy. Don’t just sit around waiting for the inevitable.

9. I am worried about my children. Will they have a better life than me? Will they find a suitable partner? Will they achieve their full potential?

What is their fear? We all tend to feel the world today is a more dangerous place than it was when we were young. We worry about the impact this has on our children.

Is it likely? Parents have always wanted the best for their children. They will sacrifice to make that happen. Raising them right is the best they can do.

Talking points. You want the best for your children, but you need their “buy in.” You know what you want for them, but do you know what they want for themselves? Do they have a talent that should be nurtured? Are you aware of their activities in their day-to-day lives?

10. I worry about getting into an accident. You see car ads about accidents. The morning news usually starts with news of fender benders or serious accidents on local highways.

What is their fear? Why did this happen to those people? It could happen to me.

Is it likely? Random events are possible, but there are many steps you can take to minimize the possibility.

Talking points. Cars are built to strict safety standards. Cars today have cameras and sensors to detect a car in the next lane. You can take steps like not driving under the influence and always being alert when on the road.

11. I worry about unrest in the world. This can include wars, global warming, terrorism and world politics.

What is their fear? Someone will miscalculate and start something that cannot be stopped.

Is it likely? It always seems scary, but everyone has muddled through somehow in the past. There were two world wars and scares over nuclear weapons in the past.

Talking points. Governments employ many smart people. Cooler heads usually prevail. There has always been something going wrong. We muddle through.

We all worry about things. Often, they never happen. When we talk them out with someone, the anxiety can lessen as we consider the likelihood of something bad happening very low.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book Captivating the Wealthy Investor is available on Amazon.