Typical advisor clients used to worked at places where they enrolled in a retirement plan on day one. Then, when they quit their jobs after saving money for many years, they never worked again.

But that model often no longer applies, with part-or full-time freelancers becoming a bigger part of the American workplace, and with "retirees" continuing to work past age 65.

It's a trend that advisors need to be aware of, as more clients in the coming years may be freelancers or independent contractors.

About 56.7 million Americans are independent workers, according to a study, "Freelancing in America 2018," that was co-authored by the Freelancers Union That is an increase of some 3.7 million over the past five years. Freelancers now comprise a little more than a third of the American workforce, the report said.

"Average weekly hours spent freelancing increased 72 million hours per week from week from 998 million in 2015 to more than one billion hours per week of freelancing this year," the report said.

The number of freelancers is expected to dramatically increase over the next two years, meaning financial advisors are more likely to be serving clients in this job category, the Freelancers Union added.

"We have freelancers even though we were not targeting them," said Robert Greenman, a CFP with his own firm in Portland, Ore. "They have special needs."

Advisors, Greenman said, can fill some of the roles of the traditional employer, who most employees have depended on for a range of services, including saving for retirement.

"Retirement planning is a big issue with freelancers and we need to help them set up plans." Greenman said. That means helping freelancers set up Roth IRAs and solo 401(k) plans, he added.

"In some ways, these plans can be simpler than traditional retirement plans because they are being set up for only one person and they can be run in a way in which there are low or no administrative costs," he said.

Another advisor said retirement is only one factor that makes independent workers a unique class of clients.

First « 1 2 3 » Next