Robert Laura, head of the Retirement Coaches Association (and a contributor to Financial Advisor magazine) said there’s going to be an increased demand for retirement coaching in the future from institutional clients who need help for their employees. And he urged his members to be prepared for the coming wave.

Interest in retirement planning is growing among Americans, and advisors and investment firms will want to ensure they have the tools and resources to accommodate these future clients, Laura said Tuesday at the association’s seventh annual conference, which was held online. 

Laura, who is also president of the Wealth & Wellness Group and author of the book Naked Retirement, said more firms were calling on the association’s expertise.

To illustrate his point, he described an email he recently received from a $600 billion global asset manager requesting help in improving its retirement program, including its marketing and promotion of new services. He pointed to the increasing interest in retirement coaching from large employers and institutions such as universities.

Laura said that if retirement coaches aren’t ready for this onslaught of demand, they should be—knowing what they can offer and getting a head start on putting it together. That means creating proposals and estimating costs for institutions and company clients. Retirement coaches should also determine how they can scale these programs so the clients know what the return on their investment is going to be.

“When these opportunities come in, how are you going to react to them and do you have the information ready to go?” he asked the audience. 

He said his own firm was ready with a proposal two weeks after a client request. 

“We talk about emotional intelligence with our clients as they make [the retirement] transition,” he said. “We need to have it for our business, not just for when things aren’t going the way we think but for when things are going better than expected."

He said the road will not be easy, and that advisors will experience setbacks and failures. However, he told the attendees to remain confident in themselves and compared it to making a promise to oneself and keeping that promise.

“If you keep promises to yourself, that means you’re making value-based decisions,” he said. “When your values are clear, your decisions are easy, and it's easier to overcome more things when you have that foundation.”