Retired people have valuable insights they can share with those who are near retirement, according to Mike Lynch, managing director of applied insights at Hartford Funds, and he says advisors who can connect these two sets of people can add value to their services and differentiate themselves from the competition.

That’s one of the reasons Lynch, a 25-year veteran of the financial services business, created the idea for a “retirement mentorship” program that can be incorporated into one's practice.. The program allows advisors to arrange for their retired clients to share their experiences with those nearing retirement.

Connecting these clients can make a difference to those getting ready to stop working, Lynch said in an interview.

He got the idea for the mentorship program while sharing the stage with a group of retirees at an MIT conference a few years ago.

“After the conference, there was a line out the door of people waiting to talk to a retired couple who were part of the conference’s panel discussion on longevity,” Lynch said. “People wanted to hear more from them about their experiences and the insights they gained while being retired.”

He said that retirement can be intimidating to those nearing it. If you have clients who are enjoying retirement and are “successful” at it, Lynch says other clients “will be interested in knowing how the satisfied clients got there.”

The mentoring can take a number of forms, depending on the clients’ needs. It can be a one-on-one meeting, a blog posting, a video or a newsletter. It can be a onetime thing or an ongoing arrangement.

Some clients will want to know how they fill up their day once they stop working, he said. Others may want practical advice on how to be a caregiver or handle health and insurance needs.

“Setting up this kind of program also makes the client look at the advisor a little differently,” he said. “The client learns firsthand that the advisor is listening to his or her concerns.”