One Advisor Gets Thousands of Views Talking about ‘Retirement Depression’

Three tips to help you plan your video content.

Laura Garfield
Laura Garfield

Retirement is supposed to be bliss, right? You’ve planned for it, saved for it, dreamed about it. Some people can practically taste it even before they get there. Then, sometimes years into it and seemingly out of the blue, some retirees run headlong into clinical depression.

Financial advisor Traci Richmond, who heads The Meakem Group in Bethesda, Md., had a first-hand brush with it. A retired client went through a dramatic personality shift that left Traci wondering what was happening. A phone call to her client’s husband gave her some answers when she heard, “It’s not you. She’s been like this with everyone lately.” It left Traci wondering if this was an isolated case.

After digging into the research, she was surprised to find some eye-opening statistics on retirement and depression. Did you know that:

  • The likelihood that someone will become depressed goes up by 40% after retirement
  • The highest suicide rate in the United States is among those over the age of 65.

As a financial advisor who worked with plenty of retirees, Traci felt the need to talk about what she’d uncovered. Because she was already creating videos throughout the year to share with clients and prospects, it was easy to add the topic of retirement depression into her content plan.

Here’s one of Traci’s retirement depression posts.

The Best Stories are Right Under Your Nose

Traci’s topic presented itself in the same way some of the best story ideas do … as a surprise. She says she had that moment when she realized, “This isn’t just my clients. It’s a real thing happening to other people.” A moment of clarity like that shouldn’t be ignored. Recognize those “ah-ha” moments as a story worth talking about.

If video is part of your marketing plan, how do you recognize the topics that people will want to watch? Finding the right story can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks for advisors creating videos.

Here are three easy ways to find your own “ah-ha” ideas that will matter to your clients and prospects:

  1. Be an archeologist of past conversations. Pull up your calendar and take a hard look back over the last two months. What are you looking for? Start scanning your calendar events for meetings with clients, prospects and centers of influence (COIs). As you look over them, see if any pop out at you by jarring your memory. Think about what you talked about in those meetings. What was on their mind? Were you hearing the same things repeatedly? Did you hear anything that surprised you? Were there topics that came up more than once? Start a list of what comes to mind.
  2. Be a record keeper in the near future. Keep a log for the next two months. What are you writing down in this log? The same kind of ideas you generated from exercise No. 1. When a question or theme comes up in a conversation with a client, prospect or COI, just make a note. After two months, review your list and pick the topics you feel will have the biggest impact.
  3. Don’t be afraid to be different. Your best topics aren’t those that everyone else is already talking about. Traci found that out when she started creating content about retirement depression. Take a unique approach and remember that the narrower your audience, the more your content will have an impact. Retirement depression doesn’t matter to everyone, but for those who are experiencing it or have a loved one going through it, a video like Traci’s can make all the difference.

Creating Content that Makes a Difference

In addition to making videos, Traci started talking to her clients who were nearing retirement and those already in it about the reality of depression. Thanks to her research, she had resources ready, and had even discovered a therapist in her community who only treated retirees.

Since she started those conversations, another client told Traci that she’d gone through some really dark days where it was all she could do to get out of bed, to her chair in front of the TV, and then back to bed. Medication and professional help had pulled her out of it. And Traci was surprised to find that among all of the stories she heard, the depression didn’t begin right after retirement started. It set in years later.

Additional Reading: Substance Abuse Among Baby Boomers is Escalating 

Traci was able to help her clients in a new way, but unexpectedly, she started helping people who weren’t her clients. The videos she’d posted on YouTube got traction. Thousands of people clicked and watched Traci talk about retirement depression. Because, while there are a lot of advisors out there creating content about why you need a will, asset allocation and the value of family meetings — it turns out there aren’t many making videos about the very real and delicate subject of retirement depression.

Watch Traci’s videos here.

It took eight months and therapy, but the client who inspired Traci did come out of what she later called her post-retirement “temporary period of craziness.” She got back to her old self and inspired one advisor to start talking about an important topic that’s easy to avoid.

Note: Retirement depression can be hard to spot. If you or someone you love seems to lose interest in things you used to care about, withdraw from people who are close to you or experience personality changes, you can get professional help from SAMHSA by calling 1-800-622-4357.

 Laura Garfield is co-founder of Idea Decanter, a video marketing company that creates custom videos remotely for financial advisors. Laura’s team helped Traci produce, record, and edit the videos in her retirement series and her ongoing marketing strategy. To find out more about how to create videos remotely visit www.ideadecanter.com or email laura@ideadecanter.com.

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