Applied Financial Planning

Handwashing and social distancing: Creating adviser opportunities

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Health and safety concerns and heightened uncertainty are fuelling demand for personal advice, but how big is the opportunity?

COVID-19 has increased everyone's awareness of the importance of health and safety. For example, prior to early 2020, people were relatively laissez-faire about hygiene and personal space. Now they vigorously wash their hands perhaps up to 20 times a day, flinch if someone stands too close to them; and at restaurants, menus are becoming rarer. More than a year on, the threat of COVID-19 remains, meaning improved health and safety practices are pretty much a permanent way of life.

Further, people are thinking about other things they can do to better manage their health and protect their loved ones, such as ensuring appropriate life insurances are in place. Australians are also spending less and saving more with one third of households reporting a drop in income due to COVID-19, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies' (AIFS) Families in Australia Survey: Life During COVID-19, Report no. 6: Financial wellbeing and COVID-19 publication of November 2020. COVID-19 may have started as a health crisis, but it quickly morphed into a financial and social crisis. At its peak, almost one million Australians had lost their jobs.