13 May 2022

How a Midlife MOT can strengthen your client relationships

Your client’s midlife can be an exciting time. As they reach their 40s and 50s, they’ve hopefully been around for long enough to work out exactly who they are and what they want to get out of life. And they’re still young and energetic enough to head out and make it happen.

That makes midlife a great time to take stock of where they are right now, what the immediate future holds for them, and how they’d like their later life to look. They’ll probably be looking to build up their financial resilience too.

Of course, you’ll already be helping them with that. Your independent advice is an essential part of helping them achieve the best financial outcomes. But even the widest-ranging advisers can only go so far. It’s very unlikely that your clients will come to you for health or careers advice, for example.

That’s why we’ve created our Midlife MOT with The Open University.

Showing your clients you care about the bigger picture

The Midlife MOT is a free work, wellbeing, and financial health check. It will help your clients make more informed life choices, complementing the advice you offer them.

The course does have a financial component – but it’s not meant to replace your advice and support. Rather, it will give your clients a broader, longer term perspective on their financial needs that will:

  • Help them have more focussed and productive conversations with you.
  • Help you better understand and serve their mid- and long-term financial needs.

Introducing them to the Midlife MOT will also help them see how you understand their financial health and resilience as a key component of their broader wellbeing.

So what does the Midlife MOT cover?

Our Midlife MOT will help your clients think through their:

  • Financial wellbeing
  • Working life
  • General health and fitness.

They’ll assess where they are, think through where they’d like to end up and then plan how they’ll get there. As they go, they’ll cover topics like:

  • Boosting their financial fitness with a rainy day emergency fund
  • Paying down their debts and growing their pension savings
  • Understanding the five pillars of healthy ageing
  • Staying in shape on their own terms
  • Making sure they’ve got the right work/life balance
  • Managing the day-to-day challenges of modern working life.

The course is free and should take them about four hours to complete. They can move through it at their own speed and convenience. To sign up for it, they just need to visit The Open University's OpenLearn.

“I’m a huge supporter of midlife MOTs, so it’s great to see Legal & General partnering with the Open University to deliver a course to help people between 40 and 60 build financial resilience and enjoy fuller working lives. The last two years have brought the importance of financial resilience into sharp focus – making a free online Midlife MOT course a timely initiative.”

Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Department for Work and Pensions

"I found the course so very helpful and insightful that I completed it all this evening. It covered a lot of things which had been on my mind for a few weeks."

Midlife MOT course participant

Key blockers to midlife planning

Financial support and unpaid care needs are big blockers to mid- and later life planning. Financial responsibilities tend to peak when people are about 45, with caring ones becoming more common from 58 on, though of course they can be challenging at any age. In fact almost a third of midlifers know that their loved ones would not be able to support themselves without their help1.

If your clients are in midlife now, they’ll also experience a rising State Pension age and a longer working life than previous generations. Their working lives might also be at a crossroads, whether they’ve chosen to strike out in a new direction or are taking stock after redundancy.

Putting those midlife planning challenges in perspective

1 in 6 midlifers support other adults financially, with just over 1 in 7 of them financially supporting grown-up children. The annual cost of caring for other generations has gone up by £300 over the past 15 years, with the pandemic probably increasing it further2.

  • That’s why the Midlife MOT is completely free. And it’ll help your clients think through their current outgoings to see where they can make savings and gain from efficiencies they might have missed.

1 in 7 midlifers provide unpaid care, with 1 in 10 of them looking after an elderly parent. That usually take between 11 and 15 hours a week – the equivalent of a part time job. Just under half of midlifers feel overwhelmed by their commitments every week.

  • That’s why they can move through the Midlife MOT at their own speed. They can take as much time as they want, stopping and starting anywhere and skipping over sections they’re not interested in.

1 in 4 midlifers gets less than an hour to themselves in a day. 1 in 5 of them spend no time on improving their financial wellbeing in the average week. And in the last 18 months, just under 1 in 20 have left work due to family responsibilities.

  • That’s why the Midlife MOT makes focussed, practical recommendations. It’ll show them how small changes can make a big difference to their work, health and financial wellbeing.

What’s next?

The course is ready and waiting for your clients over at OpenLearn. We’d recommend taking a look through it yourself to get a better sense of how it works. You just need to set up a free account and get stuck in. It’s a quick and easy read, especially if you skip over all the exercises it contains.

Our sources

1Over 50s in the labour market: a report for Legal & General. Centre for Economics and Business. 2021.
2Opinium analysed data from the ONS to look at the most relevant spending among households where the household reference person is closest to the midlife cohort (in this case 50-64). The trends from the ONS Family Spending series indicate that spending on areas such as health and education, which are some of the main areas of spend for those providing care or financial support, is approximately £300 higher than it was for households where the household reference person is a midlifer compared to 15 years ago.