Legacy Financial Partners will be closed 12/31/15 and 1/1/16 for the New Year holiday.
North American Rate Decrease
North is reducing current rates on several non marketed life products. Most of the products affected are GUL’s whose pricing is based off of guaranteed rates not current rates. Call today for a full listing of affected products.
External Term Conversions
A potential source of new premiums are external term conversions. Several carriers allow a client to convert another carriers term plan to their permanent product. This can be a great opportunity when reviewing a prospect or clients current term coverage.
J.P. Morgan has agreed to pay over 307mm stemming from allegations that J.P. Morgan didn’t disclose to consumers their preference to invest clients money into their own investment products.
Signature Plus IUL
ANICO is rolling out a new FIUL on January 1st. The New product, Signature Plus IUL, offers competitive caps, multiple indices, and living benefits. In addition to this it offers an option C death benefit in addition to the standard A and B and also offers an interest bonus starting in year 11. Call today for details.
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Four Things That Will Impact Financial Advisors in 2016
Across the board, 2015 has been an especially eventful year. This is certainly true for the financial world, with many regulatory changes, legislative initiatives, and deeper signs of economic recovery. While we can’t say for sure the next year will be as eventful, we do know there are some things in 2016 that may affect the way financial advisors and agents do business. Here are four things that may impact you next year.
Although it sounds like a Star Wars droid, AG-49 actually stands for Actuarial Guideline XLIX. This a life insurance illustration regulation established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). When the NAIC initially adopted illustration regulations in 1995, indexed universal life insurance had yet to really exist. So in the past half-decade, as IUL became a popular life insurance solution, the NAIC took steps to incorporate it into their regulations. This is where we get AG-49.
The purpose of these changes proposed by AG-49 is to make IUL illustrations more consistent and to ensure that consumers understand how IUL policies credit growth. The first phase of AG-49 was implemented in September of 2015. This changed the way the crediting elements of IUL policies can be illustrated, applying benchmark standards for illustrated scales and discipline current scales.
In March of 2016, phase two of AG-49 will roll out. The main change from this second part relates to how policy loans can be illustrated. In an illustration that includes a policy loan—often a huge selling point for cash value life insurance contracts—the difference between the loan rate and illustrated yield cannot exceed 100 basis points, or 1%. These changes may inhibit the flexibility you have when illustrating these products to your clients.
Dept. of Labor Fiduciary Standard
Despite attempts, legislators opposed to the Dept. of Labor’s new, controversial fiduciary standard rule failed to attach a repeal or defunding rider to the must-pass omnibus bill. This means that the rule is going to push forward, and with President Obama expressing his support for it, the rule will likely weather further opposition.
The main crux of the rule is to hold advisors and agents to a fiduciary standard, similar to the SEC standard. This means that agents will have to disclose compensation and attest to acting in the client’s best interest. While this is good in theory, it may have an impact on how advisors can sell, reduce compensation, and change the way insurance carriers transact business.
Updated Mortality Tables
Beginning in 2016 all annuity carriers will update their mortality rate tables to reflect current life expectancies. This can have an impact for the consumer and you. While insurance companies shore up their liability to meet growing minimums due to longevity, the consumer will see a decrease in lower projected lower monthly benefit payments on income riders.
Federal Interest Rate Increase
After a long period of speculation, anticipation, and worry, the Fed finally raised rates earlier this month. This is the first raise in nearly seven years; a quarter point increase from historic lows. While this small hike can be taken as a sign the economy is ready to shake off some of it’s wounds, the increase can have a wide-ranging impact across many sectors, including the banking and finance industry. And what’s more important than this specific increase, are the other raises that will be coming in the future. Some, like The Street’s James Langford, suggest that interest rates will increase quicker than many are anticipating in 2016.
rofessionalism, and friendliness. The more you see these as opportunities, rather than duties of running a modern business, the more value you will get out of them.
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Legacy Financial Partners will be closed 12/24/15 and 12/25/15 in observance of the Christmas holiday.
Forethought and Equitrust have both increased rates on multiple products. Call for an updated rate sheet and additional details.
2016 is rapidly approaching. Available for download is our 2016 tax guide with updated rates for 2016.
Rates are going up. The federal reserve announced last week they will be raising rates incrementally over the course of 2016. Signaling a positive outlook on the economy.
The LibertyMark FIA series offered by Legacy Provides competitive upside potential with guaranteed growth. Seven and ten year surrender products are available that have the option of both up front and persistency bonuses. In addition to this the products write to age 85 and offer annual point to point caps as high as 6.75%. The products also offer a competitive minimum guarantee which is 1% on 100% of the premium instead of the standard 87.5%. Call today for additional details and state availability.
What Will Impact Boomers in 2016?
2016 Presents Many Challenges For Boomers, But Opportunities for Advisors
Most demographers consider the Boomer generation as being born between 1946 and 1964. Within this range, there is a wide variety of individuals. Those who came of age in the 1980s will certainly have a different range of experiences than those who came of age in the 1960s. But this generation is facing a shared general concern—longer life expectancies which imperil old modes of retirement planning. As an advisor, you probably already know this, but it’s important to keep in mind as you deal with this type of client. They may not know that they should be concerned or they may not know there are strategies that can help them.
Life expectancy for a 65-year-old American is three-to-four more years longer than the previous generation at the same age. This is a significant amount, and many can expect to live longer, which drains on retirement resources. This is especially true in a long-term care situation, where funds are depleted by a medical condition that a generation ago may have resulted in death. An Insured Retirement Institute survey, released in April of 2015, found that only 27% of boomers expressed confidence they will have enough money to last throughout retirement. The same survey found that only 6 out of 10 boomers had retirement money saved.
There are 10,000 people turning 65 everyday, a staggering number that is projected to maintain until 2030 or so. According to Pew Research, there are roughly 75 million boomers as of 2015. Although this number will naturally decrease as we approach the middle of the century, for the next thirty, thirty-five years, we have a huge swath of people that are facing a retirement crisis. Part of this may be because retiring at 65 may not make sense when life expectancy is extended by nearly a half-decade for today’s swath of boomers. Certainly many advisors will advocate delayed retirement and many boomers transition into retirement by working part-time. It is important to also consider that aging parents and adult children may burden many boomers, especially those born later in the range.
In addition to the background anxiety of securing retirement, boomers will likely be concerned with the following in 2016:
There are two aspects of social security that are likely to worry boomers in 2016.
The first is that there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Not only is this going to impact boomers/seniors on a very fixed income, this will also affect some Medicare beneficiaries—about 30%–who will see an increase in their Part B premiums. Although a flat COLA and rise in Medicare premiums will most directly impact fixed income retirees, higher net worth clients may see the changes (or lack of changes) in the programs as turbulence. Either way, it’s a good door opener topic for advisors and agents in 2016.
The second aspect of social security that may trouble boomers is the loss of the file and suspend strategy, which ends May 1. This has been a key strategy of social security maximization, and seniors likely need a better sense of how it will impact their specific retirement plan, especially if they are pre-retirement. Again, for the advisor, this presents a good door opener.
The 30% of Medicare beneficiaries who will see an increase in the Part B premiums includes those not receiving social security benefits, those that pay an additional income related premium (i.e. IRMAA), and new Part B beneficiaries. While the premium increase is not the 52 percent hike that Medicare Trustees Report predicted, the increase is a significant 16%, from $104.90 to $121.80. In addition to the raised premium, deductibles have increased.
A report released by the CDC in 2015 demonstrates the impact of living longer. While overall deaths are down for boomers (identified in the study as aged 55-64 years old), chronic conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes, have risen compared to the previous decade for the age group. These conditions may lead to other long-term care incidents and conditions. As such, long-term care may (and should) be a big concern for pre-retirees.
Obviously, we can’t predict what the stock market will do, but given the inherent risk of investing and the last few years of volatility, we know that it can be unpredictable. Not only do boomers have a significant amount of their retirement funds allocated in stocks, as many as 35% are overexposed, according to a Fidelity study released in 2015. Ten percent of boomers aged 51-69 have their entire 401(k)s allocated in stocks.
What we do know is that there are things that have have far-reaching impacts, such as the fed rate, oil prices, and global market influence. Because boomers are either pre-retirement or in retirement, they have no time margin to make up any deficits. So 2016 is a good year to discuss asset reallocation and risk exposure.
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Allianz has updated all of their applications for all products. Beginning January 1, 2016 they will no longer accept old versions of the applications. The new applications are currently available on the Allianz website.
Voya Introduces Orange Pass
Voya has launched a new streamlined simplified underwriting process called Orange Pass. This new program is available for applicants ages 16-50 and up to $500k in death benefit. Qualifying applicants won’t have to do lab work or exams and the application also has fewer questions than a traditional application. Call today for additional details.
Reliving Your First Year In The Business
As we come to the end of the year many advisors will reflect on the year and what they want next year to look like. Creating consistent growth year over year within your practice isn’t easy and many advisors find that their business growth consistently remains flat. We have compiled a list of the top contributors to stagnant growth along with potential solutions. Call today to request your guide or visit our website.
AIG Advisor Group
AIG has announced that it is entertaining offers for it’s network of independent broker dealers. The move is another step by AIG to focus on it’s core services.
Athene Performance Elite
Athene’s Performance Elite series offers 10 and 15 year surrender period. With 4% and 7% up front bonuses. In addition to this the products offer optional liquidity riders which bump the bonuses to 9% and 12%. In addition to this the products offer a variety of options including annual point to point caps as high as 6%. Call today for details and state availability.
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Four Marketing Platforms That Will Be Relevant in 2016
There’s no question that the financial services industry has changed over the last few years and will continue to change. We are, after all, in the age of robo-advisors, financial social media, digital optimization, fin-tech, and increased regulation. This is all set against the backdrop of market volatility, shifting demographics, and a larger sense of uncertainty amongst consumers. So how are you supposed to effectively market to new clients when it seems like everything is changing in all directions?
The answer will not come from one whiz-bang marketing platform or activity, but rather a collection of techniques. Technology will certainly be a factor, but so will the core things that make a financial advisor especially helpful to a consumer. In the last few years we’ve seen content and social media marketing mature, with consumers seeking out brands that can impart humanness through their digital platforms. With that said, here are four marketing mediums that will be relevant in 2016.
Over the years, we’ve seen the rise of video, from both a social angle and from a marketing angle, and in the realm where social and marketing intersect. In 2016, we expect video to continue it’s rise as a powerful marketing medium. According to ICE Portal, rich media, such as videos or interactive visual tools, “increase conversion rates by 64%.” In late 2014, eMarketer found the average engagement rate for rich media ads, including video, was 16.85%, vastly out-performing banners (2.14%) and mobile (1.62%). Obviously actual effectiveness may vary across industries, but the takeaway for advisors is that video is a tool that should not be ignored. Video can be implemented in (and enhance) almost all digital marketing activities. It can also be relatively inexpensive, whether it is produced in-house or through a vendor.
- Make your videos short, with the best production quality possible.
- Use video on your homepage
- Use video in your email marketing activities (not only can video increase open rates, it can help reduce email opt-outs)
- Be personable and educate
Video Conferencing and Personalized Video
Although the use of robo-advisors has increased, the reality is that nothing is going to replace the value a human expert can provide. Certainly there have been many articles written about robo-advisors and the potential threat they pose to agents and advisors, as well as to the consumer. Be aware, but don’t be scared. Instead embrace technology but retain the interpersonal essence that makes one-on-one advising so valuable to consumers. This is where we think video conferencing, as both a marketing tool and a service add, can enhance your value proposition while still engaging with an increasingly tech-savvy consumer base.
- Many video conferencing tools allow you to share (and even sign) documents. This can be great as you onboard a new, busy client
- Use video conferencing to engage with your client, with follow-ups, or even record a personalized video message
Did we say direct mail? Direct mail? Yes. Even as society becomes so dependent on the digital realm, direct mail has shown, time and time again, to still be an effective marketing medium. Why? There are probably many reasons why. For one, direct mail has a tactile aspect to it—your message is something that is tangible and can be held. Another reason is that because so many companies are focused on digital, a direct mailer is going to stand out more. A recent Direct Marketing Association study found that direct mail is far more effective than digital channels with house-file response rates. So, while you absolutely want to have a great digital presence, don’t forget the power of direct mail in 2016.
- Direct mail costs can range from relatively inexpensive to costly, depending on the campaign. If budget is a concern you should be judicious with the direct mail option
- Use digital targeting tools to dial-in your direct mail list
- Make offers that your target market will actually want
- Complement key digital marketing campaigns/offers with a direct mail component
We’ve already discussed a couple times the importance of mobile-friendliness when it comes to your digital collateral, but it’s worth bringing up again. In response to the growing usage of mobile platforms, Google made changes to it’s search algorithms earlier this year to prioritize mobile-friendly websites. With 60% of adults now using tablets or smartphones, over desktops, to get information about services or products, having a mobile-friendly version of your website will be crucial to staying in front of consumers over the next year. According to Social Media Today, nearly half of consumers “start mobile research with a search engine.” It’s not enough to be optimized on desktop anymore.
Your email content should likewise be optimized for mobile platforms, as mobile email opens have increased by 180% over the past three years. (Social Media Today).
- Test the mobile-friendliness of your website with this Google tool
- Create email campaigns with both desktop and mobile in mind
As we suggested in the introduction, focusing on just one of these will likely not give you the return on investment you’d like to see. All four platforms discussed above can be integrated with each other and just about any other marketing/lead generation activities you perform.
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American Equity Reminder
Effective December 31st American Equity will be lowering rates on their LIBR. In addition to this they will be discontinuing the Heritage Gold FIA on December 31st. To receive current rates, applications must be received in the home office by December 30th. Call for additional details and updated rates.
Athene has raised rates on several of their products including the Perfomance Elite, Target Horizon. Call for an updated rate sheet and state availability.
Throughout a persons lifetime they will most likely make investments, purchase insurance, and acquire assets. While most individuals will monitor the performance of these assets one aspect that can get less attention is beneficiary designations. Marriage, death, divorce, children etc. can all impact who a prospect wants as beneficiary of their assets. Beneficiary reviews are a great non invasive way to get in front of prospects and point their attention to a topic that they might not have given much thought to but should. Available for download is a great beneficiary review guide.
PBGC Premium Increase
Recently passed legislation included a provision to raise insurance premium for single employer pension plan sponsors. The increase an addition $4 billion to be paid to the PBGC through 2025.
Normally I use this section to discuss an individual product but, we’ve had a lot of questions recently on what life insurance carriers offer table shave programs. Table shave programs allow a prospect who might have some health issues qualify for a better rate. So for example if a carrier offers a table shave from standard to table 3 if the client gets approved down to a table 3 the carrier will automatically bump the client up to a standard risk class saving them a significant amount of money. We have compiled a list of all of the carriers that have a table shave program just give us a call or send an email to request it.
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5 Best Practices for Client Appreciation Events
Client appreciation events are a great way to reward your clients and reinforce your relationship with them. However, advisors and agents often struggle with how to properly run an effective (and fun) event. Many will offer a dinner, maybe a wine and cheese party, or even a few rounds of golf. While a free nice dinner is certainly nothing to sneeze at, putting on a memorable event goes beyond these approaches. Here are five best practices for organizing a knockout client appreciation event.
Time it Right
Many advisors time their get-togethers to occur around the holidays. This certainly makes sense—people are in a cheery mood, you may have more time available at the end of the year for an event, plus it serves as a good transition from one year to the next. It fits nicely with the sense of thankfulness and generosity that come with the holidays. However you may want to consider looking at off-holiday opportunities. This is because the end of the year can be a very busy time for your clients, even if it’s a wind-down time for you. Holding your completely awesome client event in the second or third week of December will be as good as not doing it all for some of your clients, possibly the ones you wish to acknowledge the most. So look at times that fit for you and your clients. Perhaps early November, or even in the summertime. You may even want to reach out to your top clients and ask them what dates work for them.
Know Your Client Base
Having a good knowledge of your clients’ interests will go a long way to organizing an effective event. You may have clients that love golf and some that absolutely hate it. You may have clients with food allergies or some that don’t drink alcohol. Having a good understanding of who you are putting the event on for, not just why, will make the event all the more meaningful. This will also affect whether the event is more formal or more casual. If you have more of a formal client base, a tailgate BBQ may not resonate. If you have a more casual base, a black-tie event may be uncomfortable.
No Pitching, No Selling
An invitation to an event run by a financial advisor or agent often means there will be selling involved. Consumers know this. Your clients know this and in fact you may have earned their business from an event like a dinner-plate seminar. However, with your client appreciation event you should not sell at all, because this is supposed to be about your appreciation of your current relationship with your clients. Presentations about a hot new product line or attempts at upselling will spoil the spirit of your get-together. Leave the upselling for policy reviews and follow-ups.
Allow Friends and Family of Your Clients
While you should not seek out referrals with an appreciation event, encouraging your clients to bring friends or family members is a good way to put your face in front of potential new clients. A successful, fun event will leave an impression that can pay off down the road. This does not mean, however, that you should actively collect information from potential clients. Rather, have a few business cards handy and brand the event if possible.
Make Your Client Appreciation Event Unique
A good client appreciation event will have two main things: a meaningful activity and an opportunity for interaction. A big stuffy dinner will have neither, no matter how delicious the steak is. A wine and cheese party may give an opportunity for conversation, but will likely not be that memorable.
A golf outing may be very memorable, but will not give a chance to interact with all of your clients if you have a large book. So when you think about a client appreciation event, look for more unique opportunities that fit your clients. Obviously budget can have some effect on what you are able to do, but it’s important to realize that, 1) client appreciation events are investments and 2) there are many relatively inexpensive unique solutions. You may look at holding your event on a rented yacht, as one of our advisors did. You may look at a tailgate BBQ event, if it’s appropriate for your clients.
If budget allows, you could even look at renting a skybox for sporting event in your area. Even something as simple as picnic can be memorable if it is tied to something else. The point is, to really show your sincere appreciation of your clients, look for events that are different than what they are used to.
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North American Reminder
Reminder that North American is sunsetting multiple products and introducing a new income rider. Contact us today to get updated application forms and additional details.
F&G Interest Rate Enhancement
For a limited time F&G is offering a 3% rate on their 5 year MYGA. To qualify for this enhanced rate applications must be submitted electronically, it must be cash with application, and the minimum premium is $20k. Call for additional details and state availability.
Everyone has a different personality but when it comes to saving and investing most people will fall into a few categories. Understanding this and being able to identify someone’s personality trait is an important part of running an appointment. Knowing how to articulate your message or recommendation to each personality type can help close more business. Available for download is a great guide that discusses the different personality types and optimal words and phrasing that can be used to effectively articulate your message.
Increases in 2016 medicare premiums aren’t as much as projected. The monthly increase for 2016 is ranges from $23-$54 over monthly rates from 2015.
Protective Custom Choice UL
Protective offers a highly competitive guaranteed universal product that offers flexibility and options. The product allows you to dial the guarantee to reduce pricing and also offers an Income Provider Option that allows you to reduce the pricing even further. It also offers a host of living benefits and a true LTC rider. Call today for details and state availability.
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Legacy Financial Partners will be closed Thursday November 26th and Friday November 27th in observance of the thanksgiving holiday.
Legacy Increasing Rates
Effective November 30, 2015 Legacy Marketing Group will be increasing rates on the LibertyMark FIA. Several indices will have increases. Call today for additional details.
The Right Words
What you say and how you phrase can be the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity. Finding the right words to articulate why a client should work with you and implement your recommendations can take years to master. Available for download is a great guide that discusses optimal phrases to use with a prospect to get them to take action.
Average Account Balance Down
According to Fidelity the average 401k balance is $84,400 through the third quarter of this year. This is down from $89,100 during the same time period in 2014.
Kemper Whole Life
Finding affordable life insurance for clients with significant health issues can be a daunting task. Kemper offers a competitive guaranteed issue whole life product that will issue coverage on anyone regardless of medical condition. The product writes up to $25,000.00 and issue ages are 40-80. Call today for rates and state availability.