Tuesday Tips – October 10th, 2017

Alerts

National Western Bonus Extension

National Western has announced an extension of their 1% commission bonus.  The bonus will now apply to all annuities submitted through November 15th and issued by December 29th.  Call today for additional details.

North American Underwriting

North American has announced several enhancements to their underwriting guidelines.  This includes the elimination of an ekg at various ages and face amounts as well as an increase in the minimum face amount that requires a paramed exam.  Call today for additional details.

Sales Concept

Retirement Plan Comparison

There are a variety of retirement plans available to consumers.  Because of this it can be hard for a consumer to determine what options make the most sense for them.  Available for download is a comprehensive guide that compares the various retirement plan options that are available and discusses the pros and cons of each.

Industry News

SEC Drafting Own Fiduciary Rule

Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC, has announced they are in the process of developing their own fiduciary rule.   While the next step would be a rule proposal Mr. Clayton declined to give a timeline for when that would be forthcoming.

Hot Rates

Symetra Accumulator IUL

Symetra has introduced a new accumulation product to their portfolio.  The new IUL is designed for income distribution and offers 3 indexes along with a guaranteed 15% persistency bonus starting in year 11.  Call today for additional details.

Sales Opportunity Downloads

Marketing Corner – Millennials and Retirement

Marketing Corner – Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Millennials and Retirement

There’s no definite age range that defines the Millennial generation. Typically, you’ll find that many sources, publications, and institutes will offer a range somewhere between 1982-1995, though we’ve seen ages as far back as 1978 and as far forward as 2000.

This generation is relevant to financial advisors for many reasons. For one, some Millennials are now reaching their peak earning years, starting families, and otherwise presenting planning opportunities. Some Millennials may have a ways to go before hitting their financial stride, but will present opportunities in 5-10 years. Along with members of Gen-X, Millennials are set to receive the largest transfer of wealth ever. And, with retirement further off, Millennials are primed to benefit the most from early planning, with room for a mix of strategies.

You may be asking yourself, though, what do Millennials really think about retirement? How prepared are they for retirement?

Here is a quick shot of important facts about Millennials and Retirement.

Millennials Do Save For Retirement…

82% Millennials surveyed participate in an investment savings account. This actually outpaces what Gen X (77%) and Boomers (75%) reported in the survey. The explanation? Auto-enrollment in employee-sponsored plans. While this indicates that some Millennials may have an eye on retirement, the likely situation is that many Millennial employees accept their simple choices without further thought toward higher contribution levels. This can be great for Millennials to get a jump start on their retirement, but may mean they could benefit from dedicated, managed planning solutions.

…But They Do Not Save Enough, And Some Have Nothing

In a survey conducted by GOBankingRates, 61% of “Older Millennials” (defined here as those aged 25-34) have $1000 or less saved. The majority of this group (41%) have nothing saved. However, the number of those with $10,000 saved rose 5% over the previous years’ study (20%). Millennials do save earlier than previous generations. In contrast to Generation X and Boomers (age 27 and 31 respectively) the average Millennial with access to a defined contribution plan starts at age 23. This according to the 2016 Natixis Retirement Plan Participant Study, which also finds that most Millennials only contribute between 1% and 4.99%.

A Majority Are Unsatisfied With Their Financial Lives

A recent survey conducted by Wells Fargo found that the majority (69%) of Millennials want to get over their anxiety regarding money. And while nearly all surveyed (98%) indicated that feeling financially secure was important to their lives, only 32% stated they were satisfied with their financial lives. What’s more is that the study found that while 77% of Millennials do not have a financial advisor, nearly 40% state they want one.

Some Millennials Have Redefined Retirement

Another study found that Millennials save, but not necessarily for retirement. Rather—reflecting Millennial values—this generation saves for life experiences and desired lifestyles. Paradoxically almost, as quoted by head of Merrill Edge Aron Levine, “Young adults…are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve freedom and flexibility, even if it means working for the rest of their lives.”

Saving, But Not Planning

A recent Insured Retirement Institute report echoes what the Merrill Edge study found regarding this redefinition of retirement:

“Millennials want flexibility and choice during retirement: the majority associate the word ‘freedom’ with their feelings about retirement, and 50 percent believe retirement means being able to decide whether, and/or how much, to work.”

And as IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford put it “While Millennials are saving, most are not planning.” What does this all ultimately mean? It suggests that the Millennial generation is primed for smart retirement strategies and for financial advisors to help them actualize their retirement goals.

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Tuesday Tips – October 3rd, 2017

Alerts

Sagicor Sales Incentive

Sagicor has announced a sales incentive for the month of October.  All term insurance sales will receive an additional 10% bonus commission for applications that are submitted electronically.  Applications must be submitted and paid in the month of October.  Call today for additional details.

Athene Rate Adjustment

Athene has announced a rate decrease that goes into effect October 7, 2017.  The impacted products are the Athene Ascent Pro Bonus, Performance Elite, MaxRate, and Benefit 10.  Call today for additional details and an updated rate guide.

Sales Concept

Life Insured For Life’s What If’s

Life insurance is a highly customizable product and can be designed to suit a variety of needs.  Available for download is a comprehensive guide that discusses planning opportunities with life insurance for each stage of a consumers life.

Industry News

Invesco and Guggenheim

Invesco and Guggenheim have come to terms on a $1.2 billion deal.  The transaction involves Invesco’s purchase of Guggenheim’s suite of ETF’s.  The deal is expected to be completed by the second half of 2018.

Hot Rates

Phoenix Personal Income Annuity

The PIA distributed by Phoenix is a competitive 10 year product designed for income.  The product offers an income for today strategy designed for max income in the early years as well as an income for tomorrow strategy.  In addition to this the product offers 7 index account options and up to a 45% bonus on the income account value.  Call today for additional details and state availability.

Sales Concepts Downloads

Marketing Corner – CD Replacement Month

Marketing Corner – Thursday, September 28th, 2017

CD Replacement Month

30 Years Ago The Markets Crashed. Why Does This Present A Sales Opportunity for Advisors Today?

October 19th of this year represents the thirty-year anniversary of a significant event in market history, the effects of which as still being felt today. Black Monday (October 19th, 1987) is the name ascribed to a large market crash that not only affected America but countries all over the world, where it is sometimes referred to as Black Tuesday, because of time zone differences.

So what happened on Black Monday? Well, for one, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a staggering 22.61%, the index’s largest percentage drop, a record that still stands today. The damage was wide-spread, not just impacting specific sectors or segments of the market, but affecting markets as a whole. There’s a reason why October 19th is sometimes referred to as the first modern crash.

There are many proposed causes—program trading, overvaluation, illiquidity, market fears about inflation, interest rates and more. Many at the time thought Black Monday was a precursor to another Great Crash. Markets did eventually rebound, but there still remained a great deal of volatility, culminating in aftershocks and mini-crashes, such as the Friday the 13th mini-crash (Oct. 13th, 1989).

How does this relate to Certificates of Deposits and the opportunity for you, the advisor? As markets dived in 1987, consumers withdrew their exposed investments and transferred their money into Certificates of Deposit. With guaranteed interest rates and FDIC backing, CDs seem like a safe place to place money and immunize against market volatility.

However, due to their low rate of return, CDs, do not hedge against inflation very well, when compared to other products, like certain annuities. This is especially true with long-term CDs that many consumers automatically renew out of habit. This means that some consumers may be losing real-world value that could be parlayed into another solution that works better against inflation and could provide lifetime income. Because six-month and twelve-month CDs are up for renewal, October and April are often referred to as CD replacement months.

Consider the impact of inflation during the time period between 1986 and 2016. Using inflationdata.com (which bases its tool from the CPI calculator published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) the total inflation for this thirty year span of time is 119.08%. This means that something that cost $50,000 in 1986 would cost nearly 120% more in 2016 ($109,540.83). For your clients or prospects that are nearing retirement, this represents a significant loss of real value. Consider also that in the thirty years since Black Monday, average CD interest rates have, on the whole, decreased.

Obviously, every consumer presents a unique situation. For some, CDs may still meet their needs. Others may be unaware of other options. However, this means that October gives you a good opportunity for review, discussion, and product sales.

To help agents and advisors take advantage of these CD replacement opportunities, Legacy Financial Partners is offering a complimentary CD replacement kit.

Click here or go to https://legacy-financial-partners.com/cdreplacement/ to claim your copy.

Complimentary 2017 CD Replacement Kit

Fill out the form below to receive
your complimentary copy.

Tuesday Tips – September 26th, 2017

Alerts

Athene Minimum Premium Increase

Effective October 2, 2017 Athene will be raising the minimum premium requirements for the Athene Ascent Pro Bonus, Athene Benefit 10, and the Athene MaxRate.  The minimum premium will increase for $5,000.00 to $10,000.  There will be a few states that won’t be subject to the increase.  Call today for additional details.

Columbus Life Producer Certification

Effective September 27th Columbus Life will include a Producer Certification for all life insurance applications.  The form will specify where the source of funds are coming from.  Beginning October 16 the form will be required with all applications.  Call today for additional details.

Sales Concept

CD Renewal Month

October is historically known as CD Renewal Month.  This can be a great opportunity to present alternate products that provide better leverage, yield, and tax benefits to individuals who own CD’s.  Available for download is our complimentary CD Renewal Kit. Call today for additional details.

Industry News

Laser App Acquisition

Ipipeline has announced that is has acquired Laser App.  Ipipeline is one of the leaders for digital applications solutions for life insurance and Laser App is one of the top providers in the securities and insurance industry.

Hot Rates

North American VersaChoice 10 yr

North American is introducing a new product on October 3rd.  The VersaChoice is a 10 year product with competitive caps and increased banding at 75k+ of premium.  The product offers 4 crediting strategies and is also designed for enhanced liquidity.  The product offers the option of a 20% free withdrawal if a withdrawal wasn’t taken the prior year as well as a return of premium.  In addition to this it has a surrender waiver if the client can’t complete 2 of the 6 ADL’s and also offers an optional income rider that also offers an increased payout in the event of a chronic illness.  Call today for additional details.

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Marketing Corner – Five Ways Advisors Kill Their Marketing Effort

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Five Ways Advisors Kill Their Marketing Efforts

Compared to tangible products and services, such as cars, retail, or plumbing, marketing financial services can be very difficult. Add to this that most advisors don’t want to deal with marketing—they want to focus on what they do best, meeting clients and advising. Consider also the level of trial and error that can come into play with small business marketing, it’s easy to see how marketing and prospecting can become discouraging. In this week’s Marketing Corner we wanted to highlight ways advisors sabotage or undermine their own marketing efforts.

Having Too High Of Expectations

There are many different kinds of marketing activities an advisor can use to engage their consumer base and build brand awareness. However, it’s crucial to have a balanced expectation of the results you can receive. What’s a good baseline to determine expectations? That will depend. Every type of activity will have its own metrics for measurements. A decent mail response rate can be between .5% and 1%. Good click-through-rates for display advertising may be somewhere between .5% and 2%, depending on the nature of the campaign. You might only care about one metric—new clients—but typical rates can serve as benchmarks for you to evaluate your marketing. Keep in mind that other factors can complicate results and a campaign can succeed (or fail) for any number of reasons.

Not Utilizing Multiple Approaches

One big reason advisors get discouraged when a marketing campaign goes bust is that they rely on one single platform. If you have one marketing activity that consistently works for you, you certainly don’t want to fix what isn’t broke, but having multiple approaches to your marketing can enhance what works and provide coverage for what may not. For instance, if you are interested in trying seminar marketing, how else can you promote your event, besides direct mail? How can you target a group of individuals through multiple means to increase the likelihood of response? Generally, there won’t be a single marketing activity that builds your brand and attracts new prospects (though there may be one or two that works better for you), which is why having multiple marketing activities can help you see positive results.

Letting Leads Decay

No matter what business you are in, leads decay the longer you wait to follow-up with them. The duties that come with running your practice and serving your current clients can certainly make timely follow-ups difficult. This is why you should have a defined lead follow-up process. Automation can help, especially if the lead is digital.

Avoiding Social Media

Many advisors will avoid some (or all) social media platforms, simply because they don’t see the benefits for their line of work. And a few years ago, it might have been true that a Facebook page for a financial advisor or agency would have been unnecessary. But in our current environment, social media platforms can serve as important hubs to engage prospects, build digital presence, and develop credibility. You might not build a large audience right away or get new clients banging on your door, but social media activity of some sort is crucial to your overall marketing strategy.

Not Doing Enough Volume

It is important to perform marketing activities at a high enough volume (or spend) to let averages come into play. If a vendor quotes a .1% response rate for a mail campaign and you only do a volume of, say, 500 pieces, then the number of responses you might expect is 5. When you consider other factors that can impact a campaign—such as weather, timing, messaging, and geography—then that typical response rate of 5 at 1% can easily be whittled down to 1 or 2. Without a high enough volume, your response rates can become statistically (or effectively) zero.

October is CD Replacement Month

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Tuesday Tips – September 19th, 2017

Alerts

Allianz FIA Commission Changes

Allianz has announced that they will be changing the compensation for option C for their FIA portfolio. The change will take effect October 3rd. Call today to request an updated commission grid.

Symetra Face Amount Increase

Symetra has announced that they will be increasing the minimum face amount on all of their life insurance products. Effective October 19, 2017 the minimum face amount for term insurance will be $250k and the minimum face amount for permanent insurance will be $100k.

Sales Concept

Risk Aversion

FIA’s can be a good solution for clients who are concerned about market volatility. Illustrating where an FIA fits amongst other product alternatives is a key part of the sale. Available for download are two pieces that illustrate where an FIA fits in a simple and straightforward format.

Industry News

China Oceanwide Genworth Deal

Regulators in the state of Virginia have approved China Oceanwides bid to buy 2 subsidiaries of Genworth Life. The transaction must still be approved by federal regulators as well as other jurisdictions.

Hot Rates

Legacy FlexMark Select

Legacy Marketing Group has rolled out a new product line called the FlexMark Select Series. The base product is a 10 year surrender and offers up to a 6% bonus based on which option is selected. The product also offers five index options with upgraded rates once the contract reaches $200,000 of accumulation value. In addition to this the product offers 3 income rider options. The product is currently approved in 28 states call today for rates and state availability.

Marketing Corner – The Financial Life Spectrum

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The Financial Life Risk Spectrum

When working with prospects and clients, advisors often focus on one specific need and one specific solution. This is generally because consumers don’t seek out financial services until a pressing need arises, like say the birth of a child, loss/gain of a job, or other significant life events. For consumers in this position, it can be hard to have a long view of their financial life. We know that, while financial needs change over the course of one’s life, they do not disappear as a consumer ages from peak earning years to retirement.

One way to illustrate the long view with a consumer is a yellow-pad concept called the Financial Life Risk Spectrum. This concept follows, somewhat, the basics steps of financial planning, with three main phases: Accumulating Assets, Protecting Assets, and Extending Assets.

Accumulating Assets (45-65)

Most consumers typically build their assets around age 45-65. The main risk in this phase is that an individual could die prematurely. The emotional loss would certainly be devastating, but the financial impact to the consumer’s household could be significant. Life insurance will protect the consumer’s family should this happen.

 

Other risks:

Risk

Solution

Consumer may experience a long-term care or disabling condition

Consider LTC/Disability coverage, especially if there’s a family history

Assets may not accumulate fast enough to meet retirement time horizon

Consider cash value accumulation products (FA, permanent insurance)

Consumer may be over-exposed to market changes

Consider products with limited market exposure (FIUL, FIA)

Protecting Assets (65-85)

As a consumer transitions into retirement, the main risk they face becomes an expensive medical situation. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, most Americans age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. A long-term care or chronic illness condition can be extremely costly, drain important retirement resources, and burden family members. Chronic Illness Protection can help defray this risk.

Other Risks:

Risk

Solution

Taxes upon distribution of assets

Tax-advantaged products

Misallocation/improperly structured assets

Restructuring assets/delaying Social Security

Gaps in Medicare coverage

Medicare Supplement (Medigap)

Extending Assets (85-100)

As life expectancies extend, more and more individuals need to consider what their resources will be in ages 85-100. While thinking about what life will be like at age 90 may be abstract to younger consumers in their peak earning years or those phasing into retirement, it is important that steps are taken as early as possible. So even if our consumer didn’t die early or face a difficult medical situation, they still have a challenge in retirement: outliving their money. Most people don’t want to have to return to work and at this age (85-100) may not be physically able to. Longevity protection solutions can secure a guaranteed source of income that cannot be outlived.

Other Risks:

Risk

Solution

Lower interest rate environment

A mix of asset classes

Inflation

Products with guaranteed returns and/or accumulation

Death of a spouse

Survivorship benefits

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Here’s what the yellow-pad concept looks like as a diagram:

Tuesday Tips – September 12th, 2017

Alerts

Phoenix Rate Increase

Effective Monday September 11th Phoenix has increased rates on multiple products.  The enhancements include cap increases as well as income rider enhancements.  Call today for additional details.

Hurricane Update

In light of the recent hurricanes several carriers have eased lapse windows as well as premium drafting.  If you have clients impacted by these events give us a call to get a list of which insurance companies have made adjustments.

Sales Concept

Life Checklist

Life events typically create an opportunity to review ones financial plan.  Events such as marriage, divorce, death, a new home purchase, etc. can be a stressful time and knowing what to consider during these events is important.  Available for download are a series of checklists that cover a variety of life events and what to consider during those times.

Industry News

Congress Back In Session

Congress is back in session and September should prove to be an interesting month with calls for increased military spending, a debt limit increase, ACA funding, and many other items.  Hopefully a government shut down isn’t on the table and cooler heads will prevail.

Hot Rates

Protective Classic Choice Term

Protective has rolled out a new term planned that is designed to be incredibly low cost.  The product has been stripped down and is designed for those individuals that are just concerned about short term coverage and aren’t looking for a lot of bells and whistles on a product.

Marketing Corner – The Road to Retirement

Marketing Corner – Thursday September 7th, 2017

The Road to Retirement, sometimes called “The Bridge” or “Bridging The Gap,” is a useful yellow-pad concept for a number of reasons. It illustrates many of the challenges a consumer faces as they drive toward retirement, the tools that can be used to address these challenges, and a specific product (Indexed Universal Life Insurance) that can provide the final layer of protection.

In Step 1, we see that there is a gap between now and retirement.

How does one cross a large gulley like this? With a bridge of course (Step 2).

Unfortunately, as we see in Step 3, there are many factors that can weaken or break our bridge. These downward forces include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Market Volatility
  • Taxation

The bridge can be strengthened with the trusses of tax-deferral and insurance, as we see in Step 4. Tax-deferral allows a consumer to accumulate a greater amount of funds before facing a tax-liability, while insurance protects against some risks.

However, even with these extra protections, should there be a market downturn, the consumer can swerve right off the bridge, just as retirement appears on the horizon.

This is where Indexed Universal Life Insurance—with its guaranteed return and upside potential—can provide the guardrails needed to keep the consumer on the road. (Step 5).

The final interpretation of this yellow pad concept should look a bit like this:

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