FIA products see changes
Many carriers have been adjusting some of their product features to reflect the current interest rate environment. We have seen caps/rates, bonuses and income rider features change with many carriers over the last month or so. Carriers that have made adjustments include North American, Equitrust, American Equity, Allianz and more. Call or email for the most current rates and product features, or to obtain a quote for your next case.
Tips from a BILLION dollar producer
Join us on Wednesday, March 25th at 10 am CST to learn from the best. Jon Kuttin is a true mega producer who has over $1.5 billion dollars in assets under management. Jon is also a consistent Barron’s List Advisor which places him among the elite of the elite! Mr. Kuttin will be sharing some extremely valuable information about his practice and will show you how to create sustainable growth for your practice, how to create strategic alliances and how to turn gatekeepers into advocates for you and your business. This is a great opportunity and space is limited so please call today to be registered for this event!
Market opportunities do exist for agents seeking to sell life insurance to the affluent market. Over the last several years we have seen a decline in the amount of cash value insurance being purchased by affluent investors (individuals with 100k—999k of financial assets) and high net worth individuals and families (over the $1 million mark). Most of this can be attributed to the increase in estate tax exemptions over the years. With concerns over estate taxes being diminished for some of this market they have been relying more on their investment portfolios than insurance solutions. Life insurance companies have recognized this downward trend and have been developing new and unique products designed to have a greater appeal to the affluent marketplace. Products that are linked to various stock market indexes and that offer living benefits are more attractive to this type of consumer as many of them hold a large amount of funds in different investment accounts. Being able to offer great upside as well as tax advantaged growth are appealing to this type of investor, and the other living benefits many of these policies provide is icing on the cake
John Hancock introduces the Performance LTC
John Hancock is pleased to introduce the Performance LTC to the market. This product offers the most competitively priced premiums on the market today, along with flexible features and options that will give your clients greater control over their premiums and benefits. The product has been approved in 37 states so give me a call with your next LTC case to see how it stacks up against the competition.
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We are right in the thick of tax season. Make sure to give us a call to get your complimentary 1040 overlay sales kit. It has numerous sales concepts and all of the tools you need to dissect the 1040.
LibertyMark Rate Change
Rates on the LibertyMark 10, 10LT and LibertyMark 10plus and 10LT plus are decreasing effective March 15. Call today for updated rates.
Qualified Annuity Prospects
We formed an exclusive relationship with a strategic marketing partner that generates qualified annuity prospects. Not only are they qualified but the company reaches out the prospect and screens them for what they are interested in before they are sent to you. Call today for more details.
FINRA dished out 135mm in fines in 2014 up from 60mm in 2013 to FINRA regulated companies. In addition registered reps were issued fines of 52mm up significantly from the prior year.
Athene is launching a new product on 3/16 called the Athene Ascent. The product offers a 3% premium bonus and competitive caps. In addition it offers an optional income rider that rolls up at 10% simple interest. Call today for rates and details.
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Don’t Overlook Millennials
While they typically have no immediate retirement or financial planning needs—compared to say a pre-retiree—Millennials represent a significant emerging market for financial advisors and life insurance agents. Accessing this generation can be particularly difficult for a number of reasons and advisors are likely to focus on pre-retirees and boomers, taking in millennial clients as they come.
Here are some sensible and practical reasons advisors don’t pursue Millennials:
They Have No Money
The average Millennial enters a choppy marketplace wearing the cement shoes of student debt. According PNC Financial the average Millennial is burdened with $45,000 in debt, most often in the form student financial obligations.
They Have No Jobs
Last year, Millennials represented 40% of unemployed workers, slightly greater than Generation X and nearly double than Baby Boomers.
They Have Different Values and Priorities Than The Last Generation
Their values and priorities are very different compared to their parents or grandparent’s generation. This can be a reflection of the marketplace they entered—it’s hard to prioritize owning a home and establishing a retirement plan when the job market is squeezed tight.
For most financial advisors this gives the impression that this generation is not worth the effort. How do you begin the financial planning process for someone that has significant debt exposure, unstable income, and differing values? Why would you want to?
The reality is that there is good opportunity with this generation. Millennials will comprise a large portion of the workforce in the next ten to fifteen years. As the economy and job market improves, this generation will move into more stable positions and be primed for financial planning.
So why not wait until this generation is ready? Well, time for one. A significant portion of Millennials essentially had a half-decade or more of early earning power scrubbed from them—a period that could have been used to effectively manage student debt loads. So even when this generation becomes stable they will still be carrying heavy financial burdens. They will have lost time and earning power.
Here’s why you should look at this market, now:
They still need you
Although Millennials don’t have an immediate need for financial services, they still have a strong planning need (whether the kids appreciate it or not). More importantly, now is the best time for them to begin to plot their financial future
They Are Positioned To Get The Most Out of Financial Plan
Because Millennials are roughly thirty or so years away from traditional retirement age, they are in the best position to save for retirement, from a timeframe standpoint.
Becoming a trusted advisor for a young, upstart professional, can lead to repeat business as that client matures through their income life cycle. Solidifying a relationship early on will make you the go to resource for a Millennial client as they marry, have a child, or experience other life events.
Although Millennials can be a complex mess of financial concerns, their problem is a very simple and familiar one when it comes to retirement and financial planning: how to save when in debt. Or how to save with limited income. Essentially it’s the old savers vs. spenders model.
It may be difficult to allocate toward a retirement program when every dollar is pretty much spoken for, but Millennials, as with anybody starting a financial plan, can grasp the importance of saving. So how do you access this market? The same way you access any new client needing a financial plan.
Explain to a Millennial Prospect:
Pay Yourself First – Saving is just simply paying yourself first. It is as necessary as paying loans, credit cards, and utilities.
Manage Your Debt Appropriately – Although it is important to squash large debts as quickly as possible, it is important to establish a plan for when that debt is cleared, especially when time is a great compounding factor.
Be Consistent Even During Financial Instability – Regular contributions to savings accounts and retirement programs are what help consumers accumulate, even with a debt load.
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North American Rate Decrease
North American has announced rate decreases affecting several of their fixed index annuities. The new rates will take effect April 1st. Call today for an update rate sheet and additional product information.
Athene Rate Decrease
Athene is reducing rates on several of their annuity products effective March 9th. Call today for an update rate sheet.
Leveraged Cash Flows
Life insurance is often used for key man, deferred compensation, buy sell, etc. arrangements. While most of these types of plans are self funded either from the employee or employer there exists an additional option. Commercially financing these types of arrangements can create significant leverage as well as preserve the tax free status of future distributions out of the insurance plan. In addition to this these types of structures can be designed to be self collateralizing. Give us a call today to discuss.
Robert Benmosche Passing
Robert Benmosche recently passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. Mr. Benmosche was appointed CEO of AIG in 2009 and led the company through financial crisis that followed to include paying back the 182.3 billion taxpayer bailout.
Forethought TrustGuard Gold
Forethought has introduced an interesting Medicaid friendly life insurance product. This whole life product writes to age 99 and is a simplified issue contract designed for estate and Medicaid planning. Call for details.
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Universal Life insurance can be a great tool for many consumers. But, like other financial products, the way UL works can be difficult to succinctly explain. For some consumers this can be the ultimate barrier that inhibits understanding of the value of this particular product. Which, for the agent, can mean the loss of a sale.
This is where the following diagram comes in. The “bucket” is a great yellow-pad concept that explains the core elements of universal life insurance. The basic idea of the “bucket” may already be familiar to many of you, possibly from other variations, such as the “retirement bucket” or the “annuity bucket.”
In our Universal Life Policy bucket, we have two main faucets: Cash contributions and compound interest. The cash contributions represent a larger influx of water (i.e. money, cash value) into the bucket, as indicated by a large single water drop. The compound interest faucet dribbles at a smaller, but steadier, rate than the cash contributions and goes towards raising the level of the death benefit and accumulated cash value.
Our bucket is not entirety free of leakage however. At the bottom, there is a tiny spigot through which some of water will escape. This spigot represents the mortality and expense charges of the universal life policy. The amount of water (again, money, or accumulated cash value) that exits through this spigot is small relative to the rest of the bucket, but is still important to consider and understand. Provided, however, there is enough regular cash contribution and compound interest, the minimum death benefit will keep rising and easily overcome these policy charges.
The overall idea this illustration conveys: keep your bucket full and your death benefit rising.
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American Equity Rate Decrease
American Equity has announced a rate decrease that will take effect March 3, 2015. Several of the products are affected and there are some substantial decreases. Call today for more details.
QLAC status is now available with Lincoln National’s deferred income annuity. Call today for state availability and rates.
Buy Sell Arrangements
Many advisors are aware of buy sell arrangements and the ins and outs of this strategy. Typically most buy sells incorporate term insurance for the benefit but, permanent cash value life insurance can be a great product to use for these arrangements. Not only is there a death benefit a pool of cash is created that can be used for deferred income or liquidity purposes. Attached is a sales flyer discussing this concept.
The estimated shortfall in public pensions is estimated to be $4 trillion or more. While there are a number of reasons for this such as not setting enough money aside, employee contributions not high enough, and low investment returns. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut solution to the issue that everyone can agree on.
Genworth Asset Builder II
Genworth has launched its new indexed universal life contract. The product is designed for max accumulation with annual point to point caps as high as 18%. Call today for state availability and details.
Marketing Corner – February 19th, 2015
Go Big and Go Small: Periodization With Your Marketing
Name one goal for your business. Your biggest goal. What do you hope to achieve this year? The early months of the calendar is a time when many advisors and agents think about the successes and failures of the previous year and what they can do to make a big splash before the new calendar turns over.
Maybe you want to increase your AUM ten-fold. Maybe you want to see a fifty-percent revenue growth. Maybe you want to move to a bigger office. Maybe you want be more recognized in your field. Whatever it is, you undoubtedly have that one big, overarching goal for the year. While it can be daunting to think about the how, it’s easy to imagine the big win, the final objective that would put a nice bow on your practice come next Christmas.
It is good to have an ultimate goal as part of your annual plan. Where many businesses struggle is that either the big goal is too big to practically accomplish or the big goal creates tunnel vision that causes them to ignore other small opportunities and everyday needs. Let’s also not forget day-to-day operation tasks and unforeseen events that will affect any business, any person really, throughout the course of the year.
This is where the strategy of periodization can come in to help. The basic idea of periodization is probably already familiar to you. In essence it’s breaking down a big goal into a spread of smaller goals and training objectives. The concept has roots in sports training, especially for athletes that compete professionally. Adapted for business the concept is very similar and can be applied in several ways.
So let’s say your overall goal is to make $100,000 for the year. Not an impossible goal and when you’re identifying your key objective for the year, why not dream big. Now $100,000 is still a pretty significant chunk of money and if making that is your ultimate goal, you only have one opportunity for victory—that is, you either make that amount or you don’t. But what is $100,000 broken down throughout they year? It’s a little over $8,300 a month, which is a more palatable and achievable number, even if it has to be repeated over twelve months to reach that ultimate goal. By compartmentalizing the task, you give yourself twelve opportunities for victory instead of one.
The other reason periodization is a good approach to accomplishing an overarching annual plan is that it gives you better opportunities for metrics and progress tracking. This helps you understand why you may not be achieving the bigger goal—maybe you had to expend resources on a busted marketing campaign, maybe you lost one of your bigger clients, etc. Periodization allows you to figure out what is directly and indirectly impeding (or boosting) your progress. To go big, go small.
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American Equity Adds New Indices
American Equity has announced the addition of 3 new indexes for inforce Advantage Gold, Traditions Gold, Foundation Gold, and Benefit Gold fixed index annuities. The new indexes include an S&P performance triggered account, S&P volatility control index, and bond yield index. Call today for additional details.
Legacy Adds Death Benefit Option
Legacy has announced an additional death benefit option its Spectramark fixed index annuity. Now in addition to a lump sum a beneficiary can elect to take payments over 5 or 10 years for an increased amount. This change goes into affect February 27, 2015. Call today for additional details.
If you haven’t yet I encourage you take a look at our Marketing Corner. Each week we add useful sales presentations as well as marketing ideas. If you have topics you are interested in let us know.
Genworth has lost almost 44% of its value due to a reserve shortfall in November. It is estimated that the cost will be around $495mm.
Athene Benefit 10
This competitive fixed index annuity offers an 8% rollup rate, 50% payout increase when unable to perform 2 of 6 adl’s. In addition to this it offers competitive caps and an enhanced benefit rider that includes death, confinement, and terminal illness.
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Crossing the Bridge
When it comes to retirement planning, there are many aspects and strategies to consider. These complexities can overwhelm a prospect and turn them away from the very salient points you are making about the critical importance of retirement and financial planning. This is where a good visual metaphor comes into play.
The Bridge is a simple and useful analogy in retirement planning and it can be adapted to illustrate key retirement ideas for those currently in, or nearing, retirement (Boomers) and those some ways off (young professionals). The bridge can be used to describe where a prospect is right now and what challenges may await them, or it can be used to demonstrate why they need to have a good financial foundation.
Now we are not just talking about any bridge—this is a bridge with trusses and cables. On a bridge this size, trusses are used to give the road stability over it’s span. In our retirement planning model, these trusses represent risk diversification; safe money v. risk. Generally financial plans that go the distance will involve some kind of necessary risk and upside potential, offset by safe money financial structures. These support the road of the bridge from below, and provide a base of safety.
Supporting the bridge topside are the cables and pillars. On a real bridge these are designed to the keep the road and the rest of the structure on point during times of natural volatility—high winds, tremors, and yes, even earthquakes. In our retirement model, these represent tax diversification strategies (taxable and non-taxable retirement programs). Much like high winds and earthquakes are uncontrollable, so too is the tax environment, which is subject to constant change.
What then makes a strong bridge that safety spans over a great distance and allows it’s user to reach the goal of sustainable retirement?
Strong, safe programs with diversified risk and a level of flexibility to weather changes. Otherwise the bridge will go nowhere.
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Transamerica Suspends Gul Products
Effective last Wednesday Transamerica has suspended their Transace GUL and Transace SUL. In addition to this they have cancelled all pending policies with the exception of policies out for delivery. If you have any cases that were pending give us a call to discuss other solutions.
John Hancock and Term Insurance
John Hancock has traditionally been know as a UL and SUL company but has recently decided to get back into the term marketplace. Not only is the product competitively priced but it uses the same underwriting standards that are used on their permanent products. So for clients that do have some health issues there is a lot more flexibility to get the rates you need to place the case.
Deferred Income Annuities
The creation of qualified longevity annuity contracts has caused the sale of deferred income annuities to spike to over 2.5B last year. This product can be a great solution for clients concerned about rmd’s and income in retirement. Available for download is a great pdf discussing premium limits, income options, source of funds, and payment specifications.
Union Retiree Health Benefits
It has typically been assumed that health care benefits for pre retirees under a collective bargaining agreement are vested at the date an employee retires. A recent supreme court ruling had added a wrinkle to this in that this is only the case if the agreement specifically states that the benefits are vested. This could open the door for employers to change post retirement benefits.
American Equity Choice Series
American Equity has rolled out a new series of fixed index annuities. The series is designed around giving the client more options. There are 6, 8, and 10 year surrender periods available along with competitive caps and multiple income rider options. Call today for state availability and additional details.