Wednesday, December 24, 2014

State of the industry: 5 annuity insights for 2015

2015 Outlook: 

Dec 16, 2014 | By Daniel Williams

A report released today identifies marketplace opportunities
and shifting demographics for annuity advisors

According to a report released today, the insurance and retirement industries are muscling through “some macroeconomic challenges (that occurred) the past year" and are exhibiting strong gains and growth potential.

“Fixed indexed annuities and immediate and deferred income annuities are showing especially strong growth as the industry is poised to begin 2015 in a strong financial position and with favorable public policy support,” said Cathy Weatherford, President and CEO of IRI, the company that authored the report.

“As Americans become more aware of their retirement income needs, the industry is presented with the tremendous marketplace opportunity to innovate and develop new products to match the increasing demand for insured retirement products.”


The following are five highlights from the State of the Industry report:

* A December 2014 Moody’s Investor Service report found that the industry as a whole has a strong operating company liquidity, with liquidity resources on average of 2.6 times its needs compared to approximately double its needs in 2008.

Industry-wide annuity sales are on track to increase three to five percent in 2014, reaching or exceeding $225 billion, the highest level since 2011.

* Third quarter variable annuity assets were 179 percent higher than their post-crisis low point of $1.07 trillion in the first quarter of 2009, and two percent higher than the end of 2013.

* New product developments are meeting consumer needs by providing limited downside protection, higher payout rates than traditional benefits, and increased flexibility of income start dates.

* Deferred Income Annuity (DIA) sales have more than doubled to $2.2 billion in 2013 and will likely exceed that level in 2014. The number of companies offering DIAs has also doubled since the start of 2012.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

STOP Doing These Four Things…If You Want to Continue Selling Life Insurance

You cannot continue selling life insurance in the same manner you’ve relied on for so long. 

Our client and prospect base is changing rapidly. Social media, three-second attention spans and two generations growing up in an exclusively digital world have put an end to business as usual. Our industry might be reluctant to change, but if you’d like to survive in this business, you’ll need to adapt to the trends that are changing the way people buy. 

Here are four ways to begin >>


Friday, December 5, 2014

A Comprehensive Survey of Funding Solutions in a Challenging LTC Marketplace

Welcome to Long Term Care - 360°

There are many more LTC Planning options today, from Traditional LTCi to Linked-Benefit Plans to Chronic Illness, Accelerated Death Benefit & Living Needs Riders on Term Life, Universal Life, Whole Life and even Annuities.

While Traditional Long Term Care Insurance products can be expensive, premiums are not guaranteed, and the products are changing on a regular basis, they remain the go-to solution for those who can qualify and can afford it.

Industry research finds market resistance to the traditional approach. Below are the top reasons cited for NOT purchasing traditional long term care insurance:
  • Confusion – People say it is difficult to understand the costs and what is paid by Medicare, Medicaid and long term care insurance.
  • Denial – People do not believe that they will need Long Term Care insurance
  • Mistrust – Clients are concerned they will not be able to rely on a long term care insurance company when they need it.
  • Discomfort – It is too unpleasant to think about becoming ill and needing long term care.
When it comes time for Long Term Care planning, the first step is educating your clients about the need for protection. Explain that Long Term Care planning is not about buying a specific policy, rather it is about protecting their families and their hard earned retirement savings from the life changing event of an extended health care need.

The Traditional Long Term Care policy, as expensive as it can be, remains the preferred way to provide the most protection for a long term health care event. However, since clients have voiced many reasons for not buying a traditional LTC plan, the industry has responded with other options that can help fulfill at least part of their need for long term care protection. These alternatives may also address some of the reasons given for not buying a traditional plan.

Alternatives to Traditional LTC products can be broken down into 3 distinct groups:

  • Hybrid Products - Combinations of Life or Annuity and Long Term Care Benefits
  • ABRs - Accelerated Benefit Riders on Life Insurance Policies
  • LTC Benefit Plans - Conversion of a Life Policy to a Long Term Care Benefit Plan through a Life Settlement
On this site, we will explore and explain the concepts and products available in each of these groups.

Visit the Site Now! >>


Monday, November 17, 2014

How to Take a Life Insurance Medical Exam

| Gary Dek 

If you want to obtain the most affordable type of life insurance, be prepared to take a medical exam. Before you are issued a policy, life insurance companies must first determine if you are prone to illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, etc.

A paramedical company working with your carrier will send out a certified medical professional (a paramed) to conduct the medical tests and send the results to the company’s underwriter. The underwriter will then evaluate the results and determine if it is in their best financial interest to insure you. That risk assessment determines your life insurance rates. The greater risk you pose, the higher your premiums, until the company decides it can’t cover you at all.

The following will give you a solid idea of how you should prepare when you have to take a life insurance medical exam. Otherwise, you may want to start considering a no medical exam policy.

Read the rest >>>


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Making the case for disability income insurance with Millennials

There is no better way to educate a Millennial about
the need for DI insurance than by telling a story.

When it comes to working with the Millennial Generation ­—

...roughly those born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s — it’s important to remember they often navigate the world in a different way from previous generations.

Unlike their parents and grandparents, who may have worked at the same company for their entire careers, Millennials may be more accustomed to moving around from one job to another and may not have loyalty to a particular firm.

Because of this transiency, and the reality that every company has a different benefits package, Millennials may have a greater need for a financial plan that is distinct from a given employer, and that includes disability income insurance. 

They’ve also experienced firsthand the ups and downs of the economy and tend to be clear-eyed about the possibility of things not working out. As a result, many Millennials appreciate there is a need to have certain financial products themselves, rather than those intertwined with a company.

Read the rest >>



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Selling LTCi: 'Good, Better, Best' Approach Works


Saving money when
buying LTCi is easy

- (Marketwired – Oct 27, 2014) -

No one buys a cell phone that’s five years old. Like cell phone technology, the world of long term care insurance has undergone significant transformation making older approaches to planning obsolete according to a leading industry expert.

“Meaningful changes to some newer long-term care insurance policies offer real savings and planning advantages,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) a national trade group. Slome has just-authored a consumer guide appearing in the December issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

“If you are between age 55 and 65, it’s important to think about the consequences of living a long life, into your 80s, 90s and beyond,” the author notes. “You have the most options available including long-term care insurance typically before you qualify for Medicare health coverage.”

Newer insurance policies now contain overlooked features and options for individuals in that age band, the expert states. “Life insurance policies rarely change and are relatively simple to compare,” Slome notes. “That’s not the case today when it comes to long-term care insurance where each company sets their own innovative policy features and decides where to price more competitively. I’ve yet to find a consumer who can do an accurate apples-to-apples comparison on their own.”
Good-Better-Best Approach To Long-Term Care Insurance Advocated

Some noteworthy changes in policy options make it advantageous for consumers to take what Slome refers to as the “Good – Better – Best” approach to incorporating long term care insurance into a financial plan. “The old approach of ‘one-size-fits-all’ was never appropriate and I believe it’s less suitable today,” Slome explains. “And, the ‘one-and-done’ approach where you buy coverage and never think about adjusting it works for some, but not if you are in your 50s and young 60s.”
The old approach of 'one-size-fits-all' was never appropriate and I believe it's less suitable today

According to Slome, ‘Good’ coverage involves selecting a fixed amount of long-term care insurance benefits. “Having some coverage is always better than having none,” Slome shares. “If you have savings, retirement income, future Social Security benefits your insurance may be enough to cover all costs or may supplement what you pay. You are co-insuring or sharing some of the exposure between yourself and the insurance company.”

The “Better” coverage Slome refers to takes advantage of some of the newer options now gaining traction. “If you are in your 50s, it’s certainly better to have benefits that grow over time because costs for care will undoubtedly increase,” he agrees. The Association reports that home care costs have increased about one percent annually over the past 20 years. “Today, I believe a great option is having a policy that increases one percent yearly but allows you to increase future benefits without having to re-qualify healthwise,” Slome shares. “Save now; lock in your health and have the ability to add more tomorrow.”

Long-term care insurance that includes an option where available benefits increase by a pre-determined amount, typically three percent annually, is what Slome refers to as today’s “Best” coverage. “If you can afford the cost, which can easily be double of what ‘Good’ coverage costs, this is well worth considering,” he suggests.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

5 ways to kill the LTCI slump

Sep 24, 2014 | By Barbara J. Stahlecker

“LTCI is dead,” a financial planner told me recently.

“Really?” I asked. “Why would you think that?”


“What do you do about the clients who can’t afford to plunk down $100,000 for a policy? Or clients who can’t qualify? Or clients who want a Partnership policy?”


Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is not dead. What is true is that the industry is down this year. By some accounts as much as 32 percent. I believe there are a few factors responsible for this drop, and we who sell LTCI have all played a part in it. Let’s take a look at what’s happening and see if we can’t collectively reverse the trend by slightly changing our behavior.

First, more applicants are getting declined.

This is due to a combination of two things: Underwriting has tightened up and more applicants are waiting until there is already something wrong before they apply for coverage.

When an agent calls me for a quote on a 74-year-old female who “is in great health except for some blood pressure medication,” I know there is already a problem. No one wakes up at 74 and says, “I think I’ll buy some of that long-term care insurance” unless they are already facing some kind of care event. So, overall, the folks who want to buy the coverage can’t qualify.

Second, the ones who can qualify aren’t buying

We all know the perfect age for buying LTCI is 50s to early 60s. So why aren’t they clamoring to buy?

Here's a look at three reasons for the slowdown -- and five ways to respond.

Read the rest at 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Now offering a Comprehensive Line-up of Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

We are pleased to introduce Mutual of Omaha's Comprehensive line-up of Medicare Supplements.


It’s Showtime!

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period

October 15, 2014 through December 7, 2014

The state availability table above shows many northeastern states and the name Mutual operates under for each. (You will need this information to download the proper company & state-specific forms.)

Tools for Selling:

Get Started Today!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Evolution of Index Products




Fixed index annuities have grown from a $4 billion market in 1998 to a $32 billion market in 2012.* Index universal life Insurance has grown from a $350 million market in 2006 to a projected $1.4 billion market in 2012.** Let’s take a look at history to better understand what’s driving this extraordinary growth.



The opportunity for index products is very real. The very reason that Fixed Index Annuities and Index UL were created in the first place exists today. Let’s review the last 40 years to see how we have arrived where we are.

Consumers are demanding more for less:
  • More growth than currently available in traditional products due to low interest rates,
  • More tax‐efficient solutions to mitigate evolving tax laws, and
  • Less risk than investing in the financial markets.
Are you getting your fair share of these markets?

Read the rest of the story at: 

Call Adam at 800.842.8289

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Social Media Acumen Key in Marketing to Millennials



4 Emerging
Concepts & Trends


When Beyoncé released her self-titled album late last year, she didn’t go through any of the traditional promotional means, which she called boring. Instead, she simply posted a video featuring the new album cover and pictures of her with the caption “Surprise!” on Instagram.

That was enough for Beyoncé, one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Within the two days of that post, more than 430,000 “Beyoncé” albums were sold on iTunes for $15.99 per download.

Of course, the wildly popular album would have been a hot product no matter how Beyoncé chose to promote it, but the story is yet another testament to the power of social media, says marketing entrepreneur Robert Danard, CEO of Spriza, Inc., a global social network for group prizes from major brands.

“It’s no secret that the 18- to 34-year-old demographic is the most coveted one – they are the future of any product, and if you want to reach them, then you have to have a social media strategy,” says Danard, who started his career a decade ago by founding an early social media site.

“Beyoncé saved her record company plenty of money in traditional promotions, which would have been all but useless since her target audience is on social media.”
Danard discusses social media marketing and the trends that are currently unfolding.

The attention economy

This refers to the demand for companies to focus on multiple social media sites, and the underlying human need to be validated through acknowledgement. How do young adults define their worth? Increasingly, it’s through the numbers of “likes,” “re-tweets” and “follows” they get on social media. Companies that acknowledge and engage with individual users in real time help validate their self worth and quickly turn them into brand fans.

Creating winning circles of friends

Brands increasingly are recognizing the power of social media recommendations from friends. This referral process can be harnessed by offering real value, and incentives, to those who make recommendations. Danard points to his own site, Spriza (as in “surprise”), which encourages sharing by offering a memorable experience to the winner and the friends with whom he or she shared. For instance, a grand prize currently up for grabs will award 10 winners $1,000 cash each. All entrants will also have a chance to participate in the contingent (game of chance) draw to win a condo valued at $150,000.

The future of customer service

Millennials trust the social media format, despite its potential for fraud and misrepresentation, more than government, businesses or religious institutions, according to a recent report by the global public relations firm Edelman. Many companies, including American Airlines, are focusing more of their customer service resources to answer complaints via social media. This can speed complaint resolution, and it makes businesses and their customer service departments more accountable because users can see when, if and how complaints are resolved.

Socially enriched sales

People like to be engaged online, and they like to buy things, but they don’t like to be sold products in the traditional way. Companies currently experiencing the most success online are not lazy about it; they don’t buy fake friends and followers. They engage, entertain, nurture relationships and build on shared values with their outreach.

About Robert Danard
Rob Danard is the CEO and head of business development for Spriza, Inc, a marketing system that allows companies to quickly and cost-effectively promote a product or service by attracting widespread interest from a targeted audience. He is an entrepreneur and business development specialist who brings more than 10 years of diverse experience in the private and public sectors. He  started his career in the world of online technology, founding one of the first social networking sites, a wireless encryption company and a media and entertainment marketing company. Danard has worked as an independent consultant to various media firms assisting in valuations, assessment, development and deal flow. - See more at:

Monday, October 6, 2014

WEBINAR on the Nuts & Bolts of Fixed INDEX Annuities

Fixed Index Annuities
address some common consumer concerns by making the most of the environment. Learning about how helping your clients will help you build your business and reach your goals.

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Title: Understanding Fixed INDEX Annuities 
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 
Time: 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Peter Zinnen, CLTC

Call Peter at 1.800.842.8289