David F. Royer, National Sales Director
Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company, Baton Rouge, La.
Every day, 10,000 baby boomers hit
retirement age. In less than 10 years,
they will control quite a bit of money
with a significant impact on the economy.
Producers need to position their
practice with the necessary training to
help direct that money. It is important
for clients to contribute to their 401(k)s
and 403(b)s in order to take advantage
of any matching funds; but when
the match stops, the money should be
rolled over into a flexible IRA.
Also, producers selling variable annuities need to stop
selling them to seniors because the products are expensive
and seniors could lose that money. Rather, those producers
should focus on the 40s-to-50s age group.
The future will be challenging for traditional producers.
They should get at least a Series 65 because of the growing
source of funds issue, which makes it difficult to transfer
funds to an annuity. And, of course managing those funds
is also an opportunity.
Douglas Hamm, Vice President of Sales
LifeSecure, Brighton, Mich.
Agents think long-term care insurance
is expensive and that its underwriting
is difficult, so we are taking a different
approach. It focuses first on what
clients can afford and then on shaping
the coverage-such as asking clients if
they can afford a dollar-a-day for longterm
For those frustrated with LTCi sales,
shoot "small." For example, small
employers represent a huge opportunity,
such as with a small business simplified
LTC plan. Agents can also take
advantage of a voice authorization online that immediately
Combination products for LTC are becoming popular,
but money can be used from an annuity and fed into longterm
care. So, combination products might be easier to
sell but they might not be the right solution for clients.
It is more challenging for advisors to understand how to
fund the LTC, but it would ultimately be better for advisors
and their clients.
Where will LTC be in the next five years? Nobody
knows, but you can be sure people will not be able to rely
on the government
Tom Bradley, Regional Vice President
Josh Karasow, Regional Vice President
First Annuity & Insurance Marketing, Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Uncertainty brought on by stock
market volatility is the key concern
among clients. Outliving their
money is a close second.
The best producers are generating
business by providing a guaranteed
lifetime income that clients
can't outlive. The split annuity is
the most used concept to successfully
convert clients by addressing
their fears. It gets them out of the
stock market and into an indexed
Expect more suitability requirements
in the future. The business
is not what it used to be five or
10 years ago. The application is 20
pages now, and that has to do with
suitability. Agents will have to get
used to doing business like this, although some are having
problems with it. The best agents can actually get good
will from the requirements because they let their clients
know that suitability doesn't allow bad producers to take
advantage of them. A key piece of advice: Don't focus on
the numbers-focus on the activity.
Charlotte Bewersdorff, Assistant VP of Annuities
Lynn St. Pierre, National Sales Director
M&O Marketing, Southfield, Mich.
Annuities have not been branded well for consumers
to the point that the word
itself has a negative connotation
to it. Because life
insurance is viewed as a
positive, it's an opportunity
for annuity agents to
broaden their practice and
add life insurance as part of
holistic planning, if it is the
right thing for the client.
The biggest surprise over
the past year is the lack of new products coming out.
Richard Gless, CCO/CMO
Royal Metals Group, Bettendorf, Iowa
As advisors look to diversify their
offerings, they should be looking
to one of the best performers out
there-gold. Gold has true value-it
Clients who understand how the
monetary system really works are
afraid of dollars that are based on
debt. If clients don't understand how
the system works-and many people
don't-advisors owe it to their clients
to help them understand.
Gold is a hedge against all risks
we know of. But you need to act fast because there
will be an even bigger grab for hard assets over the
next few years.
Brian K. Williams, Chief Operating Officer
Phil Graham, Chief Sales Officer
Financial Independence Group, Cornelius, N.C.
Producers would do well to look at
annuities in comparison with other
vehicles and set the context for clients.
Focus on the client, not the
product features. It doesn't make
sense to promote products much
anymore because everyone offers the
People are willing to lose money in
order to not lose more money-so
set the context. Caps are low-so sell
a product without a cap. Agents focus
too much on the roll-up rate; if someone
is selling solely based on roll-up
rate, they could be running the risk
of issues with the beneficiaries-the
total benefits-what's the income,
To be "that better advisor" means
getting away from the products and
prospect more. Regulations are not
going to go away-so seek the solutions
for the changing environment-
and, "If you are not going to incorporate managed money
into your practice, then don't do it."
Jim Stewart, Director of Recruitment
Asset Marketing Systems, San Diego, Calif.
Sustainable life time
now seeing the need to
plan for that.
Advisors should rededicate themselves
to bringing excellent services
and products to clients, transitioning
into relationship people. The object
is to find products that meet their
clients' needs without focusing on
In this low-interest rate environment,
the challenge is to offer product mixes that allow
clients to achieve their lifetime goals in a leveraged way,
without relying solely on yields. Carriers are helping by
coming out with additional features.
Seeing the securities industry finally understand that sustainable
income means survival for the senior market was
a surprise. Securities diversification is the only industry.
Producers need to have a vision, and be committed to it.
Michael J. Buckner, Senior Vice President,
GamePlan Financial Marketing, Woodstock, Ga.
A lot of agents are selling product
instead of concept even though it
should be a conceptual type of sale.
There are trillions of dollars in qualified
assets-baby boomers are getting
older; we need to talk to them
about legacy planning.
Many agents are working with clients
that have trusts, showing them
how to minimize income taxes, but
in 2013 taxes will go up. A lot of
wealthy clients will find themselves
in higher tax brackets. I see a sweeping tax reform coming:
tax brackets, losses in mortgage interest deductions,
lowering savings in a 401(k) program, alternative savings
vehicles-annuities, however, bridge the gap with social
security between ages 62 and 66.
And then there's the Medicare surtax-the total tax
rate for a trust is 33.4 percent-that's a hit, but an annuity
can help. Agents don't really understand estate planning.
They need to call their FMO firm to talk about it-
it might take 10 times, but they should understand it. We
need to better educate our clients on retirement planning.
Products are secondary-clients need to buy a retirement