Guess who’s back? It’s that favorite Uncle of ours and it’s time for our favorite time of the year….TAX SEASON.

We are waist deep in tax season and what better time to remind ourselves of the countless sales opportunities that arise out of this time of year. The best part is that with the focus on taxes, all of our clients are aware of all of the things that effect their financial lives. Whether it’s retirement plan contributions, annual gifts, charitable contributions, etc., it is all fresh in their minds. From just the few items listed, I’m sure a few sales opportunities come to mind.

In fact, a tax return is probably our best sales prospecting tool. As financial professionals, where else can you get a road map that leads you directly to all facets of someone’s finances. In terms of centers of influence, namely CPA’s, all of this information is fresh in their heads as well for all of their clients.

Wouldn’t it be great…

  • If there was a simple turn-key approach that can show you how to talk to your clients about their tax returns and turn that into revenue?
  • to have a platform that you can easily approach CPA’s with and enhance your current relationships?
  • to have a platform to approach new centers of influence?
  • to greatly increase your sales revenue for 2012?

"Happy DEPENDENTS Day"

No, that’s not a typo. That’s what I meant. Independence Day is upon us, but with all the freedoms that we celebrate, it is fitting to talk about the freedoms that we can provide for our families, our heirs, our Dependents.

There is nothing worse than witnessing a catastrophic event that can wipe out all that we have worked for our whole lives. Too many times, we see this happen to our clients, friends and others and it all comes down to poor planning. We live in a time where there is so much discussion about outliving retirement funds, what to do in the event of a long term care event, etc. As advisors, we have the ability to discuss a myriad of products and planning techniques with our clients to assure that they have done the proper planning to protect themselves (or their Dependents), against unforeseen life events.

What can we do to fill in the gaps? The short answer…A LOT.

Life Insurance – of course, the simple answer is Life Insurance. This has always been there to help Dependents get back on their feet. It can provide so many things; continued income, college educations, provides life long income for survivors, estate liquidity and the list goes on.

Long Term Care Insurance – providing a policy that will help offset the costs associated with a health care event requiring nursing home or home health care needs. This can be accomplished on an individual basis or under a Blended-Life design.

Disability Income Insurance – providing the replacement of one’s income with benefits should that person be unable to provide income due to some type of health impairment.

Income Annuities – for some clients, we can provide them/surviving spouse with an income that they can never outlive.

The above list is the more traditional approach for Dependent planning. But in today’s marketplace, we can go many steps further…

Living Benefits have become the popular trend in our industry and if you are not taking advantage of them, it’s going to cost you potential clients. Living Benefits enhance the traditional planning methods outlined above and ease the burdens on their Dependents. Here are some of the Living Benefits that you should be implementing with your clients:

Long Term Care Riders– LTCR’s can be added to Life Insurance policies and will allow your clients to access their death benefits should they have a life event requiring Long Term care needs. Although they come with different access definitions (e.g. indemnity v. reimbursement), the end result is the same, an ability to use a life insurance policy as a means to ease the burden on Dependents. They are even available on a rated basis for those that could normally not qualify for an individual LTC policy. Now, when a client objects to buying life insurance because “they won’t benefit from it,” in this case they can. This is a powerful tool to use and a great innovation to a standard life insurance policy.

Chronic Illness Riders –similar to the Long Term Care Riders, these benefits allow early access to death benefits for permanent types of illnesses. Once again, easing the strain on Dependents.

Guaranteed Income Riders– through the use of new annuity product designs, these riders can guarantee income to annuitants based upon the high watermark values of a contract. This allows individuals to receive a higher guaranteed income, regardless of market conditions that can deplete values prior to retirement.

Disability/Unemployment Plans – for those of you in the term marketplace, there is a policy available to pay premiums and possibly convert a policy to something permanent in the event of a permanent disability. Further, in the event of the insured becoming unemployed, premiums can even be paid for up to one year of unemployment.

Living Benefits have taken the traditional approach to selling our products and taken them to a new level. These benefits are designed with an underlying theme for you to bring to your clients…easing the burden on their Dependents.

So, as we celebrate our country’s independence, eating our hot dogs, hamburgers and watching fireworks, let’s think for a moment about how we assist our clients in protecting what is most important to them and…

HAVE A HAPPYDEPENDENTSDAY!

As we celebrate the birth of our great nation, we quickly associate the day with a colorful assortment of fireworks. Fireworks are one of those things that we look forward to with anticipation. They provide a level of excitement because as you look up, you really don’t know what’s coming next, but somehow we always seem to enjoy the outcome.

With the July 4th holiday, we, as Sales Professionals, look back on the half way mark of our years. How much premium was written? How many polices were sold? How many lives did we touch? We think about how many “fireworks” we set off in that time. Was that level of excitement there as well?

We have put together a unique Fireworks Display designed to increase your revenue streams in Four Core Practice Areas; Policy Valuation Modeling, Business Valuation Modeling, Asset Repositioning & Legacy Planning.

These Four Core Practice Elements can provide you with the “FIREWORKS” needed to get to that level of excitement with your clients and help you open up a number of New Sales Opportunities. Whether you are currently looking for business in these areas or not, you will see how easy it can be. This is achieved in a very simple way and can lead to sales relating to: Buy-Sell Planning, Deferred Compensation, Grandparent Legacies, IRA Maximization, Deferred Survivorship Planning, Inforce Management and many others to long to list.

Basically, these techniques will show you how to transition your current clients into other revenue streams that in the past were unsuccessful. In addition, it can show you how to open countless opportunities for new prospective clients.

So, it comes down to one question….. Are you happy with your fireworks display?

We want to assist you with achieving that level of excitement with an arsenal of Sales Opportunities that are guaranteed to position you well to finish out your best year ever.

Contact us to find out how we can help.

Happy Selling!

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again…there has never been a better time to be in our industry. While other industries are more susceptible to economic trends, ours seems to find its way through time after time. Regardless of the environment, there is always a need for the products and services that we provide.
Let’s face it, people always need life insurance. In fact, one can argue that today it is needed more than ever. After all, who can take better care of our families then ourselves? Regardless of what your political affiliation is, the fact of the matter is that the election is over, Obama has been re-elected and with everything there is always opportunity.
For those who subscribe to the “Glass is Half Empty” school of thought, it is easy to see the negativity. After all, the $5M gift tax exemption is going away; Estate taxes are going up; Income Tax Rates are increasing; we’re going over a “Fiscal Cliff;” they MAY tax the inside build-up of life insurance.
If you can see through that wall of negativity, you can just as easily see the opportunities that present themselves within that thinking. Ask yourself a question: Is Opportunity Nowhere or is Opportunity NOW Here? It’s all in how you look at it.
Yes, the gift tax exclusion will likely go away but let’s face it, how many clients were you dealing with that needed to make that $5M gift? And let’s not forget that the Estate Tax rates are likely going to climb. With that comes more a need to plan. Smaller thresholds will prevent more wealth from transferring to heirs. Wouldn’t logic have it that Life Insurance could be used to offset the additional taxes so that more of that wealth can get to the heirs?
Income tax rates are increasing. The tax increases are for those that are in a “higher income level” anyway. Those people still need access to products that will serve them well. Correct? And what about the market that is not considered upper income. This Middle Market is by far the most unsolicited segment, and studies and surveys have shown that they are the most needy when it comes to being serviced by Financial Advisors. Here’s an interesting fact… individuals who have $500,000 – $1,000,000 of assets make up 13.8 Million households in the U.S. with an average age of 58. That is a market that deserves a little attention and have needs that can keep us busy for a little while. Within that group are business owners, pre-retirees, concerned parents, grandparents, etc., that are all asking for help.
There’s all this talk about a Fiscal Cliff and all of the issues mentioned above are in some ways part of it. Every aspect of what we do going forward will be effected by the actions of the coming months. No one knows for sure what will be and what changes will be made, but the fact is that whatever the outcome, our industry will be effected in some way. What we as professionals have to decide is how will we look at it and how will we set the tone for our clients. They will, as they always have, be looking to us for advice and guidance. If we believe that the opportunities are NOW HERE as opposed to Nowhere, we will be better off.