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.