Friday, April 24, 2015

The Administration Goes on the Offensive Prior to DOL Fiduciary Proposal

Opinion/Editorial provided by:
Juli McNeely, NAIFA President & Owner/President at McNeely Financial Services, Inc.

The Obama administration is preparing to re-propose a Department of Labor rule to redefine which  financial advisors must act as fiduciaries when providing advice to retirement investors. While the proposal is not yet public, all indications are that it will be hostile to many NAIFA members and the middle-class clients they serve. 

In advance of publically proposing the rule, the administration has begun to soften the beaches with what certainly looks like a scare-mongering campaign. In a speech delivered at AARP headquarters, President Obama stated that some financial professionals are “selling snake oil” and bilking their retirement clients out of billions of dollars per year. By implication, he zeroed in on advisors who receive commissions as compensation.

NAIFA rejects this argument outright, as numerous studies show that consumers who receive professional financial advice grow their retirement savings faster than those who go it on their own. There are myriad laws and regulations already on the books protecting consumers from fraud and inappropriate practices. The products and services provided by NAIFA members and their colleagues have helped tens of millions of American families obtain financial security and maintain needed income throughout their retirement years.

For Financial Professional Use Only.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Finding a Win-Win Solution for Changing Needs

This blog post was provided courtesy of North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® By Gary Proco, Sales Vice President

It’s safe to say that generally all clients have the same goal in mind when it comes to life insurance: finding a product that meets their needs at the lowest price possible. And guaranteed universal life (GUL) is a great option to present to them. Not only does it provide low-cost life insurance coverage, but it also comes with a guaranteed death benefit.1 It’s a win for them.

Choosing the right GUL product can not only provide a winning solution for your client, but also set up future wins for your sales.

When looking at GULs for your clients, consider these two questions:

1.     Does it offer your clients the flexibility and control to change their coverage as their needs change, without evidence of insurability?

2.     Does it provide you with the opportunity to build future sales through an exchange privilege?

Win #1: North American’s Custom Guarantee® universal life insurance provides you both.

When recommending a GUL product as the solution to meet the needs of your client, it is very important to not only plan for today, but also for the future. We all know the client’s life will change over time. This product has a Guaranteed Exchange Privilege, which allows the client to exchange part or all of their original face amount to any of North American’s currently available cash accumulation products, without evidence of insurability—even if their health has changed.2

Win #2: Set up future sales.

The Guaranteed Exchange Privilege gives you a reason to review the GUL each year with your client to discuss the option of exchanging the original policy to an accumulation product. With this privilege on the GUL, you as an agent have created a lead system for future sales. Remember, just as you would discuss the conversion opportunity on a term policy, you can now have a similar discussion on the GUL. Once the exchange is exercised, you will receive commissions for the difference in premium of the original GUL.

The next time you’re looking at a GUL product for your clients, take a look at North American’s Custom Guarantee.  Low-cost coverage and flexibility for the future can benefit your clients as their needs change.

1.  Subject to premium payment requirements.
2.  Not available for policy ages 76 and above or if there is an outstanding policy loan. The Cash Surrender Value on the new policy may not be greater than the Cash Surrender Value on the policy being exchanged.
Custom Guarantee is issued on policy form series LS170 or state variations by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, Administrative Office, Sioux Falls, SD 57193. Product, features, riders, endorsements or issue ages may not be available in all jurisdictions. Limitations and restrictions may apply.

NAM-3105 1/15

Monday, April 20, 2015

Getting Clients to Take Action

May 15 - Live Workshop in Riverside, CA with Anthony Morris

If you are looking for WHAT TO SAY to clients and WHAT TO SEND and SHOW TO prospects to motivate them to want to meet with you, join us to learn practical step-by-step, plug-and-play referral strategies, unique and intriguing marketing approaches, and strategic alliance techniques. It's all here in one package - instructions included!

Friday, May 15 - 9 a.m. - Noon
Riverside, CA - Hampton Inn

Come and learn high-impact ideas to break through your income barrier. This fast-paced, idea-a-minute session will cover these topics:

·         Not getting enough/any referrals from accountants and attorneys? Use this unique campaign that motivates current clients to make these introductions actively and willingly. Mix in our Professional Development Day sponsorship methodology and you'll add a multiplier to this momentum-builder
·         New, fast "fix-it" techniques to renovate your client experience. Uncover the secret to accessing High Net Worth clients and the three power questions that get you invited into their financial lives under favorable circumstances.
·         Equip yourself with an inexpensive way of meeting dozens of new clients in one day - and having most of them wanting a private conversation with you about their financial direction.

Complimentary workshop brought to you by Partners Advantage.

REGISTER HERE before we reach capacity!

For Financial Professional Use Only. Not for use in solicitation or advertising to the public.

This material is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as the basis for any investment or purchasing decision.

This marketing session is for informational purposes only and is meant to illustrate some of the best practices that may make building your business more effective. These practices and results are based on Anthony Morris experience with financial professionals. The use of these practices or tools is strictly voluntary and is not required by the Partners Advantage. The testimonial may not be representative of the experience of other financial professionals and is not a guarantee of future success. The testimonials were not paid for. The information provided is for your own practice management purposes.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Alternative Income Ideas

As a seasoned financial professional, you know that no individual product should make up your client’s entire retirement strategy. If your practice has always focused primarily on life products, an expansion to annuities – specifically fixed annuities, may add additional leverage to your scope of services. By adding fixed income annuities, deferred income annuities, and/or single premium immediate annuities into the overall mix, you may be able to help your clients with potential problems such as an income gap.

If you've decided fixed annuities are a good fit for your clients and your practice, how do you, as the financial professional, determine which clients may be good fits for these products? Do they fit any of the criteria below?

• Are seeking to compliment other income sources such as Social Security
• Do not have any type of guaranteed* income or defined benefit pension plan in place
• Are market risk-averse and are seeking to protect premium from market declines, while at the same time seeking interest growth based on the market performance of an external market index
• Are looking for a way to convert large sums of cash from retirement plans into immediate income stream for a set period of time or over their lifetime

Before adding fixed annuities to your repertoire, you might be interested in some of the key why other insurance professionals are considering the addition of FIAs, DIAs and SPIAs to their product mix:

• Diversity of Asset Mix –FIAs, DIAs, and SPIAs can offer a way for clients
to diversify their portfolios by adding in a conservative and guaranteed* element.
• Provide a Primary Client Need – On the minds of many retirees today and those approaching retirement is that of outliving their income - and the benefits that are offered by these vehicles can provide a way to help alleviate that concern.
Ability to Insure a Portion of Your Client's Assets for Future Retirement Income––Because many clients will require professional assistance as they begin preparing their financial retirement strategy, as their insurance agent, you play a critical role in guiding your clients on the path to guaranteed income in retirement. Looking ahead as your clients mature and begin to seriously think about their future retirement income (vs. their retirement accumulation/saving strategy), offering a way to convert assets into income can give you the ability to help your clients significantly to enjoy their golden years. To learn more helpful income planning tips, fill out this short form to view our article in its entirety.

For Financial Professional Use Only. Not for Use With The Public.

*Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company.
Annuities are designed to meet long-term needs for retirement income. They provide guarantees against the loss of premium and credited interest, and the reassurance of a death benefit for beneficiaries. An income rider or benefit (sometimes called Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal benefits, or GLWB) is an additional feature available with some annuities and generally optional and come with additional costs. Income benefits are designed to provide income options above and beyond the standard annuitization or free withdrawal features in annuities.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Possible Solution to the Retirement Income Conundrum

One of the most powerful but underused retirement income opportunities available today has long been in the retirement planning tool box: cash value life insurance policies.

There are some important advantages that you should share with your clients when broaching the subject of cash value life insurance policies. They may be familiar with the process of paying a premium towards a cash value life insurance policy, wherein part of the premium goes towards funding the death benefit and the rest goes into a tax-deferred, interest-bearing account (the cash value of the policy). However, they may not be familiar with these additional, attractive features and benefits:

                    No strict contribution limits – 401(k), 403(b), 457, traditional and Roth IRA plans all have contribution limits. Cash value life insurance policies DO NOT. That’s right, they don’t have contribution limits.  A word of caution: Be mindful of the fact that the government may view excessive contributions as tax sheltering.
                    Variety of options – Given the vast array of different life policies on the market today, you can bind a policy that conforms to your client’s goals, their individual financial situation and their appetite for risk. Be it whole life, indexed universal life or other, there are numerous benefits of using a cash value insurance policy.
                    Greater access to the money – Many of our clients have first-hand experience with the obstacles involved with attempting to access traditional retirement planning vehicles – not to mention the potential penalties involved to do so. With cash value policies, withdrawals are tax-free up to the amount invested into the policy via straight withdrawals or by securing a loan. Of course, policy owners must be mindful of the fact that every dollar they withdraw beyond that point is taxed.  Also, they need to ensure that the premium continues to be paid to prevent the policy from lapsing.

Given their potential for providing powerful benefits over other retirement income options, cash value life insurance policy might be worth your client’s time to take a deeper review.

For Financial Professional Use Only. Not for Use With The Public.

The above article is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, they are not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Encourage your clients to consult their tax advisor or attorney.
Depending on the total amount of premiums paid, the policy may be treated as a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC) under federal tax laws. If a policy is treated as a MEC due to overfunding, then surrenders, partial surrenders, and loans will be taxable as ordinary income to the extent there are earnings in the policy. If any of these features are exercised prior to age 59½, a 10%2525 federal tax penalty may be imposed. A tax adviser should be consulted regarding policy-related tax matters.

Policy loans and withdrawals will reduce available cash values and death benefits, and may cause the policy to lapse or affect any guarantees against lapse. Additional premium payments may be required to keep the policy in force. In the event of a lapse, outstanding policy loans in excess of un-recovered cost basis will be subject to ordinary income tax.  Tax laws are subject to change.  You should consult a tax professional.

Keep in mind that most life insurance policies require health underwriting and, in some cases, financial underwriting.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hot Planning Trends with Executive Marketplace

With retirement nearing, and already well underway in many cases, for the largest generation in our nation’s history and the largest amount of wealth transfer ever, executive retirement planning and business succession planning are critical services that can provide impactful solutions for those that have an ownership interest or play a key role in a successful business.

Many of the leading IMO’s and carriers provide a complete range of services to address the valuation and succession planning needs of small to medium-sized businesses. These services cover every step of the succession planning process from fact finding to case analysis to a complete written succession plan, including funding and recommendations.

Why is succession planning and business continuity planning so important?

It should come as no surprise that small to medium-sized businesses are more important than ever to the U.S. economy. However, the failure rates at death or disability of the key players in the business can potentially be detrimental and hard to recover from. These factors, combined with the driving need to prepare for retirement, have created a sense of urgency in using insurance products to help put a strategy in place for proper business succession.

Product solutions such as flexible premium insurance are finding a place in these planning situations due, in part, to their tax advantages.  In an increasingly aggressive tax environment, offering a tax-friendly solution to your small to medium-sized business clients may be music to their ears.

For Financial Professional Use Only. Not for Use With The Public.

The above article is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, they are not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Encourage your clients to consult their tax advisor or attorney


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Evolution of Financial Underwriting

While tough medical underwriting cases tend to be quite onerous, carriers have become sensitive to the needs of prospective policy owners and have designed life products to combat these challenges. Two such products are survivor universal life (SUL) and indexed universal life (IUL).

SUL and IUL products have been on the market for quite a while but many carriers have become keen to the notion that ‘uninsurable’ and/or ‘heavily rated’ cases are where situations could be complex and time-sensitive.

Take for instance, this example: An SUL policy covering a standard risk owner can also provide coverage for a rated or even uninsurable owner. This solution, when coupled with a first-to-die rider, covers many scenarios:

1. In business cases, when an entity agreement is used it spreads the cost among owners equitably and also facilitates implementation of continuity plans.

2. In estate planning situations, the policy on both spouses interacts quite smoothly with the portability feature of the $5 million exemption wherein the major tax impact will typically arise upon the second death, which is precisely when the policy proceeds will be available.

Partners Advantage Insurance Services and their representatives do not give tax or legal advice. The material in this presentation and the concepts presented here are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax or legal advice.

Discussions of the various planning strategies and issues are based on our understanding of the applicable federal income, gift, and estate tax laws at the time of this blog post. However, these laws are subject to interpretation and change, and there is no guarantee that the relevant tax authorities will accept Partners Advantage’s interpretations. Additionally, the information presented here does not consider the impact of applicable state laws upon clients and prospects.

Although care is taken in preparing this material and presenting it accurately, Partners Advantage Insurance Services disclaims any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of any material contained herein and any liability with respect to it.

Keep in mind that most life insurance policies require health underwriting and, in some cases, financial underwriting. An optional rider is an additional feature available with some life insurance policies, and generally come with additional cost. Optional riders are designed to provide additional options above and beyond the standard provisions in life insurance.

For Financial Professional Use Only. Not for Use With The Public.