There is nothing quite like a forced shutdown of an entire economy to make you think, “So, what’s next?”

Lexie Giusti, Sr. Marketing Consultant


When it comes to your pipeline, you may have gotten lucky with loyal clients and referrals through this pandemic. But what happens when your pipeline starts to dry up? Do you have a plan to get back to marketing?

Enhancing your value and the client experience will significantly benefit your business long after the crisis is over. Asset has been forging ahead with new marketing solutions and staying committed to delivering low-cost and straightforward ways to helping you adapt. 

While it may seem counterintuitive, leveraging technology can mean becoming more patient when it comes to building relationships and making a sale; it requires a different way of thinking about communications and consumer behavior.

Watch this webinar as we discuss how you can make technology enhancements to your practice and keep marketing to gain big rewards in bringing new business through the door. 

Watch the Webinar Now

Call your marketing team today to help you discover what we can do to help you stay ahead of the curve. 

Carriers Adapting to a “New Way of Underwriting”

Mia Dempsey, Manager – New Business


In an effort to make life insurance risk assessment easier during the pandemic, carriers are continuing to streamline their underwriting processes. These methods include expanding and instituting new accelerated underwriting processes, and adding features to their websites to assist advisors with inforce business.  Below are some of the ease of business changes we’ve encountered.

Allianz 

Expanded Accelerated Underwriting from $1.5 million to $3 million, as well as including Premium Finance business.

  • Accelerated Program guidelines that remain unchanged:
    • Ages 25-60
    • Preferred nontobacco or Preferred Plus nontobacco risk classes
    • Requirements: MIB, MVR, Rx, Underwriting Consumer report, and PHI

Banner 

New Horizon drop ticket process generates an email to the client allowing them to complete an online application.  No more waiting for the client to be available for a telephone interview.

  • Carrier will then do MVR, MIB, etc.
  • This gives clients the flexibility to complete the entire application online in under 20 minutes 
  • Reflexive questions in the application reduce the need for exams and labs

LFG 

Paperless term cases; electronic ticket Tele-App process with automated underwriting and Electronic policy delivery on all cases.

National Life Group  

  • New electronic policy delivery option for annuities and life cases
  • See actions that your clients are taking with the carrier call center, website, and mobile application by using the new Client Intelligence feature on the carrier website:

Give the Life Team a call to run an illustration, answer questions, or get a preliminary risk assessment done for your clients.  We’re here to help and appreciate your business! 

Important Note:  Despite the early underwriting challenges during the pandemic, our Case Managers’ average turn-around-times from submission to approval remains at less than 38 days.  

The New Retirement Reality

Sam Payne, RICP, VP Sales, Business Consultant


In the midst of the battle to quell the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the resulting economic fallout, we are beginning to hear warnings of the longer-term impact to our financial markets.  Articles like the ones referenced below clearly point to more subdued equity returns over the next decade:

Opinion: Bulls just won’t believe what interest rates are saying about U.S. stock and bond returns for the next 5 years

and 

Expected Equity Market Returns For The Next 10 Years (Part 2)

This is without a doubt problematic.  Retirees are in a predicament.  Stocks are trading at high levels and interest rates are low, so savings accounts aren’t producing income. Meanwhile, Americans are living longer, without pensions, and many will need some form of long-term care. After a tremendous run, Wall Street has tempered expectations for stock and bond market returns for the next decade.

These muted returns being forecast are not something new.  Even before the effects of COVID, lower returns were being forecast. Over the last several years I have referred to the Morningstar Long-Term Economic outlook for guidance.  This annual article polls a number of asset managers to get a sense of what the industry’s stalwarts are planning for and forecasting.  As you can imagine, each year there is a wide variance in the expected returns.  If you are to take an average of the 6 -7 prognostications each year you will see that the current article points to about a 2.7% average annual rate of return (if we assume a 2% inflation rate to convert nominal to real and vice versa). 

Annexus has recently created a very well done video and white paper with their research. These pieces point to returns that are closer to 4% over the next decade.  Take a moment to watch this video:

Annexus Insights

You can get a copy of the whitepaper by reaching out to your Business Consultant.

The point is, there’s plenty of evidence that we could be in for a dramatically lower return scenario for the next decade.  

So we come to the new retirement reality.  As part of our long successful seminar series describes, one of the five major risks all retirees face is market or sequence of returns risk.  The real risk is that prior to and during retirement years the financial markets will behave in a fashion detrimental to maintaining and sustaining an income to support the retiree’s lifestyle. Our goal is to identify and help individuals manage these risks, and when it comes to risk there are only four ways to manage it.  

  1. Avoidance
  2. Reduction (or mitigation)
  3. Transfer
  4. Retention.

So how can we, as Financial Professionals, help?  Well each one of you appointed with Asset Marketing Systems, by virtue of the fact that you have an insurance license, has one of the best risk management tools there is available to you.  Insurance – Risk transfer!  What if you were to highlight the models and provide a solution that transfers the risk by getting a better than anticipated or even a guaranteed growth for income producing destined assets?  

As an example, you can propose an FIA income rider with a guaranteed roll up of 9% -10% simple, or 7% compounding, contrasted with a 3.5% – 4% equity market return over the next ten years.  For someone ten years from retirement, knowing their “income base” is growing at a guaranteed rate takes a lot of pressure off, and when you couple this strategy with a diversified, managed portfolio, you start to incorporate all four aspects of risk management in a single financial plan.

The bottom line is there’s a real risk that market/sequence of returns over the next ten years could have a detrimental effect on retirees, and you have the tools to help manage this risk.  It’s up to you to educate yourself and communicate with your clients and prospects about how you can help.  

Watch Sam Payne’s webinar for a deeper dive into this specific conversation. 

Register Here

Math or Magic?

Jeffrey Stemler, CLU, ChFC – Sr. Vice President, Advanced Planning


Why is it so hard to save enough for retirement? 

Part of it is, it’s just “life”. We know we should start saving as soon as possible but when you are 25 and fresh out of college, married and a baby on the way – money is in short supply.  In addition, if you’ve started a business, all excess money gets reinvested to build the business in the early years.  Doctors have a different problem but with the same outcome. They don’t start earning “real money” until they are in their late 30’s or early 40’s.

So besides starting to save later than they should, what other issues prevent most people from achieving their goals for retirement?

Let’s look at traditional retirement strategies – 401(k)s and IRAs. The overwhelming strategy is a blended portfolio of stocks and bonds and over the long haul it should produce a positive rate of return. Unfortunately, this is an accumulation strategy, not an income strategy, AND if you are invested in the market when you retire AND the market declines YOU CAN’T MAKE UP FOR THE LOSSES because you are no longer working. 

When we talk about not saving enough in addition to starting too late, studies show that on average high income earners save around 9%.  However to maintain lifestyle in retirement, people should be saving 34% – that’s just not realistic.

Finally when you add in the factor of taxation on distribution, it’s like swimming upstream – every three dollars you earn, you could owe one or more to the government.

Is there a viable investment strategy that could help to make up for starting to save for retirement late.

  • Can it also prevent losses due to the market when you are in retirement?
  • Can it also provide income for a lifetime?
  • Can this strategy eliminate taxes on withdrawals?

The answer is yes, when you use an Index Universal Life Policy that has been designed as an “income engine”. 

When you get down to it, it’s just “Math”.  A properly funded IUL can:

  • Eliminate losses due to the market
  • Increase distributions by 100% to 300%
  • Avoid taxes on distribution. 

Bottom line is…it’s “Math” not “Magic”.

To get more information on IUL, Asset’s Planning Compass, or other Life inquiries contact Jeff Stemler – jstemler@assetismarketing.com