Favorable Underwriting for CAD

Mia Dempsey – Manager, New Business

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 365,914 people in 2017.1

Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.2

If you have a client that has been diagnosed with CAD we have potential opportunities to get them a Standard or better offer with some of our carriers. 

  • American National – Ages 70+ with single vessel (right coronary artery) disease and other favorable factors, can receive standard rates. 
  • John Hancock – Possible Standard Plus or Preferred on treated CAD cases, ages 71+
  • Lincoln Financial – Cardiac credits – up to four tables’ worth of credits available to age 70. Standard rates may be available over age 70 with a history of coronary artery disease. 

1 https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronary-artery-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20350613

Contact your Asset Case Manager to obtain questionnaires.  Send completed forms back to receive tentative offers from the carriers and help your clients insure themselves for their loved ones.  

(Note:  Final offers subject to full underwriting)

The SECURE Act is Here – Take Advantage of the Opportunity

Jessica Stallings – Marketing Consultant

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) was signed by President Trump December 20th and became Law January 1st 2020.  The goal of the act is provide tools, together with tax relief, for the purpose of better preparing Americans for retirement.  

The average consumer has been flooded with information since the start of the year, but most are still finding themselves in search of answers about what changes may impact their individual situations. As an advisor, the changes may seem simple to you, however your clients need to be educated and will be looking to you for your expertise to get all their concerns addressed. 

Don’t assume your clients or prospects understand how the SECURE Act affects them. This is the perfect opportunity to engage with them.

We have created a customizable Secure Act Flyer for your convenience. Use this piece in your client and prospect communication in conjunction with any of marketing tactics listed below:


  • Host an Educational Event specifically on the state of the economy and new law changes
  • Host a Dinner Seminar or Workshop on any topic and plug in the SECURE Act information
  • Send out an email blast including the SECURE Act flyer 
  • Send an informative newsletter with suggested bullet points or flyer
  • Post a blog on your website (Bonus: Share it on Facebook)
  • Add top-of-mind bullet points to your current event invitations (see options below)

Top bullet points to add to your mailers:

  • Learn the key take-aways from the SECURE Act
  • Learn about the new opportunities created under the SECURE Act
  • Learn what pitfalls to avoid under the SECURE Act, especially as it relates to your retirement
  • Understand why an emphasis on guaranteed lifetime income was created in sections 203 & 204 of the SECURE Act
  • Five steps for every American to take right now in response to the SECURE Act
  • Why does the SECURE Act put a bright spotlight on annuities?
  • Find out why you may want to update your retirement and estate plans due to the SECURE Act
  • Stretch IRAs have been eliminated by the SECURE Act. What options are available for your heirs?

Please reach out to your Marketing Consultant if you would like help with additional collateral and/or planning your event about the SECURE Act.

Consider the Ultimate Gift of Love

Jeff Stemler, CLU, ChFC, CFP, Sr. VP – Advanced Planning

With Valentine’s Day being in February, our thoughts often turn to our loved ones. This love takes on many forms, one of which is to protect them. We would do almost anything to prevent a life-changing event that has devastating emotional, physical and financial consequences.  An event that often tears a family apart and puts their lives on hold.  Wouldn’t you do just about anything to prevent these consequences from affecting your family?

What’s the event that can cause such devastation? It’s when you or a loved one needs extended care. Is there an answer?  One option is to set aside enough assets to pay for your care which can be expensive and severely affect your lifestyle.  Is there another answer?  Consider Asset Based Long Term Care Insurance.

Asset Based LTC Insurance is unique in many ways:

  • The premiums are fixed and can’t go up
  • There are multiple ways to fund the coverage; single payment, annual payments for a specified number of years, or lifetime payments
  • Various assets can be used to fund the policy; cash, annuities, existing cash value life insurance, and even qualified plans
  • A return of premium rider is available on certain policy designs

Below is an example* for a husband and wife both 50 years old 

  • Premium $100,000
  • Return of premium guarantee $100,000
  • LTC coverage amount $236,792, which will pay $4,736 for 50 months
  • Benefits can be used by each spouse, or both until benefits are exhausted 
  • An immediate death benefit of $408,450 decreasing to a guaranteed $236,792 after 15 years

Multiple riders are available, including extended coverage options, and the only lifetime coverage benefit available on the market.

When you need extended care, your life does not end but your care-giver’s life, as they now know it, will.  Owning Long Term Care insurance is not for you, it’s an act of love for your family.

* Rates will be based on final underwriting decision. Coverages and policy features may vary from state to state. Consult your Asset Product Specialist to get a sample illustration.

Help Protect Your Clients from the “Next One”

Lexie Giusti, Sr. Marketing Consultant
(Asset Marketing Systems)

Since August 2018, the current bull market has been the longest-running in U.S. history. In addition to this incredible run, since the Great Depression, the Dow has hit multiple milestones and set record closes. The lesson we should learn from previous market influx and downturns is: “It isn’t so much about how much you’ve gained, but more importantly, it’s about protecting yourself from losing what you’ve gained!”

Your clients may be having the best run of their lives in the market right now. On the contrary, you could have clients that are feeling that 2008 pit in their stomach. Right now is the best time to educate your clients and prospects on current economic conditions, opportunities of in-service distributions, and locking in their gains from this long bull-run.

Take the opportunity to use the “Market Volatility” download by inserting it into an upcoming email blast or passing it out at a Learning Center event, or your next seminar. 

Download the Market Volatility Flyer

Please contact your Asset Marketing Consultant to discuss more ways to use this piece. 

SECURE Act Provisions

Sam Payne, RICP, CLTC – Vice President, Business Consultant
(Asset Marketing Systems)

December 20th of 2019, president Trump signed into law the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act” or the SECURE Act.  I see this Act as an effort to make sure American Retirees have the tools available to do exactly what retirement accounts are intended to do, provide income.  Annuities, and the guaranteed income they provide, can play a pivotal role in the success of a retiree’s income plan.  When Americans enter that permanent state of unemployment, called retirement, these products can and do help provide the paycheck or income needed to meet normal as well as emergency expenses. 

In addition to offering a safe harbor provision allowing annuities in 401K plans, the act makes substantial changes to the RMD age as well as the ability to contribute to an IRA after 70 ½. To pay for these benefits, it seems, the act also dealt a death blow to what is known as the “stretch” or “multi –generational” IRA.  Non-spousal IRA’s must now be liquidated within 10 years of the owner’s death.

This Act became law on Jan 1st 2020.  Below I highlight some key provisions of the act and provide five solutions and opportunities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Repeals the maximum age for traditional IRA contributions, which is currently 70½.
  • Increases the required minimum distribution (RMD) age for retirement accounts to 72 (up from 70½).
  • Allows long-term, part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans.
  • Offers more options for lifetime income strategies by providing a Safe Harbor provision allowing plan sponsors to include Annuities in 401K plans.
  • Permits parents to withdraw up to $5,000 from retirement accounts penalty-free within a year of birth or adoption for qualified expenses.
  • Allows parents to withdraw up to $10,000 from 529 plans to repay student loans.

Here are 5 Solutions and Opportunities to Consider:

  1. Re-Evaluate Beneficiaries
  • Spousal rollovers can be more valuable for tax-deferral
  • If you listed a trust as a beneficiary, review immediately
  1. Tax Bracket Management
  • Maximize low tax brackets
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions if you are charitabily inclined
  1. Examine Roth Conversions
  • Current lower rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are scheduled to sunset after 2025
  • Those close to RMD age have an additional 2 years from ROTH conversions
  1. Life Insurance as an estate and tax planning vehicle
  • Can replace all of the benefits of a stretch IRA and IRA trusts
  • Less tax for beneficiaries
  1. Avoid Trust Tax Rates by All Means
  • Highest trust tax rate at present is 37% for income over $12,950
  1. Highlight the benefits of FIA’s and their income riders 
  • Show those close to retirement that annuities are already available outside their 401K
  • Illustrate income that can be generated at their retirement age

Download the SECURE Act Summary PDF

These are some suggestions, and as always reach out to your Business Consultant here at AMS with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.

Are Your Clients Gambling With Their Retirement?

Josh Ver Hoeve, V.P. Annuity and Life Distribution
(Asset Marketing Systems)

January is Financial Wellness Month.

In 2019, each person in the United States spent about $1,000 on the holidays, which was up from the $885 average we saw in 2018. This means that there was more than $1 trillion spent on the holidays just in the U.S. alone. Included in that spending, 33% of people spent over $1,000.  The U.S. economy is doing well!  The market continues to soar to new highs over and over again, however the question remains for you and your clients – when will we see a correction or even a slowdown?  

Many experts are saying that in the next decade we can expect U.S. equities to be somewhere between a -5% to a +5%.  Perhaps more important, the last decade is highly unlikely or nearly impossible to repeat.  So the next question to ask is, when is a good time to take your winnings off the table and protect them?  I would take a guess and say that right now is about as good as a time as ever.  

Many Americans looking to retire in the next five to ten years don’t have to take the market risk to achieve their retirement goals.  So why take risk when it’s unnecessary?  Even in this low interest rate environment we still have Fixed Indexed Annuities with incredible accumulation potential, all while protecting your clients from another market downturn.  Take this first month of 2020 to plan for the future and your clients’ future. Let’s make sure our clients are financially well and not taking risk that is unnecessary.  

You may be wondering about which products are best for safety and accumulation, or perhaps have the best income riders on the market?  Maybe you’re looking to leverage assets for death benefit.  We have you covered, CLICK HERE to view our January 2020 top picks page for Annuities and CLICK HERE for life insurance.  Be sure to give our product team a call to discuss your cases, answer questions, or run illustrations.  Our number is 888-303-8755. 

Source USA Today Article November 29, 2019. 

Medical Information Bureau (MIB) – Facts and Myths

Mia Dempsey, Manager – New Business
(Asset Marketing Systems)

Everything You Need to Know About MIB

An essential part on the life underwriting process is the use of the MIB report. MIB, Inc. is a consumer reporting agency for use by insurance companies. 

MIB maintains a database for the member companies to exchange confidential information of underwriting significance when a person applies for life, health, disability income, long term care and/or critical illness insurance. This information is maintained and safeguarded in a coded format that is accessible only to authorized personnel of a member company.

To access this information, the member company must receive authorization from the proposed insured to use MIB as an information source. The authorization is provided by the completion of an insurance application and is signed by the proposed insured. The primary purpose of MIB is to protect the member companies from proposed insureds who knowingly or unknowingly omit information about their insurability on their application.

Frequently asked questions regarding MIB:

1. Can an insurance company obtain the final decision(s) of the proposed insured’s prior applications?

The answer is no. MIB does not provide the exact decision made by the insurance company only the details that affected the decision.

2. When a person checks online for information about an Insurance company or receives a quote online from a company do these actions get reported to MIB?

The answer is no. To access information from MIB the insurance company must receive a signed application by the proposed insured. The application can be either in paper form or electronic.

3. Does MIB receive information directly from an individual’s Medical Doctor?

The answer is no. Only insurance companies report information to MIB. This is only after the insurance company has received authorization from a proposed insured.

4. Can an insurance company obtain the name of the company(s) the proposed insured has applied to in the past?

Upon request MIB will supply the name of any insurance company(s) the proposed insured has applied to in the past.

 If your client would like information on MIB, you may provide a copy of the brochure “A Consumer’s Guide to MIB’s Underwriting Services” to the proposed insured.

Contact information for MIB:
50 Braintree Hill Park, Suite 400
Braintree, MA 02184
Phone: 781-751-6000
Website: www.mibgroup.com

Source: North American Company
This information for use only by Financial Professionals. Not for consumer use. 

The Ultimate Gift

Jeff Stemler, CLU, ChFC, CFP – Sr. Vice President – Advanced Planning
(Asset Marketing Systems)

“He was exactly four years, six months, five days, seven hours and forty-two minutes old when he presented himself to the venerable Gatekeeper and waited for admittance to the Glorious Kingdom of God”

So begins the story of the “Littlest Angel”.

The story goes on tell how homesick and unhappy he is in heaven. When asked what would make him happy he said he had an old box hidden under his bed and it contained the things that were most precious to him.

His wish was granted, the box was returned to him and he was very happy to once again hold his beloved box and its contents. “When Jesus was born, the Littlest Angel had no gift for Jesus… except for his memory-filled box, and at the bottom of the box a limp, tooth-marked leather strap, once worn as a collar by his mongrel dog, who had died as he had lived, in absolute love and infinite devotion.”

I first heard this story when I was in the third grade and it has stayed with me all these years. Even at that young age, I understood this was an example of unconditional love, and that battered old box was the Littlest Angel’s ultimate gift.

With Christmas upon us, the thoughts of giving and receiving gifts are all around us.  But there is one gift that can only be given with unconditional love and that is life insurance.  We have nothing materially to gain by providing life insurance for our family, but we can know in our hearts that we have kept the promises when we got married and held our babies, to protect and provide for those we love.

Just like that battered old box, our gift of life insurance is our ultimate gift to our loved ones. 

Merry Christmas.

‘Tis the Season for Giving… A Look at Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

Sam Payne, RICP, CLTC – Vice President, Business Consultant
(Asset Marketing Systems)

As we quickly approach the end of one tax year and the beginning of another, a review of Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and their application for some of your clients makes perfect sense.

Referrals, the holy grail of any enterprise, are a by-product of providing exceptional service and value to your existing clients.  So much so that they want to share you with their friends and acquaintances, and so you become referable.

Informing and educating clients who can take advantage of QCDs about them, and the benefit of doing so is one of those opportunities to add value.

What is a QCD? QCDs have been around in some form since the Pension Protection Act in 2006.  Their value changed as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2015, and under current tax law, they can provide an additional benefit for tax years through 2025.  Prior to 2017, the QCDs strategic importance lay primarily in the fact that it could help older taxpayers meet their philanthropic goals while also satisfying IRA required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the increase in the standard deduction, many individuals find themselves in a position where total itemized deductions do not exceed the standard deduction.  So deducting charitable contributions will not have the benefit it may have had previously.

Here’s an example: 

For the 2019 tax year, a couple plans to file jointly. They are both age 75 and anticipate adjusted gross income (AGI) of $125,000, including $60,000 in RMDs. 

$125,000 total income   (including 60,000 RMD)

Standard deduction $27,000

Charitable gift $5,000  

Taxable income $98,000  ($125,000 minus standard deduction)

If the QCD was utilized, the taxable income would be $93,000 saving approximately $1,300 in taxes.

Reach out to your Business Consultant for more information on QCDs, the rules and limitations…then start talking to your clients currently receiving RMDs.  Are they giving to a charity annually, and are they utilizing the QCD? If not, show them how to!

To get more background on Qualified Charitable Distributions, watch the video below to hear Sam Payne discuss the history of QCDs along with a case study.

Today is like any other day.

Today is like any other day. At 5:30 I woke up. At 6:00 I helped Dad out of bed to go to the bathroom. By 7:00 I dressed him and sat him down so I could feed him his breakfast. After breakfast, I put him in his chair and turned on the TV. Around 9:00 took him to the bathroom again. At noon I prepared his lunch and fed it to him. The afternoon was TV and the usual bathroom breaks. Dinner was ready at 6:00 and I finished feeding him so he could watch his favorite show, Jeopardy, which is kind of funny since he has dementia and doesn’t know any of the answers. My day ends showering Dad and getting him into bed … tomorrow will be just like any other day.

Your life doesn’t end when you need extended care; the life, as they know it, can end for your care givers.

Extended care is a life changing event that can have devastating emotional and physical consequences to your spouse and children. Providing care to you may make them as chronically ill as you are. Those you love have no choice but to put aside their lives to make sure you are safe.

When you first got married and when your children were born you would do anything to assure their happiness and well-being. Long Term Care insurance is a gift of love. It is going to allow them to have a life. Long term Care insurance will allow them to supervise your care and not be the care givers, and for them tomorrow will be a brand new day.

November is Long Term Care awareness month and this topic certainly needs more awareness in our business. Unfortunately, too many clients do not insure themselves with Long Term Care coverage because they simply think they’ll be one of the people who don’t need it (only about 30% do not need care). The risk is obvious and the consequences to your family sometimes are overlooked if you become frail and need extended care.

The Asset product team has a variety of options and sales ideas to help you plan for your client’s Long Term Care risk. From Asset Based Long Term Care to FIAs with guaranteed income enhancements, when someone gets sick we can help you provide a solution.

The important part of positioning an underwritten Asset Based LTC product is to set the stage for that client during the sale and process. If they don’t qualify, we have incredible options using Fixed Index Annuities and enhanced income riders that will not involve underwriting. While FIAs with income riders are not true Long Term Care insurance, it will certainly help replace income when someone needs care.

Click here for the life top product list, and what our product team feels are the top three Asset Based LTC products!

Click here for the annuity top product list, and what our annuity team believes are the best products based on each client’s specific goals.

Would you like to see an illustration? Call the Asset Annuity & Life Team at 888-303-8755 and we’ll be happy to help you! Or, request an illustration through our Producer Portal by clicking here.