Annuities

Want to Win? Practice Your Free Throws


Annuities

Just when you thought I couldn’t write anymore basketball-related financial planning tips … I’m releasing my third book, “Free Throws for Financial Professionals.” Kidding aside, this book really gets to the heart of everything I believe in. It centers around 10 principles I learned as a student manager at Indiana University under legendary Coach Bob Knight – principles I still apply to my work and life today.

 

While Coach Knight is considered a controversial public figure, I always thought of him as my best professor at IU. (That’s saying a lot as the Kelley School of Business was constantly ranked in the top 10 of undergraduate business schools.)

 

Free throws are in the title because they’re a vital part of a basketball game. Championships are won and lost at the free throw line. At the end of the game, when every second and every point matters, you have to be able to execute. It requires repetition, attention to detail and technique.

 

I like free throws because you don’t have to be athletic to be a good free throw shooter. It helps, but it’s not a requirement. Instead, hard work, concentration and calmness will help you sink the shot.

 

Practice and Preparation

One of the greatest strengths Coach Knight possessed was his ability to plan for an opponent. I’ve always said that Coach wasn’t as much of a basketball genius as he was just extremely prepared for games. He knew his team better than anyone else – their strengths and weaknesses. He also understood how to use those strengths against the other team.

 

You should do the exact same thing. Now, don’t misunderstand me – your clients are not your opponents. You should always be working on the same side of the table. However, you need to plan for every meeting. Every interaction. You have to know the game inside and out.

 

In order to succeed, you need to know the numbers that drive your success – so you can adjust and make changes along the way. You have to understand the activities that drive your sales. Here are some things every financial professional should know:

 

  • What are the key performance indicators for you and your staff – sales and administrative?
  • How can you duplicate those activities more often next year?
  • Which activities need to be delegated to another person so you can focus on the key performance indicators for your business?
  • Can you become more effective at your key activities?

 

Winning Strategy

Practice and plan for success. Read my new book, “Free Throws for Financial Professionals,” to learn how I measured success and set activity goals that nearly assured my sales. You can order or download a copy of the book at www.freethrowsforpros.com.

 

Winning Strategies

Craving More?

Face it. These days, your phone changes faster than you do. Continuous improvement is the name of the game. If you’re standing still, you might as well be walking backward.

Special guest Scott Fergusson joins us to talk all things innovation and how you can easily upgrade your business. Not just to keep up with the industry, but to get ahead of your competition

Watch Now

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a team leader, retirement industry activist and disciple of Indiana Hoosier basketball. In addition to being EVP of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he is a sought-after writer and speaker. His web series, “Winning Strategies,” provides insight and motivation for financial advisors in many forms – blogs, books, videos, podcasts and more. His latest book, “Free Throw for Financial Professionals,” is available now at www.freethrowsforpros.com.

Retirement Practice Enhancement Financial Planning

Strategies to Grow Your Client Base in 2019


Annuities

It’s hard to believe it’s time to plan for next year already. You might think it’s early, but completing the planning process now, at the start of the fourth quarter, gives you an advantage in a couple of ways. First, you can start changing your habits so you hit the ground running on Jan. 1. And, when you have more time to think about your business instead of work in your business, you tend to make better decisions.

 

One decision you should consider in 2019 is how you will grow your client base. Gaining clients is always a challenge for planners. It was a challenge at the start of this industry. It’s a challenge today. And it will be a challenge in the future. Why? Here are three reasons:

 

  1. Your competition is only growing. When prospective clients search Google for financial planning, they will find millions of wealth managers and online tools to help them make more informed decisions. Many of those resources are very inexpensive and easily accessible via technology.

 

  1. Consumers don’t wake up needing financial planning services. They have their sights on other tangible purchases and plan for retirement less than they plan for vacations.

 

  1. Our industry works on the most complex problems for our clients: retirement and longevity. There are so many potential solutions and changes during a 20 to 30-year retirement that clients become frustrated with the planning process. It doesn’t help that it’s very hard to do business in the insurance industry as a whole, due to regulations and paperwork.

 

No matter the challenge, acquiring new clients is the single most costly activity in your business. Which is why you should focus on ways to make it better.  

 

One of the more efficient ways to attract clients is to look deeper within their family – they have a higher trust factor because they know someone working with you. Marketing to family members might provide a better return than investing in mail campaigns, seminars or referral materials. Remember, billions of dollars will transfer from one generation to next over the next two decades, so you’ll want to follow those assets.

 

In order to connect with the next generation and start your relationship on a positive note, here are some ideas you should consider implementing as part of your marketing strategy next year:

 

  • Beneficiary reviews on all life insurance, annuities and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). There are so many horror stories around the lack of a proper beneficiary designation that causes family strife, unintended tax consequences and funds going where they are not supposed to go.   

 

  • Harvest the cost basis on nonqualified annuities. While the tax law reduced the tax brackets, passing an annuity with embedded gains to the next generation forces the beneficiary to pay higher taxes at time of receipt. There are mechanisms to obtain the cost basis first and the gain second, which is completely opposite of most death claims in annuities.

 

  • Pass along family values with family wealth. Establish an income stream for the life of grandchildren that includes handwritten notes from the grandparents at special birthdays or events. You can gain a deeper understanding of the family dynamics by having this conversation.

 

So, if you want to increase your clients next year – and everybody does – consider looking within your existing base. Develop a specific marketing strategy to consistently and thematically talk with your clients about adding value for their family.

 

When you deliver value, relationships tend to follow – like lightning and thunder.

 

Winning Strategy

Look inward first. Your existing clients can provide the key to future growth through their children and grandchildren. Develop specific marketing strategies around the value you can bring to their entire family.

 

Winning Strategies

Craving More?

Face it. These days, your phone changes faster than you do. Continuous improvement is the name of the game. If you’re standing still, you might as well be walking backward.

Special guest Scott Fergusson joins us to talk all things innovation and how you can easily upgrade your business. Not just to keep up with the industry, but to get ahead of your competition

Watch Now

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a team leader, retirement industry activist and disciple of Indiana Hoosier basketball. In addition to being EVP of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he is a sought-after writer and speaker. His web series, “Winning Strategies,” provides insight and motivation for financial advisors in many forms – blogs, books, videos, podcasts and more. His latest book, “Free Throw for Financial Professionals,” will be available in October.

Practice Enhancement Retirement Annuities

Why (and How) You Should Measure Activity, Not Revenue


Annuities

While sales and revenue are important, it’s going to be your activity that truly defines your success or failure. But, how do you track and measure your activity? How do you ensure you see results? One option is the activity points system.

 

Years ago, I heard of the activity points system from fellow members of the Million Dollar Round Table. Many had used this system to establish successful habits, and they continued using it to reach their goals.

 

Here’s how it works: Activities are assigned a points value, and your goal is to reach 20 points every day. Once you reach 20 points, you don’t have to make another cold call, schedule another client meeting or do anything else, really. When you do this, you can walk away from the office feeling good about the day, regardless of whether you made any sales.

 

Points values should be based on key performance indicators, i.e., activities that have a higher impact on revenue should be assigned a higher value. Here’s an example:

  • 1 point for picking up the phone to make an outbound call
  • 2 points for reaching the intended target
  • 3 points for scheduling an opening interview with a prospective client
  • 5 points for completing any client meeting
  • 7 points for a meeting that resulted in asking for a sale
  • 10 points for engaging a new client, regardless of sale
  • 20 points for making a new engagement that meets your daily revenue goal

 

Whenever I concentrated on the activity point system, I found that my pending sales increased and, eventually, my pending sales turned into paid business, which resulted in reaching my financial goals. The points took off the pressure to “sell” or meet daily/weekly financial goals. By focusing on activity, the results would always follow.

 

Additionally, I found the activity points system to be extremely helpful for several reasons:

  1. It forced me to focus on activities that generated sales, even when I didn’t feel like doing the hard things
  2. When I hit 20 points consistently every day, my sales didn’t see slumps
  3. When I didn’t hit 20 points consistently, I could pinpoint future revenue dips and plan accordingly
  4. My work/life balance improved because I felt good when I left the office, even without engaging a new client or relationship

 

Think about implementing your own point system. By focusing on activity, you will find that your client engagement is more consistent and profitable. It will help you maximize your time spent on the key performance indicators that drive your business.

 

Winning Strategy

Translate your important key performance indicators into an activity points system. This allows you to focus on activity, not revenue.

 

Winning Strategies

Craving More?

Face it. These days, your phone changes faster than you do. Continuous improvement is the name of the game. If you’re standing still, you might as well be walking backward.

Special guest Scott Fergusson joins us to talk all things innovation and how you can easily upgrade your business. Not just to keep up with the industry, but to get ahead of your competition.

Register Now

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a team leader, retirement industry activist and disciple of Indiana Hoosier basketball. In addition to being EVP of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he is a sought-after writer and speaker. His web series, “Winning Strategies,” provides insight and motivation for financial advisors in many forms – blogs, books, videos, podcasts and more. His latest book, “Free Throw for Financial Professionals,” will be available in October.

Retirement Financial Planning Practice Enhacement

Insurance for the Uninsurable: How Annuities Help Fill the Gap


Annuities

With so many uninsured Americans out there, I always think there’s a great opportunity to sell protection-based products. My rational brain reminds me that not everyone is insurable. But don’t let that stop you.

Too often, planners give up when they can’t secure life or long-term care insurance for their clients. Don’t forget to look at other insurance-based options. Annuities can provide some of the protection your clients need when insurance coverage cannot be secured through underwriting.

Here are three ways our products help to fill the gap:

  1. Many income riders provide ancillary benefits, including death benefits and long-term care coverage. Of course, there is an additional cost for these optional features. But, even with the additional cost, these riders could be a good option for people who could not otherwise enjoy the protection of a death benefit or long-term care coverage due to their health conditions.
  1. We’ve previously explained how you can use annuities to not only pass along family wealth, but also pass along family values. When you attach your planning to your client’s values and not just their wealth, you create a stickiness that can’t be beat by any competitor. You might not create as large of an estate as you’d be able to with life insurance, but you can help the family control the disbursement of wealth. In the end, proper estate planning is getting the right asset to the right person at the right time.
  1. Remember, long term care is more of a cash flow issue than a capital issue. Many income riders have an enhanced feature – for some additional cost – to increase the benefit base or payout rate for long-term care events. Again, it’s not going to be as good as a traditional or asset-based long-term care plan. However, it will provide improved cash flow.

 

Winning Strategy

Because annuities provide valuable benefits in a cost-effective manner, they can be a vital part of your clients’ overall protection plans. When they can’t secure the insurance coverage they need through underwriting, look to annuities to fill some of the gap.

 

Winning Strategies

Craving More?

As our population continues to age, risks increase due to longevity. And, longevity is the greatest multiplier of all the retirement risks. We were joined by Tim Ash to tackle these risks and offer solutions.

Watch the Replay

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a team leader, retirement industry activist and disciple of Indiana Hoosier basketball. In addition to being EVP of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he is a sought-after writer and speaker. His web series, “Winning Strategies,” provides insight and motivation for financial advisors in many forms – blogs, books, videos, podcasts and more. You can get his latest book, “Winning Strategies: The New Rules of Retirement Planning,” on Amazon.

3 Tips to Simultaneously Protect Income and Legacy


Annuities

Planning for retirement and protecting a client’s legacy go hand-in-hand. You cannot pass along family wealth without adequate life insurance planning. And, your client will not be able to sustain a standard of living without proper longevity planning.

A retiree who lives off a systematic withdrawal strategy risks the chance of eroding their family’s wealth due to longevity-related issues. They might live beyond their planned life expectancy and need more income. There’s also a high chance of needing long-term care – a single event may cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars and wipe out anything to pass along to children or grandchildren.  

Strategies exist to both maximize your client’s retirement income and protect their family members using life insurance and lifetime annuities or pensions. At the end of the day, it just requires planning and preparation.

Here are three ways you can protect your clients’ income and legacy at the same time:

  1. Make the most of guaranteed income. Guaranteed income comes in many forms. I’m not just talking about annuities. Social Security and employer-provided pension plans are also sources of guaranteed income. It’s critical that you help your clients maximize each by carefully weighing their options. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. By maximizing income from these guaranteed sources, you’re lessening the burden on other assets to perform.
  1. Approach prospects earlier. Too often, I hear wholesalers and advisors talking about the right client to approach for retirement planning – they usually say late 50s or early 60s. In today’s economic environment, I think it’s younger than that. Americans’ retirement savings rate remains dangerously low. That has to change through education with advisors. The sooner you can get clients on the right track, the better. They’ll have more assets to work with, giving them more options for how – and when – they want to retire or pass on their wealth.
  1. Use non-correlated assets. Our studies have shown that withdrawal strategies using a non-correlated asset reduced the failure rate of retirement plans to just 2 percent – compared to 25 percent with a systematic withdrawal strategy.1 I think all your clients would appreciate increased confidence that their retirement and legacy plans will work.  

 

Winning Strategy

Use guaranteed income properly and in conjunction with life insurance to create holistic financial plans. Protect your client’s retirement income and their legacy at the same time.

Winning Strategies

Craving More?

As our population continues to age, risks increase due to longevity. And, longevity is the greatest multiplier of all the retirement risks. Join us along with Tim Ash as we tackle the opportunity in retirement!

Register Now

 

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is a team leader, retirement industry activist and disciple of Indiana Hoosier basketball. In addition to being EVP of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he is a sought-after writer and speaker. His web series, “Winning Strategies,” provides insight and motivation for financial advisors in many forms – blogs, books, videos, podcasts  and more. You can get his latest book, “Winning Strategies: The New Rules of Retirement Planning,” on Amazon.

 

 

1Ash Brokerage, “QLACs Improve Probability of Retirement Success,” 2018: http://go.ashbrokerage.com/WC2018-03-12-RET-30007_LP-Content.html