The National Debt, Taxes and How to Prepare Your Client


Taxes are inevitable. And, given the increase in the national debt, a rise in taxes also seems inevitable. As a financial advisor, your concern is what this means for your clients and their plans.

There are a lot of different things going on in Congress and we have a new administration in the White House. All indicators so far point to those earning $400,000 or more being the most affected.  But we also need to consider Social Security and capital gains.

What it means is that tax-deferred assets and tax-deferred savings like annuities will be very beneficial in the future. If you think about what we are looking at in terms of the growth of the national debt over the next 30 years, it is very likely that the increase in taxes will not be just short-term. Instead, it will be a more sustained increase in the need for tax revenue.

And when having discussions with your clients, it means that you need to change your words. Don’t just talk about the nominal interest rate. Discuss the actual real rate of return. The real rate of return takes into consideration the impact of the actual rate of return, the increase in taxes, and the impact of inflation. And we’ve seen a little bit of inflation rear its ugly head when you compare annuities with many other alternatives, like certificates of deposits.

Annuities have a substantially higher real rate of return that will help your clients on an after-tax and after-inflation basis, allowing them to be able to buy the same things that they can today and well into their retirement. So, look at tax-deferred assets like fixed and indexed annuities. Your clients will be very open, given the consideration of where we’re headed with the national debt.

Call your retirement income consultant at (800) 589-3000. Sit down and talk with them about how tax-deferred assets can make a huge difference in the probability of success in your client’s retirement plans.


Transformational Tactic

Fixed and indexed annuities are effective planning tools against rising taxes and inflation.

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Turning Prospects into Clients


It’s all about constant communication. Your prospects need to hear from you, often, to understand your value and trust you with their future. A constant, consistent message is essential. But it’s also a tall order. After all, you’re a financial advisor, not a full-time marketer.

Most of us don’t have access to the bevy of content we need to do something consistently. We lack the expertise and the technology to create a nurturing drip campaign. And we lack internal resources to help us execute on a marketing strategy.  All of this, in addition to potential compliance bottlenecks, makes constant communication become aggravating and time-consuming.

In fact, 54% of growth-focused advisors share educational content on a regular basis. However, only 12% of those advisors are satisfied with their marketing return on investment.

But before you throw in the towel, I want to share a solution for creating engagement, organic lead generation and efficiency. In a word, automation.

We have access to a library of industry-related content from trusted publishers. This library can be used to create newsletters, individual emails or social media. It will allow you to post articles, brand content for each advisor and automate communication for a turnkey drip campaign. Leads are created when content is shared, allowing you to stay close to clients. You’ll also win back more time with quality content created for you.

Our library includes:

  • Digital magazine — monthly lifestyle magazine featuring articles on travel, art, food and design
  • Branded social media posts — thousands of blog posts to share, plus an automated bi-weekly email newsletter
  • Full calendar of local events — fully automated, bi-weekly email newsletters featuring virtual and in-person events.

The industry posts and newsletter will allow you to educate easily, which is another important piece of your online presence. The library covers 17 topics through PowerPoint slide decks, invitations and client workbooks, and they all come with FINRA nonobjection letters. They’re all fully scripted, and they can be used for in-person meetings, virtual webinar workshops, focused client meetings and even pre-recorded videos.

Reach out to our team of retirement income consultants at (800) 589-3000 to talk about how they’ve been able to use these educational pieces to help drive people to your organization. We look forward to helping grow your business in 2021 and beyond to become a High Performing Practice.


Transformational Tactic

Talk to our team about our ready-to-go content library, here to help you create an automated online presence. You’ll stay close to current clients and convert prospects at the same time.

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A Better Annuity Strategy than “Set It and Forget It”


Many of us have believed in asset allocation strategies –  that is, shifting money management to a third-party and talking to our clients about the long-term. Their money is put inside variable or fixed annuities, and you and your clients just let it sit. It’s a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality, and in less-turbulent times, it was a popular strategy.  But the global pandemic that we are still living with has shifted a lot of needs. 

Many people have lost jobs and are retiring earlier. Even more importantly, because of the volatility we are living with, there’s an increased interest in protected income. Today in America, there are $416 billion held in fixed and indexed annuities issued by insurance carriers. Not all of those are liquid, certainly, but according to a Gallup poll, 81% of those that bought a fixed annuity said they did so because they did not want to be a burden to their family.

All of this leads to a couple of opportunities:

  1. Most fixed annuities have been on the books for a long time. They do not have income riders — but the need to have protected income is an important part of their portfolio. If you have not looked at an Income Alpha strategy for these clients, I would encourage you to do so. A certain amount of protected income can actually leverage the portfolio to a greater probability of retirement success, a claim we have the numbers to back up. And, going back to the reason people buy annuities, it’s because they don’t want to become a burden to their families. Protected income is the best way of ensuring this doesn’t happen. It’s important to talk to your clients about using the asset appropriately.
  2. Under the Pension Protection Act, you can shift that tax-deferred asset with a 1035 exchange. If you use that asset for two of the six ADLs, then not only is your cost basis your gain, but also the explosion of market value of an LTC event are all received tax-free. So, you have shifted tax-deferred to tax-free. When you think about the increase in tax rates that are likely to happen over the next three to five years, I believe that your clients will be very receptive.

In total, there are more than $1.3 trillion of total annuities sitting on insurance carriers’ books right now. Think about that for a minute. Are your clients’ annuities performing like you thought that they would? Have those benefits been maxed out over the 10-year period available with an income rider? Can you increase income a little by looking at alternatives? Would a different vehicle preserve their assets better?

Add value to your clients by making a full evaluation of their annuity products. Our Annuity Audit service, backed by Morningstar Intelligence, is available to help. I encourage you to reach out to our team to learn more. We’ll work up a complete analysis and provide you with clear information to share with your client. Together, you can make an intelligent decision as to whether their current product is performing well or if there are changes to be made. And if there are, reach out to our retirement income consultants at (800) 589-3000 for more information.


Transformational Tactic

There are opportunities to increase your business by evaluating current annuities. You’ll improve your clients’ portfolios without reducing assets under management.

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What Does it Mean When Your Clients Go Quiet


It’s a weird time.

With all the recent market volatility and social distancing, it’s hard to know how to reassure your clients. And every client is different. You’re probably hearing from your more vocal clients. And they are most likely demanding your attention first. The squeaky wheel…you know the rest.

But what about those wheels that aren’t squeaking? You also have clients with concerns that aren’t reaching out. At least, they aren’t reaching out to you.

Be careful of the quiet people. Have you ever heard that phrase? In today’s climate, that’s good advice. With market volatility, it’s easy to focus in on the people who are calling us to calm them down. We take the necessary time to talk them through the market’s ups and downs and focus in on the long-term. And that’s an important part of our job. But we also need to talk with the people who are not calling us. Often, these clients are introverts.

Introverts tend to rely on their own research. And because they’ve taken the time to research, they tend to be more confident. But, even though they’ve done the research, they will seek out other people’s opinions to shape their own. That's significant for us as financial planners. They may very well be seeking out other financial professionals for ideas during these rocky times.

So regardless of your client base, whether they're calling you or not, you need to systematically reach out to all your clients.

The ones who are calling you, and, most importantly, the ones who are not.


Transformational Tactic

Develop a consistent, scalable message. And use it to reach out to all your clients. Especially those who may be calling somebody else.

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A Healthy Dose of Perspective


Fear around the Coronavirus is deeper than a run on hand sanitizer. It’s also driving a lot of recent market volatility. Considering all the information floating about, I remembered an article by Dr. David Katz that I read a few weeks ago. Dr. Katz is a leader of the Yale Prevention Center, and his article put things in perspective for me.

He begins by pointing out that, in America, the chances of being affected by the Coronavirus – at the time of his writing – was one in 100,000. That has likely changed by now, and probably continued to change from the time I wrote this to the time you’re reading it. Still, for most Americans, if you follow recommendations such as proper handwashing and social distancing, there’s a good chance of never being infected.

Now, the perspective. The chance of an American being struck by lightning is one in 3,000. It’s a significantly greater risk, and yet it’s one that, as a society, we’re apathetic about. Why? As Dr. Katz points out, there’s a larger apathy when no one’s talking about it. After all, when’s the last time you read a major news story about being struck by lightning?

In his article, Dr. Katz also brings up the continued misuse of food and diet, and its link to obesity—another topic we are apathetic about. Here in the United States, more than half a million people will die this year because of a poor diet.

Right about now, you might be wondering how this relates to you and your financial services practice. It’s a fair question. Let’s start with the market volatility I mentioned earlier. So far, it’s been about 10 days of an unsettled market. Your clients feel this uncertainty. And the uncertainty feeds the volatility.

What we should be worried about, though, is not just the last 10 days, or the immediate future. We need to be considering a larger epidemic. And we need to be talking about it and countering the apathy that comes when we ignore it. Are you ready?

People have not saved enough for retirement.

In addition, they continue to misuse Social Security. They are losing guaranteed defined benefits. Add that to the fact that we’re living longer than ever before. In fact, in today’s world, if you take a couple aged 45, there’s a 50% chance that one of them will live to age 95.

So, what do we need to take from this? Basically, it’s vital that we address the larger epidemic as opposed to talking about short-term blips in the market. If they aren’t addressing it with you, they’re probably talking to someone else. And that’s definitely not something to be apathetic about.


Transformational Tactic: Make sure you’re talking with your clients about the end goal. The biggest fear you have should be about the client who’s not calling.

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