Americans are depending heavily on their retirement plan dollars to make up the bulk of their retirement income assets during their golden years. For most insurance agents, implementing and/or reviewing a retirement plan has never really been a part of their core practice. This is most likely due to the lack of having a trusted resource and partner to present a business owner with an opportunity to conduct a review in the first place.
Typically, this review process has been approached and managed by financial advisors rather than life insurance brokers mainly because their firms have dedicated resources to provide this exact type of service. Financial advisors are security licensed and are able to discuss registered, security-related products with the employer and his employees. Most of the focus for insurance agents has been on helping individuals mitigate their risk exposure with products like life, disability and long-term care insurance.
Agents typically approach questions about retirement planning by pointing clients toward specific products, such as cash-value life insurance that provides tax-free income. In addition, there are many options for retirement plan rollover dollars from their clients’ former employers. There are products like annuities that will provide guarantees in retirement to provide an income streams and rates of return for the life of the client/contract.
Interestingly—according to American National Insurance Company—there are 27 million businesses with less than 20 employees and make up 98 percent of all business in the United States. The amount of assets that currently exist in these plans represents more than $68 billion. We also know that 91 percent of Americans have indicated they have not saved enough money to live comfortably during retirement. Over 81 million baby boomers know they need to accelerate their retirement savings if they want to retire on time as projected. The most interesting finding from these statistics is that the demographic here actually represents the type of clients that insurance agents are working with on a daily basis already.
Clients are receiving advice and direction from multiple sources on an uncoordinated effort by their advisory team. This has led consumers to be more proactive and pursue answers by themselves, searching for solutions that are coordinated all into one place. The Internet has made access to these answers and solutions much easier. According to Google, consumers will already be 57 percent through the purchasing process before even contacting a supplier.However, this creates a problem, similar to the analogy of "too many cooks in the kitchen will spoil the broth."
It has become more difficult to provide information to educate the consumer and guide their decision-making when they already possess much of the knowledge.
In today's highly competitive environment, it's important that insurance agents have the ability to address things like corporate retirement plans as well as individual retirement needs. Insurance agents do recognize that being able to maintain a well-rounded, full-service standard is more important than ever before. After all, we should be compelled to provide comprehensive solutions to consumers to meet all of their financial needs.
The good news is that today’s insurance agents have found ways to maintain their competitiveness in the marketplace while addressing these new demands. They are increasingly aligning themselves with the right General Agencies and Insurance Carriers who provide solutions for the modern day consumer, “Customer 2.0.” This is made possible by incorporating the right technology and the partners into their practice. But these systems must provide automated content marketing, detailed objective analysis, turnkey solutions, frontline support to the consumer and agent, e-application, proactive case management, and e-policy delivery to be as effective as possible.
We have the perfect solution for agents facing these challenges.
By utilizing American National’s turnkey solution for retirement plan review, producers will be able to provide a current assessment of the client's existing plan and compare all available plan options in the marketplace while offering remediation ideas that are best suited for the goals of the business. American National becomes an extension of your business practice and is a leading authority. They also completely manage sales and the implementation process for you without competing for your commissions. Today’s agents are getting themselves involved with their business-owning clients and consumers' retirement plans, conducting reviews, making assessments, and repairing some of the damages that have been created by other advisors. So this is an excellent way to increase your retention and provide your clients with that one-stop shopping experience they deserve.
To find out more about how this can be implemented into your practice to better serve your client’s needs, give us a call at (800) 823-4852 or email your Brokerage Director.