Blogs

Month: January 2021

Why A Clear Message is a Must

Why A Clear Message is a Must

Over the past year, I’ve talked about the importance of marketing, and why you need a clear and concise message if you want to attract new customers. I’ve talked about automating your efforts, maintaining a digital presence, and remaining relevant as our population shifts from the workforce to retirement. And I talked a lot about the need for financial advisors as the ratio of the number of advisors to clients continues to grow These actions are even more important now, during unsettling times, than ever.

You don’t need me to tell you we have a lot of uncertainty in the world today. We are experiencing political and social unrest, as well as financial instability, especially when it comes to the retirement income planning spectrum. To increase your clients’ confidence, you need to address the topics that matter to them.

Right now, two of those topics are Social Security changes and taxes. Speaking clearly on both of these topics will help clients see your value and increase their trust in you. And help new prospects want to work with you.

Social Security

We’ve been hearing a lot about the coming changes to Social Security. The pandemic has most likely accelerated these changes, and they are now projected to occur between 2028 and 2031, depending on which expert you listen to.

Surprisingly, more than 400,000 people will actually benefit from the reduction timeframe of Social Security. The reality is that 12.4% will fund an increase in benefits to those recipients that are under the poverty level. They will also help offset the impact of a change in the CPU index that is being used. Currently, it doesn’t help us at all with the upcoming Social Security reduction. Our challenge is to help our clients shift that particular risk. 

And that’s your message. Make it clear to your clients and prospects that you understand the Social Security changes and that you are ready to work with them to reduce that risk.

Tax Increase

The next topic to be ready to discuss is taxes. The government cannot pay nearly $5 trillion of stimulus money without requiring an offsetting increase in revenue. What is up for debate is how that all plays out. Who gets the tax bill? And who bears the burden? Regardless of the answer to that question, we need to concentrate on ways to create a more tax-efficient retirement income. How can we help our clients grow assets in a more tax-deferred manner that speaks well to a lot of different annuities?

Your message to your clients regarding taxes is the importance of planning for them. You can help them be prepared for different possible scenarios.

Although both existing clients and prospects are interested in the same topics, how you talk to them will differ. It’s hard work to attract quality leads to your business and still stay in contact with your existing clients.

We must change our techniques and our behaviors. To start, though, we need to change our attitudes about how we market ourselves. If you want to cut through the noise, you need to start with a clear message and a digital presence. We can help you with all of that.

Transformational Tactic

By implementing new strategies for marketing and creating a clear and concise message, you’ll be able to attract new clients and grow your business. It starts with changing the way you think about marketing.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp
The Power of Protected Income

The Power of Protected Income

Sometimes, the most basic tools achieve the greatest results. Think about your retirement. Like most retirees, you’ll want confidence in your finances. You’ll want security. And you’ll want to feel like you’re in control. Of course, these things are harder to accomplish during unsettling times (sound like what we’re currently dealing with, anyone?).

We are currently experiencing political, social and legislative unrest. With any change of administration comes potential legislative and tax changes. These changes create uncertainty for our industry, for retirement income planning in general and, in many cases, for your clients’ income plan.

From a legislative perspective, we recently have seen the impact of several stimulus packages on retirement income. Stimulus packages such as the CARES Act creates a lot of different opportunities, but we must have a good understanding of all the available options for our clients to use them effectively.

From a taxation perspective, the new administration is going to be hard pressed not to raise taxes. In addition to the amount of stimulus that has already been given out, additional stimulus money is currently being discussed. To recoup some of that debt, there is the possibility of an increase in corporate tax rates as well as hefty increases to Social Security. And, when clients consider retirement, one of the first decisions they make will be that of how to handle Social Security.  

But if we’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that while we cannot predict the future, we CAN plan for it. And that, ultimately, is our job. We must figure out how to address those concerns and provide safety and security to our clients. And the solution is to get back to basics.

Start by talking to your clients and reminding them of the products they already have, products that have worked really hard to get them to this point. And then determine if they are still on the right path, or if their vision for the future has changed. Do they still have the right products? If you’re not sure, or if their vision has changed, I recommend an Annuity Audit.

Backed by MorningStar intelligence, Ash’s Annuity Audit process is designed to educate clients about how products work, and which ones are most likely to meet their goals. This education increases confidence that your client has the right resources in place to enjoy a full retirement.

The power of protected income cannot be diminished, especially in uncertain times. We can help your client achieve that peace of mind. Reach out to our retirement income consultants by calling 1 (800) 589-3000 to learn about our annuity tools and how Annuity Audit can help bring stability to your client’s retirement income plans.

Transformational Tactic

A retirement plan doesn’t have to be fancy to build confidence. Start by focusing on basic tools and resources to meet your clients’ goals.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp
Taxes, Social Security and The Secure Act (and How to Plan for Them)

Taxes, Social Security and The Secure Act (and How to Plan for Them)

What will your clients be talking about in 2021? As an advisor, you can help focus those conversations on topics that will help your clients, whether they aware of them yet or not.

The past 90-120 days have brought a lot of changes. And those changes will provoke additional volatility throughout the next 90-120 days. It’s important to guide your clients past the short-term volatility to focus on their true long-term goals. After all, that’s what retirement income planning is. So, the question to consider is how these current changes will affect the future? Some of the changes are significant and need to be discussed with your clients as you work to become a High Performing Practice.

Acceleration of the Reduction in Social Security. By many accounts, the Social Security reduction expected to occur in 2034 could happen as soon as 2028. In other words, the pandemic, lower unemployment figures and loss of the payroll tax have basically accelerated by 50% the time when the Social Security board of trustees might have to enact a 24% reduction in Social Security. Your clients may be caught flat-footed when they open up their April statement and see that reduction in as few as seven years.

We have avenues to help mitigate that risk. Reach out to us and find out how.

The Secure Act. This was a monumental piece of legislation and retirement income planning. There is some bipartisan support for an updated Secure Act which would further push out the RMDS, possibly as far as age 85. This is where a QLAC could be a solution. It allows you to transfer in and push out RMDs to age 85. Looking over the last six years, I think the government has been giving us a clear indication that they need Americans to take more responsibility for their retirement income planning.

I encourage you to sit down before it’s too late and have that conversation with your clients. Whether your client is 10, 15 or 20 years away, you need to be making moves toward solid retirement income planning now.

Increased Taxes. Political statements aside, economically the stimulus money spent during the pandemic, including possible additional stimulus packages, must be accounted for at some point with an increase in revenue. In addition to creating a little bit of inflation, this also creates some higher interest rates. Your goal is to put your clients in a great position to take advantage of whatever economic conditions happen. And tax rates are likely to go up sometime in the next five to 10 years.

Ask your client if they believe tax rates will be higher when they retire than they are today. If the answer is yes, think about how to get your clients in a more tax-efficient spot. We have software to help you do that, but we also have products that work on a tax-deferred basis to help your clients grow their money faster without taxation. Since taxes reduce your AUM, these strategies help you as well.

For more information on how to strategically think about Social Security and tax deferral, and about the overall changes in retirement income planning, I encourage you to reach out to your local retirement income consultant by calling 1 (800) 589-3000.

Transformational Tactic

By utilizing available resources and focusing your client conversations, you can ensure your clients have a secure retirement plan, regardless of the changing economic landscape.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp
Creating a Strategy During a Pandemic

Creating a Strategy During a Pandemic

Welcome to 2021. We made it! And most of us are cautiously optimistic about what the new year will bring. But as we hope for things to get better, we’re still dealing with the spread of COVID, low-interest rates and a volatile political climate. If we learned anything last year, it’s that we need to act, not wait, to be successful. And the best way to start is to create a strategy.

So, if you’re ready to hit your prospecting goals and grow your practice, you need a strategy that keeps you front of mind with your clients and prospects.

Broadridge Financial Solutions, a global Fintech company out of New York, surveyed some top-performing advisors about how they plan to increase their return on investments in 2021. They found that advisors are shifting focus to digital marketing to be able to respond to the changing landscape of marketing. Their marketing strategies include allocating more resources to acquire new clients. In fact, more than two-thirds of the professionals surveyed said that they were going to increase their marketing spin. And they plan to increase their reliance on technology. They want to incorporate webinars, video content and digital advertising into their marketing mix.

So, how can you evolve your marketing strategy and stay in the game? Start by emulating the successes of these top advisors. Clients are responding and interacting with your brand across various channels and devices, including cell phones, email, websites and all kinds of different social media channels. And they have become accustomed to a personalized approach with a seamless transition between those channels. 

To achieve this, you must have a consistent message that is focused, thoughtful and intentional.

 And, if you really want to move the needle, your message needs to be where your clients are. From Facebook and LinkedIn to emails and recorded webinars, you can use the same channels your clients and prospects use to offer valuable, relevant content.

Think about what your ideal clients want, what they need, and what they expect from a quality adviser like you. Use that information to create a consistent message and then consider the channels that are most likely to deliver the best results. You should have the same message across all channels, and in our current environment of instant information, it needs to be executed seamlessly. Whether you’re using email, social media, your own website or all three, your clients should feel like you are having a continuous conversation with them regardless of which channel they are currently using.

So, set yourself up for success in 2021 with a focused and intentional marketing strategy incorporating digital marketing. If you’re not sure how to get started or need help crafting your message, give us a call. We’re more than happy to talk about our digital marketing opportunities to help you grow your business, attract quality prospects, and at the same time, remain relevant in the greatest shift from the workforce to retirement that we’ve ever seen in the United States.

Transformational Tactic

Your marketing strategy for 2021 should include consistent messaging, digital media, and, most important, information that your clients are seeking.

Recognize the opportunity to transform your business by taking our free course.

Posted by hpp