People Joining Together. That’s Insurance.

[Life Insurance 101 Series: This series features IMPACT posts that detail the breadth of the industry’s reach and benefits provided to consumers.] There’s more that unites us than divides us. Like our love for freedom. And baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, of course. Let’s not forget reality TV either. Insurance unites us as well. Almost every adult in America has some form of insurance. Yet, it’s mostly overlooked, not surprisingly. Not a lot of pizazz in insurance. Just a lot of stability. Stability deserves a little love too. Insurance brings people together in ways they rarely appreciate. With an … Continue reading "People Joining Together. That’s Insurance."

E-Delivery for Retirement Plans is a Winner

If you’re reading this, you have the ability to receive information through electronic media. You may be reading this on your smartphone or tablet. Have you checked your bank account or retirement account online this week? How many “apps” have you used today? According to the Pew Research Center, in 2019, 90% of U.S. adults use the internet. That includes 88% of adults ages 50-64 and 73% of adults over age 65. And more and more Americans are using electronic media for financial transactions. A Federal Reserve report found that 82% of smartphone users with a bank account used online banking.  So, it’s … Continue reading "E-Delivery for Retirement Plans is a Winner"

Make Sure You Still Have the Right Life Insurance Through Regular Reviews

American consumers in the market for a life insurance policy may be surprised by the variety of options available. For those new to life insurance, the specific nuances and attributes for each type of policy can be a bit daunting. An experienced financial professional can help guide customers through the process by assessing their life insurance needs and explaining the pros and cons of each type of life insurance. But no matter what type of coverage is purchased, consumers should regularly review their policies for as long as they are in force. Changes in family, job, and economic situations can affect … Continue reading "Make Sure You Still Have the Right Life Insurance Through Regular Reviews"

Consumers and Insurers Benefit from Uniform Insurance Product Standards

[Life Insurance 101 Series: This series features IMPACT posts that detail the breadth of the industry’s reach and benefits provided to consumers.] Most consumers have probably never heard of the Interstate Insurance Compact. Nonetheless, many of them have benefited from it. This is because the Compact gives individuals faster access to competitive insurance products as well as strong consumer protections through its uniform product standards across most states. At the same time, insurers, who are state-regulated, are able to obtain greater operational efficiencies and speed-to-market of their products. Instead of having to file and seek approval of their products in every … Continue reading "Consumers and Insurers Benefit from Uniform Insurance Product Standards"

Life Insurers Help Millennials Through Every Stage of Life

(A version of this article originally appeared in USA Today for Mediaplanet’s Financial Planning and Insurance Campaign.) Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: The oldest millennials are celebrating their 20th anniversary in the workforce this year. Hard to believe, right? But it’s true. The millennial generation—widely defined as people born between 1981 and 1996—has grown up in a flash. An 18-year-old high school graduate in 1999 who didn’t go to college has been in the workforce for two decades. Indeed, millennials are already the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. As they face big questions over starting families, housing and career advancement, … Continue reading "Life Insurers Help Millennials Through Every Stage of Life"

Why Are Annuities Different from Other Investments? Guarantees.

I’ve read a number of stories recently critical of 403(b) retirement plans with annuities—which guarantee lifetime income. These stories typically note how fees in these arrangements “tend to be higher than in 401(k) plans.” With annuity guarantees, there’s a reason for that. Predating 401(k)s by two decades, 403(b) plans are named after a Tax Code section that actually has the word “Annuity” in its title. With tax deferred savings and participant directed investments, 403(b) annuities can get confused with 401(k) plans. However, 403(b) annuities offer more than just a way to invest. They provide guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, just … Continue reading "Why Are Annuities Different from Other Investments? Guarantees."

Low Interest Rates Equal High Costs for Retirement Savers

[First in a series of IMPACT posts examining the impact of a prolonged low interest rate environment] Since the 2008 financial crisis, much of the world has lived in a low interest rate environment. Low interest rates may be justified from a monetary perspective. But retirees and those in the later stages of their careers bear a substantial cost. Let’s take a look. Financial advisors recommend that workers approaching retirement should gradually lower their risk exposure to stocks by rebalancing retirement savings toward safe, fixed return investments such as U.S. Treasury bonds. Though U.S. Treasuries are indeed safe, the returns … Continue reading "Low Interest Rates Equal High Costs for Retirement Savers"