LTC Bullet: How to Grow LTCi Distribution
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
LTC Comment: Why LTCi distribution is less than it should be and how to grow it, after the ***news.***
*** PHOENIX FPA. Center president Steve Moses is traveling round trip from Seattle to Phoenix today to deliver our 2-hour LTC Graduate Seminar at the Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix. The LTC Grad Seminar is available on site, online and in transcript. Check it out at http://www.centerltc.com/LTC_Grad_Seminar/index.htm. ***
*** REVERSE MORTGAGES AND LTC. We often write about the important potential of reverse mortgages to fund LTC directly as well as to help aging Americans afford LTCi premiums. Steve Moses is quoted thus in the current issue of Reverse Mortgage, the official magazine of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (www.nrmlaonline.org).
"Another reason for a broader discussion about reverse mortgages is to dispel common misconceptions about public programs designed to provide for retirement. Steve Moses, president of the Center for Long Term Care Reform, encounters many older adults who believe that Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare will cover much of their financial and medical needs as they age. But, as the public programs are widely expected to run out of money, Moses warns that these consumers need to more carefully consider taking a reverse mortgage to fund acute healthcare needs, as well as potentially to pay for long-term care premiums too. 'Reverse mortgages will be a big factor in funding long-term care,' even before they take on long-term care insurance, he adds." (Karen Epper Hoffman, "Enlightened Lending: Reverse Mortgage Lenders Need to Embrace a More Holistic Perspective to Better Serve Clients, and Bring More Business Their Way," Reverse Mortgage, Vol. 2, No. 1, January - February 2009, pps. 12-15.) ***
*** KIND WORDS. Center for Long-Term Care Reform Houston Regional Representative Honey Leveen blogs LTC at www.ltcqueen.com and sells LTCi at www.honeyleveen.com. She says: "My friend Steve Moses is a visionary. I am good at describing why LTC is necessary from an emotional standpoint. Steve is brilliant at explaining how and why our historically government funded methods of paying for care are now on the brink of demise. Steve is well-known, extremely credible, and highly regarded. A visit to www.centerltc.com (The Center for Long-Term Care Reform) will get you to Steve's blog. I promise a visit will be worth your time." Thanks, Honey. ***
LTC BULLET: HOW TO GROW LTCI DISTRIBUTION
LTC Comment: First, some facts of life:
To improve long-term care in the USA, increase private financing.
To increase private financing, sell more LTC insurance.
To sell more LTC insurance, expand LTCi distribution.
To expand LTCi distribution . . .
First, understand why LTCi distribution is so limited. People give me lots of reasons. They say . . .
o "LTCi is hard to sell."
o "The public's in denial."
o "The product is too complicated."
But I find these excuses hard to believe because other people tell me just as confidently . . .
o "LTCi is easy to sell."
o "The public just needs to be sold."
o "LTCi plans are simple compared to many other financial products."
So, what's the truth? Frankly, it doesn't matter.
All that really matters is the hard, objective, undeniable fact that LTCi distribution is not at the level it needs to be for the market to expand significantly, much less explode.
So, let's cut to the chase. Set aside the question of why LTCi distribution is stunted and ask how to grow it.
I've been told that 80 percent of the LTCi production in the USA comes from non-specialists who sell no more than one, two, or just a few LTCi policies per year.
If that's true, LTCi specialists are few, far between, and sell only one-fifth of the total LTCi production.
No wonder we have a problem!
Something tells me that squeezing more production out of non-specialists, while maintaining high quality and suitability standards, would be extremely difficult.
That leaves us with the most promising approach: increase the number and productivity of LTCi specialists. But LTCi carriers and brokers have been trying to do that for decades, mostly unsuccessfully.
Hmmm, impasse? I don't think so. All we need to do is re-conceptualize the problem.
Show non-LTCi-specialists how to make more money effortlessly by generating referral business for LTCi specialists.
Doesn't that happen already?
Of course, but obviously not enough or we wouldn't have an LTCi distribution problem.
So what do we do?
I recommend a full court press by every level of the LTCi distribution system along these lines.
1. Train, certify and endorse LTCi experts as "Certified LTCi Referral Specialists."
2. Market to allied professionals such as attorneys, estate planners, CPAs and financial planners with this message.
a. You have a moral and fiduciary responsibility to your clients to get them protected for the LTCi risk and cost.
b. You owe it to your clients to get them the best possible advice and protection in the complicated field of long-term care.
c. Refer your client to our certified LTCi specialist; split the commission or exchange referrals; and we'll add value, perhaps by providing a referral bonus and arbitration if there is a problem.
Well, if this is such a good idea, why hasn't it blown the lid off the LTCi market already? Surely, LTCi companies and producers reach out to allied professionals all the time.
That's where understanding the real reason why the LTCi market remains undersized becomes critical to understand.
Medicaid crowds out 2/3 to 90 percent of the potential market for LTCi. That's why it's taken an AMG (altruistic, masochistic genius) to sell the product heretofore. That's why the average Joe or Jane can make more money more easily selling something else. That's why it usually takes someone with a passion for long-term care to prosper in the business.
But all that is about to change. Within a very few years, LTCi production will support an average worker putting in forty hours a week who has no more than the usual level of professional talent and commitment.
Why? What's about to change?
If you read these LTC Bullets and LTC E-Alerts faithfully, you already know the answer.
If not, you can find the answer with an hour of reading at http://www.centerltc.com/members/LTCGradSemTranscription.pdf. You'll need your Center member user name and password.
Not a member or need your UN and PW, then contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or email@example.com. Check out our new "Membership Levels and Benefits" schedule at http://www.centerltc.com/MembershipLevelsandBenefits.htm.
Or bring Steve Moses in to present our two hour "LTC Graduate Seminar" at your next meeting or conference. Contact Steve at 206-283-7036 or Smoses@centerltc.com. Details and testimonials at http://www.centerltc.com/LTC_Grad_Seminar/index.htm.