New opportunities for life insurance

Without question, an extended recession is changing the way boomers see their situation, and therefore, the future. Long the keepers of an "endless optimism," they are far more cautious and concerned now, particularly as they see age 65 staring them in the face and realize that the last 30 years of their lives may not be as work-free as they had long thought.

While the boomer situation has changed dramatically, it has opened new opportunities for helping the members of the nation's largest single generation re-invigorate their dreams. But it will take advisors who are willing to work with clients who are going through a variety of life-altering experiences, whose thinking is being shaped by new and unpleasant circumstances. As always, reality shapes opportunity and it's no different with the "new" boomers.

One of the priorities of "the Greatest Generation" has long been passing on the fruits of their success to the next generation, a goal that has been realized to an extraordinary extent.

Is that dream coming to an end? Will a combination of attrition and estate taxes dim it? Ironically, it was life insurance that formed the inheritance the boomers' parents delivered to their children. The proceeds of life insurance policies helped start businesses, provided down payments for homes, and paid for the kids' education.

Advisors can help restore the boomer dream of providing for their children using life insurance to offset their portfolio losses and investing in 529 accounts to help their grandchildren pay for a college education.

As boomers move through the experience of a severe loss of asset value, life insurance emerges as a logical investment to become an unexpected opportunity for advisors.

Today's boomers are far different from those of even a few years ago. Bain & Co. partner Eric Almquist makes clear how they have become more financially conservative.

"One of the unique things in the Western world is that you have a huge group of pre-retirement baby boomers, a huge number of people who are asking, 'Can I live off my savings and social security for the rest of my life?'"

Life insurance professionals can offer their boomer clients what they need so they will have sufficient funds for an adequate retirement lifestyle.

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