Hell Tell You Where The Income Specialists Are
To The Editor:
In her March 3 column, Linda Koco asks, “Where are the Income Specialists? I think the answer is “they are keeping a low profile” because of regulatory issues.
There are a number of us out here who have the expertise, but have shied away from specialization. Nevertheless, some income planning is getting done as part of our general practice.
In the old days (circa 1970) when career shops dominated the agency scene, just about every agent was trained in the basics of Settlement Options, including Life Income, Life & 10YC, Refund Life option, etc. (My first sales track was geared to retirement income.)
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Industry educational programs, such as LUTC and CLU went a step beyond. Chartered Life Underwriters were trained to understand that old age was one of the economic hazards against which we should insure and to think in terms of how much life income a policys cash value would provide the owner, along with his other income assets. We would develop a “program” which estimated the clients Social Security, employer pension, plus the annuitization of the cash values from his whole life.
In this brave new world, much of that methodology became old-fashioned. During the past two decades we have all seen an overreliance on equity values. Old-fashioned pensions fell out of favor, and 401(k) plans dominated the scene. If we spoke of retirement income from life insurance or annuities, it was in the context of systematic withdrawal plans, which did not guarantee income for life. Immediate life annuities were looked upon with contempt, because everybody thought they could do better in the market. The “termites” continue to twist our whole life, which should be respected as a vital foundation piece. The irony is that whole life has performed better than about anything else during this bear market.