Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. – John F. Kennedy
Change can be unsettling for many seniors, but the fact remains that it is inevitable. As life changes and seniors retire, there may be options within existing personal and company policies that are unknown by your clients. As trusted financial advisors, we must help our clients embrace change by reassessing their life insurance needs and preparing for the future.
Changing policies: $50,000 = $100,000
Seniors are often surprised to learn the increased value of forgotten life insurance policies. Often company insurance policies or policies purchased 20 or 30 years ago have continued to collect value while filed away.
Even when the forgotten policy is found, many clients do not realize the true value of the policy. Most clients look at the face amount of the policy and are astonished to learn the policies have been accruing significant amounts of cash value, which has in turn increased the death benefit.
Many times the death benefit is significantly greater than the face value of the policy amount they purchased years ago. When you have the opportunity to tell a client a $50,000 policy now has a death benefit of $100,000, you will not only make their day, you will help further demonstrate your dedication, specialized knowledge and commitment to your client.
Depending upon your client’s health, you may also have the opportunity to educate him on the ability to transfer that policy tax-free.
If your clients are in good health, have life insurance policies that have accumulated a lot of value, and don’t anticipate needing the cash value for their lifestyle needs, they can use the cash value of the policies to acquire a guaranteed policy with an even higher death benefit that will not need any further premium payments. This process can help fund a charitable contribution or a legacy to their family in the future.
Changing health status
On the other side, you may find that your client’s health is deteriorating. This, too, may require other changes with existing life insurance policies.
For example, a senior client has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and has to retire unexpectedly. The client then discovers that their company had provided several types of life insurance in the form of group insurance, a split-dollar life insurance plan, and a keyperson insurance policy.
Through retirement, the client realizes they have the right to take these policies with them. Often the only thing that must be done is reimbursement to the company for the value that is in the policy.
It may also be possible that one of the policies has a rider that states, “if you are disabled, we will waive all future premium payments.” News like this will be music to the ears of many seniors.
As a trusted financial advisor, you must make sure your clients are investigating the benefits available to them as their life changes. Whether your clients are retiring, or have medical conditions or disabilities, make sure you help them understand what is available to them.
Encourage senior clients to look at all of their policies from every angle, and remember, “out of sight, out of mind” does not mean out of value.