The economic downturn is causing a crisis for seniors.
There are several crisis points, including absence of defined benefit income, sharp decline in retirement funds, curtailment or loss of retiree health insurance, what to do about old insurance plans with costs now unsustainable, lack of trusted advisors, and staying healthy and active, despite everything.
Those all present challenges, but they all create opportunities for insurance professionals too. This includes advisors of all kinds who are working with seniors to solve these crises.
Many times, I am called upon to help seniors, but far more frequently, I’m asked to help the professional advisors who are working with the seniors and looking for “personal actuarial services.”
Anyone working in this field learns two things right away:
1) The complete confidence and trust of the senior must be gained.
2) All services must be strictly on the side of the senior.
Professionals often find that a life and health expectancy evaluation (a part of the personal actuarial service) is an excellent way to gain the senior’s complete confidence. It provides a reliable profile of the future healthy and unhealthy periods a person is likely to have in life. Usually, the projected healthy periods are longer than the client expects.
The chart gives some recent examples of health expectancy for people who have cancer. Even when cancer is present, the future healthy periods are usually far longer than the senior client expects. The chart also shows that people with melanoma or prostate cancer have little variance in their health expectancy compared to people who are cancer-free.
However, many seniors who are experiencing crises such as those above are in a state of confusion, bad advice, and indecision. They are facing deadlines without knowing what to do.
The professional insurance advisor doesn’t really give advice. He or she merely lists the alternatives, one of which becomes the obvious solution that fits with what the senior really wants. This changes the situation from a blizzard of confusion to an action point. The senior’s nightmare is over.