By this point in time, chances are you know the long and agonizing story of producer Glenn Neasham better than every nursery rhyme you’ve ever heard, and you’ve probably even tired of his name. After the courts convicted Mr. Neasham of felony theft for selling an annuity to an 83-year-old client with dementia, the collective shudder that shot through the industry was nearly palpable. The aftershocks of this watershed event will likely reverberate throughout the industry for some time, and since no one wants to become the next face of elder-abusive sales tactics, it may forever change the way you sell annuities.
Personally, while I find it almost hard to describe someone who’s only 65 years old as a “senior” in this day and age, the facts—not to mention the law—are what they are. Selling annuities to seniors has always been a delicate transaction, but there are many strategies you can implement in your own practice to substantially mitigate the odds of the same thing happening to you.
Re-consider your recommendation
Is an annuity product really the absolute most appropriate investment option for your client, especially if they’re already of retirement age or older? Granted, you’re probably not planning on selling an annuity with a 20-year surrender period to an 85-year-old (although, tragically, there are producers who have perpetrated such vexing, cold-blooded crimes). You simply want to secure income for your clients’ lifetimes, but it may be too late in life for an annuity to be the best choice. While annuities can be great for people who are risk averse and want long-term product growth, annuities are not appropriate for everyone—and oftentimes, this includes elderly people.
Audio- or video-record all annuity sales sessions