As an independent advisor, Steven A. Plewes enjoys the freedom to run his business as he sees fit. Working entirely from home through a cloud-based system, Plewes helps his clients — who span 20 states — reach their financial goals by specializing in wealth management and retirement planning. Careful to use annuities that are tax-efficient and low-cost when he can, Plewes believes that annuity products support his philosophy that one’s portfolio is only as good as the income it can consistently generate.
We sat down for a Q&A with Plewes to pick his brain about marketing and selling annuities.
1.How do you spark interest in annuities?
I sit down with clients and explain to them that there’s a difference between needs and wants, especially in retirement. In our practice, we introduce the concept of annuities by creating awareness through our website, which provides focused information about a level of guaranteed retirement income. By creating this, we help our clients become more receptive to having a discussion regarding the use of annuities in their retirement plan. Additionally, we spend time educating our clients during our quarterly reviews and through our online GoToMeeting Web sessions. We provide clients with third-party articles to help explain annuities in more basic or direct terms and support the concept. That, and the fact many people either have no pensions or their pensions are being shut down, drives people to ask us how annuities work, why they should consider them, and if they are a good product for them to be involved in.
2. Do you partner with business for cross-referrals?
We work in conjunction with a long-term care specialist in our area. We outsource our long-term care insurance to the specialist, and then he refers the clients back to us to calculate a single premium immediate annuity amount that will fund the long-term care. After going through a planning process with us, many clients discover they either want or need long-term care insurance. Since we choose not to specialize in that arena, we refer the client to our outsourced partner. When clients discover how much long-term care can cost, they look for ways to minimize or reduce the cost. One way to do that is to create a single premium immediate annuity stream of income which will fund that annuity over time. There is a breakeven point after which clients will save money on their premiums going forward. If necessary, based on any increase in premiums, we will purchase an additional SPIA in order to fund the increase going forward.