What the heck is going on? Insurance agents are calling themselves “Financial Planners, “Retirement Planners,” “Financial Advisors”… everything except insurance agents.
Lawyers have a bad reputation too, but they don’t hide behind a title. They do what they do well, or they fail. Insurance agents fall prey to marketing organizations that want to make money any way they can. They talk about positioning and fancy sales techniques. The insurance industry has gone the way of the car industry. A consumer doesn’t know whom they can trust for the truth, so they’re going online for a do-it-yourself plan. The consumer has little knowledge of available products, so he will attempt educate himself and with a great deal of luck might choose the right product.
My wife and I were in the market to purchase a new vehicle. We went to four dealerships with the exact same specifications on the same exact vehicle and received four different prices. When they found out there was competition, two of them dropped out and one won the race.
It took weeks to get to a conclusion that should have taken hours. Consumers are wary for good reason. They are often sold inferior products and can’t get out without financial pain. Then they hate and don’t trust insurance agents for good reasons. We are our own worst enemy.
Now back to my first question. What are you afraid of? My guess is that agents think they must be evasive to make money.
Here’s another cute little program going on right now: “Social Security Planner.” Agents have followed a five-year-old program of advising consumers to delay their Social Security checks. They are being advised to use their retirement money to fund the delay. There are a lot of reasons that a delayed plan won’t work, however.