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Life Health > Running Your Business

The genius referral network you may not know about

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Scott E. Mounger, CLU, ChFC, CASL has 38 years of experience in financial services, including 33 years in personal production and five years in advanced marketing for a major life insurance company. He is the founder of OSTB Wealth Strategies, providing business continuation, executive benefit, and retirement planning services to professionals and small business owners. Scott is also an investment advisor representative with First American National Investment Advisors, LLC.

LHP: How do you work with people who are worried about running out of money in retirement?

SM: I utilize indexed-linked CDs that are FDIC-insured and work very similarly to an indexed annuity and are seven or eight years long. I also use immediate annuities on a short-term basis because interest rates are low and I don’t want to lock somebody into a 20-year immediate annuity. Breaking retirement into five- or seven-year chunks makes sense to me. So I use the immediate annuity to guarantee their fixed expenses, leaving them to have the balance of their investments with a potential for growth so that they’re not losing the ability to have that money, but at the same time, they’re not worried about their day-to-day living expenses.

If they expect to live a long time and were trying to plan beyond age 85, I’ll occasionally use a deferred income annuity. You purchase it with a lump sum of cash now, but the benefits don’t start paying out until age 85. They get a huge discount on it. It acts as a security blanket at age 85, no matter what happens.

LHP: How do you shift marketing depending on the age of products?s

SM: The younger individual will often be a business owner or professional; those are my target markets, and have been over the last 35 years. They’re often still in an accumulation stage but also trying to get out of their business, so business continuation or business exit strategies are utilized.

For older individuals, it’s about figuring out how much money they have, whether they can afford to retire and how to make their money last. I also look at potential health care costs and LTC costs.

LHP: How do professional organizations provide value?

SM: Particularly when you’re younger in the business, you’re exposed to a lot of ideas that you may not have if you stay by yourself or within your own organization. I’ve been in the business for almost 38 years. I started with a career life insurance company, and you’re kind of brainwashed into thinking they’re the only company. People I know from other companies felt the same way.

For example, the Society of Financial Service Professionals has members that are estate planning attorneys, CPAs, tax attorneys, trust officers, CLUs, ChFCs, CFPs, investment people, etc. They all have professional designations, and that becomes a very strong referral network. You’re rubbing elbows with other professionals, and it becomes easier for them to refer people to you and vice versa. I also get calls from friends in that organization who may have a question about insurance or investments or taxation and so they call me. If I have a question about wills or trusts or something else, I’ll call them. It’s a nice source to have. 


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