If you’ve been living and breathing long-term care (LTC) planning for years, you may have mixed feelings about newcomers.
On the other hand: You may feel as if generating genuine live leads and making sales is already hard enough.
On the third hand: It might be easier to convert leads in a brutal but lively market than in a dead LTC solutions mall. Tumbleweeds fill out no applications.
Lincoln Financial, a company active in the market for life-based LTC financing tools, has put its muscle behind making the market livelier by releasing a financial advisor survey report in time for this November’s Long-Term Care Awareness Month campaign. A research firm polled 373 full-time financial advisors with five or more years of experience. The participate in the survey, an advisor had to have at least some familiarity with LTC planning tools, but most were not LTC planning specialists. The participating advisors said they’re selling an average of fewer than five LTC planning policies per year.
Andrew Bucklee, head of insurance solutions distribution at the Lincoln Financial’s Lincoln Financial Distributors unit, said his company wants to help more advisors have serious conversations with clients about LTC planning.
He said he has reasons of his own for wanting to see more advisors interest in the topic. About 90 percent are willing to talk about LTC planning, but only about 10 percent have actually set up LTC planning solutions, he said.
“I have a mother in a nursing home, so I have a lot of passion around this,” Bucklee said.
Bucklee told the story of another top LTC planning advocate who became aware of the need after her own family spent $600,000 on LTC services.
“It’s situations like that where advisors get religion,” Bucklee said.
Even if advisors are not interested in offering LTC solutions themselves, at least they can learn enough to know when and how to refer clients to LTC planning specialists, he said.
For a look at five things Lincoln Financial learned from its survey about how the general advisor population sees LTC planning, read on.
1. Advisors who aren’t LTC specialists see demand for LTC services growing.
About 90 percent of the advisors in the Lincoln Financial survey said they expect demand for LTC services to increase slightly or significantly over the next five years.
Only about 2 percent said they expect demand for LTC services to decrease.
2. Non-LTC specialist advisors may be more aware of stand-alone LTCI than they are of other LTC planning tools.
Insurers have worried for years about consumers’ lack of awareness of stand-alone LTCI products.
The Lincoln survey team may have discovered a related problem among advisors: lack of advisor awareness or interest in planning tools other than stand-alone LTCI.