Are You Wasting Your Time?

Is what you’re doing this morning aligned with AmeriLife’s mission and your purpose? Is it something that moves you closer to the outcomes you need to achieve? Or is your morning something less? Is what you’re doing important? Is it something that matters? If what you’re doing wouldn’t matter were you not doing it, is it the best use of your time? When you complete what you’re doing this morning, will you be proud of having done so? Will you point to what you did as an outcome worthy of your time and effort? Will you one day wish you hadn’t spent time doing what you’re doing this morning because another, far better outcome should have been obtained? If you’re grateful for the time you have, you’ll see how that short time is, and you’ll use it to do what’s important.

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Retiree Living Standards: By State

How well your Senior Product clients live in retirement depends on two things: their income and the local cost of living. A new study ranking each state based on how many of its retirees meet a basic standard of living comes up with an interesting combination of places that are financially friendly – or not – to those  65+. Example: 31% of Mississippi’s retired single people and 24% of its retired couples fall into what the study calls the “gap” between being poor and having barely enough income to cover basic expenses, shows a 50-state analysis by the University of Massachusetts. A general way to think about the people inhabiting this gap is that, while they are above the poverty line, they are still financially insecure.

 

Retired Couples in the Gap Between Poor

and a Basic Standard of Living

Retirees in the gap as a share of total retired population

 

The heart of the analysis is an “elder index” specific to each state, which estimates the income necessary to cover essential living costs: rent, food, transportation, health care, a phone and household items. (Vacations, dining out and entertainment are not included in the estimates). Agents might find this information helpful when discussing insurance products and state-specific demographics and expenses.

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AmeriLife Acquires Ohio Marketing Agency

AmeriLife announced its partnership with Stephens-Matthews Marketing, a Beverly, Ohio-based insurance marketing organization. Stephens-Matthews provides life, health, Medicare-related and other insurance products and marketing services to agents across the nation. AmeriLife acquired a majority interest in Stephens-Matthews. Dave Stephens, the company’s founder, will hold a minority interest in the company and lead its team under its Stephens-Matthews brand. Stephens will also be a member of AmeriLife’s brokerage management team.

NEWS RELEASE

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Prospecting: A Discipline Done Daily

Many ask “When’s the best time to prospect?” They want an answer that includes a day of the week, the time of day, or both. The right answer is “Six months ago.” Yep, the best time to prospect has passed. But the second-best time is always right now. There’s an enormous difference between 8 hours of prospecting in a single day every three months and 90 minutes of focused prospecting daily. Because agents and marketers do only two things – create opportunities and capture opportunities – it’s not unreasonable to expect that prospecting must be a daily discipline. There’s no way to cram prospecting. Spending an 8-hour day making calls is not the same as making an hour of calls every day. It’s a mistake to believe you can do all the prospecting you need in a day. Pick up the phone. You can do this.

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Retiree’s Health Care Spending

The Employee Benefit Research Institute examined the spending patterns of those in preretirement (50-64), early retirement (65-74) and late retirement (75+). It found spending tends to decrease over time, and the proportion across spending categories also changes. In general, retiree spending declines during retirement. While housing remains the largest spending category for every age group, older households allocated a smaller share of their budgets to transportation and entertainment and a larger share of their budgets to health care costs. However, the average annual share of health costs for the 65–74 and 75-or-older age groups declined after 2007, the year after Medicare Part D went into effect.

Oldest Americans’ Health Care Costs Declined

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The breakdown of the out-of-pocket health care costs for those 75+ indicates most of the drop in total health costs for this age group is attributed to health insurance and drugs; other components remained largely unchanged.

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HealthCare.gov Enrollment Analysis

Sign-ups during the first two weeks of open enrollment for 2020 Affordable Care Act exchange coverage are trailing last year’s numbers. According to the CMS, about 932,000 people selected a health plan in the first two weeks of open enrollment, which kicked off on Nov. 1. That’s about 244,000 fewer people than in the first two weeks of last year. Some experts say technical difficulties on HealthCare.gov during the first day of open enrollment may have contributed to the lower signup tally. So far, most of the people who selected a plan are renewing their coverage. A little more than a quarter are new customers who did not have a HealthCare.gov plan last year. Open enrollment ends Dec. 15 in HealthCare.gov states. The average premiums for the most popular exchange plan are about 4% lower in 2020 than in 2019, though they’re still very expensive for people who don’t qualify for a federal subsidy.

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