For many advisors, the end of the year provides a good time to take an honest look at their business and assess what worked and what didn’t. Don’t look now, but we’re at that time of year again, and many advisors are doing just that kind of business examination.
In an effort to understand where the long-term care market currently stands – and by extension, what kind of a year it’s been for this important product – I recently posed some questions about the market to two of the best LTC advisors I know. Matthew Brotherton, AIF, CLTC, president of 1752 Financial, Inc., in Richmond, Va., and Debra C. Newman, CLU, ChFC, LTCP, founder of Newman Long Term Care in Richfield, Minn., were kind enough to share their thoughts with me.
• Editor’s note: This is the first part of our exclusive two-part interview with noted LTCI experts Matthew Brotherton and Debra Newman. Stay tuned for Part II next week.
Passion for the business
It’s been my experience that many long-term care advisors have an interesting back story that provides a context for why they sell long-term care insurance. And I discovered that this is indeed the case for these two. Brotherton told me, “My grandfather worked at Ford Motor Company his whole 45-year career. Six months after he retired at age 66, he suffered a massive stroke. Because of the stroke, he needed care. Unfortunately, he chose not to purchase the Ford group long-term care plan that was offered to him as an employee. Because of this, he had to use his savings and 401(k) assets to cover the cost of a home health care nurse, assisted living facility, and ultimately the nursing home. During his 18 years of care, he exhausted his hard-earned savings and investments and wasn’t able to leave the legacy to my dad and uncle that he intended.
“Once I graduated from college,” Brotherton continued, “I was recruited into an agency system to educate people about long-term care. My personal situation and experience of seeing what happens to someone without long-term care led me to become passionate about educating people about the importance of planning for a long-term care situation.”
For Newman, it started with her parents. “My parents, who were great planners, and were age 72 and 63 at the time, told me that they were going to buy long-term care insurance, and if I did not sell it to them, they were going to buy it from someone else! That was 25 years ago, so I quickly gained the knowledge I needed to in order to help them by reading everything I could get my hands on and attending all of the relevant continuing education and Medicaid planning seminars. And I quickly learned that no one in our marketplace knew much about long-term care insurance. So, I decided to become that expert in Minnesota, and because I was so active in the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and with other organizations, I became the one that was speaking on long-term care insurance anywhere and to anyone who would listen.
“After a short time,” Newman continued, “I realized that 60% of my business was coming from other agents and financial advisors. So I decided I better create an organization that could be a resource, not only for people wanting long-term care insurance, but for agents who needed not only help selling but also access to product.
“And as for those who got me started with LTC – my mom died of a stroke and heart attack in 2013 without using her policy. But my stepfather used his for both home care and facility care and was able to afford the highest quality of care available in their community because of his long-term care policy.”
Next page: Prospecting and working niches
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