WIR: Growing Through The Pandemic

Written by Barry Wirt

August 28, 2020






US COVID-19 death toll rises as new cases drop
The US reported 360,000 new COVID-19 cases in the week that ended Aug. 16, the fourth consecutive week of decline, but the country’s death toll climbed 2% to around 7,400 as test positivity rates remain high in several states, including Florida, Idaho, Mississippi and Nevada. Former CDC Director Thomas Frieden said COVID-19 is now the third-leading cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer, “ahead of accidents, injuries, lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many, many other causes.” Full Story: Reuters

US COVID-19 cases on downward trend, HHS official says
HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir, who oversees COVID-19 testing, said new COVID-19 cases are declining in many areas, due in part to safety measures such as use of masks and physical distancing, but he warns the trend “could turn around very quickly if we’re not careful.” Data from Johns Hopkins University showed new infections are declining in at least 20 states and holding steady in 18 states. Full Story: CNN

Republicans to release smaller pandemic relief package
Republican senators plan to roll out a scaled-back pandemic relief package amid a deadlock in negotiations between the Trump administration and Congressional Democrats, and the new bill could be included in a continuing resolution to fund the federal government beyond the Sept. 30 deadline, according to sources. The legislation is expected to fund an additional $300 a week for those receiving federal unemployment benefits, added funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, $10 billion for the US Postal Service and liability protections. Full Story: Politico





Leadership Message: A Whole New World




Probably the best thing about being a grandparent is that you get to re-live those very things you loved most about being a parent…or even a kid. For me, Disney movies, regardless of vintage, rank up there as some of the best things to recycle. Of course, Will Smith as the genie, replacing the animated-voiced genie by Robin Williams took some getting used to, but watching the girls enjoy the movie more than made up for it.

Last week we referenced that like the ocean waves, our business, long term care insurance, is about repetition. It is about calling, seeing, and helping people. Whether it is knee-to-knee or virtually via the web and telephone, we must talk to people. What has changed however is that unlike the hammer salesman who must convince everyone with whom they meet that they live in a world full of nails that need to be hammered, as long term care advocates, we must move from a product-centric world to a solutions-driven world. Gone are the days where one size fits all, or traditional long term care insurance was the product for everyone. To be truly effective in all that we do, we MUST broaden our horizons by adding arrows to our quiver with which we might not previously haven engaged.

The long term care industry is NOT dying but continues to evolve. Clients and their financial advisors are merely finding alternative solutions with which to address these ever growing needs. We need to evolve along with the industry so that we can in fact provide the SOLUTION that is both appropriate and suitable for each client. This is not merely a philosophy; it is the foundation of the industry we now find ourselves immersed, virtually a whole new world.







As we noted for you, National Guardian Life’s EssentialLTC is now available in California. For those who are new to it, or simply need a refresher on the elements of this flexible product, here’s the invitation link to the upcoming USA-LTC webinar on August 25th. PART IV.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar:

When: Aug 25, 2020 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Topic: “National Guardian Life LTC Essential Approved in California?”

Register HERE in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.









1. JOHN MAXWELL on embracing change


The history embracing change of Henry Ford and the Model T illustrates a fundamental truth about leadership: leaders never outgrow the need to change.

On his way to dominating the automotive market with the Model T, Henry Ford embodied innovation and progress. By pioneering the assembly line, Ford slashed the amount of time needed to manufacture an automobile.

He installed large conveyor belts in his factory, allowing workers to stay in one place rather than roaming around the factory floor. He also shortened the workday of his employees from nine hours to eight hours so that his factories could operate around the clock.

The efficiencies Ford introduced allowed cars to be manufactured at a fraction of their previous costs. In under a decade, automobiles went from being luxuries affordable only to the wealthiest Americans, to being standard possessions of the average American family. Ford profited handily from the popularity of the Model T, and Ford Motor Company grew into an empire.

However, the dominance of Ford Motor Company was short-lived. As competitors changed their operations to copy Ford’s concepts mass production, Henry Ford made a tremendous leadership blunder. With cars rolling off assembly lines like never before, consumers began to demand a variety of colors. However, Ford stubbornly refused, uttering the famous line, “The customer can have any color he wants so long as it’s black.”

In Ford’s mind, producing multiple colors was foolhardy since black paint dried the fastest and could be used most efficiently. Amazingly, Ford did not comprehend the human preference for variety. Customers flocked en masse to other producers who catered to their color preferences, and Ford Motor Company never regained its grip on the market.

For so long, Henry Ford had focused on moving from inefficiency to efficiency that he refused to move in the opposite direction – from efficiency to inefficiency – even when doing so would have been wise and profitable. Ford’s genius in sparking change had catapulted him to the pinnacle of American commerce, but later, his inability to change cost him dearly.






Getting referrals and introductions without asking for them is probably the most fun way to grow your business – especially if you’re getting introduced to the right types of people.

In this blog, I’ll provide you with the 10 keys to getting unsolicited referrals. Some of these keys can be broken down into 3 main categories:

  • Becoming Super Referable
  • Promoting Introductions
  • Nurturing & Celebrating Advocates

Don’t get me wrong. I still teach advisors how to ask for introductions without pushing or begging. That process works and helps advisors grow their business in just the right direction.

With that said, wouldn’t it be nice to create more (and high-quality) introductions without asking?

CLICK HERE to get your 10 Keys to Referrals & Introductions without Asking.





I have received several emails from individuals over the past few months articulating their discouragement and the affect the pandemic has had on their business. There is no debate- it is a battle and it has changed everything. I spoke with a high-ranking military officer about what mindset they employ in battle when things are not going well with their initial plan. His answer, which he read off a plaque on the wall in his office, was “Courage is seeing the goal of victory in the presence of defeat.” He then said, “We learn, we adapt, we adopt and go forward.” All of us should focus on the victory we want and adopt the new learnings and actions to achieve it. Go adapt, adopt and win your battles



4. TIP FROM BOB BURG. Influence & Success Insights 30


You want to buy this product but you need a better price (or terms, or whatever you feel is necessary) in order to feel comfortable doing so. Last video we looked at how NOT to ask effectively. After all, that’s important to know.

However, as we discover in Influence & Success Insights Video #30 titled, “Tactful and Effective Negotiation, Part Two” there is a correct way that will help you obtain the results you want practically every time.

Be sure and frame it and phrase it exactly as we do here (including the three key words) and experience with joy how excited the other person will be about coming through for you.

Truly a win/win in the highest regard.






Weekly planning allows you to turn your goals into habitual actions and strategies so that you do put your first things first and stay on top of the referral strategies that grow your business.

Daily planning is to reactive on its own; it focuses too closely on the urgent rather than the important (although I highly recommend Andrew Carnegie’s strategy of identifying the top six things each day and starting with the first one until it is complete. He attributed much of his success to this one daily habit.)



Integrate Exit Planning into your practice TODAY. You will be happy that you did!

And remember, that Long Term Care Insurance, as well as Life Insurance, can and should play a significant role as part of this planning!





An MLB World Champion Caregiver

Mutual of Omaha Lifting LTC Restrictions in 10 States



Caregiving in The Workplace and The Impact on Employers
Watch Video (1:55)

Employers Can Attract, Retain and Reward Employees with A Long Term Care Benefit for Employees
Watch Video (1:53)







Estate planning essentials for baby boomer clients
A significant portion of baby boomers may still lack wills or trusts that are crucial for estate planning. This article explains how to help clients protect the well-being of their families, achieve peace of mind and update their plans to match current realities. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


CDC: Pandemic taking heavy toll on mental health
More than 4 in 10 Americans report struggling with at least one adverse mental health or behavioral health issue such as elevated symptoms of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and substance use due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The findings, based on responses from 5,412 US adults in late June, revealed “[y]ounger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers and unpaid adult caregivers” were hit harder by these mental health problems. Full Story: U.S. News & World Report


Underwriting during COVID-19 brings restrictions and opportunities
Underwriting clients for life insurance during the pandemic includes a number of restrictions and postponements, as well as some opportunities, writes Adrienne Wilson of Crump Life Insurance Services. Potential restrictions and postponements could affect people who have had COVID-19, those who have traveled to a foreign country and those who have certain medical conditions, she writes. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


How annuities can ease clients’ concerns amid pandemic
The coronavirus has kindled fresh fears for retirees, and annuities could fill that void, experts say. Structured annuities have seen sales growth, and the category has been a focus for Nationwide this year, said Nationwide Annuity President Eric Henderson. Full Story: InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model)


Pandemic has altered life insurance application process
The coronavirus pandemic has led life insurance companies to adapt as they offer policies without medical exams and ask different questions of applicants. Experts say now is a good time to apply for life insurance before prices go up, but applicants should be prepared for possible delays in the approval process. Full Story: Forbes


Why clients need a holistic approach to retirement
Retirement advice should encompass more than money management, says Maddy Dychtwald, Age Wave co-founder. Advisors should be prepared to help retirees in four key areas — health, family, purpose and finances — and also “help your clients better understand retirement and how it is morphing and changing, and how it is interconnected,” Dychtwald says. Full Story: InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model)


Life insurance applications surge among younger people
Life insurance application activity was up 14.1% year-over-year in July, an MIB Group index shows. Younger applicants largely drove the surge, as application activity rose 18.9% among people younger than 45, according to the index. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


Research: Retirees lack understanding of retirement risk
Retirees do not have a strong grasp on the key risks associated with retirement, says research economist Wenliang Hou from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Retirees rank market risk as their top concern, but longevity and health risks rank higher from an objective perspective, Hou says. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


Regulators group uncovers 244 coronavirus scams
A task force of state and provincial regulators has identified 244 scams related to the coronavirus crisis and initiated actions against 220 of them. “Con artists follow the headlines, so it should be of no surprise that COVID-cons are targeting investors,” said Christopher Gerold, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association’s COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force and head of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities. Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


How the pandemic is shaping perceptions of benefits
A study conducted by The Hartford in June found that 73% of workers value their organization’s insurance benefits, a drop from 80% from the same study conducted in March. The research also reveals that the pandemic is spurring employer interest in certain benefits, such as employee assistance programs, paid time off, wellness and mental health. Full Story: Human Resource Executive


Social Security calculators can guide claiming decisions
Choosing what age to claim Social Security is among the most important retirement decisions a person will make. A number of free calculators online can aid in that decision. Full Story: U.S. News & World Report


A state-by-state guide to retirement costs
Retirement is an expensive proposition, and Social Security covers only some of the cost. This article provides a glimpse of what to expect by describing the amount necessary to retire comfortably in each state. Full Story: 24/7 Wall St.








As a leading long-term care insurance carrier, Mutual of Omaha has a responsibility to our policyholders and distribution partners to ensure our pricing strategy and product offerings are effective. We have been monitoring industry trends, internal claims data and the economic environment over the past several years. As a result, we are refreshing our rates and implementing benefit option changes to the MutualCare® Solutions Portfolio effective September 1, 2020.*

The details are outlined below:

Impacted States: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming

Rate Adjustments: Premium adjustments may vary by age, sex and benefit selection. You may view the new rates by referring to the quoting software beginning September 1, 2020.

Benefit Changes

Cash Benefit:

  • MutualCare® Custom: 25% of home health care benefit up to maximum of $2,000 per month
  • MutualCare® Secure: 25% of home health care benefit up to maximum of $2,000 per month

Partner Premium Allowances:

  • Both Issued: 15%
  • One Issued: 5%


Transition Rules

New paper and e-Applications for MutualCare Solutions will be required beginning September 1, 2020. Please discontinue use of all old applications. The following transition rules will apply:

Paper Applications

  • Applications with a signed date of September 1, 2020, and later will get the new rates and benefits and will require our new application.
  • Applications signed prior to September 1, 2020 and received in the home office on or before September 11, 2020, will receive the current rates and product benefits.
  • Old applications received after September 11, 2020, will not be accepted regardless of application sign date. Applications will be closed, and a new application will be required to apply for coverage. No exceptions will be made.


  • If you have a pending e-Application started prior to September 1, 2020, your application must be signed prior to September 1, 2020 to receive the old rates and benefits. You can access your pending application, complete and submit like normal.
  • Pending e-Application must be received in the Home Office no later than September 11, 2020, or it will not be accepted.

Quoting Software

Winflex, MutualCare® Solutions, and mobile quote software will be available for download effective September 1, 2020.

Marketing Materials and Forms

  • Marketing materials are in the process of being updated. You will be notified when the materials are ready to order.

Old Applications

  • Paper applications are available for download only on Sales Professional Access until August 31, 2020.
  • e-Applications will be available until August 31, 2020.

New Applications

  • Paper applications will be available to order through your normal ordering channels on August 19, 2020.
  • e-Applications will be available on September 1, 2020 on Sales Professional Access.






We’re celebrating our EssentialLTC launch in California and the start of summer with

The Dog Days of Summer contest!

Starting July 6 earn a $100 Amazon gift card for each qualified application submitted.

First-time producers earn double for their first application!



Promotion details

1. Each qualified application submitted between 07/06/2020 and 08/31/2020 will earn the writing producer a $100 Amazon gift card.
2. Producers who write their first ever National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) EssentialLTC application will earn two $100 Amazon gift cards for that application. Each subsequent qualified application submitted will earn a $100 Amazon gift card.
3. Applications must be received at the LTC Administrative Office by mail, E-APP, or eUpload within the 07/06/2020 – 08/31/2020 time period.
Gift cards will be mailed weekly.

Joint applications count as one application. Credit will only be given to the writing producer. Credit will only be given for applicants who do not already have an EssentialLTC policy. Clearly uninsurable applications will not be counted.





Relationships are at the core of living a healthy lifestyle, whether it’s a relationship with family, friends, business partners, or clients. Creating a successful long term care insurance business is no different — it’s all about building long-lasting relationships with your clients. The Field Underwriting Guide is designed to bring greater predictability to the underwriting process, so you can establish and maintain client relationships with the transparency and timeliness that lead to more policy placements. To make this process as simple as possible, the guide will help you find solutions to the most common underwriting concerns, as well as provide a better understanding of our business, underwriting practices, and procedures. You’ll find:

  • Easy to understand underwriting evidence criteria
  • Guidance on medical histories with a combination of conditions (co-morbidities)
  • Guidance on stability periods and class ratings
  • Listings of uninsurable medications and conditions






We firmly believe in the authority that the CLTC designation provides to advisors. It shows their dedication, expertise and experience in extended care planning. Those who have earned the designation believe it helps them have better client conversations and close more sales. Most of our team hold this designation.

We are happy to announce that Thrivent has negotiated a $200 discount that you can take advantage of if you do not already have this designation. Simply enter the discount code of THRIVENT at checkout. It can be used with either the live Zoom classes, or for the self-paced eCLTC.

We are pleased to share this news, and this discount code, with all of you. The next live Zoom classes start in September and October.






The Value of LTC Insurance Coverage

LTC insurance helps protect you from the high cost of care. This coverage also helps give you control over where you receive care, and can support the desire to remain at home for as long as possible. It also helps reduce the burden of care that often falls on family members.

We want to assure you that John Hancock is committed to providing you with this important coverage, in addition to support and service that you can depend on, when and where you need care.




The secret to getting the care you want tomorrow? Planning today.

People are living longer than ever. But 70% of those over 65 will need long term care at some point. Health insurance won’t pay for it. Medicare and Medicaid may provide limited coverage but only if you meet certain criteria. Long term care insurance, on the other hand, can provide you the coverage you need to live your life on your terms, where you want.

















Don’t Miss Out on a New Way to Connect with Your Customers

Just a couple weeks ago we announced the launch of an all-new way to connect with your customers and help them understand the value of long-term care protection from OneAmerica®. We’re thrilled by the response we’ve gotten already. And if you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the perfect time.





Pacific Index Dimensions is designed to give you growth potential while protecting your principal from loss. It does this through:

  • A variety of diverse interest-crediting options.
  • No annual contract, morality and expense, or administrative fees.





Important product updates to SecureCare Universal Life

In response to the historically low interest rate environment, Securian Financial will implement a price increase to SecureCare and extend its payment durations to age 80 in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware and North Dakota on September 5, 2020. These updates have already been implemented in all Compact1 states and South Dakota, and will be implemented in other states as they are approved. Please note: these changes impact new business only, there are no changes to in-force policies. There is no change to the product structure, contract language, forms, compensation or types of benefits provided.

Key dates:

  • Monday, August 24, 2020: illustration software will be updated to reflect new pricing.2
  • Friday, September 4, 2020: applications must be signed, in good order and received by Securian Financial’s home office or submitted via eApp by 3 p.m. CST to receive the old rates.
  • Saturday, September 5, 2020: SecureCare Universal Life’s new pricing and extension of payments to age 80 will be implemented in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware and North Dakota.







You can join any webinar by dialing 888-557-8511 and entering access code 8659663.

Reminder: Please mute your phone during the presentation to minimize background noise and avoid placing the webinar call on hold, as many phone services include hold music that will play in the background.







If you are TRULY COMMITTED to working ON your business and not just in your business, you don’t want to miss these calls. As we have said time and time again, an honest 40 hour work week WILL garner you the level of success that you want, and 4 of these hours should be spent in training, webinars, All Hands calls, etc. Attendance has been up significantly since we changed the format of this call, and we hope to drive it even higher!





2. 7 Tips to Improve Social Engagement with Video
Looking to grow your business with video? It’s an easy way to communicate with and engage an audience. Learn tips from the pros for creating online video content that delivers results.

3. 50 Social Media Best Practices
Want to improve your social media outreach? Use these tips to develop the unique voice, tone, and methods best suited to your brand and customers.

4. How to “promote” referrals instead of asking for them
Instead of asking for referrals, advisors can “promote” them, suggests marketing expert Bill Good, who says asking for referrals often only generates names. The author defines promoting referrals as “gently and persistently reminding your clients that you value and accept their referrals.” Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)








Happy Selling Everybody!!

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