BSMG Blog: Protecting the Future of Families and Businesses

How Changing Residency Affects State Estate Tax and Income Taxes

As the White House begins to change over its residences, let's take a look at the requirements one must take to change their state of residency and the state tax implications involved.  You may have wealthy, older age clients from high tax states considering a move to a lower taxed state to save money. This typically involves state income taxes on retirement benefits and state estate taxes on net worth/gross estates. 

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Infographic: Understanding Long Term Care Costs

Are you talking to your clients about Long Term Care (LTC) and Linked Benefits? If so, great job! More than likely you have seen the positive impacts these conversations have on your business, as well as the lives of your clients. We know this to be true, which is why we are sharing client facing tools like this downloadable LTC infographic to help start the conversation with your clients. 

DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC TO START SHARING WITH CLIENTS

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A Brief History of Estate & Gift Taxes

Estate and gift taxes have provided a source of revenue for the United States government for over 150 years and have had many variations. Now that we'll have a Republican president and a Republican majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, what's in store for the future of these taxes? To fully understand how Estate and Gift Taxes could be affected by the political and economic environment, let's take a look at a brief history of how these taxes have evolved. 

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RMD Planning Options for Clients with Multiple IRAs

At one point or another, you have encountered a client who has multiple IRA accounts that may have been created at different times with different funding products. You may have even recommended two separate IRA accounts to a client, each with different financial purpose for different designated beneficiaries. In either one of these events the US Treasury Regulations treat certain IRA accounts differently when it comes to distributing IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from these accounts once the client reaches age 70½. 

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3 Spooky Life Insurance Stories

No coverage? Coverage in just the nick of time? Just barely having the right type of coverage? 3 scenarios your clients do not want to leave up to chance...

We all know there is an enormous coverage gap for life insurance in the US today. It is far too often that we hear advisors shy away from the conversation of life insurance to avoid an uncomfortable situation. These three stories bring to life the importance of life insurance, and will hopefully reinforce for you the need to have the conversation with every family with whom you have the opportunity. Don't let your clients wait till it is too late to find out how important life insurance really is. 

Read More: Life Insurance Coverage Crisis Hits the U.S. – Millions in Harm’s Way!

These 3 Spooky Stories will scare the "life" out of you...

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The Right Buy-Sell Agreement for Your Client

One of the most important planning issues confronting a business owner is what happens to his or her share of the business upon death.


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9 Key Steps to Nurturing Life Insurance Leads

We're sure you know that you can't grow your business without growing your sales pipeline. Successful sales lead management begins with identifying prospects who have expressed an interest in your products or services. Life Insurance leads can come from a variety of prospecting efforts such as lists, social media, direct mail or email. Regardless of how you find these leads, it is important to always nurture them, a forgotten lead is unlikely to become a customer. Below are tips on how to handle and track each new lead as well as grow your lead base.

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8 Communication Tips to Attract Clients Who Are Business Owners

Here are 8 Communication Tips for Insurance Agents to Attract Clients Who Own a Business:

  • Use a local phone number instead of an 800 number.

  • The best time to approach owners is Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

  • Send personalized email:
    • Personalized subject lines indicate that the content is relevant to the owner or business, and increases panelists’ likelihood to open an email.
    • Send the email from an individual, rather than a marketing inbox.

  • Send personalized direct mail or letters: Use results-driven language (by doing this, you will get that).
    • Hand-addressed card-sized letters are opened most often.

  • Simplify and speak in terms that are easy to understand.

  • Incorporate messaging about ROI, rather than price.

  • Be sure to follow-up:
    • Follow-up even if you are told no, but provide educational information when you do.
    • The owner may not buy now, but follow-ups may help you get the business later.
    • Advise with frequency tailored to their needs.
    • Use non-evasive regular touches by checking in every 60-90 days after initial point of contact.
    • Perform more of a branding call vs. a sales call: Example: “This is John Doe, from Mutual of Omaha, checking on how your business is doing and reminding you that I’m here if you need me. Would you like me to follow-up monthly, bimonthly or quarterly?”
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Pain Points Revealed: Understand Insurance for Small Business Owners

The Biggest Pain Points of Small Business Owners 

As their business matures, owners’ pain points tend to shift away from cash flow management and revenue to talent acquisition and keeping the customer base consistent. Recently Mutual of Omaha conducted focus groups with small businesses to understand their pain points and what keeps them up at night. They have cited talent acquisition, employee performance, customer satisfaction, cash flow and risk management as some of their biggest pain points. Additionally, most owners do not have a succession or emergency plan in place. Approaching clients with an understanding of their needs is a great ice-breaker for a conversation about life insurance for small business owners.

Check out our field guide to landing "Big Cases with Big Ages"

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"Zero-Gift"GRATs and ILITs

 A Tax Efficient Capital Transfer Strategy

Using a so-called “Zero-Gift” Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) coupled with an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) can provide estate, gift, and income tax free transfer of estate assets to heirs in an economically efficient manner.

This article, by BSMG's very own Russell E. Towers, takes a look at the long list of GRAT advantages available under current law. As well as a case study on a zero-gift GRAT in tandem with an ILIT.  

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