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For 30 years, LIMRA MarketFacts has been the premier publication for financial services executives worldwide. Our mission is to bring the latest, most pertinent industry information to our readership — whether it is derived from industry research, company best practices, or insightful thought leadership. LIMRA MarketFacts offers unmatched content by inviting authorship from representatives of companies in LIMRA’s vast member roster, as well as from LIMRA’s internal subject matter experts and global thought leaders impacting the financial services arena.

Why is LIMRA MarketFacts different from other industry trade publications? Because we concentrate on developing in-depth, insightful articles devoted to the critical issues of the day impacting financial services industry decision-makers. By blending exclusive perspectives from LIMRA’s renowned research team and marketing experts with the industry’s top thought leadership, LIMRA MarketFacts provides the latest information on how companies can maximize their marketing and distribution effectiveness in an ever-evolving environment.

In these turbulent times, it is imperative that you have access to the best thinking on the forces driving change in the financial services industry. LIMRA MarketFacts is the vehicle that industry executives turn to most for LIMRA’s longstanding brand in research excellence.

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Spring 2009

LIMRA MarketFacts

Spring, 2009

Table of Contents
by James O. Mitchel, Ph.D., CEBS, LIMRA

Small-business owners, particularly those who run successful, prosperous businesses, have long been a target market for financial services companies and advisors. A number of research studies document that sales opportunities abound in the affluent small-business marketplace.

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by Ronald S. Leopold, M.D., M.B.A, M.P.H., Wells Fargo Insurance Services

The new economy is a game changer for everyone in the benefits decision-making arena. Everything from individual financial security to projected age of retirement and who will be paying for health care has become an open question in an era when American companies and their employees are being challenged in securing their futures. Understanding the nuances of how different companies view their benefits strategies and objectives, and how they view themselves in the context of their own competition, may hold an important key to future success.

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by Scott R. Kallenbach, FLMI, LIMRA

Fueled by the U.S. financial crisis, mark-to-market accounting — specifically the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 157, Fair Value Measurements (SFAS 157) — is under fire. Based on the analysis conducted by the SEC, the impact of SFAS 157 on insurance companies may not be as severe as some suggest.

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by Mary M. Art, LIMRA

What are the reactions of men and women to getting insurance information and advice or entering into financial transactions online? How do men and women use the Internet to recognize need, seek information, purchase products, and obtain service? Can the same approaches be used for both genders? Knowing this can help your company reach them for sales and service.

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by Sally A. Bryck, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute

The economic roller coaster we all rode in 2008 is something that few of us will forget or ever want to experience again. For some retirees, it hit especially hard. With the all-encompassing economic crisis occurring in the United States (and around the globe), we can now ask: Did retirees really prepare enough for the highs and lows that retirement can offer?

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by Maddy Dychtwald, Age Wave

No matter what shape our economy is in, we need to consider other important realities that are changing us all and the future of retirement. For starters, we’re in the beginning stages of a longevity revolution and, with that, the author believes that most people will elect to postpone their old age and remain youthful longer — thus redefining the concept of traditional retirement.

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by Shawn P. Flynn, FLMI, ACS, LIMRA

Do Canadian employers need to tune up their benefits communication programs? Answer: Most emphatically, yes! According to new LIMRA research that asks Canadian employees to rate the effectiveness of their company’s benefits communication program, an overwhelming percentage of responders stated their company’s benefits communication programs were in dire need of performance adjustments.

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by Jennifer L. Douglas, LIMRA; Scott R. Kallenbach, FLMI, LIMRA

Consumers and producers have an unfavorable view of the economy.While consumers express frustration with and disappointment with the insurance industry, producers remain optimistic and anticipate capitalizing on increased consumer preference for the safety and security of guaranteed returns. Insurance executives also display optimism regarding long-term prospects. However, a majority express little hope for industry sales growth in 2009. Nonetheless, many feel their own company will outperform the industry.

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by Alan Press, Wealth Advisory Group LLC

As health care costs continue to accelerate — particularly for drugs and medical devices — countries all over the world (including the United States) are studying the effectiveness of a decision handed down by the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) — an independent organization responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health. It’s a decision that has created a firestorm of protest and may have a profound effect on the future of health care.

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Mary-Beth Selby


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