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One Tuit

A common device of motivational speakers is to point out the reasons big things in our lives don't get accomplished.  The usual lament is "If I could only get around to it. "

The speaker then delivers the punch line by handing out a coin to everyone in the audience that says "One Round Tuit."   

As we all know, the lack of a "round tuit" delays countless good-intentioned actions from ever happening.  When LIMRA researchers interview consumers about financial matters, the response "haven't gotten around to it" tends to show up in important areas.

In the 2014 Insurance Barometer survey, when consumers were asked why they have not purchased life insurance, 30 percent said because they haven't gotten around to it. Insurance industry professionals have heard this response many times.  In fact one of the reasons they haven't gotten around to it may be found in a different response where 37% said "not sure how much I need or what type to buy." 

In another example, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute researchers found that when employees were asked why they were not saving in their company sponsored retirement plan 12% said they haven't gotten around to it. In a separate LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute survey workers age 55-64 who are saving but do not have a strategy for their retirement income were asked why they didn't and 42 percent said they had not gotten around to it.

It raises the question, how do financial advisors supply the "round tuit" for their clients? 

LIMRA research has found that life events such as marriage, buying a house or having children are important motivators to purchase life insurance coverage.  In addition, stories about life insurance making a difference in people's lives can also be an effective way to help people get a "round tuit."

For those who have not started to save for retirement, understanding the benefits down the road is essential. One fascinating illustration involves a math exercise to show the power of starting to save sooner rather than later.  In the example, a person age 20 saves $1,000 per year until age 34 and then stops. Another person age 40 saves $2,400 per year until age 64. (A graphic of how much each person has saved by age 64 can be seen here.)

For savers close to retirement but no plan, the opportunity for advisors starts with relationship building.  Most helpful to this group would be advisors who discuss income planning with an emphasis on stability, predictability and sustainability.  

Advisors who take the time to identify the source of procrastination and apply effective solutions are providing a valuable service for their clients. Success awaits their efforts; they just need to get a "round tuit." 

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Catherine Theroux

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