Week In Review: Go Fly A Kite

Written by Don Levin

June 12, 2020

Better days ahead
Top stories of the week

COVID-19 lockdowns prevented 60M cases in the US

A study published in Nature found that stay-at-home orders, business closures, travel limitations and other restrictions imposed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 prevented about 60 million coronavirus infections in the US, and a total of 530 million cases across US, China, France, Italy, Iran and South Korea. A separate study published in the same journal found that lockdowns and social distancing measures in 11 European countries prevented roughly 3.1 million fatalities.

Full Story: The Hill

Bulk of COVID-19 cases attributed to superspreaders

Epidemiologists say a significant proportion of coronavirus infections occurred at so-called superspreader events, or large gatherings where one infected person transmitted the virus to many others in close proximity. But researchers also suspect only about 20% to 30% of infected individuals actually transmit the virus, possibly due to differences in immunity, behavior or respiratory system differences.

Full Story: Miami Herald (tiered subscription model)

Trump signs changes to PPP but more likely to come

President Donald Trump signed a bill that extends the amount of time businesses have to use Paycheck Protection Program funds and allows them to use more of the money on expenses other than payroll. More changes are likely, with some industry groups calling for forgiveness on loans less than $150,000.

21 US states see increases in new COVID-19 cases

An analysis of data from the COVID Tracking Project showed COVID-19 cases are rising in 21 states, and increases in New Mexico, Utah and Arizona were 40% or higher last week, compared with the previous week. Nationwide, the number of new infections rose 3% in the first week of June, following five consecutive weeks of declines.

Full Story: Reuters

Study: Face masks can reduce COVID-19 transmission

A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A found widespread use of face masks in public could reduce COVID-19 transmission to controllable levels when combined with some lockdown and social distancing measures. Always wearing masks in public is twice as effective in reducing COVID-19’s R value, or reproduction rate, compared with wearing masks only after symptoms appear, researchers found.

Full Story: Reuters

Lighthouse, sunset

Leadership Message: Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Don Levin

Because of Covid-19 and the threat it poses to my wife, we are still somewhat reticent about jumping out into public even with a mask on our faces. Speaking of masks, I want to publicly recognize our own


Paula Pike and her efforts to make a difference during the pandemic as she completed sewing her 500th protective mask this week. Most of these masks have been donated to deserving organizations and individuals. Way to go Paula!

As a result of our staying in more, I was Facetiming with my grandkids the other day and observed and marveled that they had discovered the joys of kite flying! I no sooner had that thought and found myself recalling images of my own kite-flying as a child when a couple of teenagers walked past my office window while piloting their sleek, shiny, and noisy drone. I had the conscious thought that I could probably take it out with one shot if granted the green light. I also remember having the thought that the device was aptly named. As I watched these two flying machines compete for the airspace, one outside my window, the other on my iPad, it sparked the thought that there are some great parallels to our own long term care industry.

When some of us joined the long term care industry twenty years ago, it truly was a much simpler business model. We had one carrier, often only one product (unless we counted individual plans, shared plans and facility-only plans as our quiver full of arrows) and like the kite, was easier to launch ourselves off the ground and into the business. Sure, there were nuances attached to the riders and features and benefits to be learned, but all in all, it was a far simpler business. We were tethered to this carrier like the string with which we controlled the kite. The height and direction of the kite was largely dictated by the length of the string and the way we pulled on it to create resistance. The height to which the kite could soar was also limited by the length of the string on our roller.

Just as kites come in different configurations, so too do our agents. I never could understand why a box kite flew better than a standard polygon kite. I am certain that there is a valid scientific explanation for this phenomenon but as a kid I did not care, nor did I need to know why so long as I could send the kite soaring. Much like the makers of these kites, the compliance and product departments of the carriers kept our agents tethered to the products with definable limits and parameters.

Over the years captive agents needed the carriers and the leads that they provided, to thrive in this business much in the same manner that kites need to be tethered to fly, at least until a strong wind will send it soaring like referrals, centers of influence, and strategic alliances will send an agent’s business ever soaring to new heights.

Looking back on some hot windless summer days, I now recall that it was sometimes impossible to launch that kite no matter how hard we tried. So too with our formerly captive agents who would often voice the complaint that they were unemployed if there was a scarcity of leads. Fortunately, that is no longer the case, and agents now have the power to create their own leads through efforts in marketing, networking, and prospecting.

We are a smaller industry today in terms of carriers and agents on the street, and captive forces are nearly non-existent. The skies are filling with drones that can only be flown by older kids and adults. Having tried my hand at flying a drone on a few occasions, I would liken it to flying a helicopter in that your hands and feet must be able to do different things simultaneously. The advent of hybrid and combo products, short term recovery care, critical care policies, as well as a myriad of other related products may explain why there are very few new people coming into this business.

Drones are far more complicated and sophisticated than kites, and the industry has necessitated the need to change from a captive agent force industry to a broker force industry. Drones have multiple blades that help keep it up in the air as well as controlling the direction in which it flies. The blades could be compared to the important components of being a broker: knowledge of the products, knowledge of the processes, ability to market yourself and your business, as well as knowing yourself and how you fit into this business.

Drones don’t have to be tethered to fly and are free to fly wherever they are told and don’t rely on the winds to keep them airborne. Like the drone, brokers can offer multiple products from multiple carriers and therefore only need access to good products to “fly.” Unlike the kite, drones do need an internal power supply as well as the ability to be remote controlled.

As a broker you are the one holding the remote control and it is therefore incumbent upon you to know how to use the remote and how to fly to avoid crashing and burning. Brokers can find their own opportunities in the industry and change directions as they deem appropriate. Brokers have far more control of their business and are not reliant on carriers for leads.

The greatest threat other than physical obstacles is the possibility of flying out of range of the remote signal. When this happens, it is possible that the broker will lose his or her way. For this reason, it is important to always be learning and growing and remaining at the forefront of the industry as new products become available. Like the threat of flying out of range, brokers are challenged with their focus being too divided because of the growing number of distractions in the industry.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite is a song from Walt Disney’s film Mary Poppins, another fond memory of childhood that I am attempting to share with yet another generation. The song was composed by the song writing brother duo of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The song is heard at the end of the film when George Banks (played by David Tomlinson), realizes that his family is more important than his job. He mends his son’s kite and takes his family on a kite-flying outing in the park. The song is sung by Tomlinson, Dick Van Dyke, and eventually the entire chorus while Mary Poppins makes her exit from the Banks’ household.

In the same vein, it is important for us to remember that the needs of the client must always come first, and if we are true to this paradigm, that we will know the sweet taste of success.

Jeff Levin, MBA, PMP, CLTC, also contributed to this article parts of which were previously seen in Broker World Magazine in September 2018.

Pro Shop


John Maxwell

1. JOHN MAXWELL on Change

As a child, did you ever wish that you could fly? The longing to escape gravity seems ingrained in our imaginations. Fictional characters from Superman to Mary Poppins to Aladdin have soared across the sky on adventures. Michael “Air” Jordan’s fame rested, in part, on his seeming ability to glide above his opponents on the court to slam-dunk the basketball. Kite flying remains a popular pastime and air shows draw crowds to watch planes perform acrobatic aerial feats.

Our longing to take flight transfers to our careers. We don’t want to be stuck on the bottom level; we want to soar. We desire to be on top, to excel in our work.

Whatever your occupation and regardless of your position, here are three habits of excellence which, when attained, will get you off the ground.

  • Work with Your Whole Heart
  • Devote undistracted attention to your Job
  • Give Maximum Energy to Your Team
Bill Cates

Are you tired of pursuing prospects? Would you rather have qualified prospects pursuing you? The evidence is clear. Financial professionals who focus on a target market generally grow faster and farther than those who don’t. Are there exceptions? Of course. But in today’s market – full of mind-numbing noise, conflicting perspectives, pressure on fees, etc. – becoming the go-to expert in a clearly defined niche will reduce the business-development friction. Join Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE, for a High-Content Virtual Session:

“Your Riches are in Niches: Attract Ideal Clients in a Lucrative Target Market”

Tuesday, June 18, 2020 @ 1:00pm Eastern (12:00pm Central I 11:00am Mountain I 10:00am Pacific)


  • Communicate a more relevant and compelling marketing message.
  • Become super referable faster – to get referrals without asking.
  • Build a reputation that attracts more Right-Fit Clients™ who are more profitable and a joy to work with.


  • Choose the right target market.
  • Bust the 5 common misconceptions that keep you from getting rich in your niche.
  • Identify the right prospects inside your market.
  • Maximize the power of a well-defined market focus.
  • Get more introductions to high-quality prospects.
  • Expand the geographic reach of your business (if you wish).
  • Create a reputation that draws prospects to contact you.

It’s time for you to narrow your focus to expand your results.


Richard Weylman


State an attribute of the service/product or advice you offer and then say, “And what this means to you is…”

Bob Burg

4. TIP FROM BOB BURG. Influence & Success Insights

Last post we looked at two well-known but – in my opinion – counterproductive ways people have been taught to say “no” to a request.

Here in Influence & Success Insights Video #20 titled, “Saying No Respectfully and…Effectively, Part 2” you’ll discover my method for doing so that honors the other person and results in both of you feeling good the situation.

Yes, they feel good about it even though they did not get their desired result.

I’ve both used and taught this very simple method for many years with great success and you’ll see how – by applying it – it will allow you to comfortably say no whenever you feel that is the appropriate response.

Matt Anderson


Here are five beliefs you need to ask for referrals:

  • Your service is among the best.
  • Your company is one of the best.
  • YOU are one of the best.
  • Your clients are truly better off because of doing business with you.
  • Your clients benefit by recommending you because you are going to make them look good and get them positive feedback from those they refer!
Mike Rodman
Best Practices of America

6. MIKE RODMAN / BEST PRACTICES OF AMERICA. 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!

The Worksite LTCI Corner


How To Care For Your Aging Parents From A Distance

COVID-19 Crisis Exposes Flaws in Long-Term Care System, Report Says

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)

Contact our sales team
Good Reads
Reading is the KEY

Anxiety, depression have tripled during pandemic

A survey of nearly 1,500 adults showed a more than threefold increase in the number of Americans experiencing mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Pandemic-related changes and stressors, including fear of infection, social distancing and economic uncertainty, have coincided with disrupted access to services for mental health issues, according to the authors, whose work was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Full Story: United Press International

Non-variable universal life sales drop 2.5% in Q1

Sales of non-variable universal life insurance policies fell 2.5% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with a year ago, according to data from Wink. In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, a change in mortality tables and a shift to principles-based reserving led to premium increases that hurt sales, Wink President Sheryl Moore said.

Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)

Report: Gen Z members prefer human advisors

Members of Generation Z are optimistic about their financial futures and prefer to receive advice from a human advisor, even though only 30% have met with one, according to a Morningstar report. This bodes well for advisors, who should seek a “a brief introduction to the adult children of existing clients, which can at least start the process of building a multigenerational relationship over time,” writes Stan Treger, Morningstar’s senior behavioral scientist.

Full Story: Financial Advisor online

The disadvantages to early retirement

While the thought of retiring in your 40s or 50s might seem intriguing, there are several drawbacks to consider. These include missing out on years of contributions to employer-sponsored 401(k) plans and the potential for smaller Social Security benefits.

Full Story: U.S. News & World Report

Help clients avoid mistakes in tapping retirement funds

Financial advisors can help cash-strapped clients who must tap retirement assets avoid costly mistakes, writes IRA expert Ed Slott. He lays out different options and how to maximize benefits while limiting taxes and penalties.

Full Story: Financial Planning online

CDC chief urges protesters to be tested for COVID-19

CDC Director Robert Redfield said protests happening across the country following the death of George Floyd could contribute to the spread of COVID-19, and he urged protesters to get tested for the disease.

Full Story: Reuters

Pessimism was linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s

Why it matters: PET scans have revealed that people who spend a lot of time thinking negative thoughts can have elevated levels of the amyloid and tau proteins in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Pessimists also experience increased cognitive decline after four years, compared with those who maintain a more positive mental attitude.

Full Story: CNN

10 essential metrics to measure social marketing

Daniella Alscher outlines 10 vital metrics to measure the success of social media marketing, including brand awareness, share of voice, conversion rate and virality rate. She explains what each metric can teach marketers about their social content and describes how to measure each one.

Full Story: G2 Crowd

Public school employees want to know about annuities

When asked about annuities, 43% of K-12 public school employees said they would like to know how annuities work and whether they would make sense for an individual, according to a survey from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and ICMA-RC. Forty-five percent of respondents said they have a somewhat or very positive view of annuities.

Full Story: PlanSponsor online

Report: Life insurance applications up 5.2% in May

Life insurance application activity was up 5.2% in May compared with a year earlier, according to a report from MIB. The increase was driven by younger age groups, where application activity rose roughly 7%, while application activity among those 60 and older declined nearly 2%.

Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)

Pandemic leads to positive changes in underwriting

The coronavirus pandemic has created challenges for the life insurance industry but has also led to some positive underwriting changes, writes Eric Schuhmacher of First American Insurance Underwriters. Among them are the expanded use of electronic medical records and streamlined underwriting for younger candidates who have had a physical in the past two years.

Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)

Carrier News
Mutual of Omaha

BREAKING NEWS! LTC Issue Age Restriction Lifted in Select States

From the Desk of Marty Johnson:

As the stay-at-home orders begin to lift and local businesses start to reopen, we are happy to announce that Mutual of Omaha is also lifting some restrictions on LTC applications where the ability to obtain face-to-face interviews has improved.

With this good news, beginning June 15, 2020, Mutual of Omaha will accept LTC applications for clients age 65 and over in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

We will continue to evaluate lifting the restrictions for additional states. Until then, all remaining states will continue to follow the temporary guidelines and processes outlined in our previous temporary underwriting guideline communication.

In addition, underwriters will initiate the scheduling of face-to-face assessments for LTC applicants age 65 and over after medical records have been received, reviewed and they are favorable for insurability. This will ensure we are only requesting face-to-face assessments on individuals who are indeed insurable, subject to the completed assessment. This avoids the inconvenience of going through an assessment during this difficult time, only to be deemed uninsurable based on the medical records. This will also provide additional communication touchpoints with the producer during the underwriting process as each step is completed.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document for any questions you may have. We will continue to update you as we lift restrictions on additional states. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Marty Johnson Vice President, Individual Underwriting (800) 551-2059 Contact Me

Tax Advantages of LTCi There are a lot of advantages to owning a traditional long-term care policy, including the potential to save on federal and state income taxes.

Better Than Relying on Family You’re certain to run into clients whose plan for long-term care is to have their kids take care of them. While it may seem like a practical and simple solution, they need to consider what being a caregiver really means.

Encourage Clients to Purchase LTCi Now, Not Later Even if your clients understand the value of long-term care insurance, purchasing a policy often isn’t a top priority. But they may not be aware there’s cost associated with waiting.

Updated LTC Cost of Care Numbers

It’s no secret – the cost for various long-term care services goes up every year. With no end in sight to the rising costs, how can your clients afford not to have long-term care insurance?

We have a Marketing Solution Center campaign dedicated to it! Share the content and help your producers start the conversation with clients on just how expensive long-term care services are.

Keep an eye on your inbox! Additional cost of care content is headed your way in the coming weeks.

National Guardian

Genworth Financial has added a new press release to its web site. For full details please visit the Genworth Financial web site at:

Genworth Survey: COVID-19 Forces Americans to Confront Their Vulnerability, Resolve to Make Positive Changes In Their Lives

Click Here for a complete listing of Genworth Financial press releases.

John Hancock

As communicated in April, Lincoln implemented temporary underwriting guideline changes applicable to all pending and new submissions of Lincoln individual life insurance policies, including Lincoln MoneyGuard®. These changes were put into place to effectively navigate the risks associated with the pandemic.

Based on the current environment and information from our reinsurance partners, these temporary guidelines remain in effect. Lincoln will re-evaluate our position in September 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and/or as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) give further guidance. PLEASE NOTE: These changes are temporary, subject to change, and will override any underwriting guidelines currently published in Lincoln’s marketing or reference material.

MoneyGuard underwriting modifications

LTC Library

Don’t forget that the max issue age has been raised to 70 for CareMatters II policies which include “min ROP w/ max LTC benefit” on 1-pay, 5-pay and 10-pays.


Join us for a webinar beginning on Jun 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT!

This two part educational session is the perfect opportunity to invest in your personal growth and take your Asset-Based long-term care business to the next level.

Explore what awaits you during our best-in-class Virtual Care Solutions University!

Hear messages from a few of our leaders Scott Davison (Chairman, President & CEO) and Dennis Martin (President of Individual Life & Financial Services) about the OneAmerica difference and why we are uniquely positioned now and into the future.

Having the LTC conversation – Need help starting the LTC conversation with your clients? Our internal LTC experts have identified a few key questions to help you open a dialogue with your clients about building a robust plan for future LTC needs.

Care Solutions product suite – Discover how OneAmerica Care Solutions offers choices that fit nearly any age, income level and health status. In this session, we’ll simplify the options to help you meet the unique needs of your clients.

Understanding LTC past and future – A OneAmerica actuary will address all of the vital questions.

Agenda (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, June 17th

12:00 PM to 12:05 PM – Opening Remarks

12:05 PM to 12:10 PM – Executive Note, Scott Davison, Chairman, President & CEO

12:10 PM to 12:55 PM – The Need for Asset-Based LTC 12:55 PM to 1:45 PM – Asset Care

1:45 PM to 2:25 PM – Annuity Care 2:25 PM to 2:30 PM – Closing Remarks

Thursday, June 18th

12:00 PM to 12:20 PM – Standing the Test of Time

12:20 PM to 12:30 PM – Utilizing E-Business Opportunities 12:30 PM to

1:00 PM – Underwriting 1:00 PM to 1:15 PM – Claims

1:15 PM to 1:50 PM – Rapid Fire Sales Ideas

1:50 PM to 1:55 PM – Executive Note, Dennis Martin, President of Individual Life & Financial Services

1:55 PM to 2:00 PM – Closing Remarks

We believe that you will receive the most value by joining both sessions, but should your schedule not permit, please feel free to join for any presentations that are of interest to you.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements

State approvals

With the addition of Montana and Washington, D.C., our new Asset Care product will be available for sale in all states where OneAmerica does business, except California, where agents may continue to sell the previous Asset-Care® product.

Asset Care annuity suitability training requirement

An insurance producer may not solicit the sale of the new Asset Care annuity-funded whole life option until he or she has completed insurer-provided product-specific training. Review the training requirements and access the training for both the new Asset Care product, as well as California requirements for the previous product.

Pacific Life

Extension of Benefits: The underwriting and new business guidelines Securian adopted in April due to COVID-19 will continue through at least Sept 15th.

Pilot program requests applicants’ EHRs

We’re pleased to announce a new pilot program to help expedite the underwriting process. For qualifying cases, our underwriters will request a client’s electronic health records (EHRs) through Human API, a leading vendor in the space, instead of ordering an Attending Physician’s Statement (APS).

Human API uses a streamlined approach that’s typically faster than ordering records directly from a medical provider, which can help us process your client’s case more quickly.

This pilot program begins on June 15, 2020 and concludes on September 15, 2020. During this time, all fully underwritten life cases for applicants ages 41-60 and face amounts between $2,000,001 and $5 million will automatically use this new process.

If you have a qualifying case, we’ll provide you and your client with the information needed to complete the process.

For more information, please review the process overview.


Now Playing: Live Webinars

From our office to your desktop, our free webinars bring all the training you need right to you. We offer a variety of live sessions to help boost your business — everything from product basics to the finer points of selling with LifeSecure.

Register today for the webinar of your choice!

June 16: Get Acquainted with LifeSecure

June 17: Worksite Solutions: LifeSecure’s Ancillary Products

June 18: Critical Illness Insurance Overview

June 23: New Personal Accident Insurance with Accidental Death Benefit

June 24: Worksite Solutions: LifeSecure’s Long Term Care Insurance

June 25: Critical Illness Insurance Overview

You can also check out our full webinar schedule here.

Training Corner



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!

DIAL IN INFORMATION: 1 (208) 717-1941, Participant Passcode 57783

When applicable, the visual part of the call can be viewed at www.uberconference.com/PNWIS with the same participant code.

Training and Development

2. New LinkedIn Retargeting Features and Facebook Email Tools Apple Podcasts (Explore new LinkedIn tools for advertisers and how marketers can use the Facebook Page App for email outreach, with special guest AJ Wilcox.

3. How to Convert More Instagram Traffic: 3 Tips Are you marketing products or services on Instagram? Looking for more conversions? Follow these three tips to improve the chances that people on IG will convert into customers on your website.

4. This phrase can help advisors connect with prospects

Advisors can use the phrase “tell me about it” to get prospects to reveal information about themselves in social settings, writes Bryce Sanders of Perceptive Business Solutions. Asking people about something they’re wearing or a trip they’ve been on can get them to volunteer details, he writes.

Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration)


Theses are the good days

Abraham Lincoln said, “I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” Are you getting wiser every day? Whether you graduated this year or many years ago, don’t let the end of formal education equal the end of your own learning journey. If you embrace learning, you’ll keep growing. And you’ll be able to perform to your potential throughout life.

Happy Selling Everybody!!

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