Posts Tagged ‘consumers’

LIMRA CEO: Consumers Are Changing–We Must As Well

October 28th, 2014, No Comments, be the first ».

At the 98th LIMRA Annual Conference in New York, Robert A. Kerzner, CLU, ChFC, president and CEO of LIMRA, LOMA and LL Global, examined the changes in consumers’ demographics and expectations and explored the impact of their changes on the financial-services industry.

Kerzner encouraged executives to adopt new approaches to better engage with consumers to help them make better financial decisions about protecting their families with life insurance and saving systematically for retirement.

“Consumers and their household circumstances are not as homogenous as they once were and – not surprisingly – their needs, expectations and desires on how they want to shop and buy our products have changed as well,” said Kerzner.  “Companies need to look at how other industries have adapted and adopted new technology, social media, data analytics and gamification, to attract and connect with consumers.”

Kerzner highlighted key market segments – in particular women and Millennials – that are playing more prominent roles in the purchasing decisions of financial products, showing how differently these consumers gather information to make financial decisions.

“These consumers look to third-party outlets, like Angie’s List, Yelp and Amazon, for reviews and recommendations for products and services,” Kerzner noted. “How can we leverage these sites to promote the good our industry does?”

Kerzner noted we are competing for the hearts and minds of consumers who don’t necessarily understand or trust our industry.  He provided examples of how companies have used “gamification” to teach consumers the importance of saving and staying out of debt.  “It is imperative that we start teaching consumers about the ramifications of their financial decisions in an interesting and engaging manner.”

Citing examples like Zip Car and Modcloth, Kerzner also showed how start-ups are upending the business model in their various industries, finding success by identifying a need through consumer feedback and coming up with a non-traditional solution.

“Are we developing products that will meet consumers’ needs or are we building products that fit our business model?” questioned Kerzner.  “We need to listen better to what consumers are really worried about, like remaining mentally sharp, maintaining their social network, and who will take care of them when they get sick. Our focus on retirement has been too myopic. We are focusing too much on consumers’ money and too little on what keeps them up at night.”

The conference theme, “The Leadership Challenge: Connecting in a Distracted World,” focused on how industry leaders leverage the latest technology to address the changing dynamics of the market and meet the evolving expectations of consumers.  More than 500 senior leaders from life insurance and financial-services companies worldwide attended the meeting.

 

Tags: ,

Women More Concerned about Money in Retirement Than Men

September 16th, 2014, Comments Off.

A LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute survey reveals that among consumers aged 50 -75 with $100,000 or more in household income, women are more likely than men to be concerned about running out of money in retirement (46 percent vs. 35 percent).

As more workers are expected to fund their own retirement, women may be expressing concern for several valid reasons. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that as of the first quarter, 2014, the median wage for women is 83 percent that of men. Over a career, a lower salary, combined with breaks in employment to care for children and other family members, often leads to less retirement savings as well as lower Social Security income. These issues, as well as the fact that women usually live longer in retirement than men, compounds the challenges women face as they plan for retirement.

The good news, according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, is that women see value in getting professional advice, which could help them with investment and savings strategies to maximize their retirement assets.

Nearly 7 in 10 women believe financial advisors provide value beyond what they could achieve on their own, while only half of the men surveyed agreed with that statement. More women than men also said they trust advice from a financial professional and a majority of the women said that financial advice is worth the money. (See Graphic)

Saving for retirement is a challenge for both women and men but women often face greater obstacles throughout their working years, when professional advice can be invaluable. Working with a financial advisor can give women the strategies they need to ensure they have the financial wherewithal to achieve a secure retirement.

 ———

By Ayo Mseka
Editor-in-Chief

 

Tags: , , ,