Pinney Presents: Van Mueller Newsletter for May 2018
We look forward to the Van Mueller newsletter every month. It's chock-full of sound bites, sales tips, and eye-opening statistics. Here are our favorite parts of the May 2018 edition. We're sharing the full introduction, and 2 of the 7 monthly sales ideas. If you like what you read, we encourage you to click here and become a subscriber.

Reprinted with the author's permission.

May, 2018 – 7 Ideas and Views Newsletter by Van Mueller

Van Mueller

How do you make something a habit? Don’t you practice, practice and then practice some more? Aristotle said, “Excellence is not an act but a habit.” We become what we repeatedly do. Earl Nightingale taught that the “strangest secret” was that we become what we think about most often.

If you want to increase your chance for success and if you want to lessen the amount of time it takes to reach that success you are aiming for, you must PRACTICE.

Agents and advisors who don’t practice ALWAYS sound like they are making a “Pitch.” They don’t exude confidence when they are making a presentation. They seem uncertain, as if they have to search for a way to explain why they are calling on a prospect or client and more importantly what they can do for that prospect or client.

I am going to share a statement that will drive most of the people in our business crazy. Are you ready? “People Don’t Buy What You Say, They Buy How You Say It.” Most of the people in our business are analytical. I am an analytical person. I read, study and practice an enormous amount of time. I know many people in our industry who are smarter than I am on their worst day yet, I have more success than they do. Why? Because they are unable to convey ideas in a simple way that allows our prospects and clients to understand how much we can help them and how much we want to help them. Because they don’t practice they are unable to share the information they know better than anyone to prospects and clients who desperately need what they are trying to do for them but have no understanding of the complexities you are sharing. Analytics tell, they don’t ask. Analytics are cursed with what is called “certain knowledge.” They have an understanding of information and expect that everyone else has that understanding. They don’t! Even about what we believe to be simple concepts. We must simplify and repeat ideas and concepts because our prospects and clients do not have our “certain knowledge.”

We must simplify and repeat ideas and concepts because our prospects and clients do not have our “certain knowledge.”

This is only achieved by practice and review. Review and practice.

They interviewed Sir Anthony Hopkins, the famous actor, on the television program Dateline about his great acting. They told him he was one of the most amazing actors who ever lived. They asked him how he did it. He said thanks and then he said something that was amazing. He said his acting skills were actually very easy. He shared that every time he received a new script for a movie or a play he read his lines and everyone else’s lines OUT LOUD 150 times. He explained that after 150 times he didn’t have to think about what he was going to say, he could listen to the other actors and actresses.

Doesn’t that sound like a quality sales presentation? Can anyone do this? Of course. Do they need any special skills other than a desire to put in the practice necessary to be good at what they do? Does it have to take years or can this be achieved in weeks or months? Doesn’t it only depend on how much you practice?

When I used to hire people for our business, I used to ask them this question. “If you could give me 12 hours a day for six days per week for one full year and that you would religiously practice the skills we would teach you and at the end of that year you would never have to worry about money ever again as long as you lived, would you give me that year? If they say no, they will never make it. They year gives you the foundation you need to be successful in our business. However, the most important thing it teaches is building the habit of practicing which will allow you to maintain success for all of your life.

I am asking all of you this question. Do you want to be successful? Do you want to help prospects and clients? Are you willing to learn and practice those skills to accomplish those two objectives? When do you want to get started?

Finally, I am not telling you to stop being an analytical person. I am asking you to consider if you should ever be analytical in front of prospects or clients ever again. Being an analytical will help you to build spectacular programs for prospects and clients. Being an analytical in front of prospects and clients will NEVER allow you to become the advocate, advisor or counselor you desire to be for those prospects and clients. You will remain being a sales person whose motives will always be brought into question because it will always only be about you and never about your prospects and clients.

You are all an inch away from the successful careers you all wish to achieve. The more you practice, the more success you will achieve.

You are all an inch away from the successful careers you all wish to achieve. The more you practice, the more success you will achieve.

This newsletter will strive to make sure you practice only successful concepts and not detrimental concepts. Practice, practice and then for fun, practice some more.

There are several other things I wish to discuss with all of you before we start this month’s sales ideas.

Between the years 2022 and 2045; essentially a generation, 140 million Baby Boomers and Generation Xer’s will turn 65. By 2035 for the first time ever in our country we will have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 18. We are rapidly becoming an old country with fewer and fewer young taxpayers to pay for all the benefits our older recipients will require. By 2028 Medicare alone will account for $1.2 trillion of the government’s annual budget. Our government’s current annual budget is currently $4.2 trillion. That would be almost 30 percent of our current budget. What percentage of the budget will Social Security require in 2028?

Here is a new conversation starter that will help you to inspire prospects and clients to want to meet with you. They will be interested to know how this question will impact their finances and their retirements.

Here is a new conversation starter that will help you to inspire prospects and clients to want to meet with you. They will be interested to know how this question will impact their finances and their retirements.

Remember, set the question up a little. Be a little self-deprecating. Make it clear that you were even a little surprised by how soon this was happening. Say something like, even we are astonished at the impact this will have on most Americans. You could be at a disadvantage if you are not aware of this.

Now, ask the questions. They want to know what the question is. “Do you realize that by 2030 every single Baby Boomer will be over the age of 65? Where will we get the money to provide benefits to all these retirees? Did you know there are around 74 million Baby Boomers? Will they get those additional revenues from the 90 percent of Americans who don’t have any money or the 10 percent who do? Since you are one of the 10 percent are you okay with them coming to take your money? If you could control how much they take by doing a small amount of planning, would you?”

Remember, there are 74 million Baby Boomers and 66 million Generation Xer’s. That will be 40 percent of the entire population of our country. Please ask your clients to do the math. Taxes must be higher in the future.

By 2023, the United States will have a higher debt to GDP ratio than Italy. Only Japan will have a worse debt to GDP ratio than the United States. This is a mess!! It will only get worse as less and less people will be available to provide retirement and healthcare benefits for more and more people. All of these challenges will be upon us in less than a decade. By the way, none of this takes into consideration a stock market crash or a recession. We are facing increasingly more difficult challenges.

Do you need more proof? 80 percent of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. 46 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax. The top 10 percent of taxpayers pay more federal income tax than the bottom 90 percent of all taxpayers. America will need the 10 percenters’ money to take care of the 90 percent of Americans who really don’t have any money. Is that fair? Of course not. Do you think the government cares if it is fair? Of course not. They need revenue. They will get it from those who have it and give it to those who don’t. That is why we argue vehemently that government does not create ANYTHING. They are a transfer agent. They transfer revenue from one group to another. We believe the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world will begin in the next decade. If insurance and financial advisors don’t intercede that money will go to government, nursing homes and hospitals rather than to the families and businesses of the Baby Boomers’ and Generation Xer’s beneficiaries.

We believe the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world will begin in the next decade.

Remember, use websites like and to verify your information and develop questions to ask prospects and clients about the revenue needed to provide retirement and healthcare benefits to all the grandmas and grandpas in America. Be sure to sign up for B. Bergman’s free daily blog. He will keep you up to date on shortfalls in budgets for pensions and healthcare at all levels of government.

Understanding this information will become one of the most important things we can do for our prospects and clients. They cannot build an understanding of these issues and how they impact their financial and retirement success. Being able to prepare our prospects and clients for the uncertainty that will occur because of these promised benefits will provide amazing value and create loyalty from these very clients who will definitely appreciate your heads-up about these issues.

Finally, here are a couple of important pieces of information about life insurance that we all must understand and do a better job of explaining.

According to the 2018 Life Insurance Needs Survey undertaken by Allianz Life, more than two thirds of those asked understood or even believed that life insurance benefits are non-taxable for either death benefits or correctly established living benefits. More than half did not understand that life insurance can help to achieve other financial goals and help provide benefits other than death. Because Americans are not aware of those benefits, the sale of cash value life insurance has stagnated at a time when it’s use should be increasing dramatically.

The people in the survey said it was important to have access to tax free retirement income, tax free money for family and loved ones, products that provide the maximum use of all aspects of college funding and long-term care benefits.

Almost everyone surveyed was not aware that cash value life insurance could provide those benefits.

What is very obvious is that our industry has done a deplorable job of showing how with the use of cash value life insurance, we can use pennies to buy dollars. More importantly we can use one dollar to do the work of many dollars. Our dollar will take care of the owner if they live too long. Our dollar will take care of the family or business if we die too soon. Our dollar is self-completing if we become permanently disabled. Our dollar provides benefits if you have a critical illness like a heart attack, stroke or cancer. Our dollar has a terminal illness benefit. We can access the benefit before we die if our condition is deemed terminal. That allows us to help those left behind create plans for financial success without us. Finally, our dollar will help pay for long term care or assisted living while providing the possibility of preserving the original investment for heirs. Ask this question: Wouldn’t that be a more effective and efficient use of the money than what they are currently doing? If so, do they want to correct that?

What is very obvious is that our industry has done a deplorable job of showing how with the use of cash value life insurance, we can use pennies to buy dollars.

Finally, most agents do not understand why insurance companies are much more safe than other financial entities.

Comparison to banks allows for a very good way to prove our safety. Most banks have more money invested in life insurance policies than they do in IT, fixed assets, bank premises and all other real estate assets combined. Last time I looked it was around $170 billion. Ask how much money the banks have invested in their own CDs and the answer is NOTHING.

Here is why insurance companies are safer. Banks use excessive leverage. Insurance companies do not. If a bank has $5 million on deposit they can lend out up to $50 million to the public. Banks use leverage called “fractional reserve lending.” This can cause tremendous instability. It is why banks have failed many times in the past and will fail again in the future. We will have to keep bailing them out especially after the next serious downturn.

Insurance companies on the other hand operate differently. If an insurance company has $5 million on deposit that company is not allowed to loan out more than $4.6 million and to be honest, most times only a fraction of that. Insurance companies are 100 percent reserve based lenders. This is what makes then able to be stable even in down economies.

With a market crash followed by a recession in the offing shouldn’t we ask if people want to lose what they have made or, would they like to preserve their gains this time and position themselves to take advantage of the next downturn rather than be hurt by it.

This is an amazing time to be an agent and this is an even more amazing time to sell life insurance. For the first time ever, if you sell life insurance, you are the competition. Don’t forget that!!

Let’s get started with the sales ideas for this month.

We're passing on two of the newsletter's monthly sales ideas - every issue of the newsletter contains 7 ideas, plus one idea for the Canadian market. Subscribe to get them all.

Idea #2: Are My Social Security Benefits Income Taxable?

Great article in the Chicago Tribune on April 20, 2018 briefly discussing what causes Social Security benefits to be income taxed. You must learn how to make this calculation because people try to deter you from using the progressive tax code because in most cases it causes your Social Security to become taxable. What they don’t explain is that the more taxable income you withdraw the lower, percentage wise, of your Social Security becomes taxable. After you read the article please go to Go to the forms and publications and click on the 1040 instructions. Go to page 30 of the instructions and print out about 10 copies of page 30. Practice calculating various scenarios. You will discover that it is less of a problem to pay taxes on Social Security now than to pay much higher tax rates on all your money later.

Title: Calculating taxes on Social Security Benefits (Chicago Tribune, April 24, 2018)

Idea #3: Social Security Is a Mess

In only 4 years, Social Security will be paying out more in benefits than it takes in. If we have a market crash and a recession, this will happen even sooner than forecast.

Social Security isn’t going bankrupt. It will always have revenues as long as current taxpayers keep paying their FICA taxes every year. In a little over a decade that will only be enough to pay 77 percent of the benefits. The rest will have to come from somewhere else.

The government is less than honest when it tells you that the Social Security system has $12.5 trillion unfunded liability. They currently use a 75-year life expectancy. Americans live much longer than that and that longevity is increasing. When government uses infinite horizon projections which account for needs beyond 75 years, the unfunded liability rises to $34.2 trillion. That is almost triple the amount of unfunded liability.

This is a for sure thing: Taxes will be much higher in the future. We will need additional revenues to fund all the required benefits. Shouldn’t your prospects and clients have this information?

Title: Social Security’s $34.2 Trillion Problem (The Motley Fool, April 23, 2018)

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Did any of these ideas resonate with you? Have you used any of them in talks with clients? Tell us in the comments!