Retirement Income Solutions, Tom Henga, Ep. 2

//Retirement Income Solutions, Tom Henga, Ep. 2
Where the Insurance Pros Meet Podcast


Today’s episode is on retirement income solutions. Tom Henga is a retirement income specialist. Learn more at MarkMiletello.com.

Note: “Where The Insurance Pros Meet” is an audio podcast and is meant for the ear. A transcript of the audio is provided for referencing a particular section or for you to follow along. Listen to the episode to get the most out of our show. We use both speech recognition software and human transcribers to create the transcripts so they may contain errors. If you’re going to quote us in print, please be sure to check the corresponding audio.


TRANSCRIPT
Announcer 1

Where the Insurance Pros Meet, Episode 2.

Announcer 2

If you really want to get good, I mean, you want to be the best in the business, you’ve got to train a little bit every single day just like the pro football players do.

Announcer 1

Where the Insurance Pros Meet is a podcast that brings the greatest talent in the world together: managers, coaches, and producers. The very best experts the insurance and financial services industry has to offer. Get ready to change the way you do business to have your most successful year ever. Now, here’s Mark Miletello, a top one percent producer, manager, and your host of “Where the Insurance Pros Meet”.

Mark Miletello

Today we’re going to discuss retirement income solutions. We have on the show with us the retirement income specialist himself. He’s the author of four best sellers, “Paychecks and PlayChecks”, “Retirement Income Masters”, “Paycheck and Playchecks for Canadians”, and most recently, “Don’t Worry Be Happy: Seven Steps to Retirement Security, which has played on public television to over 72 million homes in the US and Canada. Our guest specializes in creating, what I love, is simple and powerful retirement solutions based on math and science and not opinions. I’ve seen him speak myself. He’s exciting. You should look him up. He speaks to businesses, government organizations, professional associations, financial professionals, and more importantly, clients across the globe. The road warrior himself, Tom Hegna. Welcome to the show, Tom.

Tom Hegna

Thank you, Mark. Thanks for having me.

Mark Miletello

Well, Tom, NFL season is here. I’m excited. The pros are practiced, rehearsed, the butterflies are gone. It’s game time. Tom, congratulations, and thanks for being a leader, a voice, and a consummate professional in the insurance industry; and is, really, the leading speaker and coach in the financial services industry. So, thanks for coming to the show. Can you give us a kickoff of this show with a professional tip or advice just to start us off and get this game going?

Tom Hegna

Sure. I mean, since you’re talking about pro football, let me ask you a question. How often do they train do you think? Do they train once a quarter? Once every six months? A couple of times a year? They train every single day. Sometimes they do doubles. Sometimes they do triples. What people don’t understand is that the top producers in any business, but let’s just say pro football, they’re constantly training. You know what else, they’ve got a coach. Why would they need a coach? They’re the best players in the world. Because the coach sees things they don’t. The coach can come up with a game plan. And I think what both you and I do is we focus on training and coaching.

Why do people in our industry think that they don’t need to train every single day? And, you know, if you or I were training or coaching them, even for 10 or 15 minutes every day, imagine how much better they would be in three months, six months, nine months. And so, I guess that would be my opening pitch, is that if you really want to get good, I mean, you want to be the best in the business, you’ve got to train a little bit every single day just like the pro football players do.

Mark Miletello

You know, I’m even more excited now because you’re spot on. As a producer, as an agent, sometimes we’re out there by ourselves; and here I am, 27 years into my career, and I still have a coach. I still have a mentor. I still look for more knowledge. So, you’re exactly right, and that’s the type of stuff I knew we were going to get right off the bat from you. Right now, let’s break for industry news. There’s no secret, the Department of Labor rulings are dominating the news in the insurance and financial services stadium. Tom, help us out. How do you think the industry will or will not change with these Department of Labor rulings?

Tom Hegna

Well, you know, it’s kind of interesting, I was just on a nationwide debate last week with Knute Rothstead. He’s the co-founder of the fiduciary standard, and he debated for the ruling. I debated against it. And I’d encourage your listeners to listen to it. It’s free. They can go to apviewpoint.com and register for free and it’s in there, or just look up any of my social media. I’ve got the recordings posted, but I encourage them to listen to it.

But to your question, I would say this. I think some good things will come out of it. We all know there were some bad products out there. We all know there were some bad people out there. But what I tried to say in the debate is, you know, Bernie Madoff was a fiduciary, but I don’t go around saying all the fiduciaries are Bernie Madoff, and I don’t have anything wrong with fiduciaries. But my point in the debate is, right now, it’s legal in all 50 states to do business with a fiduciary. So, if you really want a fiduciary, guess what? You can do business with one, but not everybody’s choosing that.

I said this, “If fiduciaries were so good at what they did, if they were so good, guess what, they’d put everybody else out of business.” How could State Farm do what they do? How could New York Life do what they do? How could American National do what they do? If fiduciaries are so good, everybody would have to become a fiduciary, or they’d go out of business. But here’s the truth, the truth is they aren’t always that great. There are fiduciaries who are not taking longevity risk off the table. There are fiduciaries who are not taking long-term care risk off the table. There are fiduciaries who aren’t using life insurance to leverage wealth transfer to children and grandchildren.

So, my question to them is how can you be doing what’s in the best interest of your clients if you’re not using annuities, life insurance, and long-term care? So, that is on their side. But on our side, I would say this, I think we are going to see products, maybe a little more leveling of the commission, which I don’t think is bad. I don’t think there should be necessarily you make more commission on that versus this, and then you’re tilted to recommend that over that. I think that’s one of the good things that will come out of this rule is that companies are going to really must look at what is in the best interests of their clients? Now I don’t agree that just a fiduciary puts their best interests. I see insurance professionals or financial professionals all over the country, every day, who are putting their client’s best interests first; but I think there will be some good things that will come out of it as well.

Mark Miletello

Well, the Department of Labor ruling, I mean, I agree. I think that protecting clients ultimately is the goal, and that’s more important than anything, but there is a balance, and I think that’s the issue that you’re talking about. We must find the balance, right?

Tom Hegna

Right. And what I proposed, at the end, instead of just beating up on my opponent or just trying to trash the DOL rule, what I tried to propose was a fiduciary process. You see I think the argument about fees versus commission, that’s ridiculous. I can show you plenty of places where a commission is better for a client, and they can show you plenty of places where a fee is better. So, let’s just agree that the fee commission argument just depends on the client. That’s a ridiculous rule. But, let’s also agree that nobody knows what’s going to be the best. Here’s the problem with the fiduciaries. It’s the best interest. Did you know that if you go to five different fiduciaries, give them your exact same set of circumstances, you will get five different courses of actions proposed?

Speaker 5

Exactly.

Tom Hegna

All in your best interests? I mean, that doesn’t even make sense. How could five different people give five different solutions if this is in my best interest? So, what I say is let’s agree that nobody knows what’s going to be the best, all right? And what math and science do is when you get into a situation where you don’t know what’s going to be the best, there are so many variables, what math and science look for is the optimal way to do it. And all optimal means is this will be the best more often than anything else will be the best and it’ll never be the worst.

So, what I propose and what I talk about all the time, I don’t talk about the best way to retire, because nobody knows what’s the best way to retire. I talk about the optimal way. And so what I proposed at the end of the debate is something that I think both sides could agree on. What if we had a fiduciary process that said step number one you got to have a plan, and it’s got to be in writing, and you need to work with a financial professional, and it needs to be reviewed regularly. That’d be step one. Step two, why don’t we insist that they cover their basic living expenses with guaranteed lifetime income. That’s what all the PhDs who study retirement say you should do. And then what if we said for the rest of the portfolio you optimize that to protect yourself against inflation. Or, if you weren’t in the securities business, you could ladder their income products, so they could have one that starts at age 60, one that starts at age 65, one that starts at age 70; but the key is to give them increasing income for the rest of their life.

What if we taught our clients how to maximize their social security benefits? See social security’s the largest retirement asset most people have. What if we said that no retirement plan is complete without a plan for long-term care and that we were required to discuss a long-term care plan with the people. And then what if we used life insurance as the most efficient way to pass wealth. That if they have a life insurance policy for the kids, they could spend more of their money in retirement.

I said now that is a process that would be based in math and science that, whether you are a fiduciary or non-fiduciary, whether you sell annuities or manage money, or you pay fees or commissions couldn’t we agree that that would be a powerful process that would be in the client’s best interest, and then we can just disagree. To me, that’s the solution.

Mark Miletello

Wow. And thanks for being a voice for our industry. We need a voice right now more than ever, and really, you’re a voice for the client as well. As I’ve read and studied and followed you, the sound advice you give is on behalf of the client and, like you said, the little things, how commissions are paid, that’s the little things. Now giving more than 5,000 speeches and seminars and really influencing hundreds of thousands of advisors out there, let’s talk about you. Let’s talk about Tom Hegna himself. Can you tell us in your own words how you arrived at the point where you are today?

Tom Hegna

Well, look, I’m driven right now by one thing. There are 78 million baby boomers out there who are retiring. They’re either in retirement or close to retirement. And tens of millions of them are going to run out of money if we don’t get to them first. And so, I’m really driven by the fact that I can’t get in front of 78 million people, but you know what? You can get in front of a 1,000. They can get in front of a 1,000. They can get in front of a 1,000. They can get in front of a 1,000. So, if I can get in front of 300, 500 thousand advisors, a million advisors, through the leverage of their work, we can get in front of most of these 78 million.

Look, most people won’t do everything they’re supposed to, but we can fix a lot of them. I’ve been in the business for over 30 years. I’ve learned a lot in that time. When I was at New York Life, I was kind of in charge of their retirement income push, and so I found out things I never knew. Mortality credits. Longevity credits. I learned things about longevity risk. I learned things about why guaranteed income is so important. And happiness in retirement. See, I talk to people all the time. You know, it’s one thing to retire optimal or not optimal, but don’t you want to be happy in retirement; because I can show people how they can be happy in retirement. And happiness in retirement is tied almost 100% to guaranteed lifetime income, and so I can demonstrate that to them. I can show them all the research and all the articles that have studied it. And so that’s kind of what gets me up in the morning is I’m trying to help 78 million baby boomers. I can’t get to all of them, but I can get a bunch of advisors and try to help them help their clients.

Mark Miletello

Well, perfectly said. I’m looking at the parallels in our history. First, thank you for your service in the army, six years’ service. I had six years’ service in the army, as well, before I started my career, during my career. But I was an agent, I was a producer, and nine years ago I went into management. I had won a lot of the awards that I set out to and had the success that I wanted to have as a producer. I think at a point I wanted to touch more people, as well. I found that my passion and heart is helping clients with what you call miracles, selling life insurance, which I totally agree with that in your book. But what I wanted to do was touch more lives, just like you said. And going into management, I felt like building 20, 30, 40 agents, we could touch more lives and get the message out there. I love the fact that you’ve taken it even additional, and that’s, of course, the reason for this podcast, having a place where we can touch more people, help more people through the things that you talk about and teach in securing and doing the right things.

I told you right before we started to show that I read your book a third time Monday on a plane. I couldn’t put it down until I got to St. Louis and I must tell you, it just meant something totally different to me at this point in my career. So, we talked about the industry, the news, we talked a little bit about you, and congratulations on all the accomplishments you’ve had, and the best sellers that you’ve had. Let’s talk a little bit about clients. What is the number one piece of advice, Tom, that you would give to retirees today?

Tom Hegna

Well, that they’ve got to have a plan to retire. See, most people don’t have a plan. And again, that plan should include some very simple things. They should make sure that their basic living expenses are covered with guaranteed lifetime income so that no matter what happens to the market or no matter what happens to interest rates, they will at least have their basic living expenses covered.

Then they got to have a plan for inflation because guaranteed lifetime income, if you just buy one, unless you buy inflation protection on it, it’s going to stay the same, and over time prices go up. So, you’ve got to have a plan for inflation and I leave that up to the advisor. They can recommend a market-based solution of stocks or mutual funds, commodities, real estate, that’s fine, or you can ladder your guaranteed products. That’s what I’ve done. I’ve got eleven of them and I’ve got them starting at different ages, and so I will have increasing income for the rest of my life. You’ve got to have a plan to protect yourself against inflation, and then you’ve got to have a plan to protect yourself against the risk of long-term care. That’s probably, after longevity risk, that’s the other biggest risk. Seventy-two percent of all people will need to have a plan for long-term care.

They should maximize their social security benefits. That’s the largest retirement asset that most of them have and, in general, just very simple, the breadwinner should delay. So, if you’ve got a husband or wife, and the husband made more money than the wife, the wife can take her benefits early if she wants to, but the husband should wait until 70 because his check covers both lives. That’s why the breadwinner should delay.

And then use your home equity wisely. There are all kinds of new things like reverse mortgage market. You can sell your home and capture capital gains tax breaks, and so use your home equity wisely. Then I always say leave life insurance to your kids for pennies on the dollar, and then just go out and spend your money and have fun in retirement. So, I talk a lot about how to have fun in retirement, how to never run out of money in retirement, and how to not have to go to a nursing home so you get to stay in your house for the rest of your life because you have a plan. And so, those are the concepts that I talk with retirees.

Mark Miletello

Well, I’ve been training based on a lot of what you’ve said, and I’ve also been following and mentoring with Van Mueller who, by the way, speaks very highly of you.

Tom Hegna

Dan’s a great guy. We go way back.

Mark Miletello

Absolutely. And so, I’ve been rolling out to the agents that I’m mentoring and acronym, TVFIL, taxes, volatility, fees, inflation, and longevity. In your book, Paychecks, and Playchecks, you say the greatest threat to retirees is longevity. It’s a multiplier of the rest. Can you expound on that?

Tom Hegna

Yeah, because the longer you live, the more likely the market will crash. The longer you live, the more likely you’ll take out too much money. The longer you’ll live the more likely inflation will decimate your purchasing power. The longer you live the more likely you’re going to need long-term care. What I tell the people is this. Look, if you retire when you’re 65, and you drop dead when your 68, it doesn’t matter if the market crashes 10,000 points. It doesn’t matter if inflation was 15%. It doesn’t matter if you were drawing 12% a year. It doesn’t matter if you forgot to buy long-term care insurance. You didn’t a life long enough.

But if you live to be 75, 80, 85, 90, it’s all those other risks that will wipe you out. So, of all the research, I can find from the smartest PhDs in the world who study retirement said this: “To retire successfully you must take longevity risk off the table.” Well, guess what, stocks can’t do that. Bonds can’t do that. Mutual funds can’t do that. Real estate can’t do that. Only some form of an annuity can do it. A lifetime income annuity, you might call it an SPIA, a deferred income annuity, you might call it a DIA, or an income or withdrawal benefit rider from a fixed index variable annuity, that is it. Those are the only things that can take longevity risk off the table.

So, you’ve got to put an annuity in that portfolio. And then people don’t understand that the reason is that you put it in the portfolio is to take longevity risk off the table. Why? Because only a life insurance company can issue an annuity. Why? Because only a life insurance company sells life insurance to be on the other side of that risk. See because an insurance company is on both the life insurance and annuity side, that if people die too soon or live too long, they can neutralize themselves. Because if this person lives to be 115, that’s okay, that person over there died when they were 60, so they’re protected against both longevity and mortality risk because they’re on both sides of the risk. Your banker can’t do it. Your broker can’t do it. Only the life insurance industry can protect people from dying too soon or living too long. That is a mathematical, scientific, and economic fact.

Mark Miletello

I’m so pumped up right now. I read your book on a plane. I got off to give a speech. I believe it was the most powerful speech of my career. And in the speech, I held up your book and … it was a study group of the top leaders in my company. I held up your book, and I said, “You have to find your voice right now.” One of the things that you said in your book, Paychecks, and Playchecks, you said, “We are at different times.” And I think one big message that you give is to wake up. Wake up and look around. And I think that’s the hardest thing for me, was for me, is to find that voice like you have found, like Van’s found, like others succeeding and …

Let me go back to one little point. You had mentioned annuities that pay for life, and you know what, I get caught up or have been caught up, with clients talking about rates of return. You get completely away from that, and you focus on the longevity. The income stream for life and the value and importance of that, and I really had some of my first discussions where I said that the interest rate doesn’t matter. Can you dive a little deeper into how reps should consider …? Because I’ve got to be honest, I’ve sold tons of annuities, tons of life insurance, I’ve helped protect families and clients; but I’ve never really until, I think this week, saw the value and importance of what you say and how you use these products to protect people in these uncertain times.

Tom Hegna

I often talk about the payout rates of annuities. And if you look at SPIA OR a DIA, the guaranteed payout rates for those things are very high. They’re 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 percent guaranteed for the rest of the client’s life. And I always tell advisors, I say someday if you talk about payout rates the client’s going to ask you, “Okay, but what is my interest rate?”  I got two ways to answer that. Number one, “What would you like it to be?” Because the insurance company does not set the interest rate on an income annuity. They set the payout rate. It never sets the interest rate the client by how long they live. So, I say, “If you want a higher interest rate, just live longer. If you want a higher interest rate than that, live longer than that.”

That’s what I love about these products. You get to set your own interest rate. I hope you set it very high. But the second way I handle it is this. It doesn’t matter. Just like you said, it doesn’t matter what the interest rate is. When somebody asks you “what is the interest rate”, in their mind they think this is an investment that they want to compare to their Merrill Lynch or their Schwab or their Edward Jones investment. And what I would say that an income annuity is not an investment. It is a guaranteed paycheck for the rest of your life.

So, if I went on an appointment with that advisor, these are the exact words that would come out of my mouth. “I’d say Mr. and Mrs. Client, congratulations, you’re now retired. In retirement, you’re going to need a paycheck. Now at our company, you can have your paycheck guaranteed or non-guaranteed, which do you prefer?” Most people say guaranteed. “We can guarantee it for your life or for both of your lives, which would you prefer?” Most of them say for both of our lives. So, I repeat it back. “What I just heard you say is you would like a guaranteed paycheck for the rest of both of your lives.” Yes. That’s what this does. And there’s no other product in the world you can buy that will give you a higher guaranteed paycheck for the rest of both of your lives. So, it doesn’t matter what the interest rate is. You want a paycheck. You want it guaranteed. You want it guaranteed for the rest of both of your lives. That’s what this does. Merrill Lynch, Schwab, E-trade, they can’t do that.

Mark Miletello

So, I’ve got my checkbook out. I feel like I need to pay you for that.

Tom Hegna

I mean, let’s keep it simple, and let’s have fun in the appointments too. I have fun when I’m in front of people. I get in front of more people probably than almost all your listeners combined. So, I’m in front of people every day and I have fun with it. [crosstalk 00:21:36

Mark Miletello

Absolutely, and I’m glad I asked that question because I needed the answer to that, and I would imagine a lot of my agents and my listeners as well needed the answer to that. And so, that’ll help us find our voice in competing again what interest rate is at, and just spot on. I obviously brought up “Paychecks and Playchecks” several times. That book is just filled with so many nuggets. I’ve highlighted the entire book, and it’s going to be part of my process going forward and training, and teaching, and reading, and learning myself. I’m excited to hear a little bit more about, “Don’t Worry Retire”, but before that, what inspired you to write “Paychecks and Playchecks”?

Tom Hegna

Here’s kind of what happened. I was still at New York Life at the time when I was asked to speak at the top of the table for MDRT, which is a huge honor. This is a top of the table event of MDRTs, the top of the top of the top, but I didn’t know that MDRTs, that to test their speakers because it’s a smaller group. It’s the highest group, but there are only about 500 people. If you do good there, then they’ll ask you to domain platform at MDRT, the general session, where there’s six, seven thousand.

But anyway, I had a presentation and they said you got have a name for this thing, you got to have a name for this. And we talked about it and said what about Paychecks and Playchecks. I said, “Oh, that’s a great name.” So, we titled my talk “Paychecks and Playchecks”. Well, it was a huge hit, and then I did MBRT the next year in Vancouver. It was a huge hit. I didn’t have a book. And that’s killer. You’re on the main platform at this big thing. I didn’t have a book. Everybody said, “You’ve got to have a book.”

So, I sat down and I wrote the book and then what we did is we took my “Paychecks and Playchecks” talk from MDRT and we broke it out into chapters, and then we built up the chapters. I put in all the knowledge that I’d learned over the years and that was “Paychecks and Playchecks”. And it was a foundational book. It sold over two million dollars. I mean less than one percent of books ever sell a million dollars. That sold over two million and “Don’t Worry, Retire Happy” has now sold over a million.

So, it’s kind of cool. I got two books in the top one percent of all books ever written, but it was I wrote it out of my heart, you know. It was really all the knowledge and all the words and language. Because I tell people this, people think this is a knowledge business. I’ve got news for them. This is not a knowledge business anymore. You give me an iPad and the internet for 15 minutes, I can figure out anything I need to figure out. This is not a words business. This is a language business. This is a questions business, and this is a stories business. And my books are full of words, language, questions, and stories that are powerful.

I always tell people if you don’t have your … People say all the time you got the words, you got the questions, you got the stories. You can borrow the stories, borrow the words, borrow the … that’s what I did when I was brand new. I listened to audiobooks every single day. I watched tapes of the Kinder Brothers so I could close business the way the Kinder Brothers taught me how to close business. I can handle objections the way they taught me to handle rejections. And what I did was learn the words, language, questions, and stories of the top producers in this industry 30 years ago and those words, language, questions, and stories made me millions of dollars.

And now I’ve got the words, language, questions, and stories for this retirement income market and people can make millions of dollars off of that, but they’re worried about spending 35 bucks on an audiobook or something. It’s crazy. You’ve got to invest … and I’ll tell you this. The best investment you’ll ever make is not in stocks or bonds or bitcoin, the best investment you’ll ever make is an investment in yourself. That will make you the most millions.

Mark Miletello

It’s perfectly said. I believe that what you’ve said it’s not that … you look at my upbringing and my challenges and I had Richard Weylman on the show last week and the struggles that he came through. It’s about finding your voice and telling a story. And like I said in a speech, I used several things that you’ve said from “If a dollar was a second, what would a trillion dollars mean?” And things like that. It’s just stories and I held up the book and I said, “You have to learn these stories because you don’t have to make them up.” They’ve already … someone’s already paved that way and you learn from the Kinder Brothers.

We all have learned and quoted from someone that has inspired us, so thank you for putting that together. You know, I’ve got some self-published books and maybe that’s what I need to do, record myself speaking and quit trying to sit down and write everything out. That’s some good advice. But you know what? I work with a young team, but even us veterans we’ve, keeping with the theme of football, we’ve all had fumbles; and so, looking back, do you ever think about some mistakes that you could avoid, or you would have avoided for these new agents that are.

Tom Hegna

Well, kind of my best advice for new people is activity. I say an app a day keeps depression away. Look, this is a business is where you go way up, and you go way down emotionally. You go out and you close a million-dollar sale and you’re on top of the world, “Oh, man I just sold the biggest case I ever did.” And then two days later you get a call, and he says “Well, I talked to my brother-in-law. He says it’s stupid. Please cancel that.” Or, the guy got declined, or he changed his mind, or whatever. And now you’re down and the depths of depression, and then you write another case and you go up here and then something bad happens, and you go down here.

So, what got me through the storms, because I went up and down terribly. My first, in my first year, was very hard, but what I found is the more activity I had, then I could weather it. See if I got 12 applications in, and I lose one no big deal. If I got one application in, and I lose one, that’s a life-threatening event. So, I started trying to see three people a day and then once I started doing that I saw five people a day. And then I would see seven people every day, and if you’re seeing five to seven people every day, I promise you, you’ll get through it.

An app away keeps depression away. I tried to write at least one app a day, and my record I think was 13 apps in one day and I routinely get five or six in a day, that was not uncommon at all. I never had a blank week my entire time as a producer. I’m kind of proud about that because it was drilled into me activity, activity, activity. And so, there are only three ways to increase your production. See the people. See the people. See the people. So, I would encourage new advisors, see people face to face every single day.

Mark Miletello

Well, we can dive more into that. That could be its own separate show, but the good news on this show is you get the repeat of a first down. You get a do-over, so you’re starting over, Tom, you know how tough today is, you’re starting over right now, how do you grow a successful practice? I think you’ve given us a lot of these nuggets already, but I’m just going to point blank ask you because this is what a new agent wants to hear. What do you hear today?

Tom Hegna

I think you’ve got to build your frontal as full as you can, and what I mean is that you’ve got to be on social media. You’ve got to be on Facebook. You’ve got to be on Twitter. You’ve got to be on LinkedIn. I guess Instagram for millennials and all these guys. But you’ve got to be on social media. You’ve got to network and get as many people into your funnel. I don’t care how well you know them. Go to Chamber of Commerce, get everybody’s business card, put them in your funnel, connect with everybody you can.

Because what you want to do it early in your business now you want to get thousands of people in your funnel of social media and then you want to watch your social media because you can learn a lot about people. Oh, we got engaged. That’d be a perfect person to call. Oh, we just got married. Oh, my dad died. My mom died. We had a baby. All that’s on social media. Well, those are all life events that people need to buy more life insurance and they need to roll their 401K or they need to do something, right? So now today we can know when all these things are happening. When I was an agent, we didn’t know. We had to buy a baby list from the paper or something and we’d get it like six weeks later or something, or the obituary list and you got go through there and figure whose parents they are. I mean, really, seriously? Now you’ve got all these tools and then there are marketing people that I’m not the marketing guy, but there are marketing people that can help you do campaigns and do things to get more leads.

And then I would encourage people to do seminar selling. It does work. It’s not dead. People think it’s dead. It’s not dead. I do seminars every single day almost. And they fill the place with three, four, five hundred people. If you’re giving great content, great content, people will come. The number one producer I work with is a guy down and Florida. He does about a million a month in commission, a million a month, okay? And he runs educational seminars, no food; he brings them in two or three a day, does two or three days a month, he brings in top speakers, he said all the money I used to spend on restaurants now I put into my speakers. And he just is known as the educational place for all these retirees and they bring their friends, their neighbors, their brothers, their sisters. There’s no selling done at these seminars. They are just educational workshops. He brings me in. He brings in Mary Beth Franklin, and he brings Moshe Maleski in, and he just educates people in the community. And guess what, they do a lot of business on him.

Mark Miletello

I bet. Well, activity is the key, we all know that, and you’re right. There are almost so many places to go to create an activity that one doesn’t know where to go. I think sometimes they’re just looking around at all the different places and they don’t know which one to choose. But you said get out there, get involved, and everyone watches it, make contacts because one thing you and I know that it’s about timing more important than anything. You can call me today and discuss an annuity and a year and a half from now might be the right time to discuss that annuity. So, in this industry what I’ve found is when I was born there wasn’t a big sign at the hospital that said Welcome into the world, Mark Miletello, natural born insurance salesman or financial services agent. No one’s born, you know, you practice, rehearse, study, and so whether you find yourself successful or not, I believe activity is the key and timing, as well, is the key and with social media, we can hit that timing a lot better than we did just culling obituaries.

Tom Hegna

It’s a numbers game, right? So, you want to have lots of numbers in your circle. As many as you can, even if you don’t know them well. Then it’s a timing thing, and then you’ve got to have the skills. So, it’s really three things. It’s numbers, it’s timing, and it’s skilled. And so, if you have the skills if you have the words, the language, the questions, and the stories and you know somebody who’s right for talking to and you have enough of those people every day you’ve got people to go see every day. Just stop by. Hey, I saw you had a baby. We have a bib in our office, and it’s just, you know, give them something. We used to hand out road atlases. I don’t know what you hand out anymore, but just something you could give them, or bring them a little present, bring them some chocolates. I don’t know what but get in front of people who it’s the right time to talk about things and build a relationship with them and then help them. Do what’s in their best interest, and they’ll refer people to you.

Mark Miletello

Wonderful. Well, Tom, it’s the future. It’s the year 2027. This is maybe one of the toughest questions I’m going to ask you because this is on the minds of all of us with everything going on around, but also technology the future. What will the industry look like in ten years and how do we fit in, how do we stay relevant?

Tom Hegna

Well, there’s all kinds of people worried about that, and I know on the P&C side they’re worried that amazon.com is going to have a little thing you just plug into the USB port and you drive from here to the store and it just charges 12 cents to your prime account for insurance. And then you drive across to California and it’s $2.42 for insurance. That your insurance will charge you by the number of miles that you drive, and it will be automatic, and you won’t have to worry about it. That’s was the P&C people are worried about.

I think for life insurance, annuities, and long-term care investments you know these robot advisors, yeah, that’s fine, let’s see how that all works when that market crashes 50 percent. At the end of the day, people need help from people. People trust people. And I think they’re going to need a financial person to walk them through this. The average person doesn’t spend enough time learning about this stuff and what they hear, they hear from Ken Fisher or Susie Orman or Dave Ramsey. People are giving them opinions, not facts. And that’s why I say stick with Tommy. Tommy’s got the facts, and the facts beat opinions 100 percent of the time. And so, if we can just present them mathematical, scientific, and economic facts these are irrefutable. These are not opinions.

I can win every argument with Ken Fisher because he’s dead wrong. You know when he says, “Oh, anything you can do with an annuity, you can do better elsewhere.” That’s a lie. You know what I’m going to do? This week, I’m going to write an open letter to the SEC, because what I think he is doing is almost criminal and he’s leading people astray and for the SEC and [Senator 00:34:37 to allow that kind of stuff to happen … I’m just going to write an open letter and I’m going to clearly expose him for what he’s doing. He’s not doing good things. So, I got math and science behind me. He’s got his opinion. Let’s see how that works for him when that market crashes 50 percent.

Mark Miletello

Well, what you’re saying is, we can’t predict what the next 10 years are going to be, but we can sure be prepared. We can be an advocate for our clients. So, thank you for protecting us, and doing those things. You’re right. Some of it is … I don’t even know what to say about some of the things that I hear, but one thing that I keep going back to that’s one of the most powerful things that I’ve read in your book, and that’s, “I talk about facts.” I’m going to use that if you don’t mind. I’m going to steal that when I’m talking to clients is that you know let’s not look at all the opinions out there, let’s talk facts.

Tom Hegna

Facts win, every time.

Mark Miletello

That’s right. So, look, I would like to keep you for hours on end. I know your time’s valuable, and thank you for sharing with us. We’ve gotten so much already. I’d like to ask you a hundred more questions, but give us your professional recommendations. How do we get started following you? What steps do we take to find, maybe this is a two-pronged question, but how do we get started to find a voice like you have found? Is part of that following you? What can we do?

Tom Hegna

Well, look, I know you got some great training, and you said Van was one of your mentors. Van and I are good friends. We’ve done a lot of work together. Joe Jordan was one of my mentors, as were the Kinder Brothers, as were some of the top producers back in the day, the Ben. And now Mark Feldman has a great book, “Man on a Mission”, all about life insurance. Great life insurance questions.

But if people want to follow me, I’m at tomhegna.com. I’m easy to find. If you google my name a million things will pop up. I got free videos on YouTube they can sure watch. I’ve got a subscription service called Tom Hegna on Demand where I literally put my entire brain online, sorted by video clips, three to eight minutes. over ten hours sorted by life insurance, annuities, long-term care, questions, sales ideas, handling objections, social security, all that stuff. So, my entire brain is there available 24 hours day, seven days a week. And I say what if you spent 10 minutes a day there, 15 minutes a day, or what. How good would you be in three months or six months or nine months?

There’s also a coaching site where, let’s say, they get to the appointment at ten minutes early. They get on the iPhone. They go to the coaching site, and a video of me pops up. I say, tell me about this appointment. Is your client single or married? They put single. How old is this person? She’s 70. Once you hit those two buttons, a video of me pops up. Okay, so you’re going to an appointment with a 70-year-old widow. Here’s going to be her key questions. Here’s how I would answer those. Here’s going to be her objections. Here’s how I would answer those. Here’s the product you’re going to want to use. Here are the questions you want to ask her. And I coach you for 5, 10 minutes before you go on your appointment.

The next day you’re going on an appointment with a 45-year-old couple. You hit married, 45, and I coach you totally different than I did for the 70-year-old widow. Now that’s all available online. We’ve got package deals on our podcast. So just go to tomhegna.com. I’m easy to find.

Mark Miletello

Well, the financial investment is ridiculous. That’s a no-brainer. What we must do, and what I’ve tried to teach and install in the ones that I mentor is the time investment. And it’s not that much. It could be 5, 10 minutes. It could be a ride on an airplane. But we must take what you’re handing us, and we got to pass it down to the next generation. We got to build upon that, so that’s what this podcast is for, is to reach out. With all the noise out there, it’s getting hard to find who’s the real deal. And you are the real deal, and I’m going to continue to follow you. I appreciate the advice on man on a mission. I didn’t know that one. I’ll look that one up. I hope that everyone out there listening to this will immediately go to your website. You are one of the top one or two that I recommend following, as well as you mentioned, Gary Kinder, the Kinder Brothers, and Van Mueller as well. So, thank you for being a guest on the show, and thank you for all you do.

Tom Hegna

Thank you, Mark. Great being with you.

Mark Miletello

Absolutely, and you can follow me on markmiletello.com. If you like what you hear on the show, go to iTunes and rate and review, and you’ll help others find us.