Saturday, August 6, 2016

2016 July/August President's Message

What does 800 look like?  Are we up to the Challenge?

What are we talking about?  We are talking about Membership!

At the State Convention in May we were challenged by our National President, Jules O. Gaudreau Jr. that our State Association needed to have 800 dues paying members by May of 2017.
We as a state association were challenged so that the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Team and Staff can continue to operate at the necessary level financially to continue to offer the many benefits we as members have access to but most of all PROTECT our business and main street Americans on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

Jules did not beat around the bush…..he was very frank. 
National is currently 36 months away from going out of business if we continue the current trend with our membership numbers……Wow……Can you believe that?

We need to change this!
We as a State Association will not be viable and will continue to struggle financially if we don’t stop our downward trend of membership.

Our leadership at the State Level is committed to reaching this goal of 800.  Are you?
Is it achievable?  You better believe it is!

How are we going to do it?  Together as a team!
At the State Presidents retreat on August 5th we will presenting an action plan of how we are going to accomplish this and we are going to hold those accountable that are committed to the goal and the challenge.

Are you with us?
Please reach out to your local association leadership and help grow your local association and EXPERIENCE what NAIFA offers and has been offering for over 125 years!

 Neal Kloke
State President of NAIFA WA

2016 July/August Membership

Ask Not What NAIFA Has Done for You…
Ask What You Can Do for NAIFA

As we all get ready to ramp up for a new year for school, the 4th quarter for our business and of course the start of our association meetings with our new leadership, I am sure many of us are faced with the same challenge. Time. I hear from people in my agency almost every day, I would do more or I would get involved or I wish I just had more TIME. I know most of the people who are going to read this article are already the uber NAIFA involved, but I am going to ask you to reach deep. I was sitting with a new agent in my office the other day, reflecting on my time as a producer in the business. We talked about my most successful year, and in the conversation the agent asked me “how did you have time to do all that?” I hadn’t realized the year I had my best year in production, was the same year I gave the most of my time and energy to NAIFA. During the year I served on the National Membership Committee and was President of my local in Northern Virginia, yet somehow found a way to have my best personal production year. In talking with some old NAIFA colleagues the other day, most of them said the same thing, the year they gave the most to NAIFA was the year they did the best in their business.

So therein lies my challenge. Step up this year (or for many of us, let’s step up higher this year) Let’s commit to make one more phone call on National Membership Day October 5th. Commit to attend one more local, state, or the national meeting. Bring a new member to a meeting, or just sit with them for a cup of coffee and share your guidance. Call someone who was in the association a few years ago and has drifted away. I called someone a few years ago who was lapsed and the advisor had no idea! He just assumed NAIFA was fixing the issue every time he got the lapse notice for his bank draft. We all know the axiom that the largest waterfall starts with one drop… how can you get into the stream?

Together, if everyone who is a member of our proud state just gives of themselves a little bit more, we will dramatically put NAIFA Washington at the forefront of NAIFA National.  

Stephen Good

2016 July/August Government Relations

On Friday August 5th I and my Government Relations team of Alex Collins, IFAPAC Chair & Ryan Jewell, APIC Chair will unveil the Advocacy plan for 2016-2017.   For those of you who will not be in attendance at the retreat, allow me to give you an overview.
I believe we can best increase our membership by not focusing on membership.  What’s that you say, Richard? Increase membership by not focusing on it? Interesting thought, but how?
Many of us have had the opportunity to attend company or industry-sponsored events and for me those types of events have become my benchmark for a successful convention.  If you’ve ever experienced a NAIFA convention on the State or National level, you’ve likely been hooked by the experience.  I sense heads nodding up and down!  (As an aside, a tip of the hat to Wayne Lunday and his team for making the recent State convention a resounding success by that measure).  I digress.  If more rank and file members experienced a Convention, Congressional Conference, a Day on the Hill, or delivering a check to a legislator they too would be hooked.  The experience helps us connect the dots.  It’s where we get a first-hand lesson in terms of the value of our association, the protection we enjoy, and the threats we are up against.
Our Advocacy plan is grounded in the goal of bringing folks along to participate in our core mission.  Hearing our Advocacy Team lay out our issues and meeting eye to eye with a legislator does far more to demonstrate the value NAIFA provides than monthly lunch meetings, CE events, or affinity programs.  Those are all useful, but secondary to advocacy.  In fact, non-members are more likely to become members if we bring them along as well.  They are benefiting, so let’s let them participate!
Now, the advocacy plan is not a panacea.  It won’t happen overnight.  Many, many successful, intelligent, energetic folks have come before us with well thought-out plans to increase membership, to little avail, and none of those plans suggested we NOT focus on membership. An incremental shift could make the difference.  Let’s give a try.
Richard L. Miller,
NAIFA-WA Government Relations Chair

2016 July/August IFAPAC

By now you should know the results of the PRIMARY elections throughout the State. NAIFA did what we could to support the candidates that understand our business and vote sensibly. Now we are into the GENERAL election cycle. The big time. The last man standing (okay, and the last woman standing) in your district is the one that can make or break your day. Get to know him/her and see what you can do to assist in his/her decisions. Offer yourself as a resource your Senator or Representative can call for help understanding important issues relating to your industry, your profession. Be certain he/she knows you are a member of NAIFA. Once in office legislators cannot accept donations but knowing you are with NAIFA counts. If you can volunteer in any way, you will be noticed by the candidate and his/her aides. That can make access to the office much easier for you.

Can’t afford the time to volunteer? Give to IFAPAC. Can’t afford to give a meaningful contribution? Give to IFAPAC. We plan to make additional contributions in time for the GENERAL election cycle. Your Senator and your Representative knows where donations originate. When they see a NAIFA IFAPAC check made out to them, you want them to link your name to it. Even if the check isn’t made out directly to your district Senator or Representative, the money sometimes filters down to them through the party. IFAPAC often makes contributions to a committee that then shares the funds with campaigns that need help.

NAIFA headquarters makes contributions to the campaigns of candidates for federal offices. Just the other day I hand-delivered an IFAPAC check to Representative Rick Larson. (He was in Philadelphia for the DNC so his aide at the Everett office accepted it). I made sure he knew me, knew that I was a member of NAIFA and asked that he make sure Representative Larson is made aware. Similar checks were delivered to other [federal level] representatives around the Evergreen State last week.

When you contribute to IFAPAC the funds go directly to NAIFA headquarters. NAIFA then returns fifty percent of the funds back to NAIFA-Washington where it sits in an account until needed for an election cycle. What this means is your contributions get split between candidates at the federal level and the state level. What this really means is IFAPAC needs more contributors! This is the most important election cycles of your lifetime because it is NOW. Whether you contribute once a year or monthly (preferred), we appreciate it very much. We will be delivering contributions in the general cycle prior to November 1st. Send your contributions as soon as possible. Contribute online at:

We have Day On The Hill in January, usually the 3rd week of the month on a Tuesday. Join us in Olympia in January 2017. We haven’t set the date yet but go ahead and pencil in January 17th, 24th and 31st. As we get the date set we’ll tell you which dates to clear and which day to count on being with us at the State Capitol. It’s always a good experience to meet with and talk to your legislators. Plan now on figuring out a gift for his office. A monogrammed bowl for candy? A set of NAIFA golf tees? An RFID sleeve for his/her credit card? Wait, I’m doing that one!
Richard Ek, LUTCF

Friday, June 10, 2016

2016 May/June LILI

What is LILI….The Leadership in Life Institute Program 
by John Nichols State LILI Chair

LILI’s Mission
The NAIFA Leadership in Life Institute (LILI) develops leaders by identifying and building personal family growth skills, enhancing business practices and developing skills ideal for effective leadership  LILI is a six-month leadership development program devoted to advancing your personal and professional success.

11 of the many elements of LILI include:
  • Exploring the experiences of several life insurance agents helping you mastermind your own Business Plan and your agent practice.
  • The One Page Business Plan® which includes your Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles, Objectives and Strategies 
  • The Kolb Learning Style Inventory program…well known personality identifier for LILI attendees.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – the #1 predictor of success in business and leadership.
  • In depth conversation designed to make all leadership skills…the best in personal-development thinking
  • Business Tools to improve your business practice
  • In-depth workshops defining your business and personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Increased understanding of self and improved interpersonal relationships
  • Expanded professional network and opportunities for growth through LILI alumni programs
  • Valid study group discussions for various business books and leadership films.
  • Leadership opportunities in NAIFA
Taking the course is an investment in oneself and the returns on the investment can be infinite. Graduates consistently report that LILI gives them the tools to succeed and over 70% of graduates report a measurable increase in the growth of their business after completing course.

To learn more about the LILI experience and how to apply for next session…simply call John Nichols State LILI Chair and Moderator…206-920-8631.

History of LILI

began in 2000 when the first classes were held. Nearly 260 classes have been completed all over the USA.. The LILI family has grown to include 2,200 alumni. The program’s success is highly visible in the leadership ranks of NAIFA as graduates fulfill their service commitment and help LILI meet its mission of developing high-quality leaders for the entire federation.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2016 May/June APIC

On May 23rd Ryan Jewell, Paul Twedt, and myself ventured to the “other Washington” for the Annual Congressional  Conference.  The Congressional Conference is a National Day on the Hill beginning with presentations and talking points from the national association and culminating with visits to our Senators and Representatives.  The focus was of course the Department of Labor’s revision of the fiduciary rule.  While we are not happy about the DOL’s position, via the efforts of NAIFA and other like-minded trade associations, the final rule was upgraded from previous drafts and much of the most damaging provisions were removed.

Our delegation of three were able to meet with 7 of our 12 federal legislators and/or their staff assistants.  Because we’ve made these trips in the past we have actual relationships with many of the staff people.  This is an extremely important development and the primary goal of APIC; to identify and develop relationships NAIFA members have with members of Congress.  All of the meetings were positive and even the legislators who perceive us as having an opposing view were open to discussing the good and not-so-good of the fiduciary rule.

As we move forward with the new rule NAIFA has developed a course that can be offered via state and local associations that explains the finer points of acting as a fiduciary.  You may have already received an email touting the new program.  Depending on your company or broker/dealer status you may also be getting input from other sources.  Pay close attention as there is much confusion regarding the do’s and don’ts.  In the meantime remember to report relationships you have with your Congressman/woman or Senator to the APIC chair. Someday there may be an app for that!

Richard L. Miller, APIC Chair

Monday, June 6, 2016

2016 May/June IFAPAC

On Hanging-On 
Several years ago while hiking with my son in Utah's 'Zion National Park', we enjoyed its beauty and the variety of colors of the sandstone formations. One thing in particular that amazed me was the resolute nature of the plants in that dry desolate desert environment. There were rugged, gnarled, twisted and obviously tenacious trees growing out of narrow cracks in sandstone walls. They probably had their start when a quantity of dirt had accumulated in the cracks, the dark crevice would protect seeds blown there by the wind. Then a seedling would obviously begin to sprout after the first rains came. The small and gnarled shrubs and trees that are produced by these crevices are wonders in and of themselves considering the hot desert climate.

We happened to walk by a tree growing out of such a crevice that had also been struck by lightning and was split into two parts. One half of the tree had been burned black by the lightening and was evidently dead. The other half, though terribly gnarled by its struggle to suck whatever nutrients and moisture it could from that little crack in the canyon wall was obviously still fighting for its life. The gnarled twisted trunk appeared to be dead but about ten feet up, at the very top of the trunk, were several small, delicate branches with a few beautiful and very much alive, shiny green leaves glistening in the sun. These few leaves were pulling as much light from the sun as they possibly could to provide the life giving photosynthesis to the struggling root of that tree. What an inspiration that was for me.   

These sandstone crevice trees were hanging onto life with every crumb of nutrient that they could garner from that sparse environment. The little moisture that might land in that crevasse and what little light that their few leaves could absorb from the sun was all they had to survive on. Not all of them made it but it was obvious that none of them gave up easily and without a tremendous struggle to maintain, let alone grow. The thought came to me that a picture of these struggling shrubs or trees should be hung in every hospital room in the country. They may possibly provide the inspiration and subsequent determination to survive to those lying in hospital beds. They, like the gnarled and twisted tree, may try a little harder to suck a little more oxygen into their lungs or to eat one more spoonful of nourishing food that may be hard for them to get down. Knowing that these gnarled trees have struggled to survive for centuries, may give some of them the determination to 'hang-on' for a little longer.

I remember reading the following thought published in the Cache Valley News Letter, written by Edward W. Smith, "Imagine that someone came along and asked you to stretch yourself as high as you could. Then after you stretched yourself, that person asked you to stretch another inch, but you said that you had stretched as much as you could.  Then imagine that the person said, that they would give you a million dollars if you could stretch another inch. Chances are you would make that extra inch." Those crevasse trees stretch an extra inch every day just to survive.  We, as well, seem to have an extra inch for the things we enjoy doing or for the right price.

Now, our NAIFA leaders have asked us all to stretch another inch. They want all members of the association to become involved in NAIFA’s political action committee: IFAPAC. Our industry is under tremendous pressure from regulators and legislators that have the power to change YOUR course, YOUR profession with the stroke of a pen. Be clear, there is no other professional association in your industry that works for your future every day of the week in Washington, D.C. and in Olympia, WA. These are critical times and each and every insurance professional including those not yet members of NAIFA, to help pull the wagon instead of just sitting in it and enjoying the fruits of the labor of others. We don't have to struggle to survive like the crevasse trees in Zion's park but may God bless us to stretch that one more inch of time and commitment for the sake of this noble profession.

Richard Ek, LUTCF

Friday, June 3, 2016

2016 May/June Advisor 2020

I am sure a lot of you have seen the advertising on the NAIFA website, perhaps you have heard about it at the national or state convention the last few years… so what is this thing called Advisor 20/20?

The program was put together as a joint venture between GAMA and NAIFA as a way to help advisors begin to shape their practice for the years ahead. The program is taught either over the course of an 8 hour day or over a series of 1 hour long web ex presentations (stay tuned for more details on this coming from the state soon!) The goal is to help an advisor better understand the forces and opportunities that are shaping the practice of a typical financial advisor not just in 2020, but beyond. Everyone who has taken the course has a similar refrain “I had heard some of these items, or seen some of them popping up now and then in my practice, but the program forced me to look at my practice and put steps in place to have me ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow today”

Are you ready for a more diverse client base? Are you able to work across generational lines or with American citizens living in foreign countries? Are you prepared for the changes of technology in your practice? What about communicating with your clients, are you ready and able to communicate with them, the way they want to be communicated with? These and so many other questions are explored in depth during your reading and the subsequent class.

Don’t miss out on your chance to take part in what many call the best program NAIFA has offered in the last 20 years. Stay tuned for announcement of dates and locations of in person classes in the State of Washington, as well as a new web ex option coming this fall.

Stephen Good

President-Elect 2016-2017

2016 May/June Have you Experienced NAIFA Lately?

Have you experienced a local association meeting recently?

Have you experienced  being on your local board?

Have you experienced the NAIFA website?

Have you experienced an annual State Convention?

Have you experienced the NAIFA Annual Career Conference?

Have you experienced the Leaders In Life Institute (LILI)?

Have you experienced the Advisor 2020 Workshop?

Have you experienced the Advocacy efforts NAIFA provides?

Have you experienced Day on the Hill in Olympia?

NAIFA has made the commitment to us to protect our businesses, grow our businesses and make us successful leaders in our communities.

Can we as members make the commitment to NAIFA to stay Viable and Relevant in our ever changing economic and political environments?

Can we resist the temptation to not participant in our Association?

If you haven't Experienced NAIFA lately, I challenge you to reach out to your Local and State Leadership and give your time and support.  

I challenge you to recruit and mentor one new member to NAIFA by June 30th and help give them the NAIFA Experience needed to continue their membership and involvement each year.

Share your NAIFA story and why you are member, the time for action is now.

Neal Kloke
State President 2016-2017

2016 May/June Sponsorship

As we enter into the new year of officers and events – If you would benefit from sponsoring NAIFA -Washington please begin to consider where NAIFA is in your annual marketing budget.  If you are someone who uses a carrier/partner regularly please start the conversation about how you will be approaching them to seek out their sponsorship.  Look for marketing materials after our State Planning meeting on August 5th!

Thank you,

Keith Wallace

2016 May/June Convention Roundup

Our 2016 State Convention, chaired by new incoming State Secretary-Treasurer Wayne Lunday ably assisted by hard working State Executive Secretary Jenna Olson, was a smashing success, with these highpoints:

* First time ever a joint convention with the great state of Oregon held at the fabulous Skamania Lodge on the Columbia River Gorge.

*Over 150 attendees and guests, 19 exhibitors, and 10 sponsorsMore on the financials later, but it appears to be a profitable success as well.

*Major news from Washington D.C. in a hard hitting address by NAIFA National President Jules Gaudreau, Jr., especially on the Dept of Labor Fiduciary Regulation and Advisor 20/20 - our roadmap to future success.

*Fantastic presentation by “Forbes” Columnist, independent consultant, and Attorney Steve Parrish, JD, CLU, ChFC on how to stay relevant in this day and age - with many new ideas for helping business owners and executives with their planning.

*A four hour sternwheeler cruise up the Columbia River, a guided motorcar tour of several working wineries with wine tasting, and a joint golf tournament - the winning foursome led by our own newly installed President Neal Kloke!

*A presentation by our National Trustees Tom Michel (Oregon) and Aprilyn Chavez Geissler (Washington) on a proposed $6.00 per member per month dues investment to help National provide more assistance to states and local, to build more resources for education, to research more non-dues reserve sources, and to continue the fight against intrusive government regulators seeking to put you out of business.

*Last year NAIFA spent over $800,000 in outside attorneys and consultants just in fighting the Dept of Labor Fiduciary Regulation.  While we succeeded in greatly watering it down, we can guarantee that they will be back next year.

*We learned that as a result of this DOL Fiduciary Rule, State Farm Insurance may drop all sales of variable and securities based products in January 2017.  They have 30,000 agents and employees with securities licenses - many may be out of work.

*The Board of Directors, consisting of your State officers, Regional Vice-Presidents, and local Presidents, along with the delegate council, voted to endorse a resolution in support of the proposed dues investment increase.

*Neal's President’s Retreat will be held on Friday August 5th - 10am-4pm.  All chairmen, officers, RVP’s and local presidents are invited.  Place TBA
*Nationwide there is keen interest in forming “Lean Locals” or Hybrid Locals - local associations who satellite onto a larger local or state associations, get support, but  do not have to have officers on conduct board meetings.  They can meet informally to network as they wish.  It is our hope that we may be able to relieve the stress on some of our more rural locals who have smaller membership that is more widely scattered.  Stay tuned!

            *Election results for 2016-2017:
                        President - Neal Kloke
                        President Elect - Stephen Good
                        Secretary-Treasurer - Wayne Lunday
                        Immediate Past President - Scott Fowler
                        National Committeeman - Jeff Kyle

                        Agent/Man of the Year - Randy Kimm
                        Step up to the Plate Award - Lisa Kruckeberg
                        Rising Star - Chris Wertenberger
                        Lifetime Achievement Award - Alan Zalewski
                        YAT of the Year - Ryan Jewell  

            *Most interesting Man in the World - John Nichols


*President Scott Fowler’s wife Julie is a darn good soccer player

*His kids get room service - anything they want while Dad is in meetings

*Lisa Kruckeberg brought her fiance Mike to the convention.  (He proposed on the 50 Yard Line of the Seahawks-Steelers game -- Sweet!) He didn’t get scared off - you’ve got a “Keeper”, Lisa!  Best wishes to the happy couple who marry in less than 3 weeks.

*Most Interesting Man in the World, John Nichols, continues to provide his own famous blendings of various Scotches.  Good stuff.  That’s about all I remember...

Al Zalewski, CLU, ChFC

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 March/April Professional Development

Are you truly wanting to build your practice and your Business?  Well, if you are, you should be seriously considering this dynamic program that has recently been developed for you by NAIFA. ADVISOR 2020 is at your finger tips, see for yourself.

The success of financial advisors of the future will lie in their ability to redefine and reinvent the value they bring to their clients in the face of changing market and financial forces over the next six years, according to a new book published by the GAMA Foundation and sponsored by NAIFA.

The book presents two research studies conducted independently and simultaneously “to help advisors evolve into the faster, more flexible and more value-laden profession that the world of 2020 will require,” according to Advisor 2020.

2016 March/April Sponsorship

During our annual day on the hill in January we were excited to receive cash contributions towards our Sponsorship budget to help run the administrative side of NAIFA Washington. We received an overwhelming response with over $2,100 from the following people that we would like to say THANK YOU to:

Randy Castro    
Scott Rouse
Don Coplin
Jeff Johnson
Mark Ingersol
David Preston
James Penning
Monica Ewing
Sarah Fisher
Catherine Merz
Curtis Vaniman
A1 Capital LLC
James Johnson
Dennis Brumbaugh
James Scott
Chris Wertenberger
Wayne Lunday
Scott Fowler
Steven Good
John Nichols
Keith Wallace

NAIFA-Washington appreciates YOU!!!

Keith Wallace
Sponsorship Chairman

2016 March/April IFAPAC

Men and women of NAIFA, lend me your ears (or eyes in this case) for I have something of great importance to pass along: NAIFA protects your business. That’s right, NAIFA protects your business when you aren’t even thinking about the professional association. No matter if you are selling life only, life and health, disability income, Medicare plans, group or financial plans – NAIFA is working for you.

We are in a fight for our livelihoods with the Department of Labor regarding their proposed “fiduciary” rule and we must have your support in this battle! Each year, new tax proposals threaten your products and business and ONLY NAIFA protects both! IFAPAC dollars allow us to educate members of Congress and legislators in Olympia and we need your help! It’s an election year and many legislators need our support on the state level as well as on the federal level. We urge every member to contribute something – is $8.50 per month going to hurt? That makes you a Century Club contributor.

2016 March/April Convention

How many of you have already signed-up for the convention, golf and river cruise?  Your attendance and participation in the annual convention is also a big help to the association!

We have tons of great stuff to offer… from the exhibitors and sponsors to CE to NAIFA National President Jules Gaudreau to our two National Trustees to Jennifer Alford, the YAT of the year for NAIFA National last year to Bill Bryant, the GOP candidate for Governor of Washington (not a stump speech though) and an update from Mel.

Did I mention we have lots of sponsors and exhibitors that expect us to fill the room?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

2016 March/April In Memoriam

Kay Mielke-Crookshanks

After a valiant battle with lung cancer, Kay passed away peacefully at her home in Rochester, WA on the morning of March 2, 2016 with her devoted husband of 23 years, Bruce and her son Paul at her side.

She was known for her kindness, generosity and charity work. Kay was born Margaret Kay Mielke on April 12, 1939 in Beloit, Wisconsin. She became a legal secretary to her first husband, Ed Grutzner, with whom she had three children (Kurt, Amy and Paul). She was devoted to civic engagement with the Junior Women’s Club, Project Concern, Wisconsin Regional Planning Committee and she also served as the first woman elected to the Beloit City Council. Kay continued her volunteer work after relocating to the Pacific Northwest in 1986.

Kay served NAIFA-Washington and her local association in many capacities including Advocacy and LILI. She will be greatly missed.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 12, 2016, 2:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 123 West Main St., Chehalis, WA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her name to the Tenino, WA Lions Club.

Kay and I took LILI together, so we shared many carpools over that year.  She would always tell me how proud she was of her son who happened to live in our neighborhood.  I also have very fond memories of the many National and State conventions.  She wouldn’t miss them for the world.  Such a great lady.

Scott Fowler

Thursday, February 11, 2016

2016 January/February Convention Update

Hello, everyone!  Just a quick update on the convention scheduled for May…

Our committee has been very active.  After several trips to the Lodge for work sessions we have finally created a very attractive menu and event schedule.  We are still in process of lining up our key speakers and may have completed that task by the time you read this. 

Creating participation is paramount.  We, along with the NAIFA – Oregon team, have really stretched to put together an excellent experience for advisors and their families.  We are counting on having 30 exhibitors and at least a dozen sponsors at various levels to help us keep the cost to the delegates reasonable.  We can do this, but need your help!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 January/February Health Insurance Reform

FROM THE NATIONAL FRONT and what it means to you!

1. On January 25th the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reduced its estimate of how many people would enroll in health coverage through the ACA State and Federal exchanges from 21 million down to 13 million.  They also further estimated that 11 of those 13 million would be receiving subsidies, which was down from their prior estimate of 15 million.  

The White House and other proponents of the ACA made rosy projections of enrollment for Obamacare, but it hasn't turned out.  Next year, in 2017, in order to meet projections, 24 million would have to sign up, which is highly unlikely.  The problem is what you already know:

Policies with high deductibles and high out of pocket maximums, very narrow choices in doctors, and with ever higher rates are just not attractive to non-subsidized buyers.  As my sainted mentor told me, "It's not dog food if the dogs won't eat it."

2.  There was a report in the Wall Street Journal on January 29 that United HealthCare had lost $450 Million last year with their individual policies sold on the health exchanges.  That despite all the efforts they undertook to DISCOURAGE the sale.  Initiatives such as increasing deductibles, increasing premiums, reducing their provider networks, and eliminating producer commissions.  They along with Humana have announced that they are considering withdrawing from the Individual Exchange placed policy market altogether in 2017.

2016 January/February IFAPAC

'A Yes Face' 
We all have a face, a unique face. We 'like' as well as 'unlike' everybody else's face. That may sound a great deal like double talk. But it's true; our faces are unique and different from everyone else's face. That is a scientific fact. Every face has pretty much the same general features; eyes, nose, mouth etc. Most are somewhat symmetrical because they are on the front of our somewhat round heads. People are recognized, socially primarily by their facial features, secondarily by their body structure, height, weight and form.

If I were to ask you; "What's the first thing you notice when you look at a person? It's unlikely that you would say their shoes" If you are honest you will say it is their face. A new survey asked both men and women to name the first thing they notice when they meet someone of the opposite sex. The top answer for both men and women was 'eyes'.  The second-most common answer for both was 'smile'.  Both very politically correct choices. In another study where people were asked; "What do they see in another person that may provide the best first impression?"  The most frequent answer was the word, 'smile'. Ask just any man on the street, what they notice first about another person, the answer would most likely be; 'Their face of course.' Our faces are in the front and uncovered, they are often shiny and they usually greet most everyone, even a stranger, with a smile - I have always liked people with a ready smile. The eyes would come in second because they reveal a lot. It is very true; our faces are noticed first by the majority of other people.

2016 January/February NAIFA CEO Message

Letter from NAIFA CEO

It’s an exciting time at NAIFA. There’s much to show that the lead professional association for insurance and financial advisors is finely tuned to meet the needs of advisors and the industry. A few things on the horizon:

First, NAIFA is in the final stages of adopting a comprehensive strategic plan, known as NAIFA 20/20. This plan, developed by a diverse cross-section of NAIFA leaders from throughout the federation, has undergone two rounds of feedback from NAIFA’s internal and external stakeholders to create a strong blueprint to guide NAIFA in the months and years ahead. The plan, at its core, is quite simple: 
  • Provide NAIFA associations with the tools and flexibility to nimbly respond to the needs of the advisor community,
  • Deliver compelling member value, and
  • Bolster our standing as the premiere voice of the profession before policymakers and regulators at the state and federal levels.
As the NAIFA Board moves to adopt the plan in February, the professional staff has already begun developing comprehensive strategies, tactics, and annual performance metrics to keep us on task to achieve the plan’s goals and outcomes. NAIFA 20/20 will position us as the robust, relevant, and impactful association our industry needs.

Friday, December 4, 2015

2015 November/December Day on the Hill

If INSURANCE is your profession, POLITICS is your Business!

Tuesday January 26, 2016 
8:30 AM to 12:00 PM PST

Double Tree by Hilton
415 Capital Way North
Olympia, WA 98501

Never before has there been such a need for lawmakers (both federal and state) to hear from us about the invaluable services we provide to their constituents, our clients.  This event is held for you to meet with them; the State Representatives and Senators in your district.  It is your opportunity to shake hands with these elected officials in their Olympia legislative offices and make sure they know you and learn how to call upon you when they are faced with important decisions about this great industry.

Morning Program- Speakers include:

Update on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange  
Pam MacEwan, CEO, Washington Health Benefit Exchange
Mark Stensager, Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board Don Conant, Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board  

2015 November/December LILI

**WANTED** 2016 Leadership In Life Institute Class Participants

Our LILI Class of 2015 has only one class left!  It’s been quite a journey for them and it can be for you too but you have to register for the class today!

LILI Class of 2015 on their way UP!!

R/L: John Nichols, LILI Apprentice, Jody Lentz, Kelly Allen, Lisa Kruckeberg, 
Rollo Van Slyke, Chris Wertenberger, Kevin Gleim, 
Sharon Sparling, Moderator, Scarlett Kendrick

It’s time to get set for 2016 and the class is limited.

Do you want to take your business to the NEXT level? 

The Leadership in Life Institute (LILI) curriculum is based on the leadership writings of Stephen Covey, John Maxwell, Jim Collins, and Kouzes & Posner.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015 November/December Health Insurance

November 1st 2015 thru January 31st, 2015 is literally the only time you can change plans. Once signed up for a plan you are locked in until January 2017. It’s a very important choice to make and our goal is to help you get the BEST policy for your specific needs.

There are some huge changes in the individual health insurance market. Moda has pulled out of WA, Group Health Cooperative has a True PPO plan and the WA Exchange has royally screwed up the renewal timeline. If people renew their Exchange account before Nov 24th it won't work properly.

Below is a link to a blog article I wrote (with a video of how to sign up for 2016 health insurance and the plans that are best).  

Gary Franke
NAIFA-Washington Health Chair

2015 November/December IFAPAC

I was listening to the radio on the way home the other evening and Gladys Knight happened to be singing, "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me". I have always enjoyed that song, especially, the way she sang it. What a thought provoker: I have had so many best
things happen to me that if I could share, where would I start, and how long would my list be? Can the best things include events, as well as things, and especially people? The thought occurred to me that making such a list would be a great way to start writing a personal history.

Verse two of the song states that; "If anyone should ever write my life story. For whatever reason there might be." Gladys should change the verse to say; "If ever I should write my life story, For whatever reasons there might be". If all of the personal histories that have ever been written were analyzed would the 'best things' described in those histories be primarily 'things' and 'events' or would the best things be described as the people that found their way in and out of our lives? My guess would be 'people' and the following study confirms that.

2015 November/December 2016 Convention

Combined Convention 2016!
May 20th – May 22nd, 2016

I thought I’d provide you with a quick update to the convention plans… Many have been asking pointed questions… like “how much?”

Funny that you ask!  We have been a very busy committee!  The final “price per delegate or attendee” has not yet been decided, but we are doing as much as possible to keep it reasonable.  We are well on our way to securing some major sponsors for some of the activities… Principal Financial is on board, as is Illinois Mutual Life.  Several other major sponsors are almost committed, only awaiting final approval from home offices!

That’s all good, but we need to deliver on our promises!  We have shared with them that this will be bigger than ever!  We intend to deliver at least 150 delegates and another 100 “guests” to the convention.  The rooms are blocked out and ready, the program is taking shape and dignitaries and politicians alike are lining up to join us!