And while it’s obviously a stretch to compare the fate of a children’s television show to the financial security of 75 million American families, an interesting opinion column by Corey Dahl in LifeHealthPro draws a parallel between decisions Congress must make on funding Public Broadcasting and on the tax treatment of life insurance products.
In the face of rising deficits, Dahl points out that Congress will surely look closely at federal spending and potential sources of revenue.
And while Big Bird may have little trouble attracting media attention to his plight, it falls to groups like NAIFA and our members’ grassroots advocacy efforts to educate Congress on the importance of life insurance products.
That’s why NAIFA has scheduled a Congressional Conference grassroots event for April 8-9 this spring.
Dahl sums the situation up like this:
Just like PBS, life insurance likely wouldn’t cease to exist if its tax benefits were altered. It’s still the only product that can provide financial security for bereaved families for pennies on the dollar. However, it’s use for more complicated purposes — as an estate planning tool, for example — would likely suffer.
A bigger problem for the life insurance industry, though, is that it will likely never be able to muster public outrage over funding cuts on the same scale as PBS. Though 75 million Americans make use of life insurance tax benefits, according to NAIFA, there’s no Life Insurance Live tour coming to an auditorium near you.
As agents, then, it falls on you to be the Snuffleupaguses (Snuffleupagi?) of the industry, educating your clients on the unique benefits of life insurance instead of the ABCs. Or make like Mr. Rogers and pay a visit to Capitol Hill. (NAIFA’s organizing a trip this April.)
Your livelihood, and not just your “Downton Abbey” addiction, might depend on it.