A very long time ago, in what feels like a galaxy far, far away, I was a financial consultant. And while I’m pretty darned good at money management, it didn’t hold my interest. I moved on to technology, and have been walking the line that separates real-world from geek-world issues ever since.
One of the tools I was taught to use in the estate management part of financial planning was life insurance. And forget the “what happens to your baby brother!!??!!” aspect of selling life insurance; I learned that the most mundane of financial vehicles was great way to make estate taxes disappear.
And it seems that message is finally going mainstream. More and more rich people are buying life insurance to pay the taxes on their estates, and while that’s a great example of business change it’s creating a problem for life insurance companies.
The salient point is that life insurance creates non-taxable money that can be used to pay taxes on other items. And that the government is looking at that exemption, realizing it’s being used more and more by the richest people out of greed rather than real people in need, and insurance companies are facing the possibility that one of their best sales tools might go away.
Yes, I’m talking about life insurance. Seriously. And the topic is as boring as ever, but the business change lessons are huge.
At the highest level, the thought that a tax loophole could close scares a lot of businesses and people. Insurance companies make their money running actuarial calculations, and if a major sales tool gets taken out of the formula it will necessitate a lot of new math. And the already-pressed salesmen? Good luck getting through to rich people who don’t have a reason to buy life insurance.
But that’s what business change is. Things around you look and act differently that they had yesterday? Take action to make sure you’ve got them covered tomorrow.
And when change happens, be willing to look at it for what what new changes it will create.