Friday, May 24, 2013

Tools for the First Time Buyer


If you’re a first time-buyer, the agent wants to hook you in immediately so that
you will attend carefully to the sales pitch. He or she does that in a variety of
ways, most of them shady.

Agent: “Look at these statistics showing that you and your husband have a four
out of five chance to end up in a nursing home. Your children will not want to
take care of you, either.” The agent knows that these statistics will certainly
frighten you, and hopes that you’ve recently spatted with your daughter as well.
Your rebuttal: “My children and even my grandchildren have assured us that
we will never spend a day in a nursing home. Both of our children have large
winter and summer homes with enough room to take care of us if that time
ever comes. In the interim, we have the kids’ old rooms to house live-in help if
one of us needs ongoing care.”

Agent: “If you can’t afford the premium, how will you afford long-term care
when you need it?” Two thousand dollars a year sounds like a lot of money to
most of us, even though our life insurance may cost considerably more. Besides,
the agent knows that death is inevitable, even if the need for long-term
care may not be.
Your rebuttal: “The insurance company takes risks. Well, I take risks in my
life, too. At this stage of the game, I feel that I have complete knowledge of all
the facts. I’m a grown-up and I can handle the risks.”

Agent: “You have to buy now because you’ll be too sick later to qualify for the
coverage and you’ll need it for sure.” Look around you, the agent is implying,
see all your sick neighbors and friends? That twinge you have today may be the
harbinger of a condition that will prevent your buying the insurance. Then
you’ll regret not acting.
Your rebuttal: “Mr. Agent, if you hurry down to the local convenience store
before it closes, you can buy a lottery ticket and win $10 million. Better hurry
or you’ll regret not acting.”

Agent: “Aren’t you embarrassed and don’t you feel squeamish when your
friends and neighbors talk about the long-term care insurance that they’ve
purchased, which will keep them out of the poorhouse?”
The agent is playing to your 13-year-old self, when you wanted to do everything
that your best friends did and have what they had.
Your rebuttal: “We don’t envy our neighbors, and we don’t expect to go to the
poorhouse, either. We have three healthy and happy children who respect and
keep in constant contact with us. Many of my friends and neighbors wish they
could say the same.”

Agent: “Look at these brochures, which show you that you’ll have to pay about
$7,000 a month just for a double room at the nursing home down the block.
And how about these pictures from another nursing home over in the next
town? Do you want to live like this?” Bringing out photos from the most expensive
and the least appealing nursing home alternatives is intended to shock
you right into bringing out your checkbook.
Your rebuttal: “The fancy nursing home brochure is pretty, but there isn’t a
nursing home in the United States that can provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week, with sensitive and caring individuals. I know that fact to be true. We witnessed
the rapid turnover of help when our parents were in a nursing home, and
we also observed many unskilled personnel who were insensitive. We want to
stay at home, but if not, we’ll look for the best alternative when the time comes.”

Agent: “Your accountant, who referred me to you, will be disappointed if I have
to tell him that I left this appointment without a signed application.” You owe
it to your accountant to buy a policy from me. He will think less of you if you
don’t act fast.
Your rebuttal: “Don’t be concerned. I will help my accountant deal with that
disappointment. I will also tell him about the high-pressure tactics you tried to
use during our interview.”


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