NAIFA - North Dakota  
 

President's Message

Sponsors

Local Reports

2009 State Convention

Afghanistan Relief Fund

APIC

AHIA

Government Relations

Membership

IFAPAC

Trustee Corner

Volunteers Wanted

 


Dakota Advisor
Winter 2008

 

Presidents Message
by Ted Haugan, CFP, LUTCF

   Welcome to the midpoint of our association year as our calendar year comes to an end. December, annually, is an important month in that several associations present continuing education in conjunction with a membership blitz, that have worked quite well. IFAPAC and Freedom Builder Fund contributions numbers are recorded for the year. I thank all members who have worked very hard this year to make contributions and help our association members see how important these funds are to the future of our industry. Publicly thanking our contributors during an association meeting encourages newer and additional members to join us in the future.

   Membership recruitment is difficult work without a membership recruitment system. The Minot association has built a systematic plan whereby non members receive mailings about such topics as "Pay Go" & "The Gathering Storm", gathered from the National web site. This system is now on the state web site and I encourage every local membership committee to use this system to attract non members to your local association. This system was implemented in September 2008 in Minot and has produced seven new members to date with more new members anticipated in the future. The obstacles presented on the federal level can become membership recruitment opportunities if we choose to use this information in this manner.

   January 2009 marks the beginning of a new legislature. NAIFA-ND is preparing to support legislation that would provide a $250.00 tax credit to purchasers of a tax qualified partnership long term care policy on the short form of the North Dakota state income tax form. Our members and their clients need to support this legislation by calling, emailing and writing their respective legislators expressing support of this bill.

   February 2nd is the beginning of our state convention at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck. Our convention starts that Monday at noon with a legislative reception that evening, with the legislators. On Tuesday we are scheduled to sit with a representative or senator for one hour to experience the legislative process. This is the first ever state convention and legislative reception combination so your attendance is critically important. Your attendance of the convention and time spent with your respective legislative representative will impact the future of North Dakota. Please remember to thank the convention committee.

   As I end this communication to our membership, I have yet another request. If you have any questions or concerns, please express them to your local leadership, your state leadership, Nancy; our exceptional state executive or to me, serving as your state president. This has been a difficult year for the world but we make the world a better place, one client at a time. Use the obstacles we all face to grow your business, seek out financial solutions to our clients' problems and enjoy the success you deserve. I thank you all for your support and look forward to seeing you at our state convention.

Happy New Year!

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[Sponsor]

 

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NAIFA-ND 2009 State Convention Update

 The theme for this year's convention is "The Agents Role in Today's Economy." We will have representatives from the Commerce Department and Tourism Department speaking in addition to the legislative update. Our first ever "Day on the Hill" will take place on Tuesday, February 3rd, where members will have the opportunity to sit on the House floor with their representatives during the session. We are grateful for this opportunity and thank Representative Jim Kasper for coordinating this effort.  Early registration ends on January 18th, which is also when we need to know what district you are in to arrange seating for the session. We have an outstanding program lined up and hope that you are making plans to attend. You can register on line by clicking here or mail in your registration from the brochure

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 Local Association Reports

NAIFA - Fargo Moorhead
by Traver Silbernagel, President

I want to began by wishing all of NDAIFA a very merry holiday season. Fargo/Moorhead has been rigorously putting together our year end awards banquet. Special thanks to Judy Lundstrom, Julie Phillips, Parker Vanderwal, Don Zerr, Jason Middaugh and Rick Greener on all of their efforts. We are winding down the IFAPAC year and have been meeting every Tues. pooling our thoughts and energy making that final push. Thank you to Phil Haug, Greg Ohmdahl and Jay Burgad for of their help. Membership is always on the front burner and we will be starting a new LUTC course in early 09.

 

 NAIFA-Minot Report
by Rick Wallace, President

December has been a very busy month for NAIFA-Minot. My report will mention three items; “Angel Tree Project”, Annual CE Blitz, and Membership Drive.

Angel Tree Project:  Thanks to Sue Sjaastad and Kari Hansen, our Public Relations committeepersons, they were responsible for working with Community Action and getting our local involved in the Angel Tree project.  As a group we contributed cash donations at our membership meetings from November through December 15th.  Once money was collected, we put our request to Community Action for a family to sponsor for Christmas.  Our association was able to raise over $500 to make another family’s Christmas come alive this year.

Annual CE Blitz:  December 12th marked our annual CE blitz.  We provided six hours of continuing education to members and nonmembers and included ethics, income engineering, property and casualty, and an insurance update from deputy insurance commissioner, Rebecca Ternes.   We had several comments from our members saying this was one of the best continuing education events NAIFA-Minot has held in quite some time.

Membership Drive:  Last but not least, several members met on December 1st to have a calling session and make appointments with non members to present the NAIFA story to them.  The membership drive has been very successful.  As a result of the calling session and follow-ups, as of December 18th, we have added six new members, plus an additional member in October for a total of seven to date.  There are two more additional prospects that are expected to be signed up before December 19th.  We expect at least three more new members just after the first of the year as a result of this drive.  We are up over 10% in new members this year and our goal is to end up the 2008-2009 year at a total of 73 members.  This will be an increase of approximately 18% over last year or a net increase of twelve new members.

 

 NAIFA - North Valley
by Gregg Webster, President

We invited a local legislator to each meeting this past quarter.  Legislators were selected based upon their appointment to either IBL or Human Services committees.  The legislator was asked to make a presentation and participate in a forum.

Our plans for next quarter will entail Membership promotion.

NAIFA - Roughrider
by LeeAnn Galster, President
 

As always we are holding monthly meetings with one hour of CE - we have about 33% member attendance which we would like to see around 50-60%.  We have discussed some incentives and also have sent out a survey as to why members are not attending (schedule conflict, lack of benefit, other).  The most common reason was schedule - so a follow-up survey is being sent to see if there is a better time and day to accommodate more members. We have had some great CE topics - P.A.C.E. Program, Veteran's Affairs, K.I.D.S. Program, St. Luke's Home New Construction plans.

We held our annual Toys for Tots Event November 21 and had 12 members show up. We invite local legislators too but this year no one was able to attend. We used this event as a way to increase our IFAPAC donations. We held a raffle with 2 $50 dinners certificates and 2 bottles of wine being given as prizes. We raised $140 for IFAPAC. This put our local over its goal for the year.

In December we hosted the annual CE Day with speakers from Medicaid, State Insurance, local attorney, local accountant, and Norbert Mayer offered the ethics. We had a super response - 13 members and 10 non-members attending.

We are always actively recruiting for new members. We have one new member in December and one transfer member also in December. We are working on several applications and one more transfer so it looks really good for reaching our goal of 40!!

NAIFA – Missouri Slope
By Carroll Holmen, President

 Greetings fellow NAIFA Members:

NAIFA – Missouri Slope has been keeping busy the last few months.  We recently held our Annual CE Day on December 8th.  Attendance was not quite as high in recent years, however it still went relatively well.  We had applied for and received 5 hours of Continuing Ed credits, 3 of which were Ethics.

 Our membership is down from last year, however we still have 6 months to go to get it back in line with our goal.  We have set a Blitz day for January 16th to attract more members.   Missouri Slope has also contracted to have a ‘calling-tree’ service to contact members prior to the meeting to increase attendance and awareness of the benefits offered. FBF and IFAPAC contributions was also a focus this month.

 We look forward to 2009.  As a legislative year, we will continue our efforts to bring the focus to our members on what a value the association is and hope to attract new members to help with the issues facing us.

 

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AHIA
by Pat Saltsman, Chair

December 23, 2008 was the day that President Bush signed into law H.R. 7327, The Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act, which temporarily suspends the IRS tax penalty that would otherwise apply to seniors over the age of 70 1/2 who fail to take the minimum required withdrawal from their retirement account in 2009.  The law is designed to prevent seniors from having to make the required withdrawals from retirement accounts which have been hard-hit by the current economic crisis. 

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APIC
by Jim Simons, Chair

I am still missing some of the APIC reports.  If you haven’t turned yours in, please do so ASAP.  I have sent out a list of Legislative Forums from the City Chambers of Commerce who replied to my request.  Make sure that your members take advantage of speaking to their legislators when they return home for the weekends.  You will start building strong relationships with them.  I was just speaking to a member of the house who mentioned to me how impressed he has been with the information provided by NAIFA members from across the state.  Let’s keep up the good work of advocating for our citizens of North Dakota.

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 Government Relations
by Norbert Mayer, Chair

The 61st ND Legislative Assembly opens in Bismarck on Tuesday, January 6th.  Dave Klemisch, Nancy Buechler and I will serve as the NAIFA-ND Lobbyists.  These are the only individuals who speak on behalf of NAIFA-ND.  Each of you is welcome and encouraged to contact Senators and Representatives that you know, but please remember that you speak on your own behalf.

Nancy will again track and monitor those bills selected by our Executive Board.  A weekly status report will be e-mailed to our leadership, and will be on our website at: http://www.naifa-nd.org/Advocacy/legislation.html. We encourage you to check it often.  Additional information will be available for your review at www.legis.nd.gov.

We are now aware of the following issues to be addressed in this session. 

LTC Premium Tax Credit - Representative Todd Porter will introduce a bill at our request to provide for a $250.00 tax credit on the ND (short) Tax Form 1 for those individuals paying premiums on a Partnership Qualified Long Term Care Plan purchased after the effective date of the ND Revised Medicaid Plan, dated January 1, 2007.

Producer CE reporting and license continuation - This bill will provide for a biennial report of your continuing education by the end of your birth month.  This will replace the current biennial report with due dates based upon your last name and due by January 31st. The renewal fee will remain at $25.00.  It will also provide an option to do this renewal through the National Insurance Producers Registry with a pass through fee of $5.00.  Additionally, there may be a higher financial penalty for any agents that violate the producer licensing laws. Right now, it is a bit unclear but reads like the maximum penalty is $1,000. So in other words, a producer could steal or defraud clients out of any amount of money and all the department could fine would be $1,000. With the added activity in this area, they are looking at raising the amount to $10,000 per incident.

Rule of 85 – This will eliminate the rule of 85 (age plus years of experience) exemption from filing CE.  Those already meeting this rule will be grandfathered.

Surplus Lines and Consultant License issuance and renewal fee change – This will change the fee for issuing this license from $10.00 to $100.00 and renewal fees from $10.00 to $25.00.

Unfair Compensation of Insurance – This clarifies that companies can not compensate based on cancellations, denials, quotas or limiting claim amounts.

Collections –This allows the ND Insurance Dept. to collect overdue judgments through tax refunds.

Credit Scores – This specifies that companies’ filing of underwriting criteria related to credit scoring is confidential.

When each of these bills is introduced you will be able to read the entire bill at “www.legis.nd.gov.”

Please mark your calendars for the State Convention on February 2-4 and the Legislative Reception on Monday evening, February 2nd.

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 Membership Report
by Jason Middaugh, Chair

I’ve told many people I talk to – if you show me a professional organization that does as much or more for me and my clients in protecting the products I sell as NAIFA does I will sign up today.  As another year passes we need to get out and talk to those people working within our industry who are not current NAIFA members. 

It looks like we could be in a fight with some of the tax advantaged products we sell in the upcoming years.  With the pay as you go rules established within Congress our Senators and Representatives are going to be looking at various ways to raise more revenue (increase taxes) to fund their various projects.  It’s time to get proactive instead of reactive.  We need to get the word out to potential members as to why we need their support more than ever.

Invite a potential member to lunch, if you don’t want to solicit him/her give their name to your local membership chair.

We are having a contest among the seven locals starting January 1st ending June 30th.  The winner will be the local with the highest increase in membership between those dates.  Your starting number is the number of current members you have at December 31st at midnight.  So if you have 100 members on December 31st and add 10 it is a 10% increase.  Those are the only two numbers I will look at.  The local that increases the most of that time will win an auctioned off item of their choice at the state convention.  We are auctioning off various items at the state convention; we should have 5-6 different items.  They are going to be events instead of things; an example would be day fishing on the Red River with another NAIFA member. 

The prize will be given to the local membership chair.   The local chair can give it to anyone within his/her local.

 

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Afghanistan Relief

   
(Loading packages to be shipped to Afghanistan)

Dear NAIFA Members,
 I am happy to report that after 8 months my husband is home from Afghanistan. Running this program provided us great topics for discussion. The common bond helped us while he was gone. He continues to give me advice in matters and help with the project. Recently he helped organize a volunteer day when Airmen from his Maintenance Group, 91MXG will volunteer sorting and packing donated items. We are hoping to make this a bi-monthly event.  The Airman’s Attic continues to provide me with storage space and materials. Many of their volunteers helped me with my last shipment when they had some free time. They have been a real blessing. I was very excited about our last shipment. It was filling a request from an Airman from Minot. His wife (who had previously deployed to Afghanistan) helped with planning and shipping.  He is in an area the VCR does not serve (Kandahar). The aid we sent will be given out at a special party they are planning for the local residents. It included school supplies, clothing and toys. The village is made up of the Afghan police force (and their families) working with our military. They live in this area (not their homes) to be protected from the Taliban. This made me especially grateful that we could help. We all too often forget others who have their lives put at risk (and not just soldiers, but family members). In all, we sent over 27 boxes ranging from 3-30 lbs. It was extremely exciting to have a very generous donation from our Minot  Scheel’s Store sent with this shipment. They donated 10 soccer balls and a soccer net. I know the children will be thrilled.  A big “THANK YOU” goes out to Don Doescher (Fargo) and Kelly Bossert (Minot) of Scheel’s Sporting Goods for their generous donation. Their donation and yours, allowed me to send a shipment far beyond the Airman’s expectations. I am promised that their will be pictures!  I hope everyone has a great holiday and thank you once again for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity.

Cindi Bair

    
(Lt  Col Bair separating boxes from North Dakota at Camp Eggers, Afghanistan)


Trustee Corner

Trustee Corner
Now More Than Ever Before….
Juli McNeely, LUTCF, CFP, CLU

Most of us are feeling the stress of the last few months with the rollercoaster ride of the markets.  I believe that now more than ever before our clients need us.  They need us to calm their fears.  They need us to review their financial plan or in some cases start a financial plan.  Now more than ever before we need to be in front of our clients doing what we have been trained to do – help them!  This is the time that we earn our commission or fees. 

I also believe that now more than ever before we need NAIFA.  With more and more bail out dollars being promised every day, it becomes pretty clear that the federal government will be looking for revenue from any source they can get it.  We all know that the products that we provide to our clients carry with them some significant tax advantages.  There is a very good chance that we will have the target on our backs.  We need NAIFA to protect our products and the tax advantages our clients enjoy.  We need NAIFA and its grassroots presence to protect our industry interests.

Lastly, now more than ever before NAIFA is providing more benefits that will impact your bottom line.  If you haven’t been to www.naifa.org for a while, check it out.  You will be amazed and impressed by the new offerings.  Just a few items to check out…..

·         Virtual Library - As a member of NAIFA, you now have free, unlimited 24/7 access to the NAIFA Virtual Library. Whether you are a new advisor or agent, or an experienced producer, the NAIFA Virtual Library is your key to a myriad of sales support tools and resources that will help you grow and succeed in your business. Check out the link for more information:  http://www.naifa.org/benefits/vsa/index.cfm

·         Professional Development System - The new NAIFA Professional Development System has been created to provide NAIFA members, at every stage of their career, with the resources they need to succeed! NAIFA’s rich array of professional programs and products are designed to enhance member’s knowledge and skills, provide value-added business services, and create critical networking and mentoring opportunities—when, where and how you want them!  Check out the link for an online tutorial about PDS:  http://www.naifa.org/benefits/pds/index.html

·         Communications Corner - provides members with access to an extensive online toolbox that includes NAIFA-branded templates, searchable databases of media outlets and self-directed communications and public relations training. Members also have access to professional graphics and media relations support, as well as communications tips and proven best-practices. All of the resources are specifically tailored to serve the needs of NAIFA’s state and local associations, as well as individual insurance and financial planning professionals.  Check out the link for more information:  http://www.naifa.org/benefits/commcorner/index.cfm

NAIFA has heard its members and is responding in a big way so that you will be convinced that now more than ever before NAIFA is a must for any insurance agent or financial advisor.  And the really great news is that there is MORE TO COME!!!!

I am excited to be your Trustee Liaison for 2008/09.  Please feel free to contact me at 715.659.4255 or juli@mcneelyfinancial.com with any comments or concerns.  Here’s to a great year for NAIFA and for each of you in your practices!

 

Volunteers Wanted - No Experience Necessary

Volunteers are at the heart of NAIFA-ND’s existence. The only way we can fulfill our promise to provide exceptional value and service is because of the time and knowledge volunteered by members like you to serve your colleagues and to further the insurance and financial services profession.

 Volunteer opportunities with NAIFA-ND exist within many different areas of interest and on varying levels of commitment: from participation with short term projects, to our highest level of commitment as an active member of a NAIFA-ND state committee or state officer.

 If you would like to see what opportunities we have available, please visit our web to learn about committees and other organizational activities to which you can volunteer your time, or visit with a current officer of the association.

 We would welcome your expertise and enthusiasm and hope you will take the time to participate as a volunteer - you will discover the many rewards of volunteering. If you would like someone to contact you, please complete this form

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NAIFA-North Dakota - 1811 East Thayer Avenue - PO Box 5010 - Bismarck, ND 58502 (701) 258-9525 info@naifa-nd.org