Last week I attended the annual Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Industry (ILTCI) conference in Chicago. I’ll be honest; I was not looking forward to going. After traveling extensively for the past few weeks and going to this conference for the past 18 years consecutively, I really wanted to stay home. What could I really gain by attending?

However, I did go and am I happy that I did. Not only is this event a great opportunity to reconnect with longtime friends and colleagues. It is an opportunity to meet and solidify relationships with our carrier partners, learn about new developments within our very collegial LTC industry and explore new opportunities with carriers and distribution partners.

The conference had the highest attendance number anyone could remember at almost 1,100 attendees. The sessions had rooms that were packed with people eager to learn. And the two-year-old track focused on producers of LTC protection had over 200 producers attend from across the country.

Key takeaways:

1. The LTC industry is growing, not shrinking. It also continues to shift to offering a multitude of product solutions complementing traditional LTC insurance. You need to carry many arrows in your quiver to make sure you have the right one that fits your client.

2. Linked benefit products are experiencing explosive growth. In fact, one carrier told me their sales for the first two months of 2019 were 37% over 2018. And 2018 was 20% over 2017. Wouldn’t we all like to be experiencing that level of growth? If linked benefit LTC products are not a focus for you, they should be. Clearly, consumers love the value proposition they bring to an LTC solution choice.

3. Carriers are continuing to develop new products. In fact, in the next couple of months you will be hearing more specifics about two new products that are launching this Spring that will be available to you through the Alliance.

4. Our industry is full of people that remain passionate about providing quality, private funding solutions to consumers to manage the LTC risk. If I have learned one thing in my career, success always comes down to the quality of the people involved. The LTC industry has the right people to succeed over the long haul.

5. Finally, I have made a lot of dear, true friends over the years as a result of my involvement in the LTC industry. Sometimes it can get lonely as you work day-to-day trying to build your company and get ahead. And sometimes you just get a little tired. Going to an event like the ILTCI conference and reconnecting with others provides the ‘shot in the arm’ to fire you up and remain excited about the future. I am absolutely fired up about the opportunities we all have in the LTC industry in 2019 and beyond.

A few years ago, getting to this point in my career, I thought this is when I might be slowing down and even moving to that amorphous stage of life we call retirement. I can tell you I am more excited than ever about the future and wanting to be a key contributor to it.

Next year’s ILTCI conference will be in Denver at the end of March. I know I will be attending and I hope to see you there!

Check out ILTCI website below to learn more.