How Annuities can Take Care of Pets After the Owners Pass On
When you welcome a pet into the family, they often become more than just an animal companion. Children who grow up with pets often consider them honorary siblings and some pet owners go so far as to call their dogs and cats ‘fur babies’ as they fill the same emotional role as children for singles, retirees, and empty-nesters. When you love your pets that much, it can be difficult to think of what will happen to them if something happens to you. Unfortunately, it’s all too common that the friends and family of a recently passed-on pet-owner won’t care for the furry creature as much as their previous owner did. At best, it will be put up for adoption and, at worst, it will simply be dropped at a shelter to get adopted or put down based entirely on chance.
Annuities for Pets is a Real Thing
As a seller of annuities, you’re used to thinking in terms of retirement funds, college planning, and life-insurance-like policies. It may never have occurred to you to pitch to pet owners, but the Securian Financial Group found a very good reason to reconsider. People really do care about their pets. Nearly 20% of surveyed pet owners already have financial plans in place to take care of their pets if they should happen to pass away and 13% of those arrangements were annuities given to the pet’s designated caregiver. So yes, you can absolutely sell annuities for pets.
How a Pet Annuity Works
While you can’t actually make a pet the beneficiary of an annuity, you can help your clients to make financial plans to ensure that their beloved pets don’t get abandoned in a shelter days after their passing by some uncaring relative. First, they will need a designated caregiver, someone who will immediately adopt their pets and take care of them. This person should love animals, already have a relationship with the pets, and have the personal organization to handle one or more pets in their life. Because of the annuity (or annuities for multiple pets), they do not need to have the financial room in their budget to take on more furry companions. Instead, they can be made a beneficiary of the pet annuity contingent on their actually taking on and caring for the animals. This ensures that the pets become welcome members of the family and aren’t a financial burden to their new loving owner.
Doing it Right
Pet care is a very emotional topic for some people, but it’s important to guide your clients to make rational and self-protecting as well as emotionally correct decisions. This means that there are a few bases you want to cover to guide your clients to the ideal pet protection annuity plan. First, they need to make sure that their designated caregiver is actually ready and eager to take on the care of their pets. Next, that person should be left the pets in the terms of a trust to ensure that no family or unknowing executor makes the wrong decision in the immediate aftermath of their death. Finally, there should be an independent contract drawn up in which the designated caregiver agrees to take on the pets along with any care requirements enumerated in order to receive the annuity. When they have officially taken on guardianship of the pets, annuity payments can begin and continue for the duration of the policy.
The next time you’re listening to someone gush about how much they love their pets, remember pet annuities and turn that series of cute pet stories into an opportunity to sell. From owners who dress their cats in little costumes to sporty forward-thinking owners who go running with their dogs every morning, people who love their pets really do want to make sure they’re taken care of should they pass before the animal does. With pet annuities, you can help them make that a reality.