Advisor Today - September/October 2015 - (Page 27)

product spotlight VOLUNTARY BENEFITS By Tye Elliott ¿Habla Español? As a benefits consultant, if you are not speaking Spanish, you may be missing opportunities to grow your business. L atino employees are the fastestgrowing segment of the U.S. workforce. In fact, an estimated 1 in every 3 working Americans will be Hispanic by 2050.1 The growing influence of Latinos on our nation's culture and business community means smart benefits professionals are saying "Se habla Español"-"We speak Spanish"-both literally and figuratively. Results from the 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report (AWR)2 reveal that 12 percent of today's working Latinos prefer to receive information about their benefits in Spanish, and many employers are responding. Today, 41 percent of companies offer benefits communications in multiple languages, but large-sized businesses are driving up the numbers. When it comes to small and medium-sized companies, multilingual communications are less prevalent, at 31 percent and 37 percent, respectively. Opportunities await The good news for brokers and benefits advisors is that employers who need or want to communicate about benefits in multiple languages present strong business opportunities. In addition to helping clients tailor their written messaging to increasingly diverse workforces, insurance professionals fluent in Spanish can provide much-needed one-on-one and group support to Latino workers during open enrollment. Of course, all of this talk about multilingual benefits communications begs the question: Is developing materials in Spanish-or simply learning what drives Latino employees-worth the financial and overall effort? The AWR survey results indicate the answer is a resounding yes. Insurance professionals who are fluent in Spanish can provide support to Latino workers during open enrollment. Here's why: * The majority of Latino employees (76 percent) say they are the sole benefits decision-makers for their households. Just 24 percent share the responsibility with their spouses or others. Still, they need guidance: More than a third of Latino employees agree2a they need to be more engaged with their benefits decisions, and more than three quarters (78 percent) admit to spending an hour or less researching their benefits options during open enrollment. * Latinos value employer-provided benefits and see a growing need for voluntary insurance. Almost half (48 percent) say their employeebenefits packages influence their work engagement.2b What's more, they understand that voluntary insurance helps provide a financial safety net in the event of an illness or injury. A convincing 91 percent agree that voluntary-benefits options are part of a comprehensive benefits program, and 67 percent see a growing need for such options, as compared to previous years.2 * Latino workers are concerned about stress, health issues and medical costs. When it comes to stress, they're more uneasy than their non-Latino counterparts: 33 percent say they're stressed out,2c compared to 25 percent of nonHispanics. Additionally, nearly 20 percent are dealing with personal health issues, and 12 percent say high medical costs have had a negative effect on their credit scores. The key takeaway So what is the key takeaway for savvy benefits experts? It's simple: If they're not tapping into the large and growing Latino market, they're missing major opportunities to grow their businesses. cont'd on page 28 September/October 2015 | ADVISOR TODAY 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - September/October 2015

Why You Need a Mentor
The Key Attributes of Top Performers
Success Tips from a Golden Gloves Boxer
How I Use Social Media to Build my Practice
Getting Started on LinkedIn
Discussing Your Client’s LTC Needs in Retirement
How to Boost Your LTCI Production
¿Habla Español?
Providing a Retirement Safety Net
Ongoing Challenges, New Solutions
Four Under Forty
NAIFA’s 125th Anniversary
Demystifying CPA Alliances
Building Your Natural Audience
Holding Workshops?
Ideas to Help You Sell More
Special-Needs Planning
Planning for Divorced or Widowed Women

Advisor Today - September/October 2015