Weekly Wrap

The Great Resignation

In the midst of the current labor shortage, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest figures are for August when 242,000 more workers quit than in July.

The high resignation rate is an ongoing trend that has been dubbed “the great resignation.”

Each month, more people are quitting their jobs. At the same time, employers are finding it tough to hire qualified workers.

Why People Are Quitting

Many surveys, like the one done by Prudential, find that departing workers are seeking better pay, better benefits, and better work/life balance.
“There’s simply no labor shortage when you’re talking about finding house cleaners for a hotel — there is a shortage of workers who want to work at what you’re offering,” says Sylvia Allegretto, a University of California – Berkeley labor economist.

Prudential’s Vice Chair Rob Falzon agrees.

“The road ahead will see the market for talent heat up, and it will become increasingly competitive for employers to attract and retain top talent,” says Falzon. “Employers looking to be a magnet for top talent in the post-pandemic economy must understand workers’ expectations of work and what they need from their jobs.”

How You Can Benefit

Employers are adding incentives to attract and retain employees. If you are a qualified applicant, you may have several options.

Some things to look for in a new job include:

  • Higher compensation. Companies across the country have raised starting pay. In addition, more companies are offering sign-on bonuses.
  • Childcare. Many women have not returned to employment because they have no way to care for dependents. As a result, more companies are offering help with childcare.
  • Flexibility. More companies are open to hybrid work schedules. “A lot of clients are telling us ‘We don’t care if it’s temp or contract work or full-time, we are flexible to whatever the candidate wants,’” says Lauren Ferrara, vice president of recruiter Creative Circle.

Weekly Wrap

Women Raise Careers With Poker

Negotiating is tough. It would be easier if someone invented a game that you could enjoy while perfecting your bargaining skills. A game that would teach you to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

Wait a minute. Such a game exists. It is called poker and it is being used to teach women how to advance in the workplace.

Poker Skills = Business Skills

Using poker to help women hone business skills is the brainchild of billionaire options trader Jenny Just. She co-founded Peak6 Capital Management 20 years ago.

Poker Power is a 12 module course designed to teach women poker skills that apply to business success. Those skills include spotting “tells”. Those are changes in an opponent’s behavior that give clues to the strength of that player’s hand. Spotting tells is called “reading” an opponent.

“I started Poker Power in 2019 as a launchpad for girls and women to succeed in school, business and life, ” says Just on the Power Poker website. “The skills and strategies that we teach empower women to sit at every table, from the classroom to the boardroom.”

Numbers Stacked Against Women

Just also claims poker can improve self-confidence and build risk tolerance. Women will need those skills to raise their numbers in management.

About 35 percent of managers at Peak6 are women. However, the national average of women money managers is 14 percent. That figure has not changed in two decades.

A Morningstar report earlier this year found that there are seven times as many male executive officers as women. At the top level, only 0ne in 17 CEOs are women, according to the study.

COVID Changes Life Insurance

Covid deaths worldwide have topped 4.5 million. Over 700,000 have occurred in the United States alone.

As a result, life insurance sales and premiums have soared to levels not seen in decades. At the same time, some companies are beefing up underwriting to make it harder or more costly for Covid survivors to get coverage.

A Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) report shows those sales and price trends.

Sales and Premiums Rising

Sales of life policies increased eight percent in the first six months of 2021. That is the largest increase since 1983, according to LIMRA.

Part of that increase may be due to companies waiving some application requirements.

“Insurers are issuing life policies despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” financial author Laura Adams told BankRate. “In fact, many carriers have adjusted their requirements so you can skip an in-person medical exam.”

Life premiums increased 18 percent over the first half of 2021, reports the survey. The second quarter of this year produced a 21 percent premium increase. That is the largest quarterly jump since the third quarter of 1987, according to LIMRA.

Existing Coverage Unchanged

Nothing changes if you have a life policy you purchased before the pandemic. If you die from Covid, your policy will still pay out.

You may find some changes If you purchase a new policy.

There may be additional wording that excludes a payout for a Covid related death. Look for these exclusions and ask the sales agent about them.

Last 12 Months Question

Insurance companies incorporated a 12-month exclusion question on policies even before the pandemic. That question may prohibit coverage if you have had Covid in the last year. The question goes something like this:

“In the last twelve months, have you had or been advised to have by a physician any surgery, diagnostic test, hospitalization, treatment or other procedure that has not been done or for which results are not known?”

“A yes answer to this question is always a decline,” writes Anthony Martin, founder and CEO of Choice Mutual Insurance. “Again, every single application no matter what company you consider or what type of policy you look at will have this sort of question.”

Guaranteed Issue Policies

Guaranteed issue policies are an alternative to traditional life policies. They do not ask screening questions or require physical examinations. However, policy prices are usually higher than standard policies and face amounts are often lower.

What You Can do

If you own your own coverage – keep it. Contact your insurance company if you are having trouble paying your premium. Some companies allow you to delay payments.

If you do not have coverage, now is a good time to apply. However, you should shop around. Look for the most coverage at the lowest rate from a highly rated company.

How to Research an Insurance Company

The best way to gauge the strength and performance of an insurance company is to check with your state’s insurance department. You can also check rating companies such as Standard & Poor’s and A. M. Best

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