SOURCE: Lion Street

Lion Street

March 02, 2012 12:59 ET

"Expect Retirement Plan Surprises," Physician Tells Life Insurance Advisors at Lion Street Forum

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Mar 2, 2012) - Individuals, couples and business owners approaching retirement age may think they've planned for everything.

They're probably wrong.

That was Dr. Robert Pokorski's message to an elite group of life insurance professionals in Austin this week. Speaking at Lion Street's invitation-only Designers Expert Network forum, physician and underwriting expert Pokorski highlighted the non-financial risks facing today's retirees. Among his warnings:

  • Shocks like job loss, frail parents, and health problems in the retirement home-stretch can be catastrophic. Fully 40% of people in these situations retire earlier than expected.1 Losing those last few years of income can radically change financial projections.

  • Exercise and clean living has a downside. Pokorski showed the Lion Street group how healthy retired people actually have higher out-of-pocket health care costs2, averaging $230,0003.

  • Chronic care usage skyrockets in retirement. Some 58% of men and 79% of women will need nursing or other expensive long-term care in their golden years4. Surprisingly, the most common reason people go from home to nursing facilities is not their own health. The real risk: a decline in their caregiver's health.5

  • Life expectancy can be much longer than people think. Some 38% of men and 50% of women now age 65 will reach age 90 or more.6 "Outliving your money is a real risk," said Pokorski. "At the same time, our medical trend analysis lets us offer better coverage terms in many cases."

Pokorski -- recently profiled in a Smart Money cover story7 -- holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He earned his medical degree at Creighton University and has authored more than 130 scholarly articles for publications like Nature, Cancer, American Journal of Human Genetics and Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. As The Hartford's chief medical strategist since 2010, Pokorski works to bridge the medical-business divide.

"We bring in top experts like Dr. Pokorski because our sophisticated advisor-owners need the latest information on underwriting trends," said Lion Street CEO Bob Carter. "Our carrier relationships give them access to the industry's brightest minds. Everyone leaves D.E.N. and our other meetings armed with valuable new ideas for today's competitive market."

The audience instantly saw opportunity. "As professionals, our job is to help people manage their risks," said Anthony Giordano, principal of Union Square Financial Partners and a Lion Street advisor-owner. Giordano shifted his New York firm's business to Lion Street last year. "The resources I get from Lion Street lead directly to peace of mind for my clients. I've gained a big edge over my competitors."

Giordano is in the vanguard of an underwriting revolution. Lion Street's extensive value-added services make cost-effective coverage possible in complex situations. "Our advisor-owners like Anthony have to deliver the best terms on large, complex cases," observed Carter. "With our network of resources, they can deliver state of the art solutions for affluent clients that demand the highest level of expertise and execution."

"This kind of open intellectual exchange is a big advantage," Carter concluded. "Unlike other producer groups, the interests of our advisor-owners are aligned through our unique capital structure. We all value the concept of idea exchange to work toward shared success."

Lion Street, Inc. provides elite independent life insurance professionals access to the financial products, intellectual capital, and proprietary resources they need to meet the sophisticated needs of their high-net-worth and corporate clients. Over thirty advisor-owner firms nationwide have become part of the Lion Street network through its unique ownership structure. Founded by industry veteran Bob Carter in 2010, Lion Street surpassed its first year firm growth and revenue goals. It continues to actively recruit select firms in key geographic markets.

Lion Street is a portfolio company of Austin Ventures, a venture capital and growth equity firm with $3.9 billion of assets under management. To learn more about Lion Street, visit


1. Rappoport AM, Risk Management Issues For Individuals With Special Emphasis For Women. "2011 Living To 100" paper submission. Society of Actuaries, October 25, 2010.
2. Sun W. et al. Does Staying Healthy Reduce Your Lifetime Health Care Costs? Center for Retirement Research, May 2010, Number 10-8.
3. Fidelity Consulting Services 2011, based on hypothetical couple retiring in 2011, 65 or older with average life expectancies.
4. Peter Kemper, Long-Term Care Over An Uncertain Future: What Can Retirees Expect? Winter 2005 and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, 2010.
5. Jones Al et al, The National Nursing Home Survey: 2004 Overview, National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Health Stat 13(167): 2009. Thompson L., Long-Term Care: Support For Family Caregivers, Issue Brief: Georgetown University, March 2004. National Alliance for Caregiving: Care For The Family Caregiver, The White House Conference on Aging, December 2005.
6. 2008 Valuation Basic Table, Select and Ultimate Nonsmoker, which is based on U.S. insurance company individually underwritten mortality experience.
7. The Cost of Living Longer - Much Longer. SmartMoney Magazine, February 2012.

Contact Information

    Bill Thurston
    EVP Business Development
    Email Contact