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Protecting What Matters Most: Your Loved Ones

 

It’s Insure Your Love month. And what does that mean? Everyone wants the best for their family, whether that’s a spouse, children, aging parents, really anyone you need to take care of. And the numbers back that up: 81% of Americans believe their family is their most valuable asset, according to the new “Protecting What Matters Most Study,” by Edward Jones and Life Happens.

And that’s where life insurance comes in. Every day, you work hard at your job and at home to take care of your loved ones. By having life insurance, it means if something were to happen to you, your loved ones would be OK financially.

But so many people don’t seem to be getting that message. Only four in 10 are protecting their family with an individual life insurance policy. In fact, a third of Americans say that life insurance is a low or is not a priority when starting a family, according to this same study.

Protect what you value most

That’s why Life Happens conducts the Insure Your Love campaign every year. Our goal is to remind people of what they value most: their loved ones, and to remind them to protect them financially with life insurance.

I’m convinced we all want to do the right thing. And often that just comes down to better educating Americans on what life insurance can do. For starters, life insurance can replace or pay for:

  • Lost income

  • funeral costs

  • education costs

  • retirement income

  • estate considerations

  • estate taxes

  • charitable donations

Another little known fact about life insurance is how affordable it is. In fact, most people overestimate how much it costs by three times, and Millennials overestimate its cost by five times, although they usually pay the least due to their age and health. (2018 Insurance Barometer Study, by Life Happens and LIMRA).

For example, a healthy 30-year-old can get a $250,000, 20-year level term life insurance policy for about $13 a month, or as I like to consider it: three Starbucks a month.  Although I enjoy my caffeine fix as much as the next sleep-deprived mom, I gladly make my family a priority over a grande cappuccino.

So protecting your loved ones financially for the “what ifs” is both doable and affordable. Speak with an insurance agent or advisor, who can walk you through your options that fit within your budget. Give us a call! We would love to talk to you! (239) 593-7333

 

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20 Reasons Not to Jettison Your Life Insurance After 60

Let’s think about this: You’ve earned the majority of what you’ll ever earn over the past 40 years. You should have accumulated enough assets to retire and live happily ever after, right?

The ups and downs of the financial markets, however, have been an eye opener about how uncertain your (or anyone’s) financial future may be.

Most people think of life insurance only when they want to protect their family and provide a source of replacement income in the event of their death. They don’t think of it as a buffer to replace lost assets due to market volatility—for example, the market goes south and you die before you have the time to rebuild or replace the lost assets.

They don’t think of life insurance as a buffer to replace lost assets due to market volatility.

Yes, I know. Your children are grown and gone. The mortgage is paid off. You have minimal debts. So, why should someone 60 or older consider purchasing permanent life insurance?

Here are some reasons for life insurance after age 60:Offset loss of retirement income to spouse at death. (Pension max)

 

  1. Pay costs associated with death
  2. Pay final expenses
  3. Pay estate and inheritance taxes
  4. Pay off debts
  5. Pay income in respect of a decedent taxes on IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.
  6. Provide for the care of a disabled child, spouse, etc.
  7. Offset loss of a key person in a small business
  8. Provide funds to buy out interests of a deceased business partner or co-shareholder
  9. Dividends can be a tax-free source of supplemental retirement income
  10. Cash surrender values are a source of emergency funds during life
  11. Cash surrender values can be wholly or partially annuitized to provide additional guaranteed lifetime income
  12. Any unused funds can be used to provide a gift to grandchildren
  13. Provide a gift to charity at death or prior if desired
  14. It adds flexibility to the estate plan

 

You can balance uneven distributions of property or business interests to your children

 

You can spend all your money and still leave a legacy for your children or grandchildren

 

It’s creditor proof in most states

 

It can be designed to provide an “inevitable gain,” no matter when you die

 

It can collateralize loans. As people live longer, they tend to take on more debt or debt that has a longer amortization (just look at all the big houses being built by people who consist of a family of two post-65 adults!)

We will review your situation with you. You may find there are more reasons to own life insurance after age 60 than you think. Give us a call! (239) 593-7333

 

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Five insurance mistakes to avoid... (and still save money)

 

 



Avoid these pitfalls when buying auto, home, flood and renters insurance.

 


 

Saving money feels good. And shopping around when you’re looking for insurance coverage is a great way to do it. However, simply reducing your coverage or dropping important coverages altogether is like diet without exercise—focused only on numbers, not on results. Don’t risk ending up dangerously underinsured and on the hook for much bigger bills in the event of a disaster.

Following are the five most common auto, home, flood and renters insurance mistakes people make, along with suggestions to avert those pitfalls while still saving money (we call them, “better ways to save”):

1. Insuring a home for its real estate value rather than for the cost of rebuilding.

When real estate prices go down, some homeowners may think they can reduce the amount of insurance on their home. But insurance is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding, not the sales price of the home. You should make sure that you have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home and replace your belongings—no matter what the real estate market is doing.

A better way to save: Raise your deductible. An increase from $500 to $1,000 could save up to 25 percent on your premium payments.

2. Selecting an insurance company by price alone.

It is important to choose a company with competitive prices. But be sure the insurer you choose is financially sound and provides good customer service.

A better way to save: Check the financial health of a company with independent rating agencies (some well-known ones: A.M. Best, Moody's), and ask friends and family members about their experiences with insurers. Select an insurance company that will respond to your needs and handle claims fairly and efficiently.

3. Dropping flood insurance.

Damage from flooding is not covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Coverage is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as from some private insurance companies. You may not be aware you’re at risk for flooding, but keep in mind that 25 percent of all flood losses occur in low risk areas. Furthermore, yearly weather patterns—spring runoff from melting winter snows, for example—can cause flooding.

A better way to save: Before purchasing a home, check with the NFIP to determine whether a property is situated in a flood zone; if so, you may want to consider a less risky area. If you are already living in a designated flood zone, look at mitigation efforts that can reduce your risk of flood damage and consider purchasing flood insurance. Additional information on flood insurance can be found at www.FloodSmart.gov.

4. Only purchasing the legally required amount of liability for your car.

The minimum is just that—the least you can get away with by law. So buying only the minimum amount of liability means you are likely to pay more out-of-pocket later. And if you are sued, those costs can jeopardize your financial well-being.

A better way to save: Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on older cars worth less than $1,000. The insurance industry and consumer groups generally recommend a minimum of $100,000 of bodily injury protection per person and $300,000 per accident.

5. Neglecting to buy renters insurance.

A renters insurance policy covers your possessions and additional living expenses if you have to move out due to an insured disaster, such as a fire or hurricane. Equally important, it provides liability protection in the event someone is injured in your home and decides to sue.

 

A better way to save: Look into multi-policy discounts. Buying several policies with the same insurer, such as renters, auto, and life will generally provide savings.

 

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