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No Gym Required for These (Financial) Fitness Tips

 

 

If you’re like me, your social-media feeds are jammed with headlines about getting “healthy and fit” in the new year. Of course, they’re referring to diet and exercise and common resolutions to drop pounds and work out more often.

But it’s just as important to be concerned about your financial fitness—where you can also drop some baggage and get some strength training without going near a gym. (In fact, if you have a subscription to a gym membership but aren’t going, that’s one financial fix you can make right now.)

Here are some tips to consider for any age:

IN YOUR 20s:

Workout: Have a portion of each paycheck deposited into your savings account, or take advantage of bank programs that “round up” or have other automated savings features. Trust me, you won’t feel this burn.

Diet: Start making coffee at home or at the office instead of going for expensive lattes. Fewer calories, and more money in your pocket. This is a good time to consider getting life insurance (whether you are single or attached) as it is less expensive the younger and healthier you are.

You also need to consider disability insurance, which pays you a portion of your salary if you are sick or injured and unable to work—because who would pay your bills if you couldn’t? Your work may offer this as an employee benefit, so check with your HR department to find out if you have it and what it covers (short-term, long-term disability, etc.)

IN YOUR 30s:

Workout: You probably have a retirement program at work or some other preliminary retirement planning in place. If you don’t, start.

If you do, why not increase the amount you divert into retirement by a percentage point each year—equaling your company match percentage, if they have it, is a good target.

Remember, when you leave a job, you typically lose that life insurance offered through your workplace.

Diet: You may not have gotten life insurance beyond what you have through your workplace, but now is the time to consider an individual policy that you own. Remember, when you leave a job, you typically lose that life insurance offered through your workplace. And, given that life insurance through the workplace usually equals one or two times you salary (or a set amount like $50,000), it’s no longer going to cut it if you have a growing family.

If money’s tight, as it often is with a growing family, lingering student loans, and perhaps a mortgage, a term life insurance policy can protect you through the lean years. But don’t overlook the long-term benefits of a permanent life insurance policy. The cash value can be tapped later for needs that may arise. Plus, there’s nothing that says you can’t have a combination of both.

Also, consider an individual disability insurance policy that you personally own and follows you throughout your career. If you’re relying on work coverage, know that it goes away when you leave that job, and often these policies have bare-bones coverage.

IN YOUR 40s:

Workout: Do you have a financial professional helping you out? Navigating the ins and outs of a growing investment portfolio can be tricky as you move through your career and want to use traditional or Roth IRAs, and the tax benefits of various planning strategies. This may also be the time that you can add a permanent life insurance policy, if you haven’t before, which allows you to accrue cash value and obtain benefits that extend later into your life.

Diet: If you’re still carrying extra debt at this point, it’s time to get that paid down. Tackle higher-interest debts first, and celebrate each paid-off card or loan with … a bigger payment to the next one on the list.

IN YOUR 50s:

Workout: Max out your retirement contributions, especially once your kids are through college. This is also a good time to start researching things like long-term care insurance, and to make sure that your investment portfolio is built in such a way that you can reach your goals.

Diet: It may be very tempting to take on a new debt now: some folks want a vacation home, or the time may be right to start a business. But beware of any super-risky moves that can spell catastrophe with limited time to recoup losses, or that leave you with unexpected bills.

IN YOUR 60s and beyond:

Workout: Evaluate your Social Security situation against your retirement portfolio to determine the best time to retire. Understand the “living benefits” of your life insurance policies and how annuities may help you create a retirement income stream that you can’t outlive.

Diet: Is it time to downsize? It can be hard letting go of “stuff” so that you can go from that four-bedroom house to a two-bedroom condo. But the financial benefit of doing so may surprise you—plus there is less to clean and take care of (not to mention the ease of jetting off at a moment’s notice with no need for someone to look after your home.)

A lot depends on factors like your relationship status, your career path, whether you have kids or not, and what your long-term goals are, and these can change at any time in our lives.

The long and short of it is that just as when it comes to “health and fitness” goals, you’d get an annual physical. Need to know if you’re financially fit? Talk to an insurance professional or financial advisor today.

 

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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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