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Learning a Vehicle’s Past: What to Look for in a Vehicle History Report

  

No matter how much research or shopping around you do, purchasing a used vehicle always feels like a gamble. If you’re currently in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, there are several factors you definitely need to consider, such as previous maintenance, accidents and more. Sure, you will get some of this information from whomever is coordinating the sale – be it the previous owner or a third-party dealership – but it’s also important to dig deeper than what they are telling you. They are, after all, trying to make a sale, so they may omit any information they think might deter you from making the purchase.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to do a little homework on your own. A great way to gather hard facts about a vehicle’s past is to request a vehicle history report from a reputable organization. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System provides consumers with a list of approved providers, to help ensure they only get 100% accurate information on the vehicle in question.

However, running a vehicle history report is not enough to ensure you don’t get stuck with a clunker. You also have to understand the data the report is giving you. In an effort to spread awareness, DMW.org provides a free sample report on their website to help people become more familiar with the format. If you feel like you still need some help analyzing the information, read on for some tips on what to look for when you have a vehicle history report done on a potential purchase.

NUMBER OF OWNERS

Any good, worthwhile vehicle history report should include a rough estimate of the previous number of owners. It’s a general rule that the quality of a car goes down the more owners it has. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, but if a rather “young” vehicle has had a dozen owners, it’s highly unlikely it has been given the care and maintenance it needs to be a top-performer.

MILEAGE

Another detail included on most reports is the mileage on a vehicle. Sure, you can see this yourself on the odometer if you are purchasing it in person. Yet seeing the build-up over time on the report helps give a more accurate picture of the car or truck’s actual activity over its lifetime. A car owned by a traveling salesman or used by a rental agency will likely have more wear and tear than one used by a person who has a 9-5 desk job.

ACCIDENT AND THEFT RECORDS

The number of accidents should also be noted on the report, along with any records of theft. Both of these details can greatly impact a vehicle’s future performance. For instance, if a vehicle has previously been reported stolen, there’s a chance any number of the parts were tampered with and altered, potentially improperly. The same goes for any repair work done to the car. Sure, it might seem fine, but, depending on how detailed your report is, you will likely have no information on where or who repaired the car or truck, leaving the quality of work done a complete mystery to you. A minor mistake made during a repair five years ago might not be currently causing problems, but over time the quick-fix could wear down and cause more harm than good.

Overview

Obviously the specific details reported will vary by provider, but the three points listed above are pretty standard and should be included on most reports. Scrutinize your vehicle history report with a keen, sharp eye and investigate any discrepancies you find between the data and the story you’ve been told about the car, truck or SUV in question. A little extra work now could potentially save you lots of time and money later.

 

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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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