The Nuts and Bolts of Life Insurance

The Nuts and Bolts of Life Insurance

Looking for some straight forward answers to common life insurance questions?

If you want answers but don’t want to be judged, here are some questions and answers you may be looking for.

Can You Take Out a Life Insurance Policy on Someone Else?

You must have their consent and you must be able to prove you have an insurable interest. If you are asking if you can take out life insurance on someone you don’t know, the answer is no.

Can Someone Insure Your Life Without Your Knowledge?

A life insurance policy requires the consent and signature of the insured. This would make it impossible for someone to insure your life without your knowledge, unless they were to forge your signature. This, of course, is illegal.

Are Life Insurance Proceeds Paid Promptly?

Yes. Unless there are issues with the claim, life insurance proceeds are usually paid within 30 days.

Are Life Insurance Proceeds Paid in a Lump Sum?

Yes. Unless arrangements are otherwise made, benefits are paid in one single payment.

Are Life Insurance Benefits Taxable?

No. Generally speaking, any money you receive as a beneficiary of someone who has passed away is non-taxable. Any interest made on those proceeds, however, may be.

Is Life Insurance Affordable?

Most find it surprisingly affordable. Keep in mind it is most affordable when purchased in good health at a young age, so don’t wait.

Can I Make My Pet My Beneficiary?

No. You can, however, have someone be a caretaker for your pet and assign that person as a beneficiary.

Will I Need to Have a Physical Exam?

The vast majority of life insurance applicants can get coverage quickly and easily with no medical exam.

If you have any questions about life insurance, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are independent agents and are qualified to review life insurance policies issued by any company. Discover how affordable life insurance can be. Connect with us for your quote today!

Worldwide Facts About Life Insurance

Worldwide Facts About Life Insurance

Most don’t give it much thought, but life insurance is a product that extends beyond the U.S. borders. It is sold worldwide. There are some aspects that can change from country to country, while others are the same or similar. Here is a look at “the world” of life insurance.

The United States is the Global Leader in Life Insurance

While life insurance is available in many countries, most of it is still sold in the U.S. In fact, it is estimated that 55% of all life insurance is sold here.

Your Coverage Extends to Other Countries

Your U.S.-based life insurance policy remains in force should you visit, or even move to, another country, assuming you keep your premiums up-to-date. However, you should let your provider know if you have moved.

Life Insurance in China

Life insurance in China is administered by a state-run financial enterprise. Life insurance in China is not mandatory. In terms of overall premiums paid, China is second only to the United States.

Life Insurance in Russia

Life insurance is the most popular insurance product that is non-compulsory in the country. Much like in the United States, a large number of insurance companies compete against each other to gain market share.

Life Insurance in India

IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company is India’s first life insurance firm that started in 2009. The company has seen rapid growth and offers both group and individual insurance policies.

Life Insurance in Egypt

There are only 32 companies selling insurance in Egypt, and only 13 of those are considered life insurance companies.

Life Insurance in Japan

A large percentage of households in Japan have life insurance, making it the third highest country in the world for life insurance premiums.

What is your life insurance situation? Do you have enough to take care of final expenses? What about your debts? Could you pay off your house or provide for your spouse and family? You may be surprised at how affordable life insurance may be. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a free quote today.

Life Insurance: A Good Investment?

Life Insurance: A Good Investment?

Ever since there has been cash value or whole life insurance, there has been a bit of a debate. Is this type of insurance a good investment?

The answer depends on what is precisely meant by the question.

If the question is “is life insurance worth it?”, you should know that in 2020 it is estimated there were over $90 billion in life insurance benefits paid. With most average policies ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, that is a lot of families benefiting from life insurance proceeds.

If the question is asked to determine how life insurance compares with other financial investments, you should first understand that life insurance is a product with benefits of its own. Beyond insuring lives, it may have waiver of premium benefits in case of disability or even a loss of limbs benefit. To a degree, the cash value aspect of life insurance is a “bonus”. Life insurance is not designed to compete with stocks or bonds, for example.

One also needs to keep in mind that there is a risk/reward aspect to traditional financial investments. Life insurance already provides value, is low risk, and has a cash value benefit attached to it.

Finally, it is worthwhile to note that many families, especially young ones, may have a difficult time saving money or investing. Life insurance can provide needed protection while building a nest egg. This equity can be tapped into at a later date for emergencies or opportunities. It may even be used as a starter fund for college or a first car. Cash value life insurance can make it a bit easier to set aside some money.

If you have questions about what is called whole life, permanent or cash value insurance, we encourage you to reach out to one of our independent life insurance agents. They can discuss your situation and your goals and go shopping for a life insurance policy that can help you meet those goals. If you already have some life insurance, they can even review those policies with you and help you determine if they have any current cash value. Contact us today.

Conquering Life’s Fears

Conquering Life’s Fears

Ask someone what their biggest fear is and you may get an answer like spiders, snakes, or heights. The truly big fears, however, may be deeper, like a fear of illness, death, poverty, or loneliness.

There are about as many ways to deal with fears as there are fears themselves. There is some consensus, however, from many experts on the best way to deal with your daily fears.

Admit or Acknowledge Your Fears

Ignoring your fear may be convenient, but it will never help you overcome it. The first step in defeating your fears is to admit you have them. Identify and acknowledge them.

Investigate Them

When you learn about your fears, you not only become more educated about them, but it can also help take some of the power away from them. Recognizing that spiders or snakes may be far more fearful of you than you are of them, or that your odds of dying in a car crash far exceed that of being killed in a plane crash, may help you be just a bit more rational in your fears.

Change Your Physical State

Fears can create physical changes in us. Taking control of those physical changes can help us deal with our fears. Aerobic exercise, pumping yourself up with a chest slap, meditation, and practicing mindfulness can all help. Even a few deep breaths can help calm nerves and help us reset.

Focus on the Results, not the Process

Think about the rewards associated with conquering your fears as opposed to what it takes to get through them. Wouldn’t it be terrific to actually enjoy flying, being in an elevator, or in large crowds? Defeating fears can lead to tangible, positive changes in your life.

A reasonable and rational fear of death may be normal, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking steps to protect your family in case something happens to you. Getting life insurance is easy, doesn’t take a lot of time, and can be surprisingly affordable. Contact one of our independent life insurance agents for your free quote today. We look forward to helping you.

Breakfasts Across the Globe

Breakfasts Across the Globe

They say a healthy, happy life is simply a string of healthy happy days. Many believe that the key to a happy, healthy day is a good breakfast. One could conclude, then, that a good breakfast is fundamental to a healthy, happy life. There is no doubt that in the U.S. we have diverse views on what a good breakfast consists of. For some, it may be pancakes or bacon and eggs. Others may enjoy cereal and juice. For others, a cup of coffee and a Danish gets them going. Not only do we have a wide choice of foods for breakfast in America, that selection gets wider when looking at breakfasts across the planet.

Japan

Breakfast in Japan can often include miso soup, fermented soy beans, grilled fish, and steamed rice. It could also include pickled vegetables, dried seaweed, and other vegetables.

Germany

Breakfast in Germany may consist of lots of a variety of breads and rolls served with butter, jams, and honey. Germans may also start their day with some thinly sliced meats and cheeses, and perhaps some Leberwurst.

Italy

Italian breakfasts frequently include sweets like pastries, cakes, biscuits, and other baked goods served with beverages like juice, coffee, and milk.

Egypt

Egyptian families often start the day with falafel, eggs, cheese, and pita bread. Falafel in Egypt is often made from fava beans that have been soaked overnight in water. Hummus is often served at the morning meal.

Vietnam

Most Vietnamese foods contain plenty of rice, so it is no surprise that a favored breakfast is Gongeee, or rice porridge. Another favorite, the bahn mi, is a tasty, inexpensive, and portable breakfast sandwich perfect for those in a hurry.

India

India is highly vegetarian and their breakfast foods reflect that. They include flatbread, thin crepes made of beans, and steamed rice-dough pancakes. Breakfasts also include spiced potatoes and servings of dips and chutneys.

A good breakfast is one of life’s nice little joys. Life insurance can help you protect those joys for your family. If you are unsure of your life insurance coverage or would like to explore life insurance costs, we encourage you to contact us. We will be happy to review your current coverage and secure a quote that fits your budget. We look forward to assisting you.

Thought Provoking Questions for Parents to Ask Their Young Children

Thought Provoking Questions for Parents to Ask Their Young Children

If you have young children, you probably ask them often: “How was your day?”, “Did you have a good day?”, or “Did you learn anything today?” The responses have probably been equally mundane. “Fine,” “Good,” “Nothing”.

What if you could ask your kids questions that might elicit a more thoughtful response? Here are some examples.

“Were you nice or helpful to anyone today?”

This can jumpstart their memory of the day and gently suggest that being nice and helpful is something they should focus on a bit every day.

“Tell me about any compliments you got or gave today.”

Again, this can help your child review his or her day and allow them to put weight on giving compliments.

“What was the best part of today?”

This can help your child separate the elements of their day and help them recognize the best parts of their day. It also communicates that you like hearing about these happy events.

“Who did you play with today?”

This can help you learn who your child’s best friends are and if they are playing with the same children each day.

“Was anyone mean to you today?”

You have to be careful not to over-react to any answers you may get to this question. Kids argue and fight, and teachers often have to correct students. It can still give you some interesting information, especially over weeks and months.

“Did you notice how (sunny, hot, rainy, windy, cloudy etc.) it was today”?

This can help your child’s ability to observe and appreciate his or her surroundings. It also helps make a connection with you, and although you may be apart, you still share some things like the weather.

“Did you think about me today?”

This allows your child to express their feelings and provides you with the opportunity to tell them you think of them throughout the day as well.

“What would you like to tell me about your day?”

This gives permission to your child to say what’s on their mind. Maybe they don’t know how to express it based on “How was your day?” but when you ask them what they would like to tell you about, it gives them a wider platform.

Communicating with children is not easy. It can take work. Crafting thoughtful open-ended questions can really pay off. What would you really like to know about your child or your child’s day? Here’s a thought. Ask them and have a conversation.

Being a parent brings great responsibility. Life insurance can play a small but important role in fulfilling that responsibility. We can help make it easier. Just contact us and let’s talk briefly about your situation and goals. You may be surprised at how affordable and rewarding taking care of your family with sufficient life insurance can be.

About That Bucket List

About That Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? For some, it is an actual list they keep updated. For others, it is more of an expression like “I’ll have to put that on my bucket list.” Basically, it is a wish list of tasks the person would like to accomplish before they die (kick the bucket).

Bucket lists vary by age, sex, financial situation, education, and even unfulfilled aspirations. We don’t give it much thought, but the items on a bucket list are impacted by where a person lives. A recent survey in the U.K., for example, showed that 40% of respondents had “Walking along the Great Wall of China” on their lists.

Most bucket list items fall into one of three major categories.

Travel

People like to go places and see things. Most have one or two places that top their list. Typical travel bucket list goals may be to go to Hawaii, see the Northern Lights, visit the Pyramids of Egypt, and apparently walk along the Great Wall of China. Where do you want to go?

Adventure

Adventure and physical goals play a role in the bucket lists of many. Frequently, near the top, there is skydiving. Many also include completing a marathon, scuba diving, bungee jumping, surfing, and mountain climbing. It seems annually there are some 89 plus year olds making the news for tandem skydiving.

Personal Achievements

Some of the most inspiring bucket list achievements are those of a very personal nature. It is inspiring to hear about an 80-year-old person who reached her goal of getting her college degree. There are stories of children who have spent decades finding parents or long-lost family members. Is there something on your list that is fueled or motivated by personal experience?

A bucket list serves as both a reminder that our time is limited and a hope that there is still time to achieve some goals.

Life insurance has a similar effect. Yes, it is a reminder that our time is limited, but it is also an opportunity to take the steps we need to take now. If you are unsure of your life insurance coverage, we encourage you to contact us for a life insurance review. We can even quote current rates. Contact us today for the peace of mind you deserve.

Classic Games for Grandparents to Teach Young Grandchildren

Classic Games for Grandparents to Teach Young Grandchildren

There’s nothing quite like passing down knowledge from one generation to another. Grandparents may teach grandchildren how to cook, put together a model, knit, garden, work with wood, and more. Perhaps one of the most pleasant of these experiences is when Grandma or Grandpa teaches their grandchildren timeless, classic board games. There is bonding that is done and memories that are made, all possible because of some simple, time-honored games. Here are a few.

Checkers

An almost required stop between tic-tac-toe and chess, checkers is a strategy game that is still simple to learn and play. What could be better than plotting out a multi-jump play or hearing a young voice yell “King Me!”

War

Teaching a young person about war would seem to be contrary to good grandparenting, but not when it’s played with a deck of cards. The rules are straightforward. Cards are dealt equally among players, and each turns over one card at a time. The highest card takes the lesser card, with aces being the highest. Ties are played out with an additional card put at risk face-down for each player and then another card flipped to determine the highest winning card. The winner takes the cards that were originally tied, the two face-down cards, and the additional played cards. You know your grandchild is growing up when they complete an entire game.

Memory Match Game

This game can be played with cards or even some 3×5 cards. There should be two cards for each image, and the cards should be shuffled and turned face down on a table. Players select a card, and then choose another they feel matches it. If they are correct, they take the cards off the board. Play continues until all cards are “won” and the winner is the person who made the most matches.

Build a Domino Wall

More of a challenge than a game, if you have access to a number of dominoes or similar-sized tiles, you can have hours of fun. Place dominions on the edges within falling distance of each other. The goal is to build a long trail with curves, level changes, and other challenges without knocking it over before completion. Of course, the real joy comes in starting its chain reaction and seeing it fall to completion.

The only way to know if your grandchild is ready is to play! Enjoy.

Have you reviewed your life insurance recently? Many haven’t given it a thought for years. Reviewing your insurance policies, including life insurance, is a good part of fiscal planning. We invite you to contact us for an independent review of your life insurance policy. There is no cost and there is no obligation.

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Buying Life Insurance

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Buying Life Insurance

Buying life insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, when you have the assistance of one of our independent life insurance agents, it can be quite easy and simple. That is related to our first mistake to avoid when buying life insurance.

Going It Alone

Our independent life insurance agents are available to help you through the process, answering your questions along the way. They can even shop for life insurance for you from a network of life insurance companies. There’s no need to go it alone when you have the help of one of our independent life insurance agents.

Waiting Too Long to Acquire It

Life insurance rates tend to rise the older you get. Yet many will put off its purchase while buying other products and services. If you wait too long, you may not be able to afford as much as you deserve, your health may change, making it more expensive or other factors could make it impossible to acquire.

Not Securing Enough Life Insurance

If you are going to apply for life insurance, get as much as you can comfortably afford. Choose less expensive term insurance to get more.

Buying Too Much Life Insurance

Far too many life insurance policies lap for non-payment because the insured made too large of a financial cmmittment to life insurance. Make sure you can still afford your life insurance premiums even if there should be a slight downturn in your income. Lapsed life insurance policies negatively impact the insured and the insurance company.

Thinking Once You Purchased It, it is Off Your List

Your needs for life insurance will likely change as you move down the path of life. Check in on your life insurance policy every year or two and make sure it is still meeting your current needs.

If you would like to explore your life insurance options, please contact us. Let’s talk about your goals, needs, and responsibilities. Let’s discuss your options and your budget. Connect with us and avoid these five common insurance mistakes. We look forward to assisting you.

Is There an Upper Age Limit to Buying Life Insurance?

Is There an Upper Age Limit to Buying Life Insurance?

It has been stated repeatedly. The best time to buy life insurance is when you are young and healthy. The reason, of course, is that this is when life insurance is the least expensive. Buying whole life or permanent insurance when you are younger also has the added benefit of accumulating cash value for a longer period of time. Is there a time, however, when you may become too old to qualify to buy life insurance?

The first thing to understand is that while there are general regulations for the life insurance industry, every life insurance company has its own underwriting policies. This means you may find companies willing to insure you no matter what your age is, based on certain restrictions.

As a general rule of thumb, however, most life insurance companies will stop accepting applications for life insurance for those who have reached 75 or 80 years of age. Some companies have much lower age restrictions.

At some age, especially after 80, the limits, restrictions, and premiums will make life insurance a decreasingly appealing decision.

If you are in your forties, fifties, or even sixties, you can find life insurance products to cover final expenses and more. That is, if you are in reasonable health and your height and weight are proportionate.

The longer you wait, however, the more your options will be limited and the more expensive coverage may be. Should you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or other health problems, coverage may become more challenging to find. Let us help.

As independent life insurance agents, we represent a network of life insurance companies who specialize in offering a variety of life insurance products. Some of these companies specialize in insuring older clients. Put our team and experience to work for you.

Contact us and let’s discuss your situation and a budget you can feel comfortable with. Getting started is just that simple. We will work on options for you, and the final decision is always yours. We would appreciate the opportunity to serve you!