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Here comes Thanksgiving!

In a few days we will all be sitting down with our favorite people (hopefully they rank among our favorites)  and eat all the delicious food.  However, there are the dangers of Thanksgiving that one must be aware of (cue ominous music). For example, the classic, “Who poisoned the sweet potatoes and marshmallows?” Or, or… you know, you could accidentally get a turkey leg stuck in your throat and choke. People have been known to display extremely gluttonous behavior on this wonderfully hazardous day!

Or…

A tribe of angry Native Americans could charge into your family gathering, wielding spears packed with the wrath of centuries worth of being misunderstood and segregated, then having a holiday created in their name depicting what really happened as something worth celebrating.

We are just kidding – we hope! We just wanted to give you a laugh and a smile, but also wanted to express the importance of the various types of insurance you need to protect you during the holidays – and on all days!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

No More 9-5

Our lives change daily and sometimes super-fast and dramatically. It isn’t as ‘easy’ as it was back in the day. The 9-5 lifestyle of the man working and the woman at home has changed. Yes, it still happens, but it is not as common as it once was. It has become more common for both parents to work outside the home, because of the increase in the cost of living and the need to cover all expenses. Trying to cover basic needs can be overwhelming. Keeping a roof over your head, gas in the car and food in the fridge is a herculean task in itself, let alone trying to afford private school tuition for your kids or paying off college loans or even simply building up the savings account so you can cover unexpected costs like repairs for your car.

Imagine if you didn’t have all the income you needed to cover all your expenses. Imagine of you were suddenly left without the second income – or worse, left without your spouse due to a sudden and unexpected death. The stress of thinking how hard that would be on your loved ones is why we talk so often about the importance of having a life insurance policy that will support your family when you die. There is a lot of comfort in knowing your family won’t have to struggle through a financial mess, that your kids will be taken care of, that your small business will still survive.

There are plenty of options when it comes to your life insurance. We offer a very personalized service – as personalized as you want. Whether you speak to use directly purchase online, we hope you get a life insurance policy sooner rather than later.

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Living a Fulfilling Life

Jody and Dennis tried for a long time to exp and their family before finally being able to adopt multiple children. Dennis developed a great relationship with his insurance agent and Jody knew that they had a huge need for life insurance to protect their children. Jody and Dennis chose to live a very fulfilling life, while making the future of their children their number one priority.

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One-way Rollercoaster

Life can be like a rollercoaster- full of ups and downs, corkscrews, high speeds and maybe even some motion sickness. There are times when all of us feel like we don’t matter as much as we should or even that we are undeserving of certain things.

No matter how many sudden drops you are thrown over, no matter how many sharp turns at high speeds lie ahead, no matter how motion sick life events you may make you feel, you should never question yourself. You deserve an amazing life and you deserve to protect yourself and your loved ones.

By protection, we mean Life Insurance. People often think they don’t need to bother with life insurance, because of their lack of husb and/wife or lack of children. Others think they don’t need life insurance, because they are young, healthy, and think they are invincible. Some people don’t think they can get affordable life insurance, because they’re elderly or have a pre-existing/current medical issue. Some people think they don’t need life insurance because they think they are financially set for the future with a simple retirement plan.

If you fall into any of those categories, please underst and that we are being honest when we tell you that YOU ARE WRONG.
No matter what you do in life, no matter what your age or job title or health history, your life is valuable and is worth protecting. Life is only a one-way ticket on the rollercoaster ride. Make sure you have all areas of it covered and protected.
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Family Health Insurance Plan – Saving Money Is Becoming Easier

Every once in awhile there will be front page news about the health care crisis. The escalating costs for hospital and physician services are making it more difficult for the insurance companies to stay competitive and at the same time take care of the needs of their policyholders. A family health insurance plan in today’s marketplace is evolving into something quite different from years past. The employer group health insurance insures the majority of Americans but there is a trend developing. There are more folks leaving their employer to start their own business. When you add that group of people to the folks that leave their employer because of lay-offs, illness, and terminations then you are creating a great dem and for family health insurance.

Insurance companies are working hard to develop new solutions. The federal government has great interest in health care insurance. The hospitals and physicians are deeply affected by the insurance industry.
There has been a major shift in thinking about health insurance. It has become increasingly clear that higher deductible health insurance plans are much more cost efficient in the long run compared to the low deductible plans of years past. The higher deductibles reduce the cost of health insurance dramatically. The lower deductibles are no longer in vogue. The high premiums for the low deductible no longer justify the premiums.

Today’s Trends

1. High Deductible Major Med – The insurance professionals are encouraging people to take the higher deductible major medical policies. You are well protected for a major illness or injury in exchange for self-insuring the smaller claims.

2. Health Savings Accounts – This is the federal government’s contribution to the health insurance dilemma. These savings accounts are established by the individual for medical expenses only. They are tax deductible similar to an IRA and are great vehicles to use for the out of pocket expense from the higher deductible.

Affordable Family Health Insurance Quote – Things To Know

Whether you are seeking health insurance through your employer or on your own you will be offered a variety of plans. In order to make the proper decision about which plan is right for you it is important to know the basic characteristics of the most popular types of health insurance. After this it is wise to get many quotes on health insurance and compare them. This is a free way to compare plans and prices.

Fee for service

For many years the fee for service plan was very popular and widely used type of health insurance. The insured pays a monthly fee. A deductible is applied to the cost of the services. Some services related to healthy living or emergency services may be exempted from the deductible. Once the deductible has been met the insured and the insurance company share the cost of services. For most companies the split may be 80/20 or 70/30. The company pays eighty or seventy percent, the insured pays twenty or thirty percent. There will be a cap on the total amount of money the insurance company will pay in a lifetime.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

HMOs have become increasingly more common in the last decade. Again, the insured pays a premium which makes him/her a member of the HMO. As a member of the group the member is entitled to visit any of the doctors who are part of the group. These doctors may all work together in an HMO facility or may work in individual clinics as part of a group of doctors under contract to the HMO. Members may have to pay what is called co-pay when they visit the doctor. No paperwork is necessary to validate the claims of an HMO member; however, members may wait longer for non-emergency appointments than they would with a fee for service insurance program. An HMO generally requires its members to have a primary care physician who then refers the member to a specialist if needed.

Preferred Provide Organizations (PPO)

The PPO, a blend of the fee for service model and the HMO model, is a fast growing sector of health insurance. As with an HMO there is a network of doctors from which the insured chooses his/her physician. This physician is responsible for designating the need for specialized care. A co-payment will be required when an office or hospital visit is made. There will also be a deductible and medical expenses will be divided at an agreed upon scale between the insured and the insurance company operating the PPO. A person may choose to use a doctor who is outside of the network. Expenses incurred for medical care outside the network will make the patient’s share higher.

Please collect as many quotes as possible in order to compare services and rates. This is a free way to learn a lot about all of your options.

April 11th The Date That Changed the Conway Family Forever

For most individuals birthdates and anniversaries are memorable dates that are marked on a calendar. They are memorable because they represent a number of positive changes that impacted our lives. The Conway Family has those types of dates marked on a calendar, but they also have the date April 11 mentally marked.

People die in car accidents every day. Be sure your family has life insurance to protect them.
People die in car accidents every day. Be sure your family has life insurance to protect them.

April 11th is a particularly memorable date for The Conway Family because that is the date their lives changed dramatically.

The Conway Family was a friendly, loving family. The father, James, worked full-time at the local factory, while S andy, the mother, stayed at home to raise their two children, Peter age 6 and Gina age 10. S andy was extremely active in the school’s PTA, children’s sporting events, and other organizations throughout the community. That was the general picture of The Conway Family until April 11.

One evening while James was on his way home from a late night shift the unfortunate happened. A drunk driver failed to stop at a red light and slammed into James’s car. The impact killed James instantly and forever changed the lives of The Conway Family.

After the initial shock of the incident wore off, S andy was left with a tremendous task of piecing everything together. There were bills to pay, mortgages to h andle, and food to purchase; all of which were usually purchased with the money James brought home.

James had always been the main bread winner of the family and while S andy knew the truth was she would eventually find a job; the task seemed extremely difficult with 2 children and the money needed to come in right now. Luckily, James made one very important and potentially family lifesaving decision – he purchased life insurance.

James purchased a decent life insurance policy that allowed S andy to collect a considerable amount as part of the policy’s death benefit. This single decision helped The Conway Family considerably. It allowed S andy to pay the mortgage bills that allowed her to save the house and keep a roof over the family’s head. It allowed her to purchase food and clothing, and it even allowed her to set up a small college fund for the children.

That single decision on James’s part to purchase life insurance was a true lifesaver. It prevented his family from being fatherless, homeless, and husb andless in the event of his untimely passing.

Barbara Fosberg: Rising to Challenges

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Ds3KeoKRrOw[/youtube]Barbara Fosberg is an attractive, elderly practicing attorney who chose to attend law school late in life after her husb and, a former State Department attaché retired. After a melanoma scare, Barbara sought out long-term care insurance for the two of them in the event that the condition recurred. As life would have it, her deeply intelligent, multilingual developed Alzheimer’s disease. The situation soon progressed beyond what Barbara could h andle at home even with provided nursing assistant. After touring Sherman Oak’s nursing homes, she finally discovered a small group home limited to eight patients. Because of their coverage, she was able to keep her home instead of “spending down” to Medicaid-level poverty to provide for his nursing home care.

The House’s Solid Business

[youtube]http://youtu.be/E2MIJe1BAWM[/youtube]Jim House, 49-years old, was the owner of a thriving car dealership, grown with loving care from the tiny one first founded by his gr andfather. The Reymore dealership could sit on any corner in North Hills. He and his wife Nancy, parents of two grown children, were active and travelled often in apparent excellent health. Jim collapsed upon arriving at work on morning and died despite a medically induced coma. He had earlier purchased both personal and business insurance and Nancy was quick to meet with dealership employees to explain the protections Jim had put in place for them all, including a Key Man Life Insurance Policy to get them through their grieving process and reorganization. This reassurance helped employees continue to perform their jobs knowing that their futures had not been jeopardized by the owner’s untimely death. Judy also commented at length on the personal life insurance policy protection Jim had gifted to her and the family. “I didn’t have to worry about losing my home. We could keep our st andard of living. I think that was important to him.”

 

Life Insurance–How Much Is Enough?

You are probably aware of the importance of having enough life insurance coverage to h andle the financial contingencies that may affect your family in the event of your death. However, determining the necessary amount of life insurance can be complicated. One general rule of thumb is that you should have enough coverage to equal five to seven times your annual salary. However, you may want to determine the “right” amount of life insurance coverage with a careful “needs analysis,” rather than using an arbitrary formula.

The needs analysis approach incorporates an evaluation of your family’s most important financial obligations and goals. This leads to planning insurance coverage to help address mortgage debt, college expenses, and future family income, as well as to provide liquidity for meeting future estate tax liabilities.

Mortgage Debt

The first point worthy of consideration is whether your life insurance proceeds will be sufficient to help pay the remaining mortgage on your home. If you are carrying a large mortgage, you may need a sizable amount. If you own a second home, that mortgage should also be factored into the formula.

College Expenses

Many people want life insurance proceeds large enough to help cover their children’s college expenses, and possibly, graduate school. The amount needed can be roughly calculated by matching the ages of your children against projected college costs adjusted for inflation. This calculation should be revised periodically as your children get closer to college age, and it may be a good idea to be as conservative as possible when estimating long-term savings goals.

Continuing Income for Your Family

The amount of income you will need to help provide for your surviving spouse and dependents will vary greatly according to your age, health, retirement plan benefits, Social Security benefits, other assets, and your spouse’s earning power. Many surviving spouses may already be employed or will find employment, but your spouse’s income, alone, may not be sufficient enough to cover the monthly expenses of your family’s current lifestyle. Providing a supplemental income fund can help your family maintain its st andard of living.

Estate Taxes

Life insurance has long been recognized as an effective method for establishing liquidity at death to pay estate taxes and maximize asset transfers to future generations. However, this use of life insurance requires qualified legal expertise to help ensure the proper results.

Existing Resources

If your current assets and retirement plan death benefits are sufficient to cover your financial needs and obligations, you may not need additional life insurance for these purposes. However, if they are inadequate, the difference between your total assets and your total needs may be funded with life insurance.

There are many factors to consider when completing a needs analysis. In addition to the areas already mentioned, some other questions you might want to address include the following:

1. How much will Social Security provide and for how long?

2. How do you “inflation-proof” your family income, so the real purchasing power of those dollars does not decrease?

3. What is the earning potential of your surviving spouse?

4. How often should you review your needs analysis?

5. How can you use life insurance to help provide retirement income?

6. How do you structure your estate to reduce the impact of estate taxes?

7. Which assets are liquid and which would not be reduced by a forced sale?

8. Which assets would you want your family to retain because of sentiment or future growth possibilities?

As you develop an insurance strategy, remember to analyze your existing policies. Calculate the additional coverage you may need based on your family’s financial obligations and any other resources, such as retirement benefits and savings. Remember, having the proper life insurance coverage can play a major role in any family’s financial protection.

MetLife, its agents, and representatives may not give legal or tax advice. Any discussion of taxes herein or related to this document is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be complete or cover every situation. Tax law is subject to interpretation and legislative change. Tax results and the appropriateness of any product for any specific taxpayer may vary depending on the facts and circumstances. You should consult with and rely on your own independent legal and tax advisers regarding your particular set of facts and circumstances.

Copyright © 2010 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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This article appears courtesy of Karl Susman.  Karl Susman is a representative of the New Engl and Life Insurance Company. He focuses on meeting the individual insurance and financial services needs of people on the West Coast.  You can reach Karl at the office at (424) 785-4337. New Engl and Life Insurance Company, 501 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

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