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Discounts Everywhere

Do you like discounts?  I know I do!  In fact, I don’t now anyone that doesn’t like to save money!  There are numerous factors that can determine the type of discounts you are eligible to receive on your car insurance.  Your gender, age, location, and driving record are the most common discounts that most of us either know about, hear about, and/or currently receive.  However, the majority of us out there have no idea how many other discounts are available – and if we don’t know about them, then we can’t ask about them, and then we can’t receive them!

You can potentially get discounts for – age, gender, location, driving record, driving training courses, multiple vehicles, policy bundling, being a good student, maintaining low mileage, having a low-risk profession, having a public service career, holding a degree in a specifc occupation, have memberships to  auto clubs, credit unions, alumni organizations ( and more), bing in the military, being a federal employee, paying your policy in full – and SO MUCH MORE.

That is nowhere near an all encompassing list of potential discounts.  Speak to your insurance agent as soon as possible and see how much money you could be saving with all these “hidden” discounts!

 

Let’s Make A Deal

We are all always on the look-out for the best deals.  From groceries to cars to vacations.  Everyone wants the best product or service at the very best price.  While there are some groups of people that brag about how much they paid for something, there is a larger group that would rather brag about how much they saved.

I fall into that category.  I LOVE to save money, especially on my favorite items.  I wouldn’t call myself a bargain shopper, but I do spend time looking for a deal.  My personal taste ranges from generic to fancy – it just depends on the item.  While I do believe ‘you get what you pay for’ to a certain extent, I also believe I can purchase most of my stuff on a deal.  I have multiple websites I visit before purchasing an item – obviously at the best price I can find.  I constantly search or travel deals and spent almost a month car shopping.  Like I said, I like to save money – oh, but I don’t coupon which is kind of funny.

One of the items I spent time researching is insurance.  I want the best policy, with the best coverage, at the best price – or at least at a price I can afford and fit into my budget.  Isn’t that what we all want?  I don’t recommend just arbitrarily signing -up for the first insurance company and policy that you find online.  Take time to find an agency AND agent that is the right for you and that offers the polices that you need and the coverage that you want.  You are paying to have added protection for the things most important in your life.  While finding the best deal is always something to brag about, so is finding the absolute best insurance.

video-game-deals

Car Insurance Pricing Plans

The law requires liability insurance for all drivers and vehicles. This means that if you are involved in a serious accident, and it turns out that it was your fault, your insurance company will pay out any claims that are made against you. Extra coverage on your own vehicle, called comprehensive insurance, is optional.

Insurance companies based on a number of risk factors will calculate the price you pay for this insurance. Basically how it works is the more they feel you are at risk of crashing, and the more they think the resulting crash will cost them, the higher the premium you’ll pay.

Assessment

Common factors that will be to assess the premium are the value of the car you’re driving, the safety of that vehicle, the coverage you want, will there be deductibles or limits etc.? How much you’ll drive the car, how your driving record st ands, how long you’ve held your license, your age, and if you are young, also your sex.

The premium is then calculated. Usually there is a flat per car, per year rate that everyone pays, regardless of other factors. The other factors will then alter this rate, generally upwards. So if your car is especially fast or dangerous your rate will be increased by a set amount. If it is very old, your rate goes up. If you’ve had one or more accidents in the past, your rate will go up. If you’re young and male, your rate will go up. The more of these factors you satisfy, the more your rate will be going up.

Discounts

As a sales enhancement, many car insurers offer a “low estimated future mileage” discount to customers who predict that the car’s mileage will be below some stated limit during the next premium period. There is no verification involved and no additional charge if the car is subsequently driven more than the stated amount. This arbitrary discount tends to foster customer belief in the mistaken idea that “miles” are just one of many classification factors used to raise or lower prices from the territorial base rate. In fact, odometer miles (which insurers do not use) are not a factor but a metric – the only valid basis for measuring each car’s consumption of insurance protection in on-the-road use.

The best way to save on car insurance is to shop around, keep a good clean driving record, drive safely, and choose reliable cars that are not known for their power and speed.

I save money on car insurance by driving safely

I have discovered some simple truths about insurance in general, and car insurance in particular.

I’ve learned if you want to save money on your homeowners’ insurance, don’t burn down your house. If you want to save money on health insurance premiums, get healthier. You can even save money on life insurance by losing weight or quitting smoking. I’ve also discovered the irrefutable truth that I save money on car insurance by driving safely.

Being a safe driver will save you money on your car insurance.
Being a safe driver will save you money on your car insurance.

Oh, driving safely doesn’t mean doing 55 in a 70 or putting your turn signal on a block ahead of time. It just means paying attention, practicing some defensive driving skills and of course, obeying the traffic laws. Sounds simple enough, but you may be surprised at the number of grown adults who choose to pay more for their auto insurance by ignoring these things. Then of course, you have those who tempt the car insurance premium gods by texting while driving. To each his own, I guess.

Look, I know I save money on car insurance by driving safely. You can too. Give it a try. You may not only save some money, you may just save a life.

Why I love whole life insurance

If you are looking into life insurance, you have two basic choices. You can choose term insurance or whole life insurance.

Term insurance offers cheaper premiums. With that in mind, why do I love whole life insurance? It may have something to do with the reason I love getting a big tax refund. You see, I know I could change my deductions and get more on each pay, but I kind of like getting that big tax refund. I pay a little more every payday but it pays off each April.

It is the same way with whole life insurance. I may pay more in monthly premiums, but there are two VERY big plusses for me. One is that whole life builds cash value, making it virtually a savings account for me. The other reason is that I know my premiums won’t ever rise. Those are two pretty good reasons. But there’s more.

I have a tough time saving money, so whole life has that built in feature. I pay the premiums and a portion goes into a cash value. It also allows me to access to my built up cash value via policy loans. If I ever need some extra cash on the cheap and don’t want to go to a bank, a whole life policy could be the ticket.

Yes, I’ve heard the expression “buy term insurance and invest the difference.” For me, I love whole life insurance because I am more likely to spend the difference. Whole life helps me save it.

Why I love Life Insurance

There are many things I love. My family and chocolate are just a few. But do you know why I love life insurance? It is true. Let me count the ways.

  1. It can provide a way for my family to pay off all of the mistakes we made in using our credit cards.
  2. It can help pay for a college education for my kids.
  3. It can help leave a legacy for my college or a favorite charity even though I don’t have lots of money.
  4. It can pay off my home, assuring my family has a place to live that they love.
  5. It can give my kids a financial headstart even though I may not be around.
  6. It is affordable and I have options of what type to buy, whole life or term.
  7. It allows me to meet new people like an insurance agent.
  8. I helped me learn a new oxymoron…"death benefits."
  9. It makes me feel better.

Oh, I’m sure there are many reasons to love life insurance but these are just a few of mine. My favorite reason for loving life insurance? It makes me feel better. I bet it will make you feel better too.

Can life insurance finance a new business?

Take four minutes to watch Debbie’s story.  In this story, you will see how Bob, a caring husb and found a way to protect his family while saving to start a new business.

Bob protected his family while saving to start a new business

A little bit of planning went a long long way.

Karl Susman, Agent

Dealing with Debt

Most everyone has, at some point in their lives, accumulated personal debt—some more than others. Whether debt is a cause for concern depends upon a number of factors, including how the economy is functioning, your particular earning and economic prospects for the short and long term, and the type of debt you incur. By being conscious of your spending habits, including credit card use and large purchase habits, you can better underst and ways to control debt—before it starts to control you.

To gain a perspective on personal debt, it is useful to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy debt. Healthy debt refers to borrowing in order to purchase assets that are likely to appreciate in value, such as a home or business. Healthy debt is especially worthwhile to assume if you are able to itemize certain repayments (e.g., home mortgage interest) on your tax return and, as a result, qualify for certain tax deductions.

Unhealthy debt, on the other h and, refers to borrowing in order to purchase consumables or assets that are likely to depreciate in value, such as a vacation or an automobile. Unhealthy debt has taken an even more negative turn since the government stopped allowing tax deductions for most consumer debts, such as personal loans and credit cards.

Debt Management Basics

For most people, managing debt effectively is a learned skill. The following pointers may help you get your debt under control:

Categorize debts. To gain control of personal debt, you might start by developing an overall picture of your current debt situation. Debts should be categorized as healthy or unhealthy. Then, they should be scheduled according to whether they are short-term (e.g., credit cards), intermediate-term (e.g., auto loans), or long-term (e.g., mortgages and home equity lines of credit). The interest rate for each type of debt should be noted.

Pay off the “right” debt first. It usually makes the most sense to pay off high interest rate debt first, especially if the interest is not tax deductible (e.g., credit cards). Ideally, you should have enough in savings to pay off short-term debt, if needed. Because credit cards are typically used to purchase consumables, rather than assets that appreciate, they can easily tempt consumers to live beyond their means. Thus, it is best to develop the habit of paying off this type of debt on a monthly basis.

Avoid the minimum payment trap. Interest that accumulates by stretching out payments can make even a “bargain” costly in the long run. To underst and the impact of making only minimum monthly payments, you may want to ask your credit card company how long it would take to pay off your current balance at that rate, and how much total interest you will ultimately pay. This information prompts many individuals to adopt a “pay-as-they-go” strategy.

Curb impulse spending. If you are prone to impulse spending, you may find it best to avoid shopping when you don’t have a specific purpose in mind. Or, you could try to delay impulse purchases for 24 hours. Once you have had a chance to “sleep on it,” you may discover the impulse has passed.

Benefits in Good Times and Bad

If you are like many people, spending may not be based solely on financial considerations. Emotional factors may sometimes cause confusion between what you think you need, and what you actually do need. Still, the reality of living in the twenty-first century may leave you with little choice but to amass at least some debt. However, with discipline and planned spending, you can most likely manage your debt and live within your means.

Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notification: The information contained in this article is not intended to ( and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties. This article does not support the promotion and marketing of any particular product. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

MetLife [New Engl and Financial] representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor or attorney for such guidance.

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

L0510106050(exp0511)(All States)(DC)

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

Disability Income Protection—Are Your Bases Covered?

Like most people, you may have life insurance to help protect your family against the financial impact of your unexpected death. You may also insure your home, car, and other personal possessions against financial loss resulting from fire, theft, or damage. However, you may have overlooked insuring one of the more important aspects of your financial life—the ability to earn an income.

Thinking the Unthinkable

Have you ever contemplated how long the combined resources of you and your spouse might last if you were suddenly out of work due to a disability? What long-term impact would exhausting your savings during a disability have on your ability to provide for your family and even yourself during your retirement years? If those resources provide less than your monthly expenses, including taxes and regular savings, or if exhausting them would significantly impact your ability to provide for yourself and your family on a long-term basis, you may need disability income insurance. Whether you need an individually owned policy depends on the extent of your liquid assets, your spouse’s income, and other potential sources of disability income, such as employer-sponsored group disability insurance, Social Security, and veterans or union benefits.

Depending on your income and the risk level of your occupation, the maximum coverage you can buy will generally replace 45% to 75% of your pre-disability earnings. The higher your income, the lower the percentage of replacement benefit may be. Typically, premiums will depend on your age, your health, the risk level of your occupation, and the type of coverage.

Examine Policy Provisions

To make sure your disability income insurance offers the protection that you and your family need, your policy should include the following:

  • A definition of total disability that is consistent with the risk of your occupation. You may also want to look for a policy that pays some benefits in the event you are not totally disabled, but you suffer a “loss of income” due to a disability. Often these provisions are called partial or residual disability provisions.
  • A non-cancelable clause that states the insurance company cannot cancel the policy or increase the premium until a certain age (as specified in the policy).
  • Benefits that are payable for the maximum amount of time for which you are eligible based on your occupation and health. Most often, you can find policies that provide benefit eligibility for two years, five years, or all the way until you reach age 65, or even payments beyond 65 for the rest of your life.
  • A waiting period that is consistent with your overall financial resources. The waiting period is the amount of time you must be disabled before becoming eligible for disability benefits. The longer the waiting period you choose, the lower the premium on your policy will be. Typically, you may purchase coverage that provides eligibility for benefits after 30 days of disability or for as long as after two years of disability.

Act Now

Now is the time to investigate the relative benefits and costs of disability income insurance to determine how much you need to spend to attain adequate protection. In addition, it is important to review the particular details and provisions of the policy you are considering with a qualified professional to help ensure your financial needs will be met.

Copyright ã 2010 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

L0910130926(exp0911)(All States)(DC)

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

Money Management Tips for Young Adults

Young adults today face a variety of challenges in their quest for financial security. Some of these obstacles are similar to those faced by previous generations, while others are unique to the times. If you are a young adult, here are five financial tips to help you manage your money and prepare for your future.

1) Invest in your future. Ongoing technological changes in various fields may require continuing education. You may wish to make ongoing career education a priority to enhance your skills and increase your professional potential. The more varied and flexible your skills, the more attractive you may be to prospective employers.

2) Open an emergency savings account. The uncertainty of the workplace may mean that your professional life will be interrupted by career changes. If you need to return to school full-time to change career paths, you may face periods of time without stable income. Creating an emergency fund to cover several months’ worth of living expenses can help you manage work-related transitions. This savings fund can also be used for opportunities, such as starting your own business.

3) Save early and continuously for retirement. Saving for your retirement is your responsibility—so apply discipline and diligence to this ongoing objective. You cannot necessarily depend on the government to provide future Social Security benefits. With employer-sponsored 401(k) plans, the responsibility of saving rests on your shoulders. Although you may be years away from retirement, the key is to make time and compound interest your allies.

4) Let retirement funds accumulate. If you change jobs early or often in your working years, consider rolling over your account into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or new company retirement plan. It may be tempting to cash in the account, especially if you have accumulated only a small amount, but doing so would make it immediately taxable and you may also incur an early withdrawal penalty. Perhaps a greater concern, however, is that you may be unable to make up for time already spent to accrue these savings.

5) Use credit wisely. Credit card companies frequently target young adults with the lure of “easy money.” While credit cards offer convenience (it’s virtually impossible to conduct some transactions, such as reserving airline tickets, without one), they also have the potential to create debt problems. Because payments can be stretched far into the future, overspending on credit can create an illusion of wealth. Paying off the full balance each month is the best way to control your use of credit.

Plan Now for the Future

Remember, the funds you accumulate during your working years may be your primary source of retirement income. Although inflation may threaten your nest egg, a little discipline and common sense over time may help you better manage your current and future financial affairs.

Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, MetLife is providing you with the following notification: The information contained in this brochure is not intended to ( and cannot) be used by anyone to avoid IRS penalties.You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

MetLife and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor or attorney for such guidance.

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

L0910131096(exp1211)(All States)(DC)

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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