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Who Needs Life Insurance? See Why You Do.

No matter your age or stage of life, you may have asked yourself at some point: “Do I need life insurance?” The topic of life insurance can be confusing, with several different types available. And sometimes it’s difficult to know how much coverage you need. It might help to understand the two main types of life insurance. Term life insurance provides coverage for a specified period of time — usually between 5 and 30 years. Permanent life insurance lasts as long as you’re living, as long as you continue paying the premiums. You can learn more here about the differences between term and permanent life insurance. While it’s generally a good idea for everyone to have life insurance, there are some situations in life where it’s even more important. Explore the profiles below, and find where you fit in. Even a Single With No Dependents Needs Life Insurance? If you’re…

Life Insurance: Living on the Edge Can Cost You

When it comes to your life insurance, living on the edge can cost you. In 2004, “Along Came Polly” starring Ben Stiller, was in theaters. Ben played  Reuben, a high-strung, by-the-book risk management analyst? One of Rueben’s  biggest clients constantly participated in high-risk hobbies.  Because Reuben assessed risk for a living, these hobbies made him sweat bullets. He understood, the higher the risk, the less likely there was going to be a policy that would protect his client. High-Risk Hobbies What you may deem as regular recreational activities or bucket list agendas may signal a red flag to life insurance companies and people like Reuben. What might be some red flags? For example, if you’re partaking in activities like rock climbing, skydiving or kayaking, you’re a riskier case than someone whose idea of a “rocking” weekend night is a game or two of Mexican Train at home. Also, because you’re riskier…

Should You Transfer Life Insurance to Your Children?

Financial protection translates to security for many parents and knowing their children will be taken care of financially can help provide peace of mind. From the minute your child enters the world, they become your first priority and concern above all else. This won’t change as you consider how to best provide for them, should the unthinkable happen. Did you know you can transfer your life insurance policy to your children?  While this option is not for everyone, you may be in one of the unique situations where this can better help you and your children. For example, if your estate is worth more than $5.59 million, you may consider transferring ownership of your life insurance policy as a means of lowering estate taxes.  You can avoid federal taxation on the life insurance proceeds by transferring ownership to your adult children, or another, trusted beneficiary. Other reasons people transfer ownership of…

7 Simple Ways to Save Money on Taxes This Year

It’s officially tax time – a time to look back over the previous year with an eye toward maximizing deductions and tax credits and lowering your tax burden. Do you find yourself cringing at how much you pay in taxes each year though? You’re definitely not the only one who feels knots in their stomach when reviewing how much in taxes comes out of your paycheck each month. Taxes are unavoidable, but you can minimize the impact they have on your bottom line. While every scenario is different, one thing is universally true, and that is that planning is the key to get the most out of taxes. If you don’t plan, then you’re not going to get anywhere. The good news is there are simple ways you can start planning right now to save on your taxes this year. Taking action now can make a big difference in the…

6 Steps to Achieve Anything on Your Bucket List

Lean in closer, as I would like to introduce you to something that’s a good friend to millions of people from around the globe. The List. Also referred to as The “Stuff I Want to Do Before I Die.” A life list. Most call it a bucket list. What’s on The List? The short answer is: whatever your heart desires. Want to be trilingual? Published in an international magazine? Jump from the side of a cliff? Fly a plane? Shake the President of Canada’s hand? Visit every continent on the planet? Visit outer-space? Eat local for 6 months? Own your own business? Sing jazz in a club or do stand-up comedy? Graduate from law school? Adopt a child? Be debt-free? The best part of the bucket list is that it’s completely up to you. It’s unique to each person. People all over the world use the bucket list as a…

5 Significant Health Benefits of Pets

According to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, a 65 percent of American households have opened their homes and hearts to pets, with dog ownership swelling to 79.7 million households and cat ownership growing to 42.9 million. When it comes to pet ownership, besides simple companionship, there are a number of proven physical, mental and emotional health benefits pet ownership can provide. Here are five of the top benefits of pets: Lower Risk of Allergies and Asthma University of Wisconsin-Madison pediatrician James E. Gern has conducted a number of studies that indicate having a pet can lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent. In fact, his research shows that children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall. Reduced Anxiety, Stress and Blood Pressure Interacting with a pet increases serotonin and dopamine, which produce feelings of contentment and relaxation.…

6 Big Tax Insights Independent Contractors Need to Know

There are countless benefits for those who freelance or operate as an independent contractor. You control your own time, can be your own boss and have the ability to say yes or no to work based on your overall interest and availability. In addition, the Internet age makes being an independent contractor easier and in more demand than ever. What are we getting at? Many independent contractors fear tax time as it can be complicated. It doesn’t have to be though. Here are six tips for making tax season as painless and stress-free as possible when you’re an independent contractor. Know What to Expect If you’re paid $600 or more by an individual client, you should receive a 1099-MISC from that client. Typically, you include Schedule C with your tax return to report any self-employed income – along with any deductions for business expenses. If your net earnings from self-employment…

3 Work Life Insurance Drawbacks: Is It Enough?

Is the life insurance you’re getting through your employer enough to take care of your family? And are you paying too much for that coverage? While basic employer-provided life insurance is low-cost or free, your policy’s face value still may not be high enough. If your premature death would be a financial burden to your spouse and/or children, you may need coverage worth five to eight times your annual salary. Some experts have recommended getting coverage worth 10 to 12 times your annual salary. Both millennials and seasoned professionals alike commonly mistake work life insurance as enough life insurance for their needs, but there are some drawbacks to employer-provided life insurance that you should be aware of. Basic Policies Have Low Limits Life insurance from work typically has a low policy value. Sometimes those life insurance policies are capped at around $100,000. Think about it for a minute. If you pass away, is $100,000…

5 Tips for Improving Work Life Balance

A good work ethic is not only important, it’s vital. Always doing your best and having a positive, proactive attitude will take you far in the workplace, and nothing reinforces a healthy sense of self-worth like a job well done. But with smartphones facilitating around-the-clock accessibility, office hours are starting to extend well past the traditional nine to five, and finding work-life balance is becoming more difficult. While putting in extra hours here and there is inevitable, devoting too much time to work can lead to exhaustion, reduced productivity and compromised job performance. It can also lead to feelings of resentment and neglect on the parts of our families and those closest to us. These five tips can help you strike a balance between your work and your personal life – no matter how busy you are! Prioritize There are only so many hours in a day. To ensure you…

5 Practical Financial Tips for Couples

If you’ve been in a long-term relationship before, you know quite well that in reality, things aren’t perfectly peachy all the time. Healthy relationships involve a lot of support, compromise, honesty and a willingness to have difficult conversations. One of the most commonly challenging topics for couples to discuss is money. With the right approach and some practice, however, getting on the same page about your finances doesn’t have to be a battleground. It’s important to talk to your significant other about both your separate and combined finances. After all, studies show that couples of all ages are happier when they talk to each other about money – and the more often, the better.[1] Taking some quality time to set monetary goals together is also a great way to build trust, address fears, join forces and set your relationship up for long-term success. If you’re feeling a little bit nervous,…

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