family shifts

10 Posts Back Home

Choosing the Right Life Insurance Product: A Primer

shutterstock_59964004Life insurance is one of the best ways to protect the financial security of your loved ones. But with so many options available, selecting the policy you need can be a little daunting. Here are the key things you should focus on:

How Much is Enough?

It’s important to be adequately insured to support your family. A ballpark figure is 8-10 times your current annual income, but there are a variety of factors to consider when coming up with your benefit amount. Life insurance should do more than just replace your annual salary. Other things to cover include funeral expenses, retirement, and any special needs (like tuition or healthcare) for a spouse or child. SelectQuote has an easy-to-use online worksheet to help you determine exactly what you need.

Do your part to help heal the planet — Earth Day 2014

shutterstock_175395194Taking care of the Earth is every individual’s responsibility, and Earth Day (April 22nd) is the perfect time to renew our efforts to help protect the planet.

Going green is easier than you might think. There are minor changes you can make in your daily routine that can help you make a less harmful impact on the environment.

Here are 8 simple things you can do to help reduce your environmental impact and contribute to a healthier planet:

1. Conserve Water – Fixing leaky faucets, taking shorter showers, and turning off the water while you brush your teeth, are only a few of many ways you can conserve water. Here are 100+ more ideas for saving water.

Relax: It’s good for your health

shutterstock_140001901Whether it’s caused by short-term or long-term factors, stress can take a toll on our health. Being overly anxious or stressed doesn’t just have mental effects — it has physical effects as well. The more stressed we get, the more vulnerable we are to colds, flus, and more chronic and life-threatening illnesses, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Relaxation is good for you and it doesn’t take as much time as you think. You don’t need a trip to the spa or a weekend away to de-stress. The following 10 tips will have you more relaxed in fewer than 15 minutes:

1. Drink Green Tea – The amino acid found in green tea, called L-Theanine, has been shown to have a soothing, calming effect on those who drink it. During the time it takes you to boil the water, close your eyes and try to clear your mind.

Spring-clean your finances

shutterstock_77476915Most people think of their over-stuffed garages and closets when they think of spring-cleaning, but just after tax season is the perfect time to re-evaluate and tidy up your finances.

Here are 8 steps for getting your finances in order:

  1. Evaluate your debt – How much do you owe, and what kind of interest rates are you dealing with? Speak with your mortgage lender and credit card company to see if they can lower your interest rates (it never hurts to ask). Decide what you want to start paying down or off first, and create a debt-reduction plan.
  2. Update your budget – If you’ve experienced any significant budget changes, like a job change or going from two incomes to one, take this time to re-evaluate your household financials. Look at how you’ve been spending and consider how you’d like to be spending. Once you have that figured out, you can see where you might want to cut back in order to put more into your savings.

Keep your Heart Happy and Healthy

shutterstock_125235452Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., making your level of risk a big concern for life insurance providers. This risk grows even larger when combined with smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and lack of exercise.

These are all factors that life insurance providers take into account when considering someone for a policy, so, do yourself and your finances a favor and take care of yourself before your health becomes an issue.

Below are 5 things you can do to help keep your heart healthy:

1. Laugh – Stress causes muscle tension, increasing blood pressure and heart rate, both of which can lead to bigger health problems like heart disease. In addition, people tend to turn to unhealthy habits, like overeating and smoking, when anxious.

New Year, New Journey: The Many Benefits of Travel

travel abroadThis year, if you’re lucky enough to be offered time off, take the opportunity to reward your body and mind with travel. It’s a rare gift in the U.S. to have time off to relax, visit new places, and create lasting memories with family and friends, so make sure you fully appreciate it when you have the chance.

Americans get the least amount of vacation time among industrialized countries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We get an average of 8.1 days after a year on the job and 10.2 days after three years, which is half the amount (even less) than some other countries require companies to offer their employees.

Are You Ready With Your New Year’s Resolutions?

new familyWelcome the New Year with a renewed commitment to a healthier lifestyle and a better you!

If you’re tired of making and breaking the same resolutions each year, try modifying old resolutions or taking a completely different approach to new ones.

Starting simple can help you avoid disappointment, and you can always raise the bar later on. There is no wrong way to make a resolution. Be realistic and aim for goals that are attainable, because even a small change can make a big difference down the road.

The 3 “H’s” – Happiness, Health and the Holidays

happy and healthyThe upcoming holidays are a great opportunity to focus on happiness and the good feelings that come with giving and spending time with the people you love most.

We all know that the holidays can be busy and stress inducing, but this year you should try to take things easy, maintain realistic expectations, and focus on happiness and loved ones over gifts and entertaining.

  1. Practice Kindness – Performing acts of kindness releases serotonin — a chemical in your brain that has major health benefits. Being selfless and helping others reduces stress and increases our over-all sense of wellbeing.

When Considering A Life Insurance Policy, Avoid These Common Mistakes

do your researchBuying a life insurance policy is one of the most important financial decisions you can make to insure that your family will be well taken care of when you’re gone.

According to LIMRA, 85% of consumers agree that most people need life insurance, yet just 65% say they have it. (Source: LIMRA’s Life Insurance Barometer Study 2013)

“Those who do have life insurance often don’t understand how much to buy and what a reasonable price is for a policy”. In fact, a recent LIMRA survey revealed that 70 percent of Americans failed a recent 10-question basic life insurance IQ test.

Have A Happy Healthy Halloween

trick or treatEveryone thinks of Halloween as a night for kids to get dressed up and fill up on candy, but the reality is that adults are more indulgent too, and the candy is around much longer than just one night.

Candy is difficult to avoid, and a bowl or a cupboard full of sweets is hard for anyone to resist, but given our nation’s alarmingly high rate of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, gorging on candy during Halloween is not a smart choice.

Not only are processed candies made almost entirely out of refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup, they are full of fat, sodium, artificial colors and other nutritionally worthless ingredients.

Prevent junk food overload this Halloween and stay health-conscious by following these tips:

Navigate