January 2011 Newsletter


Life Insurancefor Children

Parents often ask if purchasing life insurance on a child is a good idea.
There are quite a few reasons why offers for childhood whole life insurance are
attractive. Starting a whole life policy for a child usually guarantees that
they can continue the policy throughout adulthood, meaning, even if they are
diagnosed later with a condition or illness, they can’t be denied life
insurance.

Frequently, the insurer will guarantee that insured children can purchase
higher levels when they become adults. Certain products, such as variable life
and universal life insurance, couple a death benefit with a savings or
investment element. The earlier the policy begins, the more time its savings
portion has to grow, offering significant value to the child as he or she
ages.

It’s possible the insurance you currently carry on your life offers a child
rider. If not, there are other options for beginning a life policy for your
children. Contact us to find out more.

Create a Household Budget

All the experts agree: Every effective financial plan starts with a good
budget. Unfortunately, life is so busy for most folks that taking the time to
plan a budget just doesn’t seem to be a priority.

In other cases, budgeting can cause a great deal of stress and is, therefore,
avoided altogether. Unfortunately, having no way of tracking spending often
leads to more debt and, not surprisingly, more stress.

The good news is that the Web is packed with simple tools that can help you
create and manage a budget. Many of these services are free.

Resources like these are essential to creating a budget that will serve as a
financial foundation for your family. Such a foundation is the starting point to
a more comprehensive and long-term financial plan. Stop putting it off create a
personal budget today!


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spread the word! We’ll be happy to give the same
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Adult Children Under Parents’
Healthcare

Are your children out of the house, working full-time and struggling to find
a job that offers health insurance? If so, changes under new federal healthcare
legislation may be the solution you and your children are looking for.

Many health plans now offer coverage for children up to age 26 under their
parents’ policies. It is not necessary that the child live with the parent or be
financially dependent on them. The child may also be married.

On the flip side, some employers’ group insurance plans that the law
considers “grandfathered” may have conditions of coverage. An example is that
coverage may not be available if the child has access to insurance through his
or her own workplace.

If you have questions about healthcare coverage for your adult child, give
our service team a call.

Calculating
Retirement Needs

It’s never too early to start determining how much you will need to save to
retire comfortably. On the Web, you can find retirement calculators like the one
at http://www.bloomberg.com/personal-finance/calculators/retirement/. These tools can
provide a rough estimate of what you can expect your financial situation to look
like upon and during retirement.

There are many components of a long-term financial plan. These include, but
aren’t limited to: 401(k) or similar savings accounts, stocks, bonds, life
insurance, long-term care and disability insurance, and your property—both
personal (your belongings) and real, such as land or commercial sites.

Beyond your assets, you have to consider your future liabilities. Those
include medical care, living expenses and any debt you will have.

To build a portfolio that best meets your predicted needs, schedule a meeting
with one of our professionals. We can help you integrate your financial products
and solutions.

Disability
Insurance

The Social Security Administration reports that a 20-year-old worker has a
3-in-10 chance of becoming temporarily or permanently disabled before reaching
retirement age. Unfortunately, the reality is that most people don’t believe it
can happen to them. Just 16% think there is a chance they will ever become
disabled to the point of missing a significant amount of time from work. Others
assume that, if they do, Social Security or an employer will pay for it. The
truth is that, unless you meet Social Security’s eligibility rules or the
disability occurs at work, neither can be relied upon to pay your bills while
you can’t work.

It’s important to explore your options. First, find out if disability
insurance is available through your employer. While it is likely not included in
your medical insurance, many employers make disability insurance available for
purchase through a group plan. This may be the best way for you to get
coverage.

If that option is not available to you or you are interested in learning
about other policies, give us a call. We will help you obtain estimates on
several disability insurance plans.

A Sampling of Annuities

An annuity can be an excellent tool for retirement if the right one is
chosen. It is an alternative to an IRA, stocks or a mutual fund and can be used
in conjunction with those investment tools for a broader-based portfolio. Here
are brief descriptions of the most common types of annuities:


Single PremiumThis annuity is purchased with a lump-sum payment.

Multiple
Premium
This annuity is purchased over time with multiple payments.


ImmediateDistribution of income payments begins no later than one year after the
premium is paid.

DeferredDistribution of income payments begins at some point in the future, sometimes
many years after the annuity is purchased.

FixedThis annuity may be immediate or deferred, and premiums—minus applicable
charges—earn interest at rates set by the insurance company.


VariableThis annuity may be immediate or deferred and gives you a choice of the level
of risk in which you would like your premiums—minus applicable charges—invested
(e.g., stocks, bonds, other investments). Since this annuity relies on returns
on investments, it is possible you could receive less than your original
investment in return or, in a worst-case scenario, nothing at
all.

Whole Life Insurance
Changes to Business Owners Policy

Whole life insurance is an investment product that provides a payout upon the
death of the insured, no matter what age. There are several forms of whole life.
What they have in common is that there is a death benefit and a value that can
be cashed in instead of kept for payment upon death.

Some policies accumulate their benefit value over time, meaning they are
worth more the longer you hold the policy. This may leave the insured’s
beneficiaries with a smaller death benefit if death occurs in the early stages
of the policy’s life.

Whole life, coupled with other investment products, plays an important role
in many investors’ long-term financial plans and can be used in tandem with term
life to provide a benefit even after the term life policy ends at, say, age 65.
Consider how long you have to invest in a product and what you intend to use the
assets for.

There are different payout amounts that you can purchase, and some policies
allow you to purchase more insurance at certain intervals throughout your life.
Some also give the option to buy small, irrevocable policies for children so
they have a ready-made investment when they reach adulthood that they can either
continue or cash in.

The death benefit often can be paid as an annuity; although, some policies
allow payment in a lump sum, and—if the proper legal steps have been taken—the
money can be deposited into a trust for minors.

With all the options available, it’s best to work with an expert. Give us a
call to talk about how whole life insurance might fit into your overall
investment plan.

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