Hope for your financial life and beyond

Do You Really Need Life Insurance for Your Family?

Our own mortality is a topic we don’t like to discuss. I was reminded again of this recently when a friend of mine had open heart surgery. He is doing great and expected to make a full recovery. But as I sat in the waiting room with his wife and family during the surgery, I kept thinking how her life would change if things took a turn for the worse.

do you need life insuranceThere are so many questions after the death of a spouse. Some of those questions relate to money. It may seem insensitive to link death and finances together but it’s a reality we can’t ignore.

What would happen if your spouse died today? Would your financial life come crashing down also? Would your family suffer because you weren’t prepared for this event?

Fortunately, those questions can be answered. The best part is you can settle it and have peace of mind before anything happens by purchasing a quality life insurance policy.

What is Life Insurance?

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Want to Deduct Your Homeowners Policy? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

Owning a house comes with many responsibilities. You have to maintain the home, pay taxes, and in most cases, make monthly payments on your mortgage. Then there’s also the cost of home insurance.

Home InsuranceWhen it comes to reducing your monthly billable costs and going for a more frugal approach in life, there’s only so much you can do to reduce your mortgage – and even less you can do to make sure your house is well-maintained affordably (either through time or money invested) – so you turn to the homeowners policy.

Now, we all know the advice people give when it comes to finding the right insurance provider. Shop around, ask questions, clean up your credit and so on and so forth. But what if you already have an insurance policy? What if you’ve shopped around, and gotten the best deal you could find? Is there still a way to further cut down on costs?

In short, the answer is: probably. But to really get into it, you’ve got to ask a few questions. To help you along on your quest for more affordable – and smarter – home insurance, here’s an extremely simple list of five questions you should ask yourself.

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The Savvy Shopper: Budgeting for Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is a must for everyone who wants to drive. Why is it so important to purchase you ask? Well, for one thing, it’s the law. Get caught driving without it and you’ll face some tough consequences.

But the main reason you should have auto insurance is to protect yourself in the case of an accident.

Now, auto insurance isn’t cheap. It’s going to cost you so you’ll have to figure out how to manage that in your monthly budget. You can be a savvy shopper though by learning how to budget for auto insurance. And it all starts by making sure you get the right type of coverage.

Planning for the Right Coverage

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How to Save Money on Car Insurance for Teens

In about a month, our oldest child will turn 15. In our state, that means you can apply for a learner’s permit to drive. She hasn’t expressed a big desire to do this yet but I know it’s coming. So naturally I’ve started looking into car insurance for teens to see how much another driver in the household is going to cost me.

car insurance for teensWhat I’ve found is there are many ways to save money on car insurance for teens. There are reasons why your car insurance rates will go up, chiefly because you have an inexperienced driver behind the wheel. Insurance companies are taking on a higher risk of having a payout. Your teens’ enthusiasm for being able to drive coupled with their lack of skill makes accidents more likely.

Short of holding onto the keys yourself, there is no way around paying more on your car insurance with a teen in the house. But you can take steps to lessen the amount of increase. The good news is most of these steps will require the help of your teen. Getting them engaged in the process will go along way in teaching them responsibility. They also might learn some cool financial lessons along the way.

11 Ways to Save on Car Insurance for Teens

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Should I Ever Get Rental Car Insurance?

The first time I ever rented a car I was unprepared for a very specific question. The agent behind the counter asked “Would you like to purchase rental car insurance?”

“I don’t know,” I thought, standing there with the deer-in-the-headlights look. My only thought was getting behind the wheel of the convertible I’d reserved.

So I listened to the spiel and bought the rental car insurance. A few minutes later I’m top down and cruising around Saint Croix with my new bride.

rental car insuranceI realized later my decision had been a small financial mistake.

There is no question you need insurance to drive. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, every state requires motorists to carry a minimum level of auto insurance coverage (or the equivalent in financial responsibility waivers). Such coverage is necessary to protect against damage to property or injuries to people caused by an accident.

But if you own a car, your rental car may already be covered. Once you realize the rules and what your own auto insurance policy covers, you will be able to answer the “Should I get rental car insurance” question with confidence.

To do so, you must prepare in advance by doing two things:

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The Big Reason You Need Disability Insurance

Most of us feel we are doing fine if we have the four horseman of the insurance industry covered: health insurance for our physical needs, auto insurance for when we drive, home/renter’s insurance for our property and life insurance to provide for our family in case of a death. Beyond these four we think insurance products are unnecessary and a waste of money.

wheelchairsYou might want to check that negative sentiment while you read this post. While all four of those are important, they aren’t the end-all to insurance products. In fact, disability insurance, the one many people forget about, could be the most important coverage you buy. Here’s why.

The big reason you need disability insurance is that your income is the #1 tool for generating wealth. If for some reason you cannot earn that income your chances of being able to adequately care for yourself and your family decrease dramatically. A loss of income jeopardizes your present needs and your future financial goals. So unless you have substantial savings and investments to cover the time where you are out of work, disability insurance is your best bet to manage through the difficult times.

What is Disability Insurance?

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Beyond the Retirement Plan: 3 Things You Must Do Before You Stop Working

For many people, retirement planning means saving enough money to cover expenses after they stop working. Whether they sock money away into a 401(k), IRA, a savings account, or just stuff cash under the mattress, getting ready to retire is just about the money.

retirement planWhile having enough money to pay for housing, food, and other expenses is certainly very important, it’s not the only concern if you want to have a fulfilling retirement. There are several other issues to address before you say goodbye to the working world for a new life of leisure, which can make a big difference in how comfortable you feel — and your family feels.

So before you start planning your retirement party, make sure you’ve addressed these important issues.

1. How Will You Fill Your Time?

If you have spent the last four or five decades working, suddenly having your days free is bound to present some challenges. Not only will you no longer have your actual work responsibilities, but also your off-hours won’t be spent thinking about work, either. You might have images of traveling, spending more time with your family, pursuing a hobby, or other ideas, but do you really know how you will spend your days?

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A Comprehensive Look at Auto Insurance and Why You Need It

Today I’m continuing my insurance series with a detailed look at auto insurance. So far I’ve tackled the big giants of health, life and homeowner’s insurance. Auto insurance is no less important and remains an important piece to a well-maintained insurance plan.

auto insuranceThe reason?

You are going to wreck your car and cause damage. In fact, the car insurance industry estimates the average driver will file a claim for a collision every 17.9 years. So a 16 year old with a new license can anticipate having one accident by age 34 and another by age 52 and yet another by age 70.

But auto insurance is not just about recouping monetary loss for a damaged vehicle. There are also people driving and riding around in these cars that get into these accidents.

These people get injured.

Many even die.

The losses you could face from medical bills or the potential lawsuits resulting from these accidents could bankrupt you.

That’s how serious finding the right type of auto insurance is for your financial security.

What Is Auto Insurance?

Just like all the other types of insurance, auto insurance is a contract you agree to with an insurance company. In exchange for a monthly premium you receive coverage from the insurance company in case of an event.

In general, auto insurance offers protection against these issues related to your car:

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Is My Employer-Provided Life Insurance Enough?

Enjoy this post today from Natasha as she shares how employer-provided life insurance plans stack up against an individual policy purchased on the open market.

If the company you work for offers group life insurance, be sure to take advantage of this great benefit. Employers are not required to offer life insurance, so if yours does be sure to count your blessings. While having group life insurance is a nice bonus, it would still be wise to consider purchasing additional life insurance on yourself.

Employer-sponsored group life insurance policies are different than individual life insurance plans in these ways:

  • There are no medical exams
  • They are designed one-size-fits-all
  • They have less individual coverage
  • They only are in affect while you work for that company

To purchase an individual life insurance policy, you typically need to undergo a medical exam. The life insurance company uses your exam results as one of the determinants of how much your policy premiums will be. The healthier you are, the more inexpensive your premiums.

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What Do I Need to Know About Homeowner’s Insurance?

Getting the right type of homeowners insurance is a must to be able to put your life back together should a tragic event strike your home.

Imagine this scenario:

You awake from a drowsy sleep at 2 AM to the blaring noise of an alarm. Your eyes are stinging and you begin to cough as you are forced to breathe in the smoke filled air. You leap from the bed as your survival instincts kick in. Grabbing anything of value you quickly rush to the nearest exterior door and head into the yard. In horror you watch as flames are emanating from your attic.

Fortunately no one is hurt and emergency services arrive in time to keep the home from being a total loss. But the damage is severe and you wonder how you will recover from this tragedy.

homeowners insuranceI’ve known a few people who have lived through a house fire, flood, tornado or other significant event that damaged or destroyed their home. I can’t imagine the emotion that comes with watching your possessions being destroyed. We pour so much time and effort into making our home an enjoyable space in which to exist that they really become an extension of ourselves. Losing them means losing a piece of who we are.

The silver lining is that life can be put back together. You might not be able to recoup all the possessions you lose but you can move on with the help of a good homeowners insurance policy. If you own a home – or are even a tenant renting a home – having homeowners insurance is a must.

What Is Homeowners Insurance and What Does It Cover?

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Keep Your Emergency Savings Fund Under Your Mattress?

What should you do with that emergency savings fund money you’ve been accumulating?

I don’t know. Why don’t you just keep it under your mattress? That’s probably the best idea.

(Cricket noise…)

April fools! (Sorry, just couldn’t resist.)

emergency savings fund under mattressNo, no, no…a thousand times NO! Please don’t keep your emergency savings fund money under your mattress. That’s one of the worst places to keep cash around the house. Under the mattress or the bed will be one of the first places a burglar looks for valuables.

Now there is nothing wrong with keeping cash around the house. You might need some for a spur of the moment issue. Banks aren’t always open and you might not be able to get to an ATM. But you don’t want to keep the emergency savings fund around the house.

Why?

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