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Review Category : Insurance Tips

Four Financial Moves To Make After You Are Hit By A Flood

With the recent devastation people have experienced in Louisiana by the floods, some new light is being shed on what financial moves you may need to make after you are hit by a Flood.    Over the prior weekends, I did a small piece on the Weather Channel to give some financial guidance for people in Louisiana who were hit by the flood.   With only 12% to 14% of the homeowners actually having flood insurance in an area that was not considered a flood plain, the big question is what money moves you should make after the flood comes through your neighborhood. Source (FEMA.gov) TIME TO MAKE AN INSURANCE CLAIM The first thing is you should try to go back and take photos, but be safe as water damage may make parts of your home extremely unsafe. One thing you should determine is whether or not you want to hire a licensed independent insurance adjuster to work as an advocate for ...

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Isn’t It Time To Refinance Your Life Insurance?

There’s a reason people love to shop at places including Costco and Wal-Mart. There’s the usual reasons that people like to get good deals, but more importantly if you are a smart money moves shopper buying in bulk can often get you the best deal on what you buy if you really need the item. For certain, one of the biggest item bought in bulk is bottled water, but hardly ever do people think about buying their life insurance in bulk. Why is that? The last five to six years, I’ve been amazed about how much people talk about the concept of refinancing their homes. If you do the math, if someone lives in a home long enough a refinance can absolutely make sense for their situation. If you have a $300,000 mortgage and go from a 4.5% interest rate down to a 4% interest rate, it can mean tens of thousands of dollars of saved interest over the life ...

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4 Money Moves To Make When You Turn 40

Generation X is classically defined as people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    This means for the next five years, the last batch of Gen X’ers are going to turn 40.   If life begins at 40, then it must be certain that making smart money moves should fold into that master plan.   Whether you are woefully behind on student debt, just getting married, or you are now starting to make some serious money, here are four smart money moves to consider when you turn the age of 40. Admit Your Mistakes . . . They Are Natural Financial Mistakes- If you are spending like a drunken sailor making sure you are seeing all the best concerts and trying the fanciest restaurants, don’t beat yourself up.  If you have piled up debt or lost money on a private investment deal, there is still time.  Just be true to yourself on those mistakes so you don’t continue to make them. Personal ...

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Why “Conditional Receipt” Is A Must When You Apply For Life Insurance

It’s never fun having a discussion as a family or with a financial professional to figure out how much life insurance you need. Most people dread this conversation as much as going to buy a new car because you are going to always feel like the insurance agents are ready to pounce on making a sale. As long as I’ve been doing this, I have still yet to hear a surviving spouse tell me that they bought too much life insurance. With many married couples, it is still usually one spouse who drives the conversation about how much life insurance the family needs. Usually it is the major breadwinner of the family. Recently, I heard yet again another sad story from a surviving spouse whose husband passed away way before his time. When I learned a little more about the situation, she revealed that he had been approved for a large sum of life insurance a few years back but ...

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Are You Paying Too Much For Your Group Term Life Insurance at Work?

It’s 11:00 P.M. the night before your open enrollment, and once again you have waited until the last minute to check the boxes for next year’s benefits. Every year, I help hundreds of clients review the corporate benefits they get from their company. As the booklets get larger and the benefits more complex, one of the biggest mistakes that I see employees make is not doing a shopping comparison with their voluntary group life insurance. Remember these upcoming bullet points when it comes to viewing your company life insurance. First, there is no free lunch. Although the company may give you some life insurance that you get for no cost, if the insurance is more than $50,000 you’ll get something on your pay stub called imputed income. You’ll notice this if you look at your next pay stub and see GTL (group term life) as income on your paycheck. Second, when it comes to voluntary term life insurance and you ...

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Be Careful About The Rules Around Saving For Healthcare

With so many changes happening with our tax code every year, it is really important that you sit down and review how this will affect your family finances. As 2015, approaches us, one tax issue that could affect your family center around the changes intertwined with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s). In many prior years, traditionally FSA’s were you use it or you lose it plans if the money is not spend by year-end. Since 2013, you were allowed to roll money over from the prior year and carry it forward into the current. However, going into 2015 there is a BIG twist that you should consider before the 2014 year is over. If you elect to carry forward the $500 in your FSA plan from 2014 into 2015, you will immediately become ineligible to participate in a Health Savings Account for 2015. This is true for the entire calendar year. So, if you opted to ...

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Obamacare: Open Enrollment What You Need To Know

It may be open enrollment season for many of you at work, but for millions of Americans it will be the official open enrollment for Obamacare coming up this Saturday.  Amidst the unknown of the upcoming Supreme Court case regarding federal subsidies, there is a plethora of information to digest for those of you who are considering the federal marketplace for your health insurance.  Here are my five smart money moves Q & A to help you get an initial start to understanding the open enrollment period beginning this week. Get Obamacare Help Here > Question 1:  When does open enrollment start/end and how many people are expected to sign up this year? Starts November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. You must apply by December 15th if you want your coverage to begin January 1st There are no other enrollment periods unless you qualify for a special enrollment for life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of new ...

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Why a Prenup Needs to Include Debt

My team is extremely fortunate to get to work with so many successful Generation Xers.  Many of them have done phenomenally well in their careers, and then begin considering marriage at a much later stage in life toward their late 30s to early 40s. This often brings up the question when we do financial planning with them about whether or not it is a good idea to get a prenuptial agreement. There are pros and cons to getting this type of agreement, but the one important item many couples do not remember to put in these agreements when they execute them is what will happen with the debt. Most couples remember to talk about the bank accounts, the retirement accounts, the family inheritances, the real estate, and the closely held businesses.  However, most people assume that all prenuptial agreements are only dealing with people who have significant wealth.  What happens when a couple gets married and you still have outstanding ...

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Don’t Forget To Protect The Golden Goose

I have delivered insurance checks in my career and nobody has ever told me they have too much life insurance after a loved one dies. It’s really ironic because there are many media pundits who beat up on having unnecessary life insurance, but those writers don’t have to pick up the pieces after a major breadwinner dies in a family. Recent studies still say that the odds of dying are 1 out of 1. LOL. Even though I think that most families are woefully underinsured when it comes to life insurance, the greatest gap I see amongst Generation X and Generation Y is an apathetic amount of disability insurance. Most people who work for companies believe that the amount of disability insurance they get through work will be adequate to cover their situation should they sustain a long term disability. The stark reality is that most Gen X’ers an Gen Y’ers don’t even read the benefits manual to understand the ...

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