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It’s March, so make your picks — on employee benefits

Nobody’s benefits renew in March. March is pretty much the opposite of benefits season. Many of you are just waiting on the fall email from your employer that reminds you to check your benefits and see if something has changed — marital status, number of children, medical history — as well as instructions on how to make changes to your package. If nothing significant has occurred, you probably just check the box to keep everything the same. It’s easy.

This Valentine’s Day, give the gift of a lifetime

As a financial planner, I’ve learned over the years that there is no greater asset than that of human life. I’m reminded of that whenever I see families go from tying the knot to starting a family, from becoming empty nesters to retiring, and finally to celebrating life. We’ve been blessed to walk alongside our clients’ families during each of those steps and celebrate life’s milestones, happy and sad. 

Don’t Forget About Disability Coverage

One point we often drive home here at Family Financial Partners is the fact that insurance protection for the people and things that matter most is a vital part of any solid financial plan. Most people don’t question the need for health or car insurance, and while many people don’t like to think about it, most client families accept the fact that life insurance is a must. However, one area that often gets overlooked when it comes to insurance is one of the most important – disability insurance.

The Wisdom of Life Insurance

Family gatherings at the dinner table have always been special to me. Some of my favorite memories happened – and some life skills were developed – around my parents’ dining room table. After church on Sundays, they’d usually host another couple or two, and after dessert and taking my dishes to the sink, I’d get my piggy bank (except mine was a duck), and make the rounds soliciting our guests for their loose change. They all obliged young Dave by dropping a coin into my duck bank, at which point I’d go get my actual piggy bank for round two! Then, I’d empty them both out and offer folks their coins back. (I wasn’t the hardened capitalist I am today!)

It’s Time to Talk About Long-term Care

You may or may not know that November is Long-term Care Insurance Awareness Month. Now, this may not sound like a fun topic to spend a month talking about, but I can tell you from personal experience – three examples in my extended family in fact – that if you need this coverage and don’t have it, there will be regrets.

Life Insurance in Retirement

As we wrap our series on employee benefits, we’ve discussed that many of you have group life insurance and perhaps an additional term policy outside of work. For you, we talked about the possibility that we could save you some money if you’re over 50 and healthy. I’m sure a few of you reading this may be thinking, “Okay, I’ve done that, and there’s nothing more I need to do. I’m set. When I retire I won’t need life insurance because I’ll have saved up enough money.”

Employee Benefits: Could you save money?

Labor Day typically cues up the start of the fall work season at the Family Financial Partners office, as we review the performance of financial plans and portfolios for our client families. In addition, this is the time when we review employee benefits with our client families, as many of you are receiving your renewal packets. If you’re self-employed and think this newsletter isn’t for you, simply skip down to where you see “self-employed” in bold.

Life Insurance – The Basics

You know you need it. Let’s explore your options.

This month, in honor of Life Insurance Awareness Month, we’ve been talking about all things life insurance. We’ve covered some of the most common myths and misconceptions about life insurance, and the reasons why it’s so important to talk about it. Today, I wanted to address some of the basics about the different types of life insurance, and choosing the coverage that’s right for you and your family.  

First, there are two main types of coverage for you to consider: group or employer-sponsored life insurance, which is coverage that you sign up for with your employer’s human resources office, along with other employee benefits. Some employers offer basic plans at low or no cost to you, as well as options for more coverage at a higher cost. We can help you sort through what your employer offers if you’re not sure what you’re looking at. The second main type of life insurance is individual coverage that you purchase through an insurance company for yourself or a loved one.  

The most basic policy you can buy is term coverage, meaning that you lock in a certain premium rate for a certain period of time, typically 5, 15 or 20 years, or until it’s needed. Many people, after maintaining this type of policy for a number of years, opt to convert a portion to whole or permanent life insurance, which is guaranteed coverage for the rest of your life. It comes with higher premiums because of that guarantee, but it also provides the benefit to your estate and your loved ones without picking a death date, as you essentially do with term coverage. 

Additionally, whole or permanent coverage allows the policyholder to borrow from the policy, as it builds cash value over time. [Keep in mind: If tax-free loans are taken and the policy lapses, a taxable event may occur. Loans and withdrawals from life insurance policies that are classified as modified endowment contracts may be subject to tax at the time that the loan or withdrawal is taken and, if taken prior to age 59½, a 10 percent federal tax penalty may apply. Withdrawals and loans reduce the death benefit and cash surrender value. Guarantees subject to the claims paying ability of the underlying issuer.] 

Life insurance can be confusing, I know – and we see many people who forgo coverage simply because they don’t take the time to understand the process and options that are available. Many people also think life insurance is too expensive, but, as I noted in my last newsletter, statistics show that most people believe coverage costs much more than it actually does.  

If you have any questions at all about life insurance, need to apply for coverage, or would like to sit down with our team and review any current policies you have, please, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. A 10 or 15 minute consultation could mean peace of mind for your family. 

Myths & Misconceptions About Life Insurance

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and today I wanted to talk about the most common myths and misconceptions we hear about this important part of your comprehensive financial plan. I know it’s difficult to think about the unthinkable, but having the right coverage can keep a loss from becoming a financial burden as well.

Types of Life Insurance

You may have noticed we’ve been talking about life insurance this month. Each September is designated as Life Insurance Awareness Month by LifeHappens.org, and we always take the opportunity to further educate our client families by sharing stories and information.

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