Q: Why should I buy life insurance?
A: You should consider buying life insurance if you answer any of these questions with a yes:
- Do you think you might die?
- Would you like to leave a tax free legacy to your heirs for pennies on the dollar?
- Do you think you might need long-term care costs coverage?
- Do you think you may have a serious illness such as cancer, stroke, or heart attack?
- Does your past health history put you at greater risk for a heart attack, stroke, cancer, or other serious condition?
- Is someone dependent on your income?
- Are you concerned about ever increasing taxes?
- Would you like your money to grow tax free?
Today’s life insurance policies encompass all of these eventualities and provide financial security for yourself and for your family.
Q: What about the tax implications?
A: Do you believe that taxes are going to go up or down during the rest of your lifetime? If you think they are going to go up, life insurance provides a way for some of your money to be invested in a tax efficient manner. where the income tax code can’t reach. It protects money for those you love in ways your grandparents couldn’t imagine. Life insurance has inherent tax benefits as specified in the IRS tax code.
Q: How long does it take to buy life insurance?
A: From three weeks to four months depending on the company selected and their requirements, and the length of time to obtain medical records if needed.
Q: There are so many varieties of insurance, so many companies, and so many salespeople. How in the world do I make sense of it all? Am I still going to be confused?
A: My passion is to be an objective third party who helps you find the best insurance policy for your needs. There is never a one-size-fits-all approach. I don’t have a vested interest in the bottom line of one insurance company. I have a vested interest in you. I will evaluate your needs—now and in the future. I will then recommend the best products and leave the rest behind. I can even combine products from different companies to tailor-make your plan.
Q: Is it possible to purchase life insurance with no out-of-pocket costs?
A: Under very specific circumstances. Many customers of high net worth (over $5 million) can purchase the amount and the type of life insurance they need and finance the premiums.
Q: How do I determine what is the best type of insurance for my needs?
A: Some clients have an idea what they want. Others have no idea. As life insurance has changed over the years, most people are not aware of all the benefits of life insurance and generally do not know what type of policy they want. Over my 35 years of experience, I have utilized questionnaire that helps me determine your needs. It includes how much insurance you’ll need, the term that fits you best, the tax implications of each decision, how it affects other investments, savings, and retirement funds. Contact me and allow me to walk with you through the process.
Q: Is it complicated to apply? Do I need to gather a lot of documents or do I probably know all of the answers off the top of my head?
A: You will easily know most of the answers. You might need to look up the name of your primary care physician, the exact dosages of any medications, Social Security numbers of your children, and other specifics like that. Don’t worry. I’m patient and will walk you through the process.
Q: Is a physical required?
A: Yes, in 95% of cases. But look at it this way: you get a free medical exam, free lab tests, you get to keep all of the results from them. That’s about $200 in value that is paid for by the life insurance company. Also, if we go through the application process for one company and you don’t like their final rate or want to look at alternatives, the results from the physical are transferrable to another company so the process can go faster. The results are good for up to six months.
Q: I’ve heard horror stories from my friends. A family member has passed away and they’ve struggled to receive the death benefit from the life insurance company. What do I need to tell my beneficiaries–or know as a potential beneficiary—to work with an insurance company after a death?
A: In my 35 years of working with life insurance I’ve never had a single client experience a delay let alone a challenge from the companies I represent.
First, secure at least eight certified copies of the death certificate. (You will receive the death certificate from one of a few potential sources, most often the funeral home.)
Q: How long will we wait to receive a settlement once I report the death to the insurance company and provide the necessary paperwork and certified death certificate?
A: Usually about a week. And as in all things related to your policy, I’ll be with you every step of the way.
Q: I’m 47 years old and my mother who is in her late 70’s, does not have any life insurance. I’m thinking it might be a good idea for her to have a life insurance policy. She has money that she has inherited from my dad, and she has her social security income, but that’s it. Is she a candidate for life insurance, and if so, why and what type of things would we be looking at?
A: Well, it would be a couple of things. Yes she would be a candidate for life insurance and possibly life insurance that includes a long-term care rider, depending on how much money she has. If she has some money, it might make sense rather than having a pot of money sitting in the bank, take money out of that account to pay for final expense or long-term care, why not take some of that money and put it over here into a life insurance product that includes long term care. Now you have up to 10 times or more times as much that you can take money out of for long-term care or leave to heirs and tax-free.
Q: I’m a 27 year old single woman, college graduate, have been in the workforce now for three years. Do I need life insurance? I don’t have any beneficiaries, and not yet married.
A: The short answer would be yes. I recently wrote some insurance for someone just like that who had some term insurance but recognized that’s really not going to provide any long term benefit. So in that situation what a young person would be doing is basically insuring their insurability. And depending on the top of policy, also provide for tax free income from the policy cash values. The best time to buy insurance is when you can get it, and when you don’t necessarily need it so much. The other thing is, the sooner you start the cheaper it is and the sooner you start, especially if you you’re using something like Index Universal Life the more money you’re going to have down the road as opposed to waiting till you’re 52 and started that. Not too mention begin accumulating tax free growth on the cash value that can be withdrawn in retirement tax free!
Q: I’m a 52-year-old male and now divorced. I have children and child support and alimony responsibilities. I know I need life insurance as required by the court but do I use the same multiplier ten times income that most people ask for. Is there a different type of policy I should purchase?
A: Ten times income is a good place to start. A simple formula is multiply the number of years someone will be dependent on your income but the annual amount. If it is 20 years, you need 20 years worth of life insurance. In addition include debt that would need to be paid, and mortgage-at least as a starting point. Some people, like for me, I want to make sure there is life insurance of course when I die. One of the questions that I ask, do you want your insurance to be in force when you die, or just for a certain period of time? For me, I want my insurance in force when I die, whenever that is. So I need to have it go for lifetime-age 100 or 110. I also want to leave something to my kids and grandkids.
Often times people think they don’t need life insurance after they retire. However, if one spouse is still depending on the others income-such as retirement, social security, or working income-that income ought to be insured as well.
Q: So, I sit down with you and we talk about a policy, and you provide me a quote. The numbers look good, but I want to do my due diligence. This is my responsibility to make a wise financial decision, so how do I check out an insurance company? And what metrics am I looking for to make sure that they are a reputable company and are going to stand behind the insurance that they provide? I mean, car insurance is all over the map. So, talk to me about that?
A: Well, first of all the only companies we’re going to use are going to be the major, top rated companies. They’re all A or A+ rated by Best and A or A+ or better by S&P. They’ve been around for fifty to one hundred and fifty years. They’re names that most people would recognize, such as Prudential, Allianz, John Hancock, Met Life, Mutual of Omaha, Voya (formerly ING). I would say probably all of them have at least $10 billion in assets, probably more than that, but you can always go to their website. So what you want to look for is what their AM Best rating is A or better, how many assets… what their assets are and that financial information is generally readily available and we can always provide that for somebody as well. That’s important for sure.
Q: All right…my income changes….I buy life insurance and I find out that I’m out of a job, I’m unemployed something happens, what should I do about life insurance just cancel it?
A: I would only do that as a last resort. Depending on the policy, there could be options. One of the things about Index Universal Life it has flexible premiums. So it would be very possible that you could skip premiums, or reduce premiums. On the other hand, if you have term insurance maybe rather than cancelling it, you can reduce the amount of insurance and still keep it in force. A lot of companies will allow you to make a change once, at least. It might be a time to renew what you do have, and maybe it makes sense to make whole hearted changes at that point. But it’s important that people should meet with their agent to review their insurance, if not every year, at least every other year – to determine if changes should be made.