Recent changes in the life insurance industry have made it even more critical that you review your policies. We recommend a thorough review every two to four years after you have purchased a policy. You may be able to get the same coverage at a lower premium or increase your coverage without additional cost. There are even products available now that combine life with long term care insurance to really maximize your investment. Changes within your own life can also affect your insurance coverage and you should analyze your policies after major events like a marriage, divorce, retirement or home purchase. There are several questions you should ask yourself as you review your policies. Do you know when your term insurance expires? Will you still need coverage when the term is up? When is the last time you received an in-force illustration and had it explained to you? (An in-force illustration is something you have to request from the insurance company that shows how your policy is currently performing and when it expires. You would not want your policy to lapse unintentionally when your family needs it the most.) Have you reviewed your beneficiaries? Many people forget to change the beneficiaries when they have had a life changing event. It is usually best to have a named beneficiary instead of just naming your estate. Do you have enough coverage? Whether you bought your life insurance from our office or from another agent, we can help you assess what you have and how it is performing for you. We can help you request the in-force illustrations and explain what they mean and we can run through some of the exciting new options available to you.
One of the most important legacies we can leave our children is a solid work ethic. Often in our industry we see parents diligently create a financial plan that will leave their children a healthy estate. Less common is the parent who also instills in his or her child the means to handle that inheritance. A new normal is looming in the United States and we need to equip our children properly. Just as we make regular deposits into our 401(k) plans and college funds, we need to make consistent efforts to encourage healthy habits in our children. We need to teach them to be as proud of their sweat as they are of their medals. In the classroom, at the dinner table and on the sporting field, parents should demand an honest effort. Applaud the process before accepting the prize. Teach your children that there is value in hard work and honor in achieved goals. Don’t be afraid to allow them to struggle because they’ll find such joy in their own success. Many loving and well-meaning parents work hard to make life easy for their families. While I admire the effort, I think this is a mistake. Aspects I consider essential to include in your child’s portfolio of ethics are the courage to try new things, the strength to work hard and these three simple steps to success: 1) Say please and thank you 2) Do what you say 3) Finish what you start