Category Life Insurance

Avoid Inheriting the Debts of Your Closest Relatives

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As a life insurance agent, I hear from a lot of people who try to take advantage of their connection to a family member by purchasing a life insurance policy on them.

I remember a woman looking to purchase $1 million of coverage on her mother. Upon questioning, I discovered her mother was in hospice care with no more than one or two days to live. It was clear that she was simply looking to profit from her mother’s death.

While the intentions of this daughter may be in question, many people ask me about insuring their parents, children or siblings to avoid getting saddled with their loved ones’ debts. Even thought many unscrupulous agents will be happy to sell you a policy, that’s not necessarily a valid concern.

Very Few Get Stuck with Their Parents’ or Children’s Debt


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Why Is My Broker So Eager to Sell Me Whole Life Insurance?

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A friend of mine recently complained about an old college roommate who was trying to pressure him into buying a whole life insurance policy. He was having trouble figuring out how to tell him no, because they’d been so close back then.

This is an all-too-common occurrence for young professionals in their late 20s and 30s. This is the time when friends and family are test-driving new professions — like sales gigs, for example.

Many insurance brokers push whole-life policies because they provide them with the juiciest of commissions.

Several governmental surveys suggest that the average American will change jobs more than 11 times in his life. For many of us, it’s only a matter of time before we take a sales job that pays on commission.

Why Are Your Friends Turning on You?

For many...

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9 Secrets Your Life Insurance Agent Wants to Hide from You

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We would like to think of life insurance agents as trusted advisers whose only aim is to get us the right coverage. But the nature of life insurance -– and the job of life insurance agents -– makes them something close to our natural enemy.

One easy way to prevent being taken advantage of is to find an independent agent. “Independent agents save you time and money,” said Chris Huntley, co-founder of “Rather than completing applications and medical exams with 15 different insurance companies to see which one will approve you at the best rating, make one call to a qualified independent agent, who can place you with the most appropriate carrier based on your unique personal and medical history.”

In a lot of ways, what hurts us as consumers of life insura...

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How to Safely Increase the Estate You’ll Leave to Your Family

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When my mother entered her 70s, she began focusing more on what she would leave for her kids than her own financial well-being. She was more than fine; she had assets and steady income from two pensions, Social Security and an annuity. If you’re in that phase of life, you may have similar priorities. The question is: Do you know the best ways to increase your estate?

Most people mistakenly believe that once they stop working, their net worth will shrink as they draw on assets for living expenses. Many people who are still working into their 60s and 70s also believe that it’s too late to add any significant wealth to their estate. Neither of those has to be true — if you have a well-designed plan.

Whole Life Policy

Let’s consider a client who is 64 an...

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Will End-of-Life Expenses Eat Up Your Estate?

Will End-of-Life Expenses Eat Up Your Estate?

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For aging baby boomers, long-term care and home health care are huge concerns, and these concerns form the last part in a series of articles covering what I call the “six circles of wealth.” These six circles break down your personal finance and wealth creation efforts. The goal is to have all of the circles spin at the same time, creating synergy and powerful momentum for your money.

Very few of my clients have all the circles covered, which means your wealth will take longer to grow and be open to much more risk than is necessary. So far, I have covered the first four: income and cash flow, investments, guaranteed income and cash and liquidity. This article discusses the last two: long-term care and your estate.

The only circle that can cannibalize the others is long-term ...

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Do You Really Need Supplemental Insurance?

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Having insurance protects you from tragic events that could otherwise devastate your finances. In that light, adding a supplemental insurance policy that fills in the gaps in your standard insurance would look like simply getting more of a good thing.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. A recent case involving one insurance company’s questionable practices emphasizes how important it is to do your homework before you buy a supplemental policy.

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced that it had arrived at a $5.25 million settlement against the Life Insurance Company of North America...

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How to Figure Out How Much Life Insurance You Really Need

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Protecting the financial security of your kids is just as vital as keeping them healthy and making sure they get an education. Yet for many families, the pressure of keeping up with current expenses pushes one strong tool for doing that — buying life insurance — to the bottom of the to-do list.

A 2013 survey by life insurance and financial services association LIMRA found that 30 percent of U.S. households have no life insurance at all, and 50 percent think they need more life insurance.

The LIMRA survey found that among consumers who say they need to buy life insurance, 86 percent say they haven’t purchased it because it’s too expensive...

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5 Tasks to Help You Start to Rebound Financially Post-Divorce

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Divorces can be financially devastating. Not only is the loss of a spouse’s income detrimental to your fiscal health, but you also lose moral support, often retirement benefits, and the safety net that comes from having a partner.

A few critical steps will help you start getting your life back together. Forgetting or delaying these tasks will cost you precious time and money, and add to your headaches.

Rethink Your Retirement Planning

Money is typically tight after a divorce: Both partners’ monthly budgets will almost always take a hit as one set of household expenses becomes two. But that’s not an excuse to forget about saving for retirement...

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Should beneficiary of drunk driver get $200,000?

drunk drivingDeborah Firman filed suit against Becon Construction and Life Insurance Company, a Cigna company, for more than $200,000 it’s refusing to pay for the death of Gilberto Espinoza, who died on Sept. 20, 2008, in a single-vehicle drunken driving accident in Trimble County, Ky. Cigna refused to pay the claim, calling Espinoza’s injuries “intentionally self-inflicted.”

According to the lawsuit filed by Firman, Cigna told Firman that since her husband “would have been aware of the risks involved in operating his vehicle while under the influence, his death was a foreseeable result of his actions and thus not an accident.”

The insurance policies on which Firman is listed as beneficiary include a $10,000 life insurance and $200,000 accident insurance policy through Cigna’s subsidiary Becon...

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Top 15 Reasons You’ll Get Declined For Life Insurance

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Have you ever wondered what the reasons are why you may have been declined for life insurance? There are actually many reasons, but here are the top 15 reasons.

These are in no specific order, since the importance of each will vary from one life insurance company to another.

1. Overweight or Obese. These are a red flag for life insurance companies because they are conditions that often lead to severe health complications, particularly cardiovascular issues. In addition, your weight — or more specifically your height-to-weight ratio — is also a strong indication of your overall health and fitness level.

While being overweight or obese may not always be a cause for a decline in and of itself, it will usually result in higher premiums...

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