life insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6779/all en-US When Should Single People Get Life Insurance? http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_looking_up_29810428.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if single people should get life insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know the typical market for life insurance: People with families to protect. When these people die, their life insurance policies make payments to their beneficiaries, whether that be their children or their spouse.</p> <p>But what if you're single without children? Is buying a life insurance policy ever a smart move?</p> <p>In most cases, no, you won't need life insurance if you don't have a spouse or any children who count on your income to pay for their daily living expenses. But as with most financial matters, there are exceptions.</p> <p>Here are some of the most common reasons why a single adult without children might consider buying life insurance:</p> <h2>Policies Are Cheaper When You're Younger and Healthier</h2> <p>If you are a healthy and a nonsmoker, you'll pay less for life insurance when you are 24 than you will when you are 30, 35, or older. That's because you're at more of a risk to die.</p> <p>According to Trusted Choice, an independent insurance agent, a 20-year-old male nonsmoker at a healthy weight would pay about $32.53 a month for a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy. That cost rises to $35.69 a month for that same healthy male at 35-years-old. And it soars to $111.38 a month when this same male reaches 50.</p> <p>So, it might make financial sense to buy a life insurance policy when you are in your 20s. Then, when you do get married and have kids, you can change the beneficiaries on your policy to your spouse and children.</p> <h2>You Owe Money With Someone Else</h2> <p>Have your parents co-signed on an auto loan with you? Maybe they've co-signed for that mortgage loan that you are paying off each month. What happens to that debt if you should suddenly die? Your parents will be responsible for paying it off.</p> <p>However, if you have a life insurance policy with your parents named as the beneficiary, they could use the payout from the policy to pay off the debt that they owed with you. Taking out life insurance in this case would serve as a form of protection for whoever was generous enough to take on the risk of co-signing a loan with you.</p> <h2>You're Providing Financial Support to Others</h2> <p>Just because you're not married and you don't have children, doesn't mean that you are not providing financial support to someone. Maybe an elderly parent lives with you and counts on your financial support each month. If you should unexpectedly die, what would happen to that parent? By naming that parent as a beneficiary, you can make sure that they are financially protected.</p> <p>You might even be providing financial support to siblings, nieces, or nephews. The right life insurance policy can make sure that this support continues even after your death.</p> <h2>You Want to Leave a Gift</h2> <p>Maybe you simply want to leave a financial gift to someone who holds a special place in your life, even if this person doesn't really need your financial support. By naming that special person as a beneficiary &mdash; it could be a niece, nephew, partner, or friend &mdash; you'll be leaving behind something of great value should you die.</p> <h2>Term or Whole Life?</h2> <p>Once you've decided that you do want a life insurance policy, it's time to determine what kind of policy you want and how large of a policy you need. There are two main <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people" target="_blank">types of life insurance policies</a>: the cheaper term life, and the more expensive whole life.</p> <p>Term life insurance provides coverage for just a set period of time &mdash; usually 20 years &mdash; but can be bought for as little as one year, or as many as 30. Your premium will usually remain the same during the entire term. Whole life insurance instead lasts, as the name suggests, until you die. Whole life premiums also include an investment component, what is known as the policy's cash value. The cash value will grow during the life of your policy.</p> <p>It's best to meet with a financial planner to determine which type of policy makes the most sense for you. A planner can provide recommendations, too, on how much insurance you should take out to meet your financial goals and how best to structure your policy so that you can provide the most financial protection to your beneficiaries if you should die.</p> <p><em>Do you have life insurance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-life-insurance-plan">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy is Your Life Insurance Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-set-up-a-trust-for-your-child">Should You Set Up a Trust for Your Child?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance beneficiaries dependents estate planning Health life insurance policies single unmarried Tue, 05 Jul 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1741536 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_twin_girls_000010839496.jpg" alt="Learning money lessons after having twins" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I first found out that my wife and I were having twins, I figured that raising our boys would be expensive. Learning that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that middle-income parents would spend an <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/expenditures_on_children_by_families/CRC2013InfoGraphic.pdf">average $25,880</a> on twins in their first year really shocked me.</p> <p>The USDA estimated that U.S. families could spend from $353,100 to $815,640, depending on the family&rsquo;s income level, to raise twins born in 2013 through high school. These estimates didn&rsquo;t even include college tuition!</p> <p>The good news is that there are plenty of ways to bring down the estimated costs of raising twins. Here are the seven lessons about money I learned after having twins.</p> <h2>1. Don&rsquo;t Buy Everything</h2> <p>&ldquo;Two of everything!&rdquo; is one of the first things that people tell me once they find out that I have twins. In theory, having twins should double your expenses. In reality, it doesn&rsquo;t. More than one parent of multiples advised me not to buy everything and they were 100% right. You can do just fine with only one of many items, including baby bathtub and pack-and-play.</p> <p>Even more, there are so many baby items marketed to parents that you can do without, such as the <a href="http://amzn.to/1Xe2RBD">Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Food Maker</a> retailing for $150. While you always want to give your babies the very best, keep in mind that sometimes less is more. You already have a long list of must-buy-two items, including car seats and cribs (you can get away with just one only for so long!), so don&rsquo;t hesitate to cut down on non-essentials.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">Warren Buffett</a> said it best: &ldquo;If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.&rdquo; Splurging should be the exception and not the rule.</p> <h2>2. Look for Niche Discounts</h2> <p>Somedays you may feel that you&rsquo;re the only parent of twins in your neighborhood. The reality is that the U.S. twin birth rate was <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf">33.9 per 1,000 births</a> in 2014, up from 33.7 per 1,000 births in 2013. As more parents have twins, more businesses are extending special discounts to those parents.</p> <ul> <li>Babies R Us extends a 10% discount when you purchase two of the same item on the same in-store visit. Qualifying items include baby furniture, car seats, strollers, high chairs, and gates.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pampers offers a <a href="http://news.pampers.com/faq-item/do-you-have-pampers-multiple-birth-offer">one-time set of coupons</a> to parents of twins and multiples by mailing your name and address along with the hospital discharge copies to: Pampers Multiple Birth Offer, The Procter &amp; Gamble Company, P.O. Box 599, Cincinnati, OH 45201 or by calling 1-800-726-7377.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Luvs Diapers also offers a one-time set of coupons as well and you can write to the same mailing address as above with attention to &ldquo;Luvs Multiples Birth Program&rdquo; or call 1-888-665-3257.</li> </ul> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Businesses seek ways to attract customers from different niches. There may very well be a discount out there for you, but it may require you to do some extra leg work, such as calling the company or mailing a letter.</p> <h2>3. Buy Life Insurance</h2> <p>Now that you are a parent, buying life insurance is one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">money moves to make</a> or you&rsquo;ll regret it 20 years from now. Right now is the cheapest rate that you&rsquo;ll ever be able to get life insurance, so you&rsquo;re better off locking into it now than waiting several years.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re the main or sole breadwinner of your household, provide financial security to your dependents in case you&rsquo;re no longer there for them. Could your spouse tackle the monthly mortgage payments, car payments, and living expenses without you at all? Nobody likes to think about their own mortality, but things are very different now.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Life insurance is the foundation of financial planning to help protect your family against life&rsquo;s pitfalls.</p> <h2>4. Start or Build Up Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>With twins, I have learned how essential it is to have a cushion to lessen the blow of many surprise costs &mdash; such as certain vitamins and medicines not covered by health insurance, or changing to a more expensive baby formula due to sensitive digestive systems. Only 38% of Americans can pay unexpected expenses, such as $1,000 for an emergency room visit or $500 for a car repair, from savings. Achieving the right balance between interest rate and liquidity is often possible with a high-yield online savings account, which provide interest rates ranging between 0.75% and 1.25%. Make sure to read the fine print on access to funds to avoid surprises.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Having a rainy day fund is essential to keep your monthly budget on track, so start (or build up!) yours today.</p> <h2>5. Adjust Your Withholding</h2> <p>Of course, since I&rsquo;m asking you to start paying for life insurance and putting money away in a savings account, I do need to give you a way to come up with those extra monies! The easiest one is to revisit how much you&rsquo;re currently withholding every month for taxes. In 2014, the IRS doled an <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2014-Refunds-Ahead-of-Last-Year">average of $3,096</a> in tax refunds.</p> <p>Unless you got a refund entirely based on tax credits, you&rsquo;re withholding too much in taxes. Using the $3,096 average, you could have an extra $258 every month. Now that you have dependents, you may qualify for several exemptions and tax credits, including the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Child-Tax-Credit">Child Tax Credit</a> and the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Child-and-Dependent-Care-Information">Child and Dependent Care Credit</a>, to effectively reduce your tax bill.</p> <p>Remember that a refund is money that just sits in Uncle Sam&rsquo;s pocket making you 0% interest!</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator">IRS Withholding Calculator</a> or talk with your accountant to find out how much you should withhold every month. Then, accordingly adjust your W-4 with your employer.</p> <h2>6. Open a Traditional or Roth IRA</h2> <p>While the 401K is the most popular type of retirement account, the Roth offers much more flexibility when it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-penalty-free-ways-to-withdraw-money-from-your-retirement-account">taking distributions before age 59 1/2</a>. As a parent of twins, having my retirement account as a last-resort fund that I could tap into without IRS penalty to help my sons is very important.</p> <p>For example, I could take up to a $10,000 distribution to help them to pay for their first home. As long as I don&rsquo;t go over that total limit, I can split the distribution as I see fit and can take one in separate years. Another penalty-free withdrawal from an IRA I can take is to cover qualified higher education expenses, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for the enrollment or attendance of my sons at an eligible educational institution.</p> <p>Bonus: Using an IRA, you can save an extra $5,500, or $6,500 if you're age 50 or older, in 2015 and 2016 for retirement.</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Saving in an IRA allows you to take early distributions without penalty for qualifying purposes.</p> <h2>7. Start Saving for Your Kids</h2> <p>Another great Buffet-ism is &quot;Someone&rsquo;s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.&quot; Imagine if you had an extra 18 years to save for college or retirement, wouldn&rsquo;t that be awesome? That&rsquo;s exactly the lesson that my wife&rsquo;s and my own parents passed on to us the moment they found out we were having twins. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant?ref=seealso">8 Money Moves to Make When You Find Out You're Pregnant</a>)</p> <p>A little bit goes a long way. Even saving $100 every year for 10 years is much better than starting to save $1,000 10 years from now:</p> <ul> <li>With a 0.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,025.57.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 1% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,051.88.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 2.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,135.45.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 4.5% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,258.57.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With a 7% annual rate of return, you would end up with $1,443.48.</li> </ul> <p>When thinking about saving for your kids, especially for education-related expenses, evaluate all options, including custodial IRA accounts and 529 plans. Many of these type of accounts provide full or partial income tax deductions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h3>Money Lesson</h3> <p>Leverage the power of interest compounding over a long period of time and give your children a head start on saving for education or retirement.</p> <p><em>What money lessons did you learn with the arrival of your baby?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-the-kids-move-out">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as the Kids Move Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer">How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family babies financial planning kids life insurance multiples retirement twins Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:30:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1654792 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Times It's Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_family_000035656690.jpg" alt="Family discovering it&#039;s okay to borrow from life insurance policy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Borrowing cash from your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">life insurance policy</a> can be better than getting a traditional loan. There's no credit check and you're not obligated to pay back the policy (although not repaying the policy reduces the death benefit paid to your beneficiaries). If you do decide to pay it back, the interest is often lower than a bank loan.</p> <p>Of course, some will argue that you should never ever borrow or take money from your life insurance policy. But it might actually make sense under certain conditions &mdash; like these.</p> <h2>1. You Lost Your Job</h2> <p>You can be a hard worker and give your boss 200%, but there's no such thing as job security anymore, and employers aren't exactly loyal nowadays. Even worse, you may not be fortunate enough to receive severance pay, and unemployment compensation will likely be a percentage of your regular earnings. In a perfect world, we would all have a six to 12-month emergency fund to carry us through tough times. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. If you have a small cash reserve and not enough income to keep up with basic expenses, borrowing from your life insurance policy can provide funds to keep your head above water as you search for another job.</p> <h2>2. You're Temporarily Unable to Work</h2> <p>If you're offered short-term disability through your employer, this is a policy you can't afford to skip. You're probably thinking, &quot;but I never get hurt,&quot; or &quot;I don't do anything to get hurt.&quot; That may be true, but you never know when you might be unable to work for more than two weeks because of an injury or illness. A disability policy pays between 50% and 70% of your regular salary, reducing financial worry and stress while you recover. Yet, not every employer offers short-term disability, and some employees don't think of purchasing a policy on the individual market.</p> <p>If you don't have disability and can't work because of an illness, it might be impossible to make ends meet with a whole life policy as your backup plan. Between the cash value of the policy and any funds in savings, you might have enough to cover expenses until you're healthy to work again. It's not the most ideal solution, but a viable one nonetheless.</p> <h2>3. You Need Cash for a Home Purchase</h2> <p>Between a down payment and closing costs, buying a house is one of the most expensive transactions you'll likely ever make. You can purchase with a minimum 3% down if you have good credit. This is far less than 20%, but still a lot of cash to cough up, especially after factoring in the high price of closing costs, which range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price depending on where you live.</p> <p>If you have some cash saved for a house purchase (but not the full amount), borrowing from a whole life policy helps you purchase sooner rather than later.</p> <h2>4. You're Starting a Business</h2> <p>Punching a timeclock and dealing with a tyrant boss makes for a long, stressful work week (or career, depending how you look at it). Maybe you've had enough and you're ready to start your own business and control your future (which I highly recommend). Unfortunately, it often takes money to make money. If you're not comfortable blowing through your savings account in order to build your empire, borrowing from your life insurance policy can get your business off the ground. Use this money to invest in yourself, and once your company grows and you're earning more than ever before (because, ya know, fingers crossed!), you can pay back your life insurance policy.</p> <p><em>Are there other times that you think are okay to borrow from your life insurance policy? Let us know in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-insurance-what-to-consider-before-replacing-a-policy">Life Insurance: What to Consider Before Replacing a Policy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys">Never Borrow Money for These 5 Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance borrowing money injury life insurance loans new business new house unemployed Mon, 17 Aug 2015 13:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1518207 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40 http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_budgeting_000033505114.jpg" alt="Couple figuring out financial mistakes to stop making by 40" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It doesn't matter if you're in your 20s, 30s, or 40s &mdash; everyone makes financial mistakes. But, the mistakes we make in our later years are often different from those we made as a young adult. Even if you've gone through some financial growing pains, there's room for improvement.</p> <p>Here's a look at six financial mistakes you need to stop making by age 40.</p> <h2>1. Buying More House Than You Can Afford</h2> <p>Some young adults rush to acquire the same lifestyle as their parents, and they get in over their heads buying homes they can't afford. I've seen it with several of my friends &mdash; they want to look like they ball, but can't maintain the proverbial court. But there's no rule that says we have to constantly move up. If you're living above your means, it's time to downsize and get serious about your money.</p> <p>Being house poor can have a tremendous impact on your personal finances. You might be able to swing the house payment every month, but if you don't have money for anything else, you're less likely to save for retirement &mdash; and there's a good chance that you'll end up with credit card debt. Besides, the cracks will eventually show &mdash; and that will defeat the purpose of why you went into debt in the first place. Not worth it at all.</p> <p><strong>RELATED:</strong> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-steps-to-finding-your-mortgage-lender">How to Land a Mortgage Lender You'll Legitimately Love</a></p> <h2>2. Tapping Into Your 401(k)</h2> <p>Twenty-something adults can afford to tap into their 401(k)s if they endure economic hardships or need cash to buy a house (although it's not recommended by most money experts). Since they're young, there's time to replenish the account. Older adults, however, don't have this luxury. If you're approaching middle-age and hoping to retire in your late 50s or early 60s, this isn't the time to play around with your retirement account. Stop using your 401(k) or IRA as an emergency fund. As an alternative, you need to keep enough cash in your liquid savings to deal with unexpected expenses that pop up. (Which, incidentally, might mean telling your kids &quot;no&quot; sometimes.)</p> <h2>3. Saving Like You're Fresh Out of College</h2> <p>When you're just out of college and starting out, you may not have a lot of cash to put toward saving for retirement. Therefore, you might contribute the bare minimum after opening a 401(k) &mdash; maybe 2% or 3% of your income. This is okay in your younger years. But by the time you hit 40, you need to step it up a notch.</p> <p>Look into increasing your 401(k) contributions to 5% or 6%, especially if you're getting an employer match. This is essentially free money that can take your retirement account to the next level. (Plus, you deserve it!) Also, consider ways to diversify your retirement savings, such as opening an individual retirement account or dabbling in other investments, like stocks or real estate.</p> <h2>4. Putting Your Child's Needs Ahead of Your Retirement</h2> <p>All parents want to give their children the best. This might be the best private schools, extracurricular activities, educational vacations, or college funds. But be careful about putting your kids' needs over your retirement &mdash; after all, you can't afford to help them if your own financial situation isn't secure first.</p> <p>The sooner you start stashing cash away for the future, the more financially stable you'll be when you leave the workforce. If you put the majority of your disposable income into giving your children the best life possible, your retirement could take a backseat to their needs and wants. And if you don't save enough, this can result in working longer than you want later in life, or having to get a job after retiring to make ends meet. Not to mention you might not be able to afford helping your children as much as you'd like.</p> <h2>5. Never Reevaluating Your Life Insurance Needs</h2> <p>Your life insurance needs can change as you get older. A policy purchased in your 20s while you were single without kids or a mortgage probably doesn't offer the coverage you need today. It might be time to upgrade your policy to ensure your family has enough financial support in the event of your death, especially if you're the breadwinner.</p> <p>There are no hard or fast rules regarding how much life insurance to get, but the policy should be enough to cover your funeral and burial expenses, pay off any existing debt, plus provide your spouse and dependents with ongoing financial support.</p> <h2>6. Getting Comfortable With Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>At this point in your life you probably recognize the danger of using credit cards. But just because you no longer rely on credit cards doesn't mean you should get comfortable or shrug off your existing balances. If you still owe thousands, paying the minimum isn't going to cut it. Like, ever.</p> <p>Develop a plan to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">get rid of credit card debt</a> once and for all. Go through your house and sell things you don't need. Instead of spending a work bonus going on vacation, use this cash to erase account balances. You can even temporarily reduce how much you're contributing to your retirement account, and use the savings to pay off credit card debt. Whatever means you need to eliminate this debt (outside of robbing a bank, of course), use it. You'll feel freer and more financially stable once that burden is off your back.</p> <p><em>Are there other financial mistakes we need to stop making by age 40? Let me know some of your suggestions in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-the-kids-move-out">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as the Kids Move Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 7 Money Moves Now Or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt kids life insurance money mistakes mortgage retirement Mon, 10 Aug 2015 09:00:14 +0000 Mikey Rox 1519218 at http://www.wisebread.com Make These 7 Money Moves Now Or You'll Regret It in 20 Years http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_no_money_000026428621.jpg" alt="Man regretting money moves he didn&#039;t make in 20 years" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people always leave stuff for tomorrow.</p> <p>Procrastination is okay when you're talking about cleaning up your bedroom, but when it comes to personal finance, delaying action can be your undoing. There are certain key financial decisions that you need to make <em>today </em>&mdash; otherwise you may have a hard time catching up tomorrow.</p> <p>Don't compromise your financial future &mdash; here are seven&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-cpas-say-you-must-make">money moves</a> for today that you'll regret you didn't make in 20 years.</p> <h2>1. Buy Life Insurance</h2> <p>If you plan to become a hermit, vow to never have a partner or spouse, or avoid having dependents by any means necessary, then you may skip this section. For all others, please read along.</p> <p>Right now is the youngest that you'll ever be, and the lowest that you'll ever be charged for life insurance. That's a fact. When your entire family depends on your income to survive, you need to plan to provide for them in case of your absence. If you're the sole breadwinner, how do you expect your dependents to cover the remaining balance of the mortgage, for example?</p> <p>If you're planning to have a family or take care of your parents down the road, buying life insurance when you're single and healthy in your 20s or 30s allows you to effectively lock in a low rate. If you wait 20 years to purchase life insurance, the cost can become prohibitively expensive &mdash; if you can qualify for plan coverage at all.</p> <h2>2. Negotiate Your First Salary</h2> <p>According to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, class of 2014 college graduates at the bachelor's degree level have an <a href="http://www.naceweb.org/about-us/press/average-starting-salaries-class-2014.aspx">average starting salary</a> of $48,127. At the lower end of the salary range, liberal arts and humanities majors have an average starting salary of $38,604, and at the higher end, engineering majors have an average starting salary of $64,891.</p> <p>If you're thinking that these salaries sound too low, you're right. It turns out that more than 60% of Millennials don't negotiate salary when receiving their first job offers. Recent graduates are leaving money on the table. A survey of 700 employers reveals that three-quarters of employers typically have room to increase their salary offers by 5% to 10% during negotiations.</p> <p>This means that the average starting salary of a liberal arts and humanities major could potentially be bumped up to between $40,534 and $42,464, if only the job applicant were willing to negotiate. To show you how important that initial salary bump is, let's imagine that you were to take those increases of $1,930 (5% raise) and $3,860 (10% raise) and invest them for 20 years in an investment account with a 5% rate of return compounded annually. At the end of 20 years, you would be approximately $65,532.79 and $131,062.87 richer, respectively.</p> <h2>3. Start a Retirement Account</h2> <p>The same compounding example can be applied to your nest egg. You need to start saving for retirement today, or you'll be kicking yourself for not doing so 20 years from now.</p> <p>More than one third of Americans have less than $1,000 in retirement accounts. This is a scary number that becomes even scarier when you realize that the old target of a $1 million nest egg is no longer enough. According to calculations from the Social Security Administration, 25% of Americans aged 65 or older will <a href="http://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html">live past age 90</a>, and 10% will live past age 95. Given the longer U.S. life expectancy, a 4% annual withdrawal would fully deplete a $1 million retirement account in 25 years (age 90, assuming a retirement age of 65).</p> <p>But it's not just a matter of saving for the sake of saving. To maximize your potential nest egg, you need to make these smart money moves:</p> <h2>4. Invest in Stocks</h2> <p>Famous investor Peter Lynch put it best, &quot;Gentlemen who prefer bonds don't know what they are missing.&quot; When you have a long term time frame for investing, stocks will outperform other types of securities.</p> <h2>5. Minimize Investment Fees</h2> <p>By investing in funds with low expense ratios, such as index funds, you get more bang out of your retirement buck.</p> <h2>6. Take Advantage of Employer Matches</h2> <p>The average U.S. worker foregoes $1,336 per year or an extra 2.4% in retirement savings. This is free money that could be in your retirement account, but only if you were meet the matching requirements of your employer's retirement plan. Find out how to qualify for your employer match.</p> <h2>7. Quit Smoking</h2> <p>Smoking is one of the single worst thing that you can do to your body&hellip; and your wallet.</p> <ul> <li>In 2015, the American Cancer Society estimates that you spend <a href="http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/tobacco-related-healthcare-costs">$35 in health-related costs</a> per pack of cigarettes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>According to a study from Wallethub, smoking costs Americans between $1 and $2 million over a lifetime, depending on your home state.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can't charge more for health status. However, they can charge up to 50% more for smoking status. This means that a smoker would pay up to $6,000 for the same annual coverage that would cost just $3,000 to a non-smoker.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Non-smokers receive discounts under most car, renters, and home insurance plans.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Smokers pay about three times as much for life insurance than nonsmokers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Used cars polluted with secondhand smoke have a resale value about 7% to 9% lower than comparable cars without such pollution.</li> </ul> <p>If you quit smoking now:</p> <ul> <li>In 10 years your <a href="http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-benefits">risk of dying</a> from lung cancer would be about 50% less than if you were to continue smoking, and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease would be the same as a non-smoker.</li> </ul> <p>Make these four money moves and you'll thank yourself 20 years from now.</p> <p><em>What are other money moves you'll regret you didn't make in 20 years? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-by-30">5 Financial Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance life insurance money moves negotiating procrastinating retirement smoking Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:00:14 +0000 Damian Davila 1501966 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newborn_baby_000046762652.jpg" alt="Man getting life insurance to protect his child" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life insurance isn't your average dinnertime conversation &mdash; no one likes to even talk about it. After all, life insurance is something that you only have to think about when you are old and grey, right?</p> <p>But nothing could be further from the truth. Life takes unexpected turns, and at any age it could be just as important as having a strong emergency fund or funding your retirement.</p> <p>Still need proof? Here are five compelling reasons why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison">life insurance</a> isn't just for old people.</p> <h2>1. You're Young and Healthy</h2> <p>Life insurance doesn't pay out until you die, but the best time to buy it is when you are young and healthy, since it's issued on rating scale. The healthier you are, the better the rating. The better the rating, the lower the price.</p> <h2>2. You Want to Boost Your Retirement Funding</h2> <p>401(k), IRA, ROTH, SEP-IRA &mdash; they are all great retirement options. But there are also hefty fees if you want to withdraw early from retirement accounts. Life insurance is the yin to retirement accounts yang. There are two kinds of life insurance: those that expire (term), and those that generate cash value (permanent). If you structure a permanent life insurance policy properly, you can actually use the cash value during your life to help fund your retirement, and even better, the benefits can be tax-free to you.</p> <h2>3. You Got Married</h2> <p>Being single can have many benefits. However, right after you say &quot;I do&quot; is probably the best time to start thinking about life insurance. What if one spouse works, while the other spouse might stay home? Or, maybe one spouse makes a lot more money than the other. However you slice it, life insurance can provide a very valuable asset if something was to happen to the higher-earning partner. You want to make sure you have enough life insurance to cover all your expenses, and then some.</p> <h2>4. You're Having a Baby</h2> <p>If you didn't think getting married was a compelling reason enough, that little bundle of joy should surely spur on the need. Kids bring on a ton more expenses &mdash; day care, education, clothes, food, and not to mention college. Tax-free life insurance benefits can become an important life preserver and ensure your child's well-being.</p> <h2>5. You're Open for Business</h2> <p>So, you've got a rock star business concept and are ready for world domination. If you've got a business partner, then life insurance should be your next step. You share expenses, knowledge, and more. What if something happens to one business partner? You've also got their family, their business interest, and the loss of a partner to think about. Business owners usually opt for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/business-succession-planning-part-2-how-life-insurance-will-insure-the-life-of-your-business">life insurance on each other</a> in what is a called a &quot;buy-sell agreement.&quot; This agreement drafted by an attorney states who gets what when something happens. The most common form of currency to &quot;fund&quot; a buy-sell agreement&hellip;you guessed it: life insurance.</p> <p><em>Do you own life insurance yet? If so, why or why not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-life-insurance-policy-for-cold-hard-cash">Selling Your Life Insurance Policy for Cold, Hard Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-important-financial-moments-of-your-life">The 7 Most Important Financial Moments of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 7 Money Moves Now Or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance business death family life insurance marriage retirement Thu, 11 Jun 2015 17:00:21 +0000 Shannah Game 1447185 at http://www.wisebread.com Big Purchases You Should Make by 30, 40, and 50 http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_piggybank_000018649757.jpg" alt="Man planning big purchases at 30, 40, and 50" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It used to be that major purchases such as a house or a car were rites of passage into adulthood. Sure, times are changing, and the new generation isn't buying all the things their parents did. But there are some things you probably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make">can't avoid buying</a>. Here are the big purchases most of us should make by ages 30, 40, or 50.</p> <h2>By Age 30</h2> <p>By the time we reach 30 we've turned the corner from the youth to adulthood, and our possessions show it.</p> <h3>A Car</h3> <p>As more people choose to live in cities, and use mass transit or ride-sharing apps, it's become less necessary to own a car. That said, many of us still have a lifestyle that requires owning a set of wheels. If this is the case for you, by the age of 30, you probably should have purchased a car <em>by yourself for yoursel</em>f. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips?ref=seealso">The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips</a>)</p> <h3>A Real Bed</h3> <p>This is something everyone avoids for years. Millenials have bought and sold cars well before buying a new bed for themselves. Once you are old enough to live on your own, an ugly used frame propping up a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-clean-your-mattress-for-a-better-nights-sleep">decades-old (and filthy) mattress</a> just won't do. A more comfortable bed will help you sleep better, and sleeping better will improve your overall health, which will cost you less in the long run. It's one of the best investments you can make in your 20s. Now that one can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money">buy affordable and comfortable mattresses online</a>, there's no excuse anymore!</p> <h2>By Age 40</h2> <p>What lies around the corner from age 30? A nest and a family of one's own.</p> <h3>A Home</h3> <p>This can be the most emotional purchase you'll ever make, especially in areas of the country where it's virtually impossible for the average person to afford a home. For those of us who want to own our own home, working toward buying before age 40 is a worthy goal. It's wise to start making sound decisions in your 20s and 30s that will keep your financial state healthy, such as building your credit, in anticipation of a home loan.</p> <h3>Home Appliances</h3> <p>Not every home, whether bought or rented, will come equipped with everything you need. As you get older, you'll probably grow tired of washing your dishes in the sink, or going to the laundromat like you did in your 20s. Eventually, you'll break down and buy a refrigerator, dishwasher, a washer/dryer set, or woodworking tools for the garage. Make sure you do your comparison homework in order to get the best appliance deals.</p> <h2>By Age 50</h2> <p>By now the roots are set deep and the big purchases are behind us, but there are a few big buys that mark time's passage.</p> <h3>Life Insurance</h3> <p>As you get older and have children, you'll want to be covered for whatever may happen. By age 50, you'll almost definitely want to consider life insurance &mdash; well before you develop any chronic health issues or are old enough for premiums to skyrocket. Think about what you need from your life insurance and start planning your beneficiaries' financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison?ref=seealso">Universal Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance: A Comparison</a>)</p> <h3>Contractor Work</h3> <p>At this point in your life, making renovations on your bathroom or kitchen, adding on to your home, or re-landscaping your backyard is common. In fact, some renovations <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">nearly pay for themselves</a> over time. If you've never hired a contractor, you'll need to create a budget and detailed timeline, along with a cash buffer for incidentals, accidents, and hotels if you cannot stay in the home at a certain point. Extra frugal? It's also worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-diy-home-renovating-for-you">considering DIY renovations</a>.</p> <p><em>Which major purchases do you think signify life milestones?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8000-housing-tax-credit-can-now-be-turned-into-cash-at-closing-according-to-fha">$8000 housing tax credit can now be turned into cash at closing according to FHA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-the-end-of-6-real-estate-commissions">Is It the End of 6% Real Estate Commissions?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-7-money-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 7 Money Moves Now Or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance appliances big purchases Cars housing life insurance real estate Thu, 07 May 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1410180 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Kinds of Insurance That Aren't Worth It -- And What to Do Instead http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_000019761193.jpg" alt="Woman driving car with insurance plan that isn&#039;t worth it " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Forewarned is forearmed, an old adage goes.</p> <p>Being prepared for the unforeseen is always wise, but some insurance companies may actually be cashing in on our fears of unpredictable events. Don't waste money on insurance you don't need &mdash; or by doubling up on coverage you already have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso">14 Things Insurance Agents Don't Want You to Know</a>).</p> <p>Here are six kinds of insurance that aren't worth their cost (and a few coverage alternatives, just in case).</p> <h2>1. Rental Car Insurance</h2> <p>You shouldn't pay twice for the same thing. Depending on your car insurance policy and your credit card, you may already be covered for rental car insurance.</p> <p>First, most primary auto insurance policies extend to rental vehicles up to your policy limits. For example, your liability insurance would pay for damages caused to other cars or properties. Review your insurance policy to get a clear picture of your coverages and policy limits. In case of questions, talk with your insurance agent or contact your primary auto insurance's customer service line.</p> <p>Second, many credit cards offer secondary coverage for theft or damage to the rental vehicle. Secondary coverage means that after filing a claim with your primary insurance, the secondary insurance picks up fees, such as deductibles, loss-of-use charges, and towing costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>To skip rental car insurance, stick to cars that meet the coverage limits and requirements of your primary car insurance and credit card. For example, some cards won't cover rental cars over $50,000 in value or with rental periods of over 30 days.</p> <h2>2. Extended Warranty</h2> <p>When you drop a couple grand on that brand new laptop, you don't even hesitate to accept that extended warranty insurance. But if you'd read the fine print on your credit card terms, you would have found out that you were already covered. Most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">credit cards offer extended warranties</a> for an extra year.</p> <p>Consumer Reports indicates that when breakdowns occur during <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/02/nine-more-reasons-to-skip-the-extended-warranty/index.htm">extended warranty periods</a>, the average repair cost for appliances is about the same as the average price for that warranty. This means that you're better off sticking with the free extended warranty from your credit card.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Just remember that to qualify for the extended warranty from your credit card company, you need to put the entire purchase amount on the card.</p> <h2>3. Collision Coverage for Old Cars</h2> <p>Talking about car insurance, here is another one that may be unnecessary.</p> <p>Let's imagine that you own a car with a Kelley Blue Book value of $2,500 and that your collision coverage is $500 per year.That's 20% of your vehicle's value for one year of coverage! If you were to wreck your car and receive a total loss settlement, the most that you would receive is $2,000 (assuming a $500 deductible). Is this worth it?</p> <p>This is a bad deal no matter how you see it. It gets even worse as the collision deductible gets higher, or the vehicle's cash value gets lower. Depending on your financial situation, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">dropping collision coverage</a> for your old car may be a good idea. On the other hand, never drop your auto liability insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Take what you would use on collision coverage and put it in a savings fund for your next car purchase.</p> <h2>4. Specified Disease Insurance</h2> <p>If you have a family history of a particular genetic disorder or are at risk for a terminal disease, you may lose sleep over the potential financial blow that might be coming someday. Most specified disease insurance writers claim that this kind of policy is worth it because it will cover expenses not reimbursed by your primary health insurer, such as out-of-pocket medical costs, child and household help charges, and experimental treatment expenses.</p> <p>The reality is that you may be already covered. The Affordable Healthcare Act ensures that most insurance plans cover the health care that <a href="http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002562-pdf.pdf">cancer patients and survivors</a> might need. Current legislation requires that all plans sold in health care marketplaces must cover essential health benefits, including screenings, treatments, and follow-up care of cancer and other types of diseases. If you're concerned about a specific disease, find out your available options for coverage through your <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov">state's health care marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Get peace of mind through a comprehensive plan that covers your illness and skip the specified disease insurance.</p> <h2>5. Life Insurance for Children</h2> <p>This is a very sensitive topic. As a father of two handsome and smart boys, I will do everything in my power to provide them health, stability, and wellbeing. Buying life insurance for children doesn't make sense because they are not the main breadwinners in the family. In most scenarios, your children are your dependents, not the other way around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-and-why-to-buy-life-insurance">How and Why to Buy Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>Life insurance for children would only make sense if you're dependent on your young children for income. Even under these circumstances, some parents may feel uncomfortable signing up their children for life insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>If you're concerned that you wouldn't be able to cover the potential funeral expenses of your children, then create an emergency fund savings or investment account to cover those expenses. That way, you're covered in case of need and you have a head start for a potential college savings fund for your children. Consult your financial advisor to determine which is the right choice.</p> <h2>6. Private Mortgage Insurance</h2> <p>Private mortgage insurance, better known as PMI, is meant to cover any money owed to your lender in case you default on your mortgage. This insurance is not meant to cover you at all. PMI is required by law for homebuyers with down payments less than 20% of the sale price of the property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-don-t-need-mortgage-life-insurance?ref=seealso">Why You Don't Need Mortgage Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>There are three reasons why PMI isn't worth it:</p> <ul> <li>The average PMI payment ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the total loan value. The small percentage can be deceiving. In 2014, the <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/">average U.S. mortgage debt</a> was $155,192. Assuming a 1% PMI, the <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/avoid_pmi.asp">average PMI payment</a> in 2014 was about $1,551. That money would be better used as a contribution to your retirement account or payment to credit card debt.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>PMI payments may not be tax deductible. Families with over <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000296058">$109,000 adjusted gross income</a> ($54,500 if married filing separately) per year can't deduct PMI payments on their tax declarations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>PMI may be cancelled. Under the <a href="https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/compliance/manual/pdf/V-5.1.pdf">Homeowner's Protection Act</a>, you can request your lender terminate your PMI when your loan value reaches 78% of the original market value of the secured property. Keep in mind that there are several requirements, such as no junior liens and no dramatic market value swings. Plan ahead, work on improving your credit history, and make mortgage payments on time within the last two years, so that your lender doesn't come up with any &quot;buts&quot; to your request.</li> </ul> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Save up for a 20% down payment on your property and skip private mortgage insurance altogether.</p> <p>For those with a high credit score, another option for avoiding PMI may be available: an 80-10-10 piggyback loan. Under this type of loan, a bank offers you a mortgage for 80% of the home value, and a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) for 10% of the home value. This way you're able to come up with a 20% down payment but only with 10% out of pocket. Consult your local bank to determine your eligibility for a piggyback loan, find out terms (e.g. some banks may offer 80-5-15 or 80-15-5 piggyback loans), and figure out if a piggyback loan is right for you.</p> <p><em>What are some insurances that you wished you had never signed up for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance car insurance health costs life insurance pmi warranties Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1370391 at http://www.wisebread.com Not Insuring These 6 Things Could Bankrupt You http://www.wisebread.com/not-insuring-these-6-things-could-bankrupt-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/not-insuring-these-6-things-could-bankrupt-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-budget-468144843-small.jpg" alt="couple budget" title="couple budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting ahead financially isn't easy. It requires hard work and persistence. So why risk years or even decades of hard work and sacrifice only to lose everything in one unfortunate, very costly event? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marketing-life-insurance-and-behavioral-psychology?ref=seealso">Marketing, Life Insurance, and Behavioral Psychology</a>)</p> <p>&quot;It won't happen to me,&quot; you say? I felt the same way years ago. But life happens. However unfair it may be, over time we all see some of our friends and family members face difficult challenges or even catastrophes. (I'll include a few examples of my own below.) As much as we hope to avoid them, we just can't predict or control all events. But we can at least hedge some of these risks by insuring against them.</p> <h2>What Should I Insure?</h2> <p>Insurance is for the big things. It's to protect you from major events that would cost you more than you can pay for from your short-term financial reserves. In other words, its purpose is to help shield you from serious and potentially devastating financial setbacks.</p> <h2>What Shouldn't I Insure?</h2> <p>As a rule, then, insurance is not for smaller financial risks or expenses you could absorb and pay for in the short term. This is where we often make a mistake &mdash; purchasing insurance or service contracts for goods and services that cost hundreds of dollars or less.</p> <p>Is that to say that you should never consider taking insurance on a cell phone or a computer printer, for example? Maybe not, but be aware of the cumulative opportunity cost of those expenditures. That money could have been used to help you get ahead financially, by paying off an outstanding debt for example. Also, remember that companies that encourage you to buy their service contracts and warranties often make more profit on the warranties than on the actual product or service being insured.</p> <p>So, what are the big things requiring insurance? And what types of insurance can protect you from being wiped out financially? Here are six that cover most if not all of the bases.</p> <h2>1. Health Insurance</h2> <p>By far, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States is unpaid medical bills. A <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pf_article_109143.html">study done at Harvard University</a> identifies medical expenses as a leading cause of 62% of all personal bankruptcies.</p> <p>Even the shortest of hospital visits now costs thousands of dollars. Just a few months ago one of our sons experienced sudden stomach pains, requiring a trip to the emergency room. After a number of tests (isolating the problem as an intestinal disorder) and some antibiotics he was released four or five hours later. The bill? Over $20,000. Thankfully our insurance covered most of the bill and his subsequent treatments. But it's easy to see how a single serious injury or disease, if not adequately covered by health insurance, could deplete your entire savings.</p> <p>And even if you have health insurance, the ever-rising deductibles (sometimes $5,000 or more) can tip you over a financial cliff if they exhaust your short term funds and force you to delay credit card, vehicle, mortgage, and other payments in an attempt to recover.</p> <h2>2. Life Insurance</h2> <p>This one should be a no-brainer. If you have dependents or any unpaid debts or financial obligations that would need to be paid upon your death (not many people can answer &quot;No&quot; to all of those), then you need life insurance. The question is, how much?</p> <p>There are many ways to estimate how much life insurance you need, but I like the following approach:</p> <ol> <li>Determine your household's current TOTAL annual income needs and SUBTRACT income that's available to your spouse/survivor(s) from other existing sources. This will be their NET annual income need.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Multiply this net annual income need TIMES the estimated number of years your beneficiaries will require it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>ADD your total current outstanding debts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>ADD future unfunded expenses (your funeral expense, children's college, etc)</li> </ol> <p>This total should give you a good initial estimate. For a more complete assessment I suggest Tony Steuer's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0984508104/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0984508104&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZNPG3SINGOTXRIYR">Questions and Answers on Life Insurance</a> toolbook .</p> <p>My strong preference is term life insurance, not permanent life policies like whole life or universal that include an investment component. As a rough guide, I purchased a $300,000 supplemental term life policy at age 40 for $300 per year, or $25 per month. That premium amount will not change until my mid-60s.</p> <h2>3. Vehicle Insurance</h2> <p>Auto insurance is required by most states. It's actually a collection of policies that protects you from financial loss in three ways:</p> <ol> <li>Property coverage pays for damage to your car, either from a collision or from vandalism, storm damage, or theft (if you have &quot;comprehensive&quot;).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Liability coverage pays legal expenses to others for injury to them or damage to their property in an accident.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating accident injuries, and sometimes for lost wages and funeral expenses.</li> </ol> <p>According to <a href="http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/money-girl">Money Girl podcaster Laura Adams</a>, you ought to have &quot;enough auto insurance to cover the total value of all your assets &mdash; such as your home, vehicles, savings accounts, and non-retirement investments &mdash; [in case you are] involved in a lawsuit.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Homeowners Insurance</h2> <p>Like vehicle insurance, homeowners insurance is required when you have a mortgage. It should cover the replacement value of your home and its contents, and it pays for claims associated with fire and certain natural disasters. A liability portion also covers you if someone gets hurt on your property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso">8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a>)</p> <p>If you rent, and the loss of your personal belongings would cause a financial hardship, then you should consider renter's insurance.</p> <h2>5. Disability Insurance</h2> <p>As a young girl my grandmother excelled in school. She loved to read and looked forward to attending college. Her father was a successful stone mason and the family lived comfortably, so paying for college was within their means. Then a work-related accident left him disabled. He never recovered, and he didn't have disability insurance, so his daughter had to quit high school and get a minimum wage job to help the family make ends meet. Needless to say, my grandmother never attended college, and she never had an opportunity to achieve her dreams.</p> <p>This is why having disability insurance is so important.</p> <ul> <li>Approximately one out of four workers entering the workforce today will become disabled for some period of time before they retire.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>More than 90% of disabling accidents and illnesses are not work related, which means they aren't covered by worker's compensation insurance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Social Security is only available after you've been out of work for a year and are completely disabled.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Disability is the leading cause of about 50% of all mortgage foreclosures.</li> </ul> <p>Most employers provide short-term disability insurance to non-contract workers, but they are less likely to offer long-term disability coverage, or if they do it's often less than you need. So look into supplemental disability insurance to make sure your family's needs are covered.</p> <h2>6. General Liability Insurance</h2> <p>Sometimes referred to as umbrella insurance, this is a &quot;miscellaneous&quot; policy. It covers amounts in excess of maximums in other policies, and it provides primary insurance for losses that aren't covered by other policies. Take personal injury lawsuits. However frivolous the claim, defending against a lawsuit can cost thousands. For example, my stepfather works for his local township and he spent over $40,000 clearing himself of an unfounded charge against him by a citizen of the town.</p> <p>Also, have you noticed that insurance companies are narrowing the scope of what they cover in their traditional insurance policies? That same stepfather had storm insurance to cover his primary residence but didn't learn until after last year's Hurricane Sandy that the insurance company wouldn't cover $20,000 in damages to the garage on the same property.</p> <p>Our household has a $1 million umbrella policy that costs about $50 per month. It gives us peace of mind.</p> <h2>Protect What You've Worked Hard For</h2> <p>Joni Mitchell wrote: &quot;Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone.&quot; I think that sums it up nicely. It's hard for us to appreciate the consequences of a serious accident or unforeseen event until after it occurs.</p> <p>But bad things do happen &mdash; we see it all around us. So do what doesn't come naturally: protect yourself against your big risks before they happen. Take stock now of your insurance needs and make sure you're covered.</p> <p><em>Have you covered your big risks? How many of these insurance policies do you have? Can you think of any others?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keith-whelan">Keith Whelan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-insuring-these-6-things-could-bankrupt-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/still-without-health-insurance-here-s-how-much-the-penalties-will-cost-you">Still Without Health Insurance? Here’s How Much the Penalties Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you">Going Without Health Insurance in 2015? Here&#039;s What It&#039;ll Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams">Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance bankruptcy health insurance insurance life insurance Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:00:02 +0000 Keith Whelan 1190088 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Things Insurance Agents Don't Want You to Know http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-insurance-178525693-small.jpg" alt="senior insurance" title="senior insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ignorance is bliss.</p> <p>The less that you know about how insurance works, the happier insurance agents are. As friendly as geckos, generals, cavemen, and ducks may look on TV, you shouldn't forget that insurance is a multi-billion dollar industry. These companies are out there to make money. It is the job of insurance agents to make as much as they can, too.</p> <p>Here are 14 things that insurance agents don't want you to know.</p> <h2>General Tips</h2> <p>Let's start with some tips that apply to several types of insurance.</p> <h3>1. Non-Smokers Pay Less</h3> <p>Non-smokers pay less than smokers for any type of insurance, including car insurance, home insurance, and life insurance. If you don't see a non-smoker discount listed on your policy, call your company and ask about it. Usual discounts for non-smokers range from 5% to 15%.</p> <h3>2. Quick Settlements Are Often Not the Best Deal</h3> <p>A quick settlement offer is never a good sign. This means that you are entitled to a payout, but the insurance agent is aware that if you look into it, you could get more. Remember that insurance companies are for-profit, so don't fall for those &quot;get on with your life&quot; and &quot;put this tragedy behind you&quot; comments. Take the time to carefully review a settlement offer before you accept it.</p> <h3>3. Payouts Can Be Extremely Slow</h3> <p>The airline insurance industry is an example of how slow insurance payouts can be. Lawyers are speculating that the litigation for <a href="http://fortune.com/2014/05/01/the-big-money-surprise-about-malaysia-airlines-flight-370/">Malaysia Airlines flight MH370</a> could take five years, with some families waiting up to 10 years for compensation. Airline insurance litigation in the U.S. can be complex as different states have different caps on damages for victims, so lawyers battle to file suits in states that benefits their clients. For example, in 1949 an <a href="http://ghostsofdc.org/2012/02/27/planes-collide-near-national-airport-killing-55-d-c-loses-home-rule-advocate/">Eastern Airlines plane</a> was cut in half. One half fell in Virginia, where then the cap was set at $15,000, and the other on Washington, D.C., where there is no cap.</p> <h3>4. Low, Low Premiums Can Hide Real Costs</h3> <p>Some insurance agents present you a quote so low that you won't believe your eyes. The reason that the quote is so low is that you would be opting for high deductibles and low coverage limits. These cookie-cutter policies may not only be a bad fit for you, but also end up costing you a lot in case of a claim.</p> <p>To avoid falling for a low-ball price and inappropriate insurance, compare apples to apples by requesting a quote for a policy with the exact same features. Take a second look at any quote that is way below the price of the others.</p> <h2>Car Insurance</h2> <p>Don't fall for cute mascots and look deeper into the coverages for those policies.</p> <h3>5. Credit Score Is a Major Criteria</h3> <p>Not used by just money lending institutions, credit scores provide insurance companies a look at your credit history as a predictor of potential payouts. The FTC also agrees that <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/reports/credit-based-insurance-scores-impacts-consumers-automobile-insurance-report-congress-federal">credit scores are effective predictors</a> of risk for auto insurance policies. This is why insurance agents request your social security number &mdash; so that they can pull up your credit report.</p> <p>Despite the validation by the FTC, this practice has been labeled as discriminatory by many consumer advocacy groups. Those struggling with debt or starting to build their credit history are hit with another big bill. This is why the states of California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have prohibited car insurance companies from using credit-based insurance scores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">How to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h3>6. If You Move or Change Insurance, You Get a Refund</h3> <p>It is a good practice to pay your car premiums in a lump-sum payment because you prevent insurance agents from tacking on a &quot;convenience fee&quot; to smaller payments. However, this doesn't mean that they have all of your money for good. They have to earn it. Your lump sum payment covers several months, so if you have to move to another state, the insurance company owes you a refund for the unused months.</p> <p>Make sure to check the fine print on your policy before cancelling. Some companies may have an early termination fee or require a 30-days notice. Also, plan to have new insurance already in place when the old one is done.</p> <h3>7. &quot;Optional Coverages&quot; May Be Necessary</h3> <p>Insurance agents have to meet sales quotas. Sometimes they may suggest to leave certain &quot;optional coverages,&quot; such as underinsured motorist coverage, to lower your quote and get you to sign.</p> <p>For example, residents of California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Louisiana are not mandated to get coverage for underinsured drivers. Still, it is a good idea to get it. Across the U.S. about <a href="http://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/IRCUM2011_042111.pdf">one in seven drivers</a> is uninsured. But in some states, such as Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Tennessee, the estimated percentage of underinsured motorists is 24% and above.</p> <p>If you are the sole breadwinner in your family, does it make sense to risk the chance of a huge, unexpected bill?</p> <h3>8. You Don't Have to Speak to the Other Guy's Claims Adjuster</h3> <p>Just like in those cop dramas, &quot;you have the right to remain silent and everything you say may be used against you in a court of law.&quot; In the case of a car accident, the claims adjuster from the other party might claim that she &quot;must&quot; have your recorded statement or &quot;requires&quot; your medical records.</p> <p>Don't cave in to these requests, unless ordered by a court or other authority, because the claims adjuster is trying to gather evidence against you. Even your most innocent comment could be twisted as an attempt to delay or deny your claim.</p> <h3>9. &quot;Captive Agents&quot; Cannot Offer You the Best Deal</h3> <p>For the next 30 seconds, write down all the car insurance companies that you can think of. Once the time is up, count how many you got. Three? Five? Ten?</p> <p>Here is some food for thought: There are about <a href="http://www.cheapcarinsurancequotes.com/car-insurance-companies/">100 car insurance companies</a> in the U.S. By only looking up the quotes from two or three companies, you're decreasing your chances of getting the best possible price for your insurance. On top of that, an insurance agent from a company can offer you only options that that company sells. Don't fall for their online comparison tables because those quotes are not accurate &mdash; they are just estimates. The final price can only be achieved by considering your credit score, driving history, and other factors.</p> <p>The easiest way to cover the most ground is to work with an independent insurance agent. She represents several insurance companies, so she is not limited to offer you products from a single company.</p> <h3>10. Rental Car Insurance May Be Unnecessary</h3> <p>Check what your policy has to say about car rentals. You may be surprised that your car policy may provide sufficient coverages. Also, some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">credit cards</a> offer rental car insurance when using them as form of payment.</p> <p>Before you rent a car the next time, make sure to have read the contracts from your existing car insurance and credit card(s). Remember that personal auto insurance often doesn't cover rentals for business use.</p> <h2>Home Insurance</h2> <p>Home sweet &quot;appropriately insured at the right price&quot; home.</p> <h3>11. Force-Placed Insurance Is Expensive</h3> <p>While home insurance is necessary, it doesn't need to be prohibitively expensive. Some banks will try to issue you a Force-Placed insurance, which is very expensive and provides the bank a kickback from an insurance company. This practice is not only unfair to the homebuyer, but also illegal in the eyes of the <a href="http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulations/2013-real-estate-settlement-procedures-act-regulation-x-and-truth-in-lending-act-regulation-z-mortgage-servicing-final-rules/#date">Consumer Financial Protection Bureau</a>.</p> <p>Make sure to read all letters from your lender because they have to provide a written notice in case of a Force-Place insurance policy. If the bank is trying to force you into a insurance policy, find an alternative policy that meets the required coverages (e.g. hazard insurance, replacement cost) but at a lower price. If you are able to find an appropriate policy, contact your lender to cancel the forced policy immediately.</p> <h3>12. Little Known Home Insurance Coverages</h3> <p>Your home insurance policy may be stronger than you think. Here are some lesser-known coverages:</p> <ul> <li>If you're out of power for several days due to a natural disaster and your refrigerator is full of food that goes bad, you may be able to claim compensation.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your children's property is protected by your homeowner's insurance as long they are living in campus dorms.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Home updates required by law, such as a storm cellar, may be covered by your home insurance.</li> </ul> <p>Check your home insurance policy for more details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso">8 Surprising Things Covered by Home Insurance</a>)</p> <h3>13. Private Mortgage Insurance Can Be Removed</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/hpa.pdf">Homeowner's Protection Act</a>requires homebuyers, who finance more than 80% of a new home's value, to purchase Private Mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an expense that you have to keep for several years. The good news is that once your loan-to-value ratio is close to 20%, you can request your lender to remove PMI from your mortgage.</p> <p>Here is an overview of requirements:</p> <ul> <li>No second mortgages on your home</li> <li>Current on all payments by the anticipated cancellation date</li> <li>No late payments within the last two years</li> <li>Good credit score</li> <li>No dramatic market value change of home</li> </ul> <p>Finally, here is a type of policy that is so easy for insurance agents to sell that it deserves a mention of its own.</p> <h3>14. Disease-Specific Insurance</h3> <p>The slight mention of AIDS and cancer are enough to send a shiver down anyone's spine. This is why policies for these diseases are an easy sell for insurance agents. By preying on your fear, they get you to hand over cash for something that you may never use.</p> <p>If you have a health plan or life insurance, you may be already covered for these diseases. By duplicating the coverages, you're just wasting money. If a specific disease runs in your family, get a comprehensive health plan that includes treatment for that specific disease.</p> <p><em>What are some other things insurance agents don't want you to know?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-buy-a-car">6 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Buy a Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-most-important-lessons-i-learned-about-money-when-i-became-a-landlord">The 9 Most Important Lessons I Learned About Money When I Became a Landlord</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-reasons-your-fixed-rate-mortgage-payment-could-rise">The Surprising Reasons Your Fixed-Rate Mortgage Payment Could Rise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Real Estate and Housing car insurance homeowner's insurance insurance life insurance Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1145900 at http://www.wisebread.com What Do I Need to Know Before I Hire a CFP? http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-i-need-to-know-before-i-hire-a-cfp <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-do-i-need-to-know-before-i-hire-a-cfp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-99545082.jpg" alt="business people" title="business people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/R0jKJuvJXpA" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Before you go out and hire what could be the most important person you ever hire in your entire life &mdash; your financial planner &mdash; here's a few things you need to know.</p> <p>Hey, this is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner, and I'm here to answer the question: &quot;What do you need to know before you hire a CFP?&quot;</p> <p>You're officially an adult. It's time to make some really important decisions, so you know you need to hire a financial advisor. You've heard of this thing called a CFP. What does it mean? What do you need to know before you hire a CFP? Well, if you missed the introduction, I am a CFP. I'm a Certified Financial Planner.</p> <p>What does that really mean? So for me, to get my CFP designation, I had to take these courses. I had to study a lot of material. And this covered everything from retirement planning to investing, taxes, estate planning, insurance &mdash; a little bit of everything. Anything that encompasses the financial planning process. And after I studied my butt off, I then had to take a really hard exam. And I want to tell you, it's the hardest exam I've ever had to take.</p> <p>After I passed the exam, I was able to call myself a CFP. Now, the only way I could call myself that is because I had three years of work experience already. If somebody took the exam and passed the test, they couldn't call themselves a CFP just yet. So before you hire a CFP, you should know that they went through a very tough course curriculum. They passed the exam and they've had three years of work experience.</p> <p>So what's the difference between a CFP and a Financial Advisor? It can get pretty confusing. For a Financial Advisor, they don't have to take the CFP Exam. I chose to take the CFP Exam because I wanted more knowledge. I wanted more experience. I wanted that know-how of helping people through the entire financial planning process</p> <p>In our industry, it's not required to become a CFP. Most people who work to get the designation do it because they want the knowledge. They wanted greater growth in their career. I often explain to people, choosing between a CFP and a regular Financial Advisor is kind of like hiring an accountant. You can hire an accountant to do your tax return, or you can hire a CPA who&rsquo;s versed in all the different tax codes and can help you do some legitimate tax planning. The CFP is no different. They are versed in all aspects of financial planning and they can help you get from A to Z; they've got the know-how and the research to do so.</p> <p>I might be a bit biased in saying you need to hire a CFP if you're going to hire a Financial Advisor. But you know what? It's true. They've put in the hard work. They've taken the test. They've got the credentials. And if you're trying to find a Financial Advisor, head on over to <a href="http://cfp.net/">CFP.net</a>. There's a database full of all the different Financial Advisors that have the CFP designation across the country. If you have any more questions regarding hiring a Financial Advisor, this is Jeff Rose, CFP. I'd be glad to help you out. Take care.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-i-need-to-know-before-i-hire-a-cfp">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-wise-breads-financial-planning-expert-jeff-rose-cfp">Meet Wise Bread&#039;s Financial Planning Expert, Jeff Rose, CFP!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-life-insurance">How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Ask the CFP life insurance Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:40:35 +0000 Jeff Rose 1098583 at http://www.wisebread.com Meet Wise Bread's Financial Planning Expert, Jeff Rose, CFP! http://www.wisebread.com/meet-wise-breads-financial-planning-expert-jeff-rose-cfp <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/meet-wise-breads-financial-planning-expert-jeff-rose-cfp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/handshake-177331872.jpg" alt="handshake" title="handshake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lxcxBky6ltY" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>What's going on, Wise Bread community? This is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner and founder of <a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com">GoodFinancialCents.com</a>. The people at Wise Bread wanted me to do a quick introduction video because I am the new financial planning expert here to answer your questions. That's right. Wise Bread has its own resident CFP to help answer any financial planning questions that you have.</p> <p>But before we get into that, let me give you a quick introduction of who I am.</p> <p>I am a Certified Financial Planner. I have been in the financial service industry for over 10 years. That's right &mdash; a decade. (That's why I have a lot of gray hairs. I've got three kids, too, so that kind of helps out.)</p> <p>I started my career with A.G. Edwards &amp; Sons, which is no longer around. They were bought out by a big bank. I spun off from them and founded my own wealth management firm, Alliance Wealth Management, LLC, which is where I'm at today.</p> <p>In case I look familiar, no, I'm not The Rock. My eyebrow does not go up. I do not do the people's elbow, whatever that is, although The Rock's kind of cool. No, I'm the founder of GoodFinancialCents.com personal financial blog. I've done a few movements: the Roth IRA Movement, the Debt Movement,&nbsp;the Life Insurance Movement&nbsp;where I bust out some dance skills.</p> <p>My mission has been to give people information they need to make smart decisions about their money. When I was growing up, I knew nothing about investing. I knew nothing about savings. And I literally stumbled into a profession of being a financial adviser. And thank goodness, because the learning experiences I've gotten meeting with real people and their real life struggles have really opened my eyes to what I need to do and to show other people how to make smart decisions with their money.</p> <p>This September, I'm proud to announce I had my first book coming out called&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0814433286/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0814433286&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>Soldier of Finance</em></a>. This book shows people how to invest their money and take charge of their future. I see so many people who are making bad choices or just don't know what to do, and I want this book to inspire them. You have to want more and want your life to be different. So if you have the motivation and the willpower, I want to show you how to get there.</p> <p>Some of my previous work has been featured on MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Market Watch, and even more importantly, Wise Bread. So I'm hoping to give it back to the Wise Bread community by answering any questions you have regarding financial planning.</p> <p>Now, obviously, financial planning is a broad category, but I am here to answer anything related to that. This can include retirement, investing, college savings plans, life insurance &mdash; anything that has to do with money and your life, I'm here to answer it. And if I can't answer the question, I have a network of trusted experts that will be happy to answer the question for you. Basically, I've got your back.</p> <p>So if you have any questions, just hit me up on the Wise Bread blog. We'll be happy to get that question answered in a future video and some potential Google hangouts. But if you need a quicker response, you can always hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, social media. I'm there, that's where I hang out.</p> <p>I look forward to getting to know you all much better in the near future. Until next time, this is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner. Take care.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-wise-breads-financial-planning-expert-jeff-rose-cfp">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-i-need-to-know-before-i-hire-a-cfp">What Do I Need to Know Before I Hire a CFP?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-life-insurance">How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Ask the CFP life insurance Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:26:19 +0000 Jeff Rose 1098582 at http://www.wisebread.com What Does It Take to Become a CFP? http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-it-take-to-become-a-cfp <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-does-it-take-to-become-a-cfp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-4370899-small.jpg" alt="meeting" title="meeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="454" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Y24aL_yOK7o"></iframe></p> <p>Do you ever get confused when you hear the terms: Financial Adviser, Financial Planner, Financial Consultant, Investment Adviser, Certified Financial Planner? If you do, don't worry, you're not alone.</p> <p>Hey. This is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner and personal finance expert, here at Wise Bread. Let's look at what the difference is between financial planner and CFP.</p> <h2>What Is a Financial Adviser?</h2> <p>If you've ever done any research on hiring a financial adviser or looking at the differences between the titles, you know it gets really confusing. Here's the thing. If you want to be a financial adviser, all you have to do is get a job with an investment firm or an insurance company, and you could pretty much hold yourself out to be a financial adviser. Pretty scary. To become a certified financial planner, you need to take on a whole new set of requirements and education. Let me explain.</p> <h2>What Is a Certified Financial Planner?</h2> <p>When I first got in the business, I was fresh out of college as a finance major; I passed my Series 7 exam, and became a financial consultant. That was the title that was on my business card, but you could have called me a financial adviser or a financial planner &mdash; any of those would've worked. As I advanced in my career, I really wanted something that made me stand out. Upon further research, I learned that CFP, certified financial planner, was the designation to have. The CFP designation embodies financial planning. With that, you cover the principals of general financial planning, investments, retirement, insurance, estate planning, income tax planning. Basically anything that has to do with money and your life is covered in the certified financial planner program. When you figure that everybody is at a different point in their life and has different goals, different objectives, to me, it made sense to get the designation so I could better help my clients. Now that you better understand what the CFP designation means, let's take a look at what it takes to get the designation.</p> <h2>How to Become a CFP</h2> <p>First things first, you must have a bachelor's degree to even start the program. This was a rule that was adopted about 5 years ago, so there are some CFPs that don't have a bachelor's degree. If you want a CFP nowadays, you must have your bachelor's degree. You must also enroll in a course or a program that is sponsored by the College of Financial Planning. There are several ways to do this. You can go to a real-life class setting, you can do an online setting, or you can do self-study. For me, I did the classroom setting in a crash course-like style. Let me explain.</p> <p>Each month, I would go up to my home office up in Saint Louis, and I would spend 3&frac12; days going through everything financial planning. It was seriously force-fed. I was drinking so much Diet Coke and so much coffee just trying to absorb all the information. I did that for 11 months. Afterwards, you must pass the CFP exam.</p> <p>The CFP exam is a 2-day comprehensive exam consisting of multiple choice and case studies. They give you pages and pages of sample client data, and you have to determine what is the best option for them. Let me tell you, the CFP exam was by far the hardest exam I've ever taken in my life. I've never studied for anything more than I did that exam, and I'm so thankful I passed.</p> <p>When you pass the exam, you get to call yourself a CFP, right? Not quite. The final part to becoming a CFP and actually using the designation on your business card, or to even call yourself a certified financial planner, is meeting the experience requirement. The experience requirement is 3 years or 6,000 hours of working in the financial planning industry. You have to be working with clients, analyzing data, presenting client data. Basically, you have to be doing financial planning in order to be able to use that experience requirement. For me, I actually didn't take the exam until I had been in the business for over 4 years, so I more than satisfied that 3-year requirement.</p> <p>On top of the education and experience requirement, you're also held to a higher ethical standard. If you go onto CFP.net and you want to find info on a potential CFP that you're might be hiring, you can see if anything has been filed against them. For example, have they filed bankruptcy? Has anyone filed a complaint against them? Is there anything that shouldn't be on their record for being a certified financial planner? If that's the case, you'll find that on CFP.net.</p> <p>Everything I've explained to you just shows what being a CFP is different than a normal financial adviser that doesn't have to go through the scrutiny and the education and experience requirements. If you're looking to hire a financial adviser, I would strongly encourage you to find a CFP. As I mentioned, head on over to CFP.net to find a good financial adviser for you.</p> <p>If you have any more questions like this, feel free to hit me up. This is Jeff Rose, your resident personal finance expert here at Wise Bread. We'll see you next time. Take care.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-it-take-to-become-a-cfp">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-life-insurance">How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-i-get-life-insurance-through-my-employer">Should I Get Life Insurance Through My Employer?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance certified financial planner CFP financial adviser life insurance Fri, 30 Aug 2013 18:01:02 +0000 Jeff Rose 981649 at http://www.wisebread.com Beginning the Free Life Insurance Quote Process http://www.wisebread.com/beginning-the-free-life-insurance-quote-process <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beginning-the-free-life-insurance-quote-process" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/phone-4530479-small.jpg" alt="man on phone" title="man on phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="454" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FtcTtL8fj38"></iframe></p> <p>Thank you for beginning the process to get your free life insurance quote. Before you proceed, a few quick reminders:</p> <ol> <li>If you have a high-risk condition, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or any type of cancer, please give us a call. What most people don't realize when buying life insurance is that insurance carriers will rate you depending on what type of condition you have. We know which ones to approach depending on what your condition is.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you're looking for a quote on a no-medical exam or no-physical type of life insurance, please give us a call as well. Our quoter is just for term life insurance, but we'll be happy to assist you in getting some no-exam life insurance.</li> </ol> <p>As always, feel free to call our office if you have any questions. We look forward to helping you. Take care.</p> <p><em>Call us! 855-326-7598</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginning-the-free-life-insurance-quote-process">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-life-insurance">How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-i-get-life-insurance-through-my-employer">Should I Get Life Insurance Through My Employer?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance life insurance Fri, 30 Aug 2013 17:26:53 +0000 Jeff Rose 981648 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is the Life Insurance Application Process? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-the-life-insurance-application-process <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-the-life-insurance-application-process" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/concepts-maze-5043639-small.jpg" alt="maze" title="maze" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/I4vNAv6K6xY"></iframe></p> <p>There's nothing more reassuring than entering all your personal information to a life insurance quoter and just waiting to see what happens. Does your information get sold? Are you going to get phone calls from ten different people all at once?</p> <h2>The Internet Makes It Easy&nbsp;</h2> <p>Gone are the days of the life insurance agent coming to your kitchen table after dinner trying to sell you the benefits of life insurance and which company to choose. Nowadays, you can head online and literally have a quote in less than a minute, with the application process beginning maybe 10 or 15 minutes after that. At Wise Bread, you'll see that we have a life insurance quoter that will give you an instant quote from over 60 different carriers in literally less than a minute. All you have to do is enter your age, your weight, your date of birth, the state that you reside &mdash; and after that you'll have a quote. As long as you don't have any pre-existing health conditions, that should be rate that you'll get. You then can finish the application process by entering your address, phone number, your best email address, and how we're going to contact you.</p> <h2>One Call Instead of Ten</h2> <p>After you hit the submit button, let me reassure you that we do not sell your information. You're not going to get calls from ten different life insurance agents in your area all trying to sell you the same thing. Trust me, I've been through that process before and it's not fun. They just keep calling you and calling you and calling you. It's very, very annoying and that is not what happens with us.</p> <p>Once you hit submit you'll get a call from one of our life insurance experts just making sure that you have the right quote. We've had several people that apply for life insurance and who didn't realize that their previous medical history may impact how much the cost is going to be. We just want to make sure that you have a realistic expectation of how much life insurance is going to cost. So, after you hit the submit button. you're going to get a phone call from one of our life insurance specialists.</p> <h2>Matching Your Needs to the Right Carrier</h2> <p>This specialist will be able to assess your situation, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. We work with some of the top carriers, so we know that if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other medical condition, we know which carriers will be able to work with that condition and get you the best rate. After they match you with the best carrier with the best rate, they'll then verify the personal information that you submitted. We're going to get your Social Security Number, your driver's license, your home address, your beneficiary information, and other data just like that.</p> <h2>Verification and a Nurse Visit</h2> <p>After that we'll to transfer you to our back office to verify some of the medical information and the personal information that you give to us. They're basically just there to double check us to make sure we've asked you all the right questions. At the end of that phone interview, they're going to schedule a traveling nurse to come to your home or to your place of employment (whatever is most convenient for you) to do the blood and urine test. That can be done within a week or so of conducting the phone interview &mdash; it's that quick. After you've finished the medical exam, that's turned over to the life insurance underwriters, and they'll assess the medical exam based on the phone interview and then give you an offer based on their findings.</p> <p>All in, this process takes 20 to 30 minutes; that way, you don't have someone coming to your house interfering with your nightly TV shows. This can all be done with the convenience of a laptop and a cell phone, and you can have the process of purchasing life insurance begin. It's that simple.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-insurance-quote">Click here to get a free, no-obligation life insurance quote from Wise Bread.</a></p> <p><em>Jeff Rose is a Certified Financial Planner and author of </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Finance-Charge-Invest-Future/dp/0814433286/?tag=wisbre-20">Soldier of Finance</a><em>. His blog is <a target="_blank" href="http://goodfinancialcents.com">Good Financial Cents</a>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-the-life-insurance-application-process">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-life-insurance">How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-i-get-life-insurance-through-my-employer">Should I Get Life Insurance Through My Employer?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance life insurance Wed, 14 Aug 2013 09:16:53 +0000 Jeff Rose 981219 at http://www.wisebread.com