Thanks to author Sara Bailey, firstname.lastname@example.org for this timely blog. Planning is important for all ages.............Dennis
Planning and Preparation: Financial Tips for Young Parents
Raising children is an expensive proposition these days, and it just keeps getting costlier. There’s so much to plan for: daycare, braces, cars, insurance, college, and more. Careful planning is absolutely essential so you’re prepared at each stage. There are several things you can do to get the ball rolling when your children are young, decisions you can make that give you a head start as your kids grow older. Consider these financial ideas as you begin thinking about the future.
Who’s the Main Breadwinner?
If, like many young couples, you’d prefer that one of you stay home with the little one during the early years, take a careful look at your financial situation and determine whether you can afford to make it on one full-time salary. For a lot of people, it’s the only way to avoid the expense of daycare. Make a detailed budget, and consider whether one of you could generate a side income through a home-based gig. Don’t forget to factor in expenses like diapers, equipment, medical attention, and baby clothing, which can add up pretty quickly, before making a final decision.
Feed That Savings Account
The baby and toddler years are a good time to boost your emergency savings, which give you a financial cushion against the possibility of unexpected expenses. The car might need a new transmission, or a health emergency could leave you with a substantial out-of-pocket bill. The traditional formula is to raise at least three months worth of living expenses for an emergency, but be careful to factor in the new expenses you’ll incur as a parent.
Daycare is the 900-pound gorilla of childhood expenses for many American families. For those who can’t get by on one salary and don’t have someone who can babysit, you’re looking at several years of daycare costs. At full-time rates, the average cost of daycare is about $10,000 a year, which constitutes a major financial challenge for most young families. Do yourself a favor and set money aside as soon as possible to help defray this expense.
If you’re starting a family, you’ll need to take a different view of health insurance. The bare-bones coverage that many young people get by on won’t do the trick anymore now that you’re a parent. If you’re a full-time employee, you probably have the option to sign up for a family health plan, which will take more out of your paycheck. It costs more, but it’ll cover much of your increased healthcare needs and prescriptions. Also, don’t forget to factor in higher premiums when you’re budgeting.
Now that you have a family, your need for life insurance has never been greater. Your dependents need the kind of financial safety net a life insurance policy can provide. Make sure you understand the types of policies, i.e. term versus long-term insurance, and how the cash values and premiums vary among them. One nice thing about a life insurance policy is that you can sell the policy during retirement to free up needed cash for emergencies or vacations.
Saving for college on your own can be a tough task when you’re young and trying to make things work from week to week. Consider starting a 529 plan, which is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to make it convenient to set money aside for your child’s college.
Financial planning can seem like a complicated and arcane subject when you’re young and inexperienced. A lot of it just comes down to planning ahead and saving for the future. That’s good financial advice for anyone, regardless of circumstance or age.
Written By: Sara Bailey : email@example.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
While it is never comfortable for any family to discuss end of life plans with the parents or grandparents, sooner is always better than later. Working through the discomfort now can alleviate a multitude of problems later.
Today, I will talk about all the pros and cons of tackling this issue. At Advanced Senior Advisors, we are strong advocates of clarity, openness and honesty within families and always encourage them to plan ahead and avoid all the possible aggravation and discomfort someone’s passing may bring if a family is not united. We have seen it way too many times first-hand and know that when the situation happens it is just a very painful experience for everyone involved.
Reasons why you should talk to your family sooner:
"With My Parting Gift service, our goal is to help families deal with the problem of end of life planning in the kindest and most economical way possible."
The rewards that earlier planning and discussions bring:
There are various ways of covering final expenses. We believe in traditional whole life insurance as the best vehicle in most cases because it is safe and costs pennies on the dollar. Even if money is not a concern in your family, planning is still important. The details of dealing with the passing of a loved one are complicated.
When that day comes for me, I know my children won’t be fighting over which cemetery, casket, flowers or transportation to choose because I have already done that based on what I want. It is my wish for them to be grieving, remembering and celebrating our lives together rather than arguing and dealing with frustrating administration details of my memorial service.
The Best Time is Now!
President of Avanced Senior Advisors and creator of My Parting Gift
Today I would like to talk about ways to approach the challenges that end of life planning can bring. That includes recommendations for best types of policies there are, with their pluses and minuses and all the other characteristics they feature.
There are various types of insurance used by individuals. Each was created to satisfy specific needs.
In general, the goal of insurance is to take a risk that a single person can’t afford and spread that risk among as large a group as possible, therefore sharing that risk and making it affordable for the individuals benefiting from it. As the risk of dying is 100%, and most of us want to live as long as possible, we, as insurance agents need to make sure that end of life plans are funded with the type of insurance that our customer can afford now, and will be able to keep in place until that day comes.
At Advanced Senior Advisors, we exclusively recommend traditional whole life insurance cover because it offers strong guarantees. With the whole life insurance policy, the contract guarantees that the insurance company can never increase payments or decrease benefits.
First, I want to point out a type of whole life insurance that is many times misunderstood by the people who buy it. It is quite like a traditional whole life plan except that instead of a straight guarantee that rates will never go up, the contract guarantees that rates will never go up individually. In reality that means that if premiums are raised on all policies in your class i.e. same age and state, your premium will be increased also. In my experience, I have not seen one of these plans not raise premiums regularly, so watch out or give us a call if you need advice. See our contact page here...
Next, we look at term insurance. Term insurance is designed to cover a risk that will disappear during your lifetime. Protecting your family’s home, and children’s education in case of your premature death is the most common usage of this type of insurance. Depending on your age, you can get various guarantee periods to protect from premium increases. But even with guarantee periods, the insurance companies have minimal risk that their average client (who needs to be in good health to qualify for larger guarantee periods and affordable cost) will pass away during the duration of the guarantee period. Simply put, it is the most economical way to insure big risks that will not need insuring past a certain point. That point of course is not calculated to be your death, which is why the premiums are so much lower per dollar of benefit than a traditional whole life policy.
"Whole life insurance guarantees that the company can never increase payments or decrease benefits."
The last major category of insurance is called universal life insurance. It is really a mix of whole life, term life, and an interest-sensitive life element. The contracts can have many applications. They are used as forced savings systems, and for some, a financially safe and sound system for investing. Like all the other systems that we could use, I would ask the question: what happens if the investment portion of the contract doesn’t perform as expected, and you only get the gain from the small guaranteed floor rate? The answer is that when there isn’t enough cash value to support the death benefit, you will either have to take whatever cash is left after loan repays and surrender charges, increase your payments, or reduce your death benefits. Again, in my opinion, not the proper vehicle for guaranteeing that the benefits will be there for your family at the end of your life.
I tried to simplify the general differences between common types of insurance. Unfortunately, I realize that in reality it is a very complicated subject.
So we are here to help and would be delighted to guide you or your loved ones through the choices that exist for planning and funding your end of life plan.
President of ASA Agents and creator of My Parting Gift
Why we feel compelled to care for our families when we have passed on...
Today I won’t be talking about the best strategies for your end of life planning. Neither will I be talking of the different vehicles to fund those plans. Today, I simply want to give you my idea of what compelled me to do the end of life planning I have, and what compels me to want to help others who feel the same way and have similar needs to those of mine.
The drive to protect our families is instinctual. When early man came from the forest to live together in groups, I believe it was for the protection of their women and children. They instinctively knew the irreplaceable value of families to the future survival of the human race. If in prehistoric society the men in a group are depleted, there would still be the possibility of regaining their strength and growing again, even if only 1 remained. But if most of the women and children were lost the tribe would have been extinct.
In those days, we knew where our real wealth lay. People came together to build villages and towns. Even to build walls around those towns. All to protect our greatest treasure. Our most valuable resource -our families, relatives and friends.
As civilization grew and prospered, our society became safer, and extinction became less of a worry, our values changed. In some ways, this change was positive. We now had time to learn better ways to survive and protect our families. We had time to learn and explore the universe of ideas and creativity. As we grew beyond the capability of barter and cooperation to handle transactions between us, more sophisticated monetary systems emerged.
Along with progress, greed for money and power grew to the point where we lost sight of our real treasure. Many of us, when we fell in love with our wives and husbands, and felt the indescribable feeling of unconditional love for our children, knew the overwhelming need to protect them and give them a better life than ours.
Personally speaking, even though the road was anything but smooth at times, it has been an exciting and rewarding journey to be the father of 3 unique and wonderful boys. I can’t imagine not doing what I can to leave them in a position to be able to celebrate our lives together, and strengthen the bonds between them and their families at my passing.
Therefore, I can’t stress enough how important it is for me to plan ahead and let my family grieve and remember me without stress and hassle during one of the saddest moments.
Our end of life planning tool is there to help you do the right thing not only for yourselves but also for your closest ones. And our senior advisors can guide you through the process completely free of charge. So get in touch today and let us do the planning for you.
President of Advanced Senior Advisors LLC and creator of My Parting Gift
I come from a large family. When my mother passed away in 2001, she unfortunately had no life insurance and apart from it being really sad, the whole situation was very complicated because the rest of us were disabled and had no way of paying for the funeral. The only one who could finance her funeral was my younger brother who is two years younger than me, his name is Michael.
When my father passed away, thankfully, all his brothers got together and paid for his funeral ceremony because we had no money and he had no end of life cover either. They paid for everything; it was lovely and kind of them.
I don’t want to put that kind of burden on my family. Moreover, I wouldn’t want anybody to go through what my family has been through. I just want a closed casket or to be cremated, and everybody to remember how I was when I was happy, when I was alive. And I think that would be the best thing and everybody at the ceremony would know that this was my decision and final wish.
My insurance agents have been so wonderful sending me all kinds of letters and other support, and for them to care about me like they do, is just truly incredible, but real at the same time.
I can't stress enough how this type of policy will save my family from all kinds of feuds and unnecessary conversations. For me, it is a really easy and affordable way to deal with funding my final expenses. At the end of the day, when my time comes, I know that my closest ones will be able to remember, mourn and celebrate our moments together, rather than having to focus on organizing my funeral.
Vicki Bowen's Story
As a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 8 children, including 2 with autism, I know the importance of a close family. I’m not sure how we would have been able to get through all the trials and tribulations we’ve had to deal with over the past years, if we weren’t supporting each other.
I entered the insurance industry in 1990. From then until 2012, I helped my company’s agents in the field by properly taking care of their client relationships. Not only did I enjoy supporting clients in their problems, some of them even became good friends of mine throughout the process. My colleagues were also a great source of friendship and I feel extremely grateful for all the wonderful relationships I have developed over the years. It became obvious to me that supporting people was my calling.
In 2012, I left the company with my co-worker Dennis and we became partners to form an online Final Expense Insurance Agency. As my trainer and mentor, Dennis instilled in me the values that our company stands for, and I couldn’t support them more. We will always be loyal to our customers, never to an insurance company. We keep our clients at the heart of what we do, and will support them as much as we can to ease future burdens their families might face.
Not very many agencies have excelled in the telesales and online insurance market, but we believed that to properly service your clients today it was the way to go. After so many years of selling in the field, Dennis felt more and more that he was intruding in his clients’ lives. It is not easy to sit down and talk finances for an hour or two at the end of people’s busy day. We find it so much easier to work over the phone and internet, where our clients have access to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a client is ready to consider a plan, he or she can just grab a cup of coffee and we will work with them until we find the company and policy that is best suited for their situation.
"We will always be loyal to our customers, never to an insurance company."
My goal every morning, when I sit down to my desk is not only to support my clients at 100%, it is also to make a friend. It could be the first or 100th person I call that day, but when I do make a friend they are a friend for life. I can’t express what a great feeling that is. They call me on my cell phone whenever they need something, or just to chat. I love it. As the top-of-the-chart salesman for several of the companies that we represent, and the #1 telesales agent for the largest writers of final expense in the country, we have proven that our system works. It shows that doing the right thing for people not only brings you long-lasting friendships, you can make a living out of it at the same time.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently had to have both removed. After a year of chemo treatments that almost ended my life on several occasions, and another 6 months of radiation, I am happy to say that I am back and ready to pick up right where I left off. I can’t say how thankful I am to my family, friends, business associates and all my wonderful clients that supported me every step of the way. I am fortunate to have completed my end of life plan and bought the insurance to cover my health before I got sick. I have always been there for my family. They are my life. I surely don’t want to drop the ball at the end.
I am at my desk every weekday, and available by email and cell to our customers 24/7. If a client needs help using our free resources and planning tools, or has personal concerns about final expense funding due to health or other issues, I am here to listen. I love my job. During my workday, I’m a licensed insurance agent, a personal shopper, and at times I’m just chatting with a new or cherished friend. What is not to love.
Dennis Waton's Story
My family has been in the insurance business since 1945. My dad joined my uncle’s company when he came home from WWII. He was an honest, hardworking man with a heart of gold. He raised 3 sons and they meant the world to him. His love was unconditional.
In business, my dad was caring and very close to his clients. We grew up eating at their restaurants and buying what we needed from their shops. When one of his customers passed away, he always took it personally, and made sure the insurance policy paid quickly. He would even deliver the check personally to ensure finances would not become a source of extra stress for the family during that difficult time.
I grew up witnessing all this, and the values of family, love and support grew ever stronger in me. I have raised 3 boys myself, 2 as a single father, and I can’t express the pride I feel in the fathers that they have now become to my 5 grandchildren. Family is at the heart of my life, and I can see my sons have embraced this value too. I couldn’t imagine a day when they wouldn’t be there for each other.
"A family member passing away can be one of the most challenging moments there are, and could quickly become a reason for the family to tear apart."
When my mother contracted Alzheimer’s, it was a no brainer for me to leave my job on the West Coast and move back to Florida to be with her. I wanted to support her and felt very fortunate to have the chance to spend that time with her. I thought my brothers would like the opportunity to cherish time with her too.
Unfortunately, the situation didn’t evolve the way I would have hoped for. My brothers, who were at a much higher financial level than me, were embroiled in a nasty feud involving their insurance agency.
By simply wanting to bring everyone together, I somehow found myself in the middle of their bitter argument and lost not only the money that my parents proudly left for me, but more importantly, I lost my relationship with my two brothers. One of them didn’t even come to the funeral which was devastating. I can only thank my children who supported me and didn’t allow me to fall apart all together.
Add to that the money situation. Each lives in a completely different financial reality. Is the one that has the most money going to feel animosity towards the others if they believe he should bear more of the expense? What a situation for a family to be in on what must be one of the worst days of their lives.
This should be a chance for them to come together, grieve together, and celebrate our lives together. Not a day to mourn my death while arguing over funeral details. Instead, I would like it to deepen their relationship with each other and bond them together for the rest of their lives.
The situation I found myself in with my brothers unfortunately happens all the time. Since I started working in this industry, I have seen families ripped apart because of different ideas about arrangements and money, over and over again. That, more than anything else, is why I have built My Parting Gift: To prevent this from happening to you. Arrangements can be made ahead of time. Money can be put away or used to purchase life insurance for pennies on the dollar. The choices you make now are choices your children won’t be forced to make later.
So, talk to your family, use our complimentary planning tools we offer to you, and feel free to contact us and discuss any type of funding questions you might have.
President of Advanced Senior Advisors and creator of My Parting Gift
Why do I need an end of life plan?
To put it simply, I love my family deeply, and their future is very important to me.
I have been blessed with 3 beautiful children, who now have given me 5 wonderful grandchildren. I am sure that if I passed on today each of my children would feel that they were my favorite and so would know best how I would want my final arrangements handled. I am happy that I raised them to feel that way, but I can’t imagine they would agree on all (or possibly any) of the details of how I would want my funeral arrangements handled.
It can be a very difficult situation when on learning of their loved ones passing, their children have to immediately begin making decisions on details such as funeral homes, caskets, flowers, who is going to lay out the money, and how is everyone going to get to the funeral, etc., etc. It can make a bad situation much worse. At a time when I have had the privilege of seeing siblings come closer together than ever before in their lives, I have also seen far too many families torn apart forever over making the final arrangements for their loved one. My fondest wish is that I can prevent that from happening to your family, but rater help them to grieve together, and to celebrate the life of their loved one at that most difficult time.
There is never a cost or obligation to making your plan on our site. You can make any changes throughout your life and there will never be a charge for those services.
Dennis Waton - President of Advanced Senior Advisors LLC