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ANNUITIES & RETIREMENT

10 Important Ages for Retirement Planning


The link below is to an article from the U.S New & World Report - Money section by Emily Brandon, with a breakdown of what you can do at different important ages in your life to boost your retirement benefits.

http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2012/02/21/10-important-ages-for-retirement-planning


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

10 Things Social Security Won’t Tell You


Enlightening Wall Street Journal article by Jonnelle Marte regarding a lot of things you may not know about Social Security, but should. Also the article includes tips from how to keep your social security number safer even when you don't give it out, to saving money by following certain rules in order to get the most from Social Security. Click the link below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-social-security-wont-tell-you-2013-06-28


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 

5 Ways To Ruin Your Retirement


This Wall Street Journal article by Cliff Goldstein mentions what I call 5 common sense tips on what "Not To Do" with your retirement funds. However, some people may know one or more of these mistakes and still continue to do them anyway. Since they might not realize that doing these type mistakes will really harm their retirement savings in the long run. To read more, click on link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-ways-to-ruin-your-retirement-2013-06-28


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 

Annuity Dreams And Contractual Realities


This Wall Street Journal article by Stan Haithcock makes some good points about annuities. One thing to keep in mind is to base your decisions and expectations on the guarantees within the policy. Don't base your decisions only on the best case scenarios and set yourself up for possibly disappointing results. Keep in mind that there are many type of Annuities. 

According to the article, fixed indexed annuities were actually designed to complete with CD returns. It goes on to say that the good news about an indexed annuity is that it is a fixed annuity, which means that your principal is protected. In addition, gains (if any) are locked in on an annual basis and typically on the contract anniversary date. He also mentions that he tells people that the upside to an indexed annuity is that there is no downside (which is a good thing), and the downside is that there is typically very limited upside (i.e. CD type returns). You can't have it all, which is OK when you align your return expectations with the realities of the policy. 

To read more, click on the link to the article below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/annuity-dreams-and-contractual-realities-2013-10-22/print?guid=E75291F6-772A-40E9-B94E-8DD76E4B7FAF


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Annuity Video - Is an annuity right for you?


If you don’t know much about annuities, you may want to watch this very short informative video that gives an overview of what an annuity is, some of the benefits, and also some of the drawbacks. 

Click on web link below to view this CNBC (Sharon Epperson) Annuity Video: 

(Note: Be aware that there is a 15-30 second ad before the Annuity Video actually starts.)

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000552531



Source: CNBC Website http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000552531


A suggestion to avoid running out of money during retirement
One solution that gives you an option to receive steady income in retirement is purchasing an annuity well in advance of retirement. However, there are many different types of annuities. For example: deferred annuities if you have years before retirement versus an immediate income annuities for those that need monthly income right away, etc.

If you want more information about annuities, please call me at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss further. If relatively local, I can come right at your home, office, or other location.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Benefits of IRA Accounts & Some of The Rules


An informative MarketWatch article by Bill Bischoff regarding how IRA accounts are tax smart and better then before.

This article mentions that making meaningful contributions to IRAs have gotten a lot easier over the past years and also goes over the ground rules for both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

The bottom line is that you can contribute more to IRAs than in the past, so it is definitely worth the effort.

Click on link below to read the entire article:

IRA accounts are tax-smart and better than ever


Click below to read related article:

1. Everything You Need To Know About Your IRA

2. Understanding the IRA mandatory withdrawal rules


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Claiming Social Security: Should You Wait?


Informative Wall Street Journal article by Anne Tergesen regarding the age that is best for you to claim Social Security. The gist for most retirees is that they are going to be better served delaying Social Security until full retirement age or later. Although to determine the best strategy for you it is worth hiring an independent financial advisor.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/04/23/claiming-social-security-should-you-wait/tab/print/

Also a link, that was mentioned in the article, is pasted below to Social Security's web site that shows when you are entitled to full retirement  (Full retirement age is the age at which a person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits.)

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/retirechart.htm


Related Blog Post:

Taking Social Security Too Soon Can Cost You


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Don’t Ignore Your Social Security Statement


I found this MarketWatch article by Kerry Hannon (NextAvenue.org) to be very informative. It briefly guides you through your Social Security statement and tells of the importance of actually reading it.

The article mentions that if you receive your statement from the Social Security administration, don’t just toss it out or file it away unread. It is very important and probably one of the most crucial financial planning documents for every American to review and understand. 

For those of you that didn’t get a Social Security statement in the US Mail in a long while, you can set up an account at SocialSecurity.gov and log in online to find the same information.

The main reason to read your statement (whether a paper copy that came in the mail or electronic version by logging on and viewing online) is to give you an idea how much you can expect to receive from Social Security, which will depend on the age you apply for benefits. This information can help you decide when to start claiming your Social Security benefits.

It is also very important to verify that your earnings record information is correct. If your earnings record is incorrect, you may not receive all the Social Security benefits you are entitled to receive.

It read the full article, click on the web link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-ignore-your-social-security-statement-2015-01-13


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Everything You Need To Know About Your IRA


This MarketWatch article by Bill Bischoff is very informative and should be a must read for those that aren’t that familiar with rules regarding their own IRA!

The articles expands on the following topics:

  • Who is eligible for traditional IRAs 
  • Who is eligible for Roth IRAs
  • How much you can contribute
  • Taxes due after age 59 1/2
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for higher education expenses
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for first time home purchase
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for death or disability
  • Early Withdrawal (before 59 1/2) for other reasons
  • SEP & SIMPLE IRAs for self employed folks and small business owner
    • Eligibility
    • Contribution limits for 2015
    • Withdrawals after age 59 1/2
    • Withdrawals before age 59 1/2
    • What is AGI?
    • What is earned income?


To read the full article, click on the web link below.

Everything You Need To Know About Your IRA


Click below to read related articles: 
1. IRA accounts are tax-smart and better than ever

2. Benefits of IRA Accounts & Some of The Rules

3. Understanding the IRA mandatory withdrawal rules


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

If Social Security is Plan A, it’s time for Plan B


Link below to an article from Wall Street Journal's Marketwatch by Robert Powell, advising folks to reconsider on how to handle their planning for retirement and not to just depend on Social Security. Basically saying if you’re retired, don’t worry; if you’re under 40, worry!

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/if-social-security-is-plan-a-its-time-for-plan-b-2012-04-25


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Important Documents To Get In Order While You Are Still Healthy & Able To!


Below is a list of some of the important legal documents you should prepare now while you are still healthy!

  • Durable Power Of Attorney
    (For Legal Matters - It allows you to name someone to act on your behalf for any legal task and it stays in place if you become unable to make your own decisions.)

  • Advance Directives
    (Let you make arrangements for your care if you become sick.)

    There are two ways to do this:

    1. Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care 
      (For Medical Decisions - It lets you name the person you want to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself.) Note: Make sure the person you name is willing to make those decisions for you.

    2. A Living Will
      (For Medical Decisions  - It gives you a say in your health care if you become too sick to make your wishes known. In a living will, you can state what kind of care you do or don’t want. This can make it easier for family members to make tough healthcare decisions for you.


  • Wills and Trusts
    (They let you name the person that you want your money and property to go to after you die.)


NOTE: It is best not to attempt to complete these documents yourself, but rather work with an attorney you can trust. Each state may have different laws and may interpret these documents differently and in some cases can be voided if completed incorrectly.


For more information, please click below to read entire article:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/getting-your-affairs-order


Other Related blog posts and articles:

Get these documents in order while you’re healthy and able to

The Essential Pieces of Estate Planning Paperwork You Need



Note: Both Medicare and Life Insurance can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in an insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Indexed Annuities Are Becoming More Popular Again


I found this InvestmentNews article by Darla Mercado to be interesting by pointing out how some things come full circle. The article mentions how indexed annuities became popular after the bond market massacre of 1994 and that indexed annuities were created for an environment like the one we're in today. Thus fixed indexed annuities have become popular once again in today’s low interest setting.

In general, annuities are retirement planning vehicles that can allow you to transfer significant risks, like market uncertainty and life longevity, over to the insurance companies that can shoulder these type risks, given their access to large pools of individuals and their access to institutional pricing. The main concept of most annuities is their ability to minimize the potential loss to their owners, often completely shielding their owners from any potential loss depending on the how the fixed indexed annuity is set up, as well as giving them the option to have income for life if they choose.

"Indexed annuities" are a type of fixed annuity that credits owners' accounts with a minimum guaranteed rate of interest and combines that with an interest rate tied to movement of an index. However, fixed index annuity owners don't fully capture all of the index's performance in most indexed annuities due to the fact that owners also get the benefit of being shielded against downside loss. So if the market index goes down, many Index annuities have a zero percent floor. Meaning owners can’t lose when the market goes down. Owners will either get zero percent when the market goes down or their will receive interest crediting for a portion of the market index when it goes up. A safe, but conservation way to grow your retirement savings without the worry of losses, that is if you leave your money in until the end of the prearranged agreement period.

To read more click on the link below:

http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20140223/REG/302239998/indexed-annuities-gain-popularity-while-rates-remain-low


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Is It Better to Buy Annuities vs. Life Insurance When Planning for Retirement?


Most insurance companies provide annuities and life insurance products. The main difference between “life insurance” and an “annuity” is how the payments are paid out.

An overly simple explanation is: An annuity is almost like the opposite of life insurance. It continues to pay you a stream of income until you pass away. Life insurance on the other hand pays out to your beneficiaries once you pass on. So the difference between annuity and life insurance lies in the benefits and the timing of it. An annuity intends to support the investor's future income requirements while in life insurance, meets the need of the beneficiaries. Life insurance is mainly a financial product which protects your loved ones when the insured has passed away.

Annuities pay a stable steady income to secure your future income needs. It is a safe, secure stable source of income, ideal for retirees. You can start receiving payments “immediately” or “deferred.” Annuities can provide tax-deferred savings for retirement.

Life insurance generally pays out one “lump sum” payment to the beneficiaries, upon death. It is absolutely essential to provide for the future needs of surviving loved ones so you can meet, or even exceed their expenses such as: living costs, covering the cost of the funeral, or to satisfy any other financial obligation you desire for your loved ones after you pass away.

Both annuity and life insurance products provide death benefits. For example if you pay $100 to an insurance policy, when you die, your surviving beneficiaries could receive up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars. With an annuity, when you pay $100 as premium and die, your beneficiaries will only receive paid premium with interest, minus any payouts made. So if your main need is a death benefit, opt for life insurance.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Longevity Annuities - What are they?


A longevity annuity provides protection against outliving your money late in life. Also known as an advanced life delayed annuity, this type of annuity requires you to wait until you reach age 80 or so to begin receiving a payout. Once the payout begins, the annuity provides a guaranteed, regular amount of income for the rest of your life.1

As with any deferred annuity, your money in a longevity annuity grows until you start receiving payouts. The later you choose to begin your payments, the larger your payments will be.1

Buying a longevity annuity is like buying a homeowner’s or health insurance policy with a very large deductible. You’re insuring yourself against a catastrophic risk you can’t handle on your own – in this case, running out of money late in life – while holding your premium to a minimum. You typically would invest just a portion of your retirement nest egg in a longevity annuity – say, 10% to 25% – and leave the rest in your other retirement accounts. It’s only worth tying up a small portion of your savings in a longevity annuity, because should you die before you start receiving payouts, the entire balance of your account will be lost.2

Click the web links below to read more:


An interesting related article, click the web link below to read:

JACK GUTTENTAG: Longevity Annuities — A Much Underutilized Financial Tool



1. Source: CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/annuities_longevity.moneymag/index.htm

2. Source: Time Money http://time.com/money/collection-post/2791259/what-is-a-longevity-annuity/


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

MYGA - What is a MYGA?


MYGA is short for Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity and is a type of fixed annuity.

A MYGA has a fixed interest rate that is applied to invested funds for multiple years in a row.   MYGAs are kind of like bank CD’s (certificates of deposit) in many ways. One similarity of MYGA’s to CDs are that they grow funds at a fixed interest rate for a set period of time and have a penalty for early withdrawals. MYGA’s are some of the simplest forms of annuities.1

A Withdrawal Provision is a feature of almost all MYGA’s. (Although there are some exceptions in some MYGA’s that do not allow penalty free withdraws until full maturity, but most MYGA’s do offer up to 10% withdrawals per year that are penalty free.) The Withdrawal Provision allows you to withdraw a percentage of your account value. For example, if a MYGA had a 10% Free Withdrawal Provision at the end of each year you could withdraw up to 10% of your account value each year penalty free. If you withdraw more of your money earlier then the MYGA agreement allowed, then you would have to pay substantial surrender charges to the insurance company, as well as possible tax penalties. (Withdrawal of any funds prior to age of 59 1/2 are subject to an IRS Penalty of 10% of the funds withdrawn. This is in addition to any penalties incurred as part of the annuity contract.)

MYGA’s are usually purchased by people in retirement or nearing retirement. The reason why MYGA’s are typically purchased by people older than 55 is because of the tax treatment of annuity funds mentioned above.

MYGA’s have several strengths over bank CDs. Probably the most significant strength is that their fixed interest rates tend to be quite a bit higher for MYGA’s than for CD’s of the same number of years. Another key advantage is that MYGA’s grow funds on a tax-deferred basis. That means you do not have to pay taxes on gains each year. With MYGA’s, funds grow tax-deferred within the annuity and no taxes are due until your funds are withdrawn. However on the other side with CD’s, you are taxed each year on the interest earned.

How do you buy a MYGA? Since MYGA’s are insurance products, they may be purchased through a licensed insurance agent. You can call me directly at 941-404-5334 if you like to purchase a MYGA or if you just have any questions.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


1. Disclosures:  I have provided this information as courtesy service. The material on this page for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy. If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law, please consult with an attorney. 

An annuity is an insurance product that can be used as part of a retirement strategy. Annuities are not FDIC insured, not bank guaranteed, and may lose value if surrendered early. An annuity is subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Before buying an annuity, consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the annuity. Please read all disclosures carefully before buying an annuity. Please review your issued annuity policy during any “free look” term offered by the insurance carrier to ensure accuracy. 


Source: http://www.montanalifegroup.com/2014/05/myga



Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Older People Fear This More Than Death!


I read an interesting MarketWatch article by Catey Hill regarding that the number one thing that scares older people the most is running out of money in retirement. 

8 Things older people fear about retirement:

  1. Outliving savings and investments 43%
  2. Declining health that requires long-term care 38%
  3. Social Security will be reduced or won’t exist 33%
  4. Lack of access to adequate and affordable health care 27%
  5. Cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s 25%
  6. Finding meaningful ways to spend time and stay involved 11%
  7. Being laid off/not being able to retire on my own terms 10%
  8. Feeling isolated and alone 9%

Source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies


To read the entire article click on the weblink below:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/older-people-fear-this-more-than-death-2016-07-18


My suggestion to avoid running out of money during retirement:
One solution that gives you an option to receive steady income in retirement is purchasing an annuity well in advance of retirement. However, there are many different types of annuities. For example: deferred annuities if you have years before retirement versus an immediate income annuities for those that need monthly income right away, etc.

If you want more information about annuities, please call me at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss further. If relatively local, I can come right at your home, office, or other location.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Retirement - Keep More Of Your Savings



I thought I’d share this interesting AARP Bulletin article regarding saving money in retirement by giving less to the IRS after you turn 70 1/2.

The articles explains steps to take to avoid costly mistakes, including very large penalties for not taking money out when required.

It further explains that people in the 60’s should already be planning ways to minimize taxes in their 70s and suggests ways to accomplish that.


Excerpts: 

"Starting mid-2016, the oldest boomers will begin turning 70 1/2. That's the magic age when workers who have been socking away money in tax-deferred retirement accounts for decades must begin taking cash out. The withdrawals are called required minimum distributions, or RMDs. And they are Uncle Sam's way of finally collecting income taxes on contributions and investment gains that have been long sheltered from the IRS. Investors failing to take RMDs will owe a stiff penalty amounting to half of what they should have withdrawn.”1

"Basically, after 70 1/2 you must withdraw a minimum sum each year from tax-deferred accounts such as traditional IRAs, SIMPLE and SEP IRA plans, 401(k)s, nonprofit 403(b)s and government 457 plans.

Roth IRAs, whose contributions have already been taxed, don't have RMDs. And if you're still working in your 70s and have a 401(k) or similar plan with that employer, you don't have to take distributions from that account until you leave the job.”2


To read the full article click on the link below:

http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/info-2016/how-rmds-affect-retirement-savings.html


1. & 2. Source: AARP Bulletin March 2016 by Eileen Ambrose


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Retirement costs confuse soon-to-be retirees


An interesting Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch article by Anna Andrianova that states one third of people close to retirement said that they don't know how much money they will need to cover basic expenses in retirement, according to a new study. Click on link below to find out more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retirement-costs-confuse-soon-to-be-retirees-2012-07-31


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Retiring On Less Than A Million Bucks


This Wall Street Journal article by Mitchell Tuchman explains that a million dollars doesn't buy what it used to! Going on to say that savers ramping up to the magic number of one million dollars by age 65, may find that they shot too low for their retirement age goal. The article goes on to mention three essential strategies for the times ahead. Click the link below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retiring-on-less-than-a-million-bucks-2013-06-13


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Should You Care That Bernanke Owns Annuities?


In this Wall Street Journal article by Stan Haithcock it mentions that even Ben Bernanke owns annuities! Some may or may not like Ben and it also goes on to say though that there is a predictable argument on both sides on whether annuities are good or bad. 

Annuities, just as with any investment, one size doesn't fit all. Meaning annuities can be very good investments for some people, but they don't fit everybody's investment strategies, nor are they meant to. Investments should be customized around your individual needs and circumstances. Just like it states in the article, "Annuities can contractually solve for specific problems like lifetime income or legacy. They are not magic portfolio pills or one size fits all panaceas. Ask yourself what you want your money to realistically solve for, then see if an annuity can contractually guarantee that solution. That common sense strategy requires no endorsements, or name dropping."  To read more, click on the link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/4c3b2ea3-0ebf-4a51-91f0-529b4dff64de/stitch?storyguid=49e30d3b-6a5f-4a1c-822d-05d8c55d793c&siteid=nwhpf


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews 


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Social Security Tips For Married Couples (Includes A Video)


I found this interesting Kiplinger’s Personal Finance article & video by Sandra Block on ways to boost retirement benefits for you and your spouse. I thought I’d share their web link so you can watch the short video and benefit from the tips as well.

Click web link below to watch video and/or read her article:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T051-C000-S001-social-security-tips-for-married-couples.html

Related similar article by same author:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T051-C000-S002-social-security-strategies-for-married-couples.html


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

 

Taking Social Security Too Soon Can Cost You


I recently read some interesting articles from both CNBC and U.S. News regarding taking Social Security too early and how it can affect you. I thought I’d share the articles.

Basically everybody's circumstances are different and when you should start taking Social Security is based on many factors. They suggested that it is best to contact a financial advisor to help you decide well in advance before making any decisions.

One excerpt from the U.S. News article by Emily Brandon:
"Your Social Security benefit increases by approximately 7 percent each year you delay taking it from age 62 to 66 and by 8 percent a year until age 70, Kotlikoff found.“


Click on the web links below for each of the articles you would like to read.

Retirees pay for claiming Social Security too early

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/26/retirees-pay-for-claiming-social-security-too-early.html

When to file for Social Security retirement benefits early

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/07/when-to-file-for-social-security-retirement-benefits-early.html?trknav=articlecarousel:inline:1:102945654

Taking Social Security Too Soon Can Cost You

http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2008/01/09/taking-social-security-too-soon-can-cost-you


Related Blog Post:

Claiming Social Security: Should You Wait


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

The 15-Minute Retirement Readiness Review


In this short Wall Street Journal article by Joe Hearn he mentions several readiness questions to help get you on track for retirement. With mini-sections such as: "What will it cost?," "How will I pay?," and "What will I do?" It is a good short read which gives you some quick tips to help plan your retirement. To read the article, click on the link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-15-minute-retirement-readiness-review-2013-07-22


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

The Essential Pieces of Estate Planning Paperwork You Need


I read this informative Money (time.com) article by Jill Schlesinger regarding estate planning and thought I’d share.

One important take away is that you need to prepare these items now, so they will be available if and when needed. Many people mistakenly like to put off this task until another time down the road.

"Below is their checklist:

Estate Planning Documents

Note: Parents should complete the following legal paperwork.

  • Will: A legal document that ensures that your assets are passed to your designated beneficiaries, in accordance with your wishes. In the drafting process, you'll name an executor, who is the person or institution that oversees the distribution of your assets. If you have minor children, you need to name a guardian for them.
  • Power of attorney: Allows you to appoint someone to act as your agent in a variety of circumstances, like withdrawing money from a bank, responding to a tax inquiry or making a trade.
  • Health care proxy: Allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to do so.
  • Trusts (if applicable): Depending on your family needs and tax situations, you may have either revocable (changeable) or irrevocable (not-changeable) trusts. One factor is the size of your estate: For 2016, the first $5.45 million of an estate is exempt from federal estate taxes. If an estate is above the threshold (or twice that for married couples), a revocable trust may be suitable.
  • "DNR" order (if applicable): You may need to complete a "do not resuscitate" order each time you enter a hospital or nursing home.


Account List

You should also complete, and share, a list of multiple accounts that heirs might need to access.

  • Bank and brokerage accounts
  • 401(k) accounts
  • IRAs and Roth IRAs
  • All auto-pay accounts, with name and contact information for each payee
  • Safe-deposit boxes
  • Pension documents
  • Annuity contracts
  • Savings bonds (with copies of the actual bonds)
  • Life insurance policies
  • Long Term Care insurance policies

If there are related online usernames and passwords that someone will need to access, print out a list, stash it in a safe or other secure location, and then (this is important)  make sure that your executor or heirs know how to find it.


Other Documents

Finally, there are several other pieces of paperwork that, if applicable, can be quite helpful to heirs.

  • Previous three year's tax returns
  • Housing, land and cemetery deeds
  • Mortgage accounts
  • Proof of loans made
  • Vehicle title
  • Partnership and corporate operating agreements
  • Marriage license and/or divorce papers, if applicable
  • Military discharge information

Important contacts: Names and current addresses for all people named in the legal documents, as well as the contact information for the estate attorney and CPA who will be handling the estate.”1


Click on web link below to read their entire article and view video:

http://time.com/money/4300166/checklist-estate-planning-documents/


1. Source: Money web article “24 Essential Pieces of Estate Planning Paperwork You Need” by 
Jill Schlesinger located at: http://time.com/money/4300166/checklist-estate-planning-documents/


Click below web link to read one of my related blog posts:

Important Documents To Get In Order While You Are Still Healthy & Able To


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Turning 50? Time For A Retirement Tuneup


This Wall Street Journal Article by Elizabeth O'Brien gives a wake up call as well as advice on evaluating whether you are on track to enjoy financial and physical well-being when you retire. At age 50, experts say, there is still time to play catch up and make adjustments if needed for the next phase of your life. She goes on to say that you should fight the impulse to put retirement on the back burner in your early 50's. Advisers say that the timing may not be opportune at that age, but it is actually the most critical time! She includes a checklist in the article to help 50-year olds stay on track for a healthy retirement. Click the link below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/turning-50-time-for-a-retirement-tuneup-2013-06-11


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What Happens To Your Debt When You Die?


I just read an interesting MarketWatch article by Karen Carr and thought I’d share it.


The article covers these main topics below:

  • Who has to pay the debt?
  • What if the estate is broke?
  • When family members must pay


Excerpt:

"When someone passes away, their estate — or cumulated assets — is generally responsible for paying any outstanding debts. It’s up to the executor of an estate (the person who has been deemed legally in charge of taking care of the estate after someone passes away) to see that debts are paid.

Most debts must be paid back, provided there is enough money in the estate. The types of debts that must be paid back include credit card debt, car loans, private student loans (federal student loans are discharged at death), home equity lines of credit, and mortgages.

If you owe money on a mortgage at the time of your death, things can get a little complicated.”1


Click the link below to read full article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-happens-to-your-debt-when-you-die-2016-03-14


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


1. Source: MarketWatch Online Article by Karen Carr
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-happens-to-your-debt-when-you-die-2016-03-14

What To Do If You Inherit Your Spouse’s IRA


I read an informative MarketWatch article regarding "what to do if you inherit your spouse’s IRA" by Bill Bischoff and thought I’d share it.

The article mentions that you could have huge tax implications by doing the wrong thing with your inherited IRA. You should NOT just sit on your hands. Because if you fail to withdraw at least the required minimum amount from your inherited IRA, you will be charged a penalty equal to 50% of the shortfall! It is very important to pay attention and read his article to learn how to calculate required minimum withdrawals from an IRA you inherited from your spouse.


Click on web link below to read the entire article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-do-if-you-inherit-your-spouses-ira-2015-03-18

What’s the Best Age to Retire?


Ever wonder what age would be best age to retire? No matter if your retirement dreams are supposedly right around the corner or way down the road in life for you, this article should be helpful. Click on the link below to read the article from The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch by Robert Powell and find out more about helping you plan properly.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whats-the-best-age-to-retire-2012-09-13


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Why It Might Be Better To Take Social Security At Age 66 Instead Of Age 70


I read an informative MarketWatch article by Mark Hulbert regarding what age you may want to start taking Social Security and I thought I’d share it.

Some excerpts:

Most financial planners recommend that if you can afford to do so, you should wait until age 70 to begin receiving your Social Security benefits. Your monthly payment in such an event will be 32% higher than if you begin receiving benefits at age 66. As long as you live to your early 80's, those higher monthly payments should make up for the foregone income over the four years from age 66 to 70.1

A couple of reasons on why that conventional strategy could be wrong:

For the first reason, click this web link to read this related article:

When it’s best to claim Social Security before age 70

An additional reason traces to Social Security’s uncertain fate at the hands of our elected officials. If you take at face value some of the proposals being given serious consideration in Congress and in President Trump’s administration that reduce future Social Security benefits, then the financial planners could be giving the wrong advice to wait until age 70.1


For more information, click on web link below to read the entire article:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-it-might-be-better-to-take-social-security-at-age-66-instead-of-70-2018-02-02


1. Source: MarketWatch online article by Mark Hulbert
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-it-might-be-better-to-take-social-security-at-age-66-instead-of-70-2018-02-02


Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor or social security advisor. I am insurance licensed only, thus regarding social security advice always be sure to check with your financial advisor or social security advisor first for your individual situation before making any decisions.


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Younger Adults Can Buy Fixed Annuities, Too


This AnnuityNews.com article by Linda Koco mentions that fixed annuities purchased by buyers under the age of 50 has been increasing recently. Not just under 50, but also under 40, and even under 30 years old!

Many advisors and agents don’t even think of offering annuities to people under the age of 50. One main reason is that they just don’t want to sell annuities to people who might face a tax penalty if they withdraw their annuity funds before age 59.5. It goes on to say that as far as the 59.5 penalty concerns, the same can be said for IRA’s, however younger adults still purchase IRA’s.

The younger purchasers that can benefit from purchasing fixed annuities, could be people that have exhausted their maximum contributions to their 401(k) or other defined contribution retirement plans since they are using fixed annuities to supplement their retirement savings.

To read the full article, click on the link below.

http://insurancenewsnet.com/print.aspx?id=551141


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Annuities can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I try to explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose an annuity that you feel best fits your needs from a large choice of different insurance companies. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local independent agent that can shop rates for you, rather than working with a captive agent working for just one insurance company. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting an annuity please call me at 941-404-5334. 


LIFE INSURANCE

12 Benefits Of Converting Your Term Policy To A Permanent Policy


Keep in mind that part of the reason that term insurance can be obtained at a lower cost than a permanent policy is because a term policy is designed to provide only a temporary duration of protection for a temporary need. So with "term" policies the original term length (number of years the policy is set up for) can expire before people die, and if that happens the insurance company gets to keep all the premiums paid over the years and doesn’t have to pay out a death benefit. 

Where as permanent insurance is generally designed to last your life time and eventually the life insurance company will have to pay out a death benefit to your beneficiaries. (That is, if you kept your policy in force until you die. In other words, you didn’t let your policy lapse due to non-payment, etc.)

  1. No underwriting required on term conversions. Keep the rate class you had when you were younger and healthier without a med exam.
  2. Protection throughout your lifetime.
  3. If you are unhealthy and currently own a Term policy, then converting your existing policy to a permanent policy before the term expires can guarantee continuation of coverage. (If the policy provides for conversion rights.)
  4. Permanent life insurance can be set up to accumulate cash value, and you have the ability to access cash that has accumulated, in the form of loans and withdraws after a certain period of time. 
  5. Conversion Credits. Some carrier may offer conversion credits for converting your term policy.
  6. Level Premiums. A new permanent policy can ensure that your premiums will never increase. 
  7. Avoid a new surtax to fund ObamaCare. Income from a life insurance policy is not subject to the new 3.8% surtax to fund the Healthcare Bill.1
  8. Supplement Retirement Income – Tax Free! At retirement you can take withdrawals from your policy up to cost basis, then switching to loans thereafter. These payments are income tax free as long as the policy is not a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC).1
  9. To mitigate taxation of Social Security Benefits. Currently, income from life insurance policies does not impact the income calculation for taxing social security benefits.1
  10. Creditor Protection. Some state statutes protect cash value from the claims of creditors.
  11. To provide for business continuation. Permanent life insurance is typically a better solution than term for funding a business continuation plan. It ensures that the policy will be in force regardless of how long the business owner stays active in the business. Policy cash values may be available to fund a lifetime buyout or supplement an owner’s retirement.
  12. Cash Value Life Insurance is not a factor in determining eligibility for financial aid. As a general rule, policy cash value is not a factor used in determining eligibility for financial aid for college.


Feel free to call me directly at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment to help determine if converting an existing term policy is right for your situation.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?


1. Disclaimer: I am not a tax advisor. I am insurance licensed only, thus regarding tax advice always be sure to check with your tax accountant first for your individual situation before making any decisions.






7 Benefits Of Life Insurance


Below is a short list of seven general benefits life insurance can provide, that Marvin Feldman listed in his "Life Happens" blog post. He mentioned (and I agree) that is a good list to pass on to existing clients and also people that are just thinking of purchasing life insurance as a great reminder of just some of the things that life insurance can do for the insured's beneficiaries.


  1. Buys time: Allows loved ones to focus on their grief by helping to pay for the funeral and other costs.
  2. Provides a fresh start: Lets loved ones start with a clean slate by helping to pay off credit card bills, outstanding loans and even the mortgage.
  3. Generates income: Helps replace lost income for years to come so that surviving family members can continue to pay for life’s necessities.
  4. Offers flexibility: Gives a surviving spouse the chance to take time off or to switch to a job that offers a more flexible work schedule.
  5. Creates opportunities: Can provide funding to start a business, or pay for schooling so surviving family members can train for a new career.
  6. Funds the future: Offers a way to fund longer-range goals like a college education for the kids or a secure retirement for a surviving spouse.
  7. Leaves a legacy: Gives parents the chance to leave future generations with the legacy of long term financial security.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Choose Independent Agents?



Source: www.lifehappens.org (Martin Feldman)

Advantages Of Permanent Life Insurance


There really isn’t one specific type of life insurance that best suits everybody’s different circumstances.

The two main types of life insurance are permanent life insurance and temporary life insurance. There are different types of permanent insurance, including whole life, universal life, index-universal life, variable life and variable-universal life. Term insurance is generally known as temporary insurance because it only provides protection for specified number of years. (Example: 10, 20, 30 year terms are common options). However, I’m mainly going to focus on permanent insurance in this blog post.

Some of the advantages of permanent insurance are:

  • Permanent Insurance can provide protection throughout your lifetime! Permanent Life Insurance can provide guaranteed lifelong protection (or to a specific age) as long as necessary premiums are paid. Although after a pre-determined period, many times premiums can even be made from the cash value of the policy depending on how the policy was set up. 

    Side Note: Since the face amount of the policy is payable upon the death of the insured person, the element of risk to the insurance company is much different than it is for say, an automobile policy. When an insurance company issues an auto policy, it hopes you will be a safe driver and will never have an accident, so you will never file a claim. Likewise, a Term policy is initially set for a specified number of years and when that period ends, generally the term life insurance policy terminates. Then if the insured passes away after that policy has terminated, the insurance company is not required to pay a death benefit at all! I read in a Forbes article that 95% of all term policies go unpaid. In other words, if you took a random sample of 100 people who purchased term insurance, 95 of them would outlive their terms. The insurance companies know this. That is how they can afford to offer very low premiums for term insurance. 
    In contrast, when an insurance company issues a "permanent" life insurance policy, it knows it will be called upon to pay a claim someday, because every human being dies sooner or later, thus the more expensive premium. For the insurance company, the only unknown is whether the claim will be made in the first year or in a number of years in the future.


  • Ability to access cash that has accumulated, in the form of loans and withdraws after a certain period of time.  (Cash can be accessed Tax Free. Either in the form of loans or you can withdraw funds up to the amount you have put into the policy via premiums tax free!)

  • Policy owners don’t pay taxes on the gains within the policy each year, and that money can be used in retirement to supplement their retirement planning.

  • Depending on the type of permanent insurance, but most can be set up with level premiums. (Payments stay the same & never increase throughout the entire policy.)

  • Provides for business continuation. Permanent life insurance is typically a better solution than term for funding a business continuation plan. It ensures that the policy will be in force regardless of how long the business owner stays active in the business. Policy cash values may be available to fund a lifetime buyout or supplement an owner’s retirement.

  • Creditor Protection. (Some state statutes protect cash value from the claims of creditors.)

  • Cash Value Life Insurance is not a factor in determining eligibility for financial aid. As a general rule, policy cash value is not a factor used in determining eligibility for financial aid for college.

  • In contrast to a tax qualified account such as 401(K), IRA, etc., life insurance death benefit amount paid out when the insured passes is completely tax free to the beneficiaries! (Although that benefit is also the same as for term life insurance, but I just thought I’d mention it here anyway as reminder.)



Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Can I Qualify For Life Insurance If I Have Major Health Issues?


It depends on what your individual circumstances are, but almost always the answer is yes for "Guaranteed Issue" type policies. However depending your specific health issues, with "impaired risk” you may possibly even qualify for traditional life insurance, but at a higher premium than a healthy person of the same age and gender would pay. 

Broadly speaking, people with higher mortality risk due to health issues, are labeled "Impaired Risk." Impaired risk life insurance is defined differently and approached differently by each life insurance company. Since I am an independent agent, my team has the ability to impartially shop pricing with the various insurance companies allowing me to deliver the best rates with top insurance carriers for my client’s individual circumstances. With that said, we can't always get everybody approved (such as cases with active cancer, suicide attempts, etc.) with traditional life insurance and for those cases we offer other types of alternative life insurance policies that are Guaranteed Issue.  

So if you have previously been charged high rates or declined altogether for life insurance? You have come to the right place and may be pleasantly surprised!

Contact me via email by clicking here or call me at 941-404-5334 to assist you! 


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Chances are very good that you need Life Insurance!


"Life Insurance is a simple answer to a very difficult question: How will my family manage financially when I die? It’s a subject no one really wants to think about. But if someone depends on you financially, it’s one you cannot avoid.

There are many types of life insurance, but for all of them the bottom line is the same: They pay cash to your family after you die, allowing loved ones to remain financially secure. Life insurance payments can be used to cover daily living expenses, mortgage payments, outstanding loans, college tuition and other essential expenses. And, importantly, the death-benefit proceeds of a life insurance policy are almost never subject to federal income taxes.

If you’ve worked hard to establish a solid financial framework for your family—investments, home equity, a savings plan, retirement accounts—life insurance is the foundation upon which it all rests. It can guard against the need for your loved ones to make drastic changes to future plans when you die. Certain types of life insurance even have a built-in cash-accumulation feature that can help you reach savings goals.

Most Americans need life insurance, and many who already have it may need to update their coverage." 1 

Insuring Important Milestones Of Your Life For Purchasing or Increasing Life Insurance:
* Married or Getting Married
* A Parent or About to Become One
* Being A Homeowner or  Buying a New Home
* Changing Jobs
* Retired or Planning for Retirement
* Single (While providing financial support for parents)

1Source: www.lifehappens.org


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Convert Your Term Life Insurance To Permanent Life Insurance Before You Retire


There are two schools of thought when it comes to buying Term Life Insurance versus permanent life insurance such as: Universal Life or Whole Life. However, that is a completely different topic that I’m not going to discuss in depth in this particular blog post. For more info on that topic, please check my other blog posts such as: Whole Life Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance and Types of Life Insurance.

Term Life Insurance can be an efficient way to protect your loved ones with the appropriate protection you need, at a low cost during your working years since term life insurance cost is far less than that of a permanent type policy. Part of the reason that Term life insurance can be bought less expensive than a permanent policy is that a Term policy is designed to just provide temporary coverage for a specified number of years, generally for a temporary need.

Retirement is a life event that uncovers a whole new set of needs and concerns. Life insurance can often be a valuable asset during those years. When a Term policy lapses, in most cases that insured would have to go through a new paramedic exam involving blood work, urinalysis, answering their own medical health questions as well as some of their family's medical history, and possibly many additional health qualification tests in order to be approved for a new life insurance policy. At retirement age, these type tests and questions may uncover current health issues that were not present when the original term policy was bought many years ago. Then the underwriting rating could end up being less favorable costing you a higher premium, or possibly you may not even be insurable any longer.

Fortunately, many Term Life insurance policies off a convertibility option. This valuable feature allows the policy owner to convert the Term policy, or portion of it, to a permanent policy such as: Whole Life or Universal Life, at the same heath rate classification without submitting evidence of insurability. Meaning that the insured won’t be required to go through the health qualifications such as: a new paramedic exam,  answer health related questions, etc. However keep in mind that some insurance contracts only allow conversion in the first few years of the policy, while others allow it at any point during the entire term, yet others only allow conversion up to a certain age. One other important point, is that some insurance companies only have limited choices of permanent products to choose from when converting, while other insurance companies give you more flexibility on your product choices when you convert to a permanent policy.

Please note that even if you have maintained favorable health, age is still a primary factor in the cost of a life insurance policy. So as you get older, the more a policy will cost. This applies to both newly underwritten policies and term conversions. 

Converting term insurance as early as possible can effectively lock in a more cost effective premium in retirement.

Feel free to call me directly at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment to help determine if converting an existing term policy is right for your situation.


Other related blog posts: 

12 Benefits Of Converting Your Term Policy To A Permanent Policy

Use Of Your Term Life Insurance Policy's Conversion Option



Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Converting Term Life Insurance


I wrote several blogs on this topic, but to make it easier to find them I pasted the links below.

Click on any of the weblink below:

12 Benefits Of Converting Your Term Policy To A Permanent Policy

Convert Your Term Life Insurance To Permanent Life Insurance Before You Retire

Use Of Your Term Life Insurance Policy's Conversion Option


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Do You Need Life Insurance in Retirement?


Many seniors don't know if they still need life insurance in their retirement. To find out, click on links below from two different articles to read more and see if your thoughts change after you finish reading.

First link is to a U.S. News & World Report LP article by Jeff Rose: 

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/On-Retirement/2012/01/24/do-you-need-life-insurance-in-retirement

The second link below is to a Heraldextra.com article by Jim Miller (Savvy Senior).

http://www.heraldextra.com/print-specific/columnists/is-life-insurance-needed-in-retirement/article_4dee8342-9a25-5817-b9a0-9957a543fdee.html

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Employer Sponsored Life Insurance Plans - Is My Coverage Enough?


Several questions you want to ask yourself (or ask your HR representative, if you don’t know the answers):

  • Is your employer sponsored life insurance plan “portable?” Meaning: Do you have the option to take the plan with you when you leave? (Regardless if you are fired, you quit, or you leave for any other reason.)
    • If your plan is portable, another question to ask: Will you be guaranteed to keep your current premium or will you have to go thru underwriting when you leave your company to determine your new premium amount? If you need to go thru underwriting, that may make your premiums a whole lot more expensive depending on your age and health at that time when you leave your company.
    • If your plan is NOT portable and you still want to continue being covered, you would have to purchase a new individual life insurance policy when you leave your employer.
  • Who is responsible for the premium payments? You or your employer? 
    • If you are responsible for the payments, do you have guaranteed level premiums for the rest of the policy term or do your premiums increase annually, like the majority of employer sponsored plans do?
  • Is the death benefit a fixed amount or a multiple of your salary? Does the multiple increase to a higher tier level if you get promoted?


Once you understand exactly what coverage you have thru your employer, you can take that info to your professional life insurance agent to help you determine if you have enough coverage and also the correct type of coverage. Or if you don’t, what are your best options?

There are many things to consider regarding an employer sponsored life insurance policy versus an individual life insurance policy. One point being that after an individual life insurance policy is underwritten, you can have the option to have level payments guaranteed for a specified number of years or even for the life of the policy, depending on what you choose when you purchase it. That way you don’t have to worry about losing your policy when switching jobs or having annual premium increases.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Fewer Women Than Men Have Life Insurance, Leaving Families Vulnerable


In this Omaha.com article by Steve Jordon (World-Hearald staff writer), it provides insight with statistics on the gender gap between men and women with life insurance.

The article mentioned that fewer women than men have life insurance. (52 percent to 62 percent.) Women have policies with 31% less dollar coverage than men.

The article goes on to mention further that a life insurance death benefit claim doesn’t always make a family rich, but that money can help by providing time to adjust to being a one income family. That extra time can make a difficult transition manageable, rather than desperate.

Many married couples don’t think ahead regarding that a wife’s work at home can’t be replaced inexpensively. Also that if a wife dies, the husband may have to take more time off work for family duties, in addition to hiring outside help.

To read the entire article click on the web link below:

http://www.omaha.com/money/gender-gap-fewer-women-than-men-have-life-insurance-leaving/article_9c0276cf-2e6e-57c8-a45c-32af51c30c6f.html


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Give Your Wife Security With Life Insurance This Mother’s Day


Very wise advice in this Wall Street Journal article by Joe Lucey regarding thinking past the flowers and show your spouse you really care by planning to secure their financial future with the tips he mentions in the article. He goes on to state that 80% of married women fall into poverty after their spouse passes away! Click below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/give-your-wife-security-this-mothers-day-2013-05-10


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?


There really isn’t a simple answer. Generally if you asked several different insurance professionals, you are likely to get many different answers. However, in my opinion the amount of insurance actually depends on your individual situation, your personal goals and needs. 

Some things to consider when determining how much life insurance you need are:

  1. How much total debt do you currently have including your mortgage, car loans, credit cards, other loans? Do you add to your debt each month?
  2. How much do you spend each month on things other than your debt?
  3. Generally one of the biggest factors to consider is that you should have at least enough coverage to replace your existing income for your survivors.
  4. Do you have children that will need funds to go to college? If so, how many children and how much per child? You may want to plan additional funds for educational expenses.
  5. Add enough in your planning for final expenses such as funeral, burial, and related expenses.
  6. Add additional funds in your planning for unknown future emergency expenses.
  7. Keep inflation in mind when planning. (Because today’s dollars won’t buy the same in the future!)


You really can’t protect your family correctly if you don’t know how much they will need each month to survive. (In at least the manner they are accustomed to living.) One of the key factors to consider is what kind of lifestyle you want your survivors to have if you pass away. You shouldn’t just guess at a number! If you pick an amount out of your hat, such as $500,000 or even $1,000,000, that may seem like a lot. You may think that is sufficient coverage, since that is a lot of money. However after careful thought, considering inflation and other factors, you may find that is not enough! Calculating how much income your survivors need if you aren’t around is the only thing that truly matters! 

There are other general methods and formulas such as buying coverage that is equal to 8 to 10 times your annual income. But in my opinion, those methods are inadequate shortcuts. Life insurance is a personal affair and should be customized to your individual needs and goals. There are also online calculators that can help you figure out how much coverage you need.

If all this seems complicated, one of many licensed independent life insurance agents can help by sitting down with you, getting a fact finder worksheet completed with your personal information, and help you calculate your the recommended amount of life insurance that you should purchase, customized for your individual situation. At that point it is up to you to decide how much you can afford and are willing to purchase. If I can be of assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment or click here to contact me by email.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

How To Buy Life Insurance


  1. Decide How Much Coverage You Need: Talk to an independent insurance agent. He/she can assist you in evaluating your insurance needs and also give you information about different types of policies. Determine how much coverage you need by getting important questions answered such as: How much of the family income do you personally provide? Does anyone else depend on you financially? How will your family pay final expenses and repay debts including mortgage payments, after your death? Based on the answers to these type questions and more, you can together intelligently decide how much coverage you need, for how long, and what you can afford to pay. You want to make sure that you buy enough life insurance to cover the financial effects of an unexpected sudden death.
    Click on my blog subject: How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

  2. Determine What Type of Life Insurance You Need: 
    Decide if you need Permanent or Temporary life insurance.
    Term life insurance is commonly known as "Temporary" insurance because just as the name implies it only provides a death benefit for a specified number of years.
    Permanent life insurance on the other hand, doesn't end as long as you pay your premiums. In addition to providing a death benefit, permanent life insurance generally accumulates cash value, and you have the ability to access cash that has accumulated, in the form of loans and/or withdraws after a certain period of time.

  3. Assess Your Current Life Insurance Policy: If you already have a life insurance policy, do not cancel it until you have received the new one. You then have a minimum period to review your new policy and decide if it is what you want. Keep in mind that you may not have to cancel your current policy. You may keep the old one and add a new policy in addition to the old one. Or you possibly may be able to change your existing policy (depending on the policy) to get the coverage or benefits you want now.

  4. Read Your Policy Carefully: Will the premiums or benefits vary from year to year or are they fixed level payments? How much will the benefits build up in the policy? What part of the premiums or benefits are not guaranteed? What is the effect of interest on the money paid and received at different times on the policy? These are all questions that you should be able to answer by reading your policy thoroughly. Your agent can help you understand things that are unclear.

  5. Understand Renewal Policies: You may renew most term insurance policies for one or more terms even if your health has changed. Each time you renew the policy for a new term, premiums most likely will be higher. Many times premiums can skyrocket at renewal time. Ask what the premiums will be if you continue to renew the policy. Also ask if you will lose the right to renew the policy at a certain age.

  6. Choose a Trustworthy Agent: Select an agent that will be there for you to answer your questions and also give you excellent customer service even after the sale. Check the agent’s reviews, references, testimonials and/or recommendations. It is important to see how previous clients were treated.
    Please take a few seconds to read about what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Agent Reviews.

  7. Pick a Well Established Insurance Company with an Excellent Rating: Check the insurance companies’ ratings for financial strength first before completing an application. You want your insurance company to be there when your family needs it the most.

  8. Be Sure You Can Afford the Premium Payments: Before purchasing a life insurance policy, be sure that you can handle the premium payments. Can you afford the initial premium? If the premium increases later, will you still be able to afford it?

  9. Always Answer the Questions on Your Application Truthfully: A company will use this information to evaluate your risk and set a premium for your coverage. When it’s time to submit a claim, accurate and truthful answers will enable your beneficiary to receive prompt and full payment. Dishonest answers in certain circumstances could allow the insurance company to deny a claim.

  10. Ask for an Independent Insurance Agent: Independent agents don't just use one main insurance company and possibly some of its affiliates for quotes like captive insurance agents from a single big insurance company do. Independent insurance agents can shop a very large number of insurance companies across the market for the very best quotes. Independent insurance agents are also able find specific insurance policies that are best suited for their clients.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

How To Keep Your Kids From Blowing Their Inheritance


I watched a short CNBC informative video regarding "How to keep your kids from blowing their inheritance” and I thought it may be useful, so I decided to share it.


Click on web link below to watch very short video:

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/11/21/how-to-keep-your-kids-from-blowing-their-inheritance.html

Note: Sometimes there is a short video ad (no relationship to me) before the actual video starts.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Important Things You Need To Know About Life Insurance


Below are just some of the important things you really need to know about life insurance:

  • Life insurance is considered one of the pillars of personal finance.
    It really deserves the consideration of every household!

  • If anybody relies on you financially, you absolutely need life insurance with yourself listed as the insured and with your dependents as the beneficiaries. That is especially important if you are the parent of dependent children. Or if your spouse depends on you for your income. There are many other examples of when you really should have life insurance. However, I am not going to go into that topic today of who you else you should cover as the insured, or who you should list as your beneficiaries in this particular blog post. 

  • A Life insurance policy is a contract between a life insurance company and a person or sometimes “something” (for example: a trust or company). Be sure to read the entire policy and understand it before signing or at very least before the free look trial period expires.

  • Life insurance doesn’t determine or assign somebody a monetary value of their life.
    However, life insurance does help compensate for the unavoidable consequences that accompany the loss of life. It helps those left behind to cover outstanding debts, final expenses (such as burial and funeral expenses), mortgage payments, educational expenses (such as college for dependent children), and the loss of income from the person that was insured.

  • The primary roles in a life insurance policy:
    • The Insurer (The insurance company that is responsible for paying the claims.)
    • The Owner of the policy. (Responsible for the premium payments and able to make some revisions to the policy, such as changes of the beneficiaries, etc.)
    • The Insured (Person on who the life insurance policy is based on. If that insured person passes away, the death benefit claim is paid to the beneficiaries.)
    • The beneficiary or beneficiaries. (The person or persons, trust, or other entity that receives the death benefit claim in case of when the insured dies.)

  • Two Main Types of Life Insurance: See blog post Types of Life Insurance
    • Term (Temporary) Life Insurance 
    • Permanent Life Insurance (Universal Life or Whole Life)

  • Consider an independent agent to help you with life insurance decision making and to shop for the best prices. Life Insurance - Why Choose Independent Agents?




Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Insurance Policy Forms: Ignorance of The Commodity Perception


Click on link below to read this Small Business Trends article by Ryan Hanley. He points out a very common misconception that insurance is just a commodity and it is all about the cheapest price. (Which by the way, also applies to "Individuals" shopping for insurance policies as well and not just for "Business" insurance.) Although he kind of rants and raves in his article, he does have a very good point. Insurance is not all about price, even though price is one of the major considerations, it is not the only thing to consider when purchasing insurance. Other important factors to consider, including things that he may not have been mentioned in the article are:

  • Your agent & the insurance company's customer service. (Does your agent take the time to explain things to your satisfaction. After the policy is sold, are they going to be there to help you, if needed?)
  • What the actual policy includes, or better yet what it may exclude.
  • Find out the rating of the insurance company you pick to help determine if that insurance company will be there when you need it most.

http://smallbiztrends.com/2012/11/insurance-policy-forms-commodity-perception.html/print/


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Is Your Life Insurance Or Annuity Safe?


It is important to have a financially strong insurance company to back up your life insurance policy or annuity. Otherwise, when you need the funds the most from your policy, the money may not be there for you or your beneficiaries!

  • Check out the insurance company’s ratings from several different sources. Companies with the highest grades are least likely to become insolvent. However with that said, keep in mind that insurance companies can pay some of these sources and that can be a conflict of interest. So you need to do some research with different sources to get a more accurate picture before you buy. Weiss Ratings seem to be the toughest grader and also doesn’t accept compensation from the companies it rates. Also the specific ratings for the exact same insurance company can vary from one source to another. In addition, the rating grade systems of each source can be very confusing. 

    Some of the rating sources are listed below. 
    • A.M. Best
    • Fitch
    • Moody’s
    • Standard & Poor’s
    • Weiss Ratings (Doesn't accept compensation of any kind from the companies it rates.)

  • What if your insurance company goes bankrupt?
    State guaranty associations can provide some protection to their residents, depending on the type and source where they purchase their life insurance or annuity from. There are also limits on our protection and they vary from state to state. Keep in mind that some Life Insurance “Certificates" issued by say for example, a Fraternal Benefit Society, possibly may not even be covered at all by the state guaranty association! A Guaranty Fund excludes coverage for “Policies” (Certificates) issued by a charitable organization, a fraternal benefit society, a mandatory state pooling plan, a mutual assessment company, or by an insurance exchange, or a grants and annuities society holding a certificate of authority under Section 11520.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?


Source: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/insurance/life/life-insurance-safety/overview/life-insurance-safety-ov.htm  However, article is no longer available at this web link.





Life Insurance - An Important Act For An Unselfish, Generous Person


From the bottom of their hearts, most people want the financial protection that life insurance provides their loved ones. An insured policy owner will even endure the tedium, intrusiveness, and expense of the purchase of life insurance. He or she will cooperate with every step of underwriting, which is probably one the most comprehensive vetting processes in the market today for a financial product. On top of all that, he or she will do this all with the full understanding that they will not personally reap one penny from the death benefit, because it will eventually just be paid out to their beneficiaries when they pass away.

A person that purchases a life insurance policy for that reason is really an upstanding, responsible, good-natured, caring person that will be remembered with integrity and honor, not only while living, but especially when they are gone!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance - Are You Worth More Dead Than Alive?


A New York Times article by James Vlahos about some people with existing life insurance policies that become terminally ill, (or sometimes even non-terminally ill folks) and they sell their life insurance policy to a 3rd party in exchange for an immediate cash payment while still alive. The immediate cash settlement is generally a much smaller portion then what their beneficiaries would have received if they had kept their life insurance policy and died. A transaction that is known as a vatical settlement (for terminally ill patients) or a life settlement (for everybody else). Click on link below to read more.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/magazine/are-you-worth-more-dead-than-alive.html?pagewanted=all


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance - Choosing Beneficiaries


Beneficiary:

The party designated by the owner of the life insurance policy to receive the life insurance policy’s proceeds upon the insured’s death.


Primary Beneficiaries & Contingent Beneficiaries (Life Insurance)

Generally there are two basic types of life insurance beneficiaries.

  • Primary Beneficiary: 
    The primary beneficiary is the person (or persons) who will receive the proceeds of the life insurance policy when the insured person dies.
      
    Note: Although, the primary beneficiary will not receive any proceeds if he or she dies before the death of the named insured.

  • Contingent Beneficiary:
    A contingent beneficiary is also known as the secondary beneficiary. The contingent beneficiary will not receive any of the life insurance proceeds if the primary beneficiary is still alive when the insured person dies. The contingent beneficiary is only entitled to receive proceeds if the primary beneficiary dies before the named insured dies.

Keep in mind, it usually best to have both a primary beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary.


If you have multiple beneficiaries, you would also need to specify how the proceeds will be distributed.

 Your choices are:

  • Per Capita, under which if a beneficiary dies ahead of the insured the other beneficiaries will get an equal share of the proceeds, or,

  • Per Stirpes, under which the benefits are passed on to the beneficiary's descendants.


Note: If you have multiple beneficiaries, it is best to designate that proceeds will be distributed as a percentage rather than a dollar amount.


Revocable and Irrevocable Life Insurance Beneficiaries

There are also two classes of beneficiaries. One class is revocable and the other class is irrevocable beneficiaries.

  • Revocable beneficiaries: The owner of the life insurance policy has the right to change the beneficiary designation at any time without the consent of the previously named beneficiary.

  • Irrevocable beneficiaries: The owner of the life insurance policy cannot change the designation of the beneficiary without the consent of the original beneficiary.


Determining the proper beneficiary in your life insurance policy is a matter of the utmost importance.

Below are some of the choices of who you should consider as your beneficiaries:

  • Family
  • Legal Guardian
  • Estate
  • Trusts
  • Charity
  • Key Person Life Insurance


Some Common Mistakes To Avoid:

  • Naming a minor child:
    Naming children as life insurance beneficiaries sounds like a good idea but can backfire. Insurers won’t pay life insurance benefits directly to minors. If you haven’t created a trust or designated a guardian to manage the money, a court will have to appoint a guardian until the children turn 18 or 21, depending on the state. This can cause a delay in providing financial support to the children.1

    Instead, set up a trust to benefit the child, and name the trust as the life insurance beneficiary. Or designate a trusted adult as custodian to administer the benefit.1


  • Forgetting to update beneficiaries
    Be sure to review your life insurance beneficiaries every couple of years, especially if you marry, divorce or have a child.1

    If a beneficiary passes away, you’ll want to update your designations.1

    Failing to update your beneficiaries could cause big problems if you die, particularly if an ex-spouse is still listed on the life insurance policy and shouldn’t be. Stay ahead of the game and review your policy from time to time.1


  • Naming only a primary beneficiary
    Naming just one person as your beneficiary isn’t the best option, since that person could die before you do. Or, if you name only your spouse, you could both die at the same time, such as in an accident.1

    So consider naming a secondary and even a tertiary beneficiary. That way, if the primary beneficiary dies, the money goes to the secondary beneficiary. If that beneficiary has died, then the death benefit goes to the tertiary beneficiary.1


  • Not naming any beneficiaries
    On the other end of the spectrum is not designating anyone as a beneficiary — whether intentional or not. When there’s no living beneficiary, the proceeds typically go to your estate and are then subject to probate. This can leave your loved ones with a long wait to get the money. Also, when life insurance benefits go to an estate, they can then be claimed by creditors of the estate.1

  • Naming a person with special needs
    Setting up a lifelong dependent, such as a special needs child, as your life insurance beneficiary can cause big problems. The life insurance benefits can put that person at risk of losing government assistance such as Social Security, on which many adults with disabilities rely for income.1

    Instead, work with an attorney to set up a special needs trust and name the trust as beneficiary. The proceeds can then be used to supplement that person’s government benefits instead of eliminating them.1


This is just a basic overview and there is a lot more to know about beneficiaries. Before applying for your new life insurance policy with your independent life insurance agent, ask him/her for their assistance in helping you pick your beneficiaries.


Disclaimer: These are basic descriptions, be sure to read the life insurance policy you plan on purchasing for specifics before signing!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?


1. Source: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/life/top-mistakes-designating-life-insurance-beneficiary/

Life Insurance - Delaying Your Decision To Purchase


Deciding to delay your decision to purchase life insurance until later can turn out to be a costly decision or even a disastrous mistake! Since it will cost more to purchase later on. There is also a possibility you may not even be able to be approved as you age and/or your health deteriorates due to an unexpected sudden illness or accident, which at that point you could become uninsurable. I’m guessing you probably know somebody that has passed away over the years that didn’t have any life insurance and how it affected their surviving family members. So don’t take a chance to possibly let that happen to your loved ones, act now!

Keep in mind that life insurance is a subject most people don’t like to think about and many tend to put off making a decision as long as they can! So often times they delay purchasing a policy, until it is too late! It may always tend to seem like the timing just isn’t right to purchase life insurance for one reason or another. Examples: You are just too busy to purchase life insurance at this time. OR It is not in my budget at this time. Accidents and illnesses can happen suddenly and unexpectedly. So unless you start the process while you are initially looking into getting life insurance, your loved ones may not be protected when they need it most!

Life Insurance can provide an instant tax free estate in your absence, heaven forbid something unexpected should happen to you. 

The gist is that waiting to purchase life insurance later on only worsens the matter by at best, making your premiums more expensive and at worst, you may not even be able to be approved later on even though you are ready to purchase then.


Related Blog Post: (Click one web link below to read)

Why do some consumers procrastinate buying life insurance?


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance - Differences Between Long Term Care Or Chronic Illness Riders


What are some of the main differences between a Long Term Care Rider and a Chronic Illness Rider?

Well the differences are significant! Benefits can differ significantly across policies, so be sure to read the fine print on what the rider covers before you purchase a policy. Below I just list couple of the main differences but there are many more differences and you should consult your insurance agent for all of them, or at the very least research on your own before purchasing a policy.

Generally a Long Term Care Rider gives broader coverage and benefits are available when an insured is diagnosed with an illness, or suffers from an accident, that requires substantial assistance with at least two ADLs for at least 90 days. Benefits for one or more Long Term Care events are available throughout the insured’s lifetime, and all under the same rider

Generally a Chronic Illness is defined as a one time permanent situation and is more restrictive. In other words, the condition must be non-recoverable! For example, conditions such as mild to moderate strokes, orthopedic repairs, physical complications from cancer recovery, and other recoverable conditions, etc. would not be eligible to go on claim. 
Certified by a physician, the chronically ill individual has a severe cognitive impairment or requires substantial assistance with at least two activities of daily living (ADLs) for the rest of their lifetime. ADLs include bathing, continence, dressing, eating, transferring, and toileting.


Summary: All riders are not created equal, so do your research and understand all the differences before purchasing!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Life Insurance - How Can You Check The Financial Ratings Of Life Insurance Companies?



When you’re deciding what insurance company to purchase your life insurance from, it is important to have a financially strong insurance company to back up your life insurance policy. Otherwise, when your beneficiaries actually need the death benefit funds the most from your policy, the money possibly may not be there for them!

You should definitely check out the insurance company’s financial ratings from several different sources. Insurance companies with the highest grades are least likely to become insolvent. However with that said, keep in mind that insurance companies can pay some of these financial rating sources and that can be a conflict of interest. So you need to do some research with different sources to get a more accurate picture before you buy. Note that the specific ratings for the exact same insurance company can vary from one rating source to another. In addition, the rating grade systems of each source can be different and very confusing. Another option is to get an average score of the major insurance rating organizations.

A Comdex ranking is a composite score averaging the ratings of the major insurance rating organizations including A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s and S&P. The Comdex is not really a rating, but rather a ranking based on the average of all the different ratings these different organizations give an insurance company. The Comdex rating is based on a number scale of 1 to 100, with the higher the number, the better ranking.  If an insurance company’s Comdex ranking is 90, that means it scores higher than 90% of all other insurance companies with multiple ratings. An insurance company must have ratings from at least 2 insurance rating organizations to have a Comdex ranking.


Some of the rating sources are listed below. 

        A.M. Best

        Fitch

        Moody’s

        Standard & Poor’s

        Weiss Ratings (Doesn't accept compensation of any kind from the companies it rates.)

        

Rankings:

        Comdex Ranking



Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334.

Life Insurance - How To Avoid The Federal Estate Tax When Collecting Life Insurance Proceeds



I read an informative MarketWatch article by Bill Bischoff regarding how to avoid the federal estate tax when collecting life insurance proceeds and thought I’d share.

A few of the important take-aways from the article are listed below. However I recommend you read the entire article by clicking the web link below.

  • In general, a policy beneficiary can receive life insurance death benefit payments free of any federal income tax (and usually free of any state income tax too).1
  • Under the current rules, when you are considered to own a policy on your own life, the death benefit is included in your taxable estate - unless the money goes to your surviving spouse and he or she is a U.S. citizen. When death benefits go directly or indirectly to a non-spouse beneficiary, such as a child or sibling, without passing through your estate, the money is still included in your taxable estate.1
  • If the value of your estate - including any included life insurance death benefits that go to someone other than your surviving spouse - exceeds the federal estate tax exemption of: (1) $5.49 million if you’re unmarried or (2) a combined $10.98 million for you and your spouse if you’re married, your heirs will stand in line behind the IRS (and possibly the state death tax collector too). For unmarried folks, having lots of life insurance coverage (often through work) is the most common cause of exposure to the federal estate tax or state death taxes. The larger $10.98 million federal estate tax exemption for married couples makes it less likely that life insurance coverage will trigger a federal estate tax bill. But it can still happen.1 


Click on web link below to read entire article for the rest of the tips, etc.:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-collect-life-insurance-proceeds-without-paying-any-federal-estate-tax-2017-07-19



1. Source: MarketWatch article by Bill Bischoff (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-collect-life-insurance-proceeds-without-paying-any-federal-estate-tax-2017-07-19)


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Life Insurance - How To Get Tax Free Retirement Income


For people that also have a need for protecting their loved ones with life insurance, they can use their life insurance policy as an accumulation vehicle by paying in additional dollars over and above the premiums required to support life insurance. (Note: There are certain limits on the additional amount you can put in, relative to the death benefit). Those additional dollars go into separate accounts. Depending on the type of policy, those accounts could be called either sub-accounts or index accounts. Then those additional dollars grow tax-deferred over the years. The nice part is that you can take out your “basis” (the money you put in) first and that comes out tax free. Then when you depleted that basis amount, you can switch over and start taking out the gains as income free loans against the income tax free death benefit. Finally when you pass on, the remaining death benefit money, after subtracting the loan amounts you took out, goes tax free to the beneficiary.

Keep in mind that there will be additional costs associated with using life insurance in this manner, but those costs are substantially offset compared to the taxation you would have had, because you would have been able to take loans against the death benefit. Note: The policy needs to stay in force until the insured passes on, in order to enjoy the tax free retirement distributions while living. 

Another benefit is that you can take out your retirement income before age 59 and a half without an additional tax penalty. That is in contrast to other types of deferred retirement income assets such as: 401(K)’s, IRA’s, and annuities that do have an additional 10% tax penalty if funds are taken out before age 59 and a half.

Lastly, in contrast to a tax qualified account such as 401(K), IRA, etc., life insurance death benefit amount paid out when the insured passes is completely tax free to the beneficiaries!


Disclaimer: I am not a tax advisor. I am insurance licensed only, thus regarding tax advice always be sure to check with your tax accountant first for your individual situation before making any decisions.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Life Insurance - How To Save Money When Buying It!


If you are on a budget and can only afford a certain amount for life insurance premiums each month, some of the tips below may help.

  • Buy life insurance now! The premiums only increase as you get older. In addition, the longer you wait, the more risk of developing a health condition that could increase your premiums even more, or disqualify you altogether from purchasing traditional life insurance.

  • Have an independent insurance agent (such as myself), shop quotes around for you through a large number of top rated insurance companies. The same exact amount of coverage with exact same type of life insurance for yourself with one reputable insurance company, may be a lot less then another.

  • If you desire permanent life insurance but you are on a budget, you may consider less expensive term (temporary) life insurance for a specified number of years. Or you could even choose a combination of both term and permanent in the meantime at a lower cost, until you can afford all of your coverage to be permanent life insurance. If you purchase a term life insurance policy now, generally you can convert it to a permanent life insurance policy later as long as it is converted within the given timeframe specified in your term life insurance policy.

  • You can also reduce the premium amount by decreasing the death benefit amount. Then as long as you stay healthy, you can add more life insurance coverage later on when you can afford to pay more.

  • Lastly you can additionally reduce the premium amount by decreasing the term length. The shorter the term length, generally the lower the premium. Then as long as you stay healthy, you can add a new term life insurance policy with a longer term length or permanent life insurance later on when you are able to afford to pay more later on down the road.




Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Life Insurance - Is A Medical Exam Required?


With traditional life insurance a medical (paramed) exam is normally required to get approved. The reason the paramed exam is required is that the insurance company wants to assess the risks involved with insuring you. Including whether or not to even offer you coverage, if you happen to have a history of poor health, etc. With traditional life insurance if it turns out after the insurance company reviews your medical exam results, medical history, your entire application, etc. and determines that you are in excellent health and a low risk, you will be offered a lower premium then say a person in just average health and a lot less than a person in poor health may be offered, if they are even approved. If you are in average health you will be offered premiums for your rate classification. Lastly if you are in poor health, if they happen to approve you, then you would be offered higher rates that match your rate classification.

However not all types of life insurance policies require a medical (paramed) exam. Some types of life insurance like Simplified Issue, may just ask medical questions without requiring an actual medical exam. A Simplified Issue Policy will be offered if your answers to certain questions fit the underwriters guidelines of the insurance company to which you are applying to for coverage. Although Simplified Issue can be sometimes 2-4 times higher then traditional life insurance that requires medical exams. Although it may be more convenient and a lot quicker to get approved then traditional life insurance.

Other types of life insurance such as Guaranteed Issue don’t require any medical questions OR medical exams, however those types of policies are a lot more expensive then traditional life insurance (and even more expensive then simplified issue) and also may have other limitations. One of the major limitations is that the full death benefit is not available until after the policy has been in force for a given amount of time, usually two full years. In the insurance industry, this is called graded benefits. In some cases, if the insured person dies before the beginning of the 3rd year of purchasing the policy, then the beneficiaries only get refunded the premiums paid up to that point, plus interest. Guaranteed Issue is probably the most expensive life insurance you can buy since they accept everybody regardless of health. Guaranteed Issue is basically designed to pay for funeral expenses, plus other final expenses and is typically known as a last resort type of life insurance policy because you can’t get insurance elsewhere.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Life Insurance - Some Of The Most Common Mistakes


Some of the most common mistakes made with life insurance are:

  1. Not having any life insurance at all!
    Lots of people simply overlook the importance of life insurance. Life insurance may not seem to be something they need at the time and it can incorrectly be viewed as just an added expense. However if you actually stop to consider all the people most important to you in your life and how would they be impacted financially if you weren’t there, that is when it starts to make sense. Hopefully you can begin to understand that life insurance is a critical tool to ensuring that your family will be financially supported should anything happen to you. Keep in mind that if you have any outstanding debts or other financial obligations, a life insurance policy can create a “tax free instant estate” to cover all those expenses and more. Remember, it is also important to get life insurance sooner rather than later because the cost can increase exponentially as you age.

  2. Relying only on employer provided workplace life insurance or group insurance
    Several questions you want to ask yourself (or ask your HR representative, if you don’t know the answers):
    --Is your employer sponsored life insurance plan “portable?” Meaning: Do you have the option to take the plan with you when you leave? (Regardless if you are fired, you quit, or you leave for any other reason.)
         -If your plan is portable, another question to ask: Will you be guaranteed to keep your current premium or will you have to go through underwriting when you leave your company to determine your new premium amount? If you need to go through underwriting, that may make your premiums much more expensive depending on your age and health at that time when you leave your company.
         -If your plan is NOT portable and you still want to continue being covered, you would have to purchase a new individual life insurance policy when you leave your employer. Which could be very costly depending on your age and health. (That is if you can even get approved at that future time.)
    --Who is responsible for the premium payments? You or your employer? 
         -If you are responsible for the payments, do you have guaranteed level premiums for the rest of the policy term or do your premiums increase annually, like the majority of employer sponsored plans do?
    --Is the death benefit a fixed amount or a multiple of your salary? Does the multiple increase to a higher tier level if you get promoted?

  3. Only considering term (temporary) life Insurance
    The two main types of life insurance are permanent life insurance and temporary life insurance.

    Term insurance is generally known as “temporary" insurance because it only provides protection for specified number of years. (Example: 10, 20, 30 year terms are common options). Then when that term life insurance policy term expires, you do not have any cash value built up.  If you still want life insurance, you will need to purchase a new policy at considerably higher rates due to your older age and possibly health issues at that future time. (If you have major health issues at that time, you may not even be eligible for a new life insurance policy!)

    Permanent life insurance can provide protection throughout your lifetime and may build cash value at the same time! Permanent Life Insurance can provide guaranteed lifelong protection (or to a specific age) as long as the necessary premiums are paid. A nice feature is that after a pre-determined period, many times premium payments can even be made from the cash value of the policy depending on how the policy was set up. To read more, click on these web links below:

     Life insurance - Advantages Of Permanent Life Insurance

     Life Insurance - Whole Life Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance

  1. Rate increases
    With a level premium term life insurance policy, you are guaranteed that the premiums will not increase during the initial coverage period. However after that initial coverage period, watch out since premiums may skyrocket. When the stated period is up, you are likely to get an invoice for the latest premium that is many multiples of what you had been paying previously.
    One the other hand, with a permanent life insurance policy the premiums may be set to be level (not increase) for your "entire life" as long as you continue to make your payments on time.

  2. Beneficiaries
    Listing beneficiaries is a part of the initial insurance company application process indicating who should inherit the death benefits of your insurance policy. You fill out the form when you buy the life insurance policy, but beneficiaries can later be revised by contacting the insurance company in writing. It is crucial that you keep these beneficiary designation forms up to date. You should review your life insurance policies annually or whenever there is a major life events, such as having a new baby, a divorce, a new marriage, spouse passes away before the insured on the policy, etc.

  3. Procrastinating and/or being under insured!
    Almost 1/3 of Americans think they need more life insurance, and 43% say they would feel a financial hit within six months if their family’s primary wage earner died, according to the 2015 Insurance Barometer Study by industry groups LIMRA and Life Happens. Yet 54% of Americans don’t plan to buy life insurance in the next 12 months.
    If you need life insurance, it’s better to buy sooner rather than later. Life insurance rates increase as you age and develop health conditions. That is if you can still get approved, since if you have major health issues at that time, you may not even be able to get approved for a new life insurance policy!

  4. Naming a minor as a beneficiary
    You might buy a life insurance policy for your children’s benefit, but naming them as beneficiaries on the policy while they are still minors is a very bad idea. If you die before they have reached legal adulthood, the life insurance company can’t pay benefits until the court appoints a guardian. That takes time and money for attorney fees and court costs. Plus the money decisions of the minor will be in the guardian’s control. Instead, name your spouse or other trusted adult as the beneficiary. Or better yet set up a life insurance trust for your children, and name the trust and trustee as the beneficiary on your life insurance policy. You can stipulate how the money should be used. Then when they become of legal age, you can always revise the beneficiaries by contacting the insurance company in writing at that time.

  5. Don’t keep your life insurance policy a secret!
    Many people don’t like to talk about their personal finances, even with their close family members. However somebody needs to know about the life insurance policy, so that the beneficiary can make a claim if/when the time comes. People with a good reason to know about your policy should be: your spouse, adult children, financial advisor, an estate planning attorney, and anyone you appoint in your will as the personal representative or executor of your estate.

  6. Naming your estate as a beneficiary.
    The mistake of naming your estate as beneficiary of your life insurance policy condemns the proceeds (in many states) to needless state inheritance taxes or to a higher rate than if the proceeds were payable to a named beneficiary. This mistake also allows that creditors will have full access to the life insurance proceeds even though most states’ laws provide full or significant exemption from the claims of creditors for life insurance payable to named beneficiaries such as a spouse, children, parent or sibling. So by the mistake of naming your estate as your beneficiary, you guarantee that the precious dollars you wanted to go to a loved one will be subjected to the expense and potential aggravation and delay of probate.
    The solution would be that you should change the beneficiary of your group insurance at work and your individually owned policies to the persons or organizations you really want to receive it. That way you can legally cut out the tax middleman and others whom you don’t want to be recipients of your life insurance.

  7. You didn’t list at least two contingent beneficiaries on your life insurance policy.
    If the beneficiary you named dies before you do (even if only minutes before you), and you hadn’t named other beneficiaries, the proceeds will be paid to your estate. This needlessly subjects the proceeds to all the problems of the above paragraph, just as if you had named your estate as your life insurance beneficiary.
    You should name at least list two contingent beneficiaries for every person named in your life insurance policy as a beneficiary.

  8. You don’t check your life insurance polices annually for any changes that may need to be made to keep them up to date.
    For example: Many policies are payable to former spouses or others, whom the owner of the policy would not have wanted to receive the proceeds. Children born after a policy was purchased are often inadvertently omitted. This can happen because it’s easy to forget whom you named as the beneficiaries of your life insurance many years ago. Forgoing an annual checkup also makes it likely that you may not have the best possible type of policy to meet your present needs. So check your life insurance policies annually (or better yet have your agent sit down with you and review together) to see if the beneficiaries named are the people you still want currently as your beneficiaries and also that the policy proceeds are payable to them in the manner that best meets their needs, abilities and circumstances. Lastly, check to see if you still have the best possible type of policy and coverage amounts to meet your present needs.










Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Life Insurance - Understanding Rating Classifications


I found an informative "Life Happens” article that helps explain life insurance rating classifications and thought I’d share and add to it.

Everyone who applies for “traditional" life insurance is assessed for coverage. Insurers provide coverage and premium rates in accordance with an applicant’s risk level. To that end, insurance companies typically place applicants in categories relative to their risk which involves their health as well as lifestyle choices. Smoking, for example, as a behavior associated with health risks, will impact which category an applicant will be assigned. Sometimes a person, due to health issues or lifestyle factors, may not fit into standard categories and will, instead, be assigned a table rating. While obtaining a policy is still quite possible, table ratings are associated with higher premium rates.

Note: While each insurance company has different underwriting policies, below are some generalized definitions of each classification. Not all insurance companies will agree on these same generalized definitions for each classification. Some insurance underwriters may be more lenient, than others, in regards to fitting a person into a specific classification. Hence it is important to note, that since all insurance companies do not follow the same rating criteria, you could be rated as "preferred select" by one company and just “preferred" by another for example, simply because of that company's individual underwriting guidelines. Also please keep in mind that not all insurance companies have all six of the classifications listed below. For example, one insurance company shows only to have three basic categories plus substandard ratings for non-smokers under age 70.

What Do Basic Classifications Mean?

  • Preferred Select: Sometimes referred to as preferred elite, preferred best, super preferred, or preferred plus, this category is associated with excellent health, a normal weight and height profile, and no other factors that might suggest increased health risk such as the death of a family member due to heart disease before age 60, for example.
  • Preferred: This category is associated with excellent health, though there may be a few minor issues like a slightly elevated cholesterol level, for instance.
  • Standard Plus: While associated with optimum health, there may be some factors that prevent the applicant from falling into a preferred category like high blood pressure or being overweight.
  • Standard: This category is associated with average health as well as a normal life expectancy. Minor health issues may be present or, perhaps, weight is not optimum. Factors such as these coupled with the death of a parent due to disease before age 60 could also be relative to this category.
  • Preferred Smoker: This category is for a person who would otherwise fall into the regular preferred category but smokes. Some insurers will place an occasional smoker in this category such as someone who smokes cigars only from time to time.
  • Standard Smoker: A smoker who is in otherwise standard health will be placed into this category. Since some providers offer non-smoker rates, someone in this category is apt to pay more than a non-smoker for the same type of policy.


What Happens When an Applicant Doesn’t Fall into a Category?

Many applicants do not fall into these categories yet are still eligible for coverage. Their health issues or lifestyles may prevent them from falling into a standard classification, but they can still be rated in accordance with their coverage risks. Insurers call this further classification system table rating system. Instead of preferred or standard categories, an applicant might be given a table rating with a number or letter to designate their rating. Depending on that rating, the applicant will pay an additional percentage if approved for a life insurance policy.


Understanding Table Ratings

Table ratings allow an insurer to further assess an applicant in accordance with their risk level. The rating allows the insurer to provide coverage but at an increased rate depending on that applicant’s table rating. For example, an applicant that has a table rate of A can typically expect to pay the standard rate plus an additional 25%. Someone with a table rate of G can expect to pay the standard rate plus an additional 175%. Usually table rates are issued for applicants that have definite health conditions. If the condition is deemed stable, the insurer will provide coverage and charge the rate associated with that applicant’s table rating.


Table Ratings and Life Insurance

Table ratings carry a higher rate, of course, but they do help insurers assess risk. Moreover, they also allow someone with a health condition to obtain life insurance which can be immensely important to the applicant and their families. If you are assigned a table rating, your insurer can discuss how that determination was made and why the rate is priced as it is. These table ratings are mostly standard throughout the industry. However, some life insurance providers are well-known for providing coverage to people with existing health conditions and may have more optimum rates and different coverage criteria than other providers.


Obtaining Coverage

If you are turned down for life insurance by one company, you may still qualify for coverage from another. The key is to work with a knowledgeable agent. One insurance company may deny you, while another insurance company may be happy to insure you even if it is at an increased premium rate.


To read entire post, click on link below:

https://www.lifehappens.org/blog/understanding-life-insurance-ratings/


Source: Life Happens Post by Liran Hirschkorn 


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Life Insurance - What Are Some Of The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Replacing An Existing Life Insurance Policy?


What are the advantages and disadvantages of replacing an existing life insurance policy?


Some of the possible advantages:

  • Overall Cost - If the new life insurance policy will cost you substantially less than your existing policy, it may make sense to replace the existing policy. Possibly the premium for the new coverage could also have greater cash value potential.
  • Flexibility - A new life insurance policy could possibly be better suited to your cash flow.
  • Existing loans - if you have an older cash value permanent life insurance policy that you have stripped bare, it may make more sense to replace the existing policy with a new life insurance policy. (However be aware you may create a tax liability consequence.)
  • If you have a term life insurance policy and the original term will expire before you are ready to go without coverage, you may want a new life insurance policy to extend the coverage. That is, if your existing term life insurance policy can’t be converted or it is too expensive for your budget to do so.
  • You may want to simply increase the value of your death benefit. Keep in mind you can still keep your existing policy and add a new life insurance policy, rather that replacing your existing policy, if you so desire and it makes financial sense.


Some of the possible disadvantages:

  • If you have had a cash value permanent life insurance policy for more that 3 years, you probably have already gotten most of the upfront costs out of the way and your cash value will start to accumulate value. Since you pay most of the fees and costs of a new life insurance policy upfront.
  • Generally the older you get, the higher the cost of life insurance. However there may be some exceptions to that rule. For example, if you were in poor health and/or a tobacco user and now you are in good health and quit using tobacco for quite some time, you may qualify for better classification, meaning lower premiums. Plus there are other factors that could affect the premiums. So it is worth checking out, since I’ll generate life insurance quotes for free with no obligation.
  • Another thing to keep in mind when replacing a life insurance policy is the fact that you will be subject to new incontestability and suicide periods with your new coverage.
  • Consider any tax consequences of dropping your existing life insurance policy before committing to a new life insurance policy.
  • Be sure to check the new policy to determine if you will be insurable under the same conditions as your existing policy, based on your age and health.
  • Check to see if you have a surrender charge on your existing policy. If so, how much?
  • Possible loss of features of your existing policy, such as riders that aren’t available with the new policy you are considering, etc., are worth checking out in advance.


Some very important things to remember if you do decide to replace your existing policy:

  1. Never cancel your old life insurance policy before the new life insurance policy is in force! Otherwise you will have a lapse in coverage!
  2. Make sure you fully understand your new policy and any advantages/disadvantages that go along with it.
  3. Check to see if your existing life insurance policy can be modified or converted first, before just replacing.
  4. Be aware of illustrations that show high level interest rates. Just because they are shown in an illustration, it doesn’t mean you will actually get that high interest every year.
  5. If you are considering purchasing Universal Life insurance, ask for a “Guaranteed" Universal Life Policy. (GUL)


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance - What Is A Temporary Insurance Application And Agreement (TIAA)?


A temporary insurance application and agreement (TIAA) in many cases can be a receipt for the first full premium that is collected at the same time as a completed signed term (or permanent) life insurance application is taken by an insurance agent. It provides temporary insurance coverage while the insurer processes the policy, as defined in the receipt. However each insurance company, as well each state, can have different requirements, so it is important to read the receipt offered to you carefully to make sure you understand it correctly before signing. 

Many receipts will have different terms and conditions. Some examples could be, but are not limited to:

  • A certain time limit on the agreement until it expires (End Date of Coverage)
  • Limited to a maximum amount of coverage for the temporary agreement. (i.e. : $1,000,000)
  • Insured would have to answer to “no" all questions listed on the Temporary Insurance Application and Agreement (TIAA) to qualify.
  • Limited to return of premium if any part of the life insurance application or TIAA contains a misrepresentation material to the insurer.
  • Limited to return of premium if proposed insured dies due to suicide.


Other terms you may hear that may similar (or even slightly different) meanings may be: 
Conditional Receipt, Conditional Receipt Agreement, Binding Receipt, Temporary Insurance Application and Agreement, Limited Insurance Agreement, etc. and some may differ from each other, so as I mentioned it is important to read the fine print. 

Generally conditional insurance coverage continues until the insurance company either refunds the premium or accepts the risk and issues the policy. Coverage under a Conditional Receipt is conditional on the person being insured having completed all medical requirements and being insurable on the premium basis applied for.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance - What Is Final Expense Insurance?


"Final Expense" life insurance policies are generally similar to most other life insurance policies with a few exceptions: 

  1. "Final Expense" life insurance policies are basically designed for final costs such as funeral/burial costs which could include cremation or funeral costs. Some examples could be: payment for a casket, funeral service, funeral procession, cemetery plot, headstone, and/or other miscellaneous related costs. Keep in mind that your beneficiaries are not obligated to use the death benefit payout for these specific costs. Like other life insurance policies, they are free to use the payout in any way they feel fit.
     
  2. These type policies come in a wide range of coverage amounts. They can range from as low as $5,000, but are usually limited to as high as $50,000.

  3. There are many different types of policies that many refer to as “Final Expense." Some examples of Final Expense insurance are listed below.

  • Final Expense Life policies that you need to get underwritten to get approved.
  • Simplified Issue. (Normally no medical exam is needed. However they do ask you medical questions and if your answers satisfies the underwriters, then no medical exam is needed.)
  • Guaranteed Issue. (No Medical Exam or Medical questions are ever needed to be approved.) There are at least a couple of reasons a person may choose this type policy. One reason could be strictly for convenience and speed of putting policy in place. However the main reason a person would choose this type policy is that they can not get approved through traditional life insurance due to medical issues, etc. Keep in mind that due to the fact you don’t have to be approved through underwriting, the premiums for this type policy are generally the highest. Also understand that full death benefits don’t kick in until after the second or third year the policy is in place, depending on the insurance company.
  • Some types of final expense are permanent life insurance (lifetime) and build cash value. However other final expense policies can be “Term" policies that can expire at certain age (such as age 80 for example), don’t build cash value, and also the premiums can increase for example every 5 years.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?





Life Insurance - When Doesn’t It Pay & For What Reason?


What could be some of the exclusions for when a life insurance company won’t pay a claim?

Well it really depends on which state you live in, your life insurance company policies, and more specifically what your individual policy states in writing. Generally older policies may have had more exclusions then some of the newer policies but again it depends on what your specific policy states, so be sure to read it.

In many cases (individual states can differ) there is a two year incontestability provision in which the insurance company may contest your insurance benefits claim based on a material misrepresentation made by you and used by the insurance company to determine your insurability.

Some of the most common exclusions depending on your policy could be:

  • Suicide clause (Generally only with a 2 year waiting period from the start of the policy)
  • Dangerous activity (if not stated in the application, such as auto racing, scuba diving, etc.)
  • Aviation exclusion (Generally will only pay if insured is killed in a commercial plane crash as a passenger. Not flying as a pilot, unless stated in the original application with most likely a higher premium if approved.)
  • Act of war exclusion (Depending on the insurance company and specific policy)
  • Depending on the circumstances and the actual policy, other exclusions could include:
    Drug or Alcohol abuse, participation in illegal tasks, etc. 



Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334.

Life Insurance - Who Should You Insure?


There are many specific reasons for different people (or companies, trusts, etc.) to have life insurance to protect their beneficiaries should the insured pass away.

Below I will list just a few examples of who or what entity you may want to insure and which type beneficiaries you want to list on a life insurance policy.

  • Insure: Yourself
    Especially if you are the breadwinner and have a spouse and/or dependent children or sometimes even dependent elderly parents that rely on your income.
    Possible beneficiaries you may want to consider: Spouse, children over legal age, or a trust for minors. (Possibly even dependent elderly parents listed as beneficiaries, if applicable.)
    Note: Be careful not to list children under legal age as beneficiaries since their legal guardian (if both you and your spouse pass away) would have control over the money, not your actual children that are minors. You may want to consider creating a trust for that type situation unless you have a predetermined designated legal guardian in place which you feel is trustworthy and will have your children’s best interests at heart.
  • Insure: Spouse 
    If you have dependent children you should also insure your spouse. (Even if your spouse is not the breadwinner.) Consider that you, as a survivor, may need to start to pay for full time child care, etc. since you may still need to work full time to earn income after the death of a spouse, thus not allowing you to devote your full time attention to your children.
    Possible beneficiaries you may want to consider: Yourself, children over legal age, or a trust.
  • Insure: Key Person (Key Man)
    Life insurance taken out by a business to compensate that business for financial losses that would arise from the death or extended incapacity of an important member of the business.
    Possible beneficiaries you may want to consider: Company that employs the key person.
  • Insure for: Buy-Sell Agreement
    A buy-sell agreement (may also be known as a buyout agreement), is a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that governs the situation if a co-owner dies or is otherwise forced to leave the business, or chooses to leave the business. It may be thought of as a sort of premarital agreement between business partners/shareholders or is sometimes called a "business will". An insured buy–sell agreement (triggered buyout is funded with life insurance on the participating owners' lives) is often recommended by business-succession specialists and financial planners to ensure that the buy–sell arrangement is well-funded and to guarantee that there will be money when the buy–sell event is triggered.1
    Possible beneficiaries you may want to consider: Partners / Shareholders

    1. Source: Wikipedia Partial Definition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buy%E2%80%93sell_agreement


For other circumstances, below are some choices of who you should consider as your beneficiaries:

  • Family
  • Legal Guardian
  • Estate
  • Trusts
  • Charity


Insuring Important Milestones Of Your Life For Purchasing or Increasing Life Insurance:

  • Married or Getting Married
  • A Parent or About to Become One
  • Being A Homeowner or  Buying a New Home
  • Changing Jobs
  • Retired or Planning for Retirement
  • Single (While providing financial support for parents)


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334.

Life Insurance - Who Wins? A Beneficiary On A Life Insurance Policy Or On A Divorce Decree?


I read this interesting MarketWatch article by Quentin Cottrell and thought I’d share it.

The gist: A spouse has an existing life insurance policy, gets a divorce, but during the divorce settlement it was written, agreed upon, and signed by both parties that the life insurance policy be retained and paid for by the spouse during the spouse’s entire lifetime with the same beneficiaries specified in the policy at the time of divorce.

The article has some other examples with some different scenarios and what happened with each scenario as well. 

For the answers, click below to read the entire article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/my-ex-husband-asked-our-sons-to-pay-off-his-life-insurance-policy-contrary-to-our-divorce-decree-2017-05-25


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334.

Life Insurance - Why Buy It?


Purchasing life insurance for your dependents can be one of the most caring, thoughtful, and unselfish acts you can do for your loved ones. Life insurance allows your dependents to be financially provided for after you are gone by creating a TAX FREE instant estate.

Life insurance can show how much you love and truly care for your dependents, especially when you are not there to support them any longer. Life insurance helps compensate for the inevitable financial consequences that accompany the loss of life.

Life insurance is often known as of one of the pillars of personal finance, deserving of consideration by every household. If anyone relies on you financially, you need life insurance for them. (Life insurance's main concept is NOT meant to solely benefit yourself!) Although life insurance should give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of financially. So if you truly care about the wellbeing of your dependents, life insurance is certainly a very good way of showing it.

So don’t procrastinate!
Get started with the process of purchasing a policy today by contacting me at 941-404-5334! 

Or if you already have an existing life insurance policy, you may want to consider increasing the death benefit coverage amount!


Side Note: You don’t wait until you have an accident to buy auto insurance, same thing should be true about buying life insurance. If you think about it, what is more important your home, your car, or yourself? You insure your house for probably $250,000 (or whatever the value of your house is worth), so why not insure your life for the same amount or more? Some people could go their entire life without their house burning down or getting in a car accident, but yet they still purchase those types of insurance without really thinking about it. However, unfortunately you literally can’t go the rest of your life without dying sooner or later. So it is wise to purchase life insurance now while you can. (approval will depend upon your health.) Keep in mind as you get older when applying for life insurance your premiums will only increase with age, and that is if you can even still get approved since your health could deteriorate by the time you finally decide to apply in the future! So it is best to act now.



Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Life Insurance - Why Choose Independent Agents?


  • Independent life insurance agents don't just use one main insurance company (and possibly some of their affiliates) for quotes, like captive insurance agents are required to do. (Captive agents are agents that work specifically for one main insurance company and can sell only their company’s products.) In contrast, since independent agents are not tied to just one company, they can offer a wider choice of products. Then they can “shop” around a very large number of insurance companies across the market all at once to find out what fits your needs the best and at the lowest premiums. So unlike when using captive agents, you are not beholden to any one company when you choose to use independent agents. Also by choosing an independent agent you do not need to change insurance agents, if you want to purchase a new policy (or replace your old policy) with a different insurance company later on in life, as your insurance needs may change in the future.

  • Independent life insurance agents, such as myself, allows us to find particular types of life insurance policies that are best suited for our clients’ specific needs. (For example: One life insurance company may specialize and be accommodating with approvals and lower rates in one area and yet another insurance company may specialize and be more accommodating in a totally different area.)

  • Independent life insurance agents, such as myself, also offer personalized customer service rather that some automated voice prompt menus, etc. I work with your best interests in mind rather than just the insurance companies. I will also try to customize your insurance policies to meet your specific insurance needs.

  • The good news is that independent life insurance agents do not add extra charges to insurance companies’s rates, like some other industries do. So why not take advantage of personalized customer service of independent agents, that will also shop around for you to find the best rates, all at no additional charge?

  • Convenience -  Local independent life insurance agents will come to your home, your work, or somewhere else that you choose, so you don’t even have to travel to an office. Also independent agents will try to accommodate your schedule. (For example: If you work during the day and prefer to meet in the evening or on the weekends generally that is not a problem.)

  • Understanding – Independent insurance agents understand that life insurance can seem complicated, daunting, and confusing, especially when you don’t deal with insurance on a regular basis. As an insurance agent, I will work to try to ensure that you fully understand your coverage, by explaining things in simple easy to understand terms, and at a pace you prefer.

  • After you purchase your policies, our work as independent agents are not over. I am available the following years to help answer your questions, update your policy and make coverage recommendations.

  • Reputation – Reputation plays a crucial role in finding an independent agent that you can trust. I am committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in my relationships with my clients. My quality client relationships are built on a foundation of honesty, integrity, trust, and caring. Please Click Here for reviews from my actual clients to find out more about the quality of my services I offer and how my clients are treated in their own words.

  • Peace of Mind – Above all, working with an independent life insurance agent will provide you with peace of mind, knowing that when you save money on your insurance, it won’t come at the expense of comprehensive coverage. Also when it comes to protecting your loved ones or your business, relying on an independent agent that you can trust is certainly a great place to start!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 

Life Insurance - Why Quotes Can Vary For The Same Coverage Amounts?


Why do some life insurance quotes vary?

Many factors will affect quotes, so let’s explore some of the answers:

  1. Your age, health, height/weight ratio, and whether you are a tobacco user or non-tobacco user are big factors that will help determine your quotes. With many insurance companies, even your family health history can be a factor. Risky habits and/or hobbies can also be additional factors when determining your rate classification.

  2. In the beginning of the quoting process with different agents is where the quotes can vary quite a bit from one agent to another. Some unscrupulous (or unknowledgeable) agents may quote the lowest amounts in order to just get your business from the start, knowing very well that they will not be able to deliver by getting you approved at that same rate class and quote they originally gave you. Then they will try to bump you up to a higher premium once you have gone through the whole lengthy approval process and they only got you approved at a higher amount then they originally quoted.

    On the other hand, having an experienced honest agent ask you the correct questions upfront will help that agent preliminarily determine your rate classification more accurately so you may hopefully get approved at your original quote. However, keep in mind even the most experienced and honest agents are really only making an educated guess on quotes based on their previous experience and with the preliminary limited information they have at the time. However once a full application is completed and submitted, along with Paramed examination results, ultimately your rate classification decision will be determined by the insurance company’s underwriters. So for example: An experienced honest agent may quote you higher in the beginning, which may turn out to be a lot more accurate to what you will actually get approved at by the insurance underwriters. Rather than a bait and switch with a low quote in the beginning by another agent and then they try to bump you up to a higher quote later on, once you are approved. Keep in mind, even if an experienced agent happens to quote you higher in the beginning, and you then you get approved at a lower quote by the insurance company, you still would only pay the lower rate you got approved at. (Not the original higher quoted amount!) I feel it is best, if there is a going to be a surprise, for the surprise to be to your benefit and not the other way around! 

  3. It is also important for your independent agent to try to place you with the insurance company they feel is best suited to approve you at a better rate classification then possibly other insurance companies, due to your specific circumstances or health conditions. The underwriting process varies among life insurance companies. For example: one insurance company might offer better life insurance quotes for applicants with diabetes than other insurance companies may offer. Some insurance companies are more lenient for risky habits, such as cigar smoking, than others, and some insurance companies are more comfortable than other insurance companies with covering people who have risky hobbies, such as scuba diving. Having an experienced insurance agent (or his/her team), know the correct insurance company to place you with, can end up saving you lots of money as well as extra time shopping around!

  4. As they say, compare apples to apples. 
    • When comparing quotes make sure the death benefit coverage and term length are exactly the same.
    • Also make sure you are comparing the quotes for exact same type of policies, whether it is term, universal life, or whole life.

  5. Lastly, make sure to review life insurance company ratings of the company you chose. You want the insurance company to be there when your beneficiaries need them the most.


See Related Blog Posts by clicking links below:


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance - Will My Premiums Increase?


Well, it really depends on the type of life insurance policy you have on whether or not your premiums remain level. 

Premiums for a term policy may be either level or increasing. It will depend on the type of term policy you purchased. For example: With the most common type of term life insurance your premiums are level for the entire term period with a fixed death benefit amount. Or if you wanted your death benefit to increase each year, concurrently your premiums would increase each year to accommodate that increased death benefit. 

With "Guaranteed Level Premium Term Life Insurance” premiums are guaranteed in the policy to remain level for a specified period of time and may increase thereafter. With most term life coverage, your premiums start out lower than comparable permanent coverage and stay fixed for the initial term. However with term policies if you choose to keep your policy in force past the initial locked in term period, then the premiums will likely skyrocket at the end off your initial term. The reason is that the term policies are designed to basically just cover the specific number of years it was initially designed for to keep premiums inexpensive. So when you buy Guaranteed Level Premium Term life insurance, the company can’t increase the rates during the initial term. For example: if you buy a 20-year term policy, your premiums are fixed for 20 years. However after the 20 years, your premiums could skyrocket up if you chose to keep that same policy.

With permanent life policies such as Whole Life or Guaranteed Universal Life, as long as you don’t let your policy lapse, your premium amounts are guaranteed not to increase for the rest of the owner’s life.

Keep in mind that Universal Life policies and other permanent life policies can be structured in a number of different ways. They generally all use premiums to build up a cash value that contributes to the death benefit, but how that money grows can differ. Some Universal Life policies offer a "no-lapse guarantee" which secures the death benefit and fixes the cost of your premiums over the life of the policy. Then there are other policies that are without the guarantees, often cheaper and project a growth rate based on historical calculations that, they claim, should keep premiums steady and build up a large death benefit over time. However when those projections don't pan out, policyholders can be left with very little to show for their years of premiums. An example of this is when many people who bought their policies in the 1980s, when interest rates were high, and now due to interest rates being low, the balances did not grow fast enough to cover the cost of the policy, let alone build a death benefit. As a result, balances may have actually decreased as the insurance company deducted money to cover the annual costs associated with the policies. If the balance hit zero, then the policy lapsed and any death benefit with it evaporated. The issue was that many longtime policyholders never understood this variable nature of the insurance when they signed up. Most people didn't find out about this problem until they received a letter telling them that their cash value was zero, and in order to continue their policy they had to increase their payments! That is why it is very important to have a No-Lapse Guarantee Universal Life policy to avoid this type of situation from happening to you.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance 101 - The Basics


In the simplest sense, life insurance is something that pays a death benefit to a beneficiary when you die. Life Insurance's primary purpose is to protect against the risk of you dying too soon. Your premature death would expose your family or business to certain financial risks, such as burial expenses, paying off debts, loss of family income and loss of business profits, etc.

Since the face amount of the policy is payable upon the death of the insured person, the element of risk to the insurance company is much different than it is for say, an automobile policy. When an insurance company issues an auto policy, it hopes you will be a safe driver and will never have an accident, so you will never file a claim. When an insurance company issues a "permanent" life insurance policy, it knows it will be called upon to pay a claim someday since every human being dies sooner or later. For the insurance company, the only unknown is whether the claim will be made in the first year or in a number of years in the future.

None of us can be certain that we will live for a long time, even if our ancestors are long-lived. There is always the possibility that a disease or accident will result in a premature death. Anyone can become a victim of a natural disaster or an act of violence.

Death benefits are the one thing that all types of life insurance have in common. If it doesn't pay a death benefit, it isn't life insurance. The death benefit is the pure life insurance protection portion of a policy. The product gets its name from the fact that a life is being insured and it is the loss of life that triggers payment of the benefit. Death benefits represent the true insurance element, the pure protection aspect, of all life insurance policies.

In addition to death benefits, many life insurance policies include other features, such as savings or investments. These non-life insurance benefits may be included in a policy or they may be attached as optional riders. They make it possible to use life insurance as a vehicle for building capital for accumulating assets or funds designed to serve specific purposes. Thus, some people use life insurance to accumulate funds for children's education, to provide retirement income, to create or add to an estate and for other purposes.

The death of an insured person creates an instant estate for the benefit of the individual's family. From a personal perspective, life insurance may be used to provide peace of mind and financial security for a family.

 

Source: Florida School of Insurance

 

Related Blog Posts:


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance 101 Video


To view a very short video about life insurance basics and how important it is for protecting your loved ones, click on the web link below:

https://www.lifehappens.org/videos/life-insurance-101/


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?


Source: www.lifehappens.org

Life Insurance Can Be Important At Any Age!


This StarHerald article by Irene North mentions how important life insurance is, even at young ages. 

Stating that when you’re young, life insurance is one of the last things you think is necessary in your life. Yet, every year, families suffer from the loss of a family member with no safety net to help them.

Many people don’t even think about purchasing homeowners insurance or auto insurance, yet they purchase those types of insurance almost automatically each renewal period. Although when it comes to life insurance, not always so much! Material things can be replaced, but when you die with no life insurance to protect your loved ones financially, that is pretty final and can leave your survivors in desire consequences.

The article goes on to say that for those under age 25, it is a great time to invest in life insurance, since they are generally very healthy at that age and the cost is very inexpensive compared to later in life. 

Another good point made in the article is that even while most people agree having life insurance is important, we are experiencing the lowest level of ownership in 50 years and even those that do have coverage have far less than experts recommend.

Online searching is great for some things, but for life insurance and financial planning it is really best to sit down with a professional who can make it easier to understand, and also make some recommendations.

To read more, click on the link below.

http://www.starherald.com/news/local_news/life-insurance-important-no-matter-what-your-age-is/article_d3f0dfd7-ed3f-553d-91f3-b8dbbeb3250f.html


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance Myths


Myths:


  • Life insurance is expensive!
    This is one of the biggest misconceptions. Many people overestimate the price for a given policy! People tend to think life insurance is more expensive than it really is, for protection that they truly need.


  • I don’t need life insurance!
    Most people don’t want to think about their own mortality in advance. However all of us are human and we will eventually die at some time in the future, we just don’t know when. It is just a fact of life. Even though we really don’t like to think about our own mortality, it is prudent to plan ahead by purchasing life insurance so your loved ones will be financially taken care in the event of your passing. Many people only start to think of purchasing life insurance when a family member, relative, or close friend passes away. That event jolts them into taking action of purchasing life insurance for themselves. Think back of when somebody close to you unexpectedly passed away. Did the departed have life insurance? If not, what happened the survivors?  You really shouldn’t wait for a jolting event like that to happen to “somebody" close to you before taking action and purchasing life insurance! That “somebody" could be you instead!


  • Once you buy life insurance, you just set it aside and forget about it!
    You should revisit your life insurance policy annually or upon major life events such as: 
    • Birth or adoption of a child
    • Deaths, Divorces and Marriages
    • Employment, career, or income changes
    • Sale or purchase of a home
    • Taking on the care of a parent or relative
    • Planning or nearing retirement
    • Planning for a child’s education or wedding
    • Starting or selling a business
    • Tax-law changes

Note: Changes to the amount of coverage should be considered to determine if you still have enough to meet your beneficiaries future needs. Example: A $1,000,000 may seem like a lot to many people, however if you have a spouse, a couple or more children that plan on going to college, and also have some existing debt that same $1,000,000 may not get them very far!


  • Having life insurance through your employer is enough and I’ll have it when I leave!
    The first point is the amount of coverage your employer provides. Is it enough?
    The second point is your life insurance policy portable? Meaning can you take the life insurance with you if your employment with that company gets terminated? (Regardless whether you quit or got fired.)

  • I’m young and don’t need life insurance. It is for old people!
    You may be young but that doesn’t prevent you from accidents and illnesses!
    You can lock in the best rates for your entire life while you are young and healthy! Rates increase with age and deteriorating health.
    Second point is that younger people are more likely to have small children, big mortgages, and very little savings. That is a recipe for disaster should the breadwinner unexpectedly pass away, leaving the survivors to fend for themselves.

  • It is not available for older people.
    Even if you are over 80 and in very good health, you can generally buy life insurance. Key factor of your approval would depend on your health. At that age, you may want to consider a shorter term policy to help keep the cost down. Of course the cost of the coverage for older people is much higher. Older folks may also want to consider final expense insurance. That type policy is designed to pay off final debts and burial expenses as not to burden their surviving family members with large expenses when they pass.
     
  • The choices are overwhelming.
    Yes it is true that there are many varieties of life insurance, but with the guidance of a professional licensed insurance agent he or she can guide you to the type of policy that best fits your needs and/or budget.

  • If you have health issues, you can’t get approved.
    Barring a terminal health condition, chances are good that you can still get approved depending on your individual circumstances. However your life insurance premiums most likely will be higher due to the additional risk.

  • I can lie about a medical condition to get the best rates.
    Lying doesn’t work! Eventually the truth will come out and your claim may be denied when your beneficiaries need the money the most!

  • The Internet offers the best deals!
    You will not only be missing out on having a real live person who will listen to your specific needs, understand and process all the information to meet those needs, but the actual pricing is pretty much the same whether you go online or through a live in person agent! With a live person you can get personalized service who can explain all the confusing insurance jargon, answer your questions, come directly to your house, work, or where ever convenient for you. Plus if your live agent is like me, you’ll have great service!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance Quotes & Application Process - Demystified


Ever wonder how life insurance quotes are generated? It is not magic. There are many criteria that are considered.

The death benefit amount and the length of the policy will be some of the major pricing factors. Also underwriters will review your income, lifestyle, medical history, overall health, your family's medical history and any hazardous recreational sports or occupations to help determine your risk, which will be additional considerations greatly affecting your quotes as well.

There are several types of criteria that can affect the pricing factors and need to be gathered in order to make life insurance quotes more accurate. But ultimately the type of policy (including the death benefit amount & the length of the policy term), your completed application, your paramed exam results, and complete information gathered for your underwriting review will determine your exact premium amount.

Some of the basic preliminary information that will need to be obtained will be:

  • Birth Date 
  • Gender
  • Height and Weight
  • Do you currently, or have you in the past, used tobacco?
  • Your current and past health (including blood pressure and cholesterol levels)
  • Your family’s health history, including ages when parents or siblings may have passed away if applicable. (If they passed away after age 60, it generally shouldn’t affect your premiums.)


As I mentioned above, those items above are the main basic preliminary information items needed to start, but there many other types of criteria that are considered as well that are usually gathered in your completed application. Not always asked during the preliminary questions but questions about other risk factors, such as but not limited to: your driving record, scuba diving, motor vehicle racing, piloting planes, hand gliding, sky diving, etc. are normally on the application. So it is a good idea to volunteer any of this type information at the same time to get a more accurate preliminary quote. Otherwise you may have a higher quote after the application is completed, reviewed, and approved. 


Once preliminary accurate information is gathered, an independent agent can then shop the quotes for you. It is strongly recommended that an “independent agent” assist in helping you pick a top rated life insurance company that best fits your information given.  Unlike captive insurance agents working for one insurance company, independent agents can shop a very large number of insurance companies across the market for the very best quotes suited specifically for you. Since some insurance companies specialize in certain areas and are more aggressive in determining a client’s risk class, they may put you in a more preferred class (meaning lower premiums) than another insurance company would. Independent agents knowing which top rated insurance company to submit your application to, generally can save you a lot of money in the long run with the same coverage. A couple of examples could be:

  • One insurance company may be more lenient toward people of a certain age & health thereby offering lower rates than another insurance reviewing the exact same information from the same exact person!
  • Another example is that one insurance company may be more lenient toward people with diabetes, while another insurance company may be more lenient for folks that had another long term illness or disease.

After an application is completed, most (but not all) types of Life Insurance require a paramed exam, which is performed at no cost to the insured. The insurance company pays for the exam.

Finally, once the completed application and the paramed results are both submitted, then the insurance company’s underwriting department reviews all the information, which can take a while since they like be very thorough. When the underwriting department review is complete, they will either approve or deny the application. If approved, the underwriters will determine which risk classification you fall into. That risk classification assigned to you will ultimately determine the premium amount. The better your risk class, the lower your premiums will be. A majority of the time the premium amount will stay the same as quoted. However sometimes after receiving the full completed application with more thorough information than just the preliminary questions answered to get a preliminary quote, during the review the underwriter may find you to be more at risk than originally anticipated with just limited information. Then the premium may be higher than originally quoted. At that point you will have the chance to accept the new revised quoted premium amount and continue to move forward or stop the process.


Below is a reference for some typical life insurance rate classifications. However many insurance companies use similar but different names for each of the same classes and other insurance companies may vary their rate classifications altogether. Not all insurance companies have all those different classifications listed below. 

Keep in mind that the “Standard” classification is generally considered for average health, see below definition. So only if your health, etc is above average, would you even be considered for one the higher approval ratings.

Standard: This category is associated with average health as well as a normal life expectancy. Minor health issues may be present or, perhaps, weight is not optimum. Factors such as these coupled with the death of a parent due to disease before age 60 could also be relative to this category.

Non-Smoking or Non-Tobacco User

  • Super Preferred (Sometimes also called Preferred Best)
  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard
  • Substandard

 

Smoking or Tobacco User

  • Tobacco (non-cigarette)
  • Preferred Smoker
  • Standard Plus Smoker
  • Standard Smoker
  • Substandard

 

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance Video - Embracing Uncertainty


Click on the web link below to view a short but informative 2 minute YouTube video by Penn Mutual explaining the some of the benefits of permanent life insurance. Even though the video was created by Penn Mutual, the main principals can apply to most permanent life insurance policies.

Video - Protect yourself today for the uncertainty of tomorrow!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Life Insurance Video - If You Still Haven’t Purchased Life Insurance Maybe This Will Change Your Mind!


I viewed this Transamerica Life Insurance video and thought I was important to share it with folks that might have procrastinated and haven’t purchased life insurance for their loved ones quite yet. Or for those that already have life insurance, it will give them peace of mind knowing they did the right thing!

I suggest you view the entire 6 minute video. Don’t close it after just a few seconds. Give it a chance to get the message across. It is enthralling, a bit dramatic, but very appropriate.

Some of the messages in the video I particularly liked were:

  • When it is needed the most, a check appears with a memo line that may as well read:
    Despite the fact that my body is no longer here ….I still am!
    1
  • My love lives on, even though I don’t!1
  • We don’t buy life insurance for when we die, we buy it from when they don’t!1
  • The answer is "No" when the question is: Are you interested in preparing for your death? But when asked the question: Do you want to take care of your family?  The answer is always yes!1
  • Life insurance is the final loving act of a person who at the end, didn’t see flashes of his own life, but instead saw he saw the future he wanted for his loved ones. If he knew their pain could somehow be lessened, their financial load lightened, that perhaps their grief would be less sharp then it might have been.1


Click on web link below to view Transamerica Legacy Of Love video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfMYEX6TQgM


1. Source: Transamerica Legacy of Love Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfMYEX6TQgM


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance With Health Issues? - Charged High Rates or Declined Altogether?


Have you been charged high rates or declined for life insurance? Broadly speaking, people with higher mortality risk due to health issues, are labeled "Impaired Risk." Impaired risk life insurance is defined differently and approached differently by each life insurance company. Since I am an independent agent, my team has the ability to impartially shop pricing with the various insurance companies allowing me to deliver the best rates with top insurance carriers for my client’s individual circumstances. 

If you feel you have a tough case where you don't think that you will be able to get approved due to your health issues or have already been declined, please contact me. You may be pleasantly surprised! You have come to the right place. My team specializes in getting people approved with "difficult to get approved cases!" With that said, we can't always get everybody approved (such as cases with active cancer, suicide attempts, etc.) with traditional life insurance and for those cases we offer other types of alternative life insurance policies that are Guaranteed Issue. 


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Life Insurance: Who Really Needs It?


David Marlett, chair of the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C is interviewed, sharing his thoughts on who really needs life insurance in this article from Fox Business by Chris Kissell. Click on the link below to read the article.


http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/02/27/life-insurance-who-really-needs-it.html


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Not Just Life Insurance - 5 Financial Lessons From A Parent’s Last Days


In this WSJ article by Charles Passey, it states 5 important financial lessons learned when his mother passed away. He mentions that there are a multitude of expenses associated with death and dying and that many of them can be managed effectively and even negotiated down. Planning ahead can save you a lot of money and not have to deal with much of that stuff while you are grieving.

To read more, click on the link below:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-financial-lessons-from-a-parents-last-days-2014-06-04/print?guid=B22923C8-EBFD-11E3-A9E8-00212803FAD6


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

One In Three Americans Who Get An Inheritance Blow It


An interesting MarketWatch article by Elizabeth O’Brien on things you should do to avoid blowing a new found inheritance. The article mentions one study found that one third of people who received an inheritance had negative savings within two years of the event. 


To read the article, click the link below:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-in-three-americans-who-get-an-inheritance-blow-it-2015-09-03


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Permanent Life Insurance - Related Blog Posts


Due to my many blog posts, I decided to group my blog posts related to permanent life insurance in one post by listing my blog post web links below:

Advantages Of Permanent Life Insurance

What Is The Difference Between Universal Life Insurance And Whole Life Insurance?

What Is Universal Life Insurance?

Whole Life Myths Debunked

Whole Life Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Price - Important Factors That Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums


These important factors listed below affect the price your life insurance quotes / premiums:

  • Age
    If all other factors are equal, the younger you are the lower your premium will be.

  • Gender
    Woman tend to live longer than men as a general rule, thus women generally get a lower rate for life insurance than men. (Again if all other factors are equal)


  • Current Health
    Depending on the type of life insurance you are buying, you will generally have to go through a medical exam. The insurance underwriters will search for things that may possibly make you a higher risk. (Examples could be: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other health concerns that might be a sign of future problems.) People who are currently in good health will generally have lower rates. (Again depending on the policy type.)

  • Health History
    If you have a history of chronic disease or other potential health problems that makes you a higher risk for the insurance company, that may result in higher rates also.

  • Family Health History
    If your family members have a major history of serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, which can be hereditary, you may end up paying more for life insurance as well.

  • Weight
    If you are overweight based on a height to weight ratio scale, you generally will pay more for life insurance. Being overweight is known to come with potential health problems that could result in earlier death, which means a higher risk for the insurance company.

  • Smoking
    Smokers pay more for life insurance because of the increased risk of earlier death. However, if they quit smoking, they may qualify for lower rates within a year.

  • Alcohol Consumption
    Heavy alcohol consumption can also have a major adverse effect on your health. Those who drink heavily are likely to pay more for their insurance rates.

  • Occupation
    It’s pretty clear that some trades and professions are more risky than others. For example, if you are a tower climber or race car driver, you will certainly pay more than an office worker since insurance companies have good reason to see your job more risky than the average office worker. Certain dangerous occupations may result in an increase in rates or even denial of coverage because they carry such a heavy risk of accidental death.

  • Policy Type and/or Length
    The type of life insurance policy can effect the price of your premiums.
    Examples:
    "Whole Life Insurance" and "Universal Life Insurance” (which are considered permanent life insurance policies and are generally the most expensive) can last your entire life and also can have cash accumulation built into the policy, thus increasing your premiums.
    Whereas "Term Life Insurance" (also known as temporary life insurance since it is set for a predetermined number of years, such as 10 years, 20 years, etc.) can strictly be purchased for the death benefit without any cash accumulation. Term Life Insurance is generally considered the least expensive type of Life Insurance since it is not guaranteed to last your entire life time. The term policy is designed only to last the predetermined number of years agreed upon and listed in the policy. Depending on the number of years listed in your term policy, you may possibly outlive that guaranteed term and thus not have any coverage when you pass away. (Unless you convert the policy or buy more life insurance.)

  • Death Benefit Amount
    Lastly and it kind of goest without saying, but the more death benefit amount you request, the higher the premium will be!

  • Choose an Independent Agent
    Choosing an independent agent allows your agent to shop a large number of insurance companies for the best rate regarding your specific circumstances, rather than working with captive agents that may be just allowed to use one insurance company or their affiliates. Rates can vary a lot from one insurance company to another insurance company for the exact same coverage for a person with the same circumstances. So it is prudent to let your independent agent find which insurance company best suites your needs and budget. Since you may be able to get the exact same amount of coverage and term length through a highly rated insurance company at a less expensive premium. 


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

September Is Life Insurance National Awareness Month


If you have been putting off purchasing Life Insurance, make Life Insurance a Top Priority in September!

Life insurance pays tax free cash to your family after you pass, allowing loved ones to remain financially secure. 

Keep your family financially secure in your absence by planning ahead and acting now. 

Do not delay, call me today at 941-404-5334 to get started protecting your loved ones!

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Term Life Insurance With Living Benefits



There is a new type of Term insurance that includes living benefits (with no additional charge for those riders in most cases.) Meaning that this type of term life insurance with living benefits provides access to money for a chronic illness, critical illness, and terminal illness. This new type of term life insurance provides an extra level of protection with living benefits and death benefits all in one life insurance solution. Chronic diseases - such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis - are among the most common and costly of all health problems in the U.S.


Chronic Illness

In this type policy, Chronic illness is described as when an insured is determined by a licensed health care practitioner to be unable to perform two of the six activities of daily living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring) for a period of 90 consecutive days, or to be suffering from severe cognitive impairment for a period of 90 consecutive days or more.1


Critical Illness

In this type policy, it enables the policyholder to access his or her death benefit in advance of death when he or she is determined by a licensed physician to have suffered a critical health condition, such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, a major organ transplant, end stage renal failure, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), blindness, or paralysis due to the loss of two or more limbs.1


Terminal Illness

In this type policy, it provides the ability to access a portion of the policy’s death benefit as a lump sum payment in advance of death when a licensed physician has diagnosed the insured to have less than 12 months to live.1




1 There are specific differing maximum percentage amounts of death benefit for each of the above and certain conditions apply for each type. Contact me for specific details if you'd like know more.



Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

To Help Your Heirs, Write a Death Book Now!


As grim as it sounds, this task could save your spouse and other survivors a lot of trouble and expense especially at one of the worst of times of their lives. This WSJ article by Henry Hebeler spells out what you should include in your "Death Book." As mentioned in the article, this Death Book may be one of the best presents you can leave.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/to-help-your-heirs-write-a-death-book-2013-02-26?siteid=nwhpf


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

Types of Life Insurance


There are many types of Life Insurance too numerous to list here, but most of them fall under two basic kinds of Life Insurance: Temporary and Permanent

Temporary life insurance is commonly known as "Term" insurance because just as the name implies it provides a death benefit for a specified number of years, such as ten, twenty, or even thirty years. (Or other number of years specified.)

Permanent life insurance however can provide lifelong protection (or to a specific age) as long as the necessary premiums are paid. In addition to providing a death benefit, permanent life insurance accumulates cash value, and you have the ability to access cash that has accumulated, in the form of loans and withdraws after a certain period of time. Permanent life insurance has many different types that fall under this category. Typical examples include Whole Life, Universal Life, Variable Universal, and Index Universal Life. Other variations include Guaranteed Issue Graded Benefit Life in which applicants are *Guaranteed to be issued a policy if they are between the ages of 40 and 80. (Policy issue ages may vary depending on the actual individual insurance company's requirements.) Meaning no medical questions, examinations, or tests to be approved and applicants can't be turned down due to their medical history. Contact me for more details.

*Note: An individual that is a patient or resident in any form of health care or nursing home facility is not eligible for this type coverage. Other factors that make an individual not eligible could be: If an individual is not of sound mind, or an individual is incarcerated, on parole, or on probation.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Use Of Your Term Life Insurance Policy's Conversion Option

 

As you may already know, a Term Life Insurance policy is considered a "temporary" type policy, for a specified number of years. Keep in mind with a term policy, if the policyholder outlives the initial predetermined term length, the new premiums for that same policy can skyrocket or that life insurance policy can terminate and the insurance company keeps all your premiums you paid over the years without having to pay a cent to any beneficiaries. So you may want to consider a permanent type policy like Universal Life or Whole Life. Permanent insurance can provide guaranteed lifelong protection (or to a specific age) as long as the necessary premiums are paid.

After your initial "term" is up on Term policy, generally you are allowed to keep the policy in force for a certain amount of time, but the premiums skyrocket going forward and can become prohibitive. So at that point (or preferably way before then, by planning ahead) you'll need to shop around for a new policy. Unfortunately when your specified term is up, you also will be older then when you first purchased your existing term policy. Many times people's health may have deteriorated by then also. Making it difficult and sometimes impossible to get approved for coverage with a new traditional life insurance policy. That is when this conversion option may be a good idea such as, if you are not in good health and fear you may not be approved thru normal traditional life insurance. However if you are still in good health, it most likely pays to shop around for a new policy and compare rates since conversion premiums are not always the most competitive rates for something similar thru another company.

Each insurance company has different time periods when you are still able to convert. It is stated in your policy when you are permitted to convert your term policy to a permanent policy (with the same insurance company) without having to get another medical exam and go thru underwriting. So if you were healthy when you first got the original policy and were approved with a good rate classification, you should be able to keep that same rate classification even if your health has deteriorated when you are planning to convert to a permanent life insurance policy with the same company.

I can assist you with both the conversion process or shopping for a new policy, if you have any questions, feel free to give me call to assist you.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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What Good is Life Insurance if No One Collects?


Some very important tips are mentioned in this WSJ article by Jennifer Openshaw.

Make sure to inform your beneficiaries that you have a life insurance policy and that they are listed as one of the beneficiaries (or the sole beneficiary.) In addition, give them the name of the life insurance company and your policy number.

Mention the policy in your will or keep a copy of the policy with your other important documents in a safe place, but make sure it is accessible to the executor or person that will need it when the time comes.

Many life insurance policy benefits go unclaimed due to the beneficiary not knowing money is owed to them. Make sure your loved ones are NOT one of those!
To read more click on the link below: 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-good-is-life-insurance-if-no-one-collects-2013-02-20


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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What is a Life Insurance Rider?


A rider is simply a separate add-on document that has special provisions not included in the main policy it is attached to. Generally you can request to purchase a rider for extra coverage or protection not originally covered in the main policy. However, depending on the type of insurance policy you are applying for, which riders, if any are offered. Some riders may even be included at no extra charge depending on the type and the insurance company. 

There are many types of Life Insurance riders. Just to name a few common examples with their definitions, I made a short list below :

·         Accidental Death Rider: When added to a life insurance policy, this rider provides an additional amount of money to be paid to the beneficiary if the policyholder dies as a result of an accident. Since in most cases this life insurance rider usually doubles the amount of the death benefit, it is often referred to as a Double Indemnity Rider.

·         Accidental Death, Disability or Dismemberment Rider:  The accidental death rider can be sometimes extended to include any permanent or long term disability lasting at least for 6 months or loss of limbs or sight due to accident.

·          Child Term Rider: The Child Term Rider protects your children with a small benefit, typically from $1,000 to $10,000, until they reach the age of 18 in most cases. This rider alleviates the need to complete an entire application on behalf of your children and instead covers all of children under a certain age for one low fee. Children covered under the Child Term Rider do not have individual life insurance policies but are offered the chance to convert the term rider benefit into their own plan, in most cases at age 18.

·         Critical Illness Rider: Also known as an Accelerated Death Benefit Rider. This life insurance rider allows an insured to collect either all or a portion of their life insurance policy while they are alive. The insured can claim this rider if he/she is diagnosed with a terminal illness, requires long term care or admission to a nursing home, by withdrawing part or whole amount of death benefit from the basic insurance policy. The basic insurance policy reduces by the amount withdrawn under rider. The rider helps the insured and his family meet immediate financial needs of medical treatment and loss of regular income generated by the insured. The rider generally specifies the amount available to insured in such cases and can be withdrawn by him/her during term of policy. This type rider has become standard in the industry and is usually included automatically for free or offered at a nominal cost.

·         Disability Income RiderBy adding the Disability Income rider to your life insurance policy, you will receive a portion of your death benefit in monthly installments if you become disabled. Each insurance company has different specifications regarding the percentage of your death benefit that will be paid to you, when payments will commence, and the length of time that payments will continue.

·         Family Income Benefit Rider: This rider provides a cushion in case of sudden death of the insured during policy term. While taking the rider, the insured needs to select the time frame for which he wants his family to continue receiving benefits. According to their comfort  level, the beneficiaries will have the option of receiving regular monthly income or taking the entire benefit as lump sum after the death of the policy taker. As the insured grows old the duration of rider decreases. This rider is most beneficial to families with a single bread winner, since it provides a continuous monthly payment to the insured's beneficiaries in the event of the insured's death.

·         Guaranteed Insurability Rider: Also known as Renewal provision, this rider allows you to buy extra insurance at certain periods during the specified term of rider. Without letting your existing policy elapse, you can purchase additional insurance or convert basic term insurance without proving insurability or having to undergo fresh medical examination. The rider is most beneficial to those who may experience major medical illnesses or loss of health due to advancing age, as there is no need for fresh underwriting. It also allows to add more insurance with changing life circumstances like marriage or arrival of newborn.

·         Level Term Rider: With this rider you can attach a fixed amount of term insurance to your basic permanent life insurance policy for a certain period. The amount of benefit assured can be multiple times the basic death benefit from the original policy.

·         Return of Premium Rider: Return of Premium is a relatively new feature available since the early 1990's in some Term Life Insurance policies as a solution to the live and lose concern presented by traditional term policies. As the name implies, this rider will allow term life insurance policyholders to recover all or part of their premiums paid over the life of the policy if they do not die during the stated term. Also keep in mind that money from Return of Premium is tax free! Although, adding this type protection will raise the overall cost of the policy accordingly. Return of Premium (ROP) is not available with all term policies.

·         Waiver of Premium Rider: This rider helps the insured to continue with his/her insurance policy even if he/she are unable to pay regular premiums due to long term or permanent disability (generally before a specific age). By default, a life insurance policy can expire if the premium is not regularly paid. If the insured suffers from a disability that prevents him from earning a regular source of income, the insurance policy premiums may become difficult to bear. This rider allows the insured to take waiver from premium payments while the disability lasts or for the entire policy period in case of permanent disability. So in other words, the waiver of premium life insurance rider will guarantee the active status of the life insurance policy even if premiums are not being paid by the policy owner due to a proven disability that prevents him from earning a regular source of income. The terms of proving disability and its valid duration vary from company to company and across different policies.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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What Is Guaranteed Universal Life?


Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance (sometimes abbreviated as either GUL or UL-G) is a specific type of life insurance that grants the policyholder a guaranteed death benefit. Meaning, that even if there is insufficient cash value within the contract to support the death benefit, it will still remain in force due to the coverage protection guarantee. The requirement to this guarantee is that premium minimums must be met and on time. So in simpler terms: a Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance contract will still pay out a death benefit even if the accumulated cash value decreases or zeroes out as long as the payments are not missed and are made on time as required.

Some of the advantages of a Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance policy could be:

  • Premiums can be level for lifetime.

  • You can select the age you want the death benefit guaranteed to, whether it is age 90, 95, 100, 105, etc.

  • Interest rate volatility will not affect premium payments.

  • Generally this type GUL product is inexpensive as a permanent life insurance product compared to other permanent products, as the premium is calculated to maintain a level premium payment until death.

  • GUL can be used as alternate to a term life insurance policy with more flexibility regarding planning a longer term length that you will need the policy to be in force. On the other side, term life insurance policies are generally limited to as many as 30 years, with even more term length restrictions for older folks that only allow for shorter term periods as they age.


(Depending on what you are looking for in a life insurance policy)

Some disadvantages of a Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance policy could be:

  • Unlike other types of permanent life insurance, like Whole Life for example, Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance policies are generally not designed to build up a lot of cash value within the policy. (This type of insurance policy is designed more as an inexpensive way to get permanent life insurance. By not accumulating a large cash value build up in a Guaranteed Universal Life policy, the premiums can be a lot less expensive then say for a Whole Life Policy that is designed to build cash value.)

  • However be aware that the timeliness of your premium payments is critical to maintaining the guaranteed level premium. Other type permanent policies that contain cash value can provide a source within the policy itself to cover the required premium to maintain the death benefit. Although, a missed or late premium payment in a GUL policy can jeopardize the guaranteed premium feature resulting in a policy without a guaranteed premium!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Choose Independent Agents?

What Is The Difference Between Individual Life Insurance and Group Life Insurance?



Individual life insurance is generally bought and paid for by yourself (or a relative) directly thru an insurance agent or insurance company. However, group life insurance is generally provided by an employer, union, or association. Below I will list some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Individual Life insurance Advantages

  • The individual policy owner controls the policy.
  • Unlike with group life insurance policies, the individual life insurance policy is “portable." (Meaning regardless of your employment status, a death benefit will provided as long as the contract is in force when the insured dies.)
  • The individual can choose the type of policy (permanent or term), the length of the coverage, the amount of coverage, the insurance carrier providing the death benefit coverage, and/or if they want any optional riders, etc.
  • Rates can be shopped around. Depending on the individual, the individual life insurance rates may actually be less expensive than group life insurance. (A better individual rate may depend on the insured’s health and age.) 


Individual Life Insurance Disadvantages

  • For most type traditional policies the insured must go through the application process, including a medical exam to get approved. (However there are other types of individual life insurance such as simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies, that don’t require a medical exam although they are more expensive.)
  • Depending on the insured’s health after getting a medical exam, they may not qualify for traditional individual life insurance. (Again guaranteed issue is available for those that do not qualify for traditional individual life insurance, but their premiums will be at a higher cost.)


Group Life Insurance Advantages:

  • Many times an employer will cover the premiums, offer as an employee benefit, or will offer an optional benefit that the employees may purchase if they desire.
  • Many group policies don’t require a medical exam or individual assessment and don’t take into account the health issues of any particular individual. The rates are based on the makeup of the entire group of employees or members covered. That more lenient underwriting lets people who have minor medical conditions get coverage they might not have qualified for on their own, or for which they would have had to pay a higher rate. However because insurers generally assume that the pool of people applying for such coverage is not the healthiest, they charge more for everyone in the pool. (Not requiring a medical exam and individual approval may or may not be an advantage, depending if you have health issues and would not qualify for a traditional individual policy on your own. However if you are healthy, individual life insurance may be less expensive in that case.) 
  • You may be offered premiums at a group rate. (However it is still a very good idea to check with an independent agent that can shop premium rates for an individual policy across a large number of insurance companies to compare which type policy has the better rate and is best suited to your needs. Group rates are not always the least expensive. Also keep in mind there may be other drawbacks to a group policy besides price. See below.) 


Group Life Insurance Disadvantages:

  • Portability of Insurance: Generally most group life insurance coverage terminates when you leave your employer, union, or association. (This very important to keep in mind when purchasing. Since if you get very ill, or need to leave your employment for any other reason, you may lose your life insurance coverage at that time and may not qualify for new individual life insurance due to health issues.)
  • You have may have little or no control over the plan design or benefits provided.
  • Coverage options may be limited and not sufficient to meet your dependents’ needs.
  • Employer, union, or association (depending your situation) is the owner of the policy and can change, or even discontinue the group policy at any time.
  • Another big disadvantage between the extra coverage offered by many employers versus an individual policy is the number of years that rates remain in effect. Many group policies set their premiums in five-year age bands. Meaning for example, if you buy the policy when you’re in your early thirties, the premium will increase when you reach age 35 and then jump again at 40, again at 45 and so on every five years. But if you buy a policy on your own, you can lock in your premiums for 20 or 30 years.



Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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What Is The Difference Between Universal Life Insurance And Whole Life Insurance?


Universal Life insurance and Whole Life insurance are both considered to be permanent life insurance products. Although, there are distinct differences between the two types of life insurance. Below I’ll go over some of the differences.


Whole Life:

  • Caters to long term goals by offering customers consistent premiums and guaranteed cash value accumulation. 
  • Whole life covers you as long as you live. (As long as necessary premiums are paid. However, after a pre-determined period, many times premiums can be made from the cash value of the policy or from dividends.)
  • Level premium amounts throughout the policy. (In other words, you pay the same premium amount for a specific period of time.)
  • Generally whole life pays dividends each year.
  • Provides a built in savings feature in addition to life insurance coverage.
  • Generally customers have very little to no choice in how the investment component (savings element) is invested.
  • Because of the level premiums, the built in savings feature, fixed death benefit, ability to access the cash value thru loans, dividends, and withdrawals, whole life is generally is the most expensive type of life insurance.


Universal Life:

  • Universal life can provide guaranteed lifelong protection (or to a specific age) as long as necessary premiums are paid. However, after a pre-determined period, many times premiums can be made from the cash value of the policy.
  • Gives customers more flexibility with premium payments, death benefits, and the savings element of their policies.
  • Customers can choose how the investment component (sometimes referred to as the savings element) is invested.
  • Customers also have the ability to access cash that has accumulated, in the form of loans and withdrawals after a certain period of time. 
  • Lets customers establish a permanent life insurance policy with a lower premium than they would have to pay under a whole life policy.
  • Universal Life may be set up to have a guaranteed death benefit up to a specific age, such as age 90 as an example rather then lifetime, thus reducing the premium amount. Also the savings element can basically be stripped out to give almost pure death benefit, additionally reducing the premiums.



Comparison:

Permanent life insurance is designed to give you and your loved ones livelong security. Whole Life is more rigid in that many features are preset and fixed. Where as Universal Life is a lot more flexible. Whole Life generally pays dividends and Universal Life generally does not. Because Universal Life is more flexible, it may be able to be customized more to your specific needs. With Universal Life customers have the ability to change the premium amount and the death benefit amount. Also Universal Life may be set up to have same amount of guaranteed death benefit as Whole Life, but strip out the savings element to keep the premiums a lot lower than Whole Life.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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What Is Universal Life Insurance?


The simple version is:

Universal Life Insurance (UL) is a type of permanent life insurance1. Universal Life is more flexible than Whole Life, which is another type of permanent life insurance. 

Universal Life is a unique type of life insurance that is actually two different products packaged together into one. The 1st product is a one year annual renewable term life policy at the face amount listed on the policy. The 2nd product is a type of savings component in the form of a cash value account that grows at either a guaranteed interest rate or the current rate whatever is higher. 

Some of the advantages of Universal Life Insurance is that you have the ability to access cash that has accumulated, in the form of loans and withdrawals after a certain period of time. You also have the flexibility to change the amount of premium payments and in many cases even the death benefit amount as well. Another advantage is that the growth in cash value is tax-deferred under the current federal income tax law.


1Permanent life insurance can provide guaranteed lifelong protection (or to a specific age) as long as the necessary premiums are paid.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Choose Independent Agents?

Whole Life Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance


Whole Life Insurance:

  • Known as permanent Insurance, because it can provide protection throughout your lifetime.
  • Whole life insurance policies have a living benefit and a tax sheltered cash account that builds up inside. 
  • Forces you to save.
  • Ability to access cash that has accumulated, in the form of loans and withdraws after a certain period of time.  (Cash can be accessed Tax Free. Either in the form of loans or you can withdraw funds up to the amount you have put into the policy via premiums tax free!)
  • Policy owners don’t pay taxes on the gains each year, and that money can be used in retirement to supplement their retirement planning.
  • Level premiums. (Payments stay the same & never increase throughout the entire policy.)
  • Whole life insurance policies have dividends. Dividends can be used to reduce the premium or to build up cash inside the policy and face amount.
  • Provides for business continuation. Permanent life insurance is typically a better solution than term for funding a business continuation plan. It ensures that the policy will be in force regardless of how long the business owner stays active in the business. Policy cash values may be available to fund a lifetime buyout or supplement an owner’s retirement.
  • Creditor Protection. (Some state statutes protect cash value from the claims of creditors.)
  • Cash Value Life Insurance is not a factor in determining eligibility for financial aid. As a general rule, policy cash value is not a factor used in determining eligibility for financial aid for college.
  • Beneficiaries receive death benefits tax free! (Same as term life insurance.)


Term Life Insurance:

  • Known as temporary insurance, because it only provides protection for specified number of years. (Example: 10, 20, 30 year terms are common options)
  • Term Life Insurance is very inexpensive.
  • Gives you the ability to buy a lot of death benefit for a low cost.
  • Generally term life insurance is meant for a temporary need or period of time. Since after the initial term lapses, you will need to buy a new policy. As we age, the premiums from the same coverage as your original policies will increase. So higher premiums at a later age with the same coverage can get expensive, especially depending on your health, etc. at that time. Also you run the risk of becoming uninsurable if your health significantly deteriorates by the time your original policy lapses. 
  • Term insurance can be converted to permanent insurance such as: whole life insurance (or universal life insurance) as long as it is done within the limits of the original term policy parameters.
  • Beneficiaries receive death benefits tax free! (Same as whole life insurance.)


Keep in mind one type life insurance doesn’t fit all. There are pros and cons for each. There are also advocates for both sides. Some permanent life insurance advocates will say that buying term life insurance is just renting security, while whole life provides lifetime security. Others on the other side claim that whole life insurance is too expensive and your additional money is better spent elsewhere. Note that part of the reason that term insurance can be obtained at a much lower cost than a permanent policy is because a term policy is designed to provide only a temporary duration of protection for a temporary need and also doesn’t build any cash value. So with "term” policies, the original term length (number of years the policy is set up for), can expire before people die. If that happens the insurance company gets to keep all the premiums paid over the years and doesn’t have to pay out any death benefit and also there is no cash value for the policy owner to pull out.

Whole life is typically the most expensive type of life insurance due to the fact that not only do you accumulate cash value, but also eventually the life insurance company will have to pay the beneficiaries the death benefit.

So some folks who need more death benefit for specified period of time may opt for term insurance due to their budget. Others may want a more permanent solution and build cash value. Some folks like a combination of both! The main important concept is to get some type of life insurance now, and you can add to it later on, or replace it with another type, as long as you are in good health.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Choose Independent Agents?


Whole Life Myths Debunked


Many people incorrectly assume that you only benefit from whole life insurance when you die. However, whole life insurance can provide an excellent source of tax free funds to assist with a tight retirement budget while you are still living later in life! 

Below are some incorrect myths about whole life insurance and reasons why they are not true:

  1. Myth: You (or your beneficiaries) can only benefit from your whole life insurance policy when you die.
  • “Participating” (or “par”) insurance company policy owners generally receive annual dividends after the first policy year. Then dividends can be used to fund policy premiums or to buy more permanent increments of death benefit and cash value.
  • Policy owners can generally access the cash value in their policies through withdrawals and tax-free loans. 


  1. Myth: Whole life insurance is not a good place to accumulate your money.
  • The value of a whole life insurance policy is uncorrelated to the stock market and is largely guaranteed by the insurer. Therefore neither death benefits nor cash values are affected by declining markets and a whole life policy can serve as the stable component of your financial strategy.
  • People purchase whole life insurance to protect their families in the event of the insured's death. Although whole life insurance is much more than just a death benefit. It actually can be one of the most valuable assets in your financial portfolio. A whole life insurance policy has a real return that performs competitively within other high-quality, fixed return assets. Depending on how you use your whole life insurance policy, it can end up being two assets and two returns: 1) a living asset with tax-advantaged distributions and 2) an income-tax-free and potentially estate-tax-free death benefit.


  1. Myth: Whole Life Insurance is just too expensive!
  • When considering whether to purchase whole life or to buy term life insurance and then invest the difference, you need to take into account not just the premium costs, but also the length of time you want coverage and your ability to invest the rest efficiently.
  • Term life insurance isn’t designed for lifetime coverage. In fact, term life insurance is prohibitively expensive to maintain for the average U.S. life expectancy.
  • For longer periods such as an entire lifetime, whole life insurance is substantially less costly than a lifetime of premiums paid for term life insurance. If the well defined needs for life insurance will not exceed 30 years, a term life insurance policy will often be less expensive.
  • While term life insurance is typically affordable during the primary premium guarantee period of 5 to 30 years, annual premiums can quickly escalate to an unaffordable level once the guarantee period ends.
  • With term life insurance, the policyholder does not accumulate any lasting cash value. At the expiration of the term of the insurance, the policyholder doesn’t own anything, in contrast to whole life insurance, where premiums build cash value that belongs to the policy owner.


Click on this web link below to read related blog posts on permanent life insurance.

Permanent Life Insurance - Related Blog Posts


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Buy Life Insurance For Children?


  • Permanent life insurance for a child is often purchased by a parent or grandparent as a gift that can last a life time. A whole life policy accumulates cash value over time, which may be withdrawn later in life or used as a nest egg.
  • Another reason is to cover funeral and burial expenses in the unlikely event there is a tragedy of the loss of a child. One of the last things a parent wants to do is add a financial hardship to the emotional burden of losing a child.
  • Buying a whole life insurance policy for a child is very inexpensive and the premium can be locked in to never increase throughout their lifetime! 
  • By purchasing life insurance while they are young and healthy, it ensures that the child will have life insurance throughout their life, even if they have health problems that might have prevented them from purchasing life insurance later in life.
  • Some whole life policies automatically double the coverage at age 18, with no additional premium increase.
  • Some whole life policies guarantee future insurability for the insured child to purchase additional coverage later in life as an adult regardless of their health, occupation, or anything else.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Do So Many Parents Lack Life Insurance and Wills?


I found this to be an interesting CNBC article by Kelli B. Grant regarding why so many parents lack life insurance and wills.

The articles mentions that more than a third of parents with kids younger than 18 years old don't have life insurance. Of those who are insured, half have less than $100,000 in coverage, which isn't enough for common life insurance aims of replacing the deceased parent's income, paying off the mortgage or funding the kids' college education, said Doug Whiteman, an insurance analyst at Bankrate. "We found it rather unsettling," he said. "This should be a wake up," said Whiteman. "You really do need to sit down and think, what if something were to happen to me?"

The article goes on that many times young parents are transitioning into this role of greater responsibility which is a shift from previously worrying about just their own financial future, to now planning financially for dependents, 

Life insurance is one of the first things parents should put in place as a priority. The rule of thumb is to have an amount equivalent to 7 to 10 times your income, said Whiteman, but the details of how much and what kind of insurance will depend on your family's needs and future goals.

To read the full article, click on the web link below:

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/07/why-do-so-many-parents-lack-life-insurance-and-wills.html


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

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Why Do Some Consumers Procrastinate Buying Life Insurance?


Many people are likely to delay the purchase of life insurance or additional life insurance for several reasons, just a couple of which are:

  1. They just don't understand what type of life insurance to purchase or how much coverage they actually need. They think it is just too complicated.

    Response: A couple of the most important parts of buying life insurance is determining how much you need, and the type of life insurance. I provide a "Free Needs Analysis" service to help you determine the type of life insurance and your actual coverage needs. If you are local, I can come right to your home or business to make it as convenient as possible for you. If you are out of the area, I can discuss with you by phone.
    Click here to get started with a "Free Needs Analysis" as your first step to providing protection for your loved ones!

  2. Some folks feel they have other current financial priorities and think they can't afford Life Insurance at the present time, which is a very scary short sighted point of view that may come back to haunt their loved ones in the possibly near future should the insured pass away unexpectedly before they feel Life Insurance is a priority to purchase.

    Response
    Many people overlook the bigger picture when determining if they can afford life insurance. They are concerned with their immediate outlay for premiums versus the bigger picture of the benefits that life insurance can provide for their loved ones when they are no longer able to provide for them. For example, if a family is living from paycheck to paycheck, how would their family survive losing the breadwinner's income or in a more typical situation, losing just one of the two income providers? With life insurance, it gives you piece of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of financially in your permanent absence. One other thing to keep in mind if you truly can't afford the full amount of life insurance coverage that is recommended, at least start with a smaller amount of life insurance. That way you should be able to add more life insurance later on, depending on your health, etc. Then your loved ones will at least have some coverage, rather than nothing at all, in the event of an unexpected passing of a bread winner.

  3. They don't think it is a necessary thing to start the process now. So why now?

    Response: Because changes in health can happen, it can make it impossible for you to obtain coverage later o
    n, or at the very least cost you a lot more if you even qualify. Or worse yet, an unexpected accident or other catastrophic event causing death happens before you get life insurance.

    Even if you can still get insured at a later date while still healthy, as you age it will still cost you more to purchase the same exact coverage!



Related Blog Post: (Click one web link below to read)

Delaying your decision to purchase Life Insurance


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Is A Buy-Sell Agreement with Life Insurance Important?


Buy-Sell agreements generally are one of the most common, efficient, and important tools in setting the framework for an ownership transfer to their partners, heirs, etc. 

In the most simplistic layman’s terms, a buy-sell agreement1 with life insurance is a contract based around life insurance policies purchased on each owner to help ensure the smooth continuation of a business after the death of one or more of the owners. (It can also be referred to as Cross-Purchase Plan). The agreement creates rules for what will happen when a business owner passes away. Basically saying something to the effect that if one of the owners passes away, a life insurance policy kicks in by paying a lump sum cash death benefit to buy out the ownership interest of whoever would have inherited that share of the business.

For example: If one of the owners passed away, and their surviving spouse or child had inherited a portion of the business, that may not be good for the actual business or for the surviving family members since the family members may not know how to run the business nor have the desire to learn. By having a buy-sell agreement with life insurance set up in advance, it takes away that complication. It allows the business to be run by the surviving owner(s) and terms would have been set up in advance by the then deceased owner for the surviving family members to receive a predetermined lump sum of cash from a life insurance death benefit which in turn buys out their ownership interests in exchange.

Why is it important?

A buy-sell agreement is kind of like a will for a business and it can eliminate a lot difficulties and heartaches when an owner passes away. A plan needs to be in place in advance. Life insurance as a method of funding that plan is a great way to accomplish that funding portion of the plan.

These type of agreements can often be settled expeditiously allowing for lump sum cash proceeds to be paid to the surviving family quickly, which can be very important to the surviving family members as well as continuity and a smooth transition for the business itself. 

Another benefit to the survivors is that generally life insurance proceeds are income tax free. (Depending on individual situations.)


1 Note: Some buy-sell agreements can also be set up to be used due to an owners' disability, or if an owner is otherwise forced to leave the business and possibly even other situations such as retirement, etc. But for the purpose of this blog post, I am only referring to a buy-sell agreement with life insurance set up in advance for the potentially disruptive and unfortunate event such as if one of the owners actually passes away.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


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Why Choose Independent Agents?

Women May Be Less Prepared For The Death Of Their Spouse


A good MarketWatch article by Quentin Fottrell. It states: "Women outlive men, but they may not fare so well financially after the death of their spouse.” The article also has some good info and basic statistics. However the gist is that couples need to plan ahead with end-of-life financial preparation and final wishes. Women especially could benefit from advance planning. Even though it is not a pleasant conversation, it is a necessary one to have!

To read the full article, click on the link below:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/women-may-be-less-prepared-for-the-death-of-their-spouse-2015-08-25


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

You Could Save Money - Is Your Existing Life Insurance Policy Due For A No Cost Policy Review?


You should check to find out if your existing life insurance policy needs a tune up. Just like reviewing your mortgage interest rates, your home owners insurance, or auto insurance for a better deal, you should also review your life insurance to see if it is still the best deal or if you could improve it by saving some money or adding additional benefits for the same amount.

A no cost policy review is suggested annually, but it is even more important to have one completed if you haven’t had a policy review in a while and especially if your existing policy is more than a few years old or your needs have changed due to changes in your life since your original policy effective date.

An independent agent can help you make certain that the coverage you purchased years ago will protect you and your family when it is really needed and at the same time determine that you aren’t paying too much. Over the past 10 years falling interest rates, advances in underwriting practices, lackluster stock market performance and other factors have affected the performance of many in-force permanent life policies. These policies may not be performing as expected and may not meet your original objectives. In addition, new policy choices with additional underwriting rating classifications have been added. Competition has made the insurers become more aggressive in making offers and providing improved pricing for each rating category. Also product benefits have been expanded to provide living benefits so the insured has living value. Living benefits include more flexibility in using policy cash values that can be accessed free of income taxation as well as market risk. Additional living benefits can also include chronic, critical, and terminal illness riders; some of which may be included at no additional charge depending on the policy chosen. You may not know a lot of people that died before age 65, but most everyone knows someone that suffered a critical health condition, such as a heart attack, experienced cancer, a stroke, a major organ transplant, end stage renal failure, (ALS), etc. or possibly even needed assisted living before age 65. So if you don’t already have chronic, critical and terminal illness riders included in your existing policy, it is a good idea look into a new policy that does, compare costs, and replace your old policy with a more comprehensive policy with those benefits included.

Other reasons that it is a smart idea for getting a second opinion on your existing policy, such as with getting a second opinion with a doctor on your health options, are listed below. You certainly don’t have anything to lose, other than a few minutes of your time gathering your old policy info and giving written authorization to me. As an independent agent, my team and I do the rest of the work by comparing your existing policy with what a newer policy could offer and then sharing the results with you. Of course if your existing policy still turns out to be the best deal after comparing, and I can’t save you some money or add additional benefits for approximately the same money, or other options that appeal to you, then you’ll have peace of mind knowing your existing policy is still working well for you. So don’t delay, start the review process today by calling me at 941-404-5334!

You want to make sure you are still meeting all your objectives and also to check to see if you had any major changes in your life that may affect your new expectations. Some examples of major changes are:


•         Birth or adoption of a child
•         Deaths, Divorces and Marriages
•         Employment, career, or income changes
•         Sale or purchase of a home
•         Taking on the care of a parent or relative
•         Planning or nearing retirement
•         Planning for a child’s education or wedding
•         Starting or selling a business
•         Tax-law changes

Some other additional reasons to review policies annually may be:

•         Your needs have changed since your original policy was purchased and you now need to build cash value within your policy
•         You want to change to permanent insurance to last your entire life, if you only originally purchased a term life insurance policy (set up only for specific number of years).
•         You want to add living benefits within a new life insurance policy (Living benefits can include chronic, critical, and terminal illness riders; some of which may be included at no additional charge depending on the new policy chosen.)

 Again don’t delay, call me today at 941-404-5334!


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Note: Life Insurance information can be confusing to many people. As an "independent licensed agent" I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose a life insurance policy, from many choices of different insurance companies, that you feel fits your needs. Plus if you choose to work with me you will have personalized service by a local agent that can shop premium quotes for you. If you would like my assistance to discuss and/or start the process of getting you insured please call me at 941-404-5334. 


Click web link below to find out:

Why Choose Independent Agents?

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

3 Reasons NOT To Buy Long Term Care Insurance!


Although there are many more great reasons to buy Long Term Care insurance, there are also a few reasons you shouldn’t or will not be able to purchase Long Term Care insurance.


Main reason to buy Long Term Care insurance is the fact that 70% of people over the age of 65 will require some Long Term Care during their life!
Long Term Care is very expensive and could wipe out your entire retirement savings unless you prepare in advance. Buying Long Term Care Insurance now, while still healthy, puts the majority of the Long Term Care expense burden later in life on the insurance company.


Below are three reasons why you should not or may not be able to buy Long Term Care insurance.

  • Your health conditions may prevent you from being qualified for approval with a Long Term Care insurance plan.
    Many insurance companies that are still carrying Long Term Care insurance are relatively liberal with what health conditions and histories they will accept. Even conditions such as: Obesity, diabetes, depression, hip or knee replacements, heart attack, osteoporosis, and some cancers are many times approved. Although, an approval will depend on your individual situation.
    However if you have any of the following conditions, then you most likely will not be able to get approved for the purchase of Long Term Care insurance: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and even some brain injuries. If you can't perform (or need assistance performing) your activities of daily living (such as: bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, continence and toileting), you won't be able to purchase a policy.

  • You simply can’t afford to buy Long Term Care Insurance.
    If you have less than $100,000 in savings and also have less than $25,000 of income per year, you may spend down all your assets as well as income for just paying for your Long Term Care services and that could possibly qualify you for your state’s Medicaid program. However you may not be satisfied with the limited choices of the Long Term Care services available through Medicaid such as: the actual limited facility choices available under Medicaid and the quality of care provided by Medicaid.
    Note: Children may purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy for their parents. With that approach their parents can actually pick a Long Term Care facility of their own choosing or their parents even stay in their own home with assistance, if applicable.


  • Your age may prevent you from purchasing Long Term Care Insurance.
    Age is a definitely a consideration for Long Term Care Insurance approvals. The older you are, or the less healthy you are, the higher the insurance premium. (That is, if you can still get you approved.) Each insurance carrier may have their own age ranges. However, generally people over age 80 (some companies may even go up to 84), you will not be eligible. Health conditions are also a large part of the approval process. So if you are healthy and at an older age, you may still qualify, but at a higher premium.



Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

40 Must-Know Statistics About Long-Term Care


Great article from Morningstar by Christine Benz about making a sound decision about whether to opt for long-term care insurance, which involves weighing the probabilities. Is it worth it to pay the premiums for many years--and risk premium increases or benefit cutbacks along the way--in exchange for the peace of mind that your nest egg won't be wiped out to pay for your care at the end of your life? To read more click on the link below.

http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=564139


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

5 Defensive Moves To Protect Your Money & Wealth


I was reading a MarketWatch article by Liz Miller regarding five defensive moves to protect your money & wealth and thought I would share it.

One of her five tips is to consider long term care insurance.


Consider long-term care insurance:1

Studies indicate that at least one member of every couple living today is likely to need some kind of long-term medical assistance. Many people have the means to pay these expenses out of their wealth savings, but for many others, a long-term stay in a luxury care facility - due to dementia or some other debilitating condition - can derail their lifestyle or legacy goals.1

If you have any medical conditions or family history that make you particularly vulnerable to health risks, or you do not have the means to cover these costs, consider long-term care insurance options. This is relatively inexpensive insurance to add prior to age 50, but it can get pricey later in life.1 


For the rest of her tips, click on web link below to read the full article:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-5-defensive-moves-can-protect-your-money-and-wealth-2018-03-05


1. Source: MarketWatch article by Liz Miller - Published: Mar 5, 2018 4:12 p.m. ET
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-5-defensive-moves-can-protect-your-money-and-wealth-2018-03-05


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Before Moving To A Continuing Care Retirement Community, Do Your Diligence!


I was reading an informative New York Times article by Peter Finch regarding some legitimate concerns regarding moving into a retirement home or into a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) and thought I’d share!

What if, after all your careful planning, your retirement community has some kind of financial failure? For example: What if the community you chose, goes bankrupt, and it's managers are put in jail. What would you do? To try to avoid that scenario from even happening, below are some of the items in Peter Finch’s article that he suggests you should focus your due diligence on “BEFORE" moving or signing on the dotted line:

Occupancy: If 90 percent or more of a home’s rooms are full, and have been for the past few years, that suggests it’s doing something right. This is especially important at CCRCs promising refunds, because you (or your heirs) often don’t get the money until someone has moved into your old unit.1

Rate increases: Lately, most CCRCs have been increasing their monthly fees by about 3 to 3.5 percent a year. If you see anything above that, or well below, ask for an explanation.1

Debt rating: Many communities issue bonds to fund improvements, and Fitch Ratings evaluates them. Ratings of AAA to BBB should bring a measure of comfort.1

Profitability: You want a community that brings in more cash than it spends. Pay attention to cash operating expenses as a percentage of cash operating revenue.1

Capital improvements: Is your community spending enough on upkeep? Find the line for capital spending on its annual statement and compare this with the line showing depreciation. Combine that information with a visit to the campus: Does it look outdated?1

Reserves: Find out if the CCRC performs a regular actuarial valuation, which will give you a sense of whether it has the reserves to meet its promise of housing and health care for the rest of your life.1

Residents’ role: How involved are residents in making major financial decisions? Do they have a couple of seats on the board, or at least an active advisory council?1


Click on web link below to read entire article:
http://www.heraldtribune.com/entertainmentlife/20180317/before-that-last-move-do-your-diligence



1. Source: New York Times article by Peter Finch
http://www.heraldtribune.com/entertainmentlife/20180317/before-that-last-move-do-your-diligence



Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Brief Comparison of Hybrid vs. Traditional Long Term Care Insurance


First, what is a hybrid long term care policy? A hybrid policy can be a combination of life insurance (or an annuity) and long term care coverage all in one policy.  

Some of the main bullet points when combining Life and Long Term Care coverage (Hybrid type policy):

  • One reason that Hybrid's may appeal to many folks is that their premiums are locked in and won’t increase. With a Hybrid type policy, you can rest assured that you will have level premiums throughout your entire policy, with no increases.

  • Hybrid policies pays for Long Term Care if you need it, a death if you don’t need it, or both if you only need a limited amount of care. However with traditional Long Term Care insurance, many people feel like it is a “use it” or “lose it” situation. If you paid premiums for decades, and you never had to use the long term care benefits, then finally you passed away your loved ones would not have anything to show for for all that money you invested in that traditional Long Term Care policy over the years. However with a Hybrid Life Insurance / Long Term Care insurance policy any Long Term Care coverage not used remains in a death benefit pool, so you don’t "lose it!" For example, if you have a $250,000 death benefit and only use $50,000 for Long Term Care, the remaining $200,000 goes to your beneficiaries as a tax free death benefit when the insured passes away.

  • Benefit period can be lifetime! (Rather than just a set small number of years in a traditional long term care insurance policy.)

  • Some Hybrid policies allow you the option to cover “both” spouses in the same policy.

  • Hybrid policies are ineligible for Long Term Care Partnership Program (Medicaid Asset Protection).

  • Generally Hybrid Insurance premiums are higher than traditional Long Term Care Insurance. However the reason is because you have a death benefit and you can also have more flexibility, such as some Hybrid policies let you cancel and get all your premium money back later on down the road if you no longer want to keep the policy!

  • Hybrid policy generally don’t allow for an inflation option in the original policy, but can have that inflation option in lifetime rider. (Which is not the same.)


Some of the main bullet points for Traditional Long Term Care Insurance:

  • Pays for Long Term Care if you need it (and qualify for it.)

  • Premiums are subject to increase with approval from your state’s insurance commissioner.

  • Shorter Benefit periods, usually limited to maximum of 5 years.

  • Traditional Long Term Care insurance policies are eligible for the Long Term Care Partnership Program (Medicaid Asset Protection).

  • Generally traditional Long Term Care Insurance initial premiums are lower than Hybrid policies for the same amount of coverage.

  • If you don’t use the Long Term Care insurance, you lose the premiums you paid in over the years. (Similar to a home owner’s policy, if you never had a claim.) There is no death benefit to your survivors such as there is with a Hybrid type policy.



To read one of my related blog posts, click on web link below.

Long Term Care Insurance - Hybrid Advantages


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Comparing Nursing Home Data Just Got Easier


 Sarasota Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith titled: "Comparing nursing home data just got easier." Click on link link below to read the article.    

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120719/ARTICLE/120719554/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall

Nursing Home Finder:

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

Hospital Finder (Medicare):

http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Do Americans Understand Long Term Care?


As you grow closer to retirement, the decision how to pay for potential long term care expenses should be a focus for most people. Long term care can be paid with a combination of personal or family savings, long term care insurance, and/or government assistance for those that qualify due to low incomes/assets. A major misconception is that many people (incorrectly) believe that Medicare will provide long term care. However, Medicare generally does not cover long term care. Medicare will only provide 100 days of nursing home care after a three day stay in a hospital. Medicaid will pay for long term care after most of your assets have been depleted, but Medicaid is usually limited to nursing home care.

I came across two interesting Long Term Care articles that I thought I’d share. 

The first one is a "Health Affairs Blog" article by Lee-Lee Prina entitled: Do Americans Understand Long-Term Care?

Below are a couple excerpts from the article:

The survey looks at older Americans’ understanding of long-term care, what they know or do not know about the cost and likelihood of needing long-term care services, and “their attitudes and behaviors” about planning ahead for possible care needs, according to a press release.

Experts estimate that 70 percent of Americans who get to age sixty-five will need some type of long-term care, “and our findings show that many Americans are unprepared for this reality,” commented Trevor Tompson, who directs the AP-NORC Center, in the release.

To read the full article, click on the link below:

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2015/07/16/do-americans-understand-long-term-care/


The second article is from the Portland Press Herald by Matthew Craft entitled: Cost of long term care beyond reach for middle class elderly. Mentions some examples of the costs associated with long term care. One example was how things didn’t end so well in one case without Long Term Care insurance and then another example of how things did work out well in a different case by planning ahead by purchasing Long Term Care Insurance and also being creative with her solution.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

How do people manage the widening gap between their savings and the high cost of caring for the elderly? Medicare doesn’t cover long-term stays, so a large swath of elderly people end up on the government’s health insurance program for the poor, Medicaid. For those in the middle class, however, the answer isn’t so simple. They have too much money to apply for Medicaid but not enough to cover the typical three years of care.

To read the full article, click on the link below:

http://www.pressherald.com/2015/07/21/cost-of-long-term-care-beyond-reach-for-middle-class-elderly/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Do You Have a Viable Plan for Long Term Care?


An informative Morningstar article about Long Term Care by Christine Benz, click on link below to read more. Explains briefly what Medicare and Medicaid provide if you don't have Long Term Care Insurance. (Not much at all and only under certain circumstances!)

Click on web link below to read the entire article:

http://investors.morningstar.com/news/cmsAcontent.html?t=DODFX&src=Morningstar&date=09-14-2015&nav=no&region=USA&culture=en-US&ProductCode=mle&resourceId=562537


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Don’t Forfeit Right to Sue a Nursing Home


I read an article from the Washington Post written by Michelle Andrews in our local Herald Tribune newspaper that really emphasized that you should not sign an arbitration agreement at a nursing home. Since such an agreement can really limit your rights and cost you a lot more if you ever have the occasion where you need to file a lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death. It further mentions that signing an arbitration agreement is not a condition of admission to a nursing facility. Click on link below to read more.

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2012/09/25/dont-forfeit-right-to-sue-a-nursing-home/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Expense and Emotions in Preparing for Long Term Care


This New York Times article by Andy Shapiro is a good read regarding Long Term Care Insurance decisions with some examples of other people's experiences, along with some good basic tips. Click on link below to read more.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/your-money/expense-and-emotions-affect-decisions-about-long-term-care.html?_r=0


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Find A Great Nursing Home Before You Need One!


I read this helpful Herald-Tribune article regarding finding a great nursing home by Barbara Peters Smith and thought I’d share it.

Most nursing home stays are a result of sudden and unexpected hospitalization, when people don’t really have the time to research, or have the knowledge to shop around for a facility that will fit their needs the best. If you do some research well ahead of time, it can make a huge difference in making your (or your loved one’s) stay much better.

There are many things to consider such as, but not limited to: the lack of staffing, the care of the staffing, the food, the housekeeping of the facility, the costs, the noise, the existing patients, and the location of the facility, etc.

Those who that take time to research their options ahead of time, and are able to choose a facility in advance, tend to be happier with their choice then for example a nursing home assigned to them by a case worker.

The state's website, floridahealthfinder.gov, is actually a good place to start your search. Click on nursing homes, and you can learn about and compare places that are close to home. Then actually take a tour of the facilities yourself personally.


Click on web link below to read entire article:

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2016/07/08/find-a-great-nursing-home-before-you-need-one/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Source: http://health.heraldtribune.com/2016/07/08/find-a-great-nursing-home-before-you-need-one/

Finding Skilled Elder Home Care Workers Not Easy


Enlightening Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith regarding skilled elder care workers, not only can they be difficult to find, but also they can be very expensive. The article goes on to explain that you get what you pay for and that not all workers have the same level of experience, credentials, and are trustworthy. The least expensive route is not always the best option. You really need to research first before just hiring. One suggested way to research is to ask family and friends that may have gone through a similar circumstance and used a skilled elder care service they liked and trusted. Click on link below to read more.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130526/ARTICLE/130529745/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Five Things You SHOULD Know About Long Term Care Insurance


I read an informative AARP bulletin article by Ellen Stark and thought I’d share it. Below are some of bullet point ideas mentioned in the article.1

1. Traditional Long Term Care Insurance Policies recently have had fewer sales.
Premium increases over the years and fewer insurance carriers still selling traditional long term care policies are among some of the reasons for the decline in the number of new policy sales.

2. Maybe you might not need insurance, but you still DO actually need a plan!
Long Term Care insurance polices can be expensive, which puts coverage out of the reach for many. There are specific 
individual factors that come into play for each individual situation when making a decision on whether or not to purchase long term care insurance. One choice doesn’t fit everybody the same. You do need to plan ahead regardless. Whether you are planning on buying a long term policy now to help safeguard your retirement savings or if you plan to take on a high risk method by trying to save a lot more money starting now until your older age, to potentially cover likely future expensive Long Term Care expenses on your own. Now is the time to decide to either start putting additional savings away for the future Long Term Care expenses or simply purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy to put the risk on the insurance company’s side.

3. There is a relatively new type of insurance that is called a hybrid type policy.
A newer concept that has been taking off in way of increased sales are hybrid whole life insurance policies that the insured can draw from to pay for Long Term Care expenses. Although more expensive than traditional Long Term Care Insurance, there are several advantages. Such as: premiums never increase, you don’t have a traditional Long Term Care insurance situation where you “Use it or Lose it!” Meaning with a hybrid policy you can use it for Long Term Care expenses, or if the insured passes away then the beneficiaries receive the death benefit, and with many hybrid policies if you decide you want to terminate your policy later on down the road if you never used it, depending the specific policy, you can get back all (or most) of your money that you spent on premiums! Also as an added bonus, generally with a hybrid policy you are more likely to get approved, since underwriting is generally more lenient than a traditional Long Term Care policy.

       Click on these 2 web links below for related blog posts on this topic: 


4. Traditional stand alone Long Term Care insurance policies are initially less expensive.
However if you want a lower cost effective Long Term Care coverage with less choices, than a 
traditional Long Term Care insurance policy may be your choice. Keep in mind if you never use the coverage, you don’t have the option of getting any of your money back spent on premiums over the years with this type traditional Long Term Care policy. Also premiums can increase over the years, they are not lock in at a level premium amount, like with a Hybrid policy. Lastly, unlike a Hybrid policy there isn’t any death benefit with a traditional Long Term Care policy if you happen to pass way before using any coverage.

5. Buying a Long Term Care Insurance policy in your 50’s or 60’s can save you a lot!
It is best to start looking in your 50's or early 60's, before premiums increase sharply or you get denied (or at the very best get approved with increased premiums) due to deteriorating health as you get older. Each year you delay purchasing Long Term Care Insurance, it will be more expensive, that is if you can even still get approved! Initial premiums at age 65, for example, are approximately 8 to 10 percent higher than those for new customers who are 64.

As for where to shop, seek out an independent agent who sells policies from multiple companies rather than a single insurer. I am an independent agent, so no need to go any further! I can shop around for you to find the type policy you feel suits you the best.


Click on web link below to read the entire article:

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/info-2018/long-term-care-insurance-fd.html


1. Source: March 2018 AARP Bulletin.



Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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How Can We Fix Long Term Care Insurance?


This Wall Street Journal article by Alicia H. Munnell suggests one practical solution to the complex issues regarding long term care insurance. The article mentions that despite the fact that over one-quarter of men and over two-fifths of women will enter a nursing home at some point after age 65 and that a semi-private room costs about $80,000 a year, only about 10% of households purchase long term care insurance!

The article also compares the United States Long Term Care issues vs. United Kingdom's Long Term Care issues, but explains why they think their solution they suggest is a better alternative. Click on link below to read the article.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/05/22/how-can-we-fix-long-term-care-insurance/tab/print/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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How Much Elder Care Costs In Your State


I thought I’d share this informative MarketWatch article by Kari Paul regarding how much elder care costs in different states. Where you live has a big impact on how much you will pay. The article includes a graph showing the monthly estimated costs for each of the states. I like how the article spelled out the very basics.


Below are some excerpts from the article:

  • "The most expensive option for elder care is a nursing home, followed by a full-time in home health care aide and then assisted living facilities. (Nursing homes provide more comprehensive care than assisted living facilities, where residents are supposed to be able to perform most basic daily living tasks themselves.) The least expensive elder care option in the U.S. is day care, where the elderly attend a center to receive care but keep living in their own homes.

  • The 65-and-over population in the U.S. is expected to nearly double over the next 30 years to 88 million from 48 million by 2050. The U.S. senior care market is also expected to have increase by more than 36% to $436.6 billion by 2018 from from $320 billion in 2013, a report from market research company BCC Research found.

  • Cost is not the only challenge for elder care. Baby boomers had fewer children than previous generations, according to a study from Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College, which means they have fewer children to act as care givers. Current generations are also more likely to live far away from their parents, making it more likely people will opt to pay formal care providers to help with aging parents.

  • As the need for elder care rises, the number of people opting for long-term care insurance is rising. Long term care accounts for 6% of Medicaid enrollees and 40% of Medicaid spending, according to a report from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), a non-partisan policy agency.1 


To read the entire article, please click on the web link below:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-much-elder-care-costs-in-your-state-2017-06-26



Source: MarketWatch article, dated June 26, 2017, by Kari Paul. Located at:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-much-elder-care-costs-in-your-state-2017-06-26


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How to Buy Long-Term-Care Insurance


Long-term-care insurance: It can make the difference between living out your life the way you want and becoming a burden to your family or a ward of the state. Click on link below to read more.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304072004577323430307937536.html


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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How To Choose Long Term Care Coverage


In this brief WSJ article by Glenn Ruffenach, it mentions some the discouraging news and things to be aware of when choosing a Long Term Care Insurance policy. Although what he didn't mention in the article is that there are some creative alternatives for traditional Long Term Care insurance that many people don't know about or bother to research. Some of the newer combo type life insurance policies can include Long Term Care Riders that provide a "fixed" premium that cannot increase throughout the entire policy, unlike traditional Long Term Care Insurance which can increase, and most likely will increase your premium payments over time. With this combo type policy, some optional policy riders can include inflation protection. Some combo type policies also allow you the option to cover “both” spouses in the same policy. The policy premiums can even be paid monthly or annually. (In other words, they do not have to be a "one-pay" premium for the entire policy premium in advance.) Some policy types can even guarantee to allow you to get all your premium money you paid into the policy returned to you at a later time down the road, if you decide you don't want the policy any longer. The gist is that the combo policy covers you while you are living, has a death benefit if you die for the people most important to you, and sometimes even allows you can get all your premium money paid into the policy back, if you choose not to continue the policy at a later date. So in other words, you don't have to lose all your money paid into the policy, like you would with a traditional Long Term Care Insurance Policy, if you never get to use the Long Term Care benefits!

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/03/11/how-to-choose-long-term-care-coverage/tab/print/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How To Use A Life Insurance Policy To Pay For Long Term Care


This informative agingcare.com article by Anne-Marie Botec explains how a person with an existing in-force life insurance policy can convert it into a Long Term Care Benefit Plan to help extend the time they remain private pay for Long Term Care, until they need to go on Medicaid later on the road. 

While this method isn't meant to replace planning in advance and purchasing Long Term Care Insurance nor give them the necessary amount of coverage for Long Term Care, it may help a little bit for folks that neglected to purchase Long Term Care Insurance earlier in their lives when they should have.

Click on link below to read more. 

http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/use-a-life-insurance-policy-to-pay-for-long-term-care-157309.htm?page=print


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care - How Will You Pay For It?


Below I put together some very brief, but important information to know about regarding Long Term Care:


  • Medicare does NOT cover Long Term Care! 
    (Many people incorrectly think or assume that Medicare will cover their Long Term Care needs. However Medicare does NOT cover Long Term Care. The Affordable Care Act does NOT cover Long Term Care either. While state Medicaid programs do cover long-term care, these benefits are available only to those with very low income.)


  • 70% of people age 65 and over will need long-term care during their lifetime!

  • Women, because of their longer life spans, are 50% more likely than men to enter a nursing home at some point after age 65.

  • One big myth about Long Term Care is that it affects senior citizens only. However the need for Long Term Care can happen at any age. Nearly 40% of people using Long Term Care services are under the age of 65! Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care among younger populations.

  • Long Term Care is expensive, especially without planning ahead with some sort of Long Term Care coverage! (When difficult decisions have to be made about healthcare, family members may also not be fully apprised of what someone’s wishes are under those circumstances. Addressing all of these issues ahead of time not only provides financial protection, it can also eliminate unnecessary emotional burdens.)

  • There are several options you may want to consider when it comes to funding Long Term Care future expenses:
    • Self-Insuring (Drawing down from your own assets to pay for long term health care costs as they arise.) As well as relying on family members to assist with your long term care needs, which can put a large burden on your family. This method is not advised unless you have substantial assets to draw from and/or family members that are willing to commit to pitching in long hours over possibly years to assist.
    • Another option is to purchase traditional Long Term Care Insurance well in advance when you are young and healthy enough to still qualify to get approved. (Note: Traditional Long Term Care insurance usually provides comprehensive coverage, but it comes with annual premiums which are not guaranteed. So an increase in future premiums later on may cause you to make a difficult choice to pay more than you originally planned or you will have to reduce coverage at a time when you may need it the most. Keep in mind that if end up never needing to use the Long Term Care coverage, you won’t get your money back with traditional Long Term Care Insurance.
    • A different method of Long Term Care coverage is with the use of hybrid types of policies. Life insurance policies can offer long term care benefit riders. Also fixed annuities set up to pay out a multiple of your premiums if needed to reimburse long term care expenses. These hybrid long term care solutions pay an income tax free death benefit to your beneficiaries if you don’t use all your benefits, and some type policies even offer a money-back guarantee via a return of premium feature.

  • An important thing to remember is don’t wait until it’s too late! Long Term Care planning is very much like retirement planning in the fact that the sooner you begin, the more options and flexibility you will have!



Conclusion: Purchase your long term care insurance policy when you are young and healthy to receive the lowest prices. If you missed the opportunity to purchase long term care insurance while you were younger and at your peak health, purchase your long term care insurance policy as soon as possible to avoid even higher rates and also avoid not being able to get approved due to deteriorating health issues.


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care - Interesting & Important Information



  • Many people incorrectly think or assume that Medicare will cover their Long Term Care needs. However Medicare does NOT cover Long Term Care. The Affordable Care Act does NOT cover Long Term Care either. While state Medicaid programs do cover long-term care, these benefits are available only to those with very low income.

  • Although Medicare may cover acute illnesses that require doctors’ visits and hospital stays, people are often unprepared to meet the expenses of long term chronic illness that are not covered by Medicare. These expenses can pose one of the greatest threats to their personal wealth. 

  • People are living longer nowadays, which is wonderful on one hand. However, the longer people live, the more likely there are to need long term care such as: long term care nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or in-home care providers.

  • 70% of people age 65 and over will need long-term care during their lifetime!
    Women, because of their longer life spans, are 50% more likely than men to enter a nursing home at some point after age 65.


  • One big myth about Long Term Care is that it affects senior citizens only. However the need for Long Term Care can happen at any age. Nearly 40% of people using Long Term Care services are under the age of 65! Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care among younger populations.

  • Long Term Care is expensive, especially without planning ahead with some sort of Long Term Care coverage! (When difficult decisions have to be made about healthcare, family members may also not be fully apprised of what someone’s wishes are under those circumstances. Addressing all of these issues ahead of time not only provides financial protection, it can also eliminate unnecessary emotional burdens.)

  • Many people are concerned that traditional long term care insurance policies are a “use it or lose it” type of insurance because they often assume money invested in premiums will be forever lost if they do not need long term care. Another big concern of many people is that their long term care insurance premiums will increase in the future. However, new types of long term care policies can eliminate “use it or lose it,” and also keep premiums level throughout their entire policy term. By combining life and long term care insurance, these hybrid policies provide coverage for long term care. However if that coverage isn’t ever needed, then the policyowner can get some or all of his or her premium back or provide protection for family members with life insurance.


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care - People Unsure About Ability to Pay


I read this Associated Press article by Alejandra Cancino that I found on the ABCNews web site and thought I’d share it. It states that the demand for long term care is expected to increase as the nation ages, but the majority of Americans 40 and older lack confidence in their ability to pay for it.

The article goes on to mention that a poll says about 4 in 10 don't think they will ever need long-term care. However that mindset runs counter to figures from the U.S. Administration on Aging, which says nearly 70 percent of people turning 65 will need help with daily activities in their golden years.

The survey they referred to found that nearly 4 in 10 respondents mistakenly expect to turn to Medicare, which doesn't pay for long-term care.

Long Term Care insurance can be expensive depending on your age, health, etc., but the alternative of self-funding for Long Term Care costs can turn out to much worse and a great deal more expensive than you think! Also self-funding Long Term Care costs can certainly turn out to be a whole lot more expensive than what the total Long Term Insurance Policy premiums would have added up to, if you would have just purchased a Long Term Insurance Policy policy in the first place!

It is important to apply for Long Term Care Insurance while you are relatively young and healthy, since the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be for a comparable policy. If you wait until you are older to apply for Long Term Care Insurance, the greater likelihood your application could be denied.

Contact me at 941-404-5334 to discuss your Long Term Care plans and/or start the process of getting you insured.

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/poll-people-unsure-ability-pay-long-term-care-39519979


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Long Term Care Annuities versus Long Term Care Insurance


Traditional Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) policies are often paid for on a monthly or annual basis, with premiums continuing for the duration of your lifetime (some offer single premium options). On the other hand, a long term care annuity (LTCA) is deemed 'fully funded' once the initial premium has been paid. There are no ongoing premiums or required payments.

Most traditional long term care insurance (LTCI) policies do not offer you a cash withdrawal benefit, or benefits in the event that you don't require long term care during your lifetime. A long term care annuity (LTCA) may allow you to access cash value during your lifetime, even if you never require care. In addition, when the annuity contract matures, your contract's remaining cash value may be passed onto your named beneficiaries.

Long term care insurance requires underwriting, which can be limiting if you have a pre-existing condition. Most long term care annuities do not require traditional underwriting and therefore could be a viable option if you would possibly be turned down for traditional long term care insurance.

Qualified benefits paid by both long term care insurance policies and long term care annuities are received on a tax-free basis to the contract/policy owner.

Long term care insurance and long term care annuities both offer benefits worth consideration. If you are seeking a simple, tax-advantaged method of providing some long term care coverage, an annuity may be the most viable option.1


1. Source: Courtesy of Insurance Associate Group April 2017 Newsletter 


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Long Term Care Insurance - Best Age To Purchase


Generally the younger you are, the lower your premiums will be! 

There are several things listed below that can increase the price of your long term care insurance policy. A combination of two or more items could possibly even double the premium.

  • If your health deteriorates, insurance companies will charge you more for the same level of coverage, that is if you can still get approved at all. If your health has deteriorated to the point where you already need long term care, most insurance companies will consider you uninsurable and won’t approve you for a new policy.
  • As you grow older insurance companies will charge you more for the same level of coverage.
  • If long term care costs continue to rise at the same pace as they have been, you will need to buy approximately 5% more coverage each year that you delay purchasing a long term care policy.
  • Some states have minimum purchase requirements for their Partnership Programs. (long term care insurance policies that protect assets away from Medicaid) For example some states, including California and Connecticut, increase their minimum purchase requirements by 5% each year, which increases the price by 5%.
  • Insurance companies regularly raise rate for new applicants, many times as much as 10% to 30%!


Conclusion: Purchase your long term care insurance policy when you are young and healthy to receive the lowest prices. If you missed the opportunity to purchase long term care insurance while you were younger and at your peak health, purchase your long term care insurance policy as soon as possible to avoid even higher rates and also avoid not being able to get approved due to deteriorating health issues.


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Long Term Care Insurance - Hybrid Advantages


While many Long Term Care traditional insurance policies offer initial lower premiums, there are several reasons to consider Hybrid (or combo) policies. Hybrid (or combo) policies are creative alternatives for traditional Long Term Care insurance that many people don't know about or don’t bother to research. 


  1. One reason that Hybrid's may appeal to many folks is that their premiums are locked in and won’t increase. Whereas with a traditional Long Term Care insurance policy, the premiums are NOT locked in. Meaning that your traditional Long Term Care insurance policy premiums may increase significantly (and have done so in the past!) For example, in the past they have typically increased approximately 35% to 50% every 5 to 7 years! However with a Hybrid type policy, you can rest assured that you will have level premiums throughout your entire policy, with no increases.

  2. With traditional Long Term Care insurance, many people feel like it is a “use it” or “lose it” situation. If you paid premiums for decades, and you never had to use the long term care benefits, finally you passed away, then your loved ones would not have anything to show for for all that money you invested in that traditional Long Term Care policy over the years. However with a Hybrid Life Insurance / Long Term Care insurance policy any Long Term Care coverage not used remains in a death benefit pool, so you don’t "lose it!" For example, if you have a $250,000 death benefit and only use $50,000 for Long Term Care, the remaining $200,000 goes to your beneficiaries as a tax free death benefit when the insured passes away.

  3. Long Term Care payments can go to the proposed insured and not directly to the caregiver. Some insurance carriers offer indemnity, rather than reimbursement. Basically this means that if a family member or even a friend is providing you care, you can pay them directly rather than the insurance company paying a nursing home, or traditional caregiver directly.

  4. There can be an inflation protection built into the policy.  If an individual uses a permanent product with an Long Term Care or a Chronic Illness Rider, an increasing death benefit option can be provided, which then also provides additional long term care coverage. If you don't use that option for additional LTC coverage, it may lead to a larger death benefit or cash value in the case you want to surrender the policy.

  5. Some Hybrid policies allow you the option to cover “both” spouses in the same policy.

  6. Some Hybrid policy types can even guarantee to allow you to get all your premium money you paid into the policy returned to you at a later time down the road, if you decide you don't want the policy any longer.



The gist is that a Hybrid policy covers you while you are living with Long Term Care coverage, has a death benefit if you die for the people most important to you, and sometimes even allows you can get all your premium money paid into the policy back, if you choose not to continue the policy at a later date. So in other words, with a Hybrid policy you have extra options and you don't have to lose all your money paid into the policy if you never get to use the Long Term Care benefits, like you would with a traditional Long Term Care Insurance Policy!


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care Insurance - Indemnity vs. Reimbursement


Traditional reimbursement long term care insurance policies in general pay benefits based upon the actual expenses you incur. With a traditional reimbursement long term care plan you may have to submit care provider bills, you may be limited to the type of service that you can be reimbursed for, as well as the amount you can receive each day. Be sure to check out the exclusions section, and what is not included in your plan.

There is another type of long term care insurance policy that is an “indemnity” plan, which instead pays a monthly cash benefit directly to the policyholder, regardless of the expense incurred. (No monthly bills or receipts are needed to be submitted. However, the policyholder will still need to be benefit eligible, receiving covered services, and under a plan of care.)


If interested, below is a web link to a short video titled "Understanding Long-term Care: Indemnity vs. Reimbursement” that also explains the difference. Follow along reading the screens in the video, while also listening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N83x5peEgUo


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Long Term Care Insurance - Video Testimonial For OneAmerica


Long Term Care Insurance - Video Testimonial For OneAmerica

Click here to view video    Then press the triangle symbol to play!




Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews



Long Term Care Insurance is Often Worth the Expense


This Reuters article "Your Practice: Building health safety nets for older clients" by Jennifer Hoyt Cummings is actually written for advisers and/or agents, but has it some good tips on Long Term Care Insurance such as: who should buy & when, also what to buy. It goes on to say that anyone who has tapped a long term care insurance policy knows how valuable it can be. Then she gives a good example of a person that used Long Term Care Insurance in the past and how valuable it was to have it in her unfortunate situation. Click on link below to find out more. 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/28/advisers-insurance-idUKL1E8KO9Q720120928


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care Insurance: Weighing the Alternatives


A Wall Street Journal article by Charles Passy explaining some of the alternatives to Long Term Care Insurance. I particularly like the first line of the article. "Long-term-care insurance is the financial equivalent of gum surgery: something that is often seemingly necessary, but just as often avoided at all costs." However, I tend to like some of the hybrid policy options that I can offer as an alternative to a straight and pure Long Term Care Insurance policy. There are many benefits to the hybrid (also known as blended) policies, including that the premiums won't go up unexpectedly and if you don't use the long term care benefit in your lifetime, it is payable to your beneficiaries so the money you paid is not lost, etc. I also carry straight Long Term Care Insurance policies as well for those that prefer to go the traditional route since one size does not fit all, as they say. Contact me if you have questions. Click on link below to read more.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443890304578006581060363270.html#printMode


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Long Term Care Myths - The Facts!


Below are some common myths about Long Term Care and what the actual facts are versus the myths:

Myth #1: I can save the money I’ll need for Long Term Care (LTC) services.1

Fact: Anyone who’s had this thought should stop to consider two crucial questions:
How will I save up the money? More important, Why?1

Long Term Care services are very expensive. The growing costs for care present a huge financial risk to older adults’ retirement dollars. Those who plan to take on the burden of LTC expenses for themselves and/or a spouse or other loved one could wipe out their lifetime savings much faster than they expect.1

Consider the facts:

• The average cost in 2010 for a one-year stay in a private nursing home room is $83,580.1

• Of all Americans age 65 and up today, 1-in-5 will require LTC services for five years or more.1

• At today’s average cost, a couple with $500,000 in assets would deplete their savings in just a few short years paying for LTC services.1


Myth #2: A government program such as Medicaid or Medicare will take care of me?

Most people incorrectly think Medicare will pay for Long Term Care services. In reality, Medicare does not generally cover long term care. Medicare pays for skilled care in a nursing home only for short periods (only up to 100 days) during which you are recuperating following a hospital stay for a related condition.

Also government programs are difficult to qualify for, and they have very specific requirements for Long Term Care services. Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ services may help pay for some Long Term Care services but only in specific circumstances. However each program has specific rules that define which services are covered, when benefits are paid, who can qualify, and the actual dollar amounts people must pay out of pocket. Medicaid pays for long term care only for people with very low assets and limited income

When people do qualify for Medicaid and receive benefits for their Long Term Care costs, there’s a snag. Federal law requires that states recover the money Medicaid spent on their behalf, from their estate after they pass away. Probate law dictates what the states will include in estates, but typically it includes real and personal property, such as a home. This could force a person’s spouse to sell their home, or Medicaid could put a lien on the house in the amount of Long Term Care expenditures.

It is also very important to remember that government programs are limited by availability and financial resources.


Myth #3: My family will take care of me

Home Care is one of the fastest growing industries for these reasons:
Families are working and living further away from their parents than ever before. Not only that, but many adult children are in the sandwich generation that may have a young child and a parent they are taking care of. This additional care can create a burden to the family members since it is a large undertaking causing stress as well as creating a large financial cost if they stay home. So it is very important to keep in mind that caring for a family member can be a huge financial and emotional burden on your loved ones when deciding not to purchase Long Term Care Insurance for yourself and/or your spouse.

You may want to ask yourself these type questions:

Will my children be willing to clean up after me all the time?
Will my children be willing to help bathe me?
Will my children be willing to clean up after I have an explosion outside the bathroom? 

These are real type scenarios that can and do happen every day, so they need to be considered while planning for your future care needs. 


Myth #4 My spouse and I are too young to need Long Term Care services.

Facts: Nearly 40% of people using Long Term Care services are under the age of 65!
Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care among younger populations.

Among adults age 65 and older, about 70% will need some kind of help with the basic activities of daily living for weeks, months or even years as they age. 

You should purchase your long term care insurance policy when you are young and healthy to receive the lowest premiums.


Myth #5: I don’t need a separate Long Term Care Insurance policy because I already have health insurance!

Most people incorrectly believe that they have coverage for Long Term Care expenses.

Long Term Care Insurance is not the same as health insurance, which is designed simply to cover the costs to cure individuals and return them to good health.

Private health insurance and Medicare may cover skilled nursing, short-term care, and medically necessary care, but they won't cover custodial or personal care services, and those services represent a significant proportion of long-term care expenses. Private health insurance and Medicare won't pay for assisted living, continuing care in retirement communities, or adult day services.

Health insurance is intended to help pay for medical care only, but Long Term Care Insurance benefits help support potentially costly Long Term Care services, which can include Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as: bathing, eating, getting dressed, moving around, etc. Long Term Care services are generally required by those who are dealing with chronic illnesses, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. that require the level of needed care that can continue to grow over time. 


Myth #6: I can’t afford Long Term Care Insurance!1

Fact: The cost for LTC protection can fit nearly anyone’s budget and financial goals. LTC protection may seem expensive, but not having it can be much costlier to individuals and families. LTC costs can quickly deplete a person’s hard-earned life savings.1

LTC protection may seem expensive, but not having it can actually be much costlier to individuals and families.1

 

Myth #7: I won't need Long Term Care services.

Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, Cancer, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care, and because these life altering conditions tend to occur later in life, many people who are in their 60's underestimate the likelihood that they'll eventually need a long term helping hand. In addition, when you consider that people are living longer on average, the chance of needing Long Term Care is likely to increase in the future.

That assumption, however, is sadly incorrect. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people turning 65 this year will require Long Term Care in the future. 





Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews



1. Source: OneAmerica State Life Insurance Company
https://www.oneamerica.com/campaigns/ltc-myths/ltc-myths-files/file-myth-ltc-brochure


Medical Bills Make Final Years Costly: Study


In this Wall Street Journal article by Glenn Ruffenach, it tells about a study indicating that the health-care costs in the last five years of life are bigger than most people expect! If interested in reading more click on the link below.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/medical-bills-make-final-years-costly-study-2012-09-17?siteid=nwhpf


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

No Such Thing As Rent Control At Many Elder Facilities


Thought I’d share an interesting Hearld-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith regarding assisted living facilities and their rent increases. That part of the contract may often be overlooked in the fine print when transitioning into an assisted living facility.

The article states that the assisted living facilities can raise the monthly rental fee as much as they like, as often as they like, and the only thing that Florida law requires is that they give a 30 notice, in writing. The articles goes on to mention that even though assisted living facilities are regulated by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, they don’t get any where near the scrutiny that nursing homes do, nor do they play by the same rules. 

Additionally, the article states that AHCA does have this advice on its website:
"Check the contract to see if the rate is guaranteed, for how long, and under what conditions a contract or residency agreement can be changed or ended. If you are given a verbal guarantee, be sure to get it in writing."


Click on link below to read entire article:

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2016/06/24/at-many-elder-facilities-no-such-thing-as-rent-control/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


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Nursing Home Star Ratings Change Makes It Tougher To Shine


In this Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith it mentions that since the federal government’s popular star ratings for nursing homes have lately been indicating that most have high star ratings, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced some important changes recently, with more in the works. 

They will be raising the bar for what it takes to earn a five-star rating, including the agency will add an important new measure to its quality indicators.

CMS will also adjust its algorithms accordingly that calculate very important facility staffing levels, which many experts consider the most crucial ingredient in residents' wellbeing. In addition, it has a new program of targeted state surveys that will help further refine the rating system.

To read the entire article, click on the link below.

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2015/02/20/nursing-home-star-ratings-change-makes-tougher-shine/


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Nursing Homes - What You Need To Know


I discovered several informative AARP articles regarding nursing home information that you don’t want to miss. To be helpful, I thought I’d share their web links.







Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Preparing for Long Term Care


Good insight on expenses, emotions, and what to expect in preparing for Long Term Care in this New York Times article by Ann Carrns. A lot of folks don't realize that Long Term Care Insurance isn't just for nursing homes, depending on how the policy is written, most policies can include in home care so you can still get treatment in your own home rather than moving to a nursing home facility!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/your-money/expense-and-emotions-affect-decisions-about-long-term-care.html?_r=0


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Private Home Care Could Become More Common For Elders


A different approach to Long Term Care that many might not know about is Private Home Care, where the atmosphere can be more personalized and less regimented. Also they can be a whole lot less expensive than a nursing home or assisted living facility. However, be sure to check out the actual Private Care Home before making any decisions as they are the only type of Long Term Care residence for elders that are not regulated by the state. The homeowners can not host more than two elders at a time, and do not have to meet the rigorous requirements that apply to group home and assisted living facilities. So as they say "buyer be beware," but in this case “renter" seems to fit better. 

Along with less expensive costs, also comes along the potential for abuse which can increase since their isn’t really any state government oversight. Just like any major decision do your research upfront first. It may be a good fit if the Private Care Home is a clean, well cared property, along with thoughtful, kind, courteous, conscientious, honest, and experienced caregivers. To read more in this Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith click on the link below.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140123/ARTICLE/140129809/2416/NEWS?p=all&tc=pgall#gsc.tab=0


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

The Cost Of Long Term Care In Your State



This Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article by Anne Tergesen has some good information and a link to a Genworth web site that show the costs of Long Term Care in your local state.

One interesting excerpt is: "According to academics at Georgetown and Penn State universities, about 70% of individuals 65 and older will need long-term care—whether at home or in an assisted-living facility or nursing home. On average, women need 3.7 years of care, while men need 2.2 years. For 11% of men and 28% of women, the duration is five or more years.”

The article goes on to mention what the nationwide average costs of different types of care are such as: home health aide, adult day care, assisted living, and a private room in a nursing home. Keep in mind that prices vary according to your location which may cost more or less than the national average. To help, they also supply a web link to see prices in your local state. Also pasted below.

Click on links below to read more.


http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2014/04/15/the-cost-of-long-term-care-in-your-state/tab/print/

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If you want to go directly to the Genworth website, I also pasted the link below.

https://www.genworth.com/corporate/about-genworth/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Very Informative Alzheimer Video You Should Watch!


I watched a very short 2017 Alzheimer Association facts and figures video that I thought was important to share to understand just one aspect of why Long Term Insurance is so imperative to have!

Some quick fact excerpts:1

  • More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • It kills more that breast cancer and prostate cancer COMBINED!
  • 1 in 3 Seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another Dementia.
  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other Dementias.
  • In 2016 these caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 Billion hours of care valued at over $230 Billion!
  • In 2017, Alzheimer’s and other Dementias will cost the nation $259 Billion!
  • By 2050, These costs could rise as high as $1.1 Trillion!


Click on web link below to watch this video (less than 2 minutes!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLsVS0lrRD0


Click on web link below to go directly to Alzheimer web site for facts:

https://alz.org/facts/


Click below for:

PDF document fact sheet you can download


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


1. Source: 2017 Alzheimer Association facts and figures video located at:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLsVS0lrRD0

Why Many People Don’t Buy Long Term Care Insurance


I read two interesting articles on the same topic of Long Term Care Insurance and I wanted to share them.

One article was a MarketWatch article by Olivia S. Mitchell and Daniel Gottlieb and the other was a Forbes article by Howard Gleckman. See web links below to the full articles.

An estimated 7 in 10 people will need Long Term Care after they reach age 65, and it will be costly when they do. Yet others will need Long Term Care insurance at even younger ages due to illness or injury. However even so, most people refuse to buy Long Term Care insurance in advance while they are still healthy and at an age where it is less expensive.

One of the main reasons why they don’t purchase Long Term Care insurance is that it can be very expensive. Many people incorrectly assume that they will qualify for government assistance for nursing home care or that their Medicare Supplement insurance will cover their long stays. There are rules in place to disqualify many people who don’t meet the strict conditions required in order to qualify for government assistance.

Another reason that many people decline to purchase Long Term Care insurance is that they feel it has no real value if they don’t end up needing long term care in their lifetime. However according to the MarketWatch article they are looking at Long Term Care insurance in the wrong way. "Instead of looking at long-term-care insurance primarily as financial protection, many people think of it as an investment — and a bad one at that. They see the premiums as money that would be wasted if the policy owner ultimately doesn’t need long-term care. They don’t think about the catastrophic losses a policy could help them avoid."

However nowadays there are other options other than just “traditional" Long Term Care insurance, that can include being able to get your premiums returned if you don’t use the Long Term Care insurance, or you can leave money to a beneficiary in case you pass away before using the Long Term Care insurance, etc.



Click on the web links below to read the full articles:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-people-dont-buy-long-term-care-insurance-2015-06-17

——————————————————————————————————

Related article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2011/09/12/why-people-dont-buy-long-term-care-insurance/

(FYI: You may need to click “Continue To Site” in top right corner of their web page.)


Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.


Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


MEDICARE

10 Things Medicare Won’t Tell You


An interesting WSJ article by Catey Hill and Elizabeth O'Brien including a few things you may not know about Medicare, such as some costly glitches in the entitlement program. I'm guessing that you will find at least a couple of things you didn't know about Medicare in this article. Click below to read more.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-medicare-wont-tell-you-2013-03-08


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

10 Top Tips For Choosing The Medicare Supplement Plan That You Feel Suits You Best


Rules can vary by state, so the below tips are for Florida.

  1. Understand that a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, is just that. It only “supplements" original Medicare (Part A & Part B). Also keep in mind that original Medicare doesn’t cover everything.

  2. Most prescription drugs are not included with a Medicare Supplement. (Only a very limited drugs are covered under Part A or Part B.) So if you also want prescription drug coverage, you will need to purchase a stand-alone prescription drug plan (also known as Part D) in addition to a Medicare Supplement Plan. 

  3. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is from October 15 through December 7. Although you can add a Medicare Supplement anytime during the year, if you are currently on original Medicare and can qualify. However if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and want to switch to a Medicare Supplement, then you will need to do that during Annual Enrollment Period or (Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which is new for 2019).

  4. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also know as Medigap plans) can help pay for some of your out of pocket costs not covered by original Medicare (Part A & Part B).

  5. Choosing the right Medicare insurance plan for yourself depends on what you feel suits you the best and at the same time you can afford along with being with a financially stable insurance company.

  6. Applicants qualify for Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment during the first six months they are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During Medicare Supplement open enrollment, you cannot be denied coverage, regardless of your medical history. So it is important you don’t miss that deadline. Unless you qualify for guaranteed issue later on, if you don’t enroll during this open enrollment period you will need to go through underwriting for approval and some people may not qualify due to the insurance company’s underwriting guidelines.

  7. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans only cover one person per policy. So if your spouse wants coverage, he/she will also need to purchase a separate policy.

  8. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (A through N) are standardized, which means each plan with the same letter will offer the same coverage. (Exceptions are Minnesota, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.)

  9. Since Medicare Supplement Insurance plans with the same letter offer the same coverage, it is important to know that premiums can vary widely from one insurance company to another, even though they offer the same exact coverage. So you basically want to find the lowest premium through a reliable insurance company.

  10. Another thing to keep in mind is try to find out the annual increase history of the insurance company you pick for your Medicare Supplement plan insurance. You don’t want to purchase a plan that has historically had large annual increases, since if that happens in the future years you may not qualify (due underwriting guidelines) to switch to another insurance company’s Medicare Supplement later on down the road.












Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

2019 - Should I Keep My Existing Medicare Plan Or Switch To A New Plan?


It all comes down to a personal decision on what you feel fits your needs the best. There isn’t one magical plan that fits everybody’s needs the best!

Some important questions and items you should ask or review with an *independent agent before switching plans are listed below. 

*I added the word “independent” since independent agents can offer multiple insurance companies giving you more flexibility and choices than just a captive agent that only works for one insurance company.

  • Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans.
    (Provided each year by Medicare. Keep in mind that they can change from year to year. The star ratings can be found at Medicare.gov. If you cannot go online, each Medicare insurance plan enrollment guide booklet should also include the updated upcoming year’s Medicare star ratings for that specific plan.)
  • Carefully review the "Benefits at a Glance” and/or the more comprehensive “Summary Of Benefits.” 
    In my opinion, some of the important (but not limited to) items to focus on and that should be considered before making a decision on which plan you choose are:

    • What type of Medicare insurance plan is it? Medicare Advantage HMO, Medicare Advantage PPO, or a Medicare Supplement with perhaps an additional stand alone drug plan. (PDP)
    • Annual Out-Of-Pocket Maximum (That is the most you will pay in a year for Medical care provided by the plan. Note: This Annual Out-Of-Pocket Maximum amount does NOT include a maximum amount for prescription drugs, even if prescription drugs happen to be included in your plan.)
    • Copays for primary care physicians and also copay amounts for specialists.
    • Inpatient hospital care per day cost and how many days you have to pay.
    • Outpatient surgery cost (Find out if that outpatient surgery amount you are responsible for is just a plan flat copay amount or a percentage of the total amount?)
    • Emergency Care costs
    • Diagnostic radiology services and diagnostic tests/procedures costs
    • Ambulance
    • Prescription Drugs - Find out if your specific drugs are included in the formulary (complete drug list) of the plan you choose. (Note: Each specific plan can have a different formulary, even if they are with the same insurance carrier.) Then find out the Tier level and/or cost of each of your drugs, plus what the annual drug deductible will be (if any). Also find out which Pharmacies are in the network and also which are considered preferred Pharmacies for that plan - allowing you to get the least expensive prices.
    • If the Medicare insurance plan you choose has a network. Find out in advance if each of your specific doctors, hospitals, and other providers are in network for that specific Medicare insurance plan.
    • If a fitness program is important to you, find out if a basic gym membership is included in your Medicare insurance plan at no additional cost.
    • Find out what additional benefits, such as dental, vision, hearing, or even if there may be an allowance for "Over The Counter Drugs” is included with the plan you are considering.
    • Find out in advance if you can travel and still be covered for non-emergency visits to the doctor, etc. with that specific plan. (Note: Almost all the Medicare insurance plans do cover you if it is a true emergency!)
    • Plus there are many other items to compare, so determine what is important to your specific needs before making a decision!





Click on web link below for related blog post:

Medicare Insurance Plan Choices for this 2019 Annual Enrollment Period



Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


A Bit of Clarity in the Murk of Medicare Politics

In this Herald-Tribune article by Barbara Peters Smith, she mentions that when people say Medicare is going bankrupt, the fact is Medicare can't go bankrupt in the classic sense. To find out more details, click below to read her short article.

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2013/05/10/a-bit-of-clarity-in-the-murk-of-medicare-politics/


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

A Medicare Tax Break


This Wall Street Journal article by Bill Bischoff is about how some self-employed people can deduct Medicare Insurance Premiums. If you are not already familiar with this topic, it is important information and good news for self-employed seniors. But as always, it is best to check with your accountant for your individual situation. Click on link below to read more. 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-medicare-tax-break-2013-05-06


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Behind Medicare’s Hospital Bill ‘Discount’


Short Wall Street Journal article by Matthew Heimer about the so called discount that Medicare obtains on hospital bills. It stated that the price comparison website NerdWallet released a study and found a catchy way to summarize: "Medicare obtains a discount of 73% on the average hospital bill," the site says, paying 27 cents for every dollar it's charged. It goes on to say that the hospital list prices are almost always higher than what Medicare or any private insurer will pay. Also another way to flip the same data might be to say that the average hospital charges Medicare 3.7 times as much as Medicare is likely to pay it. Along with many others, I personally feel this has the effect of over inflating overall health care costs and many without health insurance get hit the hardest!

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/06/04/behind-medicares-hospital-bill-discount/


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Beware of Shifting Options Within Medicare Plans


In this New York Times article by Tara Siegel Bernard, it mentions that there are so many Medicare Insurance plan choices that it can be mind boggling! To add to the confusion, even if you stay with an existing Medicare Insurance plan you already have, there can be changes within that same plan from year to year. That is why once you pick an initial plan, it is still important to review your existing plan each year for any changes to see if the plan still best fits your needs! If the upcoming year plan changes affect you a lot, you may possbily be better off switching to a new plan for the new year. However many seniors either don’t want the hassle of reviewing new plans to compare with their existing plan or are just plain scared of making any changes. Keep in mind, it is important not to just stay in an existing plan because you are overwhelmed with all the choices.

To read the full article, click on the web link below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/your-money/beware-of-shifting-options-within-medicare-plans.html?_r=2


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Bradenton Among Most Expensive Places To Be A Medicare Patient


Click on link below to read an article bA new federal tool to evaluate hospital-related spending ranks Florida — and especially Bradenton — among the most expensive places to be a Medicare patient.

http://health.heraldtribune.com/2012/05/15/bradenton-among-most-expensive-places-to-be-medicare-patient/


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Cuts To Medicare Due To The New Tax Plan - Yes or No?


Blog Post Date: 12-21-2017

Will the new tax plan eventually create cuts to Medicare? Well that all depends on what articles you read, who you speak to, and what you believe afterwards. I guess only time will tell for sure.

In the meantime, below are web links to a few articles. Decide for yourself after reading them.


Click on links below to read the articles and decide for yourself:


Excerpts below from CNN Money article "Why AARP doesn't like the tax bill" by Katie Lobosco:

As for Medicare and Medicaid, only time will tell. The tax bill doesn't touch them directly, but the cuts are expected to add $1.46 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.1

That increase could trigger automatic spending cuts to entitlement programs, unless lawmakers vote to stop them. Medicare itself could see a $25 billion cut.1

Even if Congress stops these automatic cuts, the AARP letter indicates there's still reason to worry about funding in the future.1

"The large increase in the deficit will inevitably lead to calls for greater spending cuts, which are likely to include dramatic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other important programs serving older Americans," it said.1 


1. Source: CNN Money Article: "Why AARP doesn't like the tax bill" by Katie Lobosco
http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/21/retirement/aarp-tax-bill-seniors/index.html


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews



Drug Prices - Gag Rule At Pharmacy About Lower Prices?


I came across very interesting two minute 15 sec video and also on the same web page an article on a different subject regarding the gag rule for prescription drugs. I felt both the article and video were very informative and worth reading and/or viewing.

Disclaimer: There may be be a random commercial, (possibly even political?) preceding the video. I have no affiliation with any of these commercials and I just ignore them altogether myself and recommend you do the same.

When gag clauses are in effect, pharmacists are barred from telling consumers about less expensive price options because of the clauses in their contracts with PBMs. The clauses specifically prevent pharmacists from discussing less costly alternatives, including therapeutically similar drugs.

Some specific states already have their own state laws banning the gag rules. Many states have bills introduced into legislation in 2018 or passed already. 

"In the past two years, at least 21 states have enacted laws prohibiting "gag rules" on pharmacists, according to the Prescription Drug Resource Center of the National Conference of State Legislators. The most recent legislation was passed in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia between March and May.”1


Click the web link below to read view short video or read article.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/11/health/pharmacy-gag-rule-trump-lower-drug-prices/index.html


Click on web link below for related article in the local Sarasota Herald-Tribune

https://www.heraldtribune.com/zz/news/20180925/pharmacists-may-soon-be-allowed-to-tell-you-cheapest-way-to-get-prescriptions



1. Source: Article By Sandee LaMotte, CNN - Updated 7:53 PM ET, May 11, 2018
https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/11/health/pharmacy-gag-rule-trump-lower-drug-prices/index.html


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


Fighting A Costly Medicare Loophole


Some out of pocket expenses that Medicare may not cover are described in this Encore article by Anne Tergesen. The article suggests you ask doctors whether you are considered inpatient or outpatient when going to the hospital. The status known as being under “observation care” can cause problems to arise because that is considered outpatient for billing purposes. However being outpatient can have other consequences, such as when being discharged from the hospital and if rehabilitative services are needed, Medicare won’t pick up the tab, which can be significant! Also different copayments, etc. can be affected for outpatient versus inpatient.

To read more click on the 2 links below.

Encore article by Anne Tergesen
http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/07/31/fighting-a-costly-medicare-loophole/



Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Get What’s Yours For Medicare


I found this informative MarketWatch article about Medicare by Alessandra Malito and thought I’d share it. 

Gist is:

  • Medicare can be very confusing to seniors!
  • No one told me! (It is assumed that since Medicare is a government program that there should be people out there to tell you how to use it.) Hint: Find an experienced independent insurance agent that specializes in Medicare, such as myself!
  • Sign up for Medicare at the correct time or you may get steep penalties.
  • Understand that as long as you have continuous credible group coverage through your employer, generally you don’t need to sign up for Medicare right at age 65 to avoid penalties. However for employers with fewer than 20 employees, generally you have to get Medicare because small employer plans become secondary and Medicare becomes the primary player.
  • Understand and use the Medicare coverage you have. Also understand what is not covered, such as Long Term Care, for example.


For more information, click on web link below read entire article.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-man-wants-you-to-get-whats-yours-from-government-benefits-2016-09-29


Confused and/or want more information about how to enroll in a new (or different) Medicare Insurance Plan or which Medicare Insurance plan to enroll in, please call me at 941-404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss further. If relatively local, I’ll come right at your home, office, or other location.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


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Related Topic:

Click on web link below to find out answer.

Medicare Insurance Plans - Do Agents Charge Clients Fees?

Health Advantages Of Medicare Advantage


Some people feel strongly one way or the other about Medicare Advantage plans. A USA Today Columnist's opinion article by Daniel Gorlin and Jon Kaplan appeared to give a very favorable view. The article goes on to say that Medicare Advantage patients enjoy better health outcomes. If you are interested in reading the article mentioned above, click on the link at the bottom of this blog post. 

Keep in mind that with most Medicare Advantage plans will have what I call "pay as you go" type expenses such as co-pays, co-insurance, etc. for different benefits. However, below I listed some of the nice features / benefits of some Medicare Advantage plans.

Many Medicare Advantage plans may have these benefits:

  • Don't have a monthly premium.
  • Include Prescription Drug coverage in the same plan.
  • May include additional benefits such as: vision services, hearing services, health screening tests, nurse helplines, fitness programs, and some plans even include limited dental services, etc.
  • Cap your out of pocket spending for the year.
  • Have lower in-network pricing, but allow you to go out-of-network if you pay more.
  • Some plans allow you to travel in other states and still be covered in-network.
  • They try to keep the emphasis on heather living and preventive care.
     

However, you probably heard the saying, "One size doesn't fit all!"  With that said, Medicare Advantage can be very good for some folks, but one particular type plan isn't always a good fit for everybody. 

So on the other hand, some folks that may be more able to afford monthly premiums and like a larger choice of doctors by not being confined to a network, or perhaps are sickly; may chose to go with Original Medicare and add a Medicare Supplement plan as well as a Prescription Drug Plan. Depending on which Insurance Company and Medicare Supplement Plan Letter type that are chosen, the coverage and premiums will vary. However, with most Medicare Supplement plans you are not limited to a network of doctors. If the doctor's office accepts original Medicare, generally they'll accept a Medicare Supplement plan to fill the gap or you may be able to get reimbursed. (For example with a Medicare Supplement Plan F in Florida, with a few exceptions just about everything is covered for your Medical expenses. You'll still need to have Part A and B in order to get a Medicare supplement though, but then after that, you just pay a flat monthly premium for Medical Supplement premium and you're done.) Although if you choose to also have prescription drug plan, you'll still have an additional premium for that plan as well, plus other out of pockets expenses such as prescription co-pays, possibly even a deductible depending on the prescription drug plan. If applicable, you may also have additional gap expenses if your prescription drug combined amounts go over the gap levels, etc.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/07/02/health-advantages-of-medicare-advantage-column/2480001/


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Health Insurance Marketplaces Are Not For Seniors


In this USA Today article by Susan Jaffe from Kaiser Health News it reminds Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered and that their benefits are not changing for this upcoming 2014 year. They don't need to do anything with the new Marketplace because they don't apply to seniors.

So, if you are already 65 years old and on Medicare you don't need to be involved in the marketplaces. However during the Open Enrollment Period of Oct 15 through Dec 7, which is totally separate and different from the Marketplaces, seniors can shop for private health plans known as Medicare Advance and if they don't like their current plan they can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or to a Medicare Supplement and/or Part D for their prescription drugs.

To read more click on the link below.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/24/medicare-health-insurance-marketplace/2692977/


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How are Medicare Advantage plans different from Original Medicare?


Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative option to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plan are also known as "Medicare Part C" plans. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by "private insurance companies" and cover all Medicare covered services.

All Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer at least the same benefits and coverage as original Medicare Parts A and B. Most Medicare Advantage plans (but not all) also include Medicare Part D. Depending on the specific Medicare Advantage plan you choose, it may also pay for additional services that aren’t covered by Original Medicare. Many people (but not all) feel the benefit of Medicare Advantage plans is that they offer more coverage than original Medicare. It boils down to personal preference. One type plan doesn’t fit everybody!

Keep in mind: With original Medicare there is not an annual maximum out of pocket expense cap on what you pay out of pocket. However on the other side, Medicare Advantage plans do have an out-of-pocket maximum limit each year! Once you hit a certain dollar amount, your plan pays 100% of the cost for most services it covers. Example: If you had Original Medicare and your covered Medicare medical bills came to $1,000,000.00, you could still be responsible for your 20% coinsurance share of $200,000.00! In that same scenario, if you had a Medicare Advantage plan and your covered Medicare medical bills came to $1,000,000.00, you would only be responsible for your maximum annual out of pocket amount. (Depending on your specific plan, but could be just $6,700.00.)

In most Medicare Advantage plans, (but not all) you can only go to doctors, specialists, and hospitals in the plan’s network. Otherwise, you may pay more if you go out of network. Additionally if you go out of network with some plans (Example: HMO plans) you may not even be covered at all for services, unless it is a true emergency. Although as I mentioned, if you need urgent or emergency care you will be covered, even if you receive care outside the plan’s participating providers. Some examples of Medicare Advantage plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO).


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews


How Does Medicare Benefits Work If I Already Have VA Benefits?



How does Medicare benefits work if I also already have VA benefits?

  • Well first of all, Medicare generally does not coordinate with VA benefits. 
  • However you can have both Medicare and VA benefits. Many people choose to use both VA & Medicare benefits in order to have access to more providers and services.
  • Medicare and VA benefits do not work together though. (Medicare generally does not pay for care that you would receive in a VA facility.)
  • For Medicare to cover your care, you generally have to receive care at a Medicare certified facility that works with your Medicare plan coverage.
  • For VA to cover your care, you generally must receive your health care service at a VA facility. However exceptions can be made, for example if you receive prior authorization from the VA to receive VA covered services at a Medicare approved facility. Also if an emergency occurs that requires you to receive care, the VA may cover some of the costs until you can be moved to a VA facility for continued care.
  • Many veterans receive their VA health benefits to get coverage for health care services and items not covered by Medicare. Examples could be: over the counter medications, annual physical exams, and hearing aids, all depending on what current Medicare plan they have.


You may want to consider enrolling in Medicare Part B even if you have VA coverage, since
Part B may cover services you receive from Medicare certified providers and provide you with medical coverage outside the VA health system. Note: Without Part B, you will not have Medicare coverage for physician, outpatient, and ambulance services. Also, if you do not enroll into Part B when you are first eligible to do so, but then later decide to enroll in Part B, you will likely face a Part B premium penalty for each 12 month period you were without Medicare Part B coverage. Lastly, you may also experience gaps in coverage.

Drug coverage offered by the VA is creditable. Which means, it is as good as or better than Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. So as long as you remain enrolled in drug coverage through the VA, you can delay enrolling in Medicare Part D without penalty. If you are interested in enrolling in a Part D plan in addition to your VA coverage, then compare your options first. Some things to consider are the costs of a plan’s premiums, deductibles, and copays, the drugs that are available on a plan’s formulary (the list of covered drugs), and the pharmacies that you can go to.





Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How Medicare Insurance Plan Is Changing Health Coverage


This Sarasota Herald-Tribune article by Maggie Clark & Barbara Peters Smith explains that changes to Medicare insurance plans can effect your health coverage.

Sometimes due to negotiations between insurance companies and providers such as hospitals, medical groups, or even individual doctors, patients can get caught in between while the insurance companies and providers either work out their differences or worse. (The insurance companies decide to drop those providers and not to accept patients in-network from them going forward.)

There aren’t any rules that stop insurance companies from dropping providers (doctors, medical groups, and hospitals) at any time during the year. So even though you may sign up during the annual enrollment period, your doctors, medical groups, or hospitals can be dropped at any time afterwards! The insured customers need to realize that their providers are not guaranteed to be in-network all year long in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

A Medicare Advantage plan receives a lump sum amount from the government for each enrollee, and reimburses providers in its network at pre-negotiated rates. Insurance companies make profit on any remaining balance after enrollee’s bill are paid.

As a more expensive, but yet a lot more flexible, alternative to an Medicare Advantage plan is to instead purchase both a Medicare Supplement and a Part D (Prescription Drug Plan). Generally most Medicare Supplement plans do not require you to stay in-network and as long as your provider accepts original Medicare then you are also covered with your Medicare Supplement plan. As with anything else, generally to get more flexibility you will pay a higher price. Many Medicare Supplement plans (such as Plan F), don’t have virtually any copays or deductibles. (That is unless you go out of the United States.) You are basically paying a predetermined upfront premium each month. However with Medicare advantage you are basically taking a chance. Even though there are either no premium at all or possibly a very low premium, you may still have copays, coinsurance, deductibles, etc. all which can add up more than a Medicare Supplement total yearly premiums if you become very ill. I kind of relate a Medicare Advantage plan, to a pay as you go type plan.

To read the full article, click on the link below.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20141126/ARTICLE/141129787?Title=How-Medicare-insurance-plan-is-changing-health-coverage


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How Social Security and Medicare Work Together


I read an informative AARP article by Stan Hinden and I thought I’d share the web link below. The article gives a nice overview of how Social Security and Medicare work together.

One question I seem to get a lot is pasted below. He answered this question in his article.

Excerpt:

"Q. When's the right time to apply for Medicare?

A. Medicare generally advises you to apply for coverage during the three months before you turn 65, to ensure it will start in your birthday month. But the full Medicare initial enrollment period lasts for seven months: the three months before the month in which your 65th birthday falls, your birthday month, and the three months afterward. You're free to apply at any time during that period.

If you delay, you may face higher premiums for the rest of your life — 10 percent higher for Part B for every 12 months that you could have had coverage but didn't. But there are important exceptions. If on turning 65 you or your spouse is working for a company with 20 or more employees that covers you under a group health plan, you don't have to enroll in Medicare at that time. You can wait until you stop working or otherwise lose that insurance, and you won't be charged a late enrollment penalty.”1


1. Source: AARP article by Stan Hinden


Click web link below to read entire article:

http://www.aarp.org/work/social-security/info-2015/social-security-medicare-in-retirement.html


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How to Avoid Medicare Land Mines


If you are among the growing number of people still working when you turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, you may want to read this article from the Wall Street Journal by Ellen Schultz. Click on link below to read.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303292204577519272250299012.html#printMode


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How To Choose The Right Medicare Plan!



Before I get started with the information below, I just wanted to first mention that: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews



Step 1: Decide if you prefer Original Medicare OR a Medicare Advantage Plan
(Like an HMO or PPO)

Step 2: Decide if you want Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Step 3: Decide if you want supplemental coverage. (This type of supplemental coverage to Original Medicare is also known both as a Medicare Supplement Plan or as a Medigap plan. Two different names for the same thing.)

Some important things to know and other tips to keep in mind: 

  • You first need to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B (Through the Social Security Office) in order to get enrolled in either a Medicare Supplement Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Make sure to enroll in Part B when you are first eligible, or you may face penalties later on if you don’t have creditable coverage.
  • You are not allowed to be enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement at the same time.
  • Many, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans may have drug coverage included in their plan.
  • Many, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans may have zero (or very low) premiums.
  • Many, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans may have dental care, vision, fitness benefits, and even "Over The Counter” (OTC) credits, etc. included in your plan at no extra charge.
  • If you choose a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, you will need to purchase a separate additional Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), if you want drug coverage.
  • If you don’t enroll in a Medicare plan that has Prescription Drug Coverage when you are first eligible and don’t have credible coverage, then later in life if you enroll in a plan with Prescription Drug Coverage, you will incur a 1% per month government penalty for each month you missed from when you were first eligible and that penalty will continue for the rest of your life as long as you keep Prescription Drug Coverage!
  • If you pick a Medicare Advantage plan, be sure to verify that your existing doctors are in the network of specific Medicare Advantage plan that you choose. Also verify that all your prescriptions are covered by the plan and find out your out of pocket costs of each drug.
  • It is important to know what coverage you will have if travel out of your area. All Medicare plans cover you if you have a true emergency. However some HMO plans do not have coverage out of your service area for other things that are not considered true emergencies.
  • Medicare.gov Plan Finder can help you compare Medicare Advantage and PDP plans.
  • If you are still confused or just want some guidance, please contact me to help explain things in simple terms and then enroll you in a Medicare Supplement plan OR Medicare Advantage plan of your choosing after I give you the information you need to make an intelligent decision. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334. By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.






How to Fight a Medicare Claim Rejection


If you are on Medicare or will be soon, this is a very good article from the Wall Street Journal by Anne Tergesen about appealing a no-pay or denied medical claim decision. Worth the read. Click the below link to read the article.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-fight-a-medicare-claim-rejection-2012-10-23


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

How To Pay Less For Prescription Drugs


I just read several articles with good tips on how to save money on your prescription drugs.

Read the actual articles in web links below to get all their tips.


However below are just some of the tips: (Some tips I feel are common sense. Others are good tips you may not know about!)

  1. Use generics when possible.
  2. Shop around.(Drugs costs can vary by hundreds of dollars at different pharmacies, even within the same town!)
  3. Some warehouse clubs such as CostCo and Sam’s Club tend to have low overall prices and you do NOT need to be a member to get those low prices!
  4. Try smartphone apps (or simply go online if you don’t have a smartphone.)
    Some of the apps or websites you may want to check out are: GoodRx, Blink Health, WeRx.org, and HealthWarehouse.com.
  5. Use Discount cards when not using health insurance. Also instead of just using your insurance, still check to see if the discount card prices are less then your insurance copay or coinsurance amount, and/or deductible.
  6. Ask for free samples from your doctor to help reduce your costs.
  7. Some pharmacies or grocery store chains even offer free generic drugs. (Or at a very reduced cost, anyway!) Generally those types offered for free or reduced cost are some antibiotics and some diabetes medications.
  8. Make sure to “Ask” the pharmacist directly for the cheapest price, including if you didn’t use your insurance, but instead used coupons or discounts. (Note: Many drugstores/pharmacists have a "gag clause” which doesn’t allow them to offer you the cheapest price, unless you ask for it!)
  9. Know your insurance coverage. Find out in advance whether your prescription drug is in your plan’s formulary. Also what tier level your drugs are. Ask your doctor if there is a less expensive drug that does the same thing and is suitable to your needs.
  10. Sometimes, but not always, ordering by mail can be less expensive. Be sure to check, some plans actually charge more for mail ordering though.
  11. Use a pharmacy in your plan’s network. Otherwise, your prescription may not be covered.
  12. If your plan has preferred pharmacies, try to use the preferred pharmacies to save even more money.
  13. Ask your pharmacist and doctor if ordering a larger dosage and then splitting your pills is safe. (Note: Some pills are time released or have other reasons not to split them, so be sure to ask first!)
  14. Patient assistance programs offer free or reduced cost medications to low income, and sometime to the uninsured. Can’t hurt to ask them!


Click on the 4 web links below to read the articles:

How to Pay Less for Your Meds (Consumer Reports)

How to Pay Less for Drugs (AARP)

How to pay less for your prescription drugs, legally (CNN)

10 Expert Tips for Slashing Prescription Drug Costs (MoneyTalkNews)


Sources: Consumer Reports, AARP, CNN, and MoneyTalkNew


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

If I Am Eligible For Disability Benefits, Do I Automatically Receive Medicare Benefits?


"You generally will receive Medicare benefits after you receive disability benefits for 24 months. When you become eligible for disability benefits, Social Security will automatically enroll you in Medicare.  

Special rules apply to:

End-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure). People with permanent kidney failure get Medicare beginning:

  • The third month after the month a regular course of renal dialysis begins
  • The month of kidney transplantation
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis get Medicare beginning with the month they become entitled to disability benefits.


Note: Residents of Puerto Rico or foreign countries will not receive Part B automatically. You must elect this benefit.” 1


1. Source: AARP


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

Is Medicare Advantage Worth It vs. Traditional Medicare?


I felt this New York Times article by Austin Frakt was very interesting. The article infers from research that Medicare Advantage plans cost about 6% more to the taxpayers, but that Medicare Advantage plans outperform traditional Medicare by offering higher quality.

My personal feelings are that there isn’t one type plan that fits everybody. It really depends on your individual circumstances, budget, current health, and feelings about using in-network doctors, etc. Medicare Advantage may be great for one person, and a Medicare Supplement with a Prescription Drug Plan may be the best option for another person. I never steer my clients towards one type plan or the other. I present their options and let them choose what they feel is best for their particular situation.


To read more, click on the link below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/upshot/medicare-advantage-is-more-expensive-but-it-may-be-worth-it.html?_r=1&abt=0002&abg=0


Note: Medicare Insurance information can be overwhelming and confusing to many people. As an independent licensed agent I can explain things to you in simple terms so you feel comfortable making a decision. Then I can help you choose and enroll in a plan that you feel fits your needs.

By the way, it doesn’t cost you any more if you enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan through me as an independent agent versus directly with an insurance company either over the phone or via the Internet, since I get paid by the insurance companies for your enrollment. Plus you will have personalized service by a local agent. If you would like my assistance, please call me at 941-404-5334.

By calling this number, I understand I will be directed to a licensed insurance sales agent.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

L.B.J. Was Wrong About Medicare Concept


An article from the New York Times by Paula Span regarding when L.B.J. signed Medicare into law in 1965 and now almost 50 years later, Dr. Amy Kelley, has amassed disheartening evidence that L.B.J. was wrong. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965, he noted that its benefits to older Americans were not only medical, but