Thursday, December 16, 2010

"How to Buy Life Insurance" by Forbes.com


While Americans are out shopping for holiday gifts, few are likely to pick life insurance policies as stocking-stuffers. The percentage of American households with individual life insurance policies has hit a 50-year low of 44%. Blame unemployment, confusing products, reports of denied claims and high commissions among the declining ranks of dedicated agents.
But many people who are going without life insurance may really need it. Among the 35 million Americans households that have no life insurance, 11 million include children under age 18. Of those 11 million, 40% say they'd have trouble paying everyday bills if the breadwinner were to die today. That's according to LIMRA, an insurance industry research outfit, which based its study on a survey of 3,766 households.
Who should consider coverage? Relatively young breadwinners with mortgages, college tuition or other bills that will require a back-up plan if they are no longer around to cover them. If you're fortunate enough to have substantial assets, life insurance can also help cover estate taxes for your heirs.
"To me your insurance is an aspect of your overall financial plan," says Roger Wohlner, a fee-only financial advisor in Arlington Heights, Ill. "Ideally you should look at it annually, or every couple of years, and see if circumstances have changed."
Instead of planning ahead, many people are prompted by a major life event to consider buying life insurance. Simply figuring out how much coverage you need can be challenging. Insurance agents often recommend coverage that will replace the equivalent of 15 times your annual income. Wixon says he advises clients to consider buying enough coverage to replace 3.5 times annual incomes, plus outstanding debts.
Once you decide on an amount, the next question is what form of life insurance to buy. Many financial planners recommend sticking with term coverage. This provides insurance for a set number of years, usually in exchange for fixed premiums, which can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually. A 40-year-old breadwinner with young children, for example, might decide on a 15- or 20-year term to ensure that the kids' expenses are covered until they're financially independent.
Permanent insurance is a far more complex product that combines life insurance with some form of savings plan and is often designed to stay in force for life. Wohlner, like many advisors, recommends buying insurance as insurance--meaning a term policy--rather than as an investment.

When does permanent insurance make sense? Because of life insurance's special status under tax law, permanent policies are sometimes used by wealthy individuals as an estate-planning tool. If this appeals to you, make sure to get advice from an unbiased planner rather than from an insurance agent, who is paid for selling you the policy.
It's also important to buy life insurance from a financially sound underwriter to ensure they'll be in business at least as long as you are. Check out the company's ratings from A.M. Best or another rater.

The process can be intimidating, but with premiums having fallen recently, now might be an opportune time to plan ahead. Here's a step-by-step guide to what you need to know
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What is a 529 College Savings Plan?

A 529 college savings plan is a state managed college savings fund with tax benefits. Read more here http://www.savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/what-is-a-529-plan.php

Friday, November 19, 2010

Life Insurers Test Data Profiles to Identify Risky Clients

Life insurers are testing an intensely personal new use for the vast dossiers of data being amassed about Americans: predicting people's longevity.


Insurers have long used blood and urine tests to assess people's health—a costly process. Today, however, data-gathering companies have such extensive files on most U.S. consumers—online shopping details, catalog purchases, magazine subscriptions, leisure activities and information from social-networking sites—that some insurers are exploring whether data can reveal nearly as much about a person as a lab analysis of their bodily fluids.



Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704648604575620750998072986.html#ixzz15kASyVV7

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Business Owners Need to Reward and Retain Thier Employees

Today's job market is volatile. Un-employment is at the highest levels in 30 + years. If you are run your own business and depend on employees to help run that business, then you know that offering more compensation in this contracted economy may not be an option. Increases in payroll mean increasing in matching federal and state income taxes for each employee.

One viable option for you to consider is to offer your employees additional insurance benefits. This will make them feel appreciated and looked after. (Studies show that the number 1 reason that employees switch jobs, is that they feel under appreciated and not cared for.) In today's growing employee benefit market there are a number of insurance benefits available for employers to offer their employees.
-Critical Illness/Cancer Insurance
-Short and Long Term disability
-Long Term Care Coverage
-Deferred Compensation Plans
-Group Life Insurance
-Medigap Policies to Cover Gaps in Major Medical plans

Depending on the structure of the business, plans may be able to offer tax savings to employers. No matching of federal or state taxes will be necessary and the implied value of these benefits in the mentality of the employee adds morale to the work force. These plans can be paid by employers, shared employee/employer costs, or group opt in plans paid 100% by the employee. For more information on this subject or a free analysis and quote for your business contact us at www.aarowfinancial.com.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why Long Term Care Insurance?

Why long term care insurance??? If you can afford to pay for Long Term Care Insurance you should probably have it. On the other hand, if you have less than $30,000 in assets as a single person, $80,000 in assets if you are married, then LTC might not be a necessity and very well maybe a budget -buster.

The average cost of a month's stay in a full-time Nursing Facility can range between $3,000 and $10,000. If you have a home health aide come to your home just three days a week, the costs can be more than $20,000 a year. In some areas of the country these costs can be much higher.
These exorbitant costs can quickly deplete your life savings and assets. Medicare does not cover long term nursing facility or home health assistance. You must spend down your savings and assets to qualify for Medicaid, which will help cover your LTC expenses.

LTC insurance is about more than protecting your money and assets, it also provides you with piece of mind. You can rest assured that you and your family can get the best care available, and that you will not be a financial burden on them.

Monday, November 1, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: 1 in 5 workers end up disabled at some pt in career. Have you looked at your employer's disability insurance lately?

Go to our disability insurance needs calculator on our disability insurance page to find out if you have enough coverage.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Critical Illness Insurance

One very important and most often overlooked form of insurance is Critical Illness coverage. CI coverage offers a lump sum payment and reimbursement payments for covered critical illnesses. They often include cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, paralysis, kidney failure, loss of two or more limbs, blindness (and sometimes even more conditions.) CI coverage is a vital tool in covering the gaps of other forms of insurance. These are gaps that we do not realize exist until it is usually too late. For example, most employer based health insurance policies or HMO's cover treatments inside a PPO or preferred provider network. But what do you do if you are advised to leave your network or search for "out-of-network" care for highly specialized or experimental cancer treatment? (A situation that can easily arise, if cancer is diagnosed.) This is an example of a major gap that we are seeing all too often in the industry. Another example is the the gap between your disability coverage and your need for care. Disability coverage is designed to be only a percentage of your total salary , to encourage a speedy return to work. But what do you do if you are disabled due to a critical illness and you have added cost of care due to the illness?
Critical illness coverage is a vital tool in protecting your financial and medical future. For pennies on the dollar the financial risk of a critical illness can be passed to a major "A" grade or better insurance carrier. There are return of premium riders that can return the premiums that you pay for this coverage at age 65 when you begin medicare coverage. You can also choose to keep the coverage after 65 to expand your options of care providers (outside Medicare) in the event that a critical illness arises.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance is right for people who have assets to protect. Those assets include, retirement savings of all forms, cash, life insurance cash value, homes, cars and anything that can be sold for value. (IE. jewelry, etc) If you have any of the above then you should consider long term insurance. The risk of paying for your long term healthcare should be passed to an insurance company. In long term care planning you will need spend down most of your assets you worked your whole life to accumulate before Medicaid will pay for your care. The current look back period for Medicaid qualification is 5 years. Also, your family should be able to choose the facility and type of care you receive. As with all insurance, the longer that you wait, the more expensive it can be. Contact us for a free quote and consultation. (If you have had health challenges , then new changes to the Pension Protection Act will allow for a linked benefit annuity to payout for care in a long term healthcare facility.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance or GUL's are universal life policies that offer a guaranteed death benefit for a specific set premium. The death benefit is guaranteed for the time period set forth in the contract, usually to a specific age or maturity date. As long as the policy holder pays the premiums as scheduled, the contract is guaranteed not to lapse. Usually, these contracts are designed not build cash value. The premiums for GUL's is very low when compared to whole life or traditional Universal Life policies. They are a perfect fit for someone who is just looking for coverage. For more information or a free quote, contact us, we can have the information sent out to you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fixed Annuity vs CD's


Please see below for a great analysis on the fixed annuity and interest rate environment. These numbers show the benefits of purchasing a fixed annuity now for those clients of yours looking at fixed options. With clients thinking the interest rate environment will increase, many of them are holding off their annuity purchases until rates climb. See below on how to overcome this objection.
It’s All Relative
Last year we had plenty of 5% annuities available and annuity sales were at an extreme high. CD rates at the same time were at 4%. See the table below;
2009 Rates
Rate
Annuity
5%
CD
4%
Difference in Rate
25% in favor of the annuity
As you can see from the above, annuity rates still were 25% higher than CDs last year and many clients jumped into their annuity with both feet. Now a year later we see the following;
Current Environment
Rate
Annuity
2.9%
CD
1.82%
Difference in Rate
Over 37% in favor of the annuity
The difference in rates between these two vehicles is dramatically different today. Economists stipulate that the interest rate environment will remain flat until 2012. But, assuming we ignore economists, what would rates have to climb to in order to justify waiting today?
Today we can get 2.9% x 5 years guaranteed with an annuity and without the power of compounding, this equates to 14.5% over 5 years
· If we wait a year we would need to yield 3.62% on a 4 year annuity to equal 14.5% (a 54% increase off today’s 4 year annuities)
· If we wait 2 years we would need a 4.83% rate on a three year annuity to equal 14.5% (a 193% increase off today’s 3 year annuities.
Educating clients and helping them realize the cost of waiting is one of the many services we offer. We can also show you how to guarantee an income stream for life! More to come on that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Do you know what a split annuity is?

A split annuity is a combination of an immediate income annuity and single premium tax deferred annuity. The immediate annuity guarantees income for a period of time, and the deferred annuity grows with a fixed interest rate while the income is being taken from the immediate annuity. If done correctly, the income is taken while the deferred annuity compounds. At the end of the guaranteed income period, the deferred annuity is ready to be used as the new income vehicle!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What are Accident Expense Policies?

If you have children, you already know how quickly accidents can happen. Occasionally a simple band-aid will not do the trick and a trip to the emergency room may be in order. As a parent, you have first hand experience on how expensive major medical procedures are. Accident expense policies are designed to cover the gaps of major medical deductibles and insurance co-pays, along with rehabilitation associated with an accident. They will usually cover up to $15,000 per incident and can greatly reduce medical insurance premiums by allowing you to increase your deductibles. These plans pay in addition to your current coverages.

We offer a variety of policy options to meet almost any budget. Give us a call today to find out more information on all of our NC insurance programs - 910-343-1554.

New Look for Our Web Site


We are close to finalizing the redesign of our main corporate web site at AarowFinancial.com. For those of you who are unfamiliar with our company, we are an independent insurance agency headquartered in Wilmington, NC that offers life, long term care, and accident and disability insurance policies throughout North Carolina. Our new site if full of information on our carriers' various insurance products. We are currently working on integrating online quoting functionality to better serve the needs of our more tech savvy clientele.

We also are specialize in retirement and savings plans. Whether you are new parent looking for term life insurance protection or someone nearing retirement seeking saving strategies, we can likely help point you in the right direction. Stop by our Market Street location or call us toll free at 800-343-3401.

Please feel free to offer feedback on how we can improve our new web site and thanks again for considering Aaron Financial Group for all of your Wilmington, North Carolina insurance needs.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Insurance Physical Exams

Be sure to follow these guidelines before your insurance physical:
1. No alcohol 24-48 hours before
2. at least 8 hour fast
3. Take the exam in the morning, your blood pressure is better then
4. No strenous excercise 24 hours before
5. take the weight part with light to minimal clothing and no shoes (if your shoes weigh 2 lbs and that two pounds puts you in another underwriting class, it could cost hundreds over the life of policy.)
6.Avoid salt 24 hours before, it can raise BP also
7. If you are taking a normal regimen of medication, keep taking it, that will actually look better to the company that your condition is controlled with regular medication