Category Archives: Personal Finance

Donating Life Insurance

You know that life insurance can protect your loved ones, but did you know it can also be donated to a charity or organization of your choice? Read more about donating life insurance.

Taking out a life insurance policy is an excellent way of ensuring that family or loved ones do not fall into financial despair after your passing. However, what happens if they don’t need it? What if in the time since purchasing the policy, your heirs have become financially sound? In some instances, a big payout might even lead to unnecessary tension between surviving family. These are just a few of the reasons why you might consider donating life insurance to charity.

Donating your life insurance to a favored charity is a great way to give back to your community. Rather than a life insurance payout being sent to an individual, the charity organization of your choice will receive the funds.

There are two ways to donate life insurance policy to a charity. The first is to name the charity as the primary beneficiary of the policy, while still retaining ownership. This allows you access to the policy while you’re still alive. This also gives you the opportunity to change your mind. For example, if sudden financial concerns befall your family, it makes sense to be able to redirect that money—formerly directed toward the charity—to the heirs in need.

The drawback to this option is that owners of the policy are not able to take advantage of the income-tax deduction they would typically earn for such a charitable donation.

The second option involves the owners, while still alive, transferring the ownership of the life insurance policy to the charity. The immediate and obvious benefit to this option is the ability to see the direct impact the donation makes, while you’re still alive. Another benefit is that it relinquishes the hassle of maintaining the policy or paying the premiums. In addition, the charity can choose to liquidate the policy if they do not wish to pay the premiums.

By donating a life insurance to a charity while still alive (i.e. transferring ownership), you can also claim tax deductions with some charitable donations. However, some charities are uncomfortable with accepting ownership because they do not want to deal with the financial responsibilities of keeping it active.

Before donating a life insurance policy to charity, you should know the value of the policy, and, therefore, have it appraised. The price determined by appraisal will reflect how much one can claim on a tax deduction, which, in most cases, will be the adjusted cost basis (total of premiums an individual paid before donating it to charity). The adjusted cost basis is often less than the fair market value.

Learn more about donating your life insurance policy

Donating a life insurance policy is a great way to give back to the community and is a unique alternative to having an individual heir. When making any changes to your life insurance policy, it is important to consult with a licensed agent who can help you make the best decisions for your needs. If you’re currently looking for a life insurance policy, we encourage you to use our instant quote engine to get a free, fast and accurate quote.


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5 Ways You Could Be Hurting Your Credit Score Even If You Are Paying Your Bills In A Timely Manner

News To Watch Credit Score Breakdown

If you pay make regular credit card payments that are well above the minimum, and no one is hassling you about outstanding bills you might assume that your credit score is getting healthier or at least maintaining its current level. But there are some mistakes that consumers don’t even realize they’re making that could be hurting their FICO numbers.

Here are some ways you can help your credit:

1. Not Paying Attention To Credit Balances

You don’t have to be in deep debt to creditors to harm your credit score, especially if you don’t have a substantial line of credit to begin with.

Your “amount of debt” is the second-biggest chunk of your FICO score (after your payment history), accounting for about one-third of the calculation, and your debt-to-credit ratio has a big impact on this figure.

If the balance owed on any revolving account is higher than 40% “or 30% with one bureau” of its available credit, it’s negatively impacting your score. So someone with $1,000 in debt and $10,000 in credit isn’t hurting themselves, but if that same person only has $3,000 in credit with $1,000 in debt, their credit score is worse for it.

This is why you should be cautious when closing out credit card accounts even if they don’t carry a balance. The loss of that available credit pushes your debt-to-credit ratio higher.

2. Co-Signing Loans

We’ve told you horror stories in the past of family members left on the hook for loved ones’ loans after the borrower died or became unable to pay, but if that borrower misses a payment or comes up short on payments your credit score may start sinking without you even realizing why.

3. Applying For Too Many Lines Of Credit

It can be so tempting to take advantage of promotions like 0% financing or cards with huge rewards bonuses for new members. Even if you have no problem paying off the purchases made with these new lines of credit, merely applying for these accounts results in “hard pull” inquiries of your credit report, which accounts for 5-10% of your score.

4. Paying Cards Off Monthly

Maintain at least a small balance on a credit card or two monthly.  Paying your credit off every month doesn’t allow for the credit bureaus to view your payment history and its possible to have no score if you never show payments being made on your accounts because you are paying them off and the bureaus always see $0 balance.

5. Close Card Accounts If You Have Too many Unused Accounts

If you keep credit cards that are unused, it may increase your score by closing some of the unused accounts.

Why You Should Do an Annual Life Insurance Review

Like many types of insurance, a life insurance policy is something that you should update regularly. Signing up for coverage is a great start, but as life changes, so should your policy. There are many factors that could impact how well you’re insured. Reviewing your policy annually will help you determine if any changes need to be made. Without a check-up, you could easily be left underinsured and susceptible to a lack of coverage. Make an annual life insurance review part of your yearly financial planning. It might be worth more than you think. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons for updating your life insurance policy regularly.

Major life events such as getting married, divorced or starting a family can have a major impact on your life insurance needs. If you’ve added another member to the family, you may need to increase the amount of your coverage so your family will be further protected in your absence. If you’ve recently divorced, you may want to start a new policy all together or adjust your current beneficiaries.

Conversely, events that happen toward the end of your life may make your policy that much more affordable. If you’ve retired in the last year, you may want to limit your death benefit. You and your partner may have enough money to live out the remainder of your life without the help a hefty life insurance policy. If your children have grown, moved away or gone off to college, you may want to lower the amount of your policy now that your children are no longer financially dependent. If you’ve paid off your mortgage, your living expenses might be that much cheaper. Thus, your beneficiaries might need that much less to live on in the event of your absence.

As you update your life insurance policy annually, it’s also important to compare policies and prices across different companies. As the years go by, another insurance provider may be able to offer you and your family a better policy. Keep your life insurance up-to-date. It makes all the difference.

If you’re evaluating your current life insurance and would like a life insurance quote, or to compare life insurance rates online, click here.


In my 20+ years as an independent life and disability insurance broker, I have personally assisted thousands of clients with their life and disability insurance needs. As a national broker, I am licensed to write life and disability insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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