Category Archives: Personal Finance

Danica Patrick Becomes Spokesperson for National Life Insurance Awareness Month

Let’s face it, when people think of life insurance, they usually don’t think of adrenaline pumping, heart-pounding, high-speed excitement. Well, that’s all about to change with the announcement that groundbreaking—and record breaking—racecar driver Danica Patrick will become the new national spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month this coming September.

 

The annual campaign was developed by the nonprofit organization Life Happens to raise awareness about the nearly 100 million Americans who are currently uninsured, or under-insured, and to encourage them to get the coverage they need.

 

As someone whose profession involves driving around a track at 200 mph surrounded by nothing but metal, asphalt and concrete, risking her life is just part of her day job.  Therefore, Patrick’s appointment as national spokesperson makes perfect sense. But as she herself said: “Driving racecars is risky. Not having life insurance is riskier.” And she has a point. According to the latest Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA, one-third of all U.S. households would immediately have trouble paying for basic living expenses if their primary wage earner died unexpectedly, and 50 percent of U.S. households would begin feeling the financial impact in just six months. And this includes people who already have life insurance but are simply underinsured.

 

But for Patrick, life insurance is much more than a sound investment or a necessary requirement of having a risky job. For Patrick, life insurance is a personal part of her family history. “As teenagers, both my parents lost their fathers. Neither had life insurance,” she says in a national TV and radio PSA set to air this summer. She goes on to say that as a result of their loss, her family was forced to sell off their family farm just to make ends meet. And despite her personal tragedy, Patrick’s family still managed to rebound from their personal loss and financial hardship. Many Americans aren’t so lucky. Without substantial savings, investments or assets to offset their sudden loss of income, many are left with nothing when unexpected tragedy strikes.

 

According to the research, most Americans (nearly 86 percent) understand the risks of living without life insurance, and recognize the importance of getting coverage. But, be that as it may, the levels of those insured in this country remain at record lows. Let’s hope that Life Happens, with the help of Ms. Patrick, can help to turn this trend around and put America on the fast track toward the financial security and peace of mind that comes with knowing your family is protected.

Article source: http://www.lifeinsure.com/danica-patrick-becomes-spokesperson-for-national-life-insurance-awareness-month/

Can I Leave My Life Insurance Benefits to My Pet?

3 Ways for Leaving Life Insurance to a Pet

When you think of life insurance, you probably think of leaving money for your children or your spouse, but some people also want to leave something behind for their pet. In today’s materialistic culture, caring for pets can border on the extreme. Clothes for your pet is one thing, but a trust fund? If you can believe it, leaving life insurance to a pet has become the new normal for many pet owners. In case you were wondering, pets are not considered people and they cannot legally inherit money or possessions. However, many life insurance providers will offer their clients the option of setting up a pet trust, a legally binding agreement that holds money for specific beneficiaries. In so many words, the policyholder has the option of leaving money to a person who then assumes responsibility for caring for the pet.

Who Needs a Pet Trust?

There are some instances in which a pet trust makes the most sense. If a pet has a long lifespan and is expected to outlive their owner, that person would need to make arrangements for finding their pet a new home. Once they designate a new owner for their pet, they have to consider the cost that goes along with it. In some cases, a pet’s living expenses can amount to several thousands of dollars each year. A person with several pets would have to multiply those expenses. People with exotic pets might also invest in a pet trust. Certain animals would have difficulty finding good homes in their owner’s absence. A legally binding pet trust would ensure that these animals are properly taken care of after their owners pass away.

Types of Pet Trusts

Pet owners have several options when leaving life insurance to a pet. Each option comes with its own limitations and special considerations.

? Traditional Pet Trust

The trust names a new caregiver for the pet with specific instructions for how the pet should be cared for. In most cases, the trust will also designate a separate trustee who’s responsible for managing the money in the account. This creates a system of accountability between the beneficiaries. If one person were responsible for taking care of the pet and managing the account, it could lead to a conflict of interest.

? Statutory Pet Trust

This type of trust simply designates a sum of money for the pet’s care. The court will then assign an individual to take care of the pet and a separate individual to oversee the funds. The original owner does not have the option of including specific instructions for how the pet should be cared for.

? Pet Protection Agreement

As a more direct option for pet owners, a Pet Protection Agreement is a legally binding contract signed by the current owner and the pet’s future caregiver. This option is not ideal for transferring large sums of money. Instead, the owner can quickly designate a new owner for their pet without using a life insurance policy.A traditional trust is by far the most comprehensive way to ensure your pet’s future. To find out more about how to leave life insurance to a pet, contact the experts at

LifeInsure.com (http://www.lifeinsure.com/). They can help you find the right

insurance company to make sure that your pet will always be in good hands.

Article source: http://www.lifeinsure.com/can-leave-life-insurance-benefits-pet/

5 Ways to Improve Your Finances in 2016

The New Year is still young, which means many of us haven’t yet given up on our resolutions. So if being better with money was on your list of things to improve on in 2016, we’ve got a few tips to help you stick to it.

1. Educate Yourself
Several studies have shown that simply being educated on the basics of saving, investing and compound interest can significantly improve your financial situation. According to one of these studies, people with a higher level of financial literacy were much more likely to save for retirement, and, on average, those who do save for retirement end up with double the wealth of those who do not. Not surprisingly, the study also found that those with insufficient financial knowledge tend to overspend, over-borrow and pay more in avoidable fees and late charges.

2. Set Goals

Whether it’s saving for a down payment on a house, finally buying that new car, or putting a certain amount of money into your retirement plan, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind. It’s much easier to plan your spending and saving when you can focus on a concrete figure.

If your goal is a big one (a down payment, paying off a big loan, etc.) it helps to break that seemingly insurmountable goal into smaller manageable steps. Set milestones throughout the year so you can check in periodically, see where you stand, and make adjustments accordingly.

It can also be helpful to share your goals with others. Tell your spouse, partner, friends, and/or share your goals and progress on social media. This will help hold you accountable as you move closer to your goals.

3. Set a Budget and Stick to It

Whether you have a financial goal or not, setting a budget is a good way to get a handle on your finances. If you aren’t exactly sure where all your money is going, or you’ve ever been surprised by your bank balance, setting a budget will help stop the bleeding and keep your money from slipping through the cracks. Setting a budget is just a matter of writing out all your expenses and comparing them to your monthly income. This will help you identify leaks (it’s very common for people to forget about automatic payments they set up in the past) and see where you can find places to cut down on extraneous spending. Then you can see what’s left over each month and decide how much to save and how much you can reasonably spend on entertainment, dining out, etc.

4. Examine Your Insurance Situation
If you’re paying for health or life insurance, you should check in periodically to see whether you’re paying too much on your monthly premiums. For instance, if you were a smoker, or avid scuba diver when you purchased your policy, but have since quit your unhealthy habit, or given up your dangerous hobby, it might be possible to renegotiate your rates after a certain amount of time has passed. Insurance companies are competitive, so it’s also possible that a different insurance company might have a better plan today that they didn’t offer a few years ago, so it’s a good idea to continue shopping around even if you already have insurance.

If you’re paying for health or life insurance, you should check in periodically to see whether you’re paying too much on your monthly premiums. For instance, if you were a smoker, or avid scuba diver when you purchased your policy, but have since quit your unhealthy habit, or given up your dangerous hobby, it might be possible to renegotiate your rates after a certain amount of time has passed.Insurance companies are competitive, so it’s also possible that a different insurance company might have a better plan today that they didn’t offer a few years ago, so it’s a good idea to continue shopping around even if you already have insurance.

5. Focus on Smaller Debts First

If you owe a few hundred dollars on a store credit card, or a thousand bucks to a collections agency for an overlooked medical bill, try to tackle those first, rather than trying to pay off everything all at once. Eliminating those tiny nagging debts will help you clean up and organize your overall financial picture so you can breathe a bit easier and begin making a dent in that massive student loan debt.

The task can seem daunting at first, but the peace of mind you get from getting a hold on your finances is more than worth it. Start setting your financial goals today, and before you know it you’ll be sitting on a nice little nest egg.

Article source: http://www.lifeinsure.com/5-ways-improve-finances-2016/

Bunk Beds