Category Archives: money

When I Realized I Needed Life Insurance and Some Helpful Tips

There are a lot of key moments in life. When you met that special person and know that she’s the one. When you actually ask her to start her life with you. When you buy your first home.

Then there’s the first time you realize that you need life insurance. For me, and many others, it comes with holding their first child in their hands. That’s a hectic time and there’s not much sleep to be had, but that doesn’t make life insurance any less important.

With that in mind, here are some things about getting life insurance:

Know Which Type to Shop For

There are two basic types of life insurance, whole and term. Whole life you keep forever (as long as you continue to pay the premiums). Term life is for a specific amount of time. Typically, that’s 20 years. In my situation, I wanted to make sure we had enough money to cover the kids through high school and into college. The twenty year option seemed like the perfect fit. After that, the wife can support herself with our retirement savings and social security.

Since term life insurance is a lot cheaper than whole life insurance, I’ll be able to invest the difference, grow my retirement fund, and maybe self-insure my family in 20 years.

Know How Much to Get

Most likely the salesperson is going to try to push you to buy more insurance than you need. It makes sense, might as well get as much from the fish that’s already been hooked. They may try to steer you towards extras that give them higher margins. Just stay away.

How much life insurance do you need? It’s a complicated question and you’ll have to do a fair amount of financial analysis to get a good number. One of the biggest things to consider is replacing your income. Retirement planners use a guideline of 4% your nest egg to calculate your replacement income. That would mean carrying 25x your current salary. If you already have savings, you can expect your wife to be able to work a little, a more realistic goal may be between 10-15x your current salary.

Take the Time to Shop Around

I remember calling many places and filling out a ton of online forms. I took the approach that I take with getting contractors. Get several bids and see who comes back with the right price. There are tons of places that sell life insurance (such as GIO life insurance), so the more quotes the better. The best price isn’t always the best deal, but it will help give you a very good idea of what you should be looking to pay.

Feel Free to Negotiate

If there’s a company you already do business with and you know and trust them, ask them if they can match some of your low prices. Tell them that you really like to give them your business and they’ve earned your business with their great service in the past. In never hurts to butter them up.

Whatever you do, the most important thing is to have something planned. It’s the first, and most important step to securing the future of those you love.

how to make money without a job and why you should

 

Spend less than you earn is the wrong way to think! Your time will be much better spent thinking of more ways to make money than it will be thinking of ways to save money. Chances are good if you read this blog that you’ve already given some thought to alternative income, but let’s back up.

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.” – Oscar Wilde

Everyone has a primary source of income. Usually it is a traditional job – an employer who asks them to show up from 9 am to 5 pm, file a TPS report and pay an ungodly amount of taxes for the privilege of being laid off in a restructuring when the company misses earnings estimates by $0.01. Income can also come from self-employment, a small business, unemployment checks, a pension, or hundreds of other primary sources. Alternative income – which is sometimes referred to, incorrectly, as passive income – can come from rental properties, royalties, investments or other sources. All of these sources could also be primary income to someone but usually these are income streams that people receive in addition to their primary income. To be truly rich one thing is certain: for every ’stream’ of income you have, you should have an alternative. Alternative income is the key to wealth.

Most people have a single source of income. They work for employer Megacorp or Wal-Market and receive a paycheck. Some people may have a trickle of investment income, or occasionally sell something on eBay and then give up after a few sales, but a large number of people consider catching up on the final season of NBC’s beloved quirky comedy “The Office” a better use of their time than trying to earn more money after a tiring day in the office. Their goal is to get by on minimum work, minimum income and maximum “down-time.” Alternative income seems like a lot of extra work to these people, and extra work isn’t what anyone wants.

However, there are many advantages to finding alternative income, not the least of which is being able to get rid of your primary income stream. Having alternative streams of income means that no one stream can direct your life. Do you think you could tell your boss you were going to quit at the end of the month if your wage is your only source of income? Not unless you had an offer letter from your next ex-boss ready. But what if you had 15 streams of income? What if no single stream accounted for more than 10% of your total income? You could do a constant analysis and drop underperformers. You could drop streams that were inefficient, or frankly just made you blue. This is why being a consultant is better than being an employee, and why owning a business is better than being a consultant, and why creating content is better than owning a business – ease of adding and dropping income sources. Consultants and businesses and especially content creators can have more than one ‘employer’ at a time. No one ‘employer’ becomes critical for putting food on the table.

There are two more advantages to alternative income besides diversification of income sources. First of all is the expansion of skills. Creating an income stream from a website you create or eBay sales or a small business is a completely different skill set than being a financial analyst, for example. Not better, not worse, but different. Even blogging about financial analysis is a different skill set than being a financial analyst. Every time you create a new revenue stream, you are expanding your skill set. You are learning something new, and making it that much more likely that you’ll be able to add further income streams.

This leads to the greatest advantage of alternative income streams of all. This is the viral nature of alternative income. For the first 10-12 years of my working life, I never thought there was any point in worrying about income past my wages and a quarterly trickle of dividends from my stock holdings. The truth is that when you start thinking about creating alternative income you’ll find out that something funny happens. Your ideas will snowball. That first idea will spawn two more, and they’ll each create two more. You’ll get excited the first time you make a few dollars that didn’t come from your employer. You’ll see opportunities everywhere and even though many won’t work out, some will. The one that does will give you a lead to another stream. That stream will inspire you to create another. You won’t be content to sit back and wait for your corporate payroll department to mail you that never-changing check every two weeks. You’ll want more, and by wanting more you’ll find more. Once you understand that alternative income is the only way to real, long-lasting wealth every idea you have could be the start of something amazing.

So even if you come up with an idea for generating an extra $10 a month, don’t sneer at it. That $10 a month idea may someday serve as the basis for a $100 per month idea. That $100 stream may help you gain the skills and experience you need to have for a whole new stream that generates $1000 per month. If you see where this is going, you see the possibilities. Keep an eye out – you never know when you’ll come up with the next small idea that could turn out big!

This post originally appeared, in slightly modified form, as a guest post I wrote on Lazy Man and Money. He’s all about alternative income, of course, which is the subject of this post, so his blog is a great place to brainstorm.

Attribution Photo Some rights reserved by stevendepolo

How to Buy a Laptop

A desktop computer has its benefits, but if portability is what you want, then a laptop is a better choice. However, with so many laptops on the market, it can be difficult to make a well-informed choice. Here are a few things you should consider when buying one.

Size

Many people these days want to carry their laptops around with them, so size is an important consideration. Fortunately, unlike the laptops of yesterday, most of today’s models are much thinner and lighter thanks to technological advances. However, keep in mind that the thinner and smaller it is, the less power it will have. Because of the small space, processor speed is limited due to heat issues.

Speed

No matter how conveniently sized your laptop is, it’s not much help if it takes forever to load programs and lags during use. If you want to use your laptop for gaming, watching videos or using processor-intensive applications, you’re going to need more speed. Most laptops today feature dual-core processors at or approaching 2.4GHz, which is as fast as many older desktop PCs.

Storage

Storage capacity is another issue that, if not properly considered, can severely limit the usefulness of a laptop. If you intend to use the machine for work, or of you’re an avid audiophile or photographer, more storage is better. A good starting point for storage is 120GB, which will hold a lot of files before running out of space.

Price

Obviously, you should only buy a laptop you can afford. All of the speed and storage in the world isn’t worth anything if it’s out of your price range. Fortunately, there are ways to get a better laptop for less. Keep an eye out for a good laptop sale, buy one used or, if you’re mechanically inclined, you can build one yourself.

Brand

There are literally dozens of laptop manufacturers out there, and this is a critical factor to consider. You’ll generally spend more for a well-known brand, but it’s usually worth it. It’s often advised to steer clear of brands you haven’t heard of, even if they’re relatively inexpensive, just because you don’t know anything about the company’s reputation or the quality of their products.

OS

Lastly, you should consider the operating system that comes installed on your prospective laptop. It’s a good idea to get something you’re already familiar with just to minimize frustration and make the machine more user-friendly. That said, if you don’t like the OS it came with, you can always install your own after purchase.

Alternative Marketing Methods for Your Small Business

A small business must have big ideas for marketing success. Growth is often a function of increased recognition of a brand, an increased awareness of products or services. Word of mouth and referrals are terrific. They are the rewards of excellent customer service and customer satisfaction. Another, and often more difficult task, is reaching people who have had no previous contact, no awareness of the small business’ goods and services.

In the current era, social media is a widely used method of gaining brand recognition and increasing awareness. Localization is the key, and social media have become sufficiently sophisticated as to offer geographic targeting for ad placements. Pamphlets in various forms of printed media can reinforce visual recognition gained in online advertising. Printed pamphlets are a traditional method, but the same principle applies to downloads. One can print an advert offline and would be more likely to do so if it involved a price point or specific package of goods or services. This combines a pamphlet with an online presence; essentially a website becomes a distribution point for a pamphlet or brochure.

Pamphlet delivery is a method that has a potential to work well along with all other marketing approaches. Pamphlet delivery can put a business name on the doorstep of every residence in a defined geographic market. Pamphlet delivery is portable, a method that covers events and other notable gatherings with an appropriate demographic. For example, one can saturate an area with pamphlets to coincide with conventions, conferences, a fair, or festival, or series of music concerts. There is an assurance of increased visual recognition and that the target group receives a focused effort.

Blogging is a method of putting a brand into the news stream. Blogging can connect a business to news events or other trending information, events, or occurrences. Blogging can be neutral and yet create an association with an issue or viewpoint. For example, a business blog posting based on news about hungry children can create an association of compassion and concern for public welfare. If the business also were food services, then there would be a vertical depth to the association of fighting hunger.

With any advertising approach, the basics such as pamphlet delivery can create synergy. People can encounter the brand, or visual recognition, in more than one place. This positive situation can spur measurable amounts of growth.

Basic Overview Of Email Marketing

There are many people who run companies but they do not take advantage of email marketing. This is usually because they do not know a whole lot about it. Continue to read on to find out what this type of marketing is, as well as how it works and why companies should be using it.

What Is Email Marketing

Email marketing is exactly how it sounds, it is a marketing campaign that is promoted via email. If you want to promote something or bring awareness to something, then you would send out information via email.

How Does It Work

First of all a business will need to build a list of email contacts, and this means that they will need an auto-responder. An auto-responder allows you to build a list, store it and then send out one email to all of the contacts on your list. Most auto-responders will allow you to create custom campaigns, which is exactly what you want. Once you have a list built and you have a campaign, such as an upcoming sale or a new product you are introducing, then simply send the email to every one your contact list.

There are a few different ways to build an email list, but one of the best ways companies can build a list is by offering their customers something in return for their email address. Usually most companies will offer their customers some sort of discount in exchange for their email address.

Why Companies Should Use It

There are many reasons why companies should use email marketing. One of the main reasons why is that this form of marketing is one of the most cost effective marketing techniques. It does not cost a lot of money to invest into an auto-responder, and the results of an email campaign can be amazing. Also, this particular type of marketing is a great way to spread the word about something, be it a new product or a current sale. Companies can also use email marketing to grow their presence online, as their customers may share emails from the company with their friends and families, and this means more money in the company’s pockets.

If you run a company and you are still not using email marketing, then now is the time to change that. By not using email marketing, it means you’re losing out on potential money.

The Importance of Long Term Care

Long-term care is when an individual requires physical and emotional care for an extended period of time. These types of help are typically the activities that normal and active people take for granted. Some of these are walking, using the bathroom, bathing, pain management, eating, doing errands and help with incontinence.

Most people only find out about long-term care when they or a loved-one requires it. Then their options become limited because of a lack of information and insufficient finances to pay for certain services. For this reason, it is important to plan for long-term care. 70 percent of individuals above the age of 65 require long term care. So, if you live beyond this age you are most likely going to require this type of care and this likelihood only increases with age.  So why is long term care important?

Service Options – By planning ahead, you will be able to determine all the services that your community offers and the special conditions that are eligible for receiving a type of service. You will also be able to determine the cost of services and the different payment options (public or private). Knowing this information will allow you to make better decisions when you require long term care. It allows you to take control of your future.

Save Money on Long Term Care – Planning ahead for long-term care is important because the cost of care now exceeds an average person’s income and resources. Planning for this type of care allows you to save your assets and income. You then have the ability to use your finances for other pursuits such as enjoying your golden years or leaving a part of it to your loved ones.

Planning for long-term care also helps your family members since they do not have to bear the entire financial burden. It allows you to involve your family in making decisions without depending on them for everything.

Greater Independence – The most important advantage of planning for long-term care early is the independence and control it gives you over your future. You can choose the type of long-term care you will receive. You also have the choice of living outside of a facility and live at home instead. You also decide the length of time you will receive these services.

Some families find it difficult to discuss long-term care with their aging loved ones. Adult children feel that they are patronizing their parents. But discussing and planning for long-term care is important and will benefit everyone.

 

5 ways to get free money

Everyone likes free money. It’s my favorite kind, personally. I’m talking about the $20 bill lying on the ground. The birthday check from Great Aunt Winifred for $5. The extra 30 minutes someone overpaid on the parking meter that you get to use when you park there. It’s all good.

So why would you pass up free money? The problem is, there are plenty of opportunities, even in this day and age, to get money for nothing. Of course there is a price – you may have to fill out a form, or walk to a bank, or call an 800 number. But in practical terms, we’re talking about nothing. So where do you get this free money? Who is crazy enough to give it away? Your employer, the federal government, banks, credit card companies, airlines, supermarkets? The answer: all of them!

1. Not taking advantage of employer match in your 401(k). This is a biggie. If your employer offers a matching program for your 401(k), what they are telling you is for every $1 you put towards your retirement – up to a certain level – they will give you $1. You don’t have to stay later, or hang with the boss under the mistletoe at the holiday party. They’ll just put it in your 401(k) and walk away. It may take a year or two to vest fully, but it’s your decision to stay or leave. Don’t pass up this unless you feel that you don’t really deserve any more of your company’s money than they graciously give you in salary.

2. Not using a cash back rewards card. Credit card companies are not our buddies. They are not in business to make our lives more convenient – they are in business to trick us into running up big balances. What easier way than telling you that every time you spend $100 they’ll give you four shiny new quarters? The trick here is to turn the tables on them. Put all of your expenses on a cash-back credit card each month, then pay off the balance in full. They’ll probably be muttering and complaining in their plush credit card executive offices, but they’ll give you the money. I get cash back on my donations to charity because I do this. Think about that – I give money to charity but I use a cash-back card that pays me 1% back. If that isn’t free money, I don’t know what is.

3. Failing to join your supermarket ‘frequent shopper program’. Most big supermarkets have a “card” price on their store brands. If you use your ‘frequent shopper card’ they give you big discounts. All they ask in return is the ability to measure your buying patterns for marketing purposes. That may be a little creepy knowing that all that data’s being compiled about you, but hey! I’m not about to pay $1 for something I could pay $.50 for just by giving out information to Winn-Dixie that they probably can track in other ways, anyway. I may regret getting a flyer in the mail but most of these supermarkets let you opt-out of mailings.

4. Withholding too much. The federal government is a pesky creditor. Imagine if you went to a nice restaurant and while you were eating the waiter came by every 10 minutes to ask for another 1/6th of your bill. Annoying, isn’t it? Well, Uncle Sam can’t wait until April 15th to get your tax payment – he needs it now and he needs it bad. But he also lets you decide just exactly how much should be withheld from your paycheck every month. Imagine you’re back at the crazy restaurant. The waiter comes by and wants $10 every 10 minutes. Would you give him $15 each time and tell him to give you the change back after dinner? Why would you want him holding your money for you? Why do you want the government holding your money that could be in a high-yield savings account? Reducing your withholding can put some money in your pocket NOW instead of later.

5. Not joining airline/hotel/etc. frequent flyer programs. I know the value of a frequent flyer mile isn’t what it used to be, but if you fly they don’t charge you anything extra to put the miles in an account. I’ve paid for enough flights and hotel rooms over the years using points that I think it’s worth it. I would have paid for those flights and rooms otherwise. Using points is a hassle, I know, but it’s still something for nothing. The “something” is a little bit less every year, but it’s still there.

It’s all free money – who wouldn’t want some of that?

Private Mortgage Insurance: What You Need to Know

Unfortunately, if you don’t have at least 20% to put down on your mortgage when buying a home, you’ll have to buy private mortgage insurance. Also known as PMI, this insurance protects the lender when and if you fall behind on your mortgage payments. The insurance is almost always automatically cancelled when 20% of your mortgage is paid. If the lender doesn’t cancel it, be sure to contact them in writing. There are certain circumstances when the lender may not cancel your private mortgage insurance. If your home has gone down in value, they may not cancel the insurance. If you have another lien on the home, they may not cancel it.

There are a variety of ways you can pay your private mortgage insurance. You can finance the cost of the insurance, paying an additional amount on top of your mortgage payment, you can pay the insurance premium in one lump sum each year, or you may be able to set up separate monthly payments with the lender or the private mortgage insurance company. If you don’t pay your private mortgage insurance in a lump sum, you will have to pay interest just as you would on your car insurance. The interest rates typically run from 1/2 to 1 percent of the total amount that is borrowed, although this number varies from lender to lender.The cost of PMI is based on your credit rating, the type of mortgage you have, and the length of the loan. The good news is, if you earn less than $100,000.00 a year, the private mortgage insurance premiums are tax deductible, although this amount is always subject to change because tax laws often change.Paying PMI can be eliminated if you have paid off at least 20% of your mortgage or if the value of your home has gone up.

If you have remodeled your home, the value more than likely has risen. If you built a garage or any other outside building, if you have installed a new furnace, new plumbing or electrical wiring or done any other remodeling in your home, its value has probably risen. An appraisal would be required to prove to the lender that the value of your home has gone up, then they can determine whether or not your private mortgage insurance can be cancelled.No one likes to pay higher mortgage payments because they have had to finance their private mortgage insurance. Paying the insurance fees once a year can be costly too, but there is a savings on interest. There are a variety of mortgage lenders and they each have their own set of standards regarding PMI. Be sure to check with your mortgage company regarding the cost and payment plans they have available.

 

elderly couple

What You Need to Know about Long Term Care

elderly couple

This is a guest post.

As millions of Baby Boomers approach old age, long term care has become a central concern for many families. Long-term care insurance is purchased to protect seniors and their families from the costs of home-based health care and nursing home costs, which are increasingly rapidly. Medicaid, which accounts for 43% of the cost of nursing home care, is already overburdened.  With the Obama administration dropping a long-term care insurance program (the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program) created by the Affordable Care Act because it was too costly, most families should start considering long term care insurance earlier rather than later.

Long term care providers offer either assistance with the activities of daily living, also known as ADL, or they offer skilled nursing care. Those who help seniors with ADL help seniors with dressing, bathing, ambulation or help with taking medication, while skilled nursing care includes assistance to those who need more advanced care with all of their needs. This senior may have a chronic medical condition such as dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers or advanced arthritis.

Seniors who require skilled nursing care find that the costs are high, often more than they earned and more than they have in their savings account. Most are over 65 years of age and have worked hard all of their lives. Failure to plan ahead for long term care can result in financial disaster and this person may lose their home to pay for long term care. Purchasing a long term care insurance policy aids in the high costs and can be purchased from organizations such as AARP. Medicare, social security, and medicaid may not cover all of the costs, so a supplemental long term care policy can help.

The cost of long term care rises around 5% each year and ranges from $1200.00 a month to thousands of dollars each month, depending on the long term care facility. Assisted living facilities often have a skilled nursing facility on the property, offering aid to those who may need more extensive care than those who need help with their activities of daily living.

There are alternatives to living in a skilled nursing facility. Some of the elderly choose to stay at home and hire a nurse to come in or a loved one may care for them. When it is no longer possible for a loved one to care for them, nursing home care is often sought out. Nursing home care provides physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy in addition to help with medications and ADL.

Some seniors require round the clock nursing care while others need assistance with transportation to the store or doctor. They may only need to have help with household chores or they may need a friend to talk with. Long term care ranges from help with the activities of daily living to round the clock nursing care. This person may or may not be a senior. More than 40% of those receiving long term care are below the age of 65.

The time to start thinking about long-term care is not when you need it.  The time to start thinking about long term care, for yourself, your spouse or your parents, is now.

Photo LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by Jan Tik

should you tip?

If you’re careful with your money, you probably face an occasional dilemma of how much to tip various people in service positions.  Tipping ranges from the $3 slipped to a doorman who hails a cab to a couple of hundred for some guys who move your stuff cross-country.

Before I was married, I used to have a “local” watering hole in my neighborhood in Manhattan.  I would drop by after work with friends and the bartender would have my usual drink set up before I even took a seat.  The waitresses would stop by to chat, and I knew them by name.  I would get the best seat in the house ahead of tourists waiting in line if I came in a group.  The manager let me stay after hours, and invited me to special events.  Did I tip?  You bet I did.

If you have a situation like this, big tipping is tough to avoid.  You get to know people and they provide you in return with great service on a constant basis.  I never left less than a 20% tip even on the rare occassions that I was dissatisfied.  I got so many free drinks that often I would just take the amount I was given gratis and just hand it right back over to the waitresses or bartender.

Contrast this with stopping at a diner on an interstate trip.  You get ho-hum service, perhaps, and ho-hum food.  Do you leave a 15% or 20% tip like you would at a “local”?  And if not, why?  Would it make a difference if you knew that the cook got a fresh batch of salad out for your salad – and would it make a difference if it was just coincidence that he got it for you?  And in a sense, why wouldn’t you leave far less?  You’re not going to return, right?  Personally I feel guilty, but really – it’s not like you’re coming back, is it?

Tipping is an odd case of getting a service, then paying for it.  If you hired a plumber to work on your house and said “you know what?  I’ll pay you what I think it’s worth when you’re done” he would probably knock you over on the way out the door.  Restaurant workers (and maid services in hotels, etc.) do the best they can to provide good service, not knowing if you’ll be the one-in-a-million person who leaves 10 $100 bills tucked under your check or the jerk who asks for 15 martinis and a steak done JUST SO before leaving a 3% tip.  Imagine working at your job that way – if every payday you got a minimal base salary plus a “tip” depending on how happy your boss was with your work.

It’s hard to balance tipping with being a frugal person. 
I don’t like tipping.  I wish everything was a flat fee.  I wish waiters and waitresses were paid minimum wage.  It’s easy if you’re a regular somewhere to be generous.  If you live in Manhattan and have a super or a doorman, it’s easy to realize that you need their help, and they’ll give it whether you pay or not, so you SHOULD reward them for their help.  It’s trickier when it’s the guy delivering the new couch.  You’ll never see him again.  He did his job.  But it’s hard work, and maybe – just maybe – he could have dinged a wall or tracked in mud, but he took a little care not to.

I don’t know the answer.  I generally tip generously at restaurants but not so generously when it’s “slipping cash” to someone, mainly because I’m embarrassed about it being too much (looking like a rube) or too little (looking cheap) so I often just pretend I “left my wallet upstairs – this is all I have.”  What I do know is that in general in life you’ll be a lot happier if you mentally price your tip BEFORE getting the service and then pay it that way after you get it.  Think to yourself “I’ll tip the waiter 15% unless he ignores our table or gets an order wrong or forgets to bring us water,” or “I’ll tip the housekeeping service $20 per day as long as the room is cleaned to a T,” or “I’ll give that guy $50 to move the couch in unless he dings the wall or messes up the fabric,” and so on.  Tipping is an uncomfortable activity for most, and even more uncomfortable for someone who relies on them for a living.

monopoly money

Teaching Children About Finances

monopoly money

It seems that most parents are always lecturing their children with the old adage that says “money does not grow on trees” whenever their children seem to be asking for too many things. Money certainly does not grow on trees, but how are children supposed to know that? To all intents and purposes, some children do not have any idea about finances and how their parents are able to get money for all their ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. It is therefore important that parents take the time to teach their children about money when they are old enough to grasp financial concepts.

Educating children about money will empower them to become financially savvy when they grow up. They will know the importance of getting a savings account as well as making sound financial investments when they become adults. Below are some great ideas for financial education for kids.

1. Explain How Mommy And Daddy Earn Money:

The concept of work and pay has to be explained first and foremost. Children need to know how their parents get money to take care of family needs such as food, accommodation and clothing. Explain to them that parents get paid for the job they do at their workplace. Make them understand that some of this money is used to take care of all the family needs, and the rest is placed in a savings account for future needs.

2. Teach Them About The Exchange of Labor for Money:

To better help children grasp the principles of work, parents should employ them when they are old enough to do simple tasks around the house such as vacuuming, sorting the laundry or taking the trash out, for which they get paid. Parents can also encourage children to work at odd jobs once they are a bit older: starting up a neighborhood business raking leaves is a great example.

3. Teach Them About Saving Money:

Buy a piggy bank for them and encourage them to save some of the money they’ve earned from working at home. When children are trained to do things in a certain way, it never departs from them when they grow up. Open a savings account in their name if possible. They will feel a sense of pride when they see the statement addressed to them.

4. Investments And Life Insurance:

Let children know that investing in bonds and real estate are some long-term means for making money. Buy bonds in their names if possible, to instill that education in them. They will do the same for their children in future. Also let them understand the importance of life insurance. If parents happen to have a policy (and if you have children you probably should), they should educate their children about the purpose of life insurance as soon as they are old enough to understand the concept of life and mortality.

5. Teach Them About Needs And Wants:

Help children understand the difference between the things they need and those they want. They should know that certain things are just frivolous and though they can be indulged in occasionally, those indulgences should not become a habit. This will stop reckless spending when they grow up. Teaching frugality at an early age is critical, because once children start school they’ll be surrounded by other kids who won’t have been taught the same lessons. If your kids haven’t learned to be frugal at home, they certainly won’t from their peers.

Photo LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by p e e p e r

question mark

Seven Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing Life Insurance

question mark

 

Choosing life insurance can be an onerous task. It doesn’t just make you think about all the bad things that could happen to you and your family, it makes you think about it in detail. On top of that, you then have to decide what type of insurance you need, what level of cover is best, and which insurance provider to go for.

It can be enough to put you off altogether. But, try not to be discouraged. Here are a few guidelines on what not to do. After all, once you know what not to do, the rest should fall into place!

Don’t settle

As we said, it can be easy to get discouraged when you are looking for life insurance. There are so many options, so many insurance providers and so many insurance products. Wading through them can seem like a huge task. However, it’s never a good idea to settle. Don’t just go for the first half-decent option, just so you can stop looking. Taking some extra time should mean you get life insurance that actually suits you – and at a better price. If you’re hung up on where to start, you can begin with a quote from mainstream providers.

Don’t be uninformed

Knowledge is power, as they say. Knowledge is also the key to finding the best life insurance. Do some research to find out what type of life insurance products are out there, and try to find out more about each insurer. This should help you to find a product that suits you, any extras that need to be added on, with an insurer that is professional and offers the kind of service that benefits you.

Don’t be pushed

Once you know what you want, you will also know what you don’t want. While some insurers may try to convince you to buy certain products or extras, it may be the case that you don’t actually need them. As long as you know what you need, you won’t waste money on anything you don’t need.

Don’t be put off by prices

When you find out the price of the policy you’re interested in, there can be a certain amount of ‘sticker shock’. Try not to be put off by prices. As long as you take the time to find out what level of cover you need, as well as what’s on offer, then you know you will be getting the best deal for the type of cover that suits you. And remember, life insurance offers valuable protection – it’s not really something you want to scrimp on.

Don’t let someone else fill in the forms

There is often one person in the household that deals with the finances and paperwork. However, you must make sure that you are the one who answers any questions about you, when life insurance applications and paperwork are being completed. However well you and your partner know each other, it’s still possible that incorrect information could be given. This could lead to a void policy, or a claim being denied.

Don’t undervalue non-working partners

Non-working partners and partners that work part-time are often undervalued on life insurance policies. Often, we only pay attention to the actual paychecks that come into the household, and forget about all the work that goes on around the house. However, if you think how much it would cost if an outside party was brought in to do those tasks, the costs would really add up.

Don’t just forget about it

Unfortunately, you can’t just forget about your policy once you have purchased it. It’s more than likely that your life insurance will need to be updated over the years. Try to have a look over your policy every year or so, or when there is a life-changing event in your family. Update your policy as required, to be sure you are still covered for any lifestyle changes.

Photo LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by Bilal Kamoon