We Need Holy Days As Well As Holidays

Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us! For many of us, that means a break from work, time spent with family, and hopefully, some rest and relaxation. Taking the time to unwind during the holidays is much-needed and should be a priority, but is there more to it than just putting your feet up?

A Shift In Mindset

We often spend our holidays the same way we spend our weekends. We separate ourselves from work (at least for part of the time), and relax and enjoy a hearty meal at home or at the home of a relative or close friend. We might get together with others at a restaurant or hit the links at a golf course if the weather allows. If it’s too cold for golf, maybe we’ll head off to a resort. Other times a simple movie is all we need to unwind.

But for many, turning the holiday season into an extended weekend is not enough. Some of us want to dive into the deeper meaning of the season, attending special religious services or participating in community activities like volunteering at a soup kitchen or buying gifts for families in need. We want to observe the holidays in a spiritual way.

Holiness During The Holidays

I see all this searching for a deeper experience of life as an attempt to become part of something larger, to become dedicated to a higher purpose. Deep down, people truly need this. No matter how fulfilling or rewarding they find their job and their everyday activities, there is still a desire for something more. Holidays may be a break from the same old same old just like weekends, but just going through the holiday or weekend motions doesn’t make things special or memorable. It doesn’t create an atmosphere of holiness or cause us to focus on something higher than ourselves.

Unfortunately, many people are not comfortable taking traditional paths that lead to a holier life or they don’t know where to start. They can’t relate to formal religion and even the “spiritual” alternatives that have been developed don’t fit the bill. While we wish for one sole source to lead us to a life of holiness, we find countless available resources that only fill small pieces of the whole. It’s our job, then, to gather all these pieces into a cohesive, meaningful picture that will transform our lives.

Even if we are convinced we need to incorporate this philosophy of holiness into our lives, it’s often easier said than done. In his book, 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, Steve Siebold alludes to the idea that leading a holy life is part of the journey to becoming world class and gives us some ideas of how to observe holidays in a holy way.

Formulate Your Life Dream And Vision

Siebold’s research has led him to the conclusion that in order to reach the world class level, you need to be intrinsically motivated. The world class lets their dreams, desires, and passions lead them and they stick to their beliefs when the going gets tough. Since the great ones move from logic-based motivators to emotion-based motivators, it’s essential to take some time to hash out your life goals, priorities and vision and learn how to motivate yourself to achieve them.

Remember Your Roots

The past has a lot to teach us. Going back and remembering where you came from and how far you’ve come will reinforce your belief in yourself and give you even more confidence to move ahead (1) (Siebold, 53-54). As we immerse ourselves in the holidays, reflect on your roots and remember that success is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Engage In True Rest

In our society, we have lost the meaning of rest. We burn the candle at both ends and only let ourselves relax out of desperation, when we’ve hit rock bottom and can’t go further. Balance in this area is difficult to achieve. Even when we’re “off,” we’re usually “on” mentally. Find ways to recharge and strive to attain equilibrium between achievement and relaxation. Your soul will thank you.

Seek Solitude And Meditation

Many of the world’s highest-paid individuals are able to tap into the vast resources of their creative minds to produce products and services that solve the problems of the masses. This level of creative thought requires significant intellectual energy, which must be followed by intellectual rest and recovery. The great ones know the power of a quiet mind, and many invest time in solitude on a regular basis. They recognize that their performance depends on rest in mind, body, and spirit (Siebold, 219-220).

Apply And Practice

If any of this resounds with you, I encourage you to carve out some time to reflect, remember, and respond. Don’t let busyness and distractions turn these holidays into an extended weekend. Let your heart, mind, and soul observe the season fully and you will enter the new year with resolve and excitement for all 2018 will bring! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this concept of holy days instead of holidays. You can reach me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with over 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com. Steven is a contributor to Investopedia, view his profile here.

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(1) Siebold, Steve. 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class. 3rd ed. London House Press, 2010.

 

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Spiritual Business Practices: It’s the Process That Makes Us Rich

Success and money. These are two powerful driving forces in our society. Everyone wants to be successful, and I don’t think anyone would turn down an opportunity to be wealthy. But attaining those things is where the trouble lies. What are your motivations? What perspective do you have as you go about your daily work?

What We Have Is Not Really Ours

Here is a contemporary rendition of an ancient fable:

The world’s most prominent scientists gather together and call God to a meeting. The group includes an astrophysicist, a molecular biologist, a geneticist, and the most accomplished professional of every other scientific discipline.

With as much respect as they could muster, they basically tell God that the jig’s up. “Anything you can do with life, we can do. All the power, knowledge, and technology needed to control life are now in human hands. We can modify it. We can prolong it. We can eliminate it. We can even create it!”

God listens to them patiently and raises an eyebrow at their last statement. “You can create life? Really? Show me.”

So the head of the group reaches down to scoop up a handful of soil to put into his test tube. “Not so fast,” declares God. “Get your own soil!”

The moral of the story is that no matter how much control people think they have over their lives, everything they do is still using material on loan from the Creator. This is an important perspective to have in everyday life, and even more so in business.

Perspective Of Ownership

Here’s why the lesson of this fable is significant: it puts the whole idea of ownership in proper perspective. Ownership is a way of distinguishing between my property and yours. For example, I own my home and you own yours. I own my business and you own your business. I have my own my life insurance policy and you have yours. What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours. No one is going to argue with that. We can certainly share our respective properties, but that’s through an intentional agreement that we make with each other.

Ultimate Ownership

But even those basic examples only explain ownership in a relative sense. The idea of ultimate ownership is that the true owner is Whoever initially created it in the first place. Whether that’s our home, our business, our assets or all the other stuff we build, collect, and value. In the end, everything passes through our hands because when we die, we can’t take anything with us. Even the biggest building or the most precious stone ultimately returns to the dust it came from.

Does that thought sober you as much as it does me? This perspective reveals the true purpose behind what we actually do when we conduct business and engage in the marketplace. At best, we strive to obtain something that will be in our hands for a comparatively short amount of time. It makes us appreciate the process of getting there, of making the acquisition or selling the policy rather than focus solely on the final result.

Process And Priorities

In this series, we’ve looked at how success guru Steve Siebold believes that faith in a higher power brings true success. When it comes to the process and perspective of business practices, he states that the best decisions in life are made when people prioritize how they get what they want:

“The masses repeatedly attempt to create happiness from the outside in, whereas the great ones know sustained happiness stems from being and becoming, not acquiring and possessing. Average people have mastered short-term happiness, easily gained through instant gratification mechanisms…[but] the world class vests a substantial amount of time ensuring their future happiness by creating congruency between who they are, what they’re doing, and where they’re going. Champions are masters at doing such things as marrying the right person, selecting jobs they love and building friendships with people they admire and respect.” (67)

I know this is a lot to dwell on. But as you dive into your motivations and your everyday business practices, take some time to think about your perspective. Do you take control of everything you have or do you recognize that it was given to you for your time here on earth? Do you put all your energy into obtaining some end product or do you glean as much wisdom from the process as possible? I’d love to hear your thoughts and find out how your business perspectives affect your day-to-day life. Contact me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com. Steven is a contributor to Investopedia, view his profile here.

 

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Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Business Owners Use Life Insurance to Take Care of Their Estate

estate

Many successful businesses are family-owned and operated. You can find family-run enterprises in every industry: manufacturing, construction, real estate, insurance, law, financial services, hotel and restaurant management, and the list goes on. Every trade, every profession. The business often becomes a way to create a family legacy, to achieve a reputation as people of quality, of service and of commitment to one another, their employees, their clients and vendors, and the community.

But when it comes to planning for the future of your business, how do you handle the tricky matter of estate preservation?

The Value of Life Insurance

Many of us know the importance of life insurance for providing for our families, covering loans, or making charitable gifts, but it is equally important when it comes to preserving your estate and equalizing estate distributions.

Family businesses can get complicated. Some children choose to join their parents’ profession and eventually take the company over to continue the family legacy. At the same time, however, many children choose their own paths. This type of situation creates a dilemma for the parents when they create an estate plan. They can certainly leave the business to the child who has decided to join it, but what can they bestow to child who has opted out? In addition, they need to think about strategies to shield their assets from estate taxation. The last thing they want is for their heirs to be forced to sell off properties just to pay hefty tax bills.

This is where life insurance provides a solution. Let’s suppose a business is worth $10 million. The parents can make arrangements to pass on their shares to the child who will carry it on, but they could also take out a $10 million life insurance policy and make their other child the beneficiary. In this way, each child would be the recipients of a gift of equal amount. Any other assets worth more than the available estate tax credit could be protected with a separate life insurance policy.

If this is something you want to pursue, here are three quick tips for using life insurance for estate preservation and equalizing estate distributions:

1. Use The Opportunity To Reflect

Estate planning is all about making sure your life continues to have meaning after you pass away. What was your life all about? What is your legacy? What did you stand for? For whom did you care? People will understand what is important to you by your document declarations, the assets you transfer, and the gifts you leave. Don’t be afraid to throw yourself into the process and make the most of it.

2. Get The Help Of An Expert

Estate planning is both an art and a science. It is also a specialized area of law due to all of the intricate details. When businesses and other significant assets are involved, you need the counsel of an attorney who specializes in estate and business planning so that your plans are legitimized and you can have peace of mind that everything is in order.

3. Research All Your Options

A sophisticated estate plan could meet multiple needs for life insurance. Various products can apply to your situation, such as single life, joint survivorship, term, guaranteed universal life, and whole life. Think outside the box when investigating what will work for you, and make sure your attorney and insurance broker team up to design the proper mix of policies.

Your estate is of utmost importance. You’ve dedicated your life to building something significant so make sure your life’s work and those you love are protected and provided for through life insurance. Let me help you find the perfect policy for all your business needs. Set up an appointment by contacting me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com. I look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com. Steven is a contributor to investopedia, view his profile here.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Business Owners Use Life Insurance to Cover Business Loans

how business owners use life ins loans

If you are a business owner, you know that businesses need infusions of cash on a regular basis. Whether you are starting a business or growing an established company, you need capital to get going. Capital, in the form of cash, is necessary to open the doors of your business. It’s required to expand into a new marketplace. Cash is needed when setting up a new branch or division.

Sometimes you can access this money from currently-owned business assets or accounts, but more often than not, you need outside resources to make your dreams a reality. You have multiple options when it comes to getting a business loan, such as turning to commercial or private lenders and even investors to obtain the capital you need. But regardless of where the money comes from, one thing is consistent: your lenders will want their money back if you default on the balance or die before the loan is paid back.

Why Life Insurance Matters

This is where life insurance comes in. Lenders typically will not close a deal until a policy is in force. They simply don’t want to have to chase down the surviving family members, or the executor of the estate in order to get their balance due. The life insurance benefit will provide the exact amount needed exactly when it is needed. That’s one major creditor that family and business associates don’t have to worry about.

Here are three quick tips for business owners for using life insurance to indemnify a bank loan or other debt:

1. Purchase Your Policy First


Life insurance underwriting can take several months, especially if a history of serious illness has to be reviewed. Don’t wait until the last minute to get prequalified and submit an application. The last thing you want is to be conditionally approved by a lender, only to have to delay closing because your insurance is not yet final. If there is an overlap of time and your banker starts getting antsy, make sure your broker reaches out to him to reassure him that the process is underway.

2. Forget About Loan Protection Policies


Lending institutions will often offer life insurance to indemnify their loans. These products are sometimes called “Loan Indemnification” policies, or “Mortgage Protection” policies. They are simply term insurance with a face amount that decreases as your loan is paid back. But the vast majority of the time, they are more expensive than a straight term policy you can buy in the open marketplace.

3. Choose Your Beneficiary Wisely

Sometimes business owners think the lender has to be the owner and beneficiary of their life insurance. Not only is that not true, but it’s also not a good idea.

Let’s suppose you have a policy for $2 million, to match the initial amount of the loan. After five years, you have paid off $500,000, leaving a balance of $1.5 million. Tragically, you pass away, leaving the loan unpaid. If the bank is the beneficiary, they will get the full $2 million, $500,000 more than they are owed.

The wise choice is to make a family member or other sensible entity the beneficiary and then use a collateral assignment to ensure the lender receives his benefits. When a claim is paid, the insurance company will then make the lender prove the balance due, pay them, and give the beneficiary the rest. In this way, everybody gets what they deserve. As an added bonus, by making yourself, your business, or a trust the owner of the policy, you prevent the lender from tampering with the policy.

As we’ve seen in previous articles, life insurance is vital to the success of a business owner. It protects you, your family, and your business, and gives you peace of mind if unanticipated events happen. With so many details involved in running a business, it’s easy to overlook something like the need for life insurance to pay back loans. Let me help you find the best policy and answer any questions about how life insurance can make a difference for your business. Ask anything by emailing me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com. Steven is a contributor to investopedia, view his profile here.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Business Owners Use Life Insurance to Provide Bonuses to Selected Executives

how-bus-owners-bonuses

As a business owner, you invest copious amounts of time, money, and energy into your employees. Don’t you want your investment to pay off? Employee turnover can be extremely costly to your business, and this is especially true when it comes to key executives.

The Cost To The Business

When you lose indispensable employees, money has to be reallocated to provide for recruiting, training, orientation, and management of a new hire. It can also take a lot of time to ensure that you find someone who is the best fit for the role. The longer the recruitment process takes, the more the business is exposed to a setback.

This is why companies spend significant amounts of money on compensation packages for key executives. The longer they can get these men and women to stay in their employment, the better return they get on their investment in them. Employers are always looking for benefits that can be legitimately offered to selected personnel only. How does life insurance fit into this equation?

Life Insurance As The Answer

Life insurance is frequently at the top of this selected benefit list. If a number of factors fall into place, then the use of this product can be a big win for both the executive and the firm. Here are some factors that will ensure the success of life insurance for this purpose:

  • The executive has a need for life insurance for personal reasons, such as family protection and retirement planning.
  • The executive qualifies for a policy that can provide both significant cash accumulation and a sufficient survivor benefit.
  • The executive is willing to let the firm control policy proceeds.

If your executives meet these criteria, what are some tips to take into consideration?

1. The Importance of Underwriting

The lower the cost of the insurance, the higher cash value and survivor benefit a policy will provide. If the executive qualifies for a comparatively low rate, then additional money can be paid into the policy for use in retirement, as well as for the protection of beneficiaries. If the executive has a chronic illness or another higher-risk factor that drives up the cost of coverage, a policy may still be a worthwhile bonus from the employer. Be sure to contact your life insurance provider to talk through any extenuating circumstances and how they could affect the policy.

2. Seek Advice On Premium Payments


The whole point of this benefit is for the employer to subsidize the cost of a life insurance policy that can have a major impact on the life of the executive. Because these policies can cost substantial amounts of money, the employer will take on a considerable expense in financing them. Make sure your financial experts talk to your insurance advisor about how to minimize the tax impact for both your firm and your executive.

3. Implement Sensible Policy Controls


The primary purpose of providing this benefit is to lock executives into a commitment that protects the business. What kind of stipulations can be applied to ensure the benefit pays off? One option is to build controls into the executive’s contract that give access to increased policy benefits over time. Secondly, provisions can be made to reimburse the employer for their expense while still providing the executive with a lucrative cash account and survivor benefit. Speak to your business advisor to review your options in this regard.

You build your business to be successful and a major piece of that success is in holding onto key personnel. Don’t overlook the importance life insurance can play to ensure loyalty from your chief executives. I am here to answer your life insurance questions and help you find creative ways to protect your business. Ask anything by emailing me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Business Owners Use Life Insurance to Make Charitable Gifts

Money - The best present

What is one trait that successful business owners share? An attitude of gratitude! Business owners who have advanced in their field don’t forget those who helped them get to the top. They honor their parents, they give credit where credit is due, and they see the importance of every contribution to the cause, whether from the janitor or the CEO.

On top of that, they also value and appreciate charities and the work they do. It might be that the business owner was touched and assisted by a religious congregation. Maybe a family member benefited from the services of a medical research group, hospital, or home care facility. Many business owners support universities or advocacy groups. Regardless of the reasons or the particular charities, they often desire to give back to the organizations that made a difference in their life. Other than donating funds from time to time, how can successful business owners give back in a way that will significantly impact the charities they choose?

Using Life Insurance to Give Back

Life insurance is ideally suited for charitable giving. By taking out a policy on yourself for the benefit of the charity, you can turn a small amount of money into a substantial gift. Each dollar of the benefit only cost pennies in the original investment. This means that the gift does not have to be an excessive expense for the donor, but the investment adds up and the charity’s cash flow is considerably impacted.

Here are three quick tips for business owners for using life insurance to make charitable gifts:

Familiarize Yourself With The Legalities

Make sure you understand the laws regarding the use of life insurance for charitable giving. Many states recognize that charities have an insurable interest in contributors. They realize that these organizations can be as dependent on donors as businesses can be dependent on key personnel. Work with an attorney who can guide you on the best way to structure the policy and help you answer the questions of who should be the owner, beneficiary or premium payer.

Get Creative With Permanent Life Insurance

The life insurance policy you are gifting will be part of your estate plan, and thus must last as long as you do. That means you need permanent life insurance. But just because the policy will last your lifetime doesn’t mean you have to pay for it for your entire life. You can design the policy so you can make one single payment, payments for ten years, or even payments for twenty years, yet still retain a lifetime guarantee. Work with your broker to generate some options and pick the one that best meets your financing preferences.

Work With a Team

Collaborate with your fellow contributors to maximize the benefits to the charity. The healthy charity is the one that receives support on an ongoing basis. Long-term contributions could be generated for a charity if donors of all different ages took out policies for its benefit. Year after year after year, big dollars could roll in as donors pass on and benefits are paid out.

Generous business owners can increase their donations to their charities by using life insurance. By naming a charity as a beneficiary, you can give that charity an extraordinary amount of money that can create a lasting legacy for a cause that is important to you. If you are interested in contributing to a life insurance policy for the benefit of a charity, I’d love to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Ask anything by emailing me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Business Owners Use Life Insurance to Protect Against the Loss of a Key Person

As any business owner knows, when it comes to running a company, everyone counts. You can’t bring in money without a salesforce. You can’t count the money without an accounting department. You can’t run the computers without an IT specialist.

You can’t secure the building without security personnel. And you can’t keep the floors clean without the maintenance staff. The same goes for every clerk, administrator, secretary, supervisor, manager, and executive. Your business runs on the shoulders of many people in a variety of positions. Have you made sure that the loss of a key player won’t harm your business?

Why Do You Need This Coverage?

While everyone is integral, some people play principal roles. For example, revenue may suffer if you lose a top salesperson, and investors and shareholders might get anxious if you lose a chief executive. Clients and vendors might get nervous if a key manager leaves, and future production may be jeopardized if you lose a key technician, inventor, scientist, or idea person.

These situations show why businesses insure leading personnel. They take out life insurance to protect themselves against the loss of men and women whose death could impair the operation. The insurance benefit protects you by giving you the time needed to recruit the right replacement. In the meantime, client service continues, bills get paid, and employees have reassurance that the show will go on. Business can take place as normal.

Here are three quick tips for business owners to make the right decisions when insuring key personnel.

Determine the Policy’s Face Amount

How do you value the services of primary employees? Your answer to that question will vary according to the role they play. The service of a key chief executive would be assessed differently than the service of a key technician. Your firm’s accountant or chief financial officer should consult with an insurance company advisor to calculate the appropriate insurance benefit for your situation.

Decide on a Time Period

Key person coverage came about at a time when the main employees tended to make long-term commitments to their employers. Today, many key men and women tend to switch jobs more frequently. If you think that is the case in your business, then term insurance might be more applicable than permanent insurance.

Establish Your Options

What should you do with the policy on a vital person if he or she does leave? You have a number of options to choose from. You could simply terminate the policy, or, if it is a cash value policy, you might be able to surrender it for value. In some cases, the former employer keeps the policy in force and collects the benefit when the former employee passes away. The policy may also be sold for cash in a life settlement depending on the age, medical condition of the insured, and other factors related to the policy.

Your business is built on the shoulders of all those who work for you. How protected are you if one of your principal players passes away? I’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. Ask anything by emailing me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Business Owners Use Life Insurance to Fund Partnership Agreements

PartnershipAgreementsIt’s a common practice for business owners to take on partners. While there are many reasons behind why you may want to take this step, there are also some crucial things to consider when entering into a business partnership. What legal bases do you need to cover? How can life insurance protect you, your business, and your family?

What a Partnership Looks Like

Some business owners enter a partnership because they need someone to complement their personal strengths. For example, one person could be an expert in operations, the other in sales and marketing. Sometimes professionals with the same area of specialization will join together to serve more clients. In other arrangements, one partner could be passive and responsible primarily for funding, while the other is the active manager of the enterprise.

The partnership could and should be a very structured relationship. A legal agreement should be formulated and should cover all the financial technicalities such as the percentage of ownership, tenure of the partnership, how and when the business is to be valued, etc. It should also plan for events that may dissolve the partnership, such as the death, disability, long-term sickness, or early retirement of a partner.

How Life Insurance Can Help

Life insurance plays a key role in the funding of a partnership agreement. When a partner dies, that person’s spouse or estate will probably end up with his shares of the business. The surviving partners want those shares, but they need money to buy them. Life insurance can provide the exact amount of money to do that at the exact time it is needed. It is typically a much more economical way taking care of things compared to other options such as taking cash out of the business, selling assets, or borrowing from a bank.

What are some integral pieces to consider when using life insurance to fund your partnership agreement?

Finalize Your Agreement

Before you do anything else, get the arrangement finalized before you get approved for your policy. There is nothing worse than getting approved at a great rate, only to delay paying for the policy because the legal work has not been completed. Until it is, you won’t have coverage, and something disastrous could happen that could either raise the price significantly or disqualify you altogether.

Costs Will Vary

Remember that not everybody qualifies for the same price. Each person represents a different risk profile to a life insurance underwriter. Age, gender, smoking status, health history, and a multitude of other factors affect the rate. Don’t expect life insurance to cost the same for each partner.

Explore Your Options

Research your options for policy ownership. In some instances, your business should be the owner and the beneficiary of the policies. In other cases, partners should own policies on one another. Talk this through with your business advisor to make sure your policies are issued correctly and fit your needs.

Life insurance is critical for business owners. It covers you, your business, your partner, and your families, and can be a game changer if the unexpected occurs. Don’t get caught without it. I’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. Ask anything by emailing me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Business Owners Use Life Insurance to Protect Their Families

BusinessOwners

Owning your own business has many perks and can bring plenty of freedom and success. You may have started a business because you like your independence or you wanted to get rich. You may like a challenge or simply want to build a better mousetrap or mop. Maybe you believe you can make the best pie, or computer, or automobile, and want to share your passion with the world. But will your business alone be enough to take care of your family in the future?

Taking Care of What’s Important

For many of us, owning a business is simply a way of living the good life, following a dream, and providing the best for our families. We desire to become independently wealthy and do what we want with our time. Since we are devoted to our spouse and children, we want to make sure our surviving family members can maintain the same standard of living even if we meet our tragic demise prematurely. As business owners, we often make provisions so our business can at least partially subsidize this ideal life in our absence.

However, the business usually cannot fully care for your family in the manner in which they have become accustomed. The full range of family financial needs, such as income replacement, mortgage protection, and retirement supplementation, cannot be met through the business alone. There is usually not enough to cover college funding or elder care for senior parents who become dependent, along with regular life expenses. As a result, life insurance is typically used to pick up the slack.

So how can you, as a business owner, ensure that your family is covered? Here are three quick tips for business owners for using life insurance to take care of their families.

Use Separate Policies

In many cases, the owner and beneficiary of a personal policy are different than for a business policy. A trust may be utilized, and a separate policy is therefore needed.
A personal life insurance policy will provide for your family and their future, while a business policy can provide for a buyout if your business has multiple partners. Make sure all your policies are separate and up-to-date so that there is no confusion or legal hold-ups if a tragedy occurs.

Use Multiple Policies

Most personal financial needs have different timelines. You may need 20 years to plan for college, but 40 years to plan for retirement. Separate policies with various face amounts and different guarantee periods can be employed to provide the exact sum of money for specific needs and further ensure that every aspect of your family’s life is taken care of. Take the time to look at all your family’s needs and determine what is necessary to provide for each one.

Beware of Tax Traps

Business owners like to have the business pay for everything. This practice can be very convenient and beneficial, but you need to know what you’re doing when it comes to taxes. You don’t want to get into a tax mess by using the wrong account for your life insurance payments. Get good tax advice from the right professional and cover your bases.

As a business owner, are you making sure that your family is taken care of? Do you know what type of life insurance you need and how to go about planning for your family’s care? I’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. Ask anything by emailing me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

About Steve

Steven Kobrin is a life insurance expert with 25 years experience. He serves high net-worth individuals and business owners as well as high risk and uninsurable “impaired cases.” Steven offers concierge life insurance process to ensure the policy is approved as it’s quoted. To learn more, visit his website, read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn, or request a policy audit today by calling his office at (866) 633-1818 or by email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How the Collateral Assignment Helps Business Owners Control Their Life Insurance Benefit

Growing your business is the name of the game, and bank loans often fuel that growth. When a bank loans you money, it wants to be sure it will get paid back – even if you predecease the loan. So it typically requires life insurance to close the deal.

Using life insurance is good for everybody

This makes sense. Your loan officer doesn’t want to have to chase down your spouse, and force him/her to squeeze money out of your estate to pay the balance due. You certainly don’t want to have to put your grieving partner through that. Life insurance is the way to go to secure that debt, because each dollar of benefit literally cost pennies. It is a much more economically sound strategy than paying off the debt dollar for dollar out of cash, or liquidating LifeInsurance2assets at a potential loss.

Ownership of the policy is key

But who should own the policy? This is where many business owners are tempted to make a serious planning mistake. It may sound simple to make the bank the owner and beneficiary of the policy. This way, the insurance company could just send them a check and settle things once and for all. But here’s the thing: what if you take out a $2 million loan, and owe only $1 million at the time of death? If the bank is the beneficiary, they will get the full $2 million benefit – even though they are due only half that much! Why overpay them? You can still keep things pretty simple, and retain control over the amount paid, by using a collateral assignment.

A collateral assignment keeps you in control

A collateral assignment is simply an amendment to the policy. You get to designate the owner. It could be yourself, your estate, a trust, your business – whatever makes sense, according to your financial plan. You will also get to designate the beneficiary. The assignment is filed to inform the insurance carrier that you have agreed to pay your lender first out of the benefit. When a claim is filed, the carrier will check with the lender and ask them to prove any amount due. They do so and are paid accordingly. Your beneficiary will then get the balance of the benefit. This way all interested parties get what they deserve, and not any more or less. And, if you happen to pay off the loan before any claim is filed, you simply get a letter from your bank to this effect, and instruct the carrier to remove the assignment.

A post-policy issue requirement

A collateral assignment is really the last requirement to be met when you get your coverage. You go through full underwriting, get approved, and pay for the policy. In the meantime, you work with your bank to get the assignment form completed. It could be a form the carrier mandates, or, if they have no preference, the bank should have a template. The completed form should be submitted to the carrier along with all your policy delivery requirements – payment, health forms, amendments, etc. Then, when the policy is put into force, the assignment can be executed. This usually happens on the same day.

Your broker should provide reassurance to your banker

Sometimes, the purchase of life insurance can take a while. This is especially true if the insured has a higher-risk factor, such as a medical condition or adventurous hobby. Your broker has to first prequalify you in order to quote both a competitive and a reliable rate. He then has to advocate on your behalf throughout the underwriting process, to obtain an approval at the rate quoted. In the meantime, both you and your lender can get a little antsy because you want to close the loan, get the money, and supercharge your business. Encourage your broker to reach out to your banker peridocially provide reassurance that progress is being made. This is usually all that is needed for the banker to remain optimistic and interested in doing business with you. Before you know it, the deal will be sealed and you can march on.

Please feel free to comment, or to contact me directly with a specific question. If you need a quote now, or a second opinion on a quote you have received, the best thing to do is to call me toll-free at (866) 633-1818. Or email me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com. I also encourage you to download my free Life Insurance Guide – see the above tab. Many people have found it to be extremely educational.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Tax Us Entrepreneurs Less!

taxes-223x300People often think politics is just another topic you can choose to talk about, or to not to talk about – and that not talking about it will mean they don’t really affect you. Kind of like the weather (“Let’s not talk about the snow. Maybe it will disappear!”).

But of course, the snow never disappears just by not talking about it. The weather is always there impacting our lives. Same goes for politics. Like it or not, they impact our lives 24/7/365.

People who are self-employed often bear an extra-heavy burden from political decisions. In addition to all the regulation and taxation on our personal lives, there are measures in force on our business activity. A large amount of life insurance sales people have to deal with this double trouble because we form our own businesses to sell the product. Even when we are sole proprietors, the government is our partner. And not a very silent partner.

My home state of New Jersey has a reputation for being particularly onerous when it comes to taxing businesses. Unfortunately, it consistently lives up to this bad rap. Let me give you but one example.

Every year I get a bill from the authority that manages the unemployment insurance fund. This invoice represents the amount I owe them for my part of the interest they owe to the federal government. Why do they owe money to the federal government? Simply because they mismanaged the unemployment fund and had to go into debt to meet their obligations.

To be clear: they impose an unemployment insurance tax on us business owners. They then mishandle the hard-earned money they force us to give them. They then borrow money from the federal government and force us to pay the interest. And of course, they liberalize benefits in the meantime so even more money has to be paid out/collected/borrowed.

Since when did the government go into the unemployment insurance business? Why is there no penalty imposed on them when they mess up? Are government personnel protected from layoffs? Can nobody get fired for violating the public trust?

It really takes some nerve to go back to the people you are exploiting for your social services and makes them pay the price for your mistakes. Don’t you think?

And you know the worst of it is? If I could give less money to the wasteful and useless government bureacracy, I would have more money to market my life insurance services to people that need coverage.

You can’t handicap a business with an unnecessary tax burden and expect it to thrive. Hear that, Trenton? Hear that, Washington?

Please feel free to comment, or to contact me directly with a specific question.

If you need a quote now, or a second opinion on a quote you have received, the best thing to do is to call me toll-free at (866) 633-1818. Or email me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

I also encourage you to download my free Life Insurance Guide – see the above tab. Many people have found it to be extremely educational.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Do Religion and Business Mix?

businessreligionI was raised with the adage that you don’t talk religion with clients. This is a rule I have broken many, many times, and happily.

I can see the concern of this admonition. Religion is a personal topic, and people believe what they believe. You don’t want to offend anybody, or appear insensitive. You certainly don’t want to judge or criticize somebody you want to sell.

But early on, I realized that these problems are caused when salespeople make the purchase too much about themselves. It’s really not. It’s all about the client and what he or she wants to do. What’s important to them.

Given that, let them talk. Let them have centerstage. They are, after all, writing the check, and you won’t get paid until they do.

In all truth, the purchase of life insurance easily creates a forum to talk about the deep and personal issues of life. People must face their own mortality. They must determine what is important to them. And they must take measures to protect that which is important.

That’s what life insurance does.

I think this is one reason why people of all different religions buy a policy. The product reinforces their values. It is so interesting to me that in my career, I have attracted clients from many different sects and denominations: Orthodox Judaism. Hasidism. Conservative Judaism. Reform Judaism. Catholicism. Evangelical Christianity. Protestantism. Lutheranism. Islam.

I have done business with atheists and secularists. Their dedication to “no religion” is as strong as the dedication others have to religion.

I have worked with people for whom politics is a religion: Conservative. Liberal. Leftist. Right wing.

I have also helped people who have taken traditional religious values, such as family and community, and modified them along non-traditional lines: Single parent. Households with two fathers. Households with two mothers.

(One of these days I have to run a client appreciation event and bring all these folks together. That could be a lot of fun :))

The bottom line is that if you want to do business with people, let them be. Find some kind of common ground, and join forces on that. It makes it much easier to see how delightful and caring people can be. And you can connect in a mutually-beneficial transaction.

To tell you the truth, I think that if people from different persuasions did more business with one another, there would be more peace on earth. More understanding of one another. And more money to be made.

What do you think?

Please feel free to comment, or to contact me directly with a specific question.

If you need a quote now, or a second opinion on a quote you have received, the best thing to do is to call me toll-free at (866) 633-1818. Or email me at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com.

I also encourage you to download my free Life Insurance Guide – see the above tab. Many people have found it to be extremely educational.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Chick-fil-A Owner Upholds Corporate Standards

chikfilaLet’s say you owned a respectable fast food franchise.

Every day you serve affordable, flavorful food in a bright, warm environment to hundreds of happy customers.

Then one day, in walks a homeless man.

He wants to know if you have any work that he can do for you, in exchange for food.

What would you do?

Read here about what the owner of a Chick-fil-A franchise did.

Good deeds are integral to the purchase of life insurance. First of all, the purchase of the product itself demonstrates a sense of responsibility and love for others. The insured has passed away. Why would he bother to leave money to other people unless he cared?

More than that: people who show kindness towards others on a regular basis are generally healthier than people who don’t. Study after study shows that people who live with an attitude of gratitude and appreciation for others have fewer medical problems and live longer.

And thereby qualify for a lower rate for life-insurance!

What about you? Do you see a link between living a spiritual life and retaining your health?

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Can You Be a Better Boss?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-business-leadership-image27880882Leadership isn’t easy.

A lot goes into organizing and inspiring a team, overseeing and delegating tasks, and making course corrections in light of the results.

I think that we’ve all benefited a lot over the past decades from the increased numbers of women in executive and managerial positions across the country. [Read more…]

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Corporate Welfare and Life Insurance

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-businessman-give-money-corruption-something-another-peop-people-unaccepted-to-do-background-image32692058Everyone likes to buy stuff.

I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, Yankees or Mets fan.

You and I both have stuff that we are willing to trade our hard-earned money for.

When a company does a good job of providing us with that stuff, we’re happy to help that company succeed.

But does that mean that the government should “help the economy” by choosing which companies should succeed and which should struggle? [Read more…]

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Do You Think This Good Will Can Translate Into More Business?!

TD bank in Canada turned an ATM into an Automated Thanking Machine and recorded customers’ reactions to receiving personalized gifts dispensed through a small door that opened in front of them.

“Never in all my life have I had such a beautiful surprise,” said one elderly woman.

Watch, and have a tissue ready!

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Team Building Through Small Business

Americans are extremely demoralized. The current administration has divided the country according to political ideology, economic status, gender, race, sexual preference, and citizenship. Congress has lost the confidence of its constituents. People are crying out for solid leadership.

Such a crisis affected the Hebrews in the desert thousands of years ago. Rabbi Sacks talks about it in his commentary on this week’s Bible portion. At that point the people were so desperate for leadership that they created a phony idol, a golden calf, to follow. Of course, all that did was aimlessly release their frustration and unchanneled passions.

Rabbi Sacks shows us how Moses got the people back on track. He gave them a building project: the construction of the portable tabernacle, or place of worship. He enabled them to channel their energies into a project that benefited all. They came together, gave generously of themselves, and produced a valuable social tool.

The politicians of today should take notice. We need building projects. We need “shovel-ready” construction projects. We also need to build the economy in so many other ways. Small business has driven American growth for centuries. Long before multinational corporations emerged, people were setting up mom-and-pop stores, and farms, and service businesses, and small companies to manufacture the stuff we need. Families worked together. People from local neighborhoods came together and led meaningful, productive lives.

The American “team” can be rebuilt through small business.

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.