Never Forget That Partners Are People, Too!

Spouses, life partners, and business partners need to cooperate on financial matters, especially regarding sensitive topics such as life insurance. Here I offer "relationship advice" :) to help your decision-making dynamics run more smoothly.

Marriage is not cheap.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-marriage-proposal-image17368497You may know some people who think that marriage is a quick and easy way to get the romantic, carefree life they’ve always wanted.

They think that marriage is a way to make life easier.

To a certain extent that’s true.

The alternative to marriage/relationship is remaining single. It’s not easy to be alone all the time.

However, as D. S. Coleman points out on HuffPost, marriage comes with its own significant costs. [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.

Googling Autism

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-autism-concept-hand-writing-marker-transparent-wipe-board-image39909461Do you know someone who’s autistic?

Chances are that you do.

One out of every sixty-eight Americans is on the autistic spectrum.

It’s true that a general understanding of the spectrum has only very recently hit mainstream awareness.

However, I think that it’s safe to say that some of our most famous artists and scientists of the past few centuries… known for their “eccentric” habits and socially-awkward behavior, as much as for their brilliance and unique genius… probably fell somewhere on the spectrum. [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.

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.

Weathering the Storm Together

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-stormy-weather-storm-coming-to-maldivian-beach-rain-just-few-minutes-powerful-maldives-image39291820I think that it’s impossible for two people to live with each other without coming into conflict.

Whether due to difficult circumstances that arise or personal baggage that hasn’t been resolved yet, issues come up.

But it’s how you deal with those issues that makes all the difference.

In a post from a few months ago, Crystal Paine at Money Saving Mom made some key suggestions for handling the storms that inevitably come in the course of a committed life. [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.

Love and Understanding in Marriage

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-couple-staring-each-other-across-table-image38115487Are you looking for love?

Many people spend many years looking for “the one.”

Some people have a very clear, very definite mental image of the perfect person for them.

Some people have a desire to feel loved in a certain way – even if they haven’t felt that way before – and “just know” they’ll have met “the one” when they feel that way.

Some people believe that stars and planets will guide them to their soulmate. [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.

Is Marriage Really for Losers?

strong marriageIn a timeless post from over two years ago, Dr. Kelly Flanagan broke down marriage dynamics into three basic categories:

Fight to the death
Constant winner versus a constant loser
Race to see who can lose the most

It’s the last category, in which both partners try to lose instead of win, that Dr. Flanagan believes produces the best results.

Here is how he characterizes it:

The third kind of marriage is not perfect, not even close. But a decision has been made, and two people have decided to love each other to the limit, and to sacrifice the most important thing of all—themselves. In these marriages, losing becomes a way of life, a competition to see who can listen to, care for, serve, forgive, and accept the other the most. The marriage becomes a competition to see who can change in ways that are most healing to the other, to see who can give of themselves in ways that most increase the dignity and strength of the other.  These marriages form people who can be small and humble and merciful and loving and peaceful.

He also provides a superb example of this philosophy in action – as demonstrated by his son.

What do the rebellious marriages look like? Lately, when my blood is bubbling, when I just know I’ve been misunderstood and neglected, and I’m ready to do just about anything to convince and win what I deserve, I try to remember a phone call we recently received from my son’s second grade teacher. She called us one day after school to tell us there had been an incident in gym class. After a fierce athletic competition, in which the prize was the privilege to leave the gym first, my son’s team had lost. The losers were standing by, grumbling and complaining about second-grade-versions of injustice, as the victors filed past. And that’s when my son started to clap. He clapped for the winners as they passed, with a big dopey grin on his face and a smile stretched from one ear of his heart to the other.  His startled gym teacher quickly exhorted the rest of his team to follow suit. So, a bunch of second grade losers staged a rebellion, giving a rousing ovation for their victorious peers, and in doing so, embraced the fullness of what it can mean to be a loser. When I’m seething, I try to remember the heart of a boy, a heart that can lose graciously and reach out in affection to the victors.

That to me is the hidden benefit of such a marriage: you raise kids with grace and strength and dignity.

This is such an important lesson for parents. If you are going to fight over the family finances – where to invest, how much life insurance to buy, and so on – you are demonstrating a pattern of decision-making that your children will pick up.  You do not want them to think that insurance and investments are a “winner-takes-all” proposition between a husband and wife.

Rather they should realize that the most important thing is keeping the union intact.  Good decisions will follow.

 

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.

Does Marriage Make You Wealthier?

There are certainly psychological and social benefits to marriage. The love and support we give to and receive from our spouse helps us to grow and become better people. Society as a whole is enriched by the commitment of marriage and everything that comes with it.

Some would even say that marriage corrolates to increased wealth and other economic benefits, as well. Ashley McGuire at Acculturated wonders why her generation of Millenials hasn’t bought into the idea of an economic incentive to get married.

Here are two points that stand out for me in her analysis.

First, she shows how millennial’s are ignoring marriage to the detriment of their financial health:

So you’d think that if research shows there is something that could be a surefire way of improving their economic lot, they would grab hold of it like a life preserver. Well, you’d be wrong. In fact, research has shown marriage to be responsible for the significant creation of wealth — yet millennials don’t seem interested.

Then she shows how Millennials can help secure financial health of their children through marriage:

My favorite stat? Marriage drops a child’s odds of falling into poverty by 82 percent. Wind and repeat. Eighty-two percent. Yet a recent Pew report suggests that a likely one in four millennials will never marry and that millennials are incredibly likely to say, “marriage is becoming obsolete” and rank “being a good parent” as a higher priority than “having a successful marriage.”

Marriage is a prime driver of the life insurance business. People get married, and simply out of love want to take care of their spouse. Life insurance is a tangible expression of that love. I have expedited many claims, and I have seen firsthand the impact a life insurance benefit can have on a surviving spouse – both financially, and very much emotionally. When people get a nice-sized check, they of course are glad they can pay their bills with the money. Yet of much more importance is the realization of just how much their dearly departed one had cared for them.

 

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.

Bette Midler’s Rules for Marriage

Star singer, actress, and comedian Bette Midler married her husband in Vegas, after only having known him for six weeks. But unlike other Vegas weddings, Midler’s didn’t end with a hangover the next morning – this year Midler and her husband will be celebrating thirty years together. In the latest issue of PEOPLE Magazine, Midler shares her rules for a successful marriage – starting with “Give each other some space.”

I think she is sharing some wisdom and common sense with us. Here are some particularly practical tips:

“It’s best to pick your fights wisely and just meditate. Stay calm. Don’t go from zero to 60 in two seconds. Just stay calm and try to breathe,” she says. “Breathing is really important.” Most of all, “Don’t diminish each other. Don’t make each other less. Don’t try to make each other wrong all the time. Don’t blame. Stop assigning blame. The blaming, I think, is the worst part. It’s so [easy to do], because you don’t want to carry the burden yourself. You want to push it onto someone else,” she says.

I have many couples as clients who buy life insurance in their 60s and 70s. The kids are out of the house, the mortgage is paid, and they have no more business obligations. Yet, they buy it. In the words of one, “I love him and I want to make sure he’d be okay without me.” That is a sign of a good marriage.

 

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.

Don’t Let Money Issues Ruin Your Marriage!

Key With Dollar Sign As Symbol For Money Or WealthUnfortunately, it’s very common for money issues to cause undue stress in a relationship. Disagreements over “wants” vs “needs” and unexpected expenses often bring out the worst in otherwise-loving partners.

After studying marriage for 32 years, Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz (married 48 years and counting) co-authored a book called “Building a Love that Lasts, The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriages.” In their book the Schmitzes offer seven rules for not letting money get the best of your marriage.

Here is a one I especially like:

Celebrate whenever you achieve a financial success. That could include paying off a credit card bill or mortgage or reaching a savings goal.

Believe it or not, I have seen couples go out for a celebratory dinner after they finalized their life insurance coverage. They appreciated the difficulties in meeting the challenges involved: doing the planning, going through underwriting, getting everything done on time… And, they gave themselves a good pat on the back for reaching a milestone in their family financial management.

 

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.

The Keys to a Lasting Marriage

valentines-day_1100010748-1013intIs yours a lasting marriage?

Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce (although not 50%, as commonly reported). In order to figure out if there are any patterns among the blissful unions which go sour, researchers polled thousands of couples who were married and/or divorced within the past 7 years.

Some of the findings conform to popular wisdom and some are downright unexpected!

A summary of the research, along with visualizations of select findings, appears in Randalolson.com. Here are two conclusions that surprised me the most:

1. Couples who never go to church are 2x more likely to divorce than regular churchgoers.

2. The more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you’ll end up divorced.

Do any of the conclusions about what makes a lasting marriage surprise you?

I think it is important to remember that even if your marriage got off on the wrong foot, with the proper dedication you could certainly get it back on course.

A Lasting Marriage and Life Insurance

A strong marriage has a significant bearing on the purchase of life insurance. When a man and woman get married, they often purchase coverage because they become interdependent financially. Even if they each have a career and the means to be self-supporting, the life insurance benefit is used to buy the time needed to mourn, heal, and get life back on track.

If a divorce unfortunately takes place, life insurance often comes into play as well. Divorce decrees often call for the purchase of a policy for the benefit of the ex-spouse and the children.

 

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.

Is Your Husband Trainable?

Washing Plates As Part Of The Daily ChoresCheck out Tracy Moore’s post in Jezebel about “training men for marriage”. She reacts rather strongly to the comments President Obama recently made on the topic. Her essay mentions the remarks this way:

Obama recently joked to a newly married woman that it takes 10 years to train a man properly for marriage, and patience is required.

(Note: I happen to like Tracy’s point of view but I don’t appreciate the vulgarity. Please close one eye when you read her:)

Here is my reaction to her reaction:

1. Yes, men have to grow up on their own, as all people do. Nobody can make us mature. By the same token, one of the vital functions of marriage is for each partner to serve as a “helpmate-in-opposition” (Biblical reference) for the other. We need our spouse to give us the advice, counsel – and yes, criticism – that would benefit us.

2. Sharing household chores just for the sake of “equality” does not solve deeper martial problems. Men and women deserve equal treatment simply as human beings. If a husband takes advantage of his wife, or bullies her into doing work she does not want to do, then they have a relationship issue. The goal should be to resolve that – not to merely get him to mop the floor more often.

From a life insurance point of view, “stay at home” husbands and wives can definitely get coverage. A number of factors come into play, including: coverage on the working spouse; the duration for which the insured would be staying at home; and earning potential when the spouse returns to the workforce.

 

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.

Are Kids Destroying Your Marriage?

Some modern critics of religion are now criticizing parenting because they think it is a religion. As such, it is “destroying marriages.” To quote Quartz:

Sometime between when we were children and when we had children of our own, parenthood became a religion in America. As with many religions, complete unthinking devotion is required from its practitioners. Nothing in life is allowed to be more important than our children, and we must never speak a disloyal word about our relationships with our offspring. Children always come first. We accept this premise so reflexively today that we forget that it was not always so.

Hmmm. Here is a pretty solid refutation of this claim in Jezebel:

I think it’s misleading to suggest that kids destroy marriages when what they really do is reveal the fault lines. I would like to have happy, wonderful, passionate, engaged, mature couples with a proven ability to work through problems please tell me about how having a kid torpedoed their love like a paid marriage assassin. I’m going to guess with as much scientific backing as everyone else’s opinion on marriage that those couples are in the minority.

I personally agree that the stress and strain of having children does expose existing weaknesses in a relationship.

I can tell you that simply speaking about the purchase of life insurance exposes such weaknesses. Talking about the death of a spouse, and the prospect of being alone, is very intimidating.

If a couple has not upgraded their skills to deal with the tough issues, then the issues will overwhelm them. And the fact of the matter is that having children raises many tough issues. Couples need to ratchet up their game to handle them.

Make sense to you?

 

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.

Should Men Be Feminists?

Actress Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, gave a highly acclaimed speech last week at the UN. She spoke about feminism and women’s rights, and publicized her new HeForShe campaign. (In that effort she calls for men to advocate on behalf of women’s rights).

Here are two comments from her speech that to me make a lot of sense:

I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.

Does the life insurance industry need to promote this new freedom? Actually, when it comes to assessing rates for life insurance, I think the industry is pretty fair to women. Mortality statistics tell us that all things being equal, women live longer than men; so, they get charged less for coverage.

However, when it comes to decision making by potential applicants, I do see a little bit of prejudice. Especially with some older couples, the “man of the house” gets to make the final decision. They need to resolve whether or not that is the best way to do things.

Should men across America take a leading role in advocating for gender equality? That could right a lot of wrongs, but I think it is missing the big picture. Truth be told, I don’t think anybody should be prejudiced towards anyone. No one should be treated any differently due to their gender, race, religion, national origin, or economic class. My own “equality campaign” would be entitled UsForUS!

 

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.

Does Your Wife Have An Obvious Problem You Can Fix – But She Won’t Let You?

Here is a bit of satire for you. The vidoe is hilarious.

If women would let just let us be the fix-it experts we men truly are, our lives together would be perfect. Don’t you think so? After all, the world is really just a bunch of problems, and those people with the best solutions get to rule.

For some reason, women just don’t appreciate us. All too often, they just want to talk about problems. It seems as if the solution is unimportant. Even when it is plain as day that the problem is really big – and even when we have a solution that could solve it right then and there – all they want to do is talk … and feel validated… and know we are listening to them.

This video makes the point very clearly. It is less than two minutes. I suggest you watch it and pass it on to every couple you know.

 

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.

Are You Listening, Dear?

Caveat: I am not a marriage guru. I am simply a life insurance salesman who has worked with many, many couples in their financial planning. I have also been married for over thirty years to a woman with whom I find new magic every day! In these posts I share what I have learned. Please feel free to do the same in the comments below.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-beautiful-couple-megaphone-bright-picture-image38615149Here’s the scene:

You and your partner are finally having that long overdue discussion about family finances.

All the big topics will be addressed…

Decisions will be made…

How much life insurance should you buy?

How much to put away for retirement?

What about disability insurance?

Plans for long-term care?

But here’s the key question:

Which skill do you feel would be most important for having a productive discussion?

  1. You controlling the conversation so it takes place most efficiently;
  2. You doing all your research so that your partner has all the facts straight;
  3. You listening attentively so that you can help make a decision that is best for both of you.

We all know the answer here; there is no mystery.

Here’s how performance coach Christina Holbrook McEntee describes the benefits of good listening:

You don’t need to do this perfectly for the results to be quite remarkable. All of us want to be listened to, all of us want to really be heard. When someone senses you are really listening to what they have to say amazing things can happen. Solutions can be found that were never imagined. Understanding can be reached that had seemed impossible. Old angers and resentments can be overcome. Frustrations can simply fall away.

Based on your own experience, would good listening make your discussions about family finances, insurance, and everything else more productive? Leave a comment below.

 

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.

Should Dads Stay At Home?

Caveat: I am not a marriage guru. I am simply a life insurance salesman who has worked with many, many couples in their financial planning. I have also been married for over thirty years to a woman with whom I find new magic every day! In these posts I share what I have learned. Please feel free to do the same.

The SAHD phenomenon (stay-at-home-dad) is gaining traction. It seems as if more and more men are choosing to stay home with the kids while their wives work. A number of factors seem to lead to this decision. Perhaps Dad has unfortunately lost his job, or must rebuild his career. Perhaps Mom earns more money. Perhaps both Mom and Dad want him to have a close relationship with the kids.

Personally speaking, I think a man needs to work. A lot of the male identity has to do with making something of yourself, with making your mark on the world. It has to do with being a provider and protector. Men are happiest when they can control their own fate and do something to change their circumstances. A happy man can make for a happy marriage.

But I can think of one set of circumstances in which it is imperative from a man to stay home. God forbid he loses his wife while the kids are still young. Those poor children have already lost their loving and caring mom; they need the time and attention of their dad now more than ever. They shouldn’t have to, in essence, lose their dad too, while he continues to work, and hires someone to care for them.

Kids are at a major life crossroads when they lose a parent. Their surviving mom or dad must prioritize their needs when this occurs. Make sure you have enough life insurance to stay home with those kids, so they can at least transition to the next stage of their lives feeling secure and confident that you are there for them.

 

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 To Empower Your Wife (Or Husband) When Buying Life Insurance

Caveat: I am not a marriage guru. I am simply a life insurance salesman who has worked with many, many couples in their financial planning. I have also been married for over thirty years to a woman with whom I find new magic every day! In these posts I share what I have learned. Please feel free to do the same.

My experience has been that too often, the primary breadwinner in the family (often the man) makes a unilateral decision about life insurance. He knows his wife and kids will need the benefit should they tragically lose him. He knows that he will be the one to pay for that coverage. So he just goes ahead and makes a decision as to what he thinks is best for them.

Even if he has calculated the amount correctly, to exclude his wife from the discussion could be a big mistake. We are, after all, talking about her potential struggles with widowhood. She will be alone, have to fend for herself, and take care the family. That could be an almost overwhelming shock.

Involving her in the life insurance planning process could help her anticipate and address the challenges she would face. Some people even go as far as formulating a plan so that decisive action could be taken immediately. Sure, nobody likes to talk about this stuff, but we all know that our level of preparedness for emergencies can greatly influence our ability to take charge when the time comes.

The moral of the story is that the purchase of life insurance is about much more than the face amount and type of product. It is about a married couple working together to help one another function, cope, survive and thrive.

Blogger Leo Barbauta has some important things to say about this topic in his post on Zenhabits. Tell me what you think of them.

 

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.

Will There Be War When We Have Peace?

This is not as crazy a question as it sounds. It forces us to talk about what peace really means. Should we strive for a time when there is no war at all? Should we settle for wars that are “contained,” and not catastrophic with severe loss of life and property? If this is not possible, should we just hope that only the bad guys fight and kill each other off?

When I finally have peace in my corner of the globe, what should I do with it? Should I just try to sell as much life insurance as is humanly possible? Would that “insure” the peace and make sure it lasts? These kinds of questions make you think about how what you do – and how you do it – affect the world at large.

Some people say that to bring peace into the world, you have to find “inner peace.” That is certainly true: if people act with hostility and aggression, they will receive it in return. If they offer peace and gentleness, they will get such back. But is that all we need: for each person to simply get his or her act together, so peace will naturally fall into place?

I do not think so. It seems to me that what we do matters as much as how we do it. Many murderers, serial killers, and thugs are cool, calm, and collected as they do their dastardly deeds. It is what they do that makes the world a worse place. How they do it can make matters worse, but is not the cause of the problem.

By the same token, it is the good deeds we do that make the world a better place. Making a wholesome living in an honorable occupation… devoting oneself to a worthwhile cause, such as eradicating cancer… and even performing a single act of kindness, such as walking a little old lady across the street… all make a positive difference.

The good things we do can even involve bad things. Defending yourself against a violent mugger is good, even if it means hurting your attacker. Ordinarily, we would not want to hurt anybody; but it is sometimes necessary to do so to save ourselves. The same principle applies to a nation protecting itself from an invader. It would not want to incur any civilian casualties, but that is sometimes necessary to save itself.

But is life really that simple? Does the world become a better place simply by doing good things, even though bad stuff happens in the process? This is where “how we do what we do” can make a difference. Fighting off a mugger in a way that simply ends the fight and does not prolong the confrontation, can make the fight a single event. But getting into it for the sake of fighting can make violence between people a habit. Similarly, a nation fighting off an invader in way that simply ends the war and does not prolong the confrontation, can make the war a single event. But getting into it for the sake of fighting can make war between nations a habit. In both cases, the world becomes a worse place because people did the right thing (self defense) in the wrong way (with unpeaceful intent).

So what does this say about the possibility of a world without war? It says that wars can still be good if nations conduct them in the right way – with peaceful intent. And if people try to always have a peaceful intent, why would they start a war in the first place?

Make sense to you?

 

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.

Who Owns Your Wealth?

What do we mean when we say somebody owns something? I think we mean that it is ours to do with what we want. I bought something, it is mine; I can do with it what I please. Or, I give somebody something, and it is hers; she can do with it what she pleases. Likewise, if someone in my family leaves me a life insurance benefit, that money is mine. I can spend it, or save it, or invest it as I see fit.

But don’t I have any constraints at all over what I can do with that money? When you think about it, there are indeed a few. First of all, if someone in my family does leave me a life insurance benefit, I must see that there was intent behind that decision. The money should be used to live the good life they would want me to lead, and not become a wasteful bum. It would be dishonorable to let that person down and violate the spirit in which that money was given to me.

Along those lines, I cannot use the money for illicit or illegal gains. That would be a betrayal but only of my loving family member, but of society as well. We each have an implicit contract with others to use our power for constructive, and not destructive, purposes. Take a look at what terror groups like Hamas do with the financial assistance they receive: they buy weaponry and launch those missiles against civilians. They not only betray the donors who had offered humanitarian aid – they also betray humanity by unleashing deadly force against the innocent.

What if I decided to live a good life, to not waste money, and to not engage in illicit or illegal activities? Would I then be upholding all my responsibilities? Tell you the truth, I don’t think so. I believe there is one more obligation that must be met: it is to the Generator of all wealth. In the final analysis, we must give full credit where all credit is due. That, of course, means we have a duty towards the people with whom we do business, and from whom we inherit money. But it also means that we recognize and appreciate the Source of all our powers to produce in the first place.

The One who made us human gave us astounding powers to create, to manufacture, to connect with people. To build stuff and share it, and trade it, and use it to help others. All the wealth we accumulate and generate is a byproduct of this creative potential that has been granted to us. As such, we really cannot claim it is exclusively ours. It can more appropriately be described as a loan from the Grantor.

What do you think? Who really is the source of your wealth?

 

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 Love Money Or People?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-fountain-pen-blank-check-image14986921Quick quiz: let’s suppose today you received a check in the mail from a life insurance company.

It’s a good amount of money, and it represents the benefit from a policy on which you were the beneficiary.

What do you think your first thought would be:

What you can do with all that money?

Or how much the insured loved and cared for you?

Actually, I am not sure there is a clear answer here. Losing a loved one generates a tumult of varied emotions.

You think of yourself. You think of your beloved.

But deep down we do have our values and set priorities based on them.

Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, talks about this in a most instructive article in the Sunday New York Times.

He focuses on the links between our life pursuits and the degree of our happiness.

Here is one illuminating point:

Consider fame. In 2009, researchers from the University of Rochester conducted a study tracking the success of 147 recent graduates in reaching their stated goals after graduation. Some had “intrinsic” goals, such as deep, enduring relationships. Others had “extrinsic” goals, such as achieving reputation or fame. The scholars found that intrinsic goals were associated with happier lives. But the people who pursued extrinsic goals experienced more negative emotions, such as shame and fear. They even suffered more physical maladies.

Mr. Brooks ties together neurology, history, and political philosophy in his analysis of what life is all about – namely, being a prudent person who seeks to avoid unnecessary suffering.

What do you think of his conclusions?

Is he describing you?

 

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.