How To Become A Conscious (Life Insurance) Consumer

Insights into why people buy - or postpone buying - life insurance. Studies from the disciplines of neuroscience, psychology, religion, and spirituality are called upon to explain consumer behavior.

How to Trust Your Wealth Advisor

How do you know you can trust somebody?

Simply because he says, “trust me?”

Or because he holds an important office, or a fancy title?

Or that he advertises himself as an “advisor?”

Not enough for you.

The key is making people prove they are trustworthy.

Trust Based on Sweat Equity

Marcus Aurelius talks about this in his Meditations:

“From Fronto: To recognize the malice, cunning, and hypocrisy that power produces, and the peculiar ruthlessness often shown by people from ‘good families.'” – Meditations, I.11

Here’s the bottom line: trust must be earned.

Looking Behind the Scenes

We all need to be able to trust others.

This includes family members, friends, and business associates.

But how do we know we can trust somebody?.

This is especially important when peopler have political power, or financial power, or are considered experts.

It’s not just a case of, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

You have to be able to look behind the fascades of power.

  • Just because somebody has authority, doesn’t mean they should have power. Titles are just names. Authority means you have the ability to control and influence people’s lives. Power over the people must come from the people.
  • Social status doesn’t mean much. It is easy for people with money or connections to buy prestige. This doesn’t mean they are role models. Their benevolence towards other is what should lead people to look up to them.
  • Character is what people show behind closed doors. What people say to your face is one thing. What they do behind your back could be something else. But if the two are consistent, then at least you know who you’re dealing with.

No Advisor Should Take You for Granted

We all need wealth mentors and advisers.

We cannot grow without the proper counsel.

Many people have achieved wealth, but how many are worthy of our trust?

The right ones will continually seek to earn it.

Eagerness to Prove Trustworthiness

Trust is something that can’t be taken for granted.

Even if people are worthy of your trust today, circumstances might change tomorrow.

They then have to prove that they are once again worthy of your trust.

Should you give them the benefit of the doubt, based on past performance? Sure.

But if they have the right character, they will want to come through for you again.

Your trustworthiness is something you should want to show, every chance you get.

What do you think? Are you able to trust people? How?


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 Get Respect by Giving Respect?

caningAre some people in your life constantly correcting you?

Do they jump on you every time you mispronounce something, or use incorrect grammar?

Do they make debates personal, as opposed to sticking to the point?

These folks may be well-intentioned, but they do need to learn some respect, don’t they?

Good news! You can teach them.

Quick and Easy Tips

Marcus Aurelius has some solid lessons about this in his Meditations:

“From the literary critic, Alexander: Not to be constantly correcting people, and in particular not to jump on them whenever they make an error of usage or a grammatical mistake or mispronounce something, but just answer their question or add another example, or debate the issue itself (not their phrasing), or make some other contribution to the discussion – and insert the right expression, unobtrusively.” – Meditations, I.10

He shows us how to be respectful and considerate.

When you correct somebody about something – it could be about any topic – it is essential to preserve their dignity.

YOU could be in their shoes

What goes around, comes around.

Remember that next time, you could be on the receiving end of advice, not the giving end.

Then, you’ll see it’s not so easy to simply say to somebody, “Don’t say ‘No,’ say ‘Yes, and…'”

There’s a bit more to showing respect:

  • Nobody likes a know-it-all. The goal in life is not to be right, but to be righteous. This means you give everybody the respect they deserve.
  • People need to willingly accept your advice. If you give it the wrong way – in a way that brings them down – they will not be open to making changes. If you offer it in a way that builds them up – constructively – they will want to adopt it.
  • People aren’t always the issue. Stick to the topic. Don’t make it personal, and they will understand better what you mean.

Don’t Forget: There are Two Sides to Every Story

There is a financial know-it-all in every newspaper, magazine, and website.

Too often they think they are right, and that people who disagree with them are wrong.

Some of them sing the praises of term insurance and ignore the benefits of permanent insurance.

Some of them hawk permanent cash insurance as the investment of the century.

There is always another side to the story when it comes to financial planning

There is a Graceful Way to Advise People

If you care enough about somebody to advise them, it makes sense to want that advice to stick.

This applies to advice about life, love – and especially money.

After all: for whom is this advice, anyway?

If you want to just to toot your own horn, then why waste their time?

But if you want to make an impact, then treat them with respect.

What about you? Are your advisors treating you with the respect you deserve?


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.

Why You Need a Life Insurance Specialist

Who are the financial experts these days?

It’s really not a mystery.

Planners help you with planning.

Investment advisors help you with investing.

Insurance advisors help you with insurance.

And within each field you have your specialists. So life insurance advisors help you with life insurance.

Together, we form a team.  YOUR team.

Specialists Play a Special Role on Your Team

Every now and again I am prompted to remind you of the need to form a team of specialists to work on your finances. Recently, I came across a reply from Dave Ramsey to one of his many readers. The issue was the declination of the reader’s child for life insurance, due to hemophilia.

Here was Dave’s point:

“Unfortunately, you’re going to have a difficult time with this situation. It’s generally pretty hard, for obvious reasons, for hemophiliacs to get life insurance. I hope you understand that’s a statistical statement, not a spiritual statement.

You can always cover him as a child by building an emergency fund over and above the three to six months of expenses I normally recommend. A child rider is just a small policy to cover final expenses and things like that, so you could self-insure by saving up in the event — God forbid — of a worst-case scenario. An average funeral today costs around $7,000 to $10,000. You could always spend less, but if you guys have reasonable safeguards this isn’t a situation you should be facing. I mean, there are probably some things he just shouldn’t do from a common sense standpoint, right? But lots of folks have long, wonderful lives with that particular condition.

It might be that as research on the disease progresses and as he gets older, there’s a possibility that he could qualify. Think about this. If you even whispered a word like “cancer” anywhere near your name 25 years ago in the insurance business, you were done — no life insurance of any kind.” – Dave Ramsey writing for The Oklahoman

Dave does a superb job of identifying and addressing the multitude of issues that pop up in financial planning.

He also tries to help his readers feel positive about their situation.

I would like to add some words of encouragement as well.

In this particular case, I would like to supplement his advice with the knowledge I have as a life insurance specialist.

Because the fact of the matter is that hemophiliacs can get life insurance – and that includes juveniles.

And there are reasons to buy life insurance other than final expenses. Especially on juveniles.

The Special Needs of Juveniles for Life Insurance

Even people with serious medical conditions can get life insurance.

It is often priced quite reasonably.

This includes hemophilia, as well as diabetes, heart disease, and many other ailments.

Now, it is true that you can rely on an emergency fund in order to cover small expenses over a 6-12 month period, following the death of a loved one.

But if you really want to make a sound decision regarding life insurance on a child with hemophilia, it is important to remember the following:

  • Financial experts are often limited in their understanding of specific fields. They can provide sound advice about overall planning. However, they are also often limited in their understanding of specific products and marketplaces. When it comes to life insurance, they are often limited in their understanding of underwriting, and of the need to secure someone’s insurability.
  • Hemophiliacs can get life insurance. Underwriters look at elements such as coagulation factors, the frequency of episodes, the number of transfusions, etc., in assessing the risk presented. The amount of extra premium assessed to cover a higher risk can be surprisingly low given the right circumstances. It can be very affordable.
  • There are several reasons to buy life insurance on a child. It is not just a question of covering final expenses in case that tragedy occurs. Children with serious disease often grow into adulthood needing life insurance for personal and business reasons. It is much more expensive for them to purchase a policy when they are older. When their parents buy a policy on them as a child, they are able to lock in the lowest rate available.

And you always have to remember that they may unfortunately not qualify for coverage as an adult.

In that case they will be really grateful you had bought them the policy when they were a child.

Underwriting is a Field for Specialists

When discussing the potential role life insurance could play in a family’s financial planning, a life insurance expert should be consulted.

A family will benefit from the highly specialized understanding of underwriting.

They can then can make a truly informed decision about what options they may have.

What do you think? Do you have the right specialists on your financial team?

“Compare term life insurance rates at no cost from top rated companies in seconds.”

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 YOU Can Have the Confidence of a Champion

What is the hallmark trait of a champion?

Confidence has to be at the top of anybody’s list.

Are people born self-confident?

Maybe a little bit. But to achieve championship status, you have to work hard at it.

A good mentor can help you get there.

And that mentor could be your father or mother.

A Teacher for Life

Tiffani Hernandez wants to become an Olympic-caliber javelin thrower.

Unfortunately, she recently reached a plateau in her training.

Who do you think helped her get to the next rung of her achievement ladder?

Her coach?

A training specialist?


Her father – and he doesn’t even throw the javelin:

Clearly, he didn’t need to throw the javelin – or even be an athlete – to help his daughter make progress.

He just had to be a great mentor in life.

Because a great mentor in life can help you renew the confidence you need to reach your potential – in all areas.

Parents Can be the Ideal Life Coaches

We all need to learn how to apply natural laws to improve ourselves.

Our parents can help us learn these life lessons because our success in life is their chief concern..

Sure, everybody says that “‘parents have a lot of wisdom to offer their children.”

And that “children need their parents support in order to succeed.”

But there is a lot more to the mentoring our parents can give us!

  • A caring mentor can help you grow even if he is not a specialist in your field. You can trust him to help you look at yourself honestly. You can feel comfortable sharing with him your frustrations and confusion. He will help you move past your inner blocks.
  • A weakened self-confidence is often at the core of personal failure. We sometimes set our goals too high, and get disappointed in ourselves when we fail to achieve them. We then lapse into an “all or nothing mindset” where if we can’t achieve perfection, we can’t achieve anything.
  • Incremental changes work. Often times it is only a few small problems that can throw off the overall performance. By breaking down the execution into its component parts, the problem areas can be identified. Then small adjustments can be implemented to get everything else back in working order.

The Path to Riches Requires Life Mentoring, too

People are capable of earning and accumulating 20 times more wealth than they think they can.

A good Financial Mentor is really a good life mentor.

If you get on track for being all you can be in all areas of your life, then you will succeed financially as well.

Confidence and Gratitude

No doubt, people who have achieved greatness throughout the ages very frequently had a great mentor.

In many, many cases, that mentor was a parent.

These parents gave their children the confidence needed to succeed, and succeed again.

And that confidence is something for which the children can be forever grateful.

It will help them succeed in all areas of life – including, very importantly, finance.

What about you? Was your mother or father a good mentor? How?


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.

Why You Want to Be Grounded for Life

Every kid hates being grounded.

It means you did something really wrong.

But for adults, being grounded can mean you’re doing everything right!

As a matter of fact, remaining grounded should be one of your life objectives.

It’s all a question of keeping your feet on the ground.

Father Knows Best?

Marcus Aurelius praises the virtue of keeping your feet on the ground in his Meditations.

“From Sextus:
An example of fatherly authority in the home. What it means to live as nature requires…
Gravity without airs…
To show intuitive sympathy for friends, tolerance to amateurs and sloppy thinkers. His ability to get along with everyone: sharing his company was the highest of compliments, and the opportunity an honor for those around him…
To investigate and analyze, with understanding and logic, the principles we ought to live by…
Not to display anger or other emotions. To be free of passion and yet full of love…
To praise without bombast; to display expertise without pretension.” – Meditations, I.9

There you have it:

All the various benefits of living with your feet on the ground in one fell swoop!

All You Need is Love

That’s exactly right:

Self-love is the key.

Loving yourself means you don’t have to go crazy proving to people how great and wonderful you are. You know you’re okay.

It makes it easier to keep your feet on the ground.

Having your feet on the ground enables you to treat people equally, and allows them to treat you the same way.

And there’s more:

  • Natural living requires us to be grounded. It is contrary to nature – including human nature – to put on airs and try to be other than who we are. Staying grounded allows us to connect with people, and thrive in this world of connections in which we live.
  • Showing sympathy and consideration of others must become second nature. People sense when others are being pretentious, and resent it. But, we have to work at making such demonstrations second nature, so that they eventually are expressed naturally.
  • Passions drive us, but love sustains us. Passions are good for short-term execution and engagement. Love is needed to serve as a foundation for our relationships.

This Definitely Applies to Financial Relationships

The sign of good financial advisors are their ability to connect with their clients.

They really should show authentic sympathy and understanding.

They should relate to your specific circumstances.

Their ability to solve your specific problems means they have a client-centered approach, and not a self-centered approach.

How to Stay Grounded

Find things to love about yourself. Hold on to them. Build upon them.

You’ll stay rooted in reality, and in a good way.

Being grounded will help you deal well with everything and everybody.

Especially money.

What do you think? What ways do you use to stay grounded?


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 Get Connected to Your World

What brings out the best in you?

A good outfit, so you are lookin’ good? Sure.

A good man, or are a good woman, who stands by you? No doubt.

A good job, so you can do your best work? That could certainly do it.

How about a mission – to bring out the best in everybody?! Now you’re talking.

A Great Mission Can Bring Out YOUR Greatness

This is exactly what Will Allen and his Growing Power organization are doing for people.

But it’s greatness in a humble way. In a connected way.

Through urban farming:

We all need to be part of something that can change our lives for the better.

We Each Have a Yearning to be Connected

We all know that growing your own food is healthier and cheaper than buying it. That is a given.

But Will is teaching us so much more!

  • Urban farming can feed people on a large scale. Growing Power feeds 10,000 people. This is not simply a little family farm.
  • People grow personally through self-reliance. If it is up to you, you must get out of bed and get it done. The farming life requires you to persevere through trial and tribulation.
  • A connectedness to the earth is spiritually uplifting. Handling fertile soil calms you down. It also gives you faith and trust that good things can happen.

Are You Financially Self-Reliant?

People need to take financial responsibility for their financial position in life.

It is easy to blame outside forces such as the economy, the market, and your stockbroker for bad things that happen.

True, there are external influences that present you with favorable or unfavorable circumstances.

But at the end of the day it is up to you to make lemonade out of lemons.

You Can be the Big Person

We always tell ourselves to be the big man or woman.

To do the right thing even though other people are not.

Certain activities can help us become that big person.

Urban farming is one of them.

The hands-on approach is a great way to get our food. It is also a great way to manage our money.

To be connected to our world.

Do you feel connected to your world? What can you do to get more connected?


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 be Centered, Strong, and Supple

Are you too strong?

Too set in your ways?

Or perhaps, are you too flexible?

Maybe too yielding?

No worries.

You can be strong yet supple.

You just have to find the middle road.

Where is Your Center?

Marcus Aurelius strives for the middle ground in his Meditations:

“From Apollonius: Independence and unvarying reliability, and to pay attention to nothing, no matter how fleetingly, except the logos. And to be the same in all circumstances – intense pain, the loss of a child, chronic illness. And to see clearly, from his example, that a man can show both strength and flexibility… His patience in teaching. And to have seen someone who clearly viewed his expertise and ability as a teacher as the humblest of virtues… And to have learned how to accept favors from friends without losing your self-respect or appearing ungrateful.” – Meditations, I.8

Here you see the importance of being strong yet supple.

Of remaining centered.

On the one hand, you need to take can a stand and stick to your values.

By the same token, you can’t be rigid because you always have something to learn.

And, even strong people need help sometimes. They shouldn’t be too proud to accept it.

Staying Calm Amidst the Storm

People often say, “keep your eye on the prize and you won’t fail.”

And, “that which does not bend, breaks.”

All true. But what else do we need to know?

  • Integrity lies in consistency. There are good times, and bad times; times of joy, and times of sorrow. If we can take each one in stride, we won’t get carried away with extreme emotions.
  • We have much to offer our friends. We can be anchors for them amidst the raging storms of life. We have learned much from experience, and can help them get through the same experiences.
  • We also need our friends. They may have learned things we need to know. Friendship is a give-and-take with both parties complementing the strengths and weaknesses of the other.

A Centered Approach to Finance

Financial management is a lifelong process.

And we don’t finally just “get it.”

There is always more to learn as the field changes, and as our life circumstances change.

We need to stay the course, yet redirect as needed.

How to Chart Your Own Course

Life in general – and the world of finance in particular – contain many ups and downs.

If you can stay calm and centered, you can still chart the course that is right for you.

What about you? Are you able to stay strong, yet remain supple?


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 the Last of the Big-Time Spenders?

Could you spend $1 billion?


Let’s assume you have it in your pocket right now.

(Feels good, doesn’t it? Kind of bulky. But we’ll take care of that…)

Oh, and here are the rules:

Can’t donate it, and can’t invest it.

You have to spend it.

Takes some really big dreaming, doesn’t it?

Are You Ready for the Challenge?

LaTisha Styles has issued this exact challenge on

“”My fiancé…argued that no one could easily spend one billion dollars without wasting money.
I disagreed, stating that I could spend one billion dollars easily.
So he came up with a challenge.
The challenge is this. Spend one billion dollars. Every single cent.
The conditions: I have to spend it on myself. No donating, no buying investments, none of that. I mean, if I made one billion dollars the first time, starting from zero, I could certainly make it again.
Donald Trump is living proof. He has been bankrupt and earned it all back and more.
Richard Pryor’s character in the movie Brewster’s Millions faced a similar challenge. He had to spend a $30 million inheritance in 30 days.
Faced with this challenge, someone who has never had that much money would find it difficult to figure out how to spend it.
I disagree. I think I could spend one billion.
Once I started looking for ways to spend one billion dollars, I realized that I had to dream big. Really big.””

For sure, to make big money – and to spend big money – you have to think big about money.

Here’s the secret:

Our definition of ourselves, and what is possible for us, limits what we achieve in life.

If we think we can handle $1 billion, odds are we will get it.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Conventional wisdom says, “You achieve wealth and success by visualizing the end results.”

True. But there is more to it than that.

To really make it big, a few other items need to fall in place:

  • Anybody can give be successful. Age, experience, and resources, can either be liabilities or assets, depending on your outlook. Success takes good ideas that can solve people’s problems, and the determination to stick with them.
  • You can’t take it with you. You can certainly spend a boatload of money on fancy toys. However, there will always be a fancier toy to buy next year. Why chase the glitter when the glitter doesn’t last?
  • The best pleasures lie in helping others. Can you imagine having the money to rebuild an entire town after a hurricane or flood strikes? How about setting up a food kitchen to feed the homeless people in an entire city for a year? Or maybe approaching some Third World dictator and literally ransoming 100,000 people to freedom?

Are You Ready to do Good?

In the final analysis, wealth and success are not hard to achieve.

They take doing the right things, for the right amount of time, and in the right way.

The key is making yourself worthy of that wealth and success.

For when they come to you, you need to be prepared to do good things with them.

Are you ready for your success? What will you do when you get it?


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.

Whose Voice is Guiding Your Future?

In Ethiopia, girls are often mistreated.

1 in 3 can’t read.

1 in 3 don’t go to school.

1 in 5 feel socially alienated.

And then you have the problems of forced marriage, gender based violence, school drop out, and early pregnancy.

Isn’t anybody doing anything about this?

Yes! The girls are themselves.

Social Change through Drama, Talk, and Music.

Meet Yegna, Ethiopia’s first teen band.

They are showing their country – as well as the entire world – how to change for the better. By changing their culture,

For this is not only an Ethiopian problem, is it?

Aren’t girls the world over are treated as objects and second-class citizens?

And doesn’t every society – including the most civilized – need to upgrade its treatment of them?

Inspiration from the Bottom Up.

It’s gratifying to know that even people at the bottom rung of society’s latter – the uneducated and powerless – can lead the way to positive social change.

And its not just a question of saying, “Education is the solution to most of the world’s social problems.”

There is more to it than that:

  • Education is a means to an end, not an end unto itself. The answer to society’s problem is a different culture – one in which more advanced ideas are preached, and improved practices are adopted. And that culture can only be fertilized by an undeniable feeling that things must change for the better. Then, educational programs can be implemented to nurture that growth in the proper direction.
  • People need direction if they are to make positive changes in their lives. No doubt, the vast majority of mothers – and of all parents – in that society knew they were short-changing their daughters. They just didn’t know how to improve things, so by and large they just kept the status quo. And so they perpetuated the problem, however undesirable that was.
  • It is often the victims of oppression who take the lead in stopping it. They have the most at stake. Even well-intentioned outsiders cannot muster the motivation and determination to persist in spite of all obstacles. Most certainly, political elites cannot force a change from above based purely on ideology – or worse, a desire to control that change.

And That Goes for Life Insurance!

Life insurance is very frequently bought by an income provider for the benefit of his or her loved ones.

That is indeed noble, honorable, and the right thing to do.

But: it must be recognized that this is a product that does not benefit the insured, and only benefits the family members, business, or charity when the insured passes on.

These beneficiaries therefore have a great stake in the purchase of the product, and should always make their needs and desires known when a policy is designed.

Grass-Rooted Progress.

There you have it: people who become our future must be involved front and center in creating that future.

Otherwise, they could very well be short-changed in the process.

This applies to every sector sector of society, especially regarding our treatment of women.

And it has a special bearing on the world of finance.

What do you think? Do you find it easy to involve the people most affected by your decisions in your decisions?


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 Walk the Walk

Are some people just better than other people?

Do people act “good” naturally?

Isn’t it enough to just talk about doing the right thing?

No, No, and No!

You know that talking the talk is easy.

So how do we learn to walk the walk?

A Prescription for Living

These days, “prescription” mean drugs.

A quick fix.

Treat the symptoms.

Not so among the ancients… “Prescription” back then meant a way to live.

To quote Marcus Aurelius:

“From Rusticus: The recognition that I needed to train and discipline my character. Not to be sidetracked by my interest in rhetoric. Not to write treatises on abstract questions, or deliver moralizing little sermons, or compose imaginary descriptions of The Simple Life or The Man Who Lives Only for Others. To steer clear of oratory, poetry, and ‘belles lettres.’ Not to dress up just to stroll around the house, or things like that. To write straightforward letters (like the one he sent my mother from Sinuessa). And to behave in a conciliatory way when people who have angered or annoyed us want to make up. To read attentively – not to be satisfied with ‘just getting the gist of it.’ And not to fall for every smooth talker. And for introducing me to Epictetus’s lectures – and loaning me his own copy.” – Meditations, I.7

Integrity is a big deal.

And guess what?

People who act with integrity are admired, respected, and have extremely positive interactions with people.

On Your Honor

Of course, anybody can tell you that “If you want to succeed, you need to be disciplined.”

Not so fast.

There is more to the story- if you really do want to walk the walk.

  • Developing a strong moral character takes work. It is not as if people are born good. They certainly can be inclined towards good things, but they need to work hard to cultivate a good personality. You have to practice being good.
  • The saying that “people who cannot do, teach (or preach)” is sometimes true. People often take their personal failings too seriously. They give up on themselves and take the easy way out, which is to try to influence people with words.
    They forget that actions speak louder than words.
  • It takes two to tango. If other people are acting petty or cheap, your interaction with them will not be bad unless you stoop to that level. But if you choose top be the Big Person, you can encourage them to rise up to your level. Needless hostility can be avoided.

This is Certainly True in the World of Money

There are many financial gurus out there.

There are teachers, mentors, advisors, and bloggers.

Many people can talk the talk.

But who walks the walk?

Who actually is successful?

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

That’s the bottom line, isn’t it?

People need to back up what they say.

This is true whether they are talking about politics, finance, arts, or science.

Do you know people who walk the walk as well as talk the talk? How are they able to do it?


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 Climbers & Divers Can Save Money

dreamstime_xs_30093945Greedy life insurance companies are NOT out to rip you blind.

Men and women who enjoy adventurous hobbies like scuba diving and rock-climbing do NOT have to pay an arm and a leg for coverage.

As a matter of fact, the rates charged can be surprisingly reasonable.

I know this contradicts everything you have been taught about big, bad insurance companies.

Bear with me as I give you the rest of the story.

Risk Less, Pay Less?

Writer Aubrey Cohen does a great job of explaining how people with adventurous hobbies are assessed for life insurance rates in Nerdwallet.

He asks the all-important question:

What happens when you retire from that activity?

When you bought life insurance, perhaps you had to pay more because you engaged in a dangerous hobby you’ve since given up. Or perhaps you’ve quit smoking in the years since you purchased your policy. Now that you’ve stopped, how can you get your insurance company to lower your premiums?

His inquiry gives us a good opportunity to explain further how premiums are set for “higher-risk” applicants, with regards to both lifestyle and also medical condition.

Here’s the big news:

Life insurance companies will be reasonable when assessing the level of risk you represent.

If you pose a lower risk, they will lower the rate.


How to Drop Your Premium

Nobody wants to overpay for anything, let alone life insurance.

If your lifestyle or medical condition changes so you could be eligible for a lower cost, there is a procedure available for you to do so.

Take heart!

You can save money when budgeting for your life insurance.

And – here’s the clincher – it is not true that completely dropping a risky habit/hobby is the best/only way to get better rates.

  • Very reasonable rates can be available for people who still enjoy the hobby. Life insurance companies specialize in the risks they underwrite. Some are strong for cardiac cases, others for diabetes cases, others are strong for rock climbers, while still others are strong for scuba divers. As a matter of fact, an underwriter with a very clear understanding of the hobby may not assess much comparatively extra premium at all.
  • Waiting periods are not always necessary for a rate reduction. If the broker provides proper perspective on the lifestyle change, an underwriter may provide a lower rate immediately. For example, if an avid rock climber retires due to a new child, the right underwriter may completely understand that he or she really doesn’t want to climb any more and put his family at risk. The rate reduction could be immediate.
  • Many companies will wait just 12 months after smoking cessation to allow for non-smoker rates. This would be proven by a written statement on the application, as well as a negative test for nicotine in a urine sample. It should also be noted that some companies actually specialize in smokers (this includes both tobacco and marijuana.) Depending on the amount used and frequency, non-smoker rates may actually be available!

How to Find a Good Rate

The life insurance industry is full of specialization and subspecialization.

The job of the broker is to find the underwriter who is the best match for a particular client.

A thorough prequalification process will accomplish this and give the client confidence that the rate quoted is the most competitive available, and also one at which he or she will be approved.

What do you think? Are you surprised that life insurance could be affordable for people with higher risks?


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.

No Junk Food for the Brain!

14601014695_dd8c815c39_oDo you sometimes ask yourself where the day has gone?

True, sometimes when we are really enjoying ourselves, the time flies by.

But all too often, we wonder where the time went because we have no idea how we spent it.

It’s like we keep filling our mind with “junk food ideas” that seem enticing, but are not really worth our time.

And so our days get filled with nonsensical pursuits.

Take the time to stop and think

How to occupy our mind is an age-old problem. Marcus Aurelius thought about it in his Meditations.

“From Diognetus: Not to waste time on nonsense. Not to be taken in by conjurers and hoodoo artists with their talk about incantations and exorcism and all the rest of it. Not to be obsessed with quail-fighting or other crazes like that. To hear unwelcome truths. To practice philosophy, and to study with Baccheius, and then with Tandasis and Marcianus. To write dialogues as a student. To choose the Greek lifestyle – the camp-bed and the cloak.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations I.6

You know what? It takes hard work and deep thought to discover the truth. To figure out how to make life meaningful.

Not a minute to waste

When you think about it, life is too precious to waste even a minute.

If we can mentally engage each moment, then we can make it count.

It’s a question of staying curious and not getting fooled by every fancy-schmancy gimmick that pops up.

You and I both know that there is a snake oil salesman on every corner looking to fool us.

So: how do we avoid the “conjurers and hoodoo artists?”

  • Challenge the “experts.” Especially in this era of Internet thought leadership, anybody can hang up a shingle and call himself an expert.  But how did they get to know what they claim they know?
  • Slick doesn’t always stick. The slickest websites and presentations often do not have any meaningful content.  They have razzle-dazzle, but where’s the beef?
  • Sweettalk is not always what you need to hear. The best advice is often something you don’t want to hear but nonetheless is very relevant to your situation.  People who truly have your interest at heart will tell you what you must know to make a sound decision.

This is all too true when it comes to money

And it is double-true when it comes to life insurance.

Many people these days take much for granted, including their own mortality. It is hard to conceive that our days on this earth will be over – and can be over before we expect.

Financial representatives who sell life insurance will often try to dazzle consumers with projections of future values, guarantees, and rates of return.

But these displays can blind us to the fact that we never know when a claim on our life insurance will be paid – so it is prudent to assume it could be paid tomorrow.

That understanding should lead people to prioritize having sufficient coverage in force NOW.

How to sustain the brain

Good ideas are like good food: they not only satisfy your immediate hunger for information, but they nourish your goals and dreams.

To get past all the junk food that is thrown at our brains from all directions, we have to think past them.

We can about evaluate everything that comes our way and determine what value they have for us as aspiring human beings.

In doing so we make every moment count. Just as when evaluating every financial proposition, we can make every dollar count.

What about you? Are you making every moment count? Every dollar?


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 Life On Track?

track-362874_640Do you lie in bed worrying about tomorrow?

When you wake up, do you wish the day was over already?

Do too many things upset you?

It sounds like your life is off-track. Think so?

No worries. Getting back on track does not have to be hard.


That’s what it takes.

Marcus Aurelius makes this very point in Meditations I.5:

“From my first teacher: Not to support this side or that in chariot-racing, this fighter or that in the games. To put up with discomfort and not make demands. To do my own work, mind my own business, and have no time for slanderers.”

You and I both know that it is very easy to get pulled off the course of your life by the demands of others, or by your own personal whims.

What does it take to pull the brakes on such detours?


You must be resolved to stay the course.

And – special note – if the course isn’t good, to get on a better course.

BIG POINT HERE: don’t be afraid to change.

Most people think that the name of the game in life is to go with the winners, and leave the losers behind.

NOPE. Not the case.

Think about it:

  • We are all going to be winners or losers at some point. Win some, lose some, is true. Life has its ups and downs. Nobody remains a hero forever, and nobody remains a bum forever.
  • The easy way ends up being hard, and the hard way ends up being easy. I am sure you know that from your own experience. How many times have you put something off, or avoided a problem, only to have it come back and be double- hard to fix the next time around? And how many times have you just put your mind to something and found out that it wasn’t half as hard as you thought it would be?
  • If you stay focused on your own agenda, you won’t have any time to abide by the agenda of others. So many people have a scheme A whole lot of people just want to pull you in and have you do all their work. They could be salesmen, clergymen, politicians, the gamut. But if you keep your nose to the grindstone, you’ll be too busy to let them loop you in.

DON’T chase the winners.

The world of finance is full of hot and trendy things.

You know how people like to dazzle us with big numbers and bold statements.

All too often, what is trendy or hot in the financial world very often has no long-term value or benefit.

So, the model they use for anti-drug education in schools should be adopted when being tempted by the latest and the greatest financial deal: just say NO.

AVOID TROUBLE down the road.

Yes, it can be done.

People actually can make decisions that maximize their  benefit and minimize their cost.

It takes work to keep on track, but once you find the work is worth it, you stay motivated to keep plugging away.

A better life is the payoff: Better money. Better relationships. Better times.

Is your life better? How did you do that? What else do you have to do?


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.

Power to the Policyholders

dreamstime_xs_29359935Are you power-hungry?

How much power do you think you can handle?

What would be the first thing you would do if you were granted more power?

How about reducing the rate on your life insurance?

Might as well start at a place where you could save some money!

A Fitbit Update

At this point I am sure you have heard about the partnership between John Hancock and Fitbit.

They are using this technology to allow policyholders to qualify for lower rates as they get healthier.

You plug into the company computers and let them monitor your progress.

I was discussing this new development with a friend of mine. He told me that he did something similar on his own:

“I did something similar to that when I applied for my insurance, except that I used advanced diagnostic testing to affect underwriting outcomes. So, when I started, I planned 6 months out – cholesterol was a bit high. So, I partnered with a cellular biologist (my fiance) and a health coach, and changed those numbers. The research proved pretty powerful and efficacious. The outcome went from preferred with credits to ultra-preferred after a chat with the underwriter.”


The policyholder has increased control over the outcome of underwriting.

This could be a very good thing.

Don’t you think that any and all things life insurance applicants are doing to qualify for better rates should be factored into their risk assessment?

Why not give insureds every opportunity possible to control their eligibility for coverage?

“Power to the Policyholders!”

First – a word of caution.

People sometimes are under the false impression that improved health alone will qualify for better rates.

This is simply not true. There are many other underwriting considerations, such as motor vehicle record, financial record, family history, hobbies, etc.

Nonetheless, improved health can be a major influence on rate reduction.

Here’s why:

  • Underwriters can be extremely receptive to information provided by applicants.  Look, they have to get paid too. They need the business. You just have to give them a good reason to take take it – and to put their absolutely lowest price on the table.
  • Communication lines between insureds and underwriters could and should be established to allow applicants to advocate on their own behalf. Underwriters need to know you as more than just a file number and a questionnaire. They need to get a sense of who you are and what you are up to. Providing them with consistently accurate health data is a good way to accomplish this.
  • This is a double-edge sword, however: while improved health can result in lower rates, poorer health can result in higher rates. The data you provide can and will be used against you if merited. That only makes sense. Once you are plugged into a life insurance company’s underwriting department, you have invited the life insurance version of Big Brother into your life. They will assess all the data you give them: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Who’s ready?

Net-net, this could be a good thing.

People are entitled to as much control as possible over their lives.

Certainly in business, clients should be given every opportunity possible to get better value for their dollar.

And as with any form of power, you need to exercise good judgment when using it.

What do you think? Are you ready for more power as a policyholder?


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.

Think Big, Stand Tall, Get Rich

YOU can be a mover.

A shaker.

A creator.

Especially if you are young.

Even if you have no money or family connections.

Despite what all the naysayers tell you.

And you can start it NOW.

You just need to be excited.

Can you hear the beat of your own drum?

Artist and Activist Henry Rollins helps us hear our own inner calling with this short and sweet video:

You know what the bottom line is here?

Very simply:

YOUR life is what YOU make of it!

Life is an “equal opportunity employer” when it comes to chances to be great.

No one has an edge.

We can each be a mover, shaker, or creator – in our own way! 

Generate your own excitement!

Everybody knows that “You can do whatever you set your mind to.”

And, “Don’t let anyone kill your dream.”

Sure, but let’s take a look at what that all means:

  • You are who you are because of who you come, not because of what you have. You know that, right? How many people do you know – or have heard about – that have a ton of stuff, but are bad apples?
  • We must each accept what we have and make the best of it.  We have what we have. Some people have more than you, and some have less. Whatever we have is our starting point. We take it from there.
  • A strong moral compass and sense of civic duty are key to getting the most out of yourself, and out of life.  It’s more than just thinking big – it’s thinking big and also tall. Big in the sense that you go for it – be all you can be. Tall in the sense that you stand tall and be able to look at yourself in the mirror each day of your journey.

People who think rich, get rich.

You can see how this all applies to the world of money.

Even people who start with nothing can become rich!

How many rags-to-riches stories have you heard?

Do you think these men and women sat around grumbling about what they didn’t have?!

No WAY!  They made the most of what they had. And so could you!

Turning lemons into lemonade.

There is always going to be somebody who has more money than you, and someone who has less.

Better connections than you, and also worse than you.

Attended a better school, and also a worse school.

None of it matters.

You have been given enough to run with. Nobody will make the most of it for you.

Only you can.

You just need to be excited about the prospects..

What excites 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.

Knowledge IS Power! should teach your children?

A professional educator?

A private tutor?

A priest, rabbi, or other clergyman?

A local politician? (Who do you think gets your local school its funding?)

How about YOU?

A good education is priceless.

Renowned emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius thought so. Here is what he said in his Meditations:

“My great-grandfather – to avoid the public schools, to hire good private teachers, and to accept the resulting costs as money well-spent..” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations I.3

To put it plainly:

The education of your child is vital. You should not settle for less with public schools just because they are “free.”


Because the exercise of your mind is essential for finding meaning in life. You can then understand how the world works.

Because the formation of good study habits is critical for making decisions. You can get the info you need to know and sort it all out.

And because knowledge is power.

Is this really news?

It isn’t to people who are confident in what they know.

These folks have busted the myth that knowledge should be reserved for the “experts.”

Odds are that YOU are one of these people! You may not even realize it. But you can tell by asking yourself if you believe the following:

  • People are smarter than they think – and smarter than they have been led to believe by educators who settle for mediocrity. Most people on the planet just want to be average. And that includes teachers – who then encourage their students to settle for less.
  • Education is too important to leave in the hands of the government, which is often swayed by political interests. For sure, the teaching of civic duty is essential. But students should not be pushed into acting on a specific agenda – not the teacher’s, not the district’s, and not the state’s.
  • Families are primarily responsible for the education of their children. Yes, it’s true. You know what is best for your kids. You know them better than anyone. So you should take charge of their education. Who better?

This goes for money education, too!

When was the last time you taught your children about money?

I bet you have a TON of great stuff to teach your kids about the “real world:”

How to get a job. How to hold a job. How to work your way up. How to save for the future. How to prepare for emergencies. How to invest wisely. How to manage risks. How to learn from your mistakes.

Insurance. Investments. Pensions. Taxes.

What have you learned? What can you teach? Your kids NEED YOU TO TELL THEM.

You know what you know.

The world keeps telling us we must go to the experts for knowledge.

This is certainly true, in a way. But what the masters tell us can really only shape and direct what we have learned for ourselves.

Their job is to help us understand that knowledge is a free commodity and is ours for the taking.

In doing so we take charge of our own lives.

For knowledge IS power.

What do you think?

Are you confident in what you know – about life insurance?

About finances?

About life?


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.

A Good Man takes a man to make a man.

I know, I know.

Some people believe it takes a village to raise a child.

Others go with two moms, or two dads.

And how about single moms?

Or when grandma raises the kids?

There is room for a whole diversity of opinion, right?

Let’s start with the idea that boys need their dads.

Marcus Aurelius thinks so.

The idea of manliness

Here is what this great philosopher says about the topic in his Meditations:

“My father (from my own memories and his reputation) – integrity and manliness.”

You know why this idea resonates with me?

Because the world needs men who are men.

Not in the macho sense, but in the sense of people who will take charge, protect others, and be courageous.

Whom to admire?

Being a man is not just about being tough and strong.

Far from it.

Being a man means:

  • Being good. Having clear values and being guided by them. Taking a stand. Saying “No!” when you must.
  • Doing the right thing. Developing a good reputation. Learning from your experience. Honoring your teachers – especially your parents.
  • Doing good for others. Taking charge. Protecting the weak. Giving people courage.

Manliness as a legacy

Yep. The big, hairy brute is not the epitome of manliness. The strong, caring man is, however.

This is very true with regards to money.

In the world of finance, the man steps up and buys the life insurance he needs to protect his family, even when he is not around to provide for them.

That is a supreme act of love and caring.  The real man provides for his family from the grave, you might say.

The path to goodness

The fact of the matter is that the great men of history have come from all types of families.

Many, in fact, were orphans.

Some achieved their greatness because of their childhood circumstances; others, in spite of them.

But they all did good in some way.

What do you think it takes to make a good man?


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.

You, Too, Could Move a Mountain With a Chisel

When you think of doing the impossible, what comes to mind?

Getting your dream job? Finding your soulmate? Solving world hunger?

How about moving a mountain with handtools?

It has been done. By one man.

It took him a number of years, but in doing so he greatly improved the lives of his family and village.

And you know what? You could do the same kind of thing. If you wanted to.

It Takes Devotion

Dashrath Manjhi, a laborer from Bihar, wanted his people to have access to doctors, schools, and jobs.

Armed with only a hammer, chisel, and crowbar, he carved a road through the 300-foot mountain that isolated his village from the nearest town.

He did the impossible:

(If you are viewing this in an email, click here to watch the video on Youtube).

One word comes to mind when I view this: devotion.

When you are 100% devoted, you can do the ”impossible.”

You – Yes YOU – Can Make a Difference

Contrary to popular belief, one lone person can make a tremendous difference in people’s lives.

How, you ask? Well, let’s boil it down:

  • Dashrath showed us that by using even simple tools, people can literally move mountains. When there is a will, there is a way. Some of the greatest feats in the history of humanity have been accomplished by people who “rose to the occasion.” Can you think of some?
  • Dedicating yourself to helping others is key to rising above your own limitations. Dashrath was moved to help his wife get to the village. And others as well. You can be sure when the going got rough, he thought of them and became inspired.
  • You can have a permanent impact on the lives of those who come after you. Think about how many generations of people will now benefit from Dashrath’s digging. The quality of life of his great-great-great grandchildren will be higher because of what he did. And note that in the video, they still talk about him as if he is alive, in a way. He has a living legacy.

Financial Devotion

Guess what?

This has everything to do with buying life insurance.

When you purchase a policy, you are devoting yourself to the welfare of others.

With this devotion, you can find a way to fund the policy.

And so you will leave a legacy of caring – and inspire others to in turn become devoted to their loved ones.

What Mountain Will You Move?

We are each facing a mountain that prevents us from getting what we need in life. From what those we love need in life.

Sure, we can climb it. But it would still be there to impede others.

Better we should move it so all can proceed safely.

What mountain must you move?


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 a Wise Guy? guys are too smart for their own good, right?

They know too much. They cop a certain attitude that makes them obnoxious.

In fact…you probably know too many people like this.

Where do they get off being such smart-alecks?

The funny thing is, a lot of what they say is true…

It’s just that the way they say it turns people off so much, that nobody treats them seriously.

And that’s too bad, because we could probably benefit from their “wisdom.”

Grandpa knows best

In his Meditations (I.1), Marcus Aurelius says this:

My grandfather, Verus: Character and self-control.

My interpretation is that Aurelius is crediting his grandfather with having helped him build the character needed to gain self-control.

What can we learn from this?

That having strong relationships with grandparents, parents, and other older relatives and family friends can help you gain wisdom.

But you know what is neat here?

It’s not just what you learn, but how you learn it, that makes you wise.

Learning at the knees of your elders makes you more respectful.

You feel truly “privileged.” Not in the sense of  entitlement but in the sense of appreciating that you have been given something special to hold dear.

Test of time

Too often people think they know something because they intellectually understand it.

…but that is only the tip if the iceberg.

You really know something if its truth has passed the test of time.

If your parent of grandparent shares their knowledge with you, then that knowledge has passed the test of their lifetime.

It is already being delivered to you with a certain amount of truth.

Of course, people are different. What was true for your mother or grandmother may not be true for you, completely.

But a grain of it still probably applies to you. With the right relationship, the two of you can sort it out together.

The relationship you have with your elder, with your wise person, is the key to benefiting from their wisdom.

For example:

  • We all know the importance of controlling our emotions and behaviors. How do we do it? Our elder parents can teach us. How did they succeed? How did they fail? We can learn from their mistakes as much as from their accomplishments.
  • What worked for our parents and grandparents may not necessarily work for us. However, since they know us and care about us, they can help us apply what they know in ways that work for us. They have our best interest at heart. We should be able to rely on them to give us the “perspective from outside ourselves” that we need to find areas for improvement.
  • To benefit from the wisdom of our elders, we need to have relationships with them. We must actively seek to interact with them and build a solid communication. We need to just talk. It’s this “shmoozing” factor that builds the trust and affection that is key to “getting it.”

Financial wisdom

You know what?

It’s the same with learning from your financial advisor.

Many of us are here to teach you. But we need a strong relationship with you in order to advise what is best for you.

Even something as “mundane” as choosing between term and permanent insurance requires wisdom.

If you and I can communicate well enough, then I can help you feel how special and important that decision is.

As it was for me.

Do you feel privileged to know what you know about life insurance, and your finances in general?



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 “New” Normal

Are your kids “normal?”

I hope not.

Being “normal” (i.e like everyone else) is really not most important to kids (or for that matter, to adults).

Being accepted for who they are – especially their differences – is key.

How do you know?

Just ask the handicapped children using 3D arms from the Collective Project.

Being ALL They Can Be

Check out this short video about the 3D printing techonology of this cutting-edge group:

This wonderful medical technology is helping these kids people realize their potential even with severe physical handicaps.

They used to be the kids on the outside – ostrasized and alienated. Now they are COOL,

There is Hope for Everyone

Big surprise, right?

Here we thought that kids just want to be like everyone else.

Well, if  you do not have an arm, then you won’t ever be like everyone else.

…So then what?

Well – you can still be YOU with the help of technology like this.

There are some big takeaways here:

  • People want to express themselves in their own way. Technology can help them do that.
  • Technology can be an artistic medium! 3D printing technology in particular can help people “be” themselves with joy and exuberance.
  • The scientific and political communities can be very benevolent. The folks at the Collective Project are trying to make these 3D arms available for handicapped children at no cost to the parents.

Let Them Be

It is so hard to let our children be themselves, especially when they have handicaps.

We always want to mold them in our image.

Am I right?

How do you keep yourself from trying to mold the kids under your care, in your own image?


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.