Why You MUST Change Your Life Insurance Beneficiary When Getting Divorced

29894340172_1f9c654e89_nCertified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Michelle Ash has a must-read article about financial issues after divorce in womensdivorce.com. Here’s an overview:

The divorce is finally over, the decisions have been made, and now life proceeds anew for the client. But it’s never really that easy, is it? For the newly-divorced client, the legal work may be done, but there’s often a long list of financial clean-up that lies ahead.

Expert advice

As a life insurance broker, I pay special attention when experts offer advice on how to avoid troubles with your policy. Michelle points to a big one regarding the need to change the beneficiary designation when the divorce is finalized:

According to estate planning attorney C. Randolph Coleman of The Coleman Law Firm, “There usually are a half dozen cases during a typical year where someone will call and ask whether there is anything they can do to avoid the ex-spouse of their recently deceased spouse, parent, child or sibling, from taking the life insurance or retirement plan that the ex-spouse was still the beneficiary designated on the decedent’s plans/policies. The short answer, there is nothing you can do. The beneficiary designation will trump the will or intestacy every time.”

Again from estate planning attorney, C. Randolph Coleman, “I probably see about 6 or 8 people a year who typically come in for estate planning 4 to 5 years after a divorce to ‘finally get around’ to updating their estate planning. Usually, during the course of our discussions I will suggest to them that they go back to their employer and check on the beneficiary designations for their life insurance and retirement plans. Invariably, about half of them will call back and tell me how much they appreciate the counsel to check because their ex-spouse remained their beneficiary.”

A big takeaway

One take away from the story is this: if you wait for a life event to prompt an update of your policy, you may end up doing too little too late. This problem can be avoided if you get into the practice of conducting regular audits of your policy. Policy audits can frequently head off trouble at the pass. To learn more, read here.

What about your policy?

What about your life insurance policy? Is the beneficiary designation is current?
Please feel free to comment, or to contact me directly with a specific question.

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

 

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

Why Stay-at-Home Moms Need LOTS of Life Insurance

22779373068_1a9fb8a1cdI am a big advocate of men and women both having careers. However, I am a bigger advocate of children getting the parenting they need. That is why I applaud those households in which Mom can stay home with the kids. Or Dad! Whatever works for them. I have seen families in which both Mom and Dad manage to split the chores. This takes some creativity in getting the right jobs and managing time, but the effort is well worth it. Everybody wins – especially the kids.

You can read any number of studies that prove children flourish under consistent and stable parental influence. They develop emotional resilience and a deep sense of security. They form a strong identity and a healthy personality. They learn how to behave. They are given the basics for succeeding in life and love. And for weathering the storm when life gets rough.

Death is quite a blow to kids

Perhaps the most severe storm to weather is the death of a parent. Maybe you have tragically experienced that yourself, or are close to someone who has. Talk about the proverbial rug being pulled out from under you! It’s hard to imagine something as devastating to a child’s world, as losing one of the pillars of that world – Mom or Dad.

People buy life insurance to secure themselves again such a fate. The question is: what exactly should they do with that insurance money, should a claim unfortunately have to be paid? I think a lot of people jump to rash conclusions when planning for such a possibility. They don’t think through the process their family survivors would need to go through, to move forward from such a tragic loss. It takes time, lots of time. Lots of crying. Lots of family togetherness, hugs, supporting one another. People need to heal. Healing won’t erase the sorrow; just make it manageable.

Kids can’t afford to lose Dad, too

But if Dad has to work his 40 or 50 hours a week, then he will really not have the time to be there for his kids. If he has to scramble to get the household chores done, he will be too busy to be with them. Even if he has the money to hire a nanny or full-time housekeeper, these folks will be poor substitutes for Mom. His kids will need him more than ever, and he really should make himself available as much as humanly possible. For their sake. They will have already lost one parent to an untimely death; why should they lose their only other parent to the job?

For this reason, I believe stay-at home-Moms need tons of life insurance. With a sufficient amount of coverage in place, Dad could afford to work less and stay home more. He could take the time needed to lead his family through this tremendously difficult transition, into the next stage of their lives.

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

 

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

The Seven Don’ts of Buying Life Insurance

LifeInsurance

Believe it or not, buying life insurance can be a satisfying experience. Like anything else, you just need to know what you’re doing. A lot of it comes down to avoiding the pitfalls that give many people frustration and aggravation.

Over the course of my 25 years of experience, I have discovered seven don’ts of buying life insurance. By steering clear of these, I believe you can experience more satisfaction with your purchase.

1. Don’t kid yourself about the risks involved.

Yes, you may be healthy today and take the utmost caution in life. But the fact of the matter is, no one knows when his final day on earth will come. There are a multitude of threats beyond our control, such as undetected medical conditions, freak accidents, household fires, car crashes, and even terrorism.

While we can all improve our health to our best efforts, which can keep the cost of our life insurance down, don’t assume that a lower premium and higher level of health guarantees life longevity. If you are committed to securing the financial future of your loved ones, be it family or charity, then you have to admit that their future without you could very well start tomorrow. All the more reason to buy the life insurance today.

2. Don’t treat insurance like an investment – or a form of gambling.

People tend to lump all financial products together. Insurance, annuities, and investments may seem similar — especially when life insurance products build cash value and provide a benefit while the insured is still alive — but they aren’t.

Life insurance is not an investment. Investments are for you when you are alive. The longer you live, the more value that investment can attain. Life insurance is for your financial dependents when you die. The sooner you die, the more bang for your premium buck these beneficiaries receive.

It doesn’t make sense to say, “Well, I can take the same premium amount and invest it. With good returns I should be able to self-insure at some point in the near future.” That may benefit you, but it won’t help your beneficiaries should you die sooner than you hoped. Furthermore, what would happen if you fell ill, lost your job, or the market crashed? Your plan to self-insure may fall short and your dependents may end up without any security. This is called gambling with their financial future, not insuring it.

3. Don’t compare your insurance quotes to someone else’s.

Life insurance is likely the most comprehensively underwritten product in the financial marketplace. Many diverse factors are assessed for their impact on your mortality: age, gender, current health, medical history, family medical history, lifestyle, hobbies, job, drug use (current and past), financial history, criminal and driving record, foreign travel…you name it.

Insurance actuaries have compiled a nearly endless number of mortality statistics to help them set reasonable rates. Trends emerge that prove to be consistently true: women typically live longer than men, so they pay less. Smokers typically die sooner than non-smokers, so they pay more. You can have two people of the same gender, same exact date of birth, and same everything else, but if one has high blood pressure and the other one doesn’t, then their rates for life insurance may be different. It goes without saying that if the face amounts and guarantee periods of their policies are different, the rates will be different as well.

Additionally, you may not be aware of every factor that contributed to someone else’s premium. People disclose personal information when they apply for a policy. Many times, their spouse, children, and business partner don’t know the whole story. Friends and family are typically not in a position to really know how somebody else qualified for the rates they were given.

And finally, let’s suppose that you have been assessed an extra premium because of a higher risk, be it a medical condition or an adventurous hobby. Is it worthwhile knowing what the rate would be for somebody who didn’t have that extra risk? Could be – but only if that gives you something to shoot for by improving your health or dropping the hobby. For now, you have to bite the bullet and pay extra until you qualify for something lower.

4. Don’t let your doctor play insurance man.

Doctors are supposed to be in the business of healing, diagnosing, and treating medical conditions. A good doctor upholds the ethic of “do no harm,” and tries his best to abide by that. If a mistake is unfortunately made, or things just turn for the worse, he does his best to help the patient recover.

Either way, the doctor gets paid. That is the stark truth. Hopefully, the patient live a long, healthy life; but if tragically they do not, the doctor still bills the family and expects payment. The life insurance underwriter, on the other hand, often makes a much more critical assessment of your mortality and possible life longevity. The reason is very simple: he has to put his money where his mouth is. He has one shot – the time of your application – to determine what risk you represent to his company. Based on his assessment, his company could be liable for millions of dollars to your beneficiary, and that amount would have to be paid even after just one monthly premium was submitted.

Frankly, I have found many times that the mortality assessment of an underwriter has more credibility than the doctor’s prognosis. It is simply the business of the underwriter to be an expert in this matter. They don’t pretend to be doctors and they don’t give medical advice. Physicians should show the same professional courtesy. They shouldn’t pretend to be underwriters, and so they shouldn’t venture their opinion on whether or not their patients could qualify for coverage.

5. Don’t second-guess your advisor.

You hire professionals to do the things you don’t know how to do. They are experts in their field. That is why you hire accountants to do your taxes; lawyers to defend you in court; and doctors to treat your illnesses. Life insurance brokers are hired to get you the best value for your premium dollar. Our job is to get you the lowest cost, the biggest benefit, or the longest guarantee. You don’t pay us out of your pocket, but your premium includes our compensation.

Let us do our job. We make an upfront investment in you as our client. We don’t get paid until you are satisfied. We have a huge incentive to make sure you are happy now, and stay happy throughout the duration of your coverage. We don’t want to provoke restless nights, worrying that you have the wrong policy. If you have selected the right professional – an independent, life insurance specialist who prequalifies you before you submit a formal application – then you are in good hands.

6. Don’t expect the perfect product.

A life insurance policy is comprised of three main factors: face amount, premium, and guarantee period. In an ideal world, we would buy all the coverage we would ever need for as long as we would ever need it at a guaranteed rate. It would make sense to keep it in force for our entire life so we can be sure a claim will be filed and the benefit paid.

Many times, though, we cannot do that. There are often budgetary constraints and we don’t always know how much insurance we will need in the long-term. So what do we do? As with any case like this, we must set priorities.

There is no doubt that the number one priority is face amount. Make sure you have enough coverage in force today. This is simply because, as we said above, you simply do not know when a claim will have to be paid. Too often, people try to get a “good deal,” and skimp on the face amount in favor of a long-term guarantee. But if your family or business tragically loses you sooner than expected, your beneficiary will be short-changed. They would rather have the extra benefit than the longer guarantee. That’s why I tell clients that if your budget is forcing you to choose between $2 million of 10-year term insurance, and $1 million of 20-year term, for example, take the product with a higher face amount and the shorter guarantee period.

It is smart business sense to have a budget for any purchase. With such a constraint, it is often hard to get maximum coverage with the longest guarantee period. If you find yourself with this dilemma, then first look to alternative premium funding sources. You might be able to leverage, liquidate, reallocate, refinance, or use any of a number of other techniques to free up funds. If this is not possible, then shorten the guarantee period. Revise your financial planning to secure funds in the near future for additional coverage. There is nothing wrong with buying life insurance in stages – as long as you make sure you remain eligible for coverage.

7. Don’t put the investment cart before the insurance horse.

How do people get rich? Work hard, earn, borrow, invest, leverage, and provide greater value to bigger payers. How do they stay rich? Insurance.

Insurance prevents catastrophes from wiping out your riches. You could have a huge amount of savings and investments, but any number of manmade or natural disasters could clean them out. Even if you can afford to sustain the loss, why pay dollar for dollar to do so? Every dollar of life insurance benefit costs pennies. It’s smarter to let an insurance company take on the risk.

It makes sense to have a strong insurance portfolio in place to serve as the foundation of your financial portfolio, but which type of insurance policy is most important? It’s simple: the most important type of insurance is the one that protects you against the most likely risk: life insurance. You can buy medical insurance, but you may never get hurt or sick. You can buy disability insurance, but you may never lose your ability to work. You can buy auto insurance, but you may never have an accident. But you know with 100% certainty that you will die one day and that a claim will be filed on your life insurance policy. For this main reason, life insurance should be a top priority.

If you have questions about life insurance or would like a second opinion on a quote you have received, please call me (866) 633-1818 or send me an email at skobrin@stevenkobrin.com. I also encourage you to download my free Life Insurance Guide, which you can see in the above tab.

“Compare term life insurance rates at no cost from top rated companies in seconds.”
https://www.insurenowdirect.com/stevenkobrin/Default.aspx

About Steve

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

 

 

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

Recent posts, including “Can I Get Life Insurance On My Ex?”

recent-posts2Here are some of my recent posts on the topics of life and life insurance.
As you can imagine, these two topics are very intertwined.

Feel free to comment and pass on. Thank you!

 

“Can You Take Out Life Insurance On Anyone?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/can-you-take-out-life-insurance-on-anyone#comment-27317

“Should I pay my cryopreservation cash or via life insurance?”
http://www.quora.com/Should-I-pay-my-cryopreservation-cash-or-via-life-insurance/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

“What Is Key Employee Life Insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/what-is-key-employee-life-insurance#comment-27320

“My mother passed away recently, and I had nothing but a mortgage and $25,000 of life insurance. I’m a 20 year old with one more year of college left, and I have a stable job and I can support myself. What should I do?”
http://www.quora.com/My-mother-passed-away-recently-and-I-had-nothing-but-a-mortgage-and-25-000-of-life-insurance-Im-a-20-year-old-with-one-more-year-of-college-left-and-I-have-a-stable-job-and-I-can-support-myself-What-should-I-do/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

“What are the pros and cons of going to college?”
http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-going-to-college/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

“What Is An Endowment Plan In Life Insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/what-is-a-endowment-plan-in-life-insurance#comment-27337

“How do I deal with dishonest people who promise one thing to my face and do something completely different behind my back?”
http://www.quora.com/How-do-I-deal-with-dishonest-people-who-promise-one-thing-to-my-face-and-do-something-completely-different-behind-my-back/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

“How To Use Life Insurance For Estate Planning?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/how-to-use-life-insurance-for-estate-planning#comment-27339

“How Is AD&D Different From Life Insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/how-is-add-different-from-life-insurance#comment-27346

“Who Should Be Trustee Of Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/who-should-be-trustee-of-irrevocable-life-insurance-trust#comment-27361

“How Do You Renew Term Life Insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/how-do-you-renew-term-life-insurance#comment-27362

“Investment insurance: How can get insurance when I Invest in Startup?”
http://www.quora.com/Investment-insurance-How-can-get-insurance-when-I-Invest-in-Startup/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

“What can I do in the US, while still alive, to make sure that the life insurance company will not renege on payoff to my spouse?”
http://www.quora.com/What-can-I-do-in-the-US-while-still-alive-to-make-sure-that-the-life-insurance-company-will-not-renege-on-payoff-to-my-spouse/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

“Why Does Everyone Need Health Insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/health-insurance/why-does-everyone-need-health-insura

“Can I Get Life Insurance on My Ex?”

http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/can-i-get-life-insurance-on-my-ex#comment-27322

 

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.

Recent posts, including “What are the top 3 reasons people don’t have life insurance?”

recent-posts3Here are some of my recent posts on the topics of life and life insurance.
I feel strongly that the more people know about the product, the more comfortable they will feel buying it. Simple as that!
Feel free to share them.

“What is a dependent on life insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/what-is-a-dependent-on-life-insurance#comment-27304

“How relevant is “Think and Grow Rich” in 2014?”
http://www.quora.com/How-relevant-is-Think-and-Grow-Rich-in-2014/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

“Can I Get Whole Life Insurance If I Am A 24 Yr Old Felon Out On 1 Yr Probation?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/can-get-whole-life-insurance-24-yr-old-felon-1-yr-probation#comment-27293

“Can An 83 Year Old Get Life Insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/can-an-83-year-old-get-life-insurance#comment-27280

“What Is The Purpose Of Whole Life Insurance?”
http://www.insurancelibrary.com/life-insurance/what-is-the-purpose-of-whole-life-insurance#comment-27277

‘What are the top 3 reasons people don’t have life insurance?”
http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-top-3-reasons-people-dont-have-life-insurance/answer/Steve-Kobrin-1

 

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 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:
Kindness…
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 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?

Seriously.

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 Youngfinances.com.

“”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.
HOW WOULD I SPEND ONE BILLION DOLLARS?
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.

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.

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.

“One is the Loneliest Number…”

Marriage is tough. (This summer I will be married thirty years, and I still have to work hard at it. But, I will say it is getting easier). You can look at the divorce rate and see the huge amount of people that have great difficulty making it work. Regretfully, many people have had more marriages than they have had jobs or gym memberships.

Finances can make marriage double-tough. When money is on the line, you can see a person’s true colors. (There is an old Hebrew saying: you know what a person is really like when he handles his “kaso” – his anger; his “koso” – his alcohol; and his “kiso” – his money).

The topic of life insurance can make a discussion between spouses even harder. Who wants to talk about dying? Who wants to face their own mortality, or the mortality of a loved one upon whom you are dependent? People very frequently put up mental roadblocks when going down that road.

If you add to the mix a lack of connectedness, of not being on the same page with your spouse, then deciding to buy life insurance can be next to impossible.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to open the lines of communication with your spouse and agree to buy all the coverage you need. Once you get the life insurance out of the way, you can move on to the next hard decision. The key, according to Henry Grayson, Ph.D., is adopting spiritual practices to heal your relationship.

Dr. Grayson’s book, “Mindful Loving”, brings together truths found in the fields of psychology and physics with a variety of spiritual traditions. He provides ten practices which can be used for creating deeper connections with people. He helps people understand how we co-create the quality of our relationships, and that even our thoughts about people (let alone our actions) can on some level influence how those people act towards us.

“In ego-based thinking”, he says, “We tend to believe that other people are doing something to us, making us feel often like victims of other people’s influence; but the reality is that it is well within our power to create what we are looking for. And if what you want is a relationship that is happy, joyful, and peaceful, then all you have to do is shift your thinking accordingly.” (1)

It stands to reason, then, that when your husband digs in and wants to short-change you on the amount of coverage he wants to buy, or when your wife wants to settle for too little, then you should not let him or her become the “enemy” in your eyes. That will only generate resistance from them. Better to consider them an ally from whom you need to gain cooperation. From Dr. Grayson’s of view, that should get results because you are already connected – you just need to let your positive feelings toward one another reveal and celebrate that connection and help you become true partners.

(1) Henry Grayson Ph.D., Mindful Loving (New York, NY: Gotham Books, 2003) p.50

 

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.