Reading and Understanding Your Life Insurance Policy

Most people hate the thought of reading a life insurance policy (or any insurance policy, for that matter). However, if you can find the time and muster the patience, it’s probably a good idea to read through your policy. If you do, you’ll understand your policy better and gain an understanding of your rights and obligations under the contract.

The parts of a life insurance policy

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Scams are targeting our friends, parents, grandparents and clients

Publisher’s Clearing House Scams are targeting our older family members, clients and friends.

Quick PSA – A client and friend came to my office today, with a letter and a check from PCH, made payable to her, for $7600.

It looked legitimate, but was indeed a fraud.  After searching the internet and PCH’s own website and fraud page, I was able to advise her to shred the check and contact PCH immediately with details of the scam.  The letter is on PCH letterhead and informs the recipient that she has won, and this check is a prepayment of taxes.  The letter instructs her to call and talk about it, before depositing.  Thankfully, she came to me first, so that the scammers won’t have her phone number.  I wanted to share the link to PCH’s website.  This is so important for our parents, grandparents and older friends who come from the Publisher’s Clearing House generation and trust their name.

https://info.pch.com/fraud-protection-2/

Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life insurance has come a long way since the days when it was known as burial insurance and used mainly to pay for funeral expenses. Today, life insurance is a crucial part of many estate plans. You can use it to leave much-needed income to your survivors, provide for your children’s education, pay off your mortgage, and simplify the transfer of assets. Life insurance can also be used to replace wealth lost due to the expenses and taxes that may follow your death, and to make gifts to charity at relatively little cost to you.

To illustrate how life insurance can help you plan your estate wisely, let’s compare what happened upon the death of two friends: Frank, who bought life insurance, and Dave, who did not. (Please note that these illustrations are hypothetical.)

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Don’t Let Your Retirement Savings Goal Get You Down

As a retirement savings plan participant, you know that setting an accumulation goal is an important part of your overall strategy. In fact, over decades of conducting its annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has found that goal setting is a key factor influencing overall retirement confidence. But for many, a retirement savings goal that could reach as high as $1 million or more may seem like a daunting, even impossible mountain to climb. What if you’re contributing as much as you can to your retirement savings plan, and investing as aggressively as possible within your risk comfort zone, but still feel that you’ll never reach the summit?

 

As with many of life’s toughest challenges, it may help to focus a little less on the end result and more on the details that help refine your plan.1 Continue reading “Don’t Let Your Retirement Savings Goal Get You Down”

Planning for Retirement

I think it’s time to start planning for retirement. Where do I begin?

 

Answer:

 

Although most of us recognize the importance of sound retirement planning, few of us embrace the nitty-gritty work involved. With thousands of investment possibilities, complex rules governing retirement plans, and so on, most people don’t even know where to begin. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

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What to Keep, What to Shred

We often are asked the question of how long old paperwork, taxes and documents must be kept.   We are posting this just in time for our local clients and friends to take advantage of our annual shred week!

Permanent Records:

Personal papers such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, military documents, passports, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, insurance policies, veteran’s discharge papers, will, living wills, deeds and property titles and important contracts are PERMANENT records that should be kept indefinitely, preferably in a fire proof box. You will need them to re-establish your financial life in the event of fire, theft, or other disasters. Continue reading “What to Keep, What to Shred”

Message from Christine & Royal

Happy Spring!  Yes, it is here, and despite our ever-changing weather, we can be assured more sunny days are on the way. “Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”  What wonderful advice from Helen Keller, as we enter into the spring season. So, although we will still see some snow (shadows), we must keep our thoughts and faces pointed to the sun.

I don’t know about you, but our spring will be packed full.  Later this month, Christine has two business trips, one to St. Louis and the other to Chicago, where she will be meeting with other IPI advisors and sharing Best Practices.  Then in May, we have concerts, rugby games, recitals and finally, a High School Graduation!  In early June, our family will travel again to St. Louis, for the IPI Summer Conference.  In between that, we will host 25-50 ladies in our office during Downtown Neenah’s Ultimate Ladies day, which is always a fun event.

We will also be having our annual Shred Day, which for your benefit, we have extended into Shred Weeks, and we will have the shred bin here in the office from April 15 through the 26th, so feel free to stop by with your bags or boxes of old documents, and we will have the papers shredded on site, on the final day.

This first quarter has been a busy one for us, with tax preparation needs along with market research and planning.  Although the market has recovered well from its December correction, we still have a lot of data and economic signs to look to.  Many of the pundits are watching a global slowdown, with tariffs and China weighing on the market.  Then there is the Fed decision to not raise rates again, for now.  And yet, housing has gotten a boost with interest rates falling and house sales once again taking off.  What all this tells us is there are still good things among the noise. We will remember that we are long-term investors, set to weather the ups and downs, but as your advisory team, we will be watchful and recommended any changes, as we continue through the year.  Until then, keep your face to the sun, and come and see us anytime.

How can we save for retirement and our child’s college education at the same time?

 

Answer:  It’s seldom easy to achieve a balance between saving for your retirement and saving for the ever-increasing cost of a college education within your present income. Yet it’s imperative that you save for both at the same time. To postpone saving for your retirement means missing out on years of tax-deferred growth and playing a near-impossible game of catch-up. To postpone saving for college means possibly significant borrowing and years of student loan payments. In a perfect world, you want to contribute to each. But to accomplish both goals, you may need to compromise.

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Retirement Planning – Work with a Professional

Retirement Planning: The Basics

You may have a very idealistic vision of retirement — doing all of the things that you never seem to have time to do now. But how do you pursue that vision? Social Security may be around when you retire, but the benefit that you get from Uncle Sam may not provide enough income for your retirement years. To make matters worse, few employers today offer a traditional company pension plan that guarantees you a specific income at retirement. On top of that, people are living longer and must find ways to fund those additional years of retirement. Such eye-opening facts mean that today, sound retirement planning is critical.

But there’s good news: Retirement planning is easier than it used to be, thanks to the many tools and resources available. Here are some basic steps to get you started.

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