PROTECTION & INSURANCE

Everyone protects the golden eggs; things like our home, car or jewelry.

Let us help you protect the golden goose; your income.

 

We all want to provide a measure of financial security for our families should an unforeseen event occur; We represent top tier, leading providers of a wide array of protection offerings such as:

DISABILITY INSURANCE

 

One of the most often overlooked risk protection measures in an insurance program is the income protection in the event of disability. The risk of disability is primarily associated with the loss of income, however; one must also consider the additional costs of caring for a severely disabled individual especially if they are the household's primary wage earner. In many households today, a serious financial hardship would likely occur if a disabling accident happened to the individual that provides the primary source of income.

Your income enables you to maintain and protect your family and your lifestyle to afford items such as your home, clothing, entertainment, vehicles, and pay your bills. What would some families do if their paychecks stopped tomorrow and didn't start up again for a whole year? What if this became several years? In some cases, social security may help provide some disability income, but many claims are denied by social security because applicants simply don't qualify.

DEFINITION
Under the social security definition, disability is a mental or physical impairment that prevents the worker from engaging in any substantial gainful employment. Such disability must have lasted for five months and be expected to last at least 12 months or result in the death of the worker. The worker is insured if they worked long enough and paid the applicable social security taxes, in addition the disability must qualify as "total disability".

Since government programs will only pay a small portion of your lost income, it is necessary for many workers to seek out individual disability policies to cover their own risk needs. These types of policies can now be obtained for those who are totally disabled and those partially disabled. For totally disabled policies, the insured must meet the definition of disability set forth in their policy. The definition of disability used by most insurance companies is one or a combination of own occupation or any occupation.

OWN OCCUPATION
Under "own occupation" disability, the insured is unable to work at his or her own occupation as a result of an accident or sickness. This type of policy is the most expensive and more difficult to qualify for. These types of policies are very popular with professionals that look to insure a skilled trade. For example, a heart surgeon many wish to obtain an own occupation disability policy in the event of loss of use of one or many of their fingers.

ANY OCCUPATION
The "any occupation" disability policy provides the inability to engage in any reasonable occupation for which you might be suited by education, experience training, or for which you could easily become qualified. These policies are less expensive and easier for most individuals to qualify for. From our previous example, a heart surgeon that loses use of a few of his or her fingers my no longer be able to perform the duties of a heart surgeon, but could most likely still consult in the medical profession or work in a family practice environment. This type of policy will only pay the income benefit, if gainful employment is prohibited.

HYBRID POLICIES
Many forms of disability policies are sold today with options that allow the insured to cross an "own" occupation with the "any" occupation features. A common example would be a policy issued with two years of own occupation, then the years to follow under any occupation. One reason policyholders may elect this feature is to lower policy premium costs to an affordable level.


Content Source: Disability Income Insurance http://www.investopedia.com/exam-guide/cfp/disability-insurance/default.asp#ixzz4kf4i67Lh
 

LIFE INSURANCE

 

DEFINITION

 

Life insurance is a protection against financial loss that would result from the premature death of an insured. The named beneficiary receives the proceeds and is thereby safeguarded from the financial impact of the death of the insured. The death benefit is paid by a life insurer in consideration for premium payments made by the insured.

 

 

BREAKING IT DOWN 

 

The goal of life insurance is to provide a measure of financial security for your family after you die. So, before purchasing a life insurance policy, consider your financial situation and the standard of living you want to maintain for your dependents or survivors. For example, who will be responsible for your funeral costs and final medical bills? Would your family have to relocate? Will there be adequate funds for future or ongoing expenses such as daycare, mortgage payments and college? It is prudent to re-evaluate your life insurance policies annually or when you experience a major life event like marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, or purchase of a major item such as a house or business.

 

How Life Insurance Works

 

Life insurance is a contract between an individual with an insurable interest and a life insurance company to transfer the financial risk of a premature death to the insurer in exchange for a specified amount of premium. The three main components of the life insurance contract are a death benefit, a premium payment and, in the case of permanent life insurance, a cash value account.

 

Death Benefit: The death benefit is the amount of money the insured’s beneficiaries will receive from the insurer upon the death of the insured. Although the death benefit amount is determined by the insured, the insurer must determine whether there is an insurable interest and whether the insured can qualify for the coverage based on its underwriting requirements.

 

Premium Payment: Using actuarially based statistics, the insurer determines the amount of premium it needs to cover mortality costs. Factors such as the insured’s age, personal and family medical history, and lifestyle are the main risk determinants. As long as the insured pays the premium as agreed, the insurer remains obligated to pay the death benefit. For term policies, the premium amount includes the cost of insurance. For permanent policies, the premium amount includes the cost of insurance plus an amount that is deposited to a cash value account.

 

Cash Value: Permanent life insurance includes a cash value component which serves two purposes. It is a savings account that allows the insured to accumulate capital that can become a living benefit. The capital accumulates on a tax-deferred basis and can be used for any purpose while the insured is alive. It is also used by the insurer to mitigate its risk. As the cash value accumulates, the amount the insurer is at risk for the entire death benefit decreases, which is how it is able to charge a fixed, level premium.

 

 

Content Source: Life Insurance http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/lifeinsurance.asp#ixzz4kf7gGhS8

PREMIUM FINANCING

Premium Financing is a unique solution to borrow funds to acquire a large death benefit life insurance policy to help meet our clients' liquidity needs for estate taxes. It allows high net-worth individuals to use an alternative method for paying premiums - rather than using current  cash flow or liquidating assets to pay premiums, clients may obtain the funds needed by borrowing from a third party lender. To learn more, download our brochure:

 

 

 

Premium Financing A Guide to Legacy Preservation.

 

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

 

DEFINITION 

Coverage that provides nursing-home care, home-health care, personal or adult day care for individuals above the age of 65 or with a chronic or disabling condition that needs constant supervision. LTC insurance offers more flexibility and options than many public assistance programs.

BREAKING IT DOWN

Long-term care is usually very expensive, which is why most people need insurance. For example, on average, nursing facilities providing skilled care charge $150 to $300 per day -more than $80,000 a year or more. Even custodial home care at three visits per week can cost more than $9,000 a year. Most LTC insurance policies will cover only a specific dollar amount for each day you spend in a nursing facility or for each home-care visit. Thus, when considering an LTC insurance policy, read the policies carefully and compare the benefits to determine which policy will best meet your own needs.

Most of us will buy health insurance and insurance for home, car and other property replacement. However, few people think to buy long-term care insurance, and assume that their savings will be sufficient to meet any associated expenses. In fact, long-term care can be very expensive and can deplete a lifetime of savings within a few years. In this article, we discuss some of the features of long-term care insurance, the benefits and the factors that may affect your choice of insurance provider.

Who Needs Long-Term Care
Long-term care is typically needed by the elderly, but it is also required by anyone with a debilitating illness or injury who needs assistance to perform everyday functions, such as feeding oneself, bathing and getting dressed.

Like other services covered by insurance, long-term care insurance must be purchased before the insured requires the services covered under the policy. This means that many individuals will purchase the policy and never benefit from it. The likelihood of this happening is greater among younger individuals, whose chances of requiring long-term care are lower. Consequently, some financial professionals recommend that only individuals closer to ages 50 to 65 purchase long-term care insurance, as these individuals are more likely to benefit from the purchase of a policy.

If you are employed, you may want to check with your employer regarding coverage, as most employers provide long-term care insurance for their employees, and some will even extend coverage to parents of their employees. If you are already covered under an employer-sponsored policy, then you may not need to purchase a separate policy until after you retire. (For more insight, see LTC Coverage Not A No-Brainer.)

Cost of Long-Term Care Insurance
The cost of long-term care insurance is usually determined by factors such as the type of policy, the age of the insured and the time period the policy covers. Naturally, policies that provide coverage for an unlimited period will cost more than policies that provide coverage for a limited period. Policies purchased at an early age are less costly than policies purchased later, because a younger person is more likely to pay premiums for a longer time. The cost of the policy may also be affected by the preferred location of the service - whether in-home, at a nursing home or at some other facility providing professional care - and whether the coverage is comprehensive or basic, as defined by the policy.

Things to Look for in a Long-Term Care Policy
When you purchase long-term care insurance, you must pay attention to what the policy covers. For instance, the definition of disability may differ among plans: it can vary from a condition that makes an individual unable to perform simple everyday functions, such as getting dressed, to certain medical problems as defined by the policy. Here are some other features you should consider before you choose your long-term care insurance:

  • Inflation protection
    Does the policy include an inflation protection feature? This ensures premiums do not increase, or at least limits the rate at which they do increase, even if the cost of long-term care increases.

  • Deductible
    Does the policy include a deductible, and if so, how does it define it? The definition of deductible may include dollar amounts and/or a period of coverage. For instance, the insured may be required to pay expenses out of his or her pocket for a certain number of days, as defined by the deductible.

  • Coverage
    Coverage is the amount of expenses covered by the policy. Some policies will pay up to a certain amount per day. This could affect the type of care you choose - whether in-home or at a professionally-run facility - and the care provider you choose, depending on their fees. Higher coverage usually means a higher premium. Whatever the costs involved, you need to be aware of coverage so that there are no surprises when you need the benefits.

  • Period of coverage
    A plan may limit coverage to a certain number of years. Additional coverage may require additional premiums.

Benefits of Purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance
If the need for long-term care arises and you don't have insurance, the associated costs may have to be paid out of personal savings or financed by loved ones. If you are unable to afford the cost of hiring care providers, family members may be required to assist you, which means they may have to take unpaid leave from work. By purchasing long-term care insurance, you help to ensure that any costs associated with your care are covered, thereby lessening the financial burden on yourself and your family.

Conclusion
It may be beneficial to purchase your long-term care insurance at an early age, as the premiums are usually lower for younger individuals. However, remember that long-term care insurance is not for everyone and is usually purchased by younger individuals only when they have a history of family illness that is covered under these policies. Bear in mind that coverage may be denied if the potential insured is already at a stage that requires long-term care.

For example, if someone already has Alzheimer's disease, he or she may no longer be eligible for long-term care insurance. Finally, remember that paying premiums is less costly than paying long-term expenses out of your pocket. Before purchasing a policy, be sure to compare rates, features and benefits offered by different insurance companies, independent brokers and so on. More importantly, consult with your estate or financial planner and/or attorney about the choices that are appropriate for you and your family.



Content Source: Long-Term Care Insurance: Who Needs It? http://www.investopedia.com/articles/04/062304.asp#ixzz4kf8tiCQ6
 

ANNUITIES

Do you ever lie awake at night, wondering what would happen if you were to outlive your retirement income? The thought of running out of money at a time in your life when you may be totally unable to replace it may be a major source of worry, especially if your nest egg is relatively small. Fortunately, you are not the first person to have this fear. And several decades ago, the life insurance industry decided to create a vehicle that helps to insure against this risk.

 

What Is an Annuity?

Conceptually speaking, annuities can be thought of as a reverse form of life insurance. Life insurance pays the insured upon death, while annuities pay annuitants while they are still living. The academic definition of an annuity is a promise by one party to make a series of payments of a specific value to another for a given period of time, or until a certain event occurs (such as the death of the person receiving the payments). As an actual investment, annuities are retirement vehicles by nature. Investopedia defines an annuity as "a financial product sold by financial institutions that is designed to accept and grow funds from an individual and then pay out a stream of payments to the individual at a later point in time."

 

Purpose of Annuities

Annuities were originally created by life insurance companies to insure against superannuation, or the risk of outliving one's income stream. Modern annuity products can also help to pay for such things as disability and long-term care, and they can also serve as tax shelters for wealthy individuals whose incomes are too high to allow them to save money in other retirement vehicles such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

The Phases of an Annuity Contract

The life of a modern annuity contract consists of three separate phases: accumulation, annuitization and payout. However, not all of these phases apply to all types of annuities. The specifics of each phase are broken down as follows:

 

Accumulation Phase – This is always the first phase in the life of any annuity contract. It is the period of growth for the annuity that begins after the initial payment is made. This phase will last until payments are scheduled to begin from the contract. In some cases, the investor continues to make regular additional payments into the annuity during this phase.

 

Annuitization Phase– Annuitization is really more of a definitive event rather than a phase; it represents the point when the insurance company must begin making payments back to the investor. In the case of a variable annuity, annuitization is also the process in which all accumulation units purchased in the contract are converted into annuity units for payout.

 

Payout Phase – The final phase of an annuity in which payments are made to the investor. This phase can be very brief or quite long, depending upon various factors including payout amount and the total accrued during the accumulation phase.

 

It should be noted that annuities will continue to grow even after the accumulation phase is over. Interest or market gains will continue to accumulate inside the contract during all three phases, regardless of whether the contract is fixed, indexed or variable. For example, an investor who makes an initial $100,000 deposit into a fixed annuity contract may continue to invest another $1,000 per month for the next 10 years. The contract will pay the investor a guaranteed rate on the initial deposit and all subsequent additions, both during the accumulation phase and after the contract annuitizes. The balance of funds remaining inside the contract will also continue to earn the guaranteed rate until payout is complete and the contract is depleted. However, not all annuities have an accumulation phase (see below).

 

Methods of Premium Payment

As mentioned in the previous section, there is more than one way to fund an annuity contract. Most annuity carriers offer products that can be funded in one or all of the following ways:

 

Single Premium – A single, lump-sum payment that fully funds the contract.

 

Fixed Premium – A systematic investment program that requires the contract owner to make equal payments of a specific dollar amount at regular intervals over a given period of time until the contract is fully funded.

 

Flexible Premium – An arrangement that largely permits owners to make premium payments whenever and however they choose, above a certain minimum amount. Owners of flexible premium contracts may still opt to make a systematic investment, but they are free to amend the terms of this program at any time, provided the contract has or will exceed the required minimum investment amount. They are also free to add other money at any time as well.

 

Methods of Payout

There are several different options that the owner/annuitant can choose from when deciding on the method of income payment. These are:Straight Life –The contract pays out to the annuitant as long as he or she lives, regardless of whether the contract value is exhausted or not. If the contract is worth $50,000 and pays out $1,000 a month, then the annuitant can expect to receive that amount every month for life, even if he or she ends up collecting several times the contract value over the remainder of his or her life. This example demonstrates the purpose that annuities were created for: once the contract has annuitized, then the amount of the contract becomes, for all practical purposes, irrelevant to the annuitant, and he or she can simply count on receiving a set monthly or yearly amount for life, no matter what. If there is any principal remaining upon the annuitant's death, however, it goes back to the insurance company that issued the contract. Usually, a straight life payout will be higher than any other payout option, but it also has the highest risk of forfeiture upon death.

 

Life Income With Refund (Or Cash Refund Annuity) - As the name implies, the annuitant receives income for life, but if there is any principal remaining upon death, it goes to the beneficiary instead of back to the insurance company. This removal of forfeiture found in straight-life payout options results in a lower initial actuarial payout to the annuitant.

 

Life Income With Period Certain –The annuitant receives income for life but is guaranteed a certain number of payments regardless of whether the annuitant lives that long. For example, if the period certain is twenty years, and the annuitant dies after thirteen years, the beneficiary will receive the last seven years of payments. Again, the initial payout is less than with a straight life contract.

 

Joint Life –This arrangement is just like straight life, except that there are two annuitants, and payments will only continue as long as both of them are living. Upon the death of either, payments will cease. (This option is very seldom selected, for obvious reasons.)

 

Joint Survivor Life (Or Joint And Survivor Annuity) - This is a much more popular option as payments will continue as long as both annuitants are living. Only upon the death of the second annuitant does the contract pass to the beneficiary.

 

Period Certain –This is probably the simplest of all options. Payments simply continue for a certain period of time, then stop, at which point the contract value is exhausted.

 

Joint Survivor Life With Period Certain –A combination of the Joint Life and Joint Survivor Life options. Payments continue until both annuitants are dead, at which time the beneficiary will receive the remainder of the contract if the death of the second annuitant transpired within the period certain.

 

Fixed Amount –Also a very simple method, the annuitant simply receives a fixed payment until the contract value is exhausted, regardless of when that will be. If the annuitant dies before the contract is depleted, the beneficiary receives the remainder.

 

Interest Income Only – The annuitant receives all or part of the interest or gain from the contract without depleting the principal. Technically, this isn't an annuity option, but merely a systematic withdrawal.

 

Annuitants seldom choose any kind of straight payment option that has no period certain, but many insurance companies offer flexible payout options that can change even after annuitization to allow contract holders a greater freedom in how they receive their income streams. Annuitization is also not always required; some owners opt never to annuitize their contracts in order to retain greater freedom over the distribution.

 

Timing of Payout

All annuities can be divided into one of the following two categories when it comes to timing of annuity distributions:

 

1. Immediate Annuities – These contracts do not have an accumulation phase before payout. As their name implies, immediate annuities begin making payments back to the owner as soon as the contract is in force.

 

2. Deferred Annuities – The principal invested in these contracts will grow for a set period of time until annuitization or systematic withdrawal.

 

To learn more,

Content Source: Introduction To Annuities: Basics of Annuities http://www.investopedia.com/university/annuities/annuities1.asp#ixzz4kft2of2Y

Content Source: Introduction To Annuities http://www.investopedia.com/university/annuities/#ixzz4kfsZanC1

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