Insurance Topics

There are many insurance products available on the market today - life insurance, disability insurance, supplemental insurance, and health insurance to name the more common ones.  Each of these has its advantages and applications.  Here are some interesting and informative articles about these and other insurance plans available in the marketplace today.  As always, if you have any questions about any of these or another type of insurance plan, give us a call and we'll help you find the answers to your questions.

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The value of purchasing life insurance for a child is often a topic of debate and one that we help our clients evaluate on a regular basis.

The first thing we take care to point out is that statistically speaking, the odds of a juvenile dying are very slim. The next thing we establish is whether the parent has all of the other fundamental measures in place to best protect their children against greater risks.gbia juvenilelifeinsurance

From a prudent investment perspective, it makes sense to ensure parents have adequate emergency savings in place, evaluate whether the parents carry adequate insurance coverage for themselves and that funding to their retirement and child's college savings is appropriate. If these financial planning basics have been met, we take a closer look at the benefits of purchasing life insurance for a child.

In some cases, it may be best to add the child's coverage as a rider on the parent's policy, but one of the main reasons it might make sense to consider purchasing permanent life insurance for your child is to protect their future insurability. When considering a whole life insurance policy for a child, these are among the other benefits to consider:

  • Premiums on children's whole life insurance are typically very affordable.
  • There are few health questions and no medical examination is required.
  • Rates never increase with age and the face amount may be increased in the future without evidence of insurability, guaranteeing the option to buy additional coverage, even as an adult, regardless of health
  • Benefits never decrease.
  • The policy accumulates a tax-deferred cash value over time.
  • Loans available from the cash value, which provides another funding avenue to consider in comparison to private student loan interest rates when the child reaches college age.

These policies are commonly purchased as a "gift" by parents, grandparents, or god parents, as the owner until the child reaches the minimum age of 18. To the adult child, this gift not only has the accumulated value, but the value of an established or "locked-in" premium for life. When ownership is reassigned to the adult child, they can choose to cash in the policy for its accumulated cash value or assume payment of the premiums to retain the policy at the original rates until they reach a maximum age of 121.

Great Bay Insurance Agency often utilised the Mutual of Omaha Children's Whole Life Insurance and Gerber Life products for our clients. To better understand whether a juvenile life insurance makes sense for you and your family; please contact us for a consultation at 603.743.4247.

It costs nothing for a conversation.

Your Great Bay Insurance Agent,

Sandy Salava

Let's Talk!

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No matter what age you are, it is important to have a financial plan and to revisit it at least once a year. With the coming of fall, we tend to turn our attention back to all of the things we put off during the care free days of summer. When it comes to financial planning, we find that procrastination is otherwise usually driven by four things: age, time, budget or uncertainties.pablo 66

At Great Bay Insurance Agency, we offer a free consultation and work one-on-one with you to evaluate your needs. A consultation with our agent is an opportunity to set aside some time to share concerns, get answers to your questions and come away with the expert advice you need to make informed decisions. Now is the perfect time to review your goals, refine your plan or establish a plan to put your best financial foot forward in the New Year.

What do I get from a consultation?
We have a due diligence process that is designed to identify your goals and needs, as well as your financial ability to fund them. In the industry, this is called a comprehensive financial needs analysis. Sounds a little invasive, right? Really, it is a conversation where we'll talk about your age, sources and amounts of income, family, obligations, current investments, and existing insurance coverage. We'll also talk about your attitude toward risk in life and finances, your tolerance for risk, and your capacity to adapt to changes in financial circumstances. Based on our conversation and our professional evaluation of your needs, we can help you determine how much and what kind of insurance is right for you, given your budget.

Think you can't afford life insurance?

Your personal scenario will define our recommendations and the cost of your coverage. We offer a multitude of products for every budget and many customization options to tailor a proposal for your consideration. We work with clients on reviewing their budget to help them prioritize discretionary expenses to reach their objectives. The security you want might be hiding in your daily grande! What is important to understand is our professional consultation is available to you at no cost, and you're under no obligation, so you have everything to gain by becoming more educated from this process.

What does life insurance mean at my age?

Most people purchase life insurance primarily for the death benefit, but there are also living benefits with whole life insurance that can play a significant role in your financial blueprint

Ages 23-30 You are young, unmarried, with no dependents, a solid member of the work force, still in graduate school, or both - with little discretionary income. Perhaps you think are too young to need life insurance or have too few assets accumulated to need a financial plan. These are exactly the reasons why you should consider life insurance now. Did you know? Should you pass away without life insurance, the co-signer on your private loans is legally responsible for your debt and the full balance is usually due immediately. Assuming you are in good health, buying a life insurance policy at a young age can mean more favorable rates. With a whole life insurance policy, you can protect your loved ones and accumulate a cash value over time to help pay one day for a wedding, buying your first home, or funding future education expenses.

Ages 31-50 At this stage, time seems to move more quickly. You are likely well-established in your career, married, with a mortgage and a growing family. The ideas you had about how your life would progress may have turned out to be very different and chances are you have been busy just rolling with the changes. Perhaps the children came more quickly than you planned, or you started your own business, and you might have even experienced some major life changes like divorce along the way. All of these changes warrant reconsidering your life insurance coverage to be sure it is adequate and update your beneficiaries.

Ages 50+ By now, the kids are ready for or have left for college, you may be considering downsizing your home, preparing for retirement or enjoying the golden years. All of these changes are significant to your financial objectives and if you haven't revised your strategy from building to protecting your income, now is the time to start.

Life is busy.

We understand, and we're here to meet with you at your convenience to develop your plan or review your objectives. Revisiting your financial plan and insurance coverage is recommended on an annual basis. Call us at 603.743.4247 to schedule your free consultation. It costs nothing to have a conversation 

Your Great Bay Insurance Agent,

sanford salava 

Sandy Salava

Let's Talk!

Are you considering a Partnership or are you partial owner in a business without a buy-sell agreement?

Too often, getting a new business up and running and then keeping up with what it takes to operate the business, can cause partners to put a buy-sell agreement on the back burner. Don’t assume there will be time to get formalities in place. Life is unpredictable and a buy-sell agreement may be the most important contingency plan you put off.

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A key takeaway from the 2014 FPA/CNBC Small Business Financial Planning Survey found that most business owners are too focused on their businesses to plan for their own financial future. The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Financial Planning Association, sampled 178 financial advisors nationwide that service small-business clients ages 35-70. With less than 30% of clients having a written succession plan, financial planners found developing a retirement plan and exit strategy is the most pressing financial challenge facing small business owners.

With a partnership, the complexities are multiplied. Have you considered:

What will happen if you or one of you partners can no longer contribute to the business?
How will my portion of business ownership be valued?
How will ownership, control and finances of the business be sorted out?
How are my family members equipped to replace me in a role as successor or negotiate a buy-out of my ownership in the business?

If you have come this far, and your business is viable and successful, don’t jeopardize all of your hard work, your investment, your family or your partners by failing to plan ahead.

In its most basic form, a buy-sell agreement can pre-determine terms and an agreed value among partners for the transfer of the business as well as facilitate funding for the purchase of the business if one of the partners becomes disabled or dies.

At Great Bay Insurance Agency, we work with businesses to help them form a succession strategy. Looking at how your business plays a role in funding your retirement is part of the longer term strategy, but quite often, it is imperative to address the more immediate need of establishing a buy-sell agreement. Any type of business can benefit from a buy-sell agreement, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and closely-held corporations.

We offer many different Life Insurance options to fund these agreements and the structure of your business may shape the arrangement. With up to two partners or owners, a “cross-purchase,” where each owner holds a life insurance policy on the other owner, is most common. With more than two partners or owners, an “entity purchase” might be arranged, where the business or entity holds separate life insurance policies on each of the partners or owners.

There are additional avenues to structure these agreements, but the primary benefits of using life insurance to fund a buy-sell agreement serve to:
- Allow you to play a role in establishing the agreed purchase price of your interest in the business in event of your death. The life insurance policy value can be changed as the business value changes.
- Provide your partners with liquidity from death benefits to buy out your share of the business from your spouse or other estate beneficiary, to minimize losses to the business.
- Generate cash from the purchase to provide for your family or survivors in your absence.
- During the life of the agreement, you may also find your business benefits from a more favorable credit rating with reduced credit risk by having such contingencies in place.

For a personalized evaluation of your business succession strategy and insurance needs for funding a buy-sell agreement, please contact me for a free and confidential consultation. It costs nothing but time well spent to have a conversation. Call me at 603.743.4247 to schedule your appointment today. Let’s Talk!

Your Great Bay Insurance Agent,

Sandy Salava

Much has changed even over the last 20-30 years in lifestyles, the workplace, family dynamics, healthcare, retirement, and employee benefits.

The insurance industry has worked to keep pace with the new norms, and in recent years, Indexed Universal Life (IUL) has been the fastest-growing life insurance product on the market.

Indexed Universal Life is flexible premium universal life insurance. It's an attractive solution for many people because an IUL policy provides life insurance protection for a lifetime, plus tax-advantaged cash value growth that you can access throughout your life. The flexible premium option allows you to adjust for budget variations throughout life, or to pay a fixed, consistent amount.
When life's circumstances change, as they almost certainly do, you can also change the policy death benefit amount to align with your current needs.

With Indexed Universal Life, indexed accounts make up all or part of the cash value where interest crediting is tied to the performance of a stock or bond index.

At Great Bay Insurance Agency now we are offering our clients a brand new innovative option in the IUL category:

Balanced Growth Advantage

Unlike traditional IUL policies that only provide interest credit up to a cap, Balanced Growth Advantage offers clients uncapped interest crediting potential, and a floor to protect against negative earnings. Clients can choose from a fixed account with a guaranteed minimum interest credit of 2%, from four indexed account options, or any combination of these options. According to FDIC published Weekly National Rates and Rate Caps as of July 18, 2016, the average bank savings account is paying just 0.06% APY, so a guaranteed 2% minimum interest credit is likely much better than what you can earn at your local bank. GBIA BGA2

In addition to the comepetitve interest crediting options and protection available with Balanced Growth Advantage, you can access your accumulated funds for supplemental retirement income, college tuition, a new home or other goals.

Loans allow you to borrow money on a tax-free basis by utilizing your cash accumulation. This option is available at any time after the first policy year – even before age 59½. Balanced Growth Advantage offers fixed and variable loan interest options that may be more competitive than those offered by traditional lending institutions. While partial surrenders will reduce the policy’s accumulation value as well as the death benefit, this is an option to withdraw money from the policy tax-free, based on the amount of premiums paid. In addition, there are additional options available to tailor your Balanced Growth Advantage policy.

This article is intended to provide an overview of the Balanced Growth Advantage Universal Indexed Life product. Click here to download the complete consumer brochure.

For a personalized presentation based on your individual circumstances and selections, please contact me for a free consultation and proposal with a complete explanation of terms associated with your indivdual policy.

Your Great Bay Insurance Agent,

Sandy Salava

 

Disability insurance is most often overlooked as unnecessary - most people think they don't need it. Statistics suggest you should reconsider, especially if your employer picks up the tab for the coverage. However, as an employer sponsored benefit, we are seeing a decline in disability insurance offerings.

According to the Employers Association of the Northeast Health Insurance and Benefits annual survey, employers offering long-term disability insurance to their employees dropped from 83.5% in 2013, to 74.2% in 2015.

Disability insurance policies cover loss of income while one is unable to work due to illness or injury. The portion of income replaced by disability insurance will vary bybroken leg cast disability policy and/or provider, as does the length of coverage under a short term policy and a long term policy. Short term coverage typically lasts between 3-6 months and long term policies typically cover disability lasting six months or more.

Imagine four workers in their early twenties standing shoulder, with at least 46 years ahead of them until retirement. Now, imagine that one of them will not reach retirement without becoming disabled. This is the reality based on statistics from the Social Security Administration.

Are you well beyond your twenties and thinking your chances are reduced? Sorry, think again. The Insurance Information Institute reports that 43% of all people age 40+ will have a long-term (lasting 90 days or more) disability event by age 65.

Let's look at some other statistics from the Council for Disability Awareness:

  • Less than 5% of disabling accidents and illnesses are work related. The other 95% are not, meaning Workers' Compensation doesn't cover them.
  • Approximately 90% of disabilities are caused by illnesses rather than accidents.
  • 65% of working Americans say they could not cover normal living expenses even for a year if their employment income was lost; 38% could not pay their bills for more than 3 months. 
  • Medical problems contributed to 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007, a 50% increase since 2001.

Yet, 69% of workers in the private sector have no private long-term disability insurance.

If you are lucky enough to enroll in employer sponsored coverage, perhaps these statistics will help you with your decision. If your employer is among those who do not offer disability coverage, or even more important, if you are self-employed, you have the option to purchase private disability insurance.

Consumer Reports discusses the benefits further in the 2015 article, Disability Insurance Can Protect Your Income in a Health Crisis.

For a personalized risk of disability assessment, to calculate your own Personal Disability Quotient (PDQ), go to: www.whatsmypdq.org.

At Great Bay Insurance Agency, we offer short-term and long-term disability insurance solutions from a number of providers. Our agents are experienced with helping our clients determine their coverage needs to provide suitable options within their budget. Call us today for a free consultation at 603.743.4247.

According to a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center, families are taking the lead role as caregivers for aging adults who need help handling their affairs or caring for themselves.

The study finds, most adults with at least one living parent age 65 or older in the US, say their parents can handle their affairs and care for themselves, but some say their parents need help. When this responsibility is with you and/or your siblings, there is much to consider.caregiver aging parent

As caregivers, our focus tends to be centered on simply meeting day-to-day needs, but what about longer term needs? Have you talked with your parents about their wishes and how their current assets will cover funeral expenses?

A conversation about planning and paying for final expenses is not one that any of us want to face. The fact of the matter is, postponing the discussion can mean dealing with financial issues in the midst of a crisis or time of grieving. Quite often, in home care support or nursing home costs can quickly drain savings and investments. If your parent does not have life insurance and the costs of care have eaten up available monies, you and your siblings may be burdened with covering unexpected funeral costs.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, in 2014 the Median Cost of a Funeral With Viewing and Burial was $7,181, up 28.6% since 2004. Did you know? Social Security pays only a special lump-sum death payment of $255 to a surviving spouse or child, if they meet certain requirements. Get the facts on The Official Social Security Administration website

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to assist with planning and paying for these expenses, you can start by becoming more informed. The Federal Trade Commission maintains a consumer series of articles on "Shopping for Funeral Services" to help you get started.

At Great Bay Insurance Agency, our experienced agents are familiar with this process and we work with families to help them evaluate their needs. We are able to match those needs to insurance solutions to provide appropriate coverage for your specific family situation. One option is to use a Whole Life Insurance Policy to cover the cost of a funeral and associated expenses. 

Making monthly payments on a whole life policy is often a more manageable alternative to paying a lump sum up-front, or during a time of grieving, directly to the funeral home. We have also seen families get creative with cost sharing, facilitated by transfers to a joint bank account, where each sibling automatically deposits a share of the cost from their personal account, and then the premiums are automatically withdrawn from the joint account. 

Regardelss of health or age, with guaranteed issue, graded benefit products, coverage is accessible for everyone. This type of policy usually pays out a limited death benefit during the first few years, and typically requires somewhat higher premiums than a standard policy. However, these policies can be a solution for people that might have a hard time getting other types of life insurance and for those who do not want to take a medical exam or answer health questions.

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The time to find out about your options is now. Let us help you determine the best solution for you and your loved ones. Call us at 603.743.4247. We'll arrange to meet at your home, office or wherever is most convenient for you or your family.

With each purchased final expense policy, our clients receive a free copy of our Lifetime Family Planning Workbook, a personal guide built on our 30 years' experience, to document wishes, account data and key information for making the eventual, final transition of a loved one just a bit less difficult. Client feedback tells us, our workbook serves as a valuable tool to facilitate conversations and help families better cope during this challenging process.