AccuQuote Blog

Our life insurance blog is dedicated to providing you with valuable information from experts on the topics of insurance, financial planning and personal finance.

If You Don’t Think You Need Long Term Care Insurance, Think Again

Unless you are really, really broke or really, really rich, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll need some sort of long term care (LTC).  If you’re extremely wealthy or dirt poor, go ahead and abandon this blog post (but come back in a week or so for the next one!).

But for those who fall in the very large middle of those two categories—that’s almost everyone, by the way—you’ll want to keep reading.

Who needs long term care?

The short answer to this question is most of us.

No one wants to think about getting old, wearing diapers, and not being able to go through life without assistance.  But this stuff really happens!  And if you’re one of the vast majority of us that ends up needing care, a long term care policy will turn out to be the smartest investment you ever make.

Let’s see how well you do on the following quiz question:

The odds that either you or your spouse will need long term care are:

a)    25%

b)    47%

c)     61%

d)    91%

Answer:  There’s a 91 percent chance that either you or your spouse will need long term care.  Let that sink in for a second.

When that happens, if you don’t have long term care insurance, you may end up looking to others (probably your kids) to cover the cost of care.  This is, of course, after you’ve depleted your entire life savings. 

What will happen if you don’t buy LTC insurance?

As I mentioned to Rodney Brooks in USA Today, a few years of paying for care can ruin you financially.  So before you dismiss LTC insurance as a non-essential or luxury, ask yourself how much of a burden you plan on being on your family. 

So what’s the bottom line?

70 percent of those over 65 years of age will need LTC.  Sure, you could wind up in the 30 percent group that doesn’t need it, but do you really want to take that chance?  Can you afford to take that chance? 

The cost of a live-in caregiver may add up to $1,200 a week, plus meals.  An assisted living facility costs about $3,000 a month.

Here are some more numbers to think about (I know about this stuff FIRST HAND):  both of my parents (Mom is 81, Dad is 84) are currently receiving long term care.  Dad is at home with live-in care -- $200 a day.  Mom was recently in a nursing home – over $300 a day.  Do the math.  That’s $180,000 A YEAR for the two of them. 

I think you’ll agree…Those costs are staggering.  And the costs are going up every year. 

If you have a mattress full of cash or your kids are rich, you’ll probably be OK.  But if not, you might die broke.  My parents probably will.

Fill out a long term care insurance quote request and find out just how affordable LTC insurance can be for you.

 

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Posted in Accidental Death Insurance , Long Term Care Insurance | No Comments »

In My World, EVERY Month Is Life Insurance Awareness Month

According to Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures and a great resource for information, September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.  It’s nice to raise awareness for the most important product mankind ever invented (if you disagree and want to debate this, email me at ByronUdell@accuquote.com!), but the fact is if we are only thinking about life insurance one month out of every year, we’re in trouble.

I find the best way to explain the value and importance of life insurance is through simple questions, simple answers, and undeniable facts. 

For example, you’re going to die WITH life insurance or WITHOUT life insurance; that’s a FACT.  It’s up to you to decide in which category you’ll end up.  And for those who die with it, there’s never any regret.  We receive hundreds of death claims each year, and I’ve never heard someone say, “Byron, my husband bought way too much life insurance; what am I going to do with all this money?”

Are you starting to understand just how important this stuff is?  Let these questions help you:

Q: What are the odds of dying?

A: 1 out of 1 (that’s 100%).  Yes, it’s sort of a trick question, but before you dismiss it as a sarcastic statistic, know this: the odds of your house burning down are 1 out of 1200—and almost everyone has homeowner’s insurance!

Q: When you die, how long do you plan to be dead?

A: Forever.  Yes, it’s another trick question, but it’s a simple one with only one correct answer.  I realize no one gets excited about life insurance, paying premiums, and coming to grips with the fact that you’re going to die.  But that day will come.  And when it does, will your family have enough money to pay for your funeral, monthly rent or mortgage, food, tuition, clothes, medical expenses, car payments, utilities …?

My friend Ric Edelman had me on his nationally syndicated radio show a couple weeks ago for Life Insurance Awareness Month.  Listen to me talk about life insurance and long term care insurance (I’m on for about the first half hour) here.  Ric heads up Edelman Financial Services, which is a partner of AccuQuote.  I love going on Ric’s show—he’s great and a forum like that only helps get the word out about life insurance—but let’s not for a second think that we should be paying attention to life insurance more during September versus other months.

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Posted in Financial Planning , Life Insurance , Term Life Insurance | No Comments »

A Baby Boomer’s Education about Baby Boomers

In the back to school swirl that we’re in, I thought I’d teach the readers of this blog about a group I’m very familiar with: Baby Boomers.  How familiar?  Well, I am one!  At 56, I’m a full fledge Boomer! 

Many people don’t even know what defines a Boomer, how large a group we are, or what we’re all about.  Well, let’s change that. Here’s a quick education on my people (stats courtesy of CNN.com)

- Baby Boomers are defined as those born between 1946, the end of World War II, and 1964 (I came into this world in 1958!)

- There are currently about 77 million Boomers in this country

- As of July 2011, Boomers make up approximately 25% of the total U.S. population; we’re a force to be reckoned with!

- 10,000 Boomers turn 65 per day (Happy birthday to my Boomer brothers and sisters!)

- Baby Boomers want to take control, as that’s the way they’ve lived their whole lives (I should know—remember, I am one!); when it comes to planning and fulfilling and PAYING FOR their end-of-life wishes, us Boomers naturally want to control that as well! 

That last point brings me to a new joint venture AccuQuote just launched.  eMorials is a new initiative (www.eMorials.com) that takes us Boomers through the process of defining – and paying for – their end-of-life wishes.  After logging in at the site, visitors can specify if they want burial or cremation, how they wish their final service, memorial and/or family gathering to be conducted, and any other details they can thinkof (you’ve probably seen news about creative requests – like having your ashes spread in a sports stadium or a celebration with only music handpicked by the deceased).  Younger and older adults can also create a free account at eMorials.com.

AccuQuote comes in when site users want to pay for their plans through final expense insurance.  You can request that someone from AccuQuote contact you about funding your plan right there on emorialplanner.com.  And remember, we can get you a final expense policy QUICKLY and EASILY! 

Follow eMorials on Twitter here and on Facebook here.  And of course, go to the site and check it out.

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Posted in AccuQuote News , Insurance Industry News , Life Insurance | No Comments »

Life Insurance 101

Life Insurance 101

August is here, and while I only have one kid left in college, it seems all everyone wants to talk about this month is going back to school.  With that in mind, here’s a quick life insurance education.  Additionally, below I dispel some myths and confirm some facts about the most important product mankind ever invented (that’s right—what else allows you to replace your income for pennies on the dollar AND protect your family!?!  The wheel was a pretty valuable invention, so I’d listen to an argument for that).

Group life insurance through your employer is sufficient

Fiction. While the rates are low, the coverage you receive through work is rarely enough. Most companies will not provide enough to care for your family in the event you die. Plus, that coverage is not portable, meaning it’s gone if you no longer work for that organization.  Check with your employer about how much coverage you have, and then you’ll quickly realize how much you need more.

You only need life insurance if you’re married with children

Fiction. If you have anyone depending on you financially, you need life insurance.  In other words, if you died tomorrow, would anyone close to you be affected by the loss of your income?  A customized life insurance solution is available for whatever stage of life you’re in—single, married, retired, married with children, stay-at-home parent, etc.

If you’re a beneficiary and a death claim is filed, the money you receive is tax free

Fact. In almost all situations, the death benefit money you collect is free of federal income taxes.

You always have to take a medical exam if you want life insurance

Fiction. While you must take an exam for traditionally underwritten term and permanent policies, there is coverage you can obtain without having to take a medical exam.  Final expense whole life insurance is often available through a simplified process, and in some instances with guaranteed approval regardless of health factors.  Term and universal life coverage also comes in the form of simplified issue policies, which offer $250,000 in protection quickly without an exam.

Life insurance is too expensive

Fiction!  Here’s where people really get it wrong.  Life insurance is one of the few products that is significantly less expensive now than it was 20 years ago (it’s pretty hard to come up with others – cars cost more, electronics and technology cost more, houses and real estate are more expensive).  But the statistics really tell the story; a recent LIMRA/Life Happens study showed that consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance by nearly three-fold.  That means you probably think life insurance costs WAY MORE THAN IT DOES!  This one belongs in the FICTION section!

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Posted in Insurance , Life Insurance | No Comments »

Freedom On My Mind

Even though the Fourth of July is in our rear view mirror, I’m still thinking about freedom.

Believe it or not, life insurance and freedom are related.  When you or your family receives a death benefit, that money for the most part is delivered tax free.  When you know your family is protected, you are free from the heavy burden that comes with NOT having life insurance.  When you decide to do the right thing and get a quote, it’s FREE and takes only 5 minutes.

You’re probably thinking, I’m healthy, I’m (sort of) young, I’m not going to die.  And you’re probably right – that is, chances are you won’t die tomorrow.  But you will die.  I can guarantee it.  I’ve been in this business for almost 30 years, and I’ve met plenty of people who said they’d “get to life insurance later” or they “didn’t have time right now” to think about life insurance.  And I’ve seen cases where a person continues to put it off only to unexpectedly die.  This stuff really happens.

Let’s be frank -- no one gets excited about buying life insurance… paying premiums… and coming to grips with the fact that you’re going to die.  But that day will come.  And when it does, will your family have enough money to pay for your funeral, monthly rent or mortgage payments, food, tuition, clothes, medical expenses, car payments and utilities?  Will the people you love most still have the freedom to live life the way you want them to?

You can either die with life insurance or without it.

But ask yourself this before going another day without coverage (or without enough coverage):  Can you fathom a scenario where you’d be better off dying WITHOUT life insurance?

If YOU don’t do something, WHO WILL?  If not NOW, when?

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Posted in Accidental Death Insurance , Term Life Insurance | No Comments »