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.

The SECRET of How to Win the Game of Life...Insurance (Part 1)

By Byron Udell

 

This post is way overdue.  The message of “how to win the game of life insurance” is too important to just begetting to it now (I talk about it ALL the time; just haven’t blogged about it until now).  But better late than never, especially when it comes to life insurance.

I’m going totell you a secret—a secret that I’m sure life insurance companies don’t want you to know.

While life insurance is not a game, many companies approach it this way, relying on strategy and statistics.

Unfortunately, most people LOSE this game of life insurance …and the life insurance companies need to keep it this way.

But I want my customers to win the game of life insurance, which brings me to the “secret.”

The “secret” isn’t about how much you pay, or what kind of life insurance you buy, or who you buy it from.  And the secret, which you’ll realize is so obvious once you hear it, can work with all kinds of insurance – term, whole life, universal life, or any other kind of life insurance.

I should probably first explain what I mean when I say “win the game of life insurance.”  It means that YOU—the consumer—comes out ahead and the life insurance company doesn’t.  In other words, you end up MAKING money when it’s all said and done instead of losing it.

Now, on to the secret …

DIE WITH YOUR POLICY IN FORCE!

That’s it, just die with your policy in force and you’ll win the game.  Sounds easy and obvious, right?

But trust me; there are SO many people who LOSE the game of life insurance.

Why do so many lose the game?!?  Check back for Part 2 and you’ll find out.  Learning how to win the game of life insurance is that important—I’ve just scratched the surface!

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The Health Insurance Problem in this Country is Getting Better, but it’s Still a Problem

By Byron Udell

 

Open enrollment for health coverage ends on Sunday.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how our country is faring when it comes to health insurance.

According to statistics recorded by Gallup.com, 14.6% of American’s didn’t have health insurance back in 2008. Now, 7 years later, the number of Americans who don’t have health insurance has dropped to 12.9%. That means 87.1% of all Americans are now covered by some type of health insurance.

Things have improved, that’s obvious.  But there are still plenty without coverage (the percentage isn’t as large as it is for life insurance, but it’s still concerning).

Medical expenses in the U.S. are the highest compared to any other country, so having coverage helps you avoid huge bills.  Like life insurance, health insurance gives you peace of mind.  If you get sick or hurt, your savings won’t be drained.  

Having health insurance also encourages people to go visit the doctor at the first sign of trouble.  This means early detection of potential problems.

The scope of coverage is massive, too.  Depending on the finer points in your health insurance policy, you might be covered for any or all of the following:  outpatient care, emergency room treatment, hospital visits, prenatal and post pregnancy care, mental health support, counselling, prescription drugs, disability care, physical or occupational therapy, speech and language pathology services, psychiatric rehab, lab tests and even paediatric care.  

Why wouldn’t you get health insurance after seeing just how much it brings to the table? 

Lastly, having health insurance means you won’t have to pay a tax penalty at the end of the year.  

Learn more about AccuQuote’s health insurance offerings here

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The 3 Words That Can Help Everyone

By Byron Udell

 

Read.  More.  Books.

Simple enough, right?

I don’t mention books much in this blog because most of the books I enjoy and think are useful are not about life insurance. But make no mistake, I’m an avid reader.  I usually have at least two books in play at once. 

We can learn so much from books—about leadership, business, what works, what doesn’t. If you read the profile on me in the Chicago Tribune, you’ll see what I’ve read recently and some of my favorite books. I’ve been passionate about books my whole life. 

The following is an excerpt from the Jim Rohn Weekly Newsletter. Jim Rohn died in 2009, but left us a legacy of his words. In my mind, he’s in the self-improvement genre hall of fame, right next to Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Dale Carnegie, and many more. Below are Jim’s exact words from his newsletter article titled appropriately, “Read More Books.”

All of the books we will ever need to make us as rich, as healthy, as happy, as powerful, as sophisticated and as successful as we want to be have already been written.

People from all walks of life, people with some of the most incredible life experiences, people that have gone from pennies to fortune and from failure to success have taken the time to write down their experiences so that we might share in their wealth of knowledge. They have offered their wisdom so that we can be inspired by it and instructed by it and so that we can amend our philosophy by it. Their contributions enable us to reset our sail based upon their experiences. They have handed us the gift of their insights so that we can change our plans, if need be, in order to avoid their errors. We can rearrange our lives based on their wise advice.

The important question is this: In the last 90 days, with this treasure of information that could change our lives, our fortunes, our relationships, our health, our children and our careers for the better, how many books have we read?

Why do we neglect to read the books that can change our lives? Why do we complain but remain the same? Why do so many of us curse the effect but nourish the cause? Those who wish for a better life cannot permit themselves to miss the books that could have a major impact on how their lives turn out. The book they miss will not help.

Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. We must not permit anything to stand between us and the book that could change our lives. A little reading each day will result in a wealth of valuable information in a very short period of time. But if we fail to set aside the time, if we fail to pick up the book, if we fail to exercise the discipline, then ignorance will quickly move in to fill the void.

Those who seek a better life must first become a better person. They must continually seek after self-mastery for the purpose of developing a balanced philosophy of life and then live in accordance with the dictates of that philosophy. The habit of reading is a major stepping-stone in the development of a sound philosophical foundation and is one of the fundamentals required for the attainment of success and happiness.

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Should Millennials be thinking about Life Insurance?

By Byron Udell


I’m by no means a millennial, but I have three children who are.

With #hashtags, smartphones, and social media to go with school and work and everything else, these young adults lead lives that are absolutely jam-packed with things to do.  

Among all of the hustle and bustle that defines their generation, do they have time to think about life insurance?  Perhaps a better question is whether, at this point in their lives, they should be even thinking about life insurance.  If you have someone depending on you financially—say a spouse or partner or fiancé or child—you NEED life insurance.  It doesn’t matter how old you are—you HAVE to HAVE IT!

And I believe all young adults should at the very least consider getting coverage sooner than later.

The irony, when it comes to this topic, is that some excuses for NOT getting life insurance are in fact the very reasons these young adults SHOULD get covered.  For example, “I’m young and healthy; I don’t need life insurance.”  Fact is, you should look to buy life insurance BECAUSE you’re young and healthy (which, as we know, brings down the price).

Then there’s this argument:  “I don’t have anyone I need to take care of except myself; why do I need life insurance?”

Fair enough, but I would point out to young adults that, while that may be the case now, what about down the road?  Does he or she plan on getting married and having children in the future?  If the answer is yes (and it often is), then getting coverage NOW (again, while they are YOUNG and HEALTHY) will save them money.

Remember, the two biggest factors when it comes to determining your life insurance rates are age and health.  You’re never as young as you are TODAY, and in most cases, you’re never as healthy as you are today (even if you’re single now, wouldn’t it make sense to at least consider buying coverage because you’re healthy?  What if later in life, when you have people depending on you financially and you really NEED life insurance, you are forced to pay more because of your health?  Or even worse, what if you’re not eligible at all!?!).

And lastly, millennials—as well as other generations—will incorrectly argue that life insurance costs too much.  That’s simply not true. 

Life insurance delivers dollars for pennies, and the product does so at the exact moment those dollars are needed most.  And even better, you aren’t spending too many pennies to get coverage.  A millennial can get a good amount of coverage for less than $250 per year.  That’s less than a dollar a day!  With rates that low, young adults can get life insurance AND keep paying off student loans.  Win-Win!

So the answer to the question—Should Millennials be thinking about Life Insurance?—is a resounding YES!  Millennials should think about life insurance.  And then head over to AccuQuote.com and let us shop around for you.  We just need some basic and quick information and we’ll start walking you through a pretty big—and important—decision.

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3 Strategies to Help You Save Money on Your Taxes

By Byron Udell


Tax time (April 15th) is still months away, but it’ll be here before you know it.  And while it might seem early for tax talk, is there ever a bad time to save money?

Did you know that smart planning at the beginning of the year (aka NOW!) can lead to you paying Uncle Sam less, come April?  Well, it’s true.  Just follow these tips:

  • Save now by looking ahead

Contribute to retirement and savings plans early and often.  Plans such as a 401(k), an IRA, and a 403(b) allow for not just a tax-deferred pot of earnings that multiplies over the years, but these options also reduce the amount of taxable income for the current year.  The deadline for investing in these workplace-based retirement programs is the 31st of December, but if you’ve missed that deadline for 2014, you can still make contributions to a traditional IRA until April 15thof 2015.

  • Give and get back

Charitable donations are tax-exempt, so make sure you gather ALL your donation receipts from 2014.  This way, you have evidence to support you not paying taxes on the charitable donations you made during the previous year (2014).

  • Make sure you’re covered

I’m not just talking about life insurance here.  The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) means you pay a tax penalty every month you don’t have the minimum health insurance coverage required by law.  And your life insurance policy can also provide tax benefits, because if you have a policy with a cash value rider, any growth in that cash value is tax-deferred. Even if you take out a loan against your policy, that loan amount is tax-free.  Lastly—and maybe most importantly—your beneficiaries generally won’t pay federal income taxes on death benefits, whether the payout is $10,000 or $10 million.

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