Why would someone choose Short Term Life Insurance?

Why would someone choose Short Term Life Insurance?

Short term life insurance might be a good fit if you have short-term goals or want financial protection for a specific amount of time. Reasons for utilizing short term life insurance might be one of the following:

  1. If you have a 20-year home mortgage, then you may want to purchase a 20-year term policy. That way, you will know that your family can pay off the mortgage and remain in their home should anything happen to you.
  2. A term policy might also be a good option if you want insurance coverage just for the years you are paying for a child’s education.
  3. Maybe you are paying off a business loan and you don’t want a spouse or partner to be burdened with the balance.
  4. Additionally, If you are a small business owner, term insurance can be used to protect against the untimely death of a key employee.

In each of these examples, the term ends along with your specific financial obligation, so you are not paying for coverage that you no longer need. For that reason, term life insurance can be a flexible and affordable coverage solution for a range of situations.

Are there Differences Among Term Insurance Policies?

The biggest differences between term insurance policies are the length of time the coverage is for. Some term policies offer optional features called riders that allow you to customize your policy. For example, you can add your children to your policy or get accidental death protection if need be.

Moreover, a term insurance policy can be increasing or decreasing.  A decreasing term life insurance policy would best be used to cover the life of a homeowner for the death benefit to cover for a mortgage.  For example, the primary breadwinner of the family and their spouse is on the deed and the mortgage.  The primary breadwinner passes and leaves the mortgage debt to the stay-at-home spouse.  In this case, the 2nd spouse would need to either go get employment to make the income to pay debts, including the mortgage, or lose the house and possibly all the assets or (worse case scenario) marry immediately so he/she can have another primary breadwinner to fill the financial void.  The decreasing term insurance death benefit can be used to pay off the mortgage and possibly all the other debts as well, leaving the stay-at-home spouse to effectively grieve and move into the next season of life without much worry or unnecessary anxiety.

Increasing term life insurance could be used in the case of having several children that might accrue education debt in future years and the parents feel as though they want to cover the cost.  In the parents’ demise, the increasing term death benefit would be able to cover the entire cost (if not a large portion of the cost) of the children’s education cost without worry or unnecessary anxiety.

At this point, it is important to note one unique type of term life insurance policy which is what is known as a return of premium term policy. With this type of policy, all premiums that have been paid are returned to the policy owner at the end of the level-premium period (terms and conditions may apply).

What Happens at the end of the Term of a Term Life Insurance Policy?

At the end of the term, you have the option of letting your coverage end, keeping it by continuing to pay the premiums, or possibly converting it to some type of a permanent life insurance policy.  We discuss various types of permanent policy options in another blog. Remember, if you do choose to convert, be sure to work with a reputable company that offers quality life insurance options.

If you choose to keep the policy after the level-premium period ends, your premiums will increase each year as outlined in your contract and usually will stop at age 85, unless otherwise indicated when the policy ends.

How Much Term Life Insurance Do I Need?

As a general rule you should purchase a term life insurance policy for 10–12 times your annual income. That way, your salary will be replaced for your family if something happens to you.

And don’t forget to get term life insurance for both spouses, even if one of you stays at home with the kids. Think about what you would pay in childcare and home upkeep costs if the stay-at-home parent was gone! No matter what, you both need term life insurance.

Want to make sure your family is covered no matter what happens? Check on your coverage BEFORE it becomes an emergency.

Most financial professionals recommend that if you decide to buy a term policy be sure it is with a term that will see you through until your kids are heading off to college and living on their own. That might be anywhere from 20 years, if you already have children, to 30 years if you do not have children or aren’t finished adding to your family yet.

A lot of life or death can happen in 20 years.

Don’t Wait Until You Need Life Insurance to Get It

The truth is, we cannot see the future and aren’t promised tomorrow. Life is precious! And the ideal time to buy life insurance is when you are young and have a clean bill of health. Especially since life insurance companies are all about weighing the risks of the person purchasing the policy.

Our strong opinion is that you should get your term life insurance policy, as much as you can afford to cover as much of your family’s needs, as possible. (In hindsight timing is everything).  Then take as many funds as you possibly can, immediately set up your emergency fund and then set a short term plan to push hard to put as much as you possibly can in a very wise (and fully proven) investment to allow your money to grow in your sleep!  That way you can begin building your nest egg.  Unless you can imagine yourself working until the day you die, then why not work now while you can in order to prepare for those later years so that you can actually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Three waves in the next Real Estate market shift

The next Real Estate market shift is Imminent.

What will this market shift look like?

The next real estate market shift in the residential sector will come in three different waves, so PREPARE yourself now.

The first wave will be people losing their houses after their forbearance has ended through the beginning of the foreclosure process.

With homeowners losing their jobs or being furloughed, their income has been reduced or eliminated because of the Covid19 pandemic.

The second wave will be a huge increase in the number of foreclosures being called out on the courthouse steps of each county in America.  These “call outs” are religiously done on the first Tuesday of each month.

The third wave will be vacant homes all throughout the country.  These homes have now been foreclosed upon and now sit empty.  Drive through any neighborhood USA and you will see home after beautiful home just sitting empty.  This third wave will be where many folks will finally try to “catch up” and at this point, it will already be almost too late.

What can we do now to prepare for these imminent waves?

Wave 1 of 3

Wave one will be people desperately trying to stop the foreclosure of their property. Initially there will be noticeable signage all over town saying “I stop foreclosures”. These organizations (or investors) can and do prevent and stop foreclosures through a process called “Subject to”.

Let’s explain how it works in a little more detail:

The homeowner falls behind with his mortgage and cannot catch up and the homeowner starts receiving strongly written letters indicating foreclosure is imminent.  These organizations then catch the arrearage payments for the homeowner and take possession of the home through a Quit Claim Deed.  Many times the investor may allow the homeowner to remain in the property and assist with making improvements on the property during that time.

Once the improvements are completed, the investor will usually rent the property out. This prevents the foreclosure on the home and maintains the homeowners mortgage payment history from negative impact that a foreclosure would cause.

Wave 2 of 3

The second wave is what is called the actual foreclosure process.   For example, in the state of Georgia from start to finish is approximately eight months.  Basically, from the time that the first mortgage payment is missed to the property being foreclosed on the courthouse steps is a very long and arduous eight months. The attorney that processes the (foreclosure) closing on the property represents the mortgage company that has been defaulted upon. It is normally a sixteen (16) step process to go through all the way through to the courthouse steps. There are two possible outcomes if the homeowner has not filed for bankruptcy during the foreclosure process or caught up the arrears mortgage payments prior to the foreclosure. If the homeowner has not done one of those two things then the property will be “called out” on the county courthouse steps that next first Tuesday of the month.

The “called out” process will end in one of two ways.  Either the property is purchased by the highest bidder on the courthouse steps or nobody bids high enough to satisfy the mortgage company and the mortgage company keeps it, which takes us to the third wave.

Wave 3 of 3

What happens if the property is not or does not change hands at the foreclosure process on the courthouse steps?  If the property is not sold on the courthouse steps then the mortgage company or lender keeps the property and puts it on the market for sale. This is what the general public typically sees or talks about or remembers when they think of the foreclosure crisis. Houses all over town in every subdivision with for sale signs that are vacant (and most of the time in disrepair) and end up selling below the values of typical houses in that subdivision which lowers values and equity for homeowners within that same subdivision.

If you’re an investor in residential real estate you can take advantage in these investments in either of the three waves mentioned:

Obtaining property through Wave 1:

After catching up the arearage you then obtain ownership through a Quit Claim Deed.  This is typically called the “subject to” process.

Obtaining property through Wave 2:

When the mortgage company or lender presents the property at the courthouse steps, which is typically called the “call out”, you bring either cashiers checks or cash.  You then obtain ownership through a Quit Claim Deed.

Obtaining property through Wave 3:

Obviously, the final way to obtain the ownership is when the foreclosure has actually occured and you can then buy the property directly from an REO (Real Estate Owned) agent.  This is the listing agent that represents the mortgage company or lender.

 

These three ways are exactly how investors made a lot of money during the last foreclosure crisis. Obviously, we are hopeful that we could have sustained the booming real estate market that we have all experienced prior to Covid19, however it doesn’t look good at this point.

Either prepare yourself for these three waves or depend on our expertise to get you through it.

Either as an investor or a current homeowner.  Being educated in the forefront of a crisis is the key to getting through it successfully.

Reggie Moon

Broker of Eclipse USA Realty

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Train your brain for efficiency

Chances are you have cooked some pretty elaborate plans to trick yourself into being more productive.

Have you considered the role your surroundings play in your everyday life? It turns out that one of the easiest ways to bring about change in our lives is to actually change our environments. What if the layout of your bedroom or the distance from your desk to the kitchen was impacting your productivity and decision making? There is plenty of room for each of us to improve. Here is how and why making some changes to your environment works.

Your brain is efficient
Making decisions is draining. (Heard of “decision fatigue”? It’s real!) We can only make so many choices per day before we start to run out of steam and need a rest. But we are faced with countless choices every time we wake up! Should I go back to sleep? Should I shower or brush my teeth first? What will I wear to work? Should I try out that new shortcut to the office? It can become stressful for your brain to struggle with a choice every time one of these little prompts presents itself. That is why we rely on decision shortcuts called habits.

A habit is just a routine that you regularly perform. Most of the time we don’t even notice that we are engaging in a habit because it’s second nature to us. And there is a reason for that. It is your brain saving energy by going on autopilot to perform an action without having to make a decision. That way you can use the bulk of your mental power on unique and important problems that might pop up during the day, not on thinking about when you should brush your teeth!

Trick yourself into making wise decisions
What does your brain’s love of shortcuts have to do with your environment? Let us look at an example.

Your alarm clock is right next to your bed. It goes off every morning at 7:30am. It does not take you long to figure out that you can smack the snooze button and go straight back to sleep with hardly any effort. Before long you have hitting the snooze button every time the alarm goes off without even thinking about it. You have trained yourself to sleep in later by making your alarm easier to turn off. But what if your alarm was on the other side of your room? What if to silence it you had to stand up, walk over, and hit a button? That simple change could give you the jolt that you need to wake up and get your day started on time!

Take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself what kind of behavior it encourages. Is it more convenient for you to grab a soda from the fridge or fill up your water bottle? When you work at home, are you in the middle of distractions like the kids playing or too close to the TV? At work, does your office layout lend itself to productivity or socializing with your co-workers?

It might take some legwork to get started but try to arrange your life in a way that makes wise decisions easier. You might be surprised by the results!

Are Annuities Taxable?

The answer is complicated (but generally, yes they are)

Let’s assume that you have already done your research on the workings of an Annuity and you are almost convinced that it is a good investment for you and your future plans.  Now, let’s consider if the taxability of this product is what you are looking for.

First, if you purchase an annuity with pre-tax dollars, payments from the annuity are fully taxable as income. But, if you buy an annuity with after-tax funds, you are required to pay taxes only on the earnings (ie, profit).  Annuities offer tax-deferred growth, which means taxes on annuities are not due until you withdraw money from the annuity.  One of the main tax advantages of annuities is they allow investments to grow tax-free until the funds are withdrawn.  This includes dividends, interest and capital gains, all of which may be fully reinvested while they remain in the annuity.  This allows your investment to grow without being reduced by tax payments.

But this seemingly simple perk is accompanied by a raft of complicated rules about what funds are taxed, how they are taxed and when they are taxed.

Because of the complexity, it is best to consult with a tax professional when purchasing an annuity and before withdrawing any funds.

Are Annuities Taxable?

Annuities are tax deferred.  But that does not mean they are a way to avoid taxes completely.  What this means is taxes are not due until you receive income payments from your annuity.  Withdrawals and lump sum distributions from an annuity are taxed as ordinary income.  They do not receive the benefit of being taxed as capital gains.

How are Annuities Taxed?

When it comes to taxes, the most important piece of information about your annuity is whether it is held in a qualified or non-qualified account. Remember, qualified is that the taxes are behind the tax wall and are allowed by IRS to be deferred.  Non-qualified means that the taxes have already been paid. In this case, the earnings (or profits) are taxable.

Qualified Annuity Taxation

If an annuity is funded with money on which no taxes have been previously paid, then it is considered a qualified annuity.  Typically, these annuities are funded with money from 401ks or other tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as IRAs.

When you receive payments from a qualified annuity, those payments are fully taxable as income.  That is because no taxes have been paid on that money.

But annuities purchased with a Roth IRA or Roth 401k are completely tax free if certain requirements are met.

Non-Qualified Annuity Taxation

If the annuity was purchased with after-tax funds, then it is non-qualifed.  Non-qualifed annuities require tax payments on only the earnings (or profits).

The amount of taxes on non-qualifed annuities is determined by something called the exclusion ratio.  The exclusion ratio is used to determine what percentage of annuity income payments is taxable and which is not.  The idea is to determine the amount of a withdrawal or payment from an annuity is from the already-taxed principal and how much is considered taxable earnings.

The exclusion ratio involves the principal that was used to purchase the annuity, the amount of time the annuity has existed and the interest earnings.

If an annuitant lives longer than his or her actuarial life expectancy, any annuity payments received after that age are fully taxable.

That is because the exclusion ratio is calculated to spread principal withdrawals over the annuitant’s life expectancy.  Once all the principal has been accounted for, any remaining income payments or withdrawals are considered to be from earnings.

Exclusion Ratio Example

  • Your life expectancy is 10 years at retirement.
  • You have an annuity purchased for $40,000 with after-tax money.
  • Annual payments of $4,000 – 10 percent of your original investment – is non-taxable.
  • You live longer than 10 years.
  • The money you receive beyond that 10-year-life expectation will be taxed as income.

Annuity Withdrawal Taxation

How and when you withdraw funds from your annuity also affects your tax bill.

In general, if you take money out of your annuity before your turn 59 ½, you may owe a 10 percent penalty on the taxable portion of the withdrawal.

After that age, if you take your withdrawal as a lump sum, you have to pay income taxes that year on the entire taxable portion of the funds.  If money is left in your annuity account, the IRS considers the first and subsequent withdrawals to be interest and subject to taxes.

Annuity Payout Taxation

According to the General Rule for Pensions and Annuities by the Internal Revenue Service as a general rule each monthly annuity income payment from a non-qualified plan is made up of two parts.  The tax-free part is considered the return of your net cost for purchasing the annuity.  The rest is the taxable balance, or the earnings.

When you receive income payments from your annuity, as opposed to withdrawals, the idea is to evenly divide the principal amount – and its tax exclusions – out over the expected number of payments. The rest of the amount in each payment is considered earnings subject to income taxes.

Inherited Annuity Taxation

If you are the beneficiary and inherit an annuity, the same tax rules apply.  The main rule about taxation with an inherited annuity or one that is purchased is that any principal that is funded with money that was already subject to taxes will not be taxed.  Principal that was not taxed and earnings will be subject to taxation as income.  The amount of previously taxed principal included in each annuity income payment is considered excluded from federal income tax requirements.  This is known as the exclusion amount.

In Summary

If you just take the opinion of Mom, Dad, Gramma, Uncle Joe, Preacher Mike, Mr. Ramsey, Mr. Howard or even simply the Web then you are not making the best, most educated decision.  Do your due diligence and ensure that you talk to an industry professional.  What happens if Uncle Joe tells you what happened to him 30 years ago and you should “never invest in one of those annuity things”. Well, first of all what is his profession and how old was the product he purchased at that time.  Could things have changed in those years?  How about being at a family reunion and Gramma tells you that she just heard Mr. Howard talking about how some people lost money when they annuities a few years ago.  Even though you love Gramma, is she a financial professional with current experience and education.  So, in summary, annuities can be taxable in the right situation.  This is definitely something that you need to have reviewed by your Financial Professional.  Best of luck on your investment.

It’s time for a Digital Lifestyle

It’s time for a Digital Lifestyle

When the baby boomers were born, there were 45 workers for every retiree collecting social security. Now it is less than 3 to 1, an unsustainable ratio that calls the future of social security into question.

Though pensions were declining before the Great Recession, the corporate world has now all but abandoned them. Colliding with the economic devastation is the other transformational event.

Advances in medicine, nutrition and technology have stretched the average human lifespan beyond 75 years, adding an additional two decades or more. Baby boomers and following generations can now expect to live well into their 80’s, 90’s or longer. Seemingly a blessing, this new expectation poses a terrifying threat – the likelihood of going broke in old age.

61% of people are more afraid of outliving their money than dying. An unstable economy. An unreliable market. The collapse of the old retirement model. The financial burdens of a longer life. It is the end of wealth and retirement as you know it, and with it, a new beginning.

Yesterday’s financial models may be gone, but prosperity in our nation is far from over. The realities challenging today’s generations have triggered an unprecedented wave of financial activity, with billions of dollars and millions of people on the move. This wealth wave has ushered in the greatest economic story of our time.

The leaders of the financial industry will position themselves to serve baby boomers, Generation X and millennials by redefining how wealth is built and how people can thrive after 65.

Tens of thousands of new financial professionals are needed at a time when their ranks are ageing and their numbers are diminishing. Someone must respond to this critical need with a new wave of financial professionals for the future. That someone, that wave, is us.

We are responding to this crisis with our biggest expansion in three decades. Only four states in the US offer a financial education in public schools. Our nation has paid the price. We offer an unparalleled financial education to those who have never been exposed to such essential concepts as The Rule of 72, The power of compound interest and the impact of losses and taxes.

We give families a safety-first approach by helping them protect their income and their future with financial vehicles designed for the realities of today. Our associates present families with insurance products that have evolved to offer a wide array of benefits, like tax-free income and long term care protection.

We provide a world class wealth management platform that offers everyday investors a financial game changer, access to active management strategies that were once only available to the very wealthy. And finally – and perhaps most importantly – we open the doors for anyone, regardless of their age or experience, to become part of the wealth wave by building their own financial services business.

Behind our team is a world class financial organization. Their entry-level leaders, many part time, with full licensing average $80,000 per year in earnings, with the highest exceeding $640,000. Associates at our top executive positions are averaging almost $900,000 annually, with the highest earning over 7 million dollars this year alone.

Our business is an entrepreneurial opportunity with no boss, no salary caps, no required work hours, no layoffs and no limits on how much you can earn or how fast you can grow. You can earn more income from your own efforts and from those of your team and you can earn income from products that produce first year and recurring revenue.

It is a business that can give you the three things you may have thought you’d lost forever. The chance to make a difference, the opportunity to build personal wealth and the hope that your later years will be lived on your terms.

Regardless of your age or experience, this could be the right business at the right time for you. Few opportunities give you the support of some of the financial industries’ strongest and most recognizable names. Put your company’s history, experience and reputation behind you and become part of a championship team.

In this new frontier of wealth and retirement – baby boomers, Generation X and millennials all around you need a financial professional with a way forward.

Why not let it be YOU!