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Resolved: To Review Your Insurance in 2018

| January 01, 2018
More than 40% of us make New Year's resolutions. But only 8% of us actually achieve our goals, according to a Forbes article. 

Perhaps we're focusing on the wrong things. Rather than another resolution that revolves around diet and exercise, try setting finance-related goals. Specifically, make the following insurance resolutions. 

These can help you save money and better prepare for whatever 2018 has in store.
  1. Review your policies. Did you make any changes in 2017? Perhaps you got married, had a baby, bought a new home, or sold your boat. Carefully review all policies to ensure they're still appropriate. Check that all information about your belongings, and more important, you, is accurate. Ensure adequate coverage is in place for your current lifestyle. Keep an eye out for any potential discounts. 

  2. Reduce claims. Take steps to prevent claims this year. Use proper safety precautions in the kitchen. Keep your home and car secure by keeping things well-locked, well-lit, and well-protected. Use safe driving habits. For many, the key to all this is simply slowing down the frantic pace of life a bit. Take the time this year to focus on what you're doing. Be "intentional." You'll have fewer mishaps at home and on the road. And the result will be a year highlighted, not with insurance claims, but with peace of mind. 

  3. Visit your agent. With policies and inventory in hand, contact your insurance agent. The start of a new year is a great time to make an appointment so you can review all your coverage at the same time. He or she will help you determine what changes, if any, should be made for the year ahead. As well, your agent can recommend policy changes to save you money, point out discounts available, and make sure you have the right coverage for your current needs.
Keep these resolutions, and prepare for a secure 2018.


Trend-Setting Boomers Are Still Doing What They Love

We can't welcome 2018 without wondering what the boomer generation will be up to this year. In fact, many boomers are still doing what they love, and they're still doing it well! After years of working for others, they're making the decisions - and taking the risks - to start their own businesses in retirement.

Notes writer Wendy Mayhew in the Globe and Mail: "Many people can't wait to retire. They want to golf, travel, or just take it easy. Others can't wait to retire so they can start the business they have always dreamed about." 

According to the 2017 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, individuals between 55 and 64 accounted for 25.5% of all new entrepreneurs in 2016, while the number of 20- to 34-year-old entrepreneurs declined by 34.3% over a 20-year period to 24.4% in 2016. 

Why? It may be that the boomer generation is healthier and more energetic than previous generations, it may be that boomers (who are notoriously bad savers) need to supplement their income in retirement, or it may simply be that older workers have a lot to offer. 

In a recent CNBC article, Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of market innovation for AARP, suggests: "[As a boomer] you know what works and what doesn't, you've been in small and big companies ... You have a network, possibly savings, or other ways to gain access to capital. All of those things come together as key success factors for building and sustaining a business."

Plus, boomers have always wanted to change the world. And now's their chance.


Considering Life Insurance? Here's What to Look For

A life insurance policy can play an important role in your big-picture financial plan. So what should you consider when shopping for one?

Your first question should be: do I need life insurance? Many don’t consider life insurance, but once they realize what life insurance is intended to do, they decide they need it. 

Younger people, for example, often overlook life insurance because they feel they don’t need it at their age. However, if the breadwinner or breadwinners die early—and sadly, it does happen—that loss of income will severely impact their family members’ lives.

Others believe they have sufficient coverage through work. But while many employer plans provide coverage that equates to several times compensation, many people need more to meet their beneficiaries’ needs.

Interestingly, life insurance may not be as expensive as many people believe. According to industry group LIMRA, 80% of people overestimate the cost of insurance, and many overestimate significantly. 

Buying insurance

In purchasing life insurance, you will need to consider how much and what kind of coverage you’ll need. Consider why you’re buying a policy and what you expect a payout to accomplish. Research different types of coverage; for example, a basic life insurance policy can help replace income, but do you need additional enhancements?

It’s important to select a life insurance company with a strong track record of paying claims. Here you may want to research a number of providers. This may sound like a long and complicated process, but you don’t need to do it alone.

While the internet is one way to identify your options, a licensed life insurance professional can explain these options to you. He or she is trained to assess your individual financial circumstances and will determine the appropriate type and level of coverage that’s tailored to your needs. 

Your family’s security may depend on it.


A Home Inventory Can Help You Before and After a Disaster

If disaster struck, could you recall every item you own? And what you paid for it? 

After a fire or a flood, a complete home inventory will help you verify your losses and settle insurance claims faster. It can also help you and your agent determine how much insurance you need. To prepare an up-to-date home inventory, follow these easy steps:

List it: Make a list of all your possessions. Walk from room to room, noting what each space contains. Include basic information such as the make and model and the cost. For major appliances, record the serial numbers. Don't forget any items you have stored outside or off-site.

Document it: Keep sales receipts, contracts, and appraisals with your list. As you purchase new items, be sure to add them to this inventory. To stay organized, you may want to create an envelope system to group receipts based on type of item. Be sure to store your inventory and all receipts in a fire-safe box or in a safe deposit box to ensure it's available after a disaster.

Picture it: For a thorough record of your belongings, take pictures. Capture entire rooms and/or individual big-ticket items. You may also want to shoot a video of your inventory. Walk through your home and describe the contents as you record them. These photos and videos can be extremely helpful when making an insurance claim.

Your insurance agent can be a great source of help when you're creating your home inventory by providing tips, recommending inventory apps, and - most important - offering advice on the right coverage.


WANTED - Korean and WWII Veterans!

Do you have a loved one in South Florida that is a Korean or WWII veteran? If so, please contact us.

In association with Honor Flights, there are some upcoming opportunities to honor these brave people, even if they are physically unable to travel.