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|Cheap Life Insurance?!||5/9/2007|
|Recently I was reminded at Franklin High School that you never get too old to learn – particularly at an exemplary high school like this while I waited in the reception area for an appointment. Handouts about Jostens high school rings for students were on the counter and I picked one up to read. It brought back pleasant memories from 1961 when I ordered my class ring – already designated for my “steady” at the time. At the bottom of the sheet, the words jumped out to grab my attention. “Price is what you pay – Value is what you receive.” As a Chartered Life Underwriter specializing in life insurance and long term care insurance, I immediately connected this wisdom to the people who buy life insurance and long term care insurance with absolutely no thought but the price. Many do not understand the implications of these time proven cornerstones of family and business financial security. As you ponder what you should be doing for you and your family in the area of life and long term care insurance, call a CLU with many years of experience. You can blend years and years of experience into your purchase and make sure that you get VALUE and not just a cheap price. Thanks Franklin High School for this not-so-subtle reminder that many of us need to consider!!|
|Life Insurance - Do I Want It When I Die?||3/23/2007|
|Sounds like a foolish question, but many would be amazed that the purchase of life insurance is made by a huge number of people without giving this critical question any consideration whatsoever. Granted, many people do purchase life insurance thinking of their wives, children, and businesses. But they frequently do not consider how a well designed life insurance program can benefit them in their retirement years in their financial, estate, and retirement planning. For instance, using a highly qualified professional, it may actually be less expensive to design a life insurance program using some of the new products that will last the insured to age 100 for a less expensive premium than another program which guarantees coverage only to age 70. The process is not unlike building a new house. Do you want the house to be habitable only for the next ten years (ten year level term insurance), or would you prefer it be constructed to serve your needs past your retirement when you are in your eighties or nineties? Planning ahead makes sense – whether you are building a house or buying a life insurance policy. Visit a professional who is knowledgeable and skilled at all the variations of life insurance and not just a few.|
|Is Life Insurance an Investment?||2/20/2007|
|In a word, no. But it does have several investment characteristics which, coupled with its tax advantages, its extensive flexibility, and its leveraging ability, gives it advantages which no other financial product can come close to matching. Many untrained and uniformed "financial product salesmen" steer people away from life insurance for no other reason than they do not understand it. In the instances where some of these "salesmen" do recommend life insurance, all they know is inexpensive term insurance. In many cases, term insurance is a suitable product. State of the art whole life, universal life, and variable life products all have limited investment characteristics which, when understood and used properly, can have enormous benefits. Seek out a professional who understands all the products and how a knowledge of the variations can help you in your financial planning.|
Scroll down for several pages to learn more valuable information about life insurance and long term care insurance, with a few vignettes and stories mixed in!
|Life Insurance Death Benefit||1/30/2007|
|People do die. The reality first struck me as a ten year old when my grandfather O'Neal died. The emotional side of losing a father, a mother, or a business partner is tough, but it is only one aspect of the overall situation. The financial impact frequently makes an already devastating situation worse, particularly when there is little no life insurance. My first death claim on one of my policyholders occurred some twelve years ago when a forty year old lady died suddenly. My immediate reaction was to question why I had only sold her a $350,000 policy. Why had I not sold her $1,000,000? This successful business owner had no children, but she left a thriving business. Her husband used the proceeds to assure the continuation of her business so that her dream lived on. |
At the other end of the spectrum was when my grandfather Bagley died accidentally in 1935, in the depths of the depression. With no life insurance, our family was forced to sell their valuable farm in south Alabama at fire sale prices and the way of life for the entire Bagley family was dramatically changed. Immediately.
As a Chartered Life Underwriter, it is my responsibility to counsel parents, breadwinners, and business owners about life insurance. In many cases, I end up selling them a policy. But the real test comes when I get a call from the family or from a business partner with the news that one of my clients has died. That call sets in motion the preparation of a death claim and the delivery of a specified amount of funds that is available when the family or the business needs it most.
The subject of death is not a pleasant one. But the cold, hard reality of the circumstances is made much easier when a trusted life insurance agent is there to help families and business owners. If you have postponed properly protecting your family or your business partner, call a trusted agent who can help you design a program that is appropriate and is a good value.
And to learn more about the subjects of life and long term care insurance, scroll down the topics to select the one that addresses your questions.
|Senior Housing Update||1/16/2007|
|Several days ago, the following self-explanatory letter was mailed to the seven members of our Appalachian Mountain Manor steering committee. This group of people assumed responsibility for leading an effort to bring senior housing to our area. Those members are Glenn Crowe, Terelle Beaver, Allie Mitchell, Dick Steinbronn, Dana Bius, Bob Smith, and Bob Gilbreath. David Ritz also served in an advisory capacity to the committee. In addition, the letter was sent to nine anonymous caring and visionary citizens who each contributed $1000 as seed money to get the project off the ground. Following is the letter with minor modifications based on input from the steering committee and our anonymous financial supporters|
To: supporters of senior housing -
As we all know by now, the progress on our senior housing has not been what we hoped and expected. To date, five investors/investor groups have analyzed the feasibility studies for which we paid approximately $6000, and none have elected to move forward, in spite of the well documented need for and support of such facilities. Significantly, one of the most recent investors was Dr. Chris Cates, Emory University cardiologist; who is in the group who owns Brasstown Manor. Also significantly, the Peachtree land on which we planned to build our initial facility was under contract at one time. That investor backed out, ostensibly because he could not get 90% financing on the project, though about fifteen units had been pre-rented.
During the planning stages of the project, it was suggested to me that I be the general partner in a group which would build the facility. Perhaps it was a mistake on my part (if so, I accept full responsibility), but I declined, thinking the public perception of my leadership might be negatively impacted if I were helping lead a project where I was financially motivated. In retrospect, I think a prudent choice might have been to pursue that option, since clearly there are critical needs which continue to be unmet. However, we still have the option to use local investors if enough support is indicated. A personal note from each of you with your thoughts would certainly be appreciated. I am currently thinking of a minimum investment of $50,000 per partner, though some of you may have other ideas.
Continuing, you should know that this letter will be given to a local citizen who represents a financial institution that has the financial clout to be a backer. It will also be given to our local newspapers to see if they will be willing to step up to the plate and address the issue. (If you do not want to be publicly identified as a caring and visionary citizen, you should let me know immediately.) And I am planning to include all the information on my website, www.rickbagleyclu.biz where I could present more details than in a one page letter. All the documentation that our steering committee collected will also be made available to local financial institutions who express an interest.
Finally, surely all of you know that I have felt very strongly about this issue and hoped a facility would materialize for my mother who needed it long ago. Again, perhaps it was a mistake on my part not to be a partner in a well capitalized group which would see that it was done. On a personal note, one option we are aggressively pursuing is for my family and my mother to move to Asheville where several options are available for her care. Suitable choices may not be available in Cherokee County in time for my mother’s needs, but the community still needs to step up to the plate and provide for the care of our senior citizens. Cherokee County is far behind in this area. Again, your ideas and comments are encouraged and will be most welcome. Indeed, a lack of input from you will be interpreted to mean that this is not a priority to consider.
Cherokee County citizens witness on a daily basis the continued and increasing need to provide affordable housing for our senior citizens who need different levels of care. If you would be interested in participating in a private venture that would bring such a facility to our area, please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or write me a letter (P.O. Box 1097, Murphy, NC 28906) confirming your interest. The first phase of the project as envisioned would require total capital of approximately $10,000,000. It is estimated that it would require investor capital of $2,500,000 with the remainder from borrowed funds. The original planned site is still available, and some of the professional team who could make it happen have a continued high level of interest. Of particular importance is the officer of a local financial institution who has moved to Cherokee County and recognizes our need. The financial institution he represents could be the primary source of capital for the project.
It has been clear to me that we have the available resources in Cherokee County to make the project a reality. If enough citizens step up to the plate and support the effort, it can be a reality. You can help by forwarding this website to everyone you think would have an interest in senior housing.