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3 Myths About Life Insurance

By Trilogy Financial
September 12, 2023
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No one really wants to think about life insurance. But if someone depends on you financially, it’s a topic you shouldn’t avoid. Are any of these reasons stopping you from getting the life insurance coverage you need? If so, read on!

1. My family can rely on loans or other family members.

We know we can rely on our families for support as we navigate life. However, if you were to die, your family’s world would shift on its axis—emotionally and financially. A time of grief is not the time to crowdsource funeral funds or make phone calls for money every month when bills come due. Life insurance means there can be an affordable solution in place so that doesn’t need to happen.

2. Money is tight. I just can’t afford life insurance.

Bills, rent or mortgage, car payments, childcare, food, gas … and the list grows as your family does. So what would happen to them financially if you died? If you’re gone, so is your income, but their bills and expenses will stay the same. If money is tight, you can’t afford not to have life insurance. It picks up the financial burden for your family when you are no longer there to do it.

3. Life insurance will be a free ride for my kids.

Your parents taught you hard work, and it’s what you’re teaching your children. But life insurance isn’t about leaving your kids a financial windfall. It’s about practicing—and teaching—the principles of personal financial responsibility. Preparing for the future with life insurance is a lesson in goal-setting, budgeting and discipline that ensures your loved ones will be OK financially, which is a valuable lesson to pass on.

Don’t let these myths stand in the way of getting life insurance—or more of it.

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By
Jeff Motske, CFP®
December 7, 2018

Giving to charitable causes can be a very emotional thing. You’re supporting something near to your heart, possibly with a deep personal connection. However, if you’re not mindful, it is possible to give at the expense of yourself. Be sure you don’t let your heartstrings control your purse strings.

Forethought and planning should extend over all your financial decisions, including charitable giving. For a variety of reasons, many don’t follow a plan. Some give whatever’s left in their budget, perhaps not as much as they’d like or tempting them to give more than they can afford. Others give at the end of the year for the tax break. Alternatively, perhaps charitable giving isn’t planned for at all, which allows one to be swayed by emotion when the right cause comes along. Suddenly, they can be committing based on what they feel rather than what’s best for their finances.

Once you decide to factor your charitable giving into your annual financial plan, you can start doing your research. Not only do you determine which causes you want to support, but you can also investigate various organizations that service that cause. There are many websites that evaluate charitable organizations to ensure that your financial contributions or going where you want. Additionally, having your charitable giving worked into your financial plan allows you to turn down other charitable requests graciously. Should you be approached, you can mention your annual giving plan and that you will consider them for the following year.

Being mindful about your charitable giving also gives you the opportunity to influence your children or loved ones on how to do the same. Your actions become the example to your values. While you needn’t share all the details, you can openly share how you formulated your plan and why. The more people who become aware of how to consciously create an annual giving plan, the more people are actively working towards their financial independence.

I don’t think it’s possible to take all emotion out of your connection to a charitable cause, and I don’t think you should. However, I will always be an advocate of folks proactively working towards their financial independence. The key to that is approaching your finances with reason and logic, relegating our emotions to the backseat and holding firm to your purse strings.

By
Mark Nicolet, CFP®, MBA, ABFP™
May 21, 2018

Your first thought, spend it! But how? Is it the house project you and your spouse have been discussing for the last several months? Should you pay down your credit card balance? Go on a trip? Wait, you’re excited about the refund, but in retrospect you should have adjusted your allowances so that you didn’t give the government an interest free loan over the course of the last twelve months. With that said, should you fire your accountant? Well, it’s too late now. Take a moment, and think through the best use of this money? What are your short-term priorities? How do those priorities align or even conflict with other priorities that are further down the road? Should the refund have just one focus?

Let’s first sort through what we need to consider. Is this refund enough to actually complete the house project or will you actually have to put the remaining balance of the project on a credit card? Do you have your three to six months of savings in your emergency fund? What are the interest rates of your current credit cards? What is the current state of the market? Are you comfortable with market risk if you were to invest your refund? How secure is your current career? How variable is your current income? These are significant questions and require more diligence than, quickly hiring the contractor to install heated floors in that master bathroom. Give some intentional thought to this prior to your refund arriving in your bank account. Meet with a Certified Financial Planner to not only consult about what to do with your tax refund, but also your current planning situation and existing investment accounts and risk management plan.

Prior to the receipt of your tax refund, create a pie chart, sort through your most important priorities and time frames, then allocate accordingly, without heavily weighting one priority over the next. Make your refund go further. Start with savings, then, make a larger credit card payment than the monthly minimum if a balance exists, assuming the interest is in the teens. Tuck a portion into the stock market. If you anticipate needing or wanting the money prior to retirement, establish or contribute a portion of the refund to a non-retirement investment account. Only after taking these steps should you allocate funds to a home project. Why? You have now considered long-term planning first, then addressed short term priorities. Life happens, homes need upgrades, and travel is always an option. These plans will ALWAYS be available and present. Retirement and long-term planning will not happen, if you don’t plan now. Meet with a Certified Financial Planner to sort through what to do with your tax refund. Finally, discuss this with your CPA in preparation for next year’s taxes to sort through how you can limit the refund and have more cash available over the course of the year.

Get Started on Your Financial Life Plan Today