Life Insurance Myths & Misconceptions

Growing up, I would look through the newspaper to find the sports section, the funnies, and any other interesting articles I could find.  However, I always seemed to come across the obituaries.  I would stop and read them.  Most people seemed to live a great life: loving families, great jobs, and lots of extracurricular activities.  But, the thing that affected me the most was when at the end of the obituary, it would state something along the lines of, “in lieu of flowers please send money.”  Today it looks a little different.  There are no more newspaper obituaries, but instead online and social media declarations and announcements.  Yet, one thing looks the same; instead of “in lieu of…” it now states “gofundme” or tells where an account has been set up at a local bank.  The wording is different, but the intent is the same!  That is why I strongly believe we need to address the topic of Life Insurance Myths and Misconception.   

MYTHS

Life insurance is too expensive. 

“86% of Americans say they haven’t bought life insurance because it’s “too expensive,” yet they overestimate its true cost by more than 2X”. *   Believe it or not it’s not as expensive as you think.  It could be half as much as you think. 

Life insurance through my employer is enough. 

“33% of Americans say they don’t have enough life insurance, including one-fourth who already own a policy”.*  Some employers provide some life insurance for their employees; however, they normally offer 1 to 2 times your annual salary.  Most likely that number doesn’t include commissions, bonuses, and other income.   It is recommended that you have 8-12 times the annual income in life insurance coverage.  (You may want to use a calculator to determine specific need.)  Also, if you ever change jobs, get terminated, or retire, in most cases your life insurance coverage will not go with you.  Depending on age and health, it could be less expensive to purchase and own your own policy.  “Those with life insurance carry enough to replace their income for just 3.6 years.  How would their families get by after that?”*  

Stay-at-home parents don’t need it.  

“Imagine if something were to happen to the stay-at-home spouse in your family. The breadwinner may need to hire someone to clean and take care of the kids, and that can cost a lot of money. Unless your family would have that extra income to spare, you may need life insurance on both spouses,” advises Marvin Feldman, President and CEO of life insurance non-profit organization, Life Happens.   This also gives the remaining parent time to grieve, take care of kids, and take time off of work.   

I’m too old or too young for life insurance. 

 Life insurance provides for the needs of those left behind.  There are lots of different options for coverage no matter what stage of life you are in.  And, as long as there is a need there should be coverage in place.  Depending on age and health, different companies will provide different options.  Work with a professional to help you cover that need.   

“85% of Americans say most people need life insurance, yet only 62% have coverage.”* In fact, “3% say their cell phone is the most important, and 20% have cell phone insurance.”* Every person’s situation is unique and different.  Some need a lot of coverage and some may not need any at all.  But what I do know is that families need to be informed and educated on their options.  Each person needs a plan…and “gofundme” isn’t a plan.   

*LIMRA and LIFE Foundation 2013 Insurance Barometer Study (www.lifehappens.org 

How do I Get My Husband to Come to Counseling?

Counseling, if done right, is husband friendly! Find the right therapist and you’ll understand. The problem is that many husbands worry that the therapist is going to take their wife’s side and gang up on him, or that therapy will be uncomfortable. While the latter may be true, the former isn’t. A good therapist doesn’t take sides or act as a referee. I have had many couples want to hash out an argument in front of me in counseling so that I can tell them who is right. I stop them, and explain that even if one of them ended up right, that they would be so wrong in their rightness – their marriage would suffer because they insisted on being right instead of compassionate and forgiving. A good therapist, rather, is able to foster healthy interactions between spouses so that they both feel safe and are able to be vulnerable and genuine with each other. When husbands understand that what they feel and think is important, then they are more willing to make this uncomfortable leap with their spouse. Women are more likely than men to initiate therapy, but without buy-in from the man, it is difficult to be successful in therapy. My suggestion to women who want to initiate counseling, but have a reluctant spouse is to recognize that this is scary for your spouse. They may feel as if they will be attacked, or worse yet, that they will lose you. Help them understand that your desire for counseling is because you love him and because you want this to work – but aren’t sure how to make fix it. Ask him to give therapy at least 3 sessions – after that, if he still feels reluctant there might be another counselor or approach that you could try. Most men feel better about therapy after at least 3 sessions if you have the right therapist for you.

 

Originally published on www.tristonmorgan.com

 

When the Holidays Hurt

For many people, the holiday season is a time of joy and magic, a time where people relive and create happy memories. They are moments of joyous gatherings filled with love, laughter and crowded tables. But if you are not one of those people, the holiday season can be very difficult to endure. For individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one, abuse in childhood, or another tragedy or trauma, the holidays just remind you of that loss and pain. Your days may not be merry and bright. Your days may feel more gloomy, more isolating, and you may feel more disconnected from the world around you.  

The holidays are here, and the holidays can hurt. 

Maybe it’s because of the chairs that will be empty or the phone calls that won’t come. Maybe it’s the time off from work that allows you to think about your life and feel the pain. Maybe it’s the reminder that all of your holidays your whole life were negative and filled with dysfunction and abuse. And maybe it’s the perception that everyone else has the picture perfect holiday gatherings with all their loved ones. Whatever the reason may be, a heavy sadness can take hold of you and you don’t know how to shake it off.  

For many of us, depression, grief, and sadness are constants and we get used to fighting them off and keeping them at bay. There’s nothing like the holidays that make you feel like you not only have to have it all together, but you have to wrap it up with a bow and display it for the world to see.  

If you happen to be hurting this holiday season, I’d like to offer some helpful advice. 

Let it hurt. Allow yourself to feel the pain and allow it to come fully without altering or inhibiting it. Life is difficult and painful sometimes and it is okay that you are not okay during this time. You don’t need to pretend that you are. Emotional reactions are expected and there are no right or wrong feelings.  

Don’t hide it. Be as authentic as you can with the people you are closest to. Allow people who love you to be there for you and support you in your time of pain and distress. Let them see you and know you–not an edited, “better” version of yourself.  

Today is really just another day. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it must be the most wonderful time of the year. It doesn’t have to be, and it clearly isn’t that this year.  

Practice self care. Be aware of yourself and what you’re feeling and if something is triggering and overwhelming.  Allow yourself to disengage or leave a painful situation and attend to your pain. Only you truly know how you are feeling and what your boundaries and limitations are. Be true to yourself.  

Embrace this holiday as-is. You may feel overwhelmed and in pain, but there is still goodness to be experienced, even in the pain. There will be holidays in the future that are lighter and happier, and these difficult days are part of the healing path to get there.   

New traditions. New traditions can be healing and can help you create better connections to the loved ones in your life. If you have survived the loss of a loved one you can start a new tradition that symbolizes letting go, such as sending balloons or floating lanterns in the air. 

Above all, know that is okay to be blue during the holiday season.  

If you need someone to talk to you can contact the Center for Couples and Families at (385) 312-0506, text  HOME to 741741 to reach the crisis hotline or call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. 

 Originally published on Utah Valley Health and Wellness Magazine

CCD Smiles: One in a million

I am the only one in my family with CCD (Cleidocranial Dysplasia), which was a random mutation. Having CCD influenced my studies and career choices. I have always been fascinated by the body, genetics, and helping others with physical or emotional health problems. I started my career as an emergency room registered nurse. I did my Master’s thesis on CCD and then went on to obtain a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. I have been a nurse practitioner for the past 14 years, working in family medicine and mental health. My background in medicine helps me better understand CCD. I want to share my experience and medical understanding with others.  

I was born in Reedley, California in 1975. When I was born, it was obvious to my parents and doctors that something was wrong. My body, mostly my head, was shaped differently than a “normal” baby’s. At 3 months of age, I was diagnosed with Cleidocranial Dysplasia. 

I grew up knowing I was different. The most difficult part of CCD was all the oral and facial surgeries. My baby teeth never fell out on their own, my permanent teeth didn’t grow in on their own, and I had several extra teeth which had to be surgically removed. Everything in my mouth had to be done manually. I started having oral surgeries at age 7 and I spent most of my Christmas, Spring, and Summer breaks undergoing surgery. My last major surgery was when I was 19 years old. 

 CCD dental treatment was not easily navigated. My dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons had never treated anyone with CCD. Everything they tried was experimental. 

Medical insurance and dental insurance did not cover the cost of my surgeries. Medical insurance considered my teeth problems to be dental. Dental insurance considered the surgeries cosmetic. My parents were paying for my surgeries until I was in college. 

When I was growing up, I didn’t know anyone with CCD. In 2001, technology helped me to connect with other people with CCD for the first time. I heard about other people’s experiences as I conducted phone interviews for my Master’s thesis “CCD: The lived experience.” Eight years ago, I met Steffani and her daughter Hally, who have CCD, for the very first time. 

 CCD Smiles 

I felt inspired to create a nonprofit organization to help others with CCD. I started working on the foundation in 2013. In 2016, Gaten Matarazzo’s dad contacted me. Together, we made CCD Smiles an official IRS approved nonprofit organization in January 2017. Since it’s official beginnings, we have had gatherings and fundraisers across the country. I have met 38 other people with CCD, which has been a tremendous blessing in my life.  

 Gaten Matarazzo, from the series Stranger Things, is a huge part of bringing awareness to CCD. As his popularity in Hollywood has grown, so has familiarity with CCD and CCD Smiles.  

CCD Smiles is still in its infancy, but you can go to www.ccdsmiles.org to learn more about us and watch us grow! Currently, the website is a place for donations, purchasing CCD swag and education about CCD. In the future, the website will be a place where those with CCD can connect, share pictures, exchange stories, and find hope. I want others to know they are not alone. It will also provide current and accurate medical information, written in plain English. Doctors, dentists, orthodontists, and surgeons can come together and discuss treatment, research, and options for their patients. 

As CCD Smiles grows and donations are made, we can help cover the costs of oral/facial surgeries. If insurance isn’t going to help, then we can. I don’t want the medical/dental expense to keep parents from being able to provide beautiful smiles for their children. 

My ultimate dream is coming true. July 13-15, 2018 will be the first national CCD conference in Salt Lake City.  Watch the website for more information. If anyone is interested in donating time, money, or talents to this event, please email me at kellywosnik@ccdsmiles.org. 

CCD Smiles Mission Statement: We bring global awareness, provide assistance for dental care, and support research to improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals with cleidocranial dysplasia. 

CCD Smiles can be found in the media and on social media— Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (@ccd_smiles, #ccdsmiles) 

Originally published on Utah Valley Health and Wellness Magazine

Patience Is Not Only a Virtue…It Can Be Profitable

                                                                                                           Financial growth

The bond and stock markets have been stuck in a range for about the past 18 months.  The Dow Jones Average keeps moving back and forth between 16,000 and 18,000.  For investors, this can be very frustrating.  It feels like you are running in place and making no progress.

It has been said that patience is the greatest virtue. We live in a world where it seems that patience has been forgotten. In our “instant everything” world people want it all, and they want it now. They don’t think in terms of paying the price or investing for the long-term. They act on a whim, rather than follow a long-term plan.

Mountain View High School in Orem has always had a very successful track team with several runners nationally ranked. I asked their coach why his runners are so successful. I thought he would tell me strategies that help make his athletes stronger and faster. Instead, he shared with me his secret that was completely different than I expected. He said that much of their success comes from learning to pace themselves. They must have the patience to wait for the perfect time to make their final move to win the race. Counterintuitively, even in running, a sport that is built around speed, exercising patience is critical to success.

Every autumn I spend some of my spare time hunting for big game animals. I focus my efforts on finding animals that have “record book” potential. In order to locate them, I backpack into places rarely traveled. Often I come back empty handed. In my quest to find trophies, I have traveled to some very dangerous parts of the world. In order to succeed, I often hunt differently than traditional hunters. While there are several factors that contribute to my success, I believe that extreme patience is the most significant.

Patience is also a key attribute for successful investors, but…(read the rest of the story)

Originally published on Utah Valley Health and Wellness

The Five C’s to Obtain Financing

With a growing, stronger economy, many small-business owners are looking for loans to expand their operations. An owner may need working capital to support the company’s growth, want to consolidate debts into one loan on more favorable terms, or purchase additional real estate and equipment. Regardless of why a small-business owner is looking for financing, lenders usually apply the same rules to assess the financial wherewithal of the business.

Financial institutions assess the quality of the potential loan by testing the “Five C’s” of credit. The “C’s” are: character, capacity, capital, conditions and collateral. As a business owner, here are the five areas to consider as you prepare to obtain financing and assess how you’re doing. Each is important.

Character typically shows a small-business owner’s willingness to repay the loan. Lenders collect three years of financial statements to see trends and behaviors that borrowers display. Typically, three years is a long enough period of time for a small business to encounter a hiccup, a difficulty, or other hard times. By looking at the borrower’s behavior during a difficulty, the lender will learn how the borrower reacted when he had his back up against the wall. Did he continue to pay the obligations? Did he short-sell his property or close a company or line of business? These can be indicators of the borrower’s character.

Capacity…(read the rest of the story)

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Originally published by Utah Valley Health and Wellness

The 3 Simple Rules of Building Wealth

 

Legend has it, Albert Einstein was once asked what the greatest

Working men creating global business growth

invention of all time was. His answer? Compound interest. I am often asked when and how an individual can start investing.  Those who follow these three simple rules will have the potential to improve their lives significantly.

Rule #1: For compound interest to be truly powerful, it must have the benefit of time. The more time, the better. Think of it like a snowball rolling down a hill. It starts out small and then gets bigger and bigger the longer it rolls.

For example, compare two investors who each put away $2,000 a year and earn 10% annually. The first investor starts at age 19 and puts away $2,000 per year for eight consecutive years and then holds it there. The second investor waits eight years and then invests $2,000 per year for the next 38 years. At the end of the 38 years, the first investor’s account will have grown to $941,054. The second investor’s account will be only $800,896. Because of the power of compound interest, the first investor avoids 38 years of payments and invests $60,000 less, but ends up with $140,158 more.

Small increases in rates of return make enormous differences over time. Everyone knows that a higher rate of return is better than a lower one. What most people don’t realize is that the benefit is exponential. A 15 percent rate of return is not merely three times more than a 5 percent rate of return. It can actually be anywhere from seven to seventy times more, depending on how long you invest. Start investing now.

Rule #2: You have to save money—and saving requires discipline…(read the rest of the story)

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Originally published by Utah Valley Health and Wellness

5 Things You Can Do to Simplify Your Tax Prep and Filing

1. Checklist of Applicable Docs and Information

Put this list together early. Find out what documents and information

you will need for a complete tax filing, and make yourself a checklist. As you compile each document or piece of information, check it off your list, and when the list is completed, you can begin filing your taxes or send your completed set of documents to your CPA for filing. Though the exact documents you need will vary based on your specific situation, here are some general things you will need:

  1. Personal information, including name, date of birth, SSN, etc. for you, a spouse, and dependents you will be claiming
  2. Income documents (may include W-2, 1099, K-1, etc.)
  3. Expenses or deductions (charitable donations, business-related expenses, etc.)
  4. Any credits you know you qualify for, such as earned income credit or education credits
  5. Healthcare coverage forms (1095A, B, and/or C, depending on your situation, so consult with your CPA)
  6. How you want your refund applied (either direct deposit, or applied to your next return if you think you will owe)

It is also a good idea to decide early on whether or not you think you will need a tax extension. If you know you will be getting K-1s after the deadline it will be a good idea for you to file an extension.

2. Set of books

Quickbooks is a very common accounting software program that allows you to account for all your income and expenses. You can consider the cloud options that are available, since this allows you and your CPA to collaborate in real time. Another benefit of being on the cloud is you don’t have to send your CPA copies of your file backups. This will cut down the time it takes to get your taxes complete.

3. Saving receipts

You are required to…(read the rest of the story)

Originally published on Utah Valley Health and Wellness

Written by:Clyde Jones

A Simple Trick to Save You Money – Kerry Robinson

For many people, the hardest part of saving money is making the decision to go without something they want right now. In a study by the Brookings Institution, findings showed that Americans are largely living paycheck-to-paycheck. Surprisingly, sixty-six percent of Americans who are living paycheck-to-paycheck are considered middle class. The team involved in the study suggested that these people have a harder time weathering income shocks, such as illness or unexpected unemployment.

If you are one of these sixty-six percent, or if you feel you should do more to save money, there are some simple things you can do now to avoid the stress that comes with unexpected expenses. One way to make saving easier is to set up savings accounts and automatic transfers to save for these types of bills.

I had a coworker who recently did this and expressed how good it felt to be prepared and have the money when it was needed. “In the past when these kinds of bills came up, it caused a lot of stress because I had to figure out where to get the money, or it triggered austerity measures for the next month or two,” he said. “This time, paying the bills was a totally different experience because I had money set aside.”

You can do the same thing, or something similar. Here’s how:

First, consider a way you can cut back on your expenses so you can set up an automatic transfer to save a little each month for unexpected expenses. For example, if eating out costs your family $40, and eating in costs your family $20, you can eat out one less time per month, saving $20. Decide where you’ll cut back now, instead of on Thursday night at 6:00 p.m., when you might be more likely to spend more money on dinner…(read the rest of the story)

Originally published by Utah Valley Health and Wellness

Does Your Investment Plan Rely on Luck? – Dave Young

InvestmentLuck-300x200

Our experience and independent research both show that most investors do not follow a strategy. In other words, they do not have a disciplined, systematic process they follow to make investment decisions. Their portfolio of investments often represents a patchwork of uncorrelated ideas that were sold to them by various salesmen over their lifetime.  What may have seemed like a good idea at the time no longer makes any sense.

Take for example the first three months of 2016.  Markets have been in turmoil with the S&P 500 dropping -10.5% and the NASDAQ losing -14.8%.  After hitting their lows for the year both indexes have recovered about 10% of their value, erasing much of their losses.

Without a strategy it’s difficult to capitalize when the market drops and recovers.  Even worse, if you sold out during the drop, you are down 10-15%.  This is why following a solid strategy is so important to your long-term success.  To be clear, luck is not a strategy.

There are two steps to follow when making a long-term strategy:

Step 1- Properly select your risk tolerance.

Decide in advance how much risk you can subject your account to. For some investors this means… (read the rest of the story)

Originally published on Utah Valley Health and Wellness