Tag Archives: Life Insurance

What Is An Annuity?

Retirement Readings

October 19, 2016

WHAT IS AN ANNUITY?

In planning for financial security in retirement, an annuity can satisfy two basic objectives:

1. To accumulate retirement assets on a tax-deferred basis: If you’re already contributing the maximum to IRAs and any employer-sponsored retirement plans and need to save more for retirement, a deferred annuity may be the answer to your retirement savings need.

2. To convert retirement assets into an income that you cannot outlive: On the other hand, if you’re near or at retirement, an immediate income annuity can be used to convert existing retirement assets into a lifetime income.

An annuity is a long-term savings plan that can be used to accumulate assets on a tax-deferred basis for retirement and/or to convert retirement assets into a stream of income.

While both are insurance contracts, an annuity is the opposite of life insurance:

  • Life insurance provides financial protection against the risk of dying prematurely.
  • An annuity provides financial protection against the risk of living too long and being without income during retirement.

If you are already contributing the maximum to an IRA and/or an employer-sponsored retirement plan, an annuity can be an excellent way to save for financial security in retirement.

Contact my office if you’d like additional information on the role an annuity might play in your retirement planning.

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

THINKING LIKE A FARMER

by Jim Rohn

One of the difficulties we face in our industrialized age is the fact we’ve lost our sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with the seasons, we have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life. As a result, we have our priorities out of balance. Let me illustrate what I mean:

For a farmer, springtime is his most active time. It’s then when he must work around the clock, up before the sun and still toiling at the stroke of midnight. He must keep his equipment running at full capacity because he has but a small window of time for the planting of his crop. Eventually winter comes when there is less for him to do to keep him busy.

There is a lesson here. Learn to use the seasons of life. Decide when to pour it on and when to ease back, when to take advantage and when to let things ride. It’s easy to keep going from nine to five year in and year out and lose a natural sense of priorities and cycles. Don’t let one year blend into another in a seemingly endless parade of tasks and responsibilities. Keep your eye on your own seasons, lest you lose sight of value and substance.

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Personal Responsibility

“It is not what happens that determines the major part of your future. What happens, happens to us all. It is what you do about what happens that counts.”

— Jim Rohn

“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”

— Stephen Covey

“The amount of satisfaction you get from life depends largely on your own ingenuity, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness. People who wait around for life to supply their satisfaction usually find boredom instead.”

— Dr. William Menninger

On Overcoming the Negative

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”

— Walter Bagehot

“As long as you think the problem is out there, that very thought is the problem.”

— Stephen Covey

“Hatred is the most destructive force on earth. It does the most damage to those who harbor it.”

— Nido Qubein

“You are positive, creative and happy to the degree to which you eliminate negative emotions from your life.”

— Brian Trac

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2016 VSA, LP

 © 2015 BenefitConsultantInc | All Rights Reserved

 

Tax Bracket Planning…From The Office Of Gurdayal Singh

 Benefit-NEWBrighter2

August 24, 2016

 

ENHANCING DOLLARS THROUGH TAX BRACKET PLANNING

Did You Know That…

Tax brackets have an impact on funding insurance solutions to the needs of closely-held corporations and their shareholders?

For example, a corporation in the 15% tax bracket gets to keep 85 cents of every taxable dollar it makes, while an individual in the 35% tax bracket gets to keep only 65 cents of every taxable dollar he or she makes. Since life insurance purchased to fund a buy-sell plan must be paid for with after-tax dollars, it may make more sense to pay the premiums with 85 cent dollars as compared to 65 cent dollars.

Impact of Tax Brackets on Buy-Sell Planning

  • Lower bracket corporation — If the corporation is in a lower tax bracket than the shareholders, a stock redemption buy-sell plan can be funded with enhanced dollars, since premiums are paid by the corporation.

  • Higher bracket corporation — If the corporation is in a higher tax bracket than the shareholders, a cross purchase buy-sell plan may be more cost effective since premiums are paid with enhanced dollars by each shareholder.

Impact of Tax Brackets on Executive Benefit Planning Conversely, the marginal tax brackets of the corporation and shareholder-employees can have an impact on the total cost of a selective benefit plan. Benefits provided to corporate employees on a selective basis generally are either tax-deductible by the corporation or are not currently taxable to the employee, but not both. As a result, the relative impact of tax brackets should be considered in selecting a selective executive benefit plan that produces the most advantageous overall tax results.

  • Lower bracket corporation — When the corporation is in a lower tax bracket, selective benefits that are non-deductible by the corporation and non-taxable to the shareholder-employee generally produce the better overall tax results.

  • Higher bracket corporation — When the corporation is in a higher tax bracket, selective benefits that involve tax-deductible corporate payments are generally more advantageous, even if taxable to shareholder-employees.

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

IMPORTANT VS. URGENT

by Tony Jeary

Priorities refer to those things that are important.

Many are still in the habit of “reacting” to the urgent rather than “responding” to the important. Think about this statement. Important activities should be of high priority because they are the things that contribute significantly to our objectives. They have more “long-term” impact. They should help us the most in reaching our goals. Don’t prioritize based on who gave you the work; fit it based on its importance and urgency and who should be handling it based on responsibilities, skills, and capacity.

Urgent activities usually are more “short-term” in nature and may or may not relate to our objectives. They usually do not make significant contributions. They make endless demands on our time and pressure us daily.

There is a constant tension that develops between the urgent and the important. Because the important things seldom need to be done today, and the urgent almost always do, there is a critical need for learning to set proper priorities so that our visions, goals, and desires can be met more effectively.

Most people don’t take the time to prioritize. They are usually reactive. We recommend you be proactive.

Here is a list of time-gaining events to help you more effectively prioritize. Enter the approximate amount of time you feel you will gain each day by successfully performing the selected events, changing your habits and using your tools.

1. Setting priorities during your daily planning, eliminating unproductive tasks gains valuable time.

2. Having a written agenda, and following it, for every meeting with no more than three objectives gains valuable wasted time from long, ineffective, rambling meetings.

3. Learning to “say no” to demands that don’t benefit you, or sending the request to the appropriate person, helps you to “double” the time gained by not reacting to the demand, and by freeing you up to do what DOES benefit you.

4. Learning when your high-energy time is and scheduling your priority work for this time gains minutes through more effective and empowering work.

5. Prioritize your reading by learning to skim articles, memos, books etc. Then read only what really gives you value. This will gain you crucial daily time every time you read.

6. Request that people that send you e-mails, prioritizing and spelling out the actions they are asking of you with clear bullet points, not long narratives.

7. Write down what your objectives are before you return phone calls to gain time through quicker, more effective communication.

8. Early in the day, sorting mail and placing each piece appropriately (now, future, trash) gains valuable time throughout the day as each piece is addressed only once.

9. Asking the originator of a document to send you ONLY the relevant information that pertains to you gains time by not wasting it on reading information that is irrelevant to you.

10. Create lists often. This helps with focus and multi-tasking.

11. Prioritize and review the list of tasks you have given a subordinate. Clarity and merging of the minds often uncover shortcuts.

12. Gain time by having visitors screened and only meet with those visitors whom you must. Stand when you greet drop-ins, sit only if YOU want to.

13. Use a Daytimer™ or electronic datebook to help prioritize daily events.

After going through this list of 13 activities, add up the approximate time you believe you would save on a weekly basis – and then start doing it!

 meme for FF aug 12

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© 2015 BenefitConsultantInc | All Rights Reserved

 

Fun Friday – August 12, 2016

 

                                             

Friday Fun from the Desk of Gurdayal Singh…

August 12, 2016

8 Apps For The Lazy Traveler

From room service, to an app that finds the nearest cleanest restroom, to car service…the coolest travel apps yet!

Cupping: Why Does Michael Phelps Do It?

Many other Olympians are doing it, too. What’s behind the round bruises you’re seeing on athletes’ bodies.

Cosmetic Dentistry

See what braces, crowns, veneers, teeth whitening, bridges, implants, gum reshaping — or even a complete dental makeover — can do for your smile.

FANDOMETRICS

We love this link…a portal to current popular culture, Fandometrics is scientific ranking of fandoms on the microblogging and social networking website, Tumblr. Tumblr is a social media platform that’s widely used but under the radar. Fresh rankings are posted every Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern.

 

Life Insurance…from the Desk of Gurdayal Singh

cropped-Benefit-NEWBrighter.png

 

Financial Facts

August 10, 2016

DO YOU STILL HAVE ENOUGH LIFE INSURANCE?

Failing to consider the impact of inflation could result in a gradual erosion of the purchasing power of your life insurance program!

Impact of Inflation in 2016 on $100,000 of Life Insurance

Year $100,000 of Life Insurance Purchased

Average Annual Inflation Rate Since Year Purchased*

Total Insurance Needed in 2016 to Equal the Purchasing Power of $100,000 of Life Insurance

Additional Life Insurance Needed in 2016 to Maintain the Purchasing Power of $100,000 of Life Insurance

1985

2.7%

$235,389

$135,389

1990

2.5%

$199,909

$  99,909

1995

2.3%

$164,550

$  64,550

2000

2.2%

$146,150

$  46,150

2005

2.1%

$128,420

$  28,420

2010

1.7%

$109,992

$    9,992

* Based on the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) – December to December; Base Period: 1982-84 = 100

No adjustments have been made for changes in financial obligations, loans, income, standard of living, number of dependents, etc. The additional life insurance amounts illustrated above simply restore the original purchasing power of a $100,000 life insurance program.

Is it time to review your life insurance program?

 

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PARENTING AND BEING A MOTHER OR FATHER

by Michael Grose

Being a mother or father is different than being a parent.

Parenting is a generic term that refers to a set of behaviors that we engage in to raise our children. It refers to the environment that we try to establish as adults and a set of behaviors that we engage in to raise our children. While most people would agree that raising kids is a deliciously irrational experience, the art or craft known as parenting is irrefutably rational. A child does X so parents do Y. A parent does C in the hope that a child will do D and so forth. Very logical and rational.

Being a father or a mother is not about rationality. It is steeped in emotion. That is why it is so difficult to raise our own kids. It easier to raise a neighbor’s children – we can see exactly what they need. But our hopes, dreams, fears and anxieties prevent rationality when raising our own children.

However, it is the emotion involved in being a father and mother that makes us go out on a limb for our kids, worry about them and devote all of our physical and mental resources if necessary for them.

There are times when being a parent is contradictory to being a mother or father.

For instance, the parent in me says that it is good for my child to struggle a little, become frustrated at times when trying to learn a new skill. The struggle strengthens him or her and promotes resilience. That’s the logical side of me. Yet the father in me wants to protect my child from hurt or harm and smooth the way as much as possible. This response is even stronger when it comes to my daughter as fathers are very protective of their daughters and tend to be harder on their sons. That’s the father, not the parent reaction.

Kids use this language in the same way. They usually refer to their mother and father as ‘my parents’ but singularly, it is always ‘my mother’, ‘my father’ or just ‘mum’ and ‘dad’. They know the difference between mum and dad and parents. Parents are those people who raise them, nag them to do homework, feed them and do all those managerial type duties, but it is their mother and father who they feel attached to, and who is their source of self-worth.

My son recently turned seventeen and I responded to this event as both a parent and a father. The parent provided presents and a ritual to celebrate the occasion. That is what parents do. The father in me reacted quite differently – with paternal pride and happiness and a tinge of regret that my son is growing away from me. It was quite a strong emotional response that is not really covered in any parenting manual. And I recalled one of my favorite moments as a father when I overheard my son, who was four at the time, say three little words to his preschool friends, “That’s my dad.”

“That’s my parent” just doesn’t sound the same!

QUOTES
from the Masters…

On Planning

“The reason why most people face the future with apprehension instead of anticipation is because they don’t have it well designed.”

-– Jim Rohn

“Don’t just do something, sit there! Sit there long enough each morning to decide what is really important during the day ahead.”

— Richard Eyre

“Failing to plan means planning to fail. What are your goals?”

-– Brian Tracy

On Wisdom

“Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.”

— Felix Frankfurter

“To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.”

-– Plutarch

“True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance.”

— Akhenaton

 

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described. For more complete information, please contact my office.

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2016 VSA, LP

Connect With Us:

 

    

© 2015 BenefitConsultantInc | All Rights Reserved

 

Wealth Relacement Trusts

Estate Ideas

April 6, 2016

WRT

WEALTH REPLACEMENT TRUSTS

Another Role for Life Insurance… The Wealth Replacement Trust

The Problem:

There can be significant tax advantages in giving appreciated assets to a charity. Examples include real estate and securities. If you were to sell an appreciated asset, the gain would be subject to capital gains tax. By donating the appreciated asset to a charity, however, you can receive an income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the asset and pay no capital gains tax on the increased value.

For example, Donor A purchased $25,000 of publicly-traded stock several years ago. That stock is now worth $100,000. If she sells the stock, Donor A must pay capital gains tax on the $75,000 gain. Alternatively, Donor A can donate the stock to a qualified charity and, in turn, receive a $100,000 charitable income tax deduction. When the charity then sells the stock, no capital gains tax is due on the appreciation.

When a donor makes substantial gifts to charity, however, the donor’s family is deprived of those assets that they might otherwise have received.

A Potential Life Insurance Solution:

In order to replace the value of the assets transferred to a charity, the donor establishes a second trust – an irrevocable life insurance trust – and the trustee acquires life insurance on the donor’s life in an amount equal to the value of the charitable gift. Using the charitable deduction income tax savings and any annual cash flow from a charitable trust or charitable gift annuity, the donor makes gifts to the irrevocable life insurance trust that are then used to pay the life insurance policy premiums. At the donor’s death, the life insurance proceeds generally pass to the donor’s heirs free of income tax and estate tax, replacing the value of the assets that were given to the charity.

Please contact my office if you would like more information on wealth replacement trusts.

MESSAGES
from the Masters…

LIVING AND OPERATING WITH INTEGRITY 

by Paul J. Meyer

Integrity is where it all begins!

Integrity is real and concrete!

Integrity is measurable and includes traits like being honest, keeping your word, standing your ground for what is right, and maintaining your honor.

It is something you can’t pretend to have.

Real integrity is treating others the way you want to be treated even when nobody is watching…the Golden Rule.

If your foundation is one of integrity, your choices and decisions will bear that out. On the other hand, if you lack integrity, that too will become evident.

Your upright actions will show in every instance that: “I do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.”

In the book of Proverbs, it says: The integrity of the upright guides them. Also, A person of integrity works securely, but he who walks a crooked path will be found out.

Here are some benefits I have found from keeping integrity:

* Increased sales and profits
* Inspiration and motivation
* Unexpected favor
* Respect and appreciation
* A good name and reputation
* Peace and contentment
* God’s blessings in every part of my life

QUOTES
from the Masters…

 

On Thinking Big

 

“If you want to have a WOW life, write yourself a WOW business plan.” 

-– Mark Victor Hansen

“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”

-– Dag Hammarskjold

“Looking to the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map. Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?”

— Vincent Van Gogh

“Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.”

— John Dewey

 

On Perseverance/ Persistence

 

“When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a moment longer, never give up then–for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

— Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.”

-– Christopher Morley

“If what you are doing is worth doing, hang in there until it is done.”

-– Nido Qubein

“Winning is easy…all you have to do is outlast your opponent.”

-– Doug Firebaugh

Happy Friday! Spring is here! (March 18, 2016)

 

This Sunday is the official start of Spring!

Do you have your Spring Cleaning to do lists ready? We can help! 

 

 

 

 

How to Spring Clean Your Finances in 5 Steps

 

November 4 Newsletter

Financial Facts

WHY PEOPLE BUY LIFE INSURANCE

life-Insurance-Policy

For the Death Benefit:

  • To replace earning power at death
  • To pay for cash needs that arise at death

As a Disciplined Savings Program*:

  • To help pay for educational costs
  • To supplement retirement income
  • To take advantage of business opportunities
  • For financial emergencies

Because of the Risk of Waiting:

  • To replace earning power at death
  • To pay for cash needs that arise at death

For the Tax Advantages:

  • Death proceeds are received free of income tax
  • Cash value accumulations are tax deferred
  • Cash value loans or withdrawals* are free of tax, as long as the policy stays in force
  • Accelerated death benefits are received free of income tax

In Recognition of Personal Responsibility to:

  • Family
  • Banker
  • Mortgage company

For the Flexibility:

  • Benefits may be available regardless of whether the policyowner lives, quits, dies or becomes disabled
  • Life insurance is portable; benefits are not lost due to job changes

* Withdrawals and loans will reduce the policy’s death benefit and cash value available for use.

Please call my office for an appointment if I can assist in evaluating your life insurance needs.



KEEPING YOUR ATTITUDE UP WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES ARE DOWN

attitude

by Chris Widener

“Instead of spending your time thinking about how bad things are, think about how good they will be!”

Everyone knows that a positive attitude is key to the successful life. But what happens when things go wrong? What happens when circumstances deal us a blow? We have a tendency to let our attitudes take the dive along with our state of affairs. Life deals us setbacks, both minor and major, on a regular basis, but if we are going to be successful, we need to know how to deal with them and keep our attitudes intact! We need practical tools to help us understand how we can go about keeping our attitude up, when the circumstances are down. Here are some thoughts to help us do so:

Take some time-out. I’m sure you are aware of what happens. You are going about your day and everything seems to be going well, when out of nowhere disaster strikes. All of your best-laid plans begin to tumble. Sometimes circumstances surprise us and we react. Unfortunately, this often compounds the problem because by reacting we tend to operate out of our weaknesses instead of our strengths. We make decisions that are not well thought out. We function with a bad attitude that says, “I can’t believe this is happening!”

The next time circumstances turn against you, take some time to just step back from the problem and think. This will enable you to deal with the issue at hand rationally, instead of emotionally. It will allow you to put your state of mind back into its proper place. It gives you the opportunity to choose your attitude as you face the circumstances at hand. Remember that we don’t have to do something right now. Go grab a cup of coffee and relax little bit. By doing this you function with you being in control and not the circumstances.

Keep your eye on the goal. A second step in keeping our attitude in the proper place is to make sure we keep the important things important. One of the biggest problems with trouble is that it gets your focus off of where it should be. When I experience difficult circumstances and people ask me how it is going, I tell them, “I am just keeping my eye on the goal.” It has always been fascinating to me that when racecar drivers get into trouble, they keep their eyes straight ahead and do not move them away. There is just too much chance of wrecking that way. Instead, their eyes are on the goal, and this keeps them out of trouble. If you find yourself getting down about circumstances, sit down and write out what the goal is. Give some thought to how you can achieve that goal, or others you may have.

A man was asked how he was doing and he responded, “Pretty well, under the circumstances.” The other man asked, “What are you doing under the circumstances?” Good question. We shouldn’t be under the circumstances, we should be focused on the goal and moving forward.

Focus on solutions, not problems. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, the old saying goes. Negative circumstances don’t sit idly by. They scream for our attention. When we face difficult circumstances, we tend to dwell on them. We talk about them, fret about them, and give them way too much attention. Instead of talking about problems, talk about solutions. Instead of spending your time thinking about how bad things are, think about how good they will be! Don’t have family or staff meetings about the problems and how big they are. Have meetings on the solutions and how you will implement them. Don’t let yourself or other team members complain. Encourage them to solve, with an emphasis on the positive results that will come from doing so. Then take some time to put these solutions down on paper, so you can monitor your progress.

Get some positive input. The mind tends to build on itself, so when we begin to go in one direction, i.e. worry, it can be a slippery slope. One thing we must do is get our thoughts back on track with positive ideas. When circumstances have got you against the emotional wall, get with a good friend who can encourage you. Listen to a tape by Zig Zigler or another motivational speaker. Pick up a good book and give it a read. Whatever external influence you can get to put your attitude back on the positive side of the tracks – do it! It must be one of our first goals to start plugging good things into our minds to fuel our attitudes.

Tell yourself the good. One of the greatest internal powers we have is the power to control our thoughts. Spend time dwelling on the good things about your life or job instead of the problems. Think about positive things, things you enjoy and give you a sense of happiness and peace. There is an old childhood song that says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” That is great advice! Let your positive attitude develop from within as well as from without. This makes all the difference!

Remember that circumstances are not forever. Sometimes it seems like we are going to be up to our eyeballs in the situation forever, when in reality, this too shall pass. There will be a time in the future when circumstances will change and you will be on the mountain instead of the valley. This will give you a sense of hope as you live and work that will change your attitude, make you feel better and put you on the fast track for growth!

Some questions as we close:

  • Q. Do you have a habit of reflection before responding?
  • Q. Do you have a habit of keeping your eye on the goal?
  • Q. Do you focus on solutions or problems?
  • Q. Do you give yourself positive outside influence?
  • Q. Do you have a habit of telling yourself the good?
  • Q. Do you remind yourself that nothing is forever?

 

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described.

For more complete information, please contact my office at the phone number above or email: Contact@BenefitCI.com

Published by The Virtual Assistant; © 2015 VSA, LP

Why People Buy Life Insurance

life-Insurance-Policy

For the Death Benefit:

  • To replace earning power at death
  • To pay for cash needs that arise at death

As a Disciplined Savings Program*:

  • To help pay for educational costs
  • To supplement retirement income
  • To take advantage of business opportunities
  • For financial emergencies

Because of the Risk of Waiting:

  • To replace earning power at death
  • To pay for cash needs that arise at death

For the Tax Advantages:

  • Death proceeds are received free of income tax
  • Cash value accumulations are tax deferred
  • Cash value loans or withdrawals* are free of tax, as long as the policy stays in force
  • Accelerated death benefits are received free of income tax

In Recognition of Personal Responsibility to:

  • Family
  • Banker
  • Mortgage company

For the Flexibility: 

  • Benefits may be available regardless of whether the policyowner lives, quits, dies or becomes disabled
  • Life insurance is portable; benefits are not lost due to job changes

* Withdrawals and loans will reduce the policy’s death benefit and cash value available for use.

Please call my office for an appointment if I can assist in evaluating your life insurance needs

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

Insurance and risk on blue road sign

How much life insurance is enough depends on your individual needs and your financial objectives for your family

While life insurance cannot replace you, it can provide the funds to:

  • PAY FINAL EXPENSES
  • REPLACE ALL OR A PORTION OF YOUR INCOME
  • KEEP YOUR FAMILY IN THEIR HOME  ESTABLISH A COLLEGE EDUCATION FUND
  • COVER FINANCIAL EMERGENCIES
  • PROVIDE A CHILD AND/OR HOME CARE FUND

How much life insurance is enough?

This question is best answered through an analysis of your family and financial situation, as well as your financial goals and objectives. For an in-depth analysis call: (909) 548-7444 or email: Contact@BenefitCI.com