Insurance 101

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  • Achieving Financial Goals

  • Many couples feel that talking about money with a spouse or partner makes it seem as though you don’t really trust them. In actuality, when you discuss financial objectives and your long-term strategies for achieving them, you’re proving just how committed you are to building a life with your partner. The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) has put together these tips to help couples sort out their thoughts to find common goals:

    1. Get it all out in the open — Tell each other the names of the institutions where checking, savings, and investment accounts, and mortgages are held. Be sure each of you knows the whereabouts of birth/marriage certificates, titles/deeds for house/cars, insurance policies, jewelry, and the safe deposit key.
    2. Unify your financial responsibilities — Determine right at the start of the relationship what your spending and saving habits will be, whether you’ll open joint accounts, and if the responsibility of paying the bills will belong to one person or be handled jointly.
    3. Get ready for emergencies — Open an emergency savings fund in which you should always keep at least six months worth of income to pay for the unexpected.
    4. Buy enough Life insurance — According to LIMRA International, most married couples have less than half the recommended amount of Life insurance coverage. Husbands should carry enough to replace their income for 4.2 years, and wives should be covered for 4.9 years. To calculate your individual needs, go to Calculate Your Life Insurance Needs at the website.
    5. Be prepared for disability — Seventy percent of working adults say they could only take off one month or less of unpaid leave before expenses would force them to return to work. One-third of all workers over the age of 30 will suffer a disability lasting three months or more at some time in their career. To figure out how much you need, go to Calculate Your Disability Insurance Needs at the website.
    6. Meet with an insurance agent — We will help you assess your coverage needs and assist you in creating a financial plan that will protect your family even after you’re gone.
    7. Don’t put off getting a will drawn — It’s important to set down all the specifics of how your estate will be managed after death and who the executors, guardians and trustees will be. Make sure you each have a living will, too, so that your spouse knows your wishes regarding artificial life support. Finally, designate a power of attorney to manage your financial affairs if you’re not able to do so yourself.

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