How to Keep Your Life Insurance Costs Down

With rates as low and competitive as they have ever been, it’s as close to a “buyers” market in life insurance as you’ll see.  Still, in these cash-strapped times, curbing all costs and expenses is a priority for most people, and buying life insurance is no different. While the cost of life insurance is predicated upon several factors over which we have little control, such as age, gender, and health, there are many ways in which the overall cost can be reduced.  It helps to have an understanding of how life insurers base their rates and the extent to which some of the factors can be influenced when applying for a policy.

Common investment mistakes to watch for

Cheang Ming, CNBC

Relying on common sense and market conventions are among the causes of a list of seven mistakes often made by investors, according to the investment house AMP Capital. "In the upside-down world logic that applies to much of investing, there are ... mistakes investors often make which make it harder for them to reach their financial goals," Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, said in a note.

Annuity Illustrations aren't always what they seem

CNCB, Jeff Rose

Not too long ago, a new client visited my office with a variable annuity illustration obtained from another financial advisor. The illustration itself used some fairly fuzzy math to paint a perfect picture for this client's retirement. But once I dug into the details, I could see this annuity illustration showed a potential lifetime payment of $22,000 per year and a guaranteed payment of $17,000.

How the Next President Could Save Social Security

The problem

Since 2010, Social Security’s funding mechanism has been taking on water. The number of workers supporting a growing number of retiring baby boomers is not sufficient to pay all the benefits they are due.

Saving Money Versus Paying Off Debt

How to Save Money on Bank Fees

AARP, August Edition

With technology leading the charge, prices have come down on everything from cellphones to cars. But personal banking — one of the last bastions of our tech-savvy society resisting change — has been digging in its heels.

Bank fees on everything from ATMs to overdrafts have been soaring in recent years. Conventional banks want to charge more, particularly those with brick-and-mortar branches, because they are making less money on loans and need to make up the difference on basic banking services.

Financial Lessons For Your Teen

How to Purchase the Right Amount of Life Insurance

Anyone with a family to protect understands the critical role life insurance plays in their financial plan However,  in determining the actual amount of coverage to provide essential protection needs, many people tend to adhere to simplistic rules-of-thumb, such as a “multiple of income,” which may leave them wondering if they own too much or too little coverage. That’s not exactly the “peace-of-mind” we hope for when buying life insurance.

Why You Should Monitor Your Credit

Let’s state up front that you don’t need a credit monitoring service to stay on top of your credit status. For people who are diligent and deliberate in monitoring their own credit, they can do so by accessing a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus once per year. And, for the credit monitoring critics who will tell you that these services do little to actually prevent identity theft or credit fraud, let’s concede that they are right. But then, nothing except the precautions you take up front can protect you from determined identity thieves. But, for the millions of people each year who fall victim to identity theft, credit card fraud, or mistaken scoring on their credit reports, a systematic and automatic approach to credit monitoring may have enabled them to react a little more quickly to the damage.

Before you retire make a leisure plan with purpose

Robert Powell, USA Today

During your working years, time is money. But in retirement, time is, well, leisure. Trouble is, very few pre-retirees are taking the time to figure out what they are going to do with all their free time in retirement, according to Merrill Lynch's study "Leisure in Retirement: Beyond the Bucket List." Here’s what experts say you should do to plan for all the leisure time in your golden years.

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