Frequently Asked Questions


Health                                                                                                                                                                                                              
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How do you choose health insurance?
We try to match your needs to a specific plan. For example, if you rarely go into a doctor, why not have a low cost high deductible plan that includes a free physical exam? You can have your annual checkup and any other medical expenses could be met from the savings in premiums. We often recommend different plans for husbands and wives, just for that reason and the savings can be a lot. There are also many plans with good upfront benefits and a higher deductible to keep the cost down. Annual physicals are often paid in full. Prescription drugs do not require a deductible. There are many new rules about when or if children can apply for coverage, depending on their ages. Health insurance has become very complex, yet with 22 years experience, we can sort through it all for you.


Life
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How much life insurance should I get?
If you have a family, most experts agree that a policy worth 5 to 10 times your annual salary is adequate. Life insurance can be used as a flexible financial tool throughout your lifetime. Cash value policies (both Universal and Whole Life) can accumulate cash on a tax deferred basis and can be used as a retirement fund (tax deferred as it grows) or an emergency source of funds through low cost loans. There various types of term insurance plans. I help you decide with type of life insurance makes the most sense, integrated with your other assets and goals.


Disability
Do I need disability income insurance?
If you add up your lifetime earnings, you will see that your income is the largest asset you will ever own. We all insure our houses, cars and lives, doesn't it make sense to protect a portion of your income? Imagine what you would do if you were never able to work again. Disability insurance protects this asset. Decisions involve how long you would wait before the insurance payments begin if you have a disability, how much money you want to receive, how long the payments continue, inflation riders, options to protect your retirement contributions and many more. There are substantial discounts if your employer offers a group disability insurance plan, which can even be voluntary.



Timing
When is the best time to buy long term care insurance?
We usually recommend buying LTC insurance in your 50's. The premiums are generally affordable and your health is usually still good. The peace of mind of knowing one of your largest "old age" expenses has been addressed is a very nice gift to you and your family. Itís important to look for plans that will cover you at home, in an adult living arrangement as well as a nursing home. Also, a good plan will leave open any new type of arrangement which has yet to be developed. Inflation protection, waiting periods, benefit periods and most importantly, what is the definition of being unable to take care of yourself that will trigger the payment of benefits are all some key decisions that need to be discussed. Also, all you really have is an insurance companyís promise to pay benefits sometime in the future, so the financial strength of the company becomes as important or even more important than health insurance, life insurance or disability insurance.


 


Education
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What are some ways to save for my childrenís education?
Coverdell and Section 529 plans are new plans designed specifically for education funding. Grandparents can contribute to these funds as well.