Jenilee Wirtz

Archive for the ‘Why you need life insurance’ Category

Heartbreak and hope: Family faces two devastating cancer diagnoses

In Charity, New York Life, Why you need life insurance on April 7, 2011 at 1:40 am

Professionally, I find that many clients want to “hold off” on purchasing their life insurance.  I stress the fact that we truly never know what will happen to us, and share with them the importance of protecting our insurability. 

 

Elisa and Nathan Bond’s life seemed perfect. Not long after their fairy-tale wedding, they had a beautiful baby girl who was growing into a happy toddler. Outside of a few extra pounds Elisa wanted to shed, she couldn’t think of a single thing wrong with their lives.

But on Valentine’s Day, the fabric of their existence started to unravel. Nathan, 38, learned he had Stage 3 colon cancer and only a 65 percent chance of surviving the next five years.

They were still absorbing the news when, just nine days later, 36-year-old Elisa received an even worse diagnosis: the lump in her breast was malignant and her cancer had already spread. She had Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, and her chances of surviving another five years are just 16 percent.

Elisa has only one request for those following her family’s story, she told TODAY: “If you envision our circumstance, don’t envision the cancer, envision the healing. Envision us playing with Sadie when she’s 5, when she’s 10… arguing about the keys to the car when she’s 16. That’s what we ask.”

Read the full story & watch the video clip from the TODAY SHOW here!  To donate to Elisa & Nate, visit their blog.

If you or someone you know is “putting off” the decision to fund a life insurance policy, please share this story with them. 

For more information on New York Life Insurance Company, the products we offer, or for a free consultation please contact Jenilee Wirtz at 860-716-9899 or jfwirtz@ft.newyorklife.com

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Ben Stein on Life Insurance

In Inspirational Quotes, Why you need life insurance on February 23, 2011 at 2:35 am

The famous Ben Stein on why you need life insurance:

This is only an excerpt; please read the full article here!

I wish I could show to every man who has not bought life insurance, or enough life insurance, how fearful those left behind without enough money are, and how relatively comforted and grateful those who have enough insurance are.

If husbands could take a moment to foresee what their potential widows’ lives would be like without their regular paycheck or pension check, their very next call would be to their insurance agent.

Of course, times are tough. We all know that. Almost everyone has been hit hard. I know I have been. But what is more of a necessity than keeping your loved ones secure? What expense is more responsible and adult than sacrificing now to take care of those you love down the road when the inevitable happens?

I don’t work for an insurance company or agency and no one in my family does. But I see the look on my wife’s face when she’s napping beside me, and that’s enough to say what I just said.

These are very powerful words; well put Mr. Stein!

For more information on life insurance, please contact Jenilee Wirtz at 860-716-9899 or jfwirtz@ft.newyorklife.com.

“I’m all set. I have Life Insurance through my employer.”

In New York Life, Professional Advice, Why you need life insurance on February 4, 2011 at 2:16 am

…Are you though?

The following information is provided by AMPM Insure Insurance Community.  I found the article interesting enough to share because I constantly run across individuals that who think they’re “all set”-they already have life insurance through work.

Most employers that offer group life insurance pay for the coverage either up to the employee’s salary, or a multiple of that salary.

Additional coverage is sometimes offered for an additional cost to be paid by the employee. The cost for the additional coverage may be low for a younger person (in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s), but group coverage most often has premiums banded in 5 year intervals. For example, a given rate is charged for someone between ages 35-39, a higher rate for 40-44, and so on. Group life insurance also has some major limitations:

1. If you are in good health, you are being charged a higher rate than you may be able to get by purchasing your own individual life insurance policy.

2. Coverage is limited, usually to a multiple of your salary. Often this multiple does not adequately cover the total needs in the event of death. Someone making $75,000 per year may be able to get up to $300,000 of group life insurance, but may have a need for $1,000,000.

3. If you leave the company, you lose the insurance. Any portion the employer pays as a benefit is usually eliminated.

4. If you leave the company and are offered the chance to convert and keep your coverage, it will often be very, very expensive.

5. You don’t own the coverage. If your employer goes bankrupt, you may be left with nothing.

6. The cost of insurance as you reach older ages on a group policy such as 60, 65, and 70, becomes very expensive compared to the cost of buying your own life insurance policy.

When you purchase your own life insurance policy, you can lock in the benefit amount that YOU choose for the amount of time that YOU want. Your premiums are guaranteed never to increase for the period of time that you choose. Your total premium outlay over that time period will almost always be less expensive than group life insurance unless you are in very bad health.

If you have life insurance through work but would like to learn more information about setting up a personal policy, please contact me at (860) 298-1068 or jfwirtz@ft.newyorklife.com.

Whole Life Insurance: An Excellent Investment Everyone Tells You Not to Buy

In New York Life, Professional Advice, Why you need life insurance on February 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Guest Blog!

All of the text below was taken from Dan Solin’s Blog:


Financial advice is unique. Most of it is dead wrong. The advice given by brokers (or “financial consultants,” as they like to be called) frequently has nothing at all to support it.

If you ask most financial advisers about cash value life insurance, this is what you will hear: Buy term and invest the difference. For many people, this makes perfect sense, but most people buy term and spend the difference.

If you buy term and spend the rest, you will have nothing to show for it-no cash value and no ability to keep the policy in force because of the significant premium increases as you age. That’s why most term policies expire prior to the death of the policyholder.

I don’t sell insurance and have no interest in any entity that does. However, I do believe the right kind of cash value (also called “whole life”) insurance policy could be a worthy addition to your portfolio.

Let me give you an example:

If you are twenty-nine years old, in excellent health, and a nonsmoker, you could purchase a cash value policy for a premium of $17,000 a year, for twenty years. The policy would have a death benefit of $1.2 million.

After the first year, the cash value of this policy would be more than $15,000. After five years, the cash value would exceed the premiums you paid up to that point ($85,000). After twenty years, the policy would be fully paid up, and you would not have to pay any additional premiums to keep the policy in force.

You don’t have to die to benefit from this policy. You could take out the cash value of the policy, up to the amount of the premiums paid, tax-free (although these withdrawals will reduce the amount of the death benefit). If you hold the policy until death, the death benefit will be paid to your beneficiaries tax-free.

The after-tax return of this policy is illustrated to be 5.5 percent, which is significantly greater than what you are likely to earn on your own after-tax by investing in bonds. By holding this policy, you can consider more aggressive investments for the balance of your portfolio.

The stark reality is that most Americans in their fifties have not accumulated anything close to the cash value of this policy. For those people, having access to this fund during their life, and providing for their beneficiaries upon their death, would be a huge improvement over the dire circumstances they are confronting.

Here’s the problem:

Your insurance agent is unlikely to present you with the optimal policy that will maximize your cash value. What you should look for is a blended insurance policy, which means it combines whole life and term life into a single policy. A blended policy should result in higher cash values immediately, and higher death benefits at life expectancy, because of lower sales costs. Blended policies are sold by many excellent, highly rated insurance companies, including Northwestern Mutual, Guardian, New York Life, and Mass Mutual.

“Lower sales costs” means lower commissions. Insurance agents are motivated to sell you traditional, higher-commission policies.

If you are considering insurance where the annual premium will be $10,000 or more, you should retain the services of a fee-only insurance consultant. They give unbiased advice and agree to act as your fiduciary (meaning they have no conflicts of interest and look out solely for you). In most states, an insurance agent has no fiduciary obligation to you.

Learn about the other side of the story with term life insurance from Linda Rey at the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.

For more information on how I assist clients with their retirement needs (including Cash Value Whole Life Insurance), please contact me at (860) 716-9899.

Protecting Assets During Challenging Business Times

In New York Life, Professional Advice, Support Local Business!, Why you need life insurance on January 26, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Small businesses are the engine of the economy, and when the economy sputters they often feel it first. In the current climate of uncertainty, many small businesses have cut expenses to the bone and tried to make their operations as lean and efficient as possible.

But even if a small business owner can’t control the marketplace, he or she can take steps to protect their key assets: the people the business relies upon.

Details Matter To Customers

A recession tests customer loyalty, as people cut back on spending and carefully weigh their options for even necessary purchases. For businesses that are strapped themselves, it may be easy to let attention to the details of customer service slip. But this is the time that details matter most, whether it’s taking the trouble to send a holiday note to your mailing list or offering special deals to prize patrons. The key to their loyalty is to let them know they matter to you.

Appreciate Your Employees

Of course, you want your employees to know they’re important, too. You need their knowledge and experience to navigate the uncertain times. The recession might mean sacrifices for everyone, but it is also a time to make sure valued workers know how much they are appreciated. Even small gestures, like movie tickets or a night at a local restaurant, can keep morale steady.

Supplement Benefits, Not Costs

You may want to consider “beefing up” your employee benefits package. A “Voluntary Payroll Deduction” (VPD) program is one of the most popular ways employees can purchase additional, personally-owned buy life insurance. A VPD program can usually be set up using your existing procedures for payroll deduction. A life insurance agent would then meet individually with each employee to explain the benefits of life insurance and the ease with which it can be purchased. All products purchased through VPD are employee-owned and paid for, with no direct out-of-pocket cost to you except the cost of administration. The VPD offerings can be a smart way to supplement your overall benefits package, without draining your budget.

Note: Employee participation in a payroll deduction insurance program is completely voluntary. Since this program is not intended to be subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), employers cannot contribute to, or endorse, this program.

Protect Yourself

As the owner of a business, you are the most important piece of the puzzle. And especially during difficult times, it is important to think about how the business would function without you. One thing that can provide a greater sense of security is a comprehensive life insurance policy. It can be tailored to fit your needs and ensure that those who rely on you every day would be provided for.

So when you think about protecting your assets in this economy, consider your human assets first.

This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Jenilee Wirtz. For additional information on the information or topic(s) discussed, please contact Jenilee Wirtz at jfwirtz@ft.newyorklife.com.

Life Insurance: Can You Afford To Wait?

In New York Life, Professional Advice, Why you need life insurance on January 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Critical decisions, such as buying a home, getting married or having children, require deliberate, thoughtful consideration. Indeed, the outcome of any one of these decisions can irrevocably change your life for better or worse. But, delaying the purchase of life insurance can be a costly mistake for you and your loved ones. Waiting just a few years can have a negative impact on several key areas of a life insurance policy.

Whole Life Insurance: Financial Protection Plus Cash Value Accumulation

In its simplest form, whole life insurance protects the people who depend on you for financial support — no matter what happens to you tomorrow. Aside from providing money to your beneficiaries to replace your income, whole life insurance also offers guaranteed* cash value accumulation on a tax-deferred basis, as long as the policy remains in force. If available, cash value can be borrowed against to fund a child’s education, supplement your retirement income, or meet an emergency cash need. Remember, policy loans accrue interest at the current variable loan interest rate and reduce the total cash value and total death benefit by the amount of the outstanding loan and accrued loan interest.

 The Effects of Waiting

Since a portion of the premiums paid accumulates cash value each year, over the long term, cash value accumulation can be considerable, especially since taxes on the growth are deferred. Generally speaking, the sooner you start paying policy premiums, the faster your cash value may accumulate.

 A whole life policy is also eligible to receive dividends, if and when declared by the insurance issuer. Unlike cash values, dividends are not guaranteed. In addition, past dividends are not indicative of future dividends. As a policyholder, you have several options for dividends usage. For example, you can take dividend distributions in cash or apply dividends to add insurance coverage through the purchase of paid-up additional life insurance. Paid-up insurance is also eligible for dividends, has cash value and requires no additional premiums. Other dividend payment options may be available. So, waiting in this case can cost you the opportunity to increase the benefit paid to your beneficiaries.

 Although you’re healthy now, you decide to delay purchasing whole life insurance for five years. In five years, you may suffer an unexpected health condition, which may place your insurability in jeopardy. In the worst-case scenario, if you were to die in the next five years, the cost of waiting would be the death benefit your beneficiaries would not receive.

 Remember, purchasing life insurance is a major decision. So, it’s important to take the time to gather all the necessary information and choose the coverage that best suits your needs. While the decision is up to you, keep in mind that postponing your decision can prove to be costly.

*Guarantees backed by the claims paying ability of the issuer.

 This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Jenilee Wirtz. For additional information on the information or topic(s) discussed, please contact Jenilee Wirtz at jfwirtz@ft.newyorklife.com.

Do You Need a Will?

In New York Life, Professional Advice, Uncategorized, Why you need life insurance on January 5, 2011 at 12:57 am

A will is one of the most important documents you can create in your lifetime. Think of a will as the financial blueprint of the distribution of your assets after your death. Your will can clearly state who will be guardian of your minor children, who will inherit your assets, when they will inherit your assets, and any conditions that must be met for them to receive your assets.

If you die without a valid will, the court does not have your instructions to follow. Therefore, it has no way of knowing how you may have wanted to distribute your assets. The state where you lived steps in and makes the decisions for you, according to the distribution schedule set forth in its intestacy statutes. The state’s decisions may or may not conform to your wishes, or to what is best for the people closest to you. Also, your loved ones will likely have to hire an attorney and incur delays to determine who will receive your assets.

Common Misconceptions

  • Myth: “My assets are so small that a will is not necessary.”

Fact: Think again. You are generally worth more than you give yourself credit. Even if some possessions do not hold great monetary value, they could hold an enormous amount of sentimental value — and that’s something you can’t put a price on. Failing to indicate who receives these treasures in your will can cause friction between family members that lasts for decades.

  • Myth: “When I die, my spouse will get all of my assets.”

Fact: Maybe and maybe not. Any assets held jointly with right of survivorship automatically pass to the joint owner. And assets with a beneficiary designation, such as IRAs, life insurance and annuities, pass as stated on the beneficiary form. What happens when your surviving spouse dies? What happens if your beneficiary form is outdated? Will your children receive their share at too early of an age? Does your spouse have the financial skill to manage the family wealth?

  • Myth: “I can create a will on my own and save the legal costs.”

Fact: “Do-it-yourself” wills often do not contain all of the necessary components as required by state law. Anyone who might benefit from an invalidation of your will can contest it, and if the courts decide in his or her favor, your estate may have to pay for all legal costs. Remember, the few dollars you save now can cost your loved ones thousands of dollars later.

  • Myth: “I don’t want my final wishes to be set in stone. I’ll create a will later in my life.”

Fact: The terms of a will can change as often as needed. Legal experts agree that you should reexamine your will periodically to make sure it is up-to-date. A will should receive a “checkup” whenever there is a substantial change in your life.

How do You Create a Will?

Drafting a will is difficult and is not an endeavor you want to tackle single-handedly. It’s important that you call on the services of an estate-planning lawyer. A lawyer might help you:

  • Determine what type of will you need
  • Help you make the right decisions as to how your assets should pass
  • Change the terms of an existing will, if appropriate
  • Save on estate taxes
  • Take advantage of estate planning opportunities people often overlook

Life Insurance and Wills

How does life insurance fit into the picture? Life insurance is a vehicle you can use to help make sure your estate has the cash needed to pay expenses at your death, such as funeral costs, debts, and estate taxes. Without liquid assets, the estate may be “forced” to sell assets — securities may have to be sold in a down market and other assets may have to be sold at a discount. In most instances, life insurance proceeds are paid income tax-free to your beneficiaries. And if desired, life insurance can be owned by a trust or a third party and also not be subject to estate taxes.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Despite the importance of an estate plan, which includes a will, 80% of Americans still do not have one.[1] Why? Creating a will forces each of us to come face-to-face with our own mortality — and dealing with death is difficult. But, it will be much more difficult for your loved ones if you don’t have a will. Remember, you should seek the services of a qualified attorney to draft your will.

This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Jenilee Wirtz. For additional information on the topic(s) discussed, please contact Jenilee Wirtz at jfwirtz@ft.newyorklife.com or 860-716-9899.

Neither New York Life, nor its agents, provides tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional before making any decisions.


Why do I have the most important job in the world?

In Why you need life insurance on November 29, 2010 at 11:50 pm

 

“Emotional devastation will not always cause financial devastation.

Financial devastation will always cause emotional devastation.”

– John Curry, New York Life