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December 2015

All About Love...and Life Insurance

 

There are many types of life insurance, just as there are many types of couples, often making it confusing for lovebirds who are trying to decide what coverage is best for their needs.

 

Young families

Growing families often have the greatest need because the children won't be fully capable of taking care of their own financial requirements for decades; if one partner passes away, that's a big burden for the other one to shoulder alone.

 

Older couples

Older couples, however, also can use life insurance, especially if one works and the other doesn't, or one earns significantly more than the other. In this case, life insurance should be purchased on the life of the higher earner so the one with the lower earnings isn't faced with bills he or she can't pay.

 

Other arrangements

More unusual circumstances can create greater challenges. Consider, for example, a couple in their 50s, together for a decade but unmarried. The woman has significant assets and income - including the home the couple lives in - but she also has two adult children from a previous marriage to whom she plans to leave her assets, including her house. The man has fewer assets and a lower income, but has contributed to renovations on the house.

 

After her death, the courts may well decide that, given what the man contributed toward the home, it would belong in part to him. And her plan to leave the house entirely to her children might not work out.

This couple would be well advised to write a cohabitation contract and individual wills, which will enshrine her wishes regarding her home. The couple also should consider (and discuss with an advisor) purchasing insurance on the woman's life.

 

On her death, the life insurance policy would give the man sufficient funds to live comfortably, without having to worry about moving from the home and the resulting extra expenses he'd incur.

 

 

Are You Making Any of These Top 10 Insurance Blunders?

 

This Month's Smile: Kids' Letters to Santa

Ever since 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote the editors of the-then New York Sun newspaper querying whether there was a Santa Claus, kids have been curious and sometimes even scared by the jolly old gift-giver. Virginia's 1897 letter may have inspired these kids (who wrote right to the source) courtesy of Timbuktu.me...with grammar and spelling intact.

 

 "If you bring presents with batteries, bring batteries." D.K.

 

"I have been a good boy. Will you please bring me presents. I will leave cookies and milk on the fireplace." Todd

 

"Do you go to the bathroom at peoples houses?" Devin C

 

"If we get a dog we would be happyer thin ever if we don't we would be sad – but still like you!" Porter.

 

Helping (Parents) Deal with Math Anxiety

When it comes to buying insurance, what you don't know can hurt you...and your family...for years to come. Learn how to identify the top ten insurance mistakes and what you can do about them with my free guide, "The Top 10 Insurance Blunders – and How to Avoid Them." Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

Math anxiety is a common affliction affecting 10-20 percent of the adult population. But more alarming, children can catch it from their parents. In a recent New York Times article, writer Jan Hoffman refers to the findings of an interesting study reported in the journal Psychological Science: "Children of highly math-anxious parents learned less math and were more likely to develop math anxiety themselves, but only when their parents provided frequent help on math homework."

 

Apparently, when math-anxious parents avoided helping their children with homework, the kids did just fine. Adds Hoffman, "The more the math-anxious parents tried to work with their children, the worse their children did in math." As Sian Beilock writes in her book Choke, it's because math-anxious parents precondition their children to experience a pain response when confronting numbers. In other words, math hurts.

 

So what can you do to help your kids improve their math scores? Experts suggest workbooks, apps, journaling, and games. Most importantly, they tell parents to model a positive attitude and keep their anxieties to themselves.

 

Quick Quiz

Each month I'll give you a new question. Just reply to this email for the answer.

 

What is NASA's solar powered Opportunity Mars rover doing so it can spend the winter on the planet?

 

Recipe: Citrus Butter Shrimp

Welcome 2016 with this New Year's recipe that is elegant yet easy, so you can spend quality time with guests instead of at the stove. Serves 4

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 2 cloves garlic

• 2 scallions, sliced on the bias (green and white parts divided)

• 1 pound raw, deveined shrimp

• Salt and pepper

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Directions

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and whites of scallions and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add shrimp and season generously with salt and pepper.

 

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until shrimp are opaque and curled in a C shape. Add butter and lemon juice to pan and cook for another minute until a sauce forms.

 

Serve over cooked linguine and garnish with scallion greens.

 

 

Ridesharing Comes with Insurance Concerns

Blend today's smartphone technology with the need for speedy transportation and you'll likely come up with a transportation network company (TNC). A TNC is not a commercial cab or a shuttle van. Instead, a privately owned vehicle driven by a nonprofessional driver arrives to drive you to your destination. The drivers may work for Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar, among others.

 

At the moment, the so-called rideshare industry is in its infancy, and this poses potential problems for passengers and drivers. From 2009 when Uber was founded, the number of people taking advantage of this cheaper form of transportation has mushroomed, and there are rideshare options in most large centers worldwide. Unlike taxis, which are closely regulated wherever they operate, regulation around TNCs is spotty. A number of cities have launched legal challenges in an attempt to prevent rideshare companies from operating.

 

There are many concerns with rideshare companies, and a key one is insurance: insurance industry experts are struggling to adapt coverage to this growing trend, and while insurance details are still under development, insurance companies that provide personal auto coverage potentially will deny claims when vehicles are used for TNC commercial purposes.

 

TNCs themselves may offer limited coverage; however, understand that if you are involved in an auto accident while riding in a TNC, you may have to rely on your health insurance coverage for treatment. That means you may be faced with copays and coinsurance issues while the individual auto insurers decide which

 

Worth Quoting

Yogi Berra, arguably the greatest baseball player who ever lived, died recently, leaving a collection of pretty savvy "Yogi-isms":

 

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

 

The future ain't what it used to be. If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be.

 

You can observe a lot by just watching.

 

There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.

 

We made too many wrong mistakes.

 

It ain't over till it's over.

 

I'm lucky. Usually you're dead to get your own museum, but I'm still alive to see mine.

 

A lot of guys go, "Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism." I tell 'em, "I don't know any." They want me to make one up. I don't make 'em up. I don't even know when I say it. They're the truth ...

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