Tips on Buying Financial Products

We all want to protect ourselves, our income and our families. To ask someone if these are important is silly. The two most important questions surrounding financial products must be WHAT and WHEN.

I would like to give you my guide on what products to obtained and when you should obtain them. There is absolutely no need to buy all the products at one time. Take things in easy stages. 

  • A Will: The first thing to do is write a Will. To do this you need to be over the age of 18 and you don’t need a solicitor. So this is the first thing you must do. Write a Will today and have two people witness that Will. You may not have a lot to put in the Will but you do have a body and probably a preference for burial or cremation. You may even have strong feelings about organ donation. Everyone should have a Will if they are over the age of 18.
  • A Trust: Put a Trust in the Will you have just written. You can start a pilot Trust with just 5. Everything you own can go in that trust and having one is a wonderful foundation for protecting your future wealth for your future family. This can be the start of your Inheritance Tax Planning.
  • Income protection: If you are working you should protect your income in case you become long term ill or are have an injury. That should go without saying. Many employers provide this free, in the form of six months full pay and six months half pay. If income protection is not part of your employment package then you need to address this shortfall quickly.
  • Critical Illness Cover: Once you have protected your income the next logical step is to protect your health. If you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a critical illness then this type of policy would provide you with either a lump sum or an income. Most people start with a policy which lasts until State Retirement Age. These policies have no surrender value and should be viewed as a life policy which pays out while you are still alive. You don’t need any life cover at this stage unless you have financial dependents such as elderly parents or relatives who are ill.
  • A Pension: It is a good idea to start funding for retirement as young as you can. Many employers will provide you with a pension paid for from deductions from your pay. If you want a bigger income in retirement than the one provided by your pension then a discussion with a financial adviser would be beneficial. Not funding for retirement is a folly. Sometimes, as with many public sector schemes, there is Death in Service benefits built into the pension. If this is the case it is a good idea to ask that the payout is made into the Trust within your Will. Remember the pilot trust above. This will reduce tax liability and speed up the payout. Instantly you should now see the benefit of writing the Will and starting the Trust.
  • Marriage and a Family: At this stage many people are thinking about getting married and starting a family. As far as protection is concerned the foundations have been laid and the first priority is a home. Protection is now for the family and not just for yourself.
  • Mortgages: If you are buying a home you will probably need a mortgage. There are only two types of mortgage, Repayment and Interest Only. Seek professional advice from an independent mortgage broker before choosing a mortgage. It may be difficult to explain why many first time buyers opt for repayment mortgages but many do. I would suggest that you opt for a mortgage which lasts until State Retirement Age and possibly discuss never completing your mortgage. It is always wise to seek advice.
  • Life Cover: You don’t need life cover for a mortgage. Many lenders force borrowers to have life cover to protect the loan, but it is not necessary. Life cover is there to protect a family and not a lender. As a rule of thumb the level of life cover should be about ten times your income. Don’t worry, it is cheap. Please try to avoid any form of joint policy and ensure that the policies are written in trust. Once again you would be wise to seek advice.
  • Investments: Once again, seek advice. Remember that your investments should match your attitude to risk. Try not to put all your eggs into one basket because spreading your investments over several investment options is lie spreading the risk. There is so much to choose from. Examples include bank accounts, buildings society accounts, bonds, ISA’s, Unit Trusts not yo forget pensions and property.
  • Please Remember: I would suggest that you should start you financial portfolio as soon as you leave school and begin with the writing of a Will which includes a pilot Trust. From there, protect yourself and your income. Take advice when choosing a mortgage and never buy a joint life policy. Make sure when investing that the products your choose match your attitude to risk. Always try to seek professional advice. It is usually free.

These are the personal preferences of the author and in no way represent the strategy of any particular financial institution. They are my personal preferences and should not be regarded as global recommendations. Each person’s financial requirements are specific and thus require a fact find to be carried out by a qualified and authorised adviser before any recommendations can be given. 

Thank you for reading this article.

New Life Settlement Legislation Could Set Stage for Other Financial Products

Texas Governor Rick Perry passed the nation’s first Medicaid Life Settlement law on June 14th. The law allows seniors applying for Medicaid to sell their life insurance policies for significantly larger amounts than the cash surrender value without adversely affecting their eligibility for Medicaid.

While seniors will be able to gain access to their money and pick the long-term facility there is huge opportunities for states to receive savings in Medicaid costs.

Previously seniors applying for Medicaid would surrender their policies in order to become eligible and spend the proceeds. Under the new law, life settlement proceeds would go straight into an account used solely to pay for long-term care. The legislation would not allow seniors to spend their settlement money on frivolous items.

Medicare/Medicaid costs are going to continue to increase as our population ages. These costs are then passed along to the state and federal government who are dealing with reduced revenue and budget cuts.

If the government continues these programs without any significant policy changes there were be significant financial consequences. Currently federal tax revenue is used primarily to pay interest on current debt, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Which means a third of the federal budget will have to be financed in order to pay for other programs as well as defense. Unfortunately, the taxpayers will ultimately pay with increased taxes, reduced services and other economic woos.

Similar legislation is being introduced in New York, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine and New Jersey.

The Texas legislation would ulimately save Medicaid $20 million a year, according to According to Michael Freedman, a lobbyist for life settlement company Coventry First LLC. If other states follow Texas’ lead the savings could make a serious fiscal impact.

“If life settlements and their potential for cost savings are any indicator, many states may adopt similar legislation for seniors with structured settlements and annuities applying for Medicaid,” said James Goodman, Co-Founder of CBC Settlement Funding.

If similar legislation happened in the annuities market, this could adversely affect Medicaid complaint annuties and their effectiveness.

It is currently unknown of any additional states are considering similar legislation or if states will consider introducing legislation for seniors with annuities.

Introduced in 1965, Medicaid is a health program designed for US citizens and permanent legal residents with low incomes and limited resources. It is the largest source of funding for medical and health related services nationwide and implemented on a state level.

Marketing Insurance and Financial Products on the Internet

Earning an income in insurance or finance takes consistent effort and a desire to succeed. Our world is saturated with various commission generating opportunities, and it can be difficult to wade through all of the available programs. Many of these programs simply do not work or they are heavily dependent on recruiting others to “join”. It is very important that insurance professionals generate cash flow, in a way that is comfortable, credible and cost-effective. Earning the maximum amount of money in the least amount of time is a fundamental principle. Finding a system that is not overly complicated, also makes success much more likely. For these reasons, technology is a way to elevate your insurance practice and further your career.

Because Insurance Marketing revolves around selling intangible products, there is no inventory to maintain and it is usually free to partner with reputable companies. Most carriers provide all the necessary marketing materials for local presentations, which helps save time. Having a small advertising budget to start pay-per-click advertising campaigns for your practice helps, but it is possible to spend nothing but time with respect to building your website.

Every situation is different, so it is advisable to gain access to numerous product offerings. Underwriting is based on age, tobacco, height, weight, health conditions, lifestyle and sometimes the amount of coverage can limit your offerings as well. Having the right product for each situation can increase your ability to satisfy your clients needs, without sending them to the competition.

Most carriers pay out generous commissions and allow applications to be taken electronically, so these solutions are cost-effective to implement. This makes it possible for effective marketers to earn a substantial income on each conversion. Plenty of companies have simplified issue products; which makes it possible to submit applications and receive commissions the same week.

Marketing the product is relatively easy and insurance leads make it simple to gain qualified prospects immediately, so it is possible to start making money right away. Insurance professionals should generate targeted traffic within local markets and drive them to their personal website. It also helps to utilize article marketing, blogging and word of mouth to get the message out about your business.

These are very effective ways to make good money from home or elevate your practice with very little risk. The business tasks are not hard to grasp, and many professionals start bringing in new revenue right away. Partnering with a brokerage that provides “A” rated carriers, technology and systems will empower you to generate a consistent income on the Internet.