Do you know the feeling? That feeling that says you made it to vacation day? It is now time for your trip and you can't wait for the moment for when you get there to unwind and relax! So, when you drive away from your house that day with your family and a car full of luggage to head for the airport, you go through your mental checklist; before you head too far down the road.
Once that mental checklist is met, you go back to that relaxed feeling of bliss while you drive. You tell yourself that it is ok for you leave, that it will be an enjoyable experience and you won’t have to worry about the flight because you have your essentials. If you are missing anything now at this point, you can just buy that item once you get there.
But, there are times when you do leave and realize you DID forget something. Then you run through the other mental checklist, the one that determines the value of the item(s) to see if it is worth turning around.
You either turn around or don’t, all depending on how late you are and by evaluating how much you or that family member truly needs that item that you (or that they) left behind...
Let’s call that a “driving test.” Let's assume you passed. You drove away and now you feel confident that you are fully packed, organized, and the trip you have planned for should be nice and relaxing upon your arrival. Now, take that frame of mind and apply that to your family’s needs and when you leave that house for the day - every day. It's tough to think about, but have you left for the day being prepared; knowing that you haven't left behind a list of unknowns for loved ones to sort through, financial or otherwise?
Whether you are running to Target, going to work or leaving for that trip, if you cannot say at a 100% confidence level that you know that your family will be fine if you were to never return, then you have some work to do. It is an awful thought, but hang in here! My goal is to give you confidence to build a roadmap towards your game plan while you have full authority to do so.
Another way to think of it is this: Who do you kiss goodbye when you leave to run the errand? The kiddo, spouse, dog? (Maybe just focus on humans here today even though we love the furbabies too!) Are these the same people that you are traveling with on the vacation example above?
If you don’t have the proper planning design for those you picture in your mind, use this moment to make a promise to do so! I would like to give you some resources to help make this happen to get you to 100% pass on your driving test!
Now, this is usually overwhelming and stressful and seems hard to do so we often do nothing. But, as you work through you planning, you can start slowly by focusing on the people that you pictured at the very beginning when thinking about your trip.
Great! Your First Step done! They are the “who” you would like to protect! Let’s say you are agreeable that you do have some work to do. So, now what? What exactly do you need? Step Two would be considered the "how to protect the "who" and to think about life insurance as a solution to your planning.
What life insurance? It’s a "contract" between you and an insurance company. You make regular payments in return for a sum of money (a death benefit) to be paid to a designated primary beneficiary, such as a spouse or family member; if you were to pass away. This money can help your family cover expenses or needs after you’re gone. As life changes and as risk may present itself to you and those that you care about, the contract is locked in for the term of coverage that you have selected once you approved for coverage.
Term Life Insurance is an easy way to resolve the worries that you may face. You can leave each day with peace knowing you took the time to take care of your people financially, whomever they may be. There are additional insurance contract types aside from term insurance that can be great for tax reductions strategies, in addition to other retirement accounts; but that will not be covered here today.
So, any person that has obligations to settle (male or female), should probably take out a policy or two, to cover those obligations/debts until they can safely say they can self fund their life.
*What does this have to do with females specifically?* Even though most people need some form of life insurance, Women face additional medical challenges that could raise their rates, which is why I write this. Being proactive will not only give you peace of mind but can save you money!
When working with my female clients to help them secure their life insurance plans, many are often surprised about the underwriting process and what medical histories may come up during the approval process, which can then change their costs for insurance. When should you apply?
If the examples above haven't yet motivated you to start preparing a plan, then consider applying prior to these typical histories. Women can pay higher rates due to these medical histories below:
*Pregnancy involving weight gain*
*Elevation of blood pressure, anemia
and/or other elevation of levels *
*Taking any prescription medications*
*Gestational Diabetes while applying*
*Gestational Diabetes from previous
Step Three would be to apply for your life insurance. If any of this medical history above exists already, then talking with an independent broker to help you prescreen the potential outcomes of an application first. Often when shopping online, the rates presented from different companies don't take into account anything but your age, gender, state of residence and amount of insurance you are looking for. If you have medical history, those rates will probably not apply to you. If you speak with a independent broker, you can then learn of any possible rate changes that may apply to you specifically before you start an application. Brokers can help you shop for the best plan(s) out there in the marketplace.
To learn more about the above medical histories above, you can schedule a consult and/or read more about Women's Health and Insurance Planning in our next blog. **Gestational Diabetes alone could cause rates to go up 2-3 times than the regularly advertised rates online and some specific carriers may be a better fit for those with that type of history.**
If you have increased pricing due to the risk you may present, you can make adjustments to your current budget to allocate resources where they may need to go in addition to picking up a policy and either way, you will be able to make a decision on what is best for you and knowledge is powerful! The confidence you will feel after managing the steps above may surprise you.
To learn more about personal lifecycle stages to life insurance planning and to learn about mine personally, please check out my blog here.
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Disclosure: Please note that I am not an attorney, but a licensed life insurance broker. The information above stems from my personal experiences as well as education from American College where I earned my Chartered Financial Consultant designation.