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Life insurance policies under the Christmas tree may not leave eyes all aglow in quite the same way as a shiny new bicycle or the latest electronic gadget. But unlike most presents, life insurance never will go out of fashion, says Kevin Lynch, assistant professor of insurance at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. “There are all kinds of ways it can be a very practical gift,” Lynch says. “Will it have the punch or pizzazz of an iPad? No. But when you are a 25-year-old college graduate who can’t find a job and you find out your grandparent [...]

Dear Insurance Adviser, My husband and I are retired or close to it. We are 62, and we have no dependents and no debt. Our retirement savings are adequate. We have term life insurance of $ 300,000 each. Is it worth it to continue that?  — Debt-Free and Dubious Dear Debt-Free, I don’t believe in car insurance if you no longer own a car. Similarly, I don’t believe in life insurance if you have no one financially dependent on you. That being said, because you have the policies currently in force and they probably have a price guarantee for a [...]

CHICAGO/SAN FRANCISCO Groupon and its compatriots in the much-hyped daily deals business were supposed to change the very nature of small-business advertising. Instead, it is the daily deal vendors that are racing to change as evidence mounts that their business model is fundamentally flawed. Groupon last week reported another quarter of disappointing earnings as its core business stagnated, sending its stock down 30 percent to an all-time low of $ 2.76. Its biggest rival, Living Social, is piling up losses, and part-owner Amazon.com earlier this month recorded a quarterly loss after writing down its Living Social investment. Both companies are [...]

Dear GOP Handlers/Strategists – I know the only reason you’re reading something by a ‘life coach’ is because you want to have a laugh. So go ahead, get that out of your system. Hahaha. What does she know about our business? The truth is, next to nothing. But you want to talk people? I know people. I am genius at people. And people vote. So you can keep reading and maybe have a shot at a presidential election victory in the foreseeable future or you could scoff, move on, and keep taking honorable men, wringing out all their most human [...]

Dear Insurance Adviser, What’s the recommended type of life insurance to have? Term life, whole life, universal or variable? Thank you. — Borrowing Blues Dear Borrowing, When it comes to life insurance, too much energy is devoted to which type is best. Yet it’s not the type of life insurance that will matter to your survivors. They won’t care whether your policy was inexpensive term life insurance or more expensive permanent or whole life insurance. What will matter to them is the amount of death benefit they receive. That’s all that they will care about. When you buy life insurance [...]

If you are wealthy enough to belong to America’s exclusive 1%, chances are you’ve worked long and hard to provide your family with financial security. So you’ll probably want to minimize the pain and suffering of estate taxes on your loved ones. Life insurance is one way to help beneficiaries pay off those taxes. “For estates valued greater than $ 1 million, I would recommend at minimum a term life insurance policy as one of the easiest ways to provide liquidity to pay the estate tax,” says Julie Kronhaus, an attorney specializing in estate planning and elder law with Kronhaus [...]

BUDAPEST Hungary appeared to cast doubt on Monday on prospects for an International Monetary Fund/European Union funding pact, with Budapest’s negotiator saying “life would go on” even without a deal. Mihaly Varga, Hungary’s minister in charge of the negotiations, also played down what an IMF/EU deal would do to attract investors. The remarks came after the IMF’s local representative said the latest fiscal measures taken by the government to reduce the budget deficit ran counter to its recommendations. “Obviously, life would go on that way too,” Varga told public radio in an interview when asked whether it would be a [...]

Buying a home is the biggest purchase many of us will make, but it’s often not a one-time process. As our lifestyles and situations grow over time we will find the need for more space, less space, better locations and different amenities. Whether you’re looking for a home to start your family or want to downsize your empty nest, every home-buying decision should be about the numbers. “People should own their own shelter, but you have to be practical for what you can afford to own,” says Michael Goodman, certified public accountant and president at Wealthstream Advisors. When choosing a [...]

As the kids leave the nest and the mortgage gets paid off, the need for life insurance wanes for many people who have reached late middle age. The focus moves from “How will my family survive without me?” to “Who will take care of me, and how will I pay for it?” You have a 70% chance of needing long-term care sometime after age 65, according to the National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information. Health insurance, including Medicare, generally doesn’t cover long-term care, which pays for assistance with basic activities, such as eating, getting in and out of bed, [...]

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