Life Insurance

  As your priorities change at every stage of life, you need to change with them, especially when it comes to insurance. Coverage that meets your needs when you are 25 years old is likely to be different when you reach age 55. As you think about your evolution through life, consider these important stages and the insurance needs of each. Protecting one of your most valuable assets When you are young and just beginning to accumulate financial assets, your ability to earn income is likely the foundation of your financial future. Protecting that income is critical. Consider this: If you are a 35-year-old earning $50,000 per year, let’s say you have an additional 30 years of earning potential. With estimated annual salary increases of 3 percent, you’ll earn more than $2.3 million dollars over the remainder of your career. What would happen to those you care about if you could no longer work because of illness, injury or death and your earning power was gone? Chances are there would be financial hardship unless you protected your income with disability income insurance and life insurance. If your employer offers disability income insurance as a benefit, you may assume you’re adequately protected. However, that coverage may be insufficient if you examine it closely. Also, remember that group disability ends when you leave your job. With today’s unstable job market, that’s something to think about. Individual disability income insurance policies are available with various features and options, and may be more affordable than you think. Since your coverage stays with you, job changes or periods of unemployment won’t interrupt your protection....

Planning for the End

  Barrett King, Attorney at Law “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…”   These are the famous last words of Civil War General John Sedgwick who severely miscalculated the aim of the Confederate Army on his last day. In my line of work, I don’t often get to see so historic a miscalculation, but I do get to see what happens when people fail to stop and think about their last day.   “Estate planning” is a phrase that makes people think of millionaires and their lawyers. Sometimes, that’s true. More often, however, estate planning involves people who want to protect whatever it is they have for whoever it is they want to leave it to. For some, that involves trust funds and complex paperwork. For the rest of us, it involves naming the people that are important to us in a will and putting in writing exactly what we want to happen to our house or our personal possessions.   A will is important for unmarried couples who want to be sure that their significant other is taken care of in the event of death, and it is equally important for married couples.   “But my husband/wife will get everything if I die, right?” No! If you don’t have kids under eighteen, your spouse will receive just over one-half of your estate. If you do have kids, the court will require a guardianship for the one-half of your estate that goes to your children under eighteen. This is expensive, time-consuming, and unnecessary. All it takes is proper estate planning, whether by drafting a will, deed, or...