Term Life Insurance, Is It Right for You?
Many of us think of life insurance as something that will last for the rest of our lives – but that’s not always the case.
So-called “whole” life insurance policies do stay in effect for your lifetime, providing you continue to pay the premiums.
“Term” life insurance, on the other hand, provides coverage for a limited period of time or “term,” and the length of the term is up to you. For example, if you choose a 10-year-term, the insurance company would pay your beneficiary a death benefit if you die within the next 10 years.
Why consider term life instead of whole life insurance? Term life might be appropriate if, for example, one or more of your dependents doesn’t rely on you financially.
In this situation, you may want to have coverage for your minor children only, as your spouse is not now dependent on you financially and will be able to care for himself or herself if you die. Coverage for your children may last until they’re grown, if you choose.
Term life insurance is usually the least expensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit, so if you are in this situation, purchasing term life may be the solution for you.
A few caveats: Term life insurance generally cannot be used for estate-planning or charitable-giving strategies, as other types of life insurance can.
There may also be issues with re-insurability. Say, for example, that you acquire a terminal illness during the term of the policy. If you want to continue holding life insurance when the term expires, you likely wouldn’t be able to do so. However, some policies offer a feature called guaranteed re-insurability to address this.
There are many other factors to take into account when buying life insurance, such as how much life insurance to buy. Your advisor can help you make those determinations.
This Month’s Smile: ‘Your Child Said What…?’
Kids are a delightful reminder that the world is actually a big brightly colored circus. Here are some great online examples of the fun things they say:
They’re usually full of questions, but then there’s the one who just thinks and thinks…then asks. Like the 4-year-old who overheard her teacher mention kickboxing. Weeks later, out of the blue, she asked why her teacher “kicks boxes.”
The little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather’s computer, lost in story writing. When he asked what it was about, she answered: “I don’t know. I can’t read.”
Some kids may have a better grasp on reality than the rest of us. For example, young Frankie answered the question of how he earns money at home by saying: “I don’t. I’m a freeloader.”
Five Tips to Help You Create Your Own Outdoor Kitchen
Dining al fresco is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. But it can be hard to pull off a great outdoor dining experience without the proper setup. Enter the outdoor kitchen. Interested in creating your own? Check out these tips:
- Constructing your own island or grill area with stone can get expensive, plus it can’t be easily moved. Keep costs low and set up easy with a pre-fabricated counter or grill space. Pre-fab options are often on wheels, making them easy to move, and can be purchased with built-in sinks and lighting.
- Keep durability in mind. Your outdoor kitchen furniture and appliances will be exposed to the elements; choose resistant, reliable materials and treat them as recommended. Remember that the space will be exposed to cooking oils and high temperatures, so any materials used in the area will need to be heat resistant and easy to clean.
- Setup is important – don’t site your outdoor cooking space too far from where you plan to put the dining area. Also, consider the proximity of the outdoor kitchen to the indoor one; you’ll need to move things from one space to the other, so make sure there’s a clear path.
- Plan to cook and dine, rain or shine? Make sure you incorporate a rain shelter.
- Grow as you go. Plants, flowers, and decor can be added on an ongoing basis. Make sure the essentials are in place before emptying your wallet on extras.
Confused About ACA Penalties? This Primer May Help You
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is confusing for many, and the penalties associated with it are no exception.
Will you have to pay penalties? If you and your dependents don’t have minimum essential coverage that meets the ACA’s individual requirement, there are several groups and categories that are exempt, including:
- those who have coverage through their employers and those who purchased coverage by the ACA deadline;
- those who found the cheapest plan available to them was over 8 percent of their income, those with annual household incomes below $10,150 and/or those who face other economic hardships;
- Native Americans and non-US citizens;
- Federally recognized religious groups whose religious beliefs clash with ACA provisions;
- members of federally recognized healthcare sharing ministries.
Those subject to penalties include: Individuals who go three consecutive months without coverage; as well as those who only have insurance for part of the year.
How much are the penalties? In 2014, without coverage, you owe the highest of the following: 1 percent of annual household income; or $95 per uninsured adult annually, $47.50 for children under 18, and up to the maximum of $285 for families. If you don’t pay, the ACA doesn’t include measures for penalty collection, so the IRS can’t press criminal charges or get property liens.