Life insurance Archives - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Factors That Impact Life Insurance

Life insurance is a simple concept to understand. You pay the premium; your loved ones get the benefit when you die. Like all types of insurance, life insurance premiums are calculated based on the risk that you will die prematurely. This is why young people pay less than someone in their 30s or 40s. The risk is small and their premium reflects that. But besides age, what else affects your premiums? That question is bit more complicated to answer.

At the most basic level, there are two types of risk factors that will determine your premium (Note: this is for term life insurance rates only). The two are “personal risk factors” and “size, term, & type of policy.” Personal risk factors tend to be things like age and gender. The other is self-explanatory – it depends on the size and term of the policy.

Let’s focus on personal risk factors. Personal risk factors usually break down into nine categories, all of which can affect the price you pay for insurance. Those nine factors are age, gender, smoker/non-smoker, personal health conditions, personal health history, family health history, occupation, hobbies & travel, and lifestyle. Some of these may affect you, most of them may not. Some states don’t use gender to determine rates, some do. It’s important to know which ones affect you before worrying about whether or not they will. Let’s break these down in groups of three.

First three up are age, gender, and smoker/non-smoker. The younger you are, the longer your potential life will be. The biggest difference between a 20-year-old and a 50-year-old is that one of those people is going make it another 40 years and it’s probably going to be the former. This is the reason that people urge young people to buy life insurance plans: you will save tons of money in the long run. The second factor, gender, plays a significant role in premium calculations and, in many cases, works in tandem with age. Women tend to live longer than men. That’s a fact. This matters because so long as you are alive, you are paying premiums. More premiums are a good thing for the insurance company. Women live longer and can pay premiums for a longer period of time. This means they get charged less. This makes a difference when you recognize that most men live to around 75, while most women live to around 80. That means a 25-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman will have about 50 years in them before they die. That’s a big deal when it comes to insurance rates. Finally, smoking status. This is, by far, one of the biggest risk factors and the one that is most in your control. A smoker will pay two to three times more than a non-smoker when it comes to premiums.  Also, quitting does not automatically put you into the non-smoker category. You have to be tobacco-free for a couple of years to be considered a lower risk factor.

The next group is health conditions, personal health history, and family health history. Health conditions refer to current health problems you are dealing with. Examples include high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or hypertension. Getting yourself into good health can help you avoid the costs that are incurred. Personal health history refers to problems you have had, but no longer deal with. This could be cancer, stroke, heart disease, or depression. These conditions tend to resurface, so the chance that they may return puts you at greater risk of dying sooner. The last one is family history. If one of your parents died of a health condition before the age of 60, you can expect to see your rate increase because of the chance that you may also develop the same condition.

The final group is occupation, hobbies & travel, and lifestyle. Occupation usually will not be a concern for most people. However, the occupational hazard difference between a logger and a blogger is significant. If you work a particularly dangerous job, your premiums will be higher. Up next is hobbies & travel. In most case, your hobbies will not affect you. If your hobbies include things that tend to result in accidental death, then you’re asking for someone to see you as a risk. The same goes for travel. Traveling to Italy to indulge in fine food and drink is a lot different than going to the Middle East to be a translator for the Army.

When it comes to the size and term of the policy, the larger or longer it is, the more you will pay. That’s pretty simple. The longer the policy is around, the greater chance the company will have to pay you out. That could cost them a lot of money depending on how long the policy lasts. In any case, all these factors should be taken into consideration when shopping for a policy. If you’re looking for an affordable policy from someone who can guide you through the process, look no further than Spencer Insurance Agency for all your life insurance needs.  You can give us a call at (215) 885-2200 or visit us online at https://spencerinsurance.com/ and we will be happy to assist you. Go here to get an immediate term insurance quote.

 

Getting Your Life in Order

Many people believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy. Wealthy people have a lot of money, lots of land, and lots to divvy up to their heirs, so it makes sense that they need to plan out how and where their things will end up. However, everyone with any net worth needs to do basic estate planning to make sure that their possessions, no matter how large or small, are distributed according to their wishes. If you need a resolution for 2020, make it working on your estate to-do list.

The first (and arguably most important) document to put in order is your will. Wills ensure that your possessions are distributed in accordance with your wishes; therefore, the wording is of utmost importance. When looking over the wording of your will, be sure that all items are consistent with named beneficiaries. For example, if you’ve named your child as a beneficiary on a retirement account, you don’t want that same account on the will named to someone other than your child. This could result in a bitter will contest that will result in a lengthy legal battle.

The second document to draft is a durable power of attorney (POA). A POA is someone who acts on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so. A common example is someone who handles the distribution of assets upon your death. In many cases, spouses set up reciprocal POA’s, but POA can be given to anyone the person chooses.

When it comes to healthcare there is power of attorney for healthcare decisions as well. You can assign someone you trust to make healthcare decisions for you in case you’re incapacitated.

One other document to get started is a life insurance policy. The life insurance policy should be the first item on your to-do list and the one you need to start as soon as possible. Life insurance premiums only go up as you get older, so the sooner you start, the more money you can save. Life insurance policies are bought in an amount and when you die, the money on the policy will pass to your beneficiaries. There are multiple types of policies and different amounts to buy when it comes to life insurance. Use a professional agent to help you decide which amount and type makes sense for you.

There are many other financial documents to go over when estate planning, but hopefully this list gives you a good base to start from. When it comes to estate planning you may also need long-term care insurance, annuities, and many other items. When it comes to life insurance, Spencer Insurance Agency is just the place to get expert advice regarding life insurance policies, amount sot purchase, and what makes sense for you.

Be sure to give us a call at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions about life insurance. Your protection and peace of mind is our only business!

Open Enrollment is coming soon. What you need to know . . .

Q: Should I purchase the supplemental Life Insurance offered by my employer?

A: Many employers offer Group Life Insurance coverage. Some of this coverage is provided free as an employee benefit. Many times you can purchase supplemental coverage and the cost will be deducted from your paycheck.

Should I buy this additional coverage? There are pros and cons.

Here are the pros:

  • Very convenient as the premium is deducted from your paycheck
  • Few medical questions are asked so it is easier to apply
  • No blood tests or other lab work is required
  • Many times the rates are blended with non-smoker rates making them lower for smokers.
  • Many times the rates are unisex which will make male rates less expensive

Here are the cons:

  • Group life rates are banded based on rates and typically increase every 5 years.
  • Group life rates are blended so if you are a healthy non-smoker you could get the same rate as a chain smoking unhealthy person.
  • The amount of life insurance you can purchase is limited and may not be sufficient for your needs.
  • May lose the coverage if you leave the employer
  • Rates can increase immediately if the employer chooses a new life insurance company.

LIfe Insurance and Disability Insurance. Get protected

What should I do?

Contact us today at 215-885-2200 to review your life insurance needs and the cost of your employer’s life insurance coverage before your next open enrollment. Most open enrollments happen in the fall so this is a great time to review that coverage.

Consider purchasing life insurance on your own for the following reasons.

  • You can lock into a rate for up to 30 years. The cost of your employer group coverage changes based on age bands every 5 years. Your coverage may look inexpensive now but what will you be paying in 10 years?
  • You won’t lose your life insurance coverage if you get laid off or change jobs.
  • If you are a healthy non-smoker you may find less expensive rates.
  • You will be able to purchase the amount you need.

Go to our website www.spencerinsurance.com and click on the Life Insurance Tab for more information and a free report “What you need to know about Life Insurance and How to Make sure the People You Intended to get your Life Insurance Benefits Actually Get the Benefits!”

Check it out before it is too late!

 

What is the #1 threat to your retirement savings?

 

Even if you are in your thirties or forties you need to pay attention to this article.  Your future retirement assets are at risk too.

You insure your homes yet there is only a 1 in 300 chance of a house fire. You insure your cars and yet there is only a 1 in 30 chance that you will have an auto accident. There is a 4 in 10 chance you will need long term care yet very few people insure their retirement assets to protect those assets from long term care expenses. Yes, long term care expenses are the #1 treat to your retirement assets.

According to “Genworth’s cost of care survey”  for 2017, here are the average annual cost in Pennsylvania:

  • Homemaker services (care in the home) $50,336
  • Adult Day Care $16,120
  • Assisted Living Facility $41,400
  • Semi Private Nursing home room $111,325

What is long term care?  Long term care is help needed to assist with the activities of daily life such as bathing, dressing, eating, using a toilet, continence or transferring from a bed to a chair. You may need this care in the home or in a facility.  How long would your retirement assets last if one or both of you needed long term care?

Here are some solutions:

  • Pay out of pocket. Even if you can afford to do this I can show you a better way
  • Medicare – Medicare only covers skilled care after being in the hospital for 3 days. So if you just need custodial care or are not getting better Medicare will not help you. Even if you do receive Medicare benefits for long term care they only last for 100 days. (20 of those days at $0 copay and 80 of those days with a copay of $167.50.)
  • Medicaid – Many with minimal assets will need to use Medicaid.
  • Private Insurance. Long term care insurance has changed dramatically.

Up to a few years ago if you purchased long term care insurance you received a policy similar to a disability policy and you had a certain monthly benefit for a certain number of years. The problem with these policies were that the price was not fixed and most policies saw many increases in premiums.  In addition, if you never needed to use the policy and passed away your heirs received nothing. Many insurance companies have gotten out of this market.

Did you know that today you can use life insurance benefits to pay for your long term care?  You purchase a permanent life insurance contract that includes a long term care insurance rider. If you qualify for long term care benefits (same qualification as the old policies) you can start taking up to 4% of your life insurance benefit monthly to help you pay for long term care expenses. That means if you have a $250,000 life insurance policy you may be able to take up to $10,000 a month to pay for your long term care. When you use all of the $250,000 death benefit then the policy ends.  Best of all if you never need long term care and pass away then your heirs would receive the $250,000 death benefit.

So why should you care if you are in your thirties or forties?  Since this is life insurance the younger and healthier you are the lower the cost. You can have plans that will be paid up by the time you retire.

As always Spencer Insurance Agency wants you to understand your options. Check out our website for more information about long term care insurance. Contact us today to set up a time to talk about long term care expenses and long term care insurance. Decide for yourself how much of your retirement assets will be protected against long term care expenses.  Spread the word to your friends and family because few people know about this option.

It may be too late. . .

     

 

September was Life Insurance Awareness month, but I still want you to be aware. . .

Now is a great time to review your employer’s group benefits.

In October I get a lot of calls from my clients asking me to review their group supplemental life insurance.  They have received the packet of employee benefits for the following year and they need to make choices.  Typicaly you can add or remove benefits at this time. However, it may be too late.  Applying for life insurance may take up to 6 to 8 weeks.  By the time you apply for and are approved for life insurance your deadline for your open enrollment may have passed you by.  You are stuck for another year.  So get a review today.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of purchasing Supplemental Life Insurance through your employer:

Here are the pros:

  • Very convenient as the premium is deducted from your paycheck
  • Few medical questions are asked so it is easier to apply
  • No blood tests or other lab work is required
  • Many times the rates are blended with non-smoker rates making them lower for smokers.
  • Many times the rates are unisex which will make male rates less expensive

Here are the cons:

  • Group life rates are banded based on rates and typically increase every 5 years.
  • Group life rates are blended so if you are a healthy non-smoker you could get the same rate as a chain smoking unhealthy person.
  • The amount of life insurance you can purchase is limited and may not be sufficient for your needs.
  • May lose the coverage if you leave the employer
  • Rates can increase immediately if the employer chooses a new life insurance company.

What should I do?

Contact us today at 215-885-2200 to review your life insurance needs and the cost of your employer’s life insurance coverage before your next open enrollment.  Most open enrollments happen in the fall so this is a great time to review that coverage.

Consider purchasing life insurance on your own for the following reasons:

  • You can lock into a rate for up to 30 years.  The cost of your employer group coverage changes based on age bands every 5 years. Your coverage may look inexpensive now but what will you be paying in 10 years?
  • Check out the rate for yourself on our website.
  • You won’t lose your life insurance coverage if you get laid off or change jobs.
  • If you are a healthy non-smoker you may find less expensive rates.
  • You will be able to purchase the amount you need.

Go to our website and click on the Life Insurance Tab for more information and a free report “What you need to know about Life Insurance and How to Make sure the People You Intended to get your Life Insurance Benefits Actually Get the Benefits!”

We have been very successful helping our clients save a lot of money on their life insurance coverage.  Contact us today so we have plenty of time to review your choices and see which way is the best for you.

Fall is here and so are the Spencer Agency’s fall safety tips!

Fall Auto and Home Maintenance - Abington, Glenside, Jenkintown Homeowners Insurance company Spencer Insurance

 

As summer comes to a close I ask “will we get rid of this rain and humidity.”  I am looking forward to some crisp fall days and seeing the beautiful change of the color of the trees.

But it would not be fall without Spencer’s fall safety tips.   Check these tips out so you can prevent future claims. This fall section has tips on how to prepare your car and home for fall and winter.  It also has some teen driver tips for parents of teen drivers.

       

Lastly, September is Life insurance awareness month so I have some tips on how to protect your family with life insurance.  Tips on what you need to do with your life insurance if you are getting married or divorced. Rachel will tell you why you should not delay purchasing life insurance.

As always just contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  “Your protection and peace of mind is our only business.”

The words I hate to hear. . .

I didn’t know you sold life insurance. Those are words I hate to hear.

Okay, now you know! Spencer Insurance sells life, disability and long term care insurance too.  My specialty at the agency is in these coverages.  I started my insurance career with John Hancock in the late 80s before joining my Dad’s agency.

I have been selling life insurance for over 30 years.  How many life insurance agents can say that? Most of the people I meet do not even know if their life insurance agent is still in business.  They have not heard from the agent since the policy was purchased. As a father, grandfather and small business owner I understand the needs of parents and small business owners to protect their families and businesses in the event of a death or disability.

Another issue I run into often is that clients rely too much on group life and disability policies. These policies are very helpful and important, however you need us to review the group policies to make sure they provide the coverage you think they provide.  Check out my article “Is my employer paid Long Term Disability Plan enough? When is 60% only 30%.”

You can also check out our life insurance “Frequently Asked Questions.”

Contact us for a review so we can discuss:

  • Do you have the right amount of life and disability insurance? You may have too much or too little.
  • How does a business owner protect their small business from the death of an owner or key employee?
  • What is your small business worth? We have a program that will give you the answer!
  • How much will my spouse receive when my business is sold? (Probably less than 50% of its value if you do no planning.)
  • Can my children and spouse stay in our home if I die? Can the children still go to college?
  • How to use life insurance proceeds while living to pay for long term care expenses.

If you don’t have life insurance what are you waiting for?  Contact us now!  If you do have life insurance call us to review the policy and make sure it is still providing the coverage you need and that the coverage is not running out soon. (We see a lot of people who purchased a 20 year term years ago and don’t realize the premium guarantee is running out.

Whether you just need a $15,000 final expense policy or $1,000,000 in term we can help.

Rely on my 30 years of experience.  Contact us today so you can check it off your “to do” list.

            

Know someone who got engaged or recently married?

 

Do you know someone who was engaged or married on Valentine’s Day?  If so, pass this message onto them.

I realize that the most romantic thing to do after you get engaged is not to call your insurance agent. However, it is important.  Let this trusted adviser help you navigate through this exciting time.

How can my insurance agent help?

  • You may have just received an engagement ring. The ring is valuable.  What happens if that ring is lost or stolen?  Get the ring insured
  • Planning a wedding ceremony? Are you putting deposits down for the photographer, venue or wedding dress.  What happens if these places go out of business just days before your wedding?  Did you know you can purchase inexpensive wedding insurance to protect your deposits?
  • You need to review your finances with your insurance agent and financial planner. Should you purchase life insurance?  Check out Rachel’s story.

Spencer Insurance Agency is here to help you during this exciting time.  We have an article on our website just for engaged and recently married couples. Don’t miss this article.   You may need to contact your employer, add a spouse to your health insurance, change a beneficiary on a life insurance policy and much more.

Contact us if you would like to discuss your engagement with us.

 

Life Insurance Awareness month coming to a close

     

Contact us today for a life insurance review.  Don’t put it off.  Remember what Rachel had to say!

 

September is life insurance awareness month.

LIfe Insurance and Disability Insurance. Get protected    

Have you purchased life insurance to protect your family from the loss of your income?  If not, what are you waiting for?  Check out Rachel’s story.  She provides a real life example of why you should not wait.

Most people overestimate the cost of life insurance.  Spencer Insurance has many companies that offer low term life insurance rates.  These low term insurance rates are only available while you are still healthy.  The younger you start the less expensive the cost.  A young person age 26 can lock into a 30 year term.  The cost would stay the same all the way to age 56.

According to studies, many people didn’t buy life insurance because no one ever asked them to buy it.

Well, I am asking you.  Contact us today for a life insurance quote.  Our website has a section that discusses life insurance.  Check it out today.

Don’t procrastinate!  When a parent dies the family is devastated emotionally.  Don’t let your family be devastated financially too.  Contact us today to buy life insurance. We are glad to assist you.

   

Spencer Insurance was voted “Best Insurance Agency” in the Best of Montco 2015 – 2016 – 2017!!

 

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