How do you compare life insurance companies? What features do you examine? What criteria do you use? How do you know what to look for? Making sure that your insurance company is financially sound is an important part of helping to ensure family security.
Fortunately, there are a number of independent companies that make these evaluations. These rating companies carefully examine each insurance company in the areas of profitability, debt, liquidity, and other factors. From the results of these examinations, they then issue overall ratings.
Looking up a company’s rating will provide you with a snapshot of that company’s financial … Read the rest
If you own a business, chances are you’ve at least thought about the conditions under which you will leave the business and who is going to take over after you’re gone. Business continuation is difficult enough under normal circumstances, but if it takes place following the unexpected death of a key person or owner, the complications can increase exponentially.
Company-owned life insurance is one way to help protect a business from financial problems caused by the unexpected death of a key employee, partner or co-owner. If the covered individual dies, the proceeds from this type of insurance can help in … Read the rest
If you receive a distribution from a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k), you need to consider whether to pay taxes now or to roll over the account to another tax-deferred plan. A correctly implemented rollover avoids current taxes and allows the funds to continue accumulating tax deferred.
Paying Current Taxes With a Lump-Sum Distribution
If you decide to take a lump-sum distribution, income taxes are due on the total amount of the distribution (except for any after-tax contributions you’ve made) and are due in the year in which you cash out. Employers are required to withhold 20 percent … Read the rest
Are you saving for retirement? For your children’s education? For any other long-term goal? If so, you’ll want to know how inflation can impact your savings. Inflation is the increase in the price of products over time. Inflation rates have fluctuated over the years. Sometimes inflation runs high, and other times it is hardly noticeable. The short-term changes aren’t the real issue. The real issue is the effect of long-term inflation.
Over the long term, inflation erodes the purchasing power of your income and wealth. This means that even as you save and invest, your accumulated wealth buys less and … Read the rest
There are many types of employer-sponsored retirement plans.
One that may appeal to small businesses and to self-employed individuals is the savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE) because, as the name implies, it is easy to set up and administer, and employers are allowed to take a tax deduction for the contributions that are made.
SIMPLEs can be established by small businesses that have 100 or fewer employees (who were paid at least $5,000 or more in compensation during the previous year) and do not maintain other retirement plans. They can be structured as an IRA for each eligible … Read the rest
Before making any investment decision, one of the key elements you face is working out the real rate of return on your investment.
Compound interest is critical to investment growth. Whether your financial portfolio consists solely of a deposit account at your local bank or a series of highly leveraged investments, your rate of return is dramatically improved by the compounding factor.
With simple interest, interest is paid just on the principal. With compound interest, the return that you receive on your initial investment is automatically reinvested. In other words, you receive interest on the interest.
But just how quickly … Read the rest
By taking steps in advance, you have a greater say in how questions regarding your estate are answered. And isn’t that how it should be?
Wills and trusts are two of the most popular estate planning tools. Both allow you to spell out how you would like your property to be distributed, but they also go far beyond that.
Just about everyone needs a will. Besides enabling you to determine the distribution of your property, a will gives you the opportunity to nominate your executor and guardians for your minor children. If you fail to make such designations through your … Read the rest
As an investor, you know it’s important to have a portion of your holdings in savings. Opinions differ, but most financial professionals agree that adequate savings should form the basis of any sound investment strategy. There are a number of savings alternatives that could help you accumulate adequate savings and earn a reasonable rate of return.
Certificates of Deposit
Certificates of deposit are really just short-term loans to a bank, credit union, or savings and loan. They offer a moderate rate of return and relative safety because they are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor, per … Read the rest
As with virtually all financial matters, the easiest way to be successful with a cash management program is to develop a systematic and disciplined approach. Spending a few minutes each week to maintain your cash management program can help you keep track of how you spend your money and pursue your financial goals.
Any good cash management system revolves around the four A’s — Accounting, Analysis, Allocation and Adjustment.
Accounting quite simply involves gathering all your relevant financial information together and keeping it close at hand for future reference. Gathering all your financial information — such as income and expenses … Read the rest
The ability for a rep agency owner to transfer the value of his agency may ultimately depend upon his or her viability as a candidate for a merger or acquisition. Mergers and acquisitions of rep agencies have become quite common and have grown out of a number of factors from the buyer, seller and merger standpoints.
The seller can only sell his agency to either key people or a compatible rep agency in the marketplace. He may not have successors in the agency or the offer from the buyer may be too lucrative. The seller may have also lost … Read the rest