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The Intelligent Life Blog

Helping millions of Americans become educated
in making intelligent decisions around their life needs

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Bringing Out Your Mean Green on March 17

Feb 16, 2017 6:13:00 PM

It's time to rifle through your closet and get out your green! March 17 and St. Patrick's Day looms once again, and this massive celebration of Irish-American culture in the U.S. is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. That wasn't always the case, however. Here is what you need to know about the origins of this famed U.S. holiday, some of our most popular St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and how you can bring some authentic Irish fun into your gathering.

St. Patrick's Day History

Believe it or not, St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. He was a British nobleman kidnapped by Irish pirates just after 400 A.D. He spent 17 years as a slave and escaped Ireland but decided to return to the country as a missionary. It is widely believed that March 17 commemorates the date of his death.

Saint Patrick's Day has been an official Christian holiday since the 17th century, called "the Day of the Festival of Patrick." The day wasn't even marked as a public holiday in Ireland until 1904. Now, St. Patrick's Day has grown into a four-day festival in Dublin, much of which has been influenced by the way the Americans celebrate the holiday.




The Connection Between What You Eat and Your Heart Health

Feb 11, 2017 3:47:00 PM

Many of us fear being injured in a car accident or hearing a cancer diagnosis when the biggest danger is something else entirely. Heart disease, which includes stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, is the number one cause of death in the United States.life

Fortunately, some forms of heart disease can be delayed or even prevented with some simple dietary adjustments. Here is what you need to know about heart disease, how choosing a heart healthy diet can make a difference, and ways to ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Heart Disease and Risk Factors

Not only is heart disease the number one cause of death in the U.S., but it's also the leading global cause of death, taking more than 17.3 million lives each year. Cardiovascular disease includes various conditions that affect the function and structure of your heart such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, and vascular disease.




Life Insurance: Show Your Never-Ending Love

Feb 7, 2017 8:34:00 PM

What do life insurance and love have in common? The two are more related than you might think. Many consumers view life insurance as an optional financial tool that you add to your budget only if it fits. The reality is that a life insurance policy is an essential component of your family's financial plan, one that demonstrates your never-ending love.

Demonstrate Your Love With a Life Insurance Policy

When you love someone, you think kind thoughts about them but you also show that love through your actions. Whether it be helping with a chore, listening, or buying flowers on a special day, we do things both great and small to show we care.

This includes planning for the future and the well-being of our loved ones with a life insurance policy. Why else would you buy life insurance? A National Underwriter survey asked clients specifically why they were purchasing life insurance. Interestingly, the top five reasons can be attributed to love.




Life Insurance Exam? Here's What You Need to Know

Feb 4, 2017 10:34:00 PM

If you've made the wise choice to purchase a life insurance policy, you're doing the best possible thing to protect your family's financial future. Life insurance provides many benefits, among them a provision of financial resources for your dependents after you die.

When you purchase a life insurance policy, you want to make sure that you get the best value. The issuing company also wants to ensure that you're reasonably healthy and being truthful on your policy application. For both of these reasons, the policy issuer will ask that you undergo a life insurance exam before they issue your policy.




6 Budgeting Tips You Can Use Now

Jan 31, 2017 5:52:00 PM

Spending less than you make sounds like a simple financial goal, but it can be a challenge for many families. Achieving this goal can allow you to stay out of debt, invest for retirement, and save money for emergencies. In essence, this can be a ticket to financial freedom.

A recent Federal Reserve Board study found that nearly half of respondents wouldn't be able to cover a hypothetical $400 emergency without borrowing money. Some aren't able to meet this goal due to a lack of income, but in many cases, the problem is overspending. When overspending is an issue, some simple budgeting tools can help you see where your money comes from and where it's going.

Here are just six budgeting tips to move you closer towards the goal of financial freedom.




Preparation & Planning Can Make the Worst Situations More Bearable

Jan 28, 2017 5:36:00 PM

Most of us like a good surprise, like a fancy dinner or a nice anniversary gift. Unfortunately, not all of life's surprises are pleasant. It's the unexpected job losses, health scares, and even family deaths that send shock waves through our system, making us wonder what we did to deserve such punishment. Here are some tips to deal with tough situations, how the death of a loved one can impact your life, and the ways that an insurance policy can help.

Getting Through Tough Situations

Some unexpected situations are more serious than others. How we handle life and what it throws our way has more to do with personality than the problems themselves. An eight-decade study, called The Longevity Project, has found that the happiest and healthiest people have close relationships, are physically active, and help others. These are things that you can continue to do in the midst of difficult situations to help with stress and even grief.

Other ways to handle tough situations include finding acceptance of what has happened, looking for any life lessons involved, and trying to view the situation realistically instead of emotionally. This can be particularly difficult in the case of a death where there wasn't proper planning.




Your Health Matters: Avoid Stress - Avoid Financial Worries

Jan 24, 2017 3:50:00 PM

Most of us know that a little bit of stress can be motivating, but too much pressure is no fun and can actually be dangerous. Positive stress can keep you alert and even ready to respond in a dangerous situation. Stress becomes negative, however, when there is no relief or relaxation between challenges. In some cases, this anxiety can impact your health and in many instances this stress is tied to financial worries.

Impact of Stress on Health

We've all experienced the physical symptoms related to stress, whether we want to admit it or not. Stress over work, family, and finances can cause sleep issues, headaches, elevated blood pressure, and stomach problems. Researchers are finding some other disturbing consequences of stress as well.

There are several studies related to stress and cancer, indicating that the level of distress can affect cancer tumor growth. One Yale University study showed that stress causes a reduction in gray matter, effectively shrinking your brain. Another study revealed that chronic stress could lead to depression. Finally, stress can wreak havoc with your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, flu, and even some chronic diseases.




Use the IntelliQuote Process to Simplify Life Insurance Decisions

Jan 20, 2017 9:11:00 AM

Many of us see buying life insurance and most types of financial planning as complicated endeavors. Not only does it seem complex, but it's also just not fun to think about the possibility of ever needing a life insurance policy. Life insurance is important, though, to protect your loved ones in case something unforeseen does happen. Many of us avoid the decision to protect our families, but IntelliQuote can simplify the process of buying a life insurance policy.

Why People Avoid Shopping For Life Insurance

People stay away from life insurance for a variety of reasons. We already mentioned the perception that it's complicated, which is simple enough to dispel. Many avoid the thought of ones possible demise, but there is also the miconception that life insurance is incredibly expensive.

According to a recent LIMRA Insurance Barometer Study, 86% of respondents claim they haven't purchased life insurance because it's too expensive. When asked, these same people overestimated the cost of life insurance by more than 2x. The truth is that life insurance is affordable.