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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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Are You a Smoker? Why Kicking the Habit is Good News for Your Wallet

Feb 5, 2015 5:30:00 PM

Smoking kills.

This isn’t an exaggeration; smoking-related deaths and illnesses have claimed millions of smokers over the years. But smoking doesn’t just take its toll on your health; it takes a bite out of your wallet as well. If you smoke, and you’ve tried to quit (unsuccessfully) in the past, then you know how hard it is to remain smoke-free. So today we decided to give you a little push in the willpower department with four great reasons to kick your smoking habit to the curb once and for all.

1) Lower insurance rates: This is the most obvious benefit for quitting smoking. Who doesn’t want to reduce their life-insurance premium, right? And when you transition from a ‘healthy’ smoker to a healthy non-smoker, your monthly savings could be downright colossal! Did you know that a 20-year policy premium for a healthy non-smoking male, aged 45, on a $500,000 policy may only cost $53 per month? On the other hand, this same policy may run another man of the same age $214 per month if he’s a smoker. Over two decades, that adds up to an additional $38,640 drain on the smoker’s wallet!

2) No money spent on cigarettes: It goes without saying that quitting smoking means you’ll be saving money on the cost of cigarettes. According to the American Lung Association, the average retail cost for a pack of cigarettes is $5.51. If you smoke at least one pack per day, that’s over $2,011 a year spent on cigarettes. Now consider the 20-year policy premium from the last example. $2,000 (approx.) multiplied by 20 years is roughly around $40,000. Now if you add the cost of your premium and the cost of cigarettes over the same time period that totals to about $91,360, versus a non-smoker who would only pay $53/month for 20 years or a total of $12,720. That’s a savings of over $78,640 over two decades that you could put towards increasing your insurance coverage for you and your family.

3) Not just for everyday smokers: Our above examples mention cigarette smokers, but all smokers and users of tobacco are subject to higher rates, even if you are only an occasional user. But there are options. At IntelliQuote, we work with a highly recommended carrier that offers non-smoker rates to users of tobacco (not cigarettes) to encourage people to quit. If you’re an occasional cigar smoker, the good news is you don’t have to be nicotine-free for several years to get these rates; they only require you have refrained from smoking cigarettes. They may even allow you to use quitting aids like the patch and may permit for the occasional cigar during this period.

4) Put more money toward your family: Quitting cigarettes gives you an enormous savings that you can use to increase your insurance coverage. In addition to prolonging your physical life, now you can put more money towards long-term care, or set that money aside for your beneficiaries.

Cutting cigarettes out of your life is not just a way for you to live longer, but you can also make your family’s life easier when you ultimately pass on.

Make one of your first decisions in the new year to look into life insurance and receive up to six quotes free on our page today—of course, right after you firmly decide to stop smoking.

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15 Reasons You Need Life Insurance Before 40

Feb 3, 2015 7:00:00 PM


Is life insurance really necessary in your 30s?

After all, you’re young. You’re healthy. You’re going to be around for a long time, right?

Diem Brown knew better.

Ms. Brown, a former MTV Real World star battled cancer three separate times in her life over an 11-year period, starting at the age of 23. Sadly, she lost her fight this past November, at the age of 34.

You think you have all the time in the world. Until you don’t. That’s why today, we’re going to give you 15 reasons why you should get on board with life insurance before you blow out the candles at your 40th birthday party.

1) Payments from your life insurance policy after you pass on can help your family to recoup any costs that your health insurance didn’t cover.

2) Insurance ensures your funeral costs and personal debt are covered if you were to pass on unexpectedly.

3) No kids of your own? No problem. You can name your favorite charity as a beneficiary and leave the proceeds to them.

4) Life insurance is your chance to leave your loved ones with something to remember you by without having to sock away extra money.

5) Insurance can supplement income for your spouse in the event of your death.

6) Money left to your beneficiaries can double as an extra college fund upon your passing.

7) Unused funds set aside for long-term care will be awarded to your beneficiaries if you don’t need them.

8) Death benefits are not taxed (depending on the policy amount and the state where the deceased person lived).

9) Your rates are cheaper now than if you wait until you turn 40.

10) Since you’re starting earlier, you have more time to increase your coverage as you make more money.

11) Pre-existing conditions are looked upon more favorably (especially when you have the condition under control), because the premise is you’ll live longer when you are proactive in managing you health.

12) You’ll have peace of mind for years to come.

13) You’ll be able to supplement your employer-provided life insurance with your own policy.

14) An affordable way for you to cushion yourself and your family for future financial obligations.

15) The sooner you sign up for life insurance, the less time you have to think about your own mortality.

The unthinkable doesn’t discriminate and can strike any of us at any age and at any time; it’s completely out of our control. However, you can control how well your family is protected in the aftermath.

Do the right thing for yourself and your family, visit our quotes page and start on the road to a brighter future.

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4 Reasons to “Just Say No” to Term Life Insurance

Jan 29, 2015 9:43:00 AM

Life insurance may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
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Why Life Insurance is Golden for Multi-Generational Families Living Under the Same Roof

Jan 3, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Care_of_parentsYour parents have been in your corner for as long as you can remember. They’ve always rooted for you, loved you and supported you in both times of good and bad. You made a vow to yourself long ago that you would care for them when they got older, just like they cared for you.

In theory, this doesn’t sound difficult, but in reality, taking care of an elderly parent, even one who is self-sufficient, can be a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re up against.

Today’s post will delve into four things that life insurance with long-term care can prevent when you bring in your parents in your home to live with you.

1) Allows you to live a disruptive-free life: Your parent(s) may have received a clean bill of health before they moved in, but that doesn’t mean things will stay that way forever. Lisa Wendt thought the same thing, too. Her father didn’t have Alzheimer’s and was still pretty mobile when he moved in with her family at age 83. However, he did have dementia, which got worse after he moved in, severely limiting Lisa and her husband from going on vacations or even leaving the house for more than a few hours at a time.

If Lisa’s father’s life insurance policy allowed for the option of long-term care payments, she and her husband wouldn’t have had to stay tethered to their home.

2) Doesn’t put unnecessary strain on your marriage and family: As you can imagine, becoming a full-time caregiver and not being able to freely leave your home as needed can raise the tension levels to uncomfortable heights, which is what happened with Lisa and her husband. Her father’s presence not only caused some tension and fighting with her husband, but her father’s deteriorating mental state also made him more agitated, causing arguments between Lisa and her father as well.

A properly trained home-health care aide or private nurse would have been equipped to deal with the progression of Lisa’s father’s condition, which would have eased the stress in Ms. Wendt’s home.

3) Ease your own stress with a caregiver: Tension and stress don’t just exist externally; they live within all of us as well. It didn’t take long for Lisa to internalize the stress that was building in her house, and her own well-being began to breakdown.

When you pay a caregiver, they can focus all of their attention on your parent, relieving or eliminating the stress and tension that lingers within your home.

4) Live out your dreams: Do you still have dreams and desires that you want to fulfill after you retire, like owning a restaurant? If you have a little nest egg saved up, it’s possible to turn your dream into reality. However, if you have one or more of your parent’s living with you, that money might need to go toward medical bills and care for your parents. That’s what happened to Lisa’s husband: He had to put his dream on hold because his father-in-law’s bills were adding up. Lisa and her husband both had to work longer hours to compensate for the extra expenses.

As an adult, it’s admirable to want to take of your parents just as they took care of you when you were a child, but becoming the sole caregiver for a parent can often do more harm than help.

Do you want to have the option to bring in a trained professional into your home to care for your parent should the need arise? Find out what type of coverage you need with a no-obligation life insurance quote today!

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Four Ways to Get Your Stubborn Spouse Turned On To Life Insurance

Dec 22, 2014 1:06:00 PM

Marriage is hard.

But, not all of the time.

Any happily-married couple will tell you that the good times easily outweigh the not-so-great times. At the root of this turbulence can be arguments. These arguments can bubble up over mundane issues like whether the toilet seat should be up or down. But they can also stem from larger issues like money and deciding where that money should go.

Like toward a life insurance policy.

You know that setting aside money for a life insurance policy is a wise use of your funds. Your spouse, maybe not so much. So how can you convert your spouse to part with more of his or her money to protect the both of you for the future?

Here are four ways to ease your spouse into the benefits of life insurance.

1. Keep the lines of communication open: Communication is a cornerstone of a happy marriage. It also makes for an ideal insurance policy. The truth is that your spouse may consider insurance to be frivolous, but a good old fashioned talk may be what is needed to convince them it is not. Sit down with your spouse to tackle these cold, hard truths: Who makes more money? What would happen if the breadwinner were no longer able to earn a living, would you still be able to survive? One woman, who became a widow in her 50’s when her husband died unexpectedly from a rare, undiagnosed cancer, learned the hard way she could not depend on Social Security for income since she would not be eligible to collect any benefits until age 60. These are the types of questions and answers that can open your spouse’s eyes to what life insurance really is: a necessity.

2. Dive head first into the taboo: It’s inevitable that the inevitable will creep into your conversation about life insurance. But talking about death doesn’t have to be ghoulish -you can make it fun. Why not make a bucket list with your spouse and fill it with all the adventures you want to take in your life, starting with this year. And at the top of this list, add the following: ‘Do not start before we get life insurance.’ Now you’ll have one less thing to worry about so you can focus your energies on creating new memories.

3. Make it a New Year’s resolution: 2015 is edging closer and closer each day, and you know how everyone kicks off a brand new year? By promising to aggressively change their lives, usually followed by a two to three-month stint at their local gym. Putting life insurance on your spouse’s resolution list is easier to accomplish than shedding those post-holiday pounds. There’s no sweating, no heavy lifting and the only burn he or she will feel is from moving his or her computer mouse to fill out an online quote request form.

4. Get life insurance as part of your anniversary gift: A night out at a favorite restaurant is a wonderful way to splurge on your spouse, but do you know what’s even more awesome? A life insurance policy, because it protects you too. The benefits of your policy will last long after that surf and turf is devoured. So have a great dinner, but include a discussion about life insurance, and celebrate another year together with a gift that will protect you both in the future.

Converting your spouse to the advantages of life insurance is not only good for your financial health, but it can prevent tension and arguments later and help to create a secure future for you both.

Get your spouse turned on to life insurance, by signing up for a quote today.

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Self-Employed Professionals: How Life Insurance Helps You Save for Retirement

Dec 16, 2014 4:30:00 PM


As a self-employed professional, one of the most fulfilling things about working for yourself is looking in the mirror and declaring: “I’m the boss.” You, and only you, are responsible for running the show.

That also means you are solely responsible for your retirement, too. And that can feel a lot less fulfilling and a lot more frightening.

At IntelliQuote, we’re here to tell you that planning for your retirement is a lot easier with a life insurance policy on your side. Let’s explore three ways a life insurance policy can keep your family in the black long after you have left your business.

1) Alternative to retirement savings: Many people believe their retirement saving is a lifeline that will keep them afloat for a decent amount of time. But if you own your own business and have a family, your loved ones may not be able to keep their heads above water for too long after you die. When a spouse dies, business income might dwindle, or just stop, leaving your family between a rock and a hard place. A life insurance policy can give your family money to keep them going for years to come.

2) Option to liquidate if you need fast access to cash: One thing you can count on in life is the unexpected, specifically unexpected emergencies. And when disaster strikes, you want to be as liquid as possible. Rather than rushing to cash in taxable funds that can take forever to become available and have penalties that might haunt you in your upcoming tax return, why not dip into the tax-exempt cash reserves within your life insurance policy?

3) Allows you to assign beneficiaries: What if you’ve run a successful business and you’ve done a great job of saving for retirement for a number of years, but you have no one to whom you can pass on your assets? Your life insurance can also double as a trust and you can list the beneficiaries that you wish to receive the fruits of your hard-earned labor, whether the recipients are members of your family or causes that you feel deeply about. Either way, you’ll ensure your legacy of success lives on for the next generation of ambitious entrepreneurs.

If you’re a self-employed professional, you may fret that saving for your eventual retirement is difficult, but life insurance is a great way for you to sock away additional money and give you options for where your money goes in the future.

Plan for tomorrow’s emergency today. Let IntelliQuote help you receive up to six life insurance quotes in just a few minutes. Learn more.

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How a Parent’s Death Can Cut Short a Child’s Dream

Dec 13, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Bachelor’s degrees are the new high-school diplomas. This is a reality that’s becoming more and more apparent with each passing year. College graduates, on average, experience significantly lower rates of unemployment than those armed with only high school diplomas.

And as a parent, you want to give your kids a fighting chance for success, don’t you?

But what happens if you’re no longer in the picture? How can you increase the odds in your child’s favor?

Enter life insurance to the rescue!

At IntelliQuote, we understand a college degree is not a guarantee for a better life, but it provides an advantage over the competition. Let’s take a look at four reasons why life insurance can help ensure your child’s post-secondary education is not sidelined.

1) Don’t make your kid grow up any faster than they have to: Sabrina Green may be chronologically young, but she’s endured more hardships than those twice her age. Growing up in a single-parent home as one of three kids is tough, especially when you’re mom dies when you’re eight-years-old, and your grandmother dies just five years later—without life insurance. As a result, Sabrina had to work 40-45 hours a week while attending college part-time.

A life insurance policy may have helped Sabrina, by allowing her mom to set aside money in a trust, so Sabrina wouldn’t have to choose between getting a diploma and eating or paying the light bill.

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How Life Insurance Can Help Save You

Dec 10, 2014 6:00:00 PM

One of the ways insurance professionals try to get people to sit up and take notice is to state a startling statistic. We find that’s not always the best approach.

Why?

Because people can easily explain away statistics with reasoning. We’ve found that real-life examples better connect emotionally with our audience, and as a result, are harder to ignore.

Today’s post shares real-life accounts of how life insurance saved two families, and the three lessons you can take away from their stories.

1) Make sure you’re truly covered: If you work for a company and you know you’re insured, you probably don’t give life insurance much thought. You figure, “My company will take care of everything”, right? Luckily for Alden Wicker, her mother shared the opposite viewpoint. Ms. Wicker’s parents were better off than most, with a solid income and an emergency fund of close to two years of her father’s salary. Her mother was in charge of the budget and inspected her husband’s employer-provided insurance coverage, which would pay out two times his $30,000 a year salary. She calculated their actual expenses to see how much they’d need if they had a crisis and realized it was significantly higher, so she took out two additional policies.

The Lesson: Never assume that your employer’s life insurance is enough to cover your needs. Sit down and make a list of your actual expenses (mortgage, rent, living expenses, etc.) and compare that total against how much coverage you receive.

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