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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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Identity Theft: 5 Tips to Help You Avoid Becoming a Victim

Mar 9, 2017 8:35:00 PM

If you have a bank account, shop online, or even pay taxes, you run the risk of identity theft. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 17.6 million Americans are victims of identity theft each year. As of 2014, about 7% of U.S. residents ages 16 and older experienced some form of identity theft. This type of theft includes such things as the unauthorized use of credit cards, bank accounts, or the use of personal information to commit financial crimes.

While some identity theft losses are insured by financial institutions, others may be financially and emotionally devastating. One thing that they nearly all have in common is that they are frustrating and inconvenient. In today's digital age, protecting your information is a challenge, but it is necessary. Here are five tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim of an identity theft scheme.




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.




6 Ways To Make Thanksgiving 2016 Special

Nov 23, 2016 3:07:00 PM

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and kicking off the "holiday season" tends to bring mixed feelings for many. Some dread this time of year, others embrace the magic, and a few still might get excited for what could be considered the wrong reasons. If thoughts of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are what are keeping you up at night, maybe a change in perspective is due.

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to put the skids on the trivial or mundane aspects of life and to take stock of some of the things that we too often overlook. Here are just six ways that you can make your 2016 Thanksgiving more special.

1. Be Present

Football and food (particularly turkey) are important, but nothing makes a holiday more memorable than the quality time spent with loved ones. Whether relatives or close friends, be present for people by having some genuine conversations.

2. Find Your Gratitude

This IS "Thanksgiving," right? Too many people tend to forget the spirit of the holiday and gratitude goes out the window faster than you can say, "pass the gravy." There is always something to be grateful for, no matter your present circumstances. Take a look at where you are today and consider both the positive things that you have in your life and the negative things that are absent.




Top 5 Safest Cities in America: Did Yours Make the List?

Oct 31, 2016 12:12:08 PM

We all have a certain affinity for the place we live. Whether you've been born and raised in a particular city, or have just relocated recently, we form attachments to people, businesses, and even landmarks. Yet, most acknowledge that they want to feel safe in their own home, and some cities rank higher in this respect than others. Have you heard of the recent clown sighting craze that's sweeping the nation? While many are mere hoaxes, a few incidents have turned tragic. These sorts of events are making more and more people think about safety.

Several different companies calculate these "safest cities" lists each year and, interestingly, all arrive at different results due to varying methodologies. If you're interested in smaller towns, you might want to take a look at some of the lists by SafeWise.

This particular list, developed by Smart Asset, is of larger cities (the country's top 200) and considers such things as violent crime rate, vehicle mortality rates, drug poisoning deaths, air quality, excessive drinking, and even commuter rates. Here are the five safest cities in America. Hopefully, yours made the list.



Do Married Women Really Need Life Insurance?

Oct 25, 2016 9:13:00 PM

There is a common misconception among married couples that the female half of the equation doesn't need a life insurance policy. Considering their significant contribution to the financial stability of the home and family, nothing could be further from the truth. Whether or not they are working outside the home, are a stay-at-home parent, or are nearing retirement age, there is a strong argument for purchasing protection and peace of mind with a life insurance policy.

Two-Incomes or Stay-at-Home Mom According to recent figures from the Department of Labor, 57 percent of women in the U.S. participate in the labor force. Also, 70 percent of women with minor children are working outside the home. Yet, these contributions to the family welfare aren't being adequately insured against a tragic loss. The Insurance Information Institute reports that 43 percent of adult women have no life insurance at all and those that do are carrying 31 percent less coverage than their male counterparts. If your family loses that income, it's important that there be a source of financial security in place.



Life Insurance Considerations for the Multigenerational Family

Sep 27, 2016 6:52:00 PM

Our picture of a "normal" household has changed drastically in recent years. Ask your grandparents about their family household growing up and they might describe several generations living under one roof. While we moved away from this for a time, it is fast becoming the norm once again.

In fact, households that contain three or more generations are rapidly increasing in this country. One Pew Research Center study found that, since 1980, the number of multigenerational households in the U.S. has more than doubled. College graduates are returning home, and Baby Boomers are bringing aging parents home for their retirement years. These diverse households bring their own set of challenges, one of which is planning for the future through the right life insurance coverage.




Should Your Financial Plan Include a Life Insurance Policy for Your Kids?

Sep 16, 2016 5:00:00 PM

No parent likes to think of outliving their child, but it's a tragedy that happens, leaving families in shock and often ill-prepared. The question of whether or not to purchase a life insurance policy for your children has been debated for years. Provided that your own life insurance needs have been met, there are some sound arguments for why this might make sense. Here are just four reasons that you may want to consider a life insurance policy for your kids.

Money for Funeral Expenses

When a minor child dies, it's emotionally devastating but not always financially so. Most children aren't bringing monthly income into the home that needs to be replaced. If you're worried about covering funeral costs, the best life insurance choice may be a rider on your current policy that allows you to add $10,000 or $20,000 for a family member, including children.




September Is Life Insurance Awareness Month

Sep 9, 2016 5:30:00 PM

Would your loved ones be able to pay living expenses if you were to pass away? If the answer is "no" or you're unsure, you aren't alone. According to LIMRA and Life Happens' 2016 Insurance Barometer Study, 1 in 3 households would have immediate trouble paying living expenses if the primary wage earner were to die. Even if you aren't the primary wage earner, the absence of your income and support will be felt almost immediately.

Life insurance is a necessity, yet many families still don't have coverage for a variety of reasons. The same study found that 40 percent fail to buy life insurance simply because they don't know how much to buy. For this reason, and several others, Life Happens has designated September as Life Insurance Awareness Month.

Life Insurance Awareness Month 2016 is the 13th anniversary of Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), which is a campaign to increase awareness among consumers and industry leaders about the need for life insurance. Americans as a whole aren't saving as much, and many households have a significant amount of debt. While there is a growing sentiment that there is value in life insurance, not enough people are actually insured. This is clearly illustrated by the results of the latest Insurance Barometer Study.