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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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Get Your Budget on Course: 5 Apps That Can Help

Mar 16, 2017 8:19:00 AM

Nearly all of us have some financial goals that we'd like to achieve, but putting the action in place to achieve those goals is a common roadblock. According to one Nielsen survey, 69% of respondents believed that they would achieve their financial goals, but only 28% had planning efforts in place to make those plans a reality. Most financial planning begins with basic budgeting. Here are just five simple budget apps that can help you get your family's budget on track so you can get on course to reaching your goals.

1. Mint

Mint is one of the most popular and most widely-used budget apps because it is user-friendly and versatile. The program is available online and as an iPhone and Android app. You can link your bank accounts to the app, create monthly budgets, track spending categories, and even upload data to some types of tax software.

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How to Be Prepared for Unexpected Expenses

Jan 16, 2017 4:56:00 PM

If there's one thing in life that's certain, it's that plans often change. Your idea of a perfect vacation could go south with an unexpected illness, a broken down vehicle, or even the theft of some belongings. What was supposed to be a quiet winter season can turn stressful when the furnace breaks, or there's a sudden leak in the roof.

The common thread running through all of these events is money. When the unexpected occurs, it's usually not in the form of a winning lottery ticket. No, instead you unexpectedly find yourself parting with money. Here's what you need to know about unexpected expenses and a few tips on getting a good preparation plan in place.

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Get Life Insurance to Protect Your Small Business

Aug 31, 2016 7:00:00 PM

If you own or are thinking about starting a small business, you're in good company. In the United States, there are nearly 29 million small businesses, making up over 99% of the total companies in the country. Of those small businesses, 34 percent employ less than 100 workers. Smaller firms both employ the greater percentage of Americans and produce the most goods in this country. If you're a small business owner, you'll want to protect your investment with the best life insurance policy.

Small Business Owner Risk

If you have a small business that is thriving, count yourself as one of the fortunate and successful. According to the Small Business Administration, only about half of small businesses survive five years, and one-third makes it to ten years. If you've beat the odds, chances are you want your hard work and dedication to carry on after you're gone. One of the ways that you can ensure the longevity of your business and your investment is through a life insurance policy.
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Wait: Are You Making These Mistakes with Your Life Insurance?

Jul 5, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Life insurance is essential to make sure that loved ones are provided for in the event that you aren't around to fulfill that role. Making a mistake with a life insurance policy can cause issues down the road for those very people who are meant to be protected. Here are just a few of the most common mistakes that people make with life insurance policies and how you can avoid these missteps.


Relying on a Group Life Insurance Policy

Many employers provide free group life insurance up to one or two times annual salary. While this is a great benefit, the limits aren't sufficient as a sole life insurance policy. Beyond that, if you leave your job for any reason, you will also forfeit that life insurance coverage. There are affinity groups that also say that they provide discounts on group life insurance. Again, you'll need to maintain membership in that group to keep the insurance and the rates for these group policies aren't always less than what you could find with an individual policy.

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Mortality: Gain More Control Over Yours Using Life Insurance

Nov 3, 2014 7:00:00 PM

You may have done a double take when you read today’s blog title. Control your mortality with life insurance? Are they serious?

Before you ask, we’re not saying that life insurance will turn you into a superhuman or will increase your life span by 50 years. Sorry! But we want to show you how you can use life insurance to ensure that your family remains healthy and happy long after you’ve passed on.

And that’s something that you can feel good about, right?

There are a lot of precautions that you can take to help you live a longer life. Daily exercise, a healthy diet, learning not to sweat the small stuff and reducing your stress. While these lifestyle choices are wonderful ways to improve the overall quality of your life, they are not guaranteed life extenders. If you’re one of the (or the only) breadwinner for your family, you’ll need a financial backup plan that’s solid.

1) Choose exactly how your family will be cared for: When you’re employed, you know you’ll get paid every month like clockwork. But what happens if you pass on unexpectedly? If you’re gone, you obviously won’t need the money, but what about your spouse and your children? A term life insurance policy allows you to determine the exact salary that will keep your family financially comfortable and worry-free after you’re gone.

2) Give your child a chance to compete with a college education: One of the most amazing gifts a parent can give their child is the gift of a debt-free education. The workforce becomes more competitive with each passing year, and bachelors’ degrees are the new high school diploma. When you purchase a policy that will cover your child’s education, you’re making sure that they’ll enter adulthood with an advantage.

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Get Multiple Quotes in Less Time than it Takes to Book a Vacation

Oct 13, 2014 7:30:00 PM

This is the season that you and your spouse have waited 18+ years for. It’s the fall of your child’s college freshman year—and you’re ready to take back your house. You’ve planned the perfect way to celebrate your child’s journey into adulthood—a Hawaiian vacation. You’re just one mouse click away from paradise, but there’s a crucial purchase you forgot to make.

Your life insurance.

Huh?

You’re probably scratching your head in confusion. Let us explain.

Your dream vacation could easily morph into a nightmare. The reality is your life could be tragically cut short, either en route to your destination or during your trip.

Unfortunately, circumstances like the above are beyond your control. But there’s an important decision that’s well within your grasp…

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