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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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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.




10 Debt Traps to Avoid in 2017

Jan 12, 2017 10:40:00 AM

It's never fun being broke or having to live paycheck to paycheck. Wondering if you'll be able to pay your bills is stressful, and access to money is often limited. Those who have escaped debt will tell you that it is both a struggle and one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and your family. Maybe you just see the potential for trouble on the horizon and want to avoid total financial disaster. Whether you're crawling out of debt or hope to avoid its pitfalls, here are just ten debt traps to avoid in 2017.

1. Spending Too Much on a Home

Buying too much home is a common mistake that gets many people in over their heads in debt. A standard monthly benchmark for housing is 30% of your income. Many go up to 40%, but too many families fail to consider such things as property taxes, insurance, upkeep, and repairs in their budget.




Planning Your Finances for 2017

Jan 5, 2017 10:32:42 AM

The new year is often a time when we make resolutions about living a healthier lifestyle. While resolving to exercise and eat better is a wonderful thing, the overall health of your personal finances could often use some attention as well. The new year is the perfect time to create new financial habits, which includes setting some goals. Here are several important areas to consider as you plan your finances for 2017.

Assess Your Situation

Whether you're planning for retirement, trying to claw your way out of debt, or saving for the dream of home ownership, it's hard to make a plan if you don't know where you stand. Sit down and make a list of your assets and liabilities. This means that you list out everything that you own as well as what you owe. If this sounds tedious, but there are some free online tools can help you get this done, such as Mint.com.




Financial Planning & Social Security: Long-Term Considerations

Nov 21, 2016 8:18:00 PM

Longing for those retirement years is a common feeling, but lack of planning can have some unintended consequences. Do you know when the best time is to file for Social Security? If you're not sure, you're in good company. Each day, another 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age, and many immediately file for their Social Security benefits. What many don't realize is that this could be a costly mistake and proper financial planning can place you in a better long-term position.

Common Misconceptions About Social Security

Even if you've been given information about your benefits eligibility by the Social Security Administration, a recent investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that you might want to question some of that data. The GAO found that the average consumer, whether they received their information over the phone or online, didn't have a strong grasp of Social Security eligibility, which often led them to make the wrong choices.

For example, many retirees don't understand the full implications of claiming Social Security benefits at age 62 versus waiting until full retirement age, which is generally 66. If you took benefits at the earliest possible time, they'd be 25 percent less than if you'd waited. Also, many retirees aren't aware of the tax implications of Social Security benefits or the effect that having a "retirement job" will have on their benefits.




End Worries About Claiming Life Insurance Payouts With These 4 Steps

Nov 15, 2016 8:47:00 PM

You purchase a life insurance policy to protect the financial future of your loved ones. If you die, your beneficiary on the policy will need to make a claim to receive those valuable benefits. While there is a bit of work to do, it shouldn't be overwhelming or stress-inducing. Here is some basic information about claiming your term life insurance payout, the different payout options available, and some other common benefit concerns.

Identify Who Has Been Named the Beneficiary

When you set up your life insurance policy, you named your beneficiary in one of two ways. You either listed a particular person or persons (per capita), or you listed beneficiaries by branch of the family (per stirpes). For example, if you listed per stirpes, the proceeds would still go to grandchildren even if you outlive your adult children.




5 Things You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes

Nov 6, 2016 9:19:00 PM

If you're a smoker who is looking to purchase a life insurance policy, you've probably learned that insurance companies are going to charge you higher premiums than if you were someone who didn't smoke. What if you are one of the millions of former smokers who has made the switch to vaping? While you may believe that you've made the right choice for your health, and your wallet, the distinction may not be as clear to a life insurance company. Here are five things that you need to know about e-cigarettes if you're planning to purchase a life insurance policy.

1.  E-Cigarettes Remain Unregulated When a life insurance company considers e-cigarettes, their risk classification has a lot to do with the lack of regulation of the devices. While there have been some new rules about who can purchase an e-cigarette, not much else has been determined to date. The FDA is still considering whether or not they are going to expand their tobacco authority over e-cigarettes, which would include additional funding for testing.




Term Life or Whole Life Insurance: Which Policy Type is Right for You?

Nov 3, 2016 7:22:00 PM

One of the common questions among those considering a life insurance purchase relates to the difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance. If you've decided to purchase a life insurance policy, bravo, as you are ahead of the curve. Statistics show that, while most Americans need life insurance for a variety of reasons, the rate of adequate life insurance ownership is actually at a 50-year low. Top reasons for not purchasing life insurance include a gross overestimation of its cost and a basic lack of understanding about life insurance policy products - including the difference between a term life policy and a whole life policy.

When you buy this important coverage you obviously want the best life insurance for your needs. So here is a comparison between term life and whole life, which are the two main categories of life insurance.




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.