Planning for unforeseen events is one of the most often overlooked aspects of financial planning. Yet it's also one of the most important. Regardless of how much time or money you spend building your investments; one unfortunate event can quickly erode the value of that plan if you don't have an appropriate insurance strategy in place. At Fortress Financial Strategies, our services include essential insurance strategies, to help make sure that your financial future and your loved ones are protected.
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Planning a solid insurance strategy is a necessary and valuable service to protect you and your loved ones. At Fortress Financial Strategies, the first step we’ll take to put you on the right track is a careful assessment of your assets. We’ll work with you to determine what types of insurance you may need, how much you’ll need and finally how you may obtain the most appropriate plan(s) at the lowest cost. The strategy we build for you may include many different components such as variable or term life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, disaster insurance and/or business insurance. Because your needs are unique, we’ll tailor the plan to protect what is most important to you.
Life insurance is important protection for those who have others depending on their paycheck. In the case of an unforeseen death, your life insurance policy should provide your dependents with ongoing income to replace yours, as well as to accommodate expenses such as funeral or other built up medical costs. Life insurance can also offer reduced income and transfer tax liability, and can be a ready source of cash at times when its likely needed most.
Additionally, many high-net worth individuals use life insurance policies to obtain coverage to pay estate taxes so their heirs are not burdened with these expenses. Often, families who haven’t prepared for hefty estate taxes are forced to liquidate assets at unfavorable prices to pay for them.
Term life is often the favored type of life insurance because of its simplicity. With term life insurance, you pay the premiums and are then covered for the term you choose. Conversely, cash value plans are often favored for their tax-sheltered earnings, similar to employer-sponsored retirement plans or IRAs. Cash value plans allow you to invest your premium payments in various investment options.
Annuities are often referred to as “upside-down insurance policies.” While life insurance policies require you to pay small, regular amounts over time to receive a large lump sum in the future, annuities do just the opposite. Generally annuities pay a larger amount in one lump sum in order to receive regular payments over an extended period of time. Payments to you can be arranged to start immediately or at some point in the future.
There are many different types of annuities. For example, with deferred annuities, purchase payments are made in one large sum, and installment payments are set to begin sometime in the future. This is different from an immediate annuity, which is similarly bought in one lump sum, but payments are set to begin immediately. Additionally, there are fixed annuities, in which buyers are guaranteed to receive payments throughout either their lifetime or some fixed period of time. The amount of these payments is based on many different factors and determined at the time of purchase. Whereas, a variable annuity is one in which the insurer invests premiums in a portfolio of securities. The value of the annuity, and likewise the payments, depends on the performance of the portfolio.
Annuities are products of the insurance industry. Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the insurance company and surrender charges may apply if money is withdrawn before the end of the contract. All withdrawals of tax-deferred earnings are subject to current income tax, and, if made prior to age 59½, may also be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Annuities are designed for long-term retirement investing. The contract, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the total amount invested.
Long-term care insurance refers to medical or personal care services you may need should you someday become unable to take care of yourself. Consider that the average nursing home costs per year exceed the costs of a four-year state university education. While it may be difficult to think about, an accident or illness could cause you to need long-term care at any age. While Medicare and Medicaid pay for some long-term care, there are severe restrictions on just what they pay for. For example, Medicaid does not cover home care. A long-term care insurance plan ensures you receive adequate care when you need it and according to your wishes.
The types of insurance you may purchase will depend on the specific needs of you and your loved ones. In addition to the types of insurance discussed above, you may also consider other specific insurance plans that we can help you set up. For example, if you are a small business owner, you may want to consider small business insurance. Similarly, if you have goals such as saving for your children's education or leaving them with inheritance money, setting up trusts for these specific purposes may be an appropriate vehicle for reaching these goals.
At Fortress Financial Strategies, we can help you to determine what types of insurance policies best suit your needs. We’ll explain the many different types of insurance, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and then make specific recommendations. Please call us today for an assessment of your insurance polices at 623-255-5180.
Do you currently have polices you would like evaluated? Policy Evaluation Program (PEP)
The Importance of Reviewing Your Current Life Insurance Policy
When you purchase a permanent life insurance policy, you are purchasing a financial vehicle that is designed to last a lifetime. Yet a policy is often tucked away and forgotten, with no thought to evaluating ongoing performance.
This is unfortunate.
A permanent life insurance policy is unlike any other financial vehicle. It has an investment component with an underlying cost structure based on health assumptions. Also, the strength of the policy relies on many variables that are constantly changing.
Our Policy Evaluation Program (PEP) allows us to review your current policy to determine if it is performing as expected. Often we find that many policies we review can be improved by either saving the client money or increasing the coverage for the same cost.
You will receive valuable information on the state of the life insurance marketplace today.
PEP provides an in-depth analysis of the present condition of the existing life insurance policy in an easy-to-read format.
This analysis allows you to easily see all of the options that might be available if alterations or modifications must be made to your policy.