Who isn't looking for a way to be debt free and have some extra cash? Many men struggle with the idea of ever being out of debt. Many of us were never taught the value of saving, spending or investing.
My pal Ed Logan is a financial advisor and works in Insurance. He offers some interesting programs to help people get out of debt using their life insurance. I asked him to list some key things we could do to help men begin to secure financial futures. Here is what he had to say!
Become Debt Free the Smart Way
Let's assume that you are like most Americans for a moment. You have standard income and you have typical debts like a car payment, a house, a credit card, and maybe some miscellaneous debts like student loans or some furniture you financed. You're probably thinking I'm not that bad off...I don't have that much debt. While you might not be facing bankruptcy, you are probably not saving as much as you could be either.
According to the Indiana Business Research Center, most Americans with a bachelors degree or higher earn $2.1 million dollars during their lifetime. According to the Federal Reserve, the median balance of retirement accounts held by Americans who are saving for retirement totals less than $60,000.
I think we can all agree those are some pretty startling statistics, but most of us just assume that it will be different for us. So, we keep on going until one day we realize we fell into the same traps along the way. So what are those traps and how do we avoid becoming one of the statistics? Well, there are many traps, most of them we don't even see coming, like debt and medical bills. Those items have a way of sneaking up on us and are usually the reasons why we end up with so little at retirement time. Let's take a minute and explore the why.
For many of us, debt starts early with either credit cards, student loans, that first car, or some other financing method that just seems inevitable. Once you start down the road of financing, it just seems as if there are no exits and most of us are just following the path laid out in front of us.
We go to college and find out that it's expensive, so we get student loans. Of course, you need a good education if you want a good job, right? After college if we can find a job we work hard so we can be rewarded, and maybe go buy a new car even though we haven't paid off those student loans yet. We just say to ourselves... that's okay, we will in time. Then we meet someone and get married so we inherit their debts too. Perhaps we start a family and buy a house which adds to the debt pool. When we buy the house we think, well it's better to own than to rent because we are building equity. Of course, it seems silly to have a house with no furniture and off we go to buy new furniture. Uh oh...we just put all of our savings into the down payment on the house so we will have to finance the furniture.
I think you can see where this is going, or perhaps you have experienced this cycle in your own life. So how do we exit the revolving door? Well, that brings us to the how!
First, you need to get a good debt elimination plan. Unfortunately, budgets don't work. Even though intentions are good, they always seem to fall apart at some point. So, you need to start with a good get-out-of-debt program. Not sure where to find one? It may be best to sit down with someone who can put together a plan of action for you. These folks aren't always easy to find because it's often hard to know who you can trust versus someone who is just looking to make a quick buck. Good advisers will help you put together a plan without asking you to spend money on a program or charge you fees for a consultation.
The second step is to learn how you can become your own bank. I know it sounds crazy, but what if instead of paying banks and lenders interest, you started making interest on the items you buy yourself? By paying yourself back, you could grow your money faster than ever before. By becoming your own banker, using a concept known as infinite banking, you can stop the finance roller coaster and start capitalizing on the your own money on your own terms.
Life Insurance with Living Benefits
Everyone knows life insurance is something you buy to protect your family’s financial future in the event of your death. If your coverage is adequate, then your insurance benefits kick in when you die and your family will have the means to pay for your burial and to make up for your lost income. You’ll be gone, but your family will be taken care of, at least financially. Life insurance is an affordable way to protect your family from the financial repercussions of your death.
But what happens if you lose your income due to a life-changing illness? Or, if you don't have the right life insurance? Chances are you’ll lose your income, you’ll have increased expenses, and there will be no way to make up for the change in your financial situation. You may not even be able to afford your life insurance policy anymore. If your illness proves fatal, then your family will be left with less than nothing.
Did you know that 7 out of 10 people will have a heart attack, stroke, or cancer before the age of 65? In fact, the average age of a person with one of these three illnesses is 43. Don’t be a victim of financial devastation because of an illness, make sure you have life insurance with living benefits.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right insurance company who offers a comprehensive life insurance policy with no cost living benefits. Don't settle for one that doesn't offer them, and make sure you read the fine print as most policies have payout limitations of up to $250,000. Whether you want term life insurance, a universal, or whole life policy, you also want living benefits. If you choose a high quality provider, you can opt to include living benefits as part of your policy or as a rider added onto your policy at no cost to you. Life insurance with living benefits can provide you, the policyholder, with proceeds from your policy in the event of a life-changing illness.
In other words, you can get money from your own life insurance policy while you are still alive. So, if you get ill, you can collect on your policy, which will make up for your lost income and allow you to pay for the increase in expenses while still protecting your family’s financial well-being.
You select your policy and your coverage amount by comparing the costs to the benefits. The benefits you receive while you are alive are deducted from the benefits paid to your beneficiary upon your death. This means, for your policy to truly protect your family’s financial well-being, it’s best to choose the most generous policy that is affordable for your family.
You don’t have to live in fear that your family will be financially devastated during one of the most difficult times of their lives. You can provide your family with the security they need to handle whatever may come, whether it’s a life-changing illness or death.
Ed Logan, Reliant Financial Group
The information provided in the foregoing article is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information. It does not constitute fitness, health, finance or business advice. You should seek the advice of a medical doctor before beginning a new exercise or fitness regiment.
The article is the property of the author.