Category Archives: Insurance

My Monkey Mind-Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)

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My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.

Something which happened about 10 years ago has been in my monkey mind.  I guess listening to my friends talk about elderly parents must have triggered it.  So here goes….

As part of my financial services business I had a listing in the Yellow Pages under resources for women.  It was the best I could do since there wasn’t a separate listing for women and finances.  The result was unexpected.  I received random calls from women in difficult life situations ranging from physical abuse, unwanted divorce, requests for money to start  businesses, and sometimes just a reality check on some financial decisions a spouse or significant other had made without checking with the woman.  After these calls continued , I became a connection between these women I never met to non-profits, social services providers, free legal advice, and government agencies who could help.  I learned a bunch of things which reached beyond financial advising.

One day I received one of those calls from an elderly woman who asked me what the difference was between term insurance (no cash value) and universal life insurance (which has a cash value).  The real reason for the call had to do with the fact that her late husband had established an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) with a cash value policy and she thought he had made a bad decision.  I was curious to hear all the details so I went to visit with her.

In my Financial Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, I cover the differences between term and cash value policies.  To put it in a couple of sentences, term insurance is a very cost-effective way of getting life insurance and is appropriate for most people.  The premium goes towards the insurance cost and the policy runs for a certain period of time, such as 10, 15, or 20 years.  A policy with a cash value, such as universal life or variable universal life is more complicated and more expensive.  Some of the premium goes to the cost of insurance and some goes into investments offered through the insurance product.  The policy is considered to be “permanent” life since it is not restricted to a certain length of time.  My experience is that these policies (UL and VUL) are often considered upon guidance from an estate planning attorney when creating ways to provide for beneficiaries and reduce estate taxes.  This is a very generalized overview and to learn more please ask your insurance agent or do your own research on-line.

The control of the ILIT rests with a trustee, not the beneficiary (in this case the lady who called me).  This is done because of the estate tax benefits.  You can learn more by clicking here.  As with most people, she did not like knowing she had “all this money”, yet couldn’t access it when she wished.  I came to learn that was part of the plan.

I shared this insight with the lady. Apparently I was the first person she met who sat down and explained to her how this ILIT all worked. I was also the only woman advisor/insurance agent she had ever met.  She found me through my Yellow Page listing.

I learned that she was unhappy because the ILIT controlled her spending.  She had to ask a young man( who was the trustee) for any money which was needed  in addition to the monthly payment which had been established.  The goal of the plan was to keep her from running out of money.   I learned that her ILIT  did contain a universal life policy, the trust was created by an attorney with involvement by the now-deceased husband, and seemed to be in good order and in her best interest.  The things the trustee had told her were true, if she did not control her spending, she ran the risk of outliving her money.  In this situation, the planning was really in her best interest and when we finished our discussion, she, for the first time, realized it.  We talked about other ways for her to finance the expenses she wanted to incur including having a roommate in her spacious home, moving to a smaller one, or cutting expenses elsewhere.

I never heard from her again, but I learned a lot.  I saw how the appropriate cash value life insurance policy can be an integral and useful part of estate planning and a way to take care of beneficiaries upon the death of the insured.  My passion for working with women to understand their finances was re-kindled.  I knew that if someone had taken time to speak to this lady in language she could understand, her life would have been much better.  Sometimes financial professionals forget that it is not all about the numbers,  it is about how the numbers improve the lives of clients and getting the  clients to understand that.  It also reinforced my belief that the best time to learn about finances is not when your spouse or family member has died and not there to explain things.  Learning the fundamentals as a young person will make things a lot easier throughout her or his lifetime.

This event has stayed with me.  My insurance career involved term life insurance and that worked well for my family and clients. The ILIT was a good example how a cash value policy can be beneficial in estate planning and for beneficiaries who may need some additional structure and measured control over assets.  Each situation is different and this posting is not intended to provide you with personal advice on your estate planning, financial planning, or insurance needs.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Culture of Threes-#3

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This posting relates to what I refer to as our Culture of Threes. As explained in previous posts, when an idea or concept comes to me three times from totally different sources, I have learned to pay attention, process the information, and then act. 

The Culture of Threes happened to me recently concerning my Financial Freedom Party for Women.

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My Number 1 post was about the Financial Freedom Party for Women and how financial education for women meets party plans and the financial industry asks, “Like Tupperware parties?”  Please go back to my previous post for all the details.

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Number 2 was about a fictional character in a novel who encounters mystery with a backdrop of relationships, relationship selling, and Tupperware.  The book is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.

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Number 3 appeared when I turned on the TV one morning.

I have never watched the CBS This Morning Show, just glanced at it while channel surfing.  I was about to switch channels and then saw Gayle King talking.  I decided to watch CBS since I hadn’t seen Gayle (a journalist and media personality in her own right, but best known as being Oprah’s best friend) in action for a while.  I always say that Oprah and Gayle made having “girlfriends” cool again.  Gayle intrigues me and I always appreciate her viewpoint.

Rick Goings, the CEO of Tupperware Brands, was being interviewed.  What a nice way to start the day with such a positive story.   This was a huge contrast to all the other reporting which centered around the challenges of the day such the government shutdown, health care reform, and the debt ceiling. 

Tupperware has been around my life over the years and I have products in my kitchen that I purchased a long time ago.  This is a pretty big deal since I come from that generation of professional women who thought parties to sell products were kind of unsophisticated and not for us.  The irony of this attitude is that later in life I became a distributor for several direct sales companies and also created a new business model for marketing traditional products such as investments and life insurance through my Financial Freedom Party for Women®  Had I not learned so much about the value of parties in business to the clients and the company, I would not have had the ability to modify the concept and transfer it to the financial services industry.

Embracing a party concept for my financial services business came out my observation that a whole bunch of women showed up at my neighbor’s home for a Pampered Chef party and then proceeded to buy “a lot”.  This all happened on short notice with only a couple of days planning by the hostess who simply invited her friends.  Yes, she had a lot of friends.  Even so, this was quite a change from what I and a small team of women brokers encountered when we planned ahead for financial seminars and found few women would show.  Obviously we (and the industry) were doing something wrong.  Things needed to change.

So that morning on CBS it was really refreshing to hear how Tupperware has re-branded the company and recognized that with 90% of their market outside the United States, they needed to change and adapt their product line.  Tupperware acknowledged that the U.S. market is all about bargain shopping and price.  With the advent of inexpensive plastic storage containers, U.S. customers were not as abundant.  This 65-year-old business re-invented itself and offers an entrepreneurial opportunity internationally and current has 2.8 million representatives, most of them women.  A nice story about success brought on by understanding the market and creating change.

At the core of the party plan process is not only products, but women who understand relationship selling.  In a busy world where we can buy products and services on-line, party plans understand the importance that we women place on having a little special attention and understanding what we are buying.

I have always admired how direct selling and network marketing businesses remember that the connection between the customer and the product is most effective when it is through some sort of relationship.  This concept transferred effectively for me when using the Financial Freedom Party for Women® to meet women, teach them financial basics, and sell them investment and insurance solutions.

For me, hearing this short segment on Tupperware and the women (and their families and friends) it serves, was a nice and positive way to start the day.  I was surprised and pleased to hear the statistic concerning women  in Indonesia who are making $100,000. You can hear more by clicking here.

Being a financial services professional who is advocating a party concept for teaching women about money management and seeing it as a marketing tool for the financial services industry is not easy. Many people in the industry are more entertained by the concept of the Freedom Party for Women® than they are impressed.  Watching the Tupperware story re-inspires me that what worked for me in my business and for my clients, can work for many more.

That completes my Culture of Threes story about the Freedom Party for Women®, women, money, products, success, business models, relationships, party plans and of course—Tupperware.  I am listening and paying attention!

If you wish to purchase copies of the Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition at www.amazon.com. please Just click here.

Until Next Time.

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Debra Hadsall

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Speaking Out for Financial Education for Young People

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As a financial advisor, I learned that most people are never taught the fundamentals of financial management. Some only learn from television or the Internet, which can be both good and bad.  Sometimes applying a broadcast approach to something which needs to be personalized isn’t helpful.

I know I learned basics from my parents, but the advanced topics like creating wealth through investing or really understanding life insurance, health insurance, and legal protection were concepts I learned along the way or through my college education because I majored in business and minored in economics.  Really, until I became a registered representative and learned how to teach others about financial management, I didn’t grasp the big picture.  When you teach others and market/sell products to them that help them meet their goals, you have to learn a lot first.  Of course the number of people in this country who chose to be advisors or brokers is just a small part of the overall population.  So who is teaching the rest of the population, particularly young people?

Recently I read a post about how we have lots of room to improve our education of youth about financial management.  Please click here to read the article.

Over the years , my friend Emily and I were asked to provide financial education to teens who attended our church.  Emily and I are more skilled in working with business leaders and executives, so we reached out to find materials appropriate for youth.  The materials we found at the National Endowment for Financial Education were absolutely the best.  They start with basics like where does my money go…or why is my first pay check so much smaller than what I expected…to insurance investing, goals, etc.  Everything we all need to know and understand, no matter our age.  To learn more please click here.  Currently I am using selected parts of these materials in a life skills mentoring program in a local high school.  Sometimes we need to teach young people in the manner they have been comfortable with in day-to-day living, sound bites.  Doing the whole book isn’t an option, but short sessions on topics works great.

The reason I created the Financial Freedom Party for Women and the corresponding book, and co-authored (with my friend Emily), First You Dream, A Financial Management Workbook, was to encourage learning and empower consumers.  As an advisor it was much easier to work with a potential client who understood the basics and felt more confident in her or his decisions.

As the saying goes, “you can be part of the problem or part of the solution”.  Getting to the solution requires us to acknowledge that it is a shared responsibility when it comes to financial management education for young people.

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Breaking Bad, Walt and Income Protection,aka Insurance

I like watching Breaking Bad.  I was on to this program from the beginning, when  critics just promised something good and it hadn’t gained such widespread fame.

If you don’t know much about the TV show Breaking Bad, you can just google it.  At the core it is a complicated, gritty, sad, happy, and intense story of how one man, Walter White, decided to make a change in his life so he could provide financially for his family because he had been diagnosed with cancer.  His choices were drastic and the impact, both negative and positive, significant

Whey am I blogging about this?  Well, it has to do with money, goals, dreams, and choices.

I understand the value of insurance for a variety of purposes, including life insurance which creates an instant estate to provide for those left behind.  Of course buying life insurance requires some awareness of the value of purchasing it, and must be done while someone is healthy enough to qualify.  Life insurance companies wouldn’t stay in business if they took on someone like Walt after he had been diagnosed.

I have met with many clients over the year and helped them make life insurance purchase decisions and then placed them in an appropriate product.  It sounds pretty boring when explained this way, so I was simply inspired by an article I read in a professional website.  It draws a parallel between Walter White (a TV character of course, not a real person), his late life career choice, and how different things could have been with some insurance planning and purchase.

Please click here to learn more. A great way of tying things together and the Breaking Bad franchise presents the last episode this evening.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time

Debra Hadsall

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Myths about Long Term Care Insurance

When I was working full-time with clients in my financial services business (planning, analysis, insurance, and investments) I made an interesting discovery.  The most emotional and misunderstood products were life insurance and long-term care insurance.  It is just easier for some folks to deny that we may die at most inconvenient time, and that we may grow old and  not be able to care for ourselves.  I have heard all kinds of different viewpoints on the subjects!

I talk about the subject of both types of insurance  in my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women. 

Until you have a chance to order one, please take some time and educate—or re-educate yourself on a few myths and truths about long-term care and long-term care insurance.  Just click here.

Until next time.

 

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com