Millions of people depend upon annuities and life insurance for financial protection. For many years, life insurance companies have made good on the contractual guarantees that they have pledged to their annuity and life insurance policyholders.
Nevertheless, at various points in time, some life insurance companies go under. You might wonder about what can happen when your insurance company goes out of business. The good news is that this sort of event is relatively rare.
When they fail, banks have FDIC insurance and investment firms have SIPC coverage. Life insurance companies are regulated at the state level, so they don’t have federal insurance coverage, but there are other financial protections to guard policyholders against the risks of this scenario.
Here’s what you need to know if the life insurance company with which you have your policy becomes insolvent.
When you are looking for an annuity or a life insurance policy, people often say that you pay attention to life insurance company ratings. That is good advice, as it’s one primary indicator of an insurance company’s financial strength.
Unfortunately, they also don’t usually tell you how to find those ratings or what they mean. In this article, we will give a quick rundown of life insurance company rating basics, who gives them, and what these ratings mean for you.
Banks and insurance companies are two main types of financial institutions. But they both have key differences, including how they guarantee your money. That can be of importance for retirement savers as they strive to make confident, well-informed decisions about where they park their hard-earned savings.
Indeed, it’s not uncommon for this question of “banks vs. insurance companies” to come up when someone is exploring whether to buy a certificate of deposit or fixed annuity. For the reason, this article will focus on life insurance companies for the insurer side of the discussion.
Here’s a look at some of the core differences between banks and insurance companies, including how they back customer dollars with financial reserves of their own. Read More
Certificates of deposit, also known commonly as bank CDs, are one of the oldest and most traditional types of investments offered in America today. They are also among the most conservative investments in terms of loss risk. You can find CDs available at financial institutions such as banks and credit unions across the country.
While deciding whether to buy a bank CD has many factors to consider, the biggest one that CD customers look at is the annual interest rate that the CD pays. How much will your CD rate be? That will depend on a number of things, including how long you commit to keep money in the CD and how big your deposit might be.
Here’s a quick rundown of the basics of CDs and a look at what CD rates have been over the past 10 years, from 2009 to 2020. Read More
In the last decade, we had two major market crashes. Understandably, many working professionals worry about the long-term safety of their money. They may have retirement saving plans such as 401(k) plans at their disposal. But with its contribution limits, costly tax implications, and investment options’ exposure to market risk, the 401(k) can be unseemly for conservative-minded savers.
One trend we have seen is presentation of “IUL,” or indexed universal life insurance, as an alternative to the 401(k). To be clear, IUL isn’t an investment strategy, it is a type of permanent life insurance. So be wary of discussions in which IUL is treated as an investment vehicle, especially relative to a 401(k) plan.
With that said, IUL may be attractive to retirement savers, including younger professionals, on account of its more tax-efficient advantages over the 401(k), among other benefits. Some advantages include protection against market downfalls, more flexibility with contributions and money access, and better tax treatment for future income. Keep in mind, though – just like with any financial product, suitability will always depend on individual client needs, circumstances, and objectives.
Here’s a quick overview of indexed universal life insurance, and how it can differ from a 401(k) as a wealth-accumulating option. Read More
The following guest post has been contributed by Emily Kalan of Crediful. Emily is an experienced blogger that writes about all things finance, including debt, home ownership, loans, and financial identity protection.
Identity theft is far more common than you think – it’s one of those things that you hear about but don’t think it will ever happen to you. And it can be a particularly troubling problem to deal with when you are in retirement.
The reality is that millions of Americans suffer from identity theft every year, and it can leave you feeling targeted, vulnerable, and unsafe.
Thankfully, there are ways you can protect yourself against identity theft without having to spend hundreds of dollars on protective services. Keep reading to find out how!
Looking for identity protection for families? Then head on over to Crediful.com and check out our in-depth post on some of the best identity theft protection services. Read More
Editor’s Note: The following article is a retirement guest post that has been authored and contributed by John Freeman.
Watching our parents age can be difficult as they begin to need more assistance with different aspects of their lives. While your parents likely want to maintain as much of their independence as they can, and they should, you should be there to lend a helping hand when they need it.
More than 65 million Americans provide care for an aging, chronically ill, or disabled family member each year. And, since the U.S. has an aging population, with geriatrics outweighing younger demographics, more and more individuals will be taking on this role—many of whom are not adequately prepared.
If you are one of these individuals, or are simply trying to figure out how you can be useful to your parents as they age, there are certain aspects of their lives that you can help them handle to make the transition easier, starting with these 5 things. Read More
As the end of the year approaches, now is an excellent time for you to schedule a meeting with your financial advisor. An annual review of your financial situation is an ideal reason to come together.
Not only can you review the financial progress that you made during the year. Your annual review meeting also provides the opportunity to go over your investment portfolio, insurance coverage, and overall financial plan. It’s a crucial moment to see whether any changes are needed, especially if your circumstances have changed somehow.
Of course, money matters and retirement are a moving target. So, you can also set new goals and update your estate plan if necessary.
All of that being said, if you do have a meeting on the books, you might be unsure of the “ballpark” questions to ask your advisor during your financial review. Below are four questions to help guide your discussion and make the most of your annual review meeting time. Read More
Ah, the holidays… an annual time of food, fellowship, and fun with family, friends, and loved ones. Everyone returns home and catches up on all of the family happenings over the past year.
But the holidays can also be stressful and fast-paced, as people have cookies to bake, presents to wrap, and shopping to do. Not only that, they may have various other year-end projects at home or at work. Those who have lost loved ones or who hurt in other ways might also find these times unbearable, since the holiday season tends to be an emotional period.
Even so, it’s still an ideal time for families to get together and discuss their financial concerns with their loved ones.
Why? Because people usually aren’t as preoccupied by work and day-to-day matters at this time of year. The holiday festivities may be one of the few times when everyone is together. There are also many decisions that must be made before the year ends. Read More
Editor’s Note: This article is Part 4 of a month-long series on financial illiteracy in America. April marks National Financial Literacy Month, and to help raise Americans’ financial awareness, SafeMoney.com is teaming up with the Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA), a leading financial literacy non-profit, to spread the word. You can find Part 3, “Watch Out for These Financial Blunders,” and can read here our dynamic interview with Jim Chilton, the CEO and founder of SOFA.
Have you ever seen a documentary on thrill-seekers heading to some far-flung destination?
Scaling Mount Everest. Base-jumping off Europe’s Troll Wall. Biking on the World’s Most Dangerous Road in Bolivia. Traversing the Alps.
Whether one of these treks or someplace else, chances are you will see that they have something in common. Rarely do the thrill-seekers go it alone.
Their expeditions often include some sort of guide. And not just any guide. It’s someone who knows the terrain, understands the challenges, and offers the experience to successfully navigate potential mishaps.
Although they don’t involve thrill-seeking, money matters can operate in the same fashion. Without guidance from an advisor, it’s easy to make choices that lead not to financial wellness but to fiscal misery. Read More