• Insurance,  Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Cash Value Life Insurance with Thomas Losher and Austin Ash

    Thomas Losher and Austin Ash are two innovative experts in the cash value life insurance space and young leaders within their organization. From growing up together as kids in Fort Wayne, IN to pioneering the future of insurance as colleagues, Thomas and Austin have developed a steadfast friendship centered on challenging one another to become their best selves. In this episode, they share their unique perspective on the value of life insurance and its importance in an overall financial plan for people of all ages.  

    We cover topics like: 

    • What exactly is cash value life insurance? How does it work and why would someone want to consider it as a part of their financial plan? 
    • Are there downsides to having cash value life insurance? 
    • Can you access funds in a cash value life insurance policy? What does that look like, and how does it affect the policy long-term?  
    • What is tax diversification and why is it important, specifically as it applies to our generation – Millennials and Gen Z? 

    Connect with Thomas Losher: LinkedIn 

    Connect with Austin Ash: LinkedIn 

    Face The Fear: 

    P.S. Kaitlyn Duchien, Austin Ash, and Thomas Losher are registered representatives of First Palladium, LLC, Member FINRA and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ash Brokerage, LLC. Supervising office located at 888 S. Harrison Street, Suite 900, Fort Wayne, IN 46802. 800-589-3000. Content provided is for informational use only and is not to be constituted as financial advice. 

  • Budgeting,  Insurance

    5 Ways To Face Your Finances At Home (and Reward Yourself, Too!)

    Written By: Kaitlyn Duchien

                It’s day #423 (or something like that) in self-quarantine. Chances are, you’ve already watched an ungodly amount of Netflix, forgotten to shower more than once, finished a book you started 5 years ago, picked up knitting, and even tackled spring cleaning! Congrats! But, with the President’s recent decision to extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April, you’re probably wondering what on earth you’re going to do to pass the time now. While watching The Office for the 15th time is definitely a valid option, let’s consider using this as an opportunity to check your financial pulse and discover ways to cut costs, save a little extra, and even increase your generosity!

    Perusing through your bank statements might not sound like the most exciting way to spend your Friday night. We get it. But, we believe it will pay off – big time! That’s why we’ve also included a few ideas to reward yourself after you’ve checked each of these 5 money management tasks off your to-do list. (You’re welcome).

    • Budget: Make It. Modify It. Live it.

    If you’ve never created a budget before, there’s no better time than the present! But, where do you start? For some do-it-yourself-ers, you may want to pull up your credit card and bank statements and create your own Excel spreadsheet detailing your income, spending habits, outstanding debts, and savings goals. For others (like myself), creating an Excel spreadsheet sounds about as fun as watching paint dry. If you can relate, check out these budgeting apps and templates to help you get started:

    Ultimately, how you create your budget is much less important than simply having one in the first place. The goal is to understand where your money is going every month, allowing YOU to have control over your finances. If you’re not sure what happened to your paycheck, then your money has control over you (and that ain’t cool). No matter how you decide to budget, make sure it is a repeatable process that you can frequently revisit and revise as needed.

    As you grow and evolve as a person, your budget should, too. That’s why – if you already have a budget – now is the time to review it and see how well you’re staying on track. Are there any specific categories where your spending is a little too high? Any small expenses that are adding up over time? Are you saving as much as you’d like? If not, can you automate your savings from your paycheck to your savings or your investment account to make it easier?

    REWARD: Once you’ve created or reviewed your budget, reward yourself by breaking out your favorite board game or card game (or ordering a new one online) and having a game night! You can even plan a virtual game night by video conferencing with friends or family who share a common game.

    • Subscriptions: Automatic Payments Are Great, Except For When They Aren’t

                While reviewing your budget, you may have discovered that you’ve been paying for subscriptions or memberships that you haven’t been using (or getting your money’s worth out of). Spend 30 minutes identifying which subscriptions you don’t use and cancelling your membership. Or, instead of canceling the subscription all together, you may have the option of freezing the subscription or skipping a month if you just won’t use it right now, but might in the future. Here are a few ideas of automatic payments to look out for:

    • Streaming Services (Maybe you started that 7-day free trial on Hulu to watch one specific movie and forgot to cancel it afterwards.)
    • Transportation Services (Think: bus, train, or toll-road pass that you aren’t using right now due to working from home.)
    • Gym Memberships (While many gyms automatically froze their member’s accounts, you might want to double check that you aren’t being charged while the gym is closed.)
    • App Subscriptions (Trying to figure out why the $3.99 charge from Apple or Google Play is showing up on your bank statement? Click here to find out what app subscriptions you are paying for and how to cancel them.)

                While email subscriptions aren’t necessarily costing you money, now might also be a great time to go through your 10,528 emails and unsubscribe from unwanted messages. It’ll unclutter your inbox, clear your mind, and even reduce your spending by eliminating marketing campaigns for items you don’t need (but apparently MUST have). Unroll.me is a great tool that will identify email subscriptions you are currently receiving and unsubscribe you in a couple easy clicks.

                REWARD: Once you’ve canceled those memberships and deleted at least 9,627 emails, reward yourself by watching a movie or documentary about someone who inspires you.

    • Bump Up Your Saving and Investing

                For many people, the Stay At Home orders have resulted in reduced spending as many daily activities such as travel, eating at restaurants, going to the movies, working out at the gym, or even getting a haircut have been temporarily eliminated. Instead of wallowing in self-pity about how much you miss your favorite Starbucks drink or how badly you need to get your hair done, take advantage of the money you aren’t spending by intentionally putting it in a savings or investment account.

                Also, due to the recent stimulus plan announced by the Treasury Department and IRS, many Americans will be receiving a payment of $1,200 (for single persons) or $2,400 (for married couples) if certain qualifications are met. If you are fortunate enough to not depend on the check to meet basic living expenses, consider using the funds to pay down high interest debt, transferring the money to your savings or investment account, or even donating to a charity you support. Leaving the funds in your checking account could lead to making unnecessary online purchases, just because you know the money is there to spend.

                Lastly, if you are financially able, now may be a good time to increase your percentage of automated payments into your savings or retirement accounts. Even bumping up your contributions by 1-2% could make a big difference to your long-term savings goals without feeling much of a difference to your take-home pay. If you’re not sure how to automate or increase payments from your paycheck, reach out to your company’s HR department or directly to your bank.

                REWARD: Boom – you’re slaying your savings goals! Reward yourself by building an epic fort out of bed sheets and blankets. You can even “camp” by making s’mores in the oven and having an indoor bonfire.

    • Insurance – Are You Covered?

                The topic of insurance might make you want to pour yourself a big glass of your favorite beverage. (Go ahead – we’re not judging). The reality is that most of us have some form of insurance (auto, health, life, etc.), but we don’t know much about how it actually works. Since you’ve got a little free time on your hands, do some research on the insurance that you own. Make sure you understand the basics – like how much the insurance costs vs. what benefits it provides. Along those lines, evaluate whether you are overinsured or underinsured in any area and make adjustments accordingly. Here are a few places to start:

    • Health Insurance: If you have health insurance through an employer, ask your HR department for a copy of your health insurance plan documents. Make sure you’re aware of your deductible, or how much you owe out of pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover the rest. If you have access to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and a High Yield Savings Account (HSA), it might be a good idea to keep at least your annual deductible amount in your HSA. Your contributions to your HSA will be tax deductible, the interest earned in the account is tax-deferred, and if you end up needing to use the funds to pay for a qualified health care expense, the money will come out tax-free.
    • Auto Insurance: Chances are, you’ve got it (or at least you should). But how do you know if you’ve got enough insurance and what exactly it covers in the case of an accident? NerdWallet provides an excellent resource of key car insurance terms. Use this as a reference while reviewing your benefits summary, which you can usually find on your car insurance website or by calling your local agent. Also, Insurance.com provides a great calculator for determining how much coverage you realistically need.
    • Life Insurance: Or should we say, Love Insurance. Really – this is the only insurance you’ll buy that won’t benefit you in any way. But, it could mean the world to your loved ones if you pass away unexpectedly. Some employers provide basic life insurance coverage for employees (something like 2x annual salary). Check with your HR department to see if this is the case (and to make sure your beneficiaries are up-to-date). However, the reality is that coverage through your employer may not be sufficient to take care of your loved ones if they suddenly lose your income. Remember: if you own a house, a car, student loan debt, credit card bills, etc., your loved ones will be responsible to continue paying these obligations even without you around. Use these tools to figure out if you are properly insured:
    • Disability Insurance: Same concept as life insurance applies here. Some employers provide basic disability insurance coverage for employees, but you’ll want to check with your HR department to see if this is the case. However, often the coverage provided may be extremely minimal and won’t come close to meeting all of your basic needs if you are unable to work. Here are a few resources to determine if you need additional coverage:

                REWARD: By the time you’ve brushed up on your insurance coverage, you may have already finished your first drink of choice. Why don’t you pour yourself another and host a Virtual Cocktail Party with friends and family? You deserve it.

    • Charity – When The Best Way You Can Help Is Staying At Home

                As we are bombarded with media headlines about the pandemic and, at the same time, urged by our political leaders to stay at home, it can leave us feeling helpless. We know the world is hurting, but the best way to help prevent the spread and flatten the curve is to keep to ourselves. But, this doesn’t mean we can’t still make a huge positive impact right from our own living room.

    If you are fortunate enough to have money leftover after taking care of your basic needs, consider donating to a charity that is actively meeting the needs of those most affected by COVID-19. Even $5 could provide several meals to a child who normally receives their nourishment through school breakfast and lunches. Find an organization that you believe in and make a donation, big or small. Not only will it provide resources to those who need them most, but it will also allow you to be actively involved in fighting the COVID-19 battle. CharityNavigator.org lists multiple organizations responding to COVID-19, along with a description of the nonprofit and detailed information about the needs it is meeting. Leave a comment below sharing the charity that you are supporting and why it means something to you!

    REWARD: Giving to charity provides the best reward of all: joy in knowing that you have made a positive impact on the world.

  • Insurance

    I Was A Caregiver For My Mom, But I’ll Never Ask My Son To Do The Same

    Original Article Written by Meredith Rainey on ScaryMommy.com

    She asked for a napkin to wipe the spaghetti sauce from her mouth, but all I had was a tissue, so I handed her that. She clumsily wiped her lips and cheeks, missing a few spots, and handed it back to me. She hardly ate at this point—she was so thin and weak, on painkillers, and had lost interest in food. I was happy to oblige when she surprised me by requesting a spaghetti dinner. She only ate about a dozen noodle strands, but it was something and she enjoyed it.

    Flashbacks of my mom’s battle with ovarian cancer sneak up on me, sometimes out of the blue, but more often when I’m in the trenches of daily life with my 11-year old son. As I fold his video-game themed t-shirts and sort his endless socks, I sometimes imagine him in my place, with a family of his own, worried about how he’ll care for me if I need it.

    I think about how I traveled to my parent’s house after a full day’s work at least three days a week (and on weekends) to give my poor dad a few hours of relief. After caring for my mom for more than two years, his skin was pale and his usual sparkling smile had dimmed. Even his posture was noticeably different; the gravity of being my mom’s full-time caregiver had weighed down his body, mind, and most importantly his heart.

    At this point, my mother was dependent on my father, brother, and me to help her with dressing, bathing, eating, and getting in and out of bed. My parents didn’t have any private insurance to cover such services, so we all pitched in. My brother and I had long since left the nest and were leading our own adult lives in different cities. Thankfully, we were still close enough to help ease my dad’s burden and be there for our mother as her long battle with ovarian cancer began to enter its final chapter.

    My father owned his own printing business for more than four decades. When my mom first got sick, he still worked full-time. As her condition worsened over the course of two years and he struggled to balance her needs, he made the difficult decision to sell his business and work for the buyers part-time. Eventually, he was forced to give up working entirely.

    The financial hit my parents took during this period was not nearly as damaging as the mental and emotional toll it took on my father. He was a very extroverted guy and work was one of his regular social outlets. When he gave that up and was home with my mom full-time, he in large part stopped being himself.  My mom didn’t want people to know she was sick, so that meant my dad didn’t have support outside of our immediate family. As for me and my brother, we struggled with balancing my mom’s care with full-time jobs and relationships, while managing the stress, sadness, and guilt that often goes along with having a loved one with a chronic health condition for which there is no easy fix.

    My story is not unique. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, taking care of a loved one is a reality for more than 40 million Americans who provide an estimated value of $470 billion a year in unpaid caregiving services. Many of these people also fall into the “sandwich generation” and are squeezed between caring for both their parents and children at home. In fact, a recent survey from T. Rowe Price found that 35 percent of parents with 8- to 14-year-old kids are also caring for an aging family member. Imagine having to ensure 24-hour care for a loved one while working and maintaining all of your regular parenting duties. It’s a lot to expect of anyone.

    While being able to provide care is in some ways a blessing and most are happy to do it, it’s not easy. The physical and emotional burden of caregiving is somewhat obvious, but it also has a financial impact. According to the same AARP study, family caregivers over the age of 50 who leave the workforce to care for a parent incur average income and benefit losses of more than $300,000.

    As I reflect on my own experiences with family caregiving, I shudder to think about my son being in my shoes one day. While I know he’d willingly do whatever might be needed for his dear old mom, it’s not a responsibility I want him to bear, especially not alone. I’d rather he have the luxury of being able to manage my care rather than having to provide it himself.

    I’m fortunate to work for a company that has taught me the value of creating a plan and exposed me to the many options that exist to help make caregiving a little easier on those who provide it. I’ve learned that planning ahead and evaluating options to cover some of the cost of future care can not only ease the burden on family members, but also help protect retirement savings by providing a dedicated source of funds to cover care costs. I also know that thinking about and planning for these things now, while I’m young and healthy, will give me and my family more options at a lower cost than if we put it off and hope that we never have to deal with it.

    If there was any blessing in my family’s caregiving experience, it was that my mom was able to spend her last days in the place she felt most comfortable—at home. I didn’t know it at the time, but that night I served her spaghetti was the last night I saw her alive. As I walked out of my parent’s bedroom at the end of that visit, my mom told me something that I have carried with me ever since. Her last gift to me was to share her philosophy and an indication of her faith despite knowing she was very short on time. She said, “Meredith, kick your feet up and don’t worry about a thing. I love you.” I love you too mom. So much.

    Original Article Written by Meredith Rainey on ScaryMommy.com

  • Insurance,  Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Tim Kukieza, Disability Insurance Expert

    What is disability insurance, how does it work, and when do you need it? Tim Kukieza, Disability Insurance Expert, answers these questions and many more on this podcast episode – all while cracking a few jokes along the way. Listen in to find out:

    • If someone is young and healthy, why do they need disability insurance now?
    • If someone already has disability insurance through their employer, is there any reason why they may need to buy additional coverage?
    • What exactly does Disability Insurance cover? Will it replace my entire income?
    • How much does DI typically cost for a Millennial?

    Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

    Face The Fear Website: https://www.facethefearfw.com

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Insurance,  Retirement Planning,  The Market: 101

    CFP – Certified Financial Planner

    On an upcoming podcast, to be released on Friday, July 19th, we will cover a few new terms! In preparation for this podcast, we wanted to link a quick article that explains what a CFP, or Certified Financial Professional is. You’ll hear our guest, John Redmaster, explain why it’s important to work with a CFP in planning out your long-term goals.

    Click here to go to Investopedia’s definition of a CFP!

    Here is a link for you to check out a CFP that you are considering working with: CFP Verification

    Happy reading and don’t forget to tune in on Friday, July 19th for a new podcast!

  • Insurance,  Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Jenny Crabill, Life Insurance

    On this episode of Face The Fear, we break down the basics of life insurance with Jenny Crabill, a fellow Millennial and Advanced Life Insurance Case Analyst. Here are a few of the questions Jenny helps us answer:

    • What exactly is life insurance & why is it important?
    • Why do I need life insurance now if I’m young, healthy, and don’t have anyone depending on my income?
    • When is the best time to buy life insurance?
    • How much does life insurance really cost?
    • How do I purchase life insurance?


    Face The Fear Website: https://www.facethefearfw.com

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

  • Insurance

    Disability Insurance: The Base of Your Life Event Planning Strategy

    It’s reported that 40% of millennials would buy this product if they knew about it. No, it’s not the newest iPhone or even the latest Yeezy’s. It’s disability income insurance. Easily considered one of the most important insurance products available to your life event planning financial strategy. Trust me, I know what you are thinking. *Oh, great… another insurance policy that I need to buy but I’d probably be fine without.*

    I’ll tell you right now, you aren’t fine without it.

    Now what exactly is disability income insurance? Disability insurance is the foundation to all financial plans, as it protects and typically replaces about 60% your income in the event of an injury or an illness that prevents you from being able to work at your job and collect a paycheck. There are a two main types of disability insurance; Long Term and Short Term. Both are offered either on an individual basis or group basis offered through an employer. People insure their homes, cars and personal property yet they fail to insure the one thing that makes all of that a reality: their income! Here are some facts that might surprise you:

    • 1 in 4 Twenty-Year Old’s will have a disability event before they retire.
    • Most disability events last an average of 31.6 months.
    • More than 67% of Millennials have less than $1,000 in their savings account to cover any kind of emergency.

    Surprised? I know I was when I heard those statistics. Now with those numbers in front of you, you can easily see how a savings account with less than $1,000 wouldn’t sustain your Starbucks addiction, let alone pay your rent, car payment, or student loans for an extended period when dealing with an injury or illness that prevents you from working and collecting a paycheck.

    Many Millennials have a difficult enough time paying bills on time and not paying those bills with a credit card. Now imagine how a disability event could amplify your already difficult financial situation.

    While many employers do offer group disability insurance, those policies will only cover a portion of the income you typically receive as they are capped at certain benefit amounts, usually around 60% with a strict capped dollar amount. Some employers have disability insurance that you can elect in or out of, while other employers automatically include this coverage in their benefit package and is typically employer paid. Disability insurance on an individual basis tends to be much stronger and is built around your unique parameters, such as age, occupation, annual income, and medical history. As stated previously, the typical replacement of your income is around 60%, as insurance providers need to give you some incentive to return to work when healthy and able to do so. With that said, there is also the option of supplementing your group disability coverage with an individual policy to get the income replacement percentage past 60%, but keep in mind your income will never be 100% fully replaced through a disability income insurance policy.

    An individual disability insurance policy can be tailored around your specific financial needs. The typical design of a disability insurance policy includes an elimination period, along with a benefit period, and a specified definition of disability that determines how the insurance carrier considers you disabled. The elimination period is the beginning period of a disability claim that must be satisfied before disability benefits can be paid out on a claim, typically 90 days. Once that elimination period has been satisfied, the specified benefit amount (income) would be paid out for however long you are deemed disabled, which is determined by the definition of disability outlined in the policy. Or, if you were permanently disabled, the specified benefit amount (income) would pay out for the whole benefit period, which can range between 2 years and all the way to age 67 (Long Term Disability Insurance). There are several different definitions of disability available to disability insurance policies and the need for each is determined by a couple of different factors. The 3 main definitions of disability include: a not-engaged definition, a reasonable definition and a true/pure own occupation definition. Depending on your doctor’s prognosis of the disability and treatment plan, these definitions of disability are the determining factors that will either pay out a monthly disability benefit…or not.

    To sum it all up, you should be protecting your income, the thing that makes life happen! Obtaining disability income insurance on an individual basis is quite easy. Get in contact with a licensed financial professional and start the conversation by stating you would like disability income insurance to set the foundation of your life event planning financial strategy!

    Article Contributed By: Cameron Hull

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Insurance,  Retirement Planning

    The Bills and The Fees: How to Talk to Your Parents About Money (Without Making It Awkward)

    If the thought of talking to your parents about money makes you cringe, you’re not alone. In fact, the majority of Americans would rather talk about “the birds and the bees” than “the bills and the fees” of finances with their own family. When given the choice, we would prefer to talk about our own DEATH than asking our parents about their will or estate. (Now, that is just ridiculous). There’s no question that money is a taboo topic that makes you want to run 100 mph in the other direction anytime you hear the words “budget” or “debt.”

    But, why is it so uncomfortable to talk about cash money with our family? And does it even really matter? After all, you’ve made it this far without diving into the depths of financial awkwardness with your parents. What’s the worst that could happen?

    Well, here’s a few stats for ya:

    • 52% of people turning 65 will need some form of Long-Term Care
    • 64% of people with Long-Term Care needs rely exclusively on friends and family for care
    • 25% of all caregivers are Millennials
    • Average annual cost of caregiving ranges from $18,000 (Adult Day Care) to $91,00 (Private Room in Nursing Home)
    • 55% of Americans have no will or plan to transfer assets at death
    • Only 35% of Baby Boomers are confident that they are financially prepared for retirement

    To summarize these lovely statistics: the odds that your parents may eventually require some form of Long-Term Care (assisted living, nursing home, etc.) during their lifetime is 1 in 2 (a coin flip). The chances that you will need to help pay for some of these costs are also quite high, especially if your parents don’t have any kind of long-term care insurance coverage or other savings in place. AND, if your parents are in the minority of those who have already established a will, congratulations! But, even if they do have a will, are you sure it’s up-to-date? You’d hate for your mother’s ex-husband’s cousin’s half-brother to end up inheriting money that was meant for you, right? Yikes! Talk about awkward.

    With that said, yes. Having a conversation about finances with your parents is obviously very important. So, what are you waiting for?? Go ahead and throw those taboos to the wind and dive right in! OK, easier said than done, right? Let’s look at three simple conversation starters that will make the money talk a little less awko-taco.

    1. You’ve taken good care of me, so I want to take good care of you.

    When I was visiting my parents over the holidays, I asked them if we could set aside some time to talk about money. Specifically, I wanted my parents to know that, if anything should ever happen to them, I would be adequately prepared take care of them and their finances. Just as my parents have spent years caring for me and preparing me for my future, I want to be able to return the love by taking care of them when the need arises. We discussed what kinds of insurance policies, investments, and savings they have in place, where they keep financial records, and who they use as a trusted financial advisor. I didn’t ask to see any financial statements or specific policy information (because that’s usually where the awko-meter starts to rise) — only where this information is kept, so I know where to look if I need to access it at some point in the future. By emphasizing that my purpose behind the conversation was love and care for my parent’s wellbeing, we were able to talk open and honestly — without any hurt feelings or awkward outcomes.  


    2. I’m interested in visiting a financial advisor, but I’m not sure where to start. Would you mind introducing me to yours?

    This is a win-win conversation starter. Not only does it provide you an opportunity to visit a financial advisor for the first time (without spending lots of money), but it also provides an ideal environment to discuss difficult financial topics with your parents. Their advisor can guide the conversation and act as a third-party mediator if needed. While meeting with the advisor, you may want to discuss your parent’s current retirement plan, including protection against long-term care events, and to review any beneficiaries on your parent’s insurance policies to ensure they are up-to-date. (You’d be shocked how often an ex-wife, ex-husband, or estranged family member ends up receiving a death benefit, simply because policy information was not current). AND, while you’re in the office, you might as well glean some insight from the advisor on your own financial plan. Most likely, the advisor will be more than willing to assist you, as they see you as a potential future client. (If the advisor doesn’t see your value, you may want to look for another advisor).

    Even if your parents don’t already have a trusted financial advisor, this is the perfect time to find a reputable professional together. It will be an opportunity to bond as a family, while also tackling your finances in an efficient and holistic manner.

    3. Do you have a legacy plan? AKA: If you die tomorrow, what kind of legacy to do you want to leave and how do you want it accomplished?

    Most people don’t like to think about dying until a death actually occurs. Can’t blame you. Death isn’t the first topic that comes to my mind when I think of “fun conversation starters.” BUT, the problem we create when we avoid talking about death is that we miss out on the opportunity to plan for a legacy — until it’s already too late. While your parents may want to leave their house behind to the family, donate their art collection to a local museum, and divide the rest of their assets equally among you and your siblings– if they don’t have these wishes expressly written in a will, they’re not likely to happen. When someone dies without a will (called intestate in legalese), your state will then determine how your assets should be dispersed. This could be okay, except that your state has no idea that you don’t even really like your spouse, you’re estranged from your son, and your daughter is a compulsive shopper who blows every penny she has on lottery tickets. But, the state doesn’t really care about your family issues. It will still divide up your assets among each of these individuals anyway. (Sorry ‘bout your luck).

    Contrary to popular belief, establishing a will (and keeping it current) is not as much of a headache as many people think. For a simple estate (think: relatively small and not paying estate taxes), it may only cost around $100-$150 for an attorney to draft a will. (If you’re looking for a lawyer, start here). Or, you can also write your own will by using a reputable online software program or following a template. HOWEVER, if you complete your will on your own, you are doing so at your own risk, as each state has different regulations surrounding what is required to validate a will and, if done incorrectly, it may not hold up in court.

    I’ve only scratched the surface on the importance of writing a will (both you and your parents). And I haven’t even started to explain all of the incredible information that can be contained in a will, such as designating power of attorney or establishing a living trust. But, I realize I’ve already bored you to tears, so I’ll save these enthralling topics for a different time. (Psst: stay tuned for an upcoming Face The Fear Podcast episode on Estate Planning 101, coming soon!)

    In summary, you know you should probably strike up a conversation with your parents about money. It’s on your to-do list, right below “Clip grandma’s toenails” and “Watch paint dry.” At least now you’ve got a few conversation starters in your back pocket to break the ice. I promise, it won’t be as bad as you think. (Or, maybe it will be. In that case, I don’t know you). Either way, challenge yourself to start a conversation with your family about finances this week. Even simply cracking the door open today could provide fruitful opportunities for future discussions and prevent a flood of heartache, confusion, and financial strain later in life. Friend, it’s time to #FaceTheFear!

    Written By: Kaitlyn Duchien

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Insurance

    Life Insurance: What Kind Is Best For Me?

    Welcome back! Hopefully you read my last article, where I discussed three reasons why considering life insurance should be a priority. If one of these reasons resonated with you, or you have one of your own, I want to give some thoughts as to the different types of life insurance. Broadly, there are two categories: term insurance and permanent insurance.

    Term insurance is simple – you pay an annual premium for the number of years in the term, and, other than a few exceptions, the insurance company will pay your beneficiary the death benefit if you were to die during the term of the policy. For example, I own a 20 year term policy, running from 2018 to 2038. If I were to die in 2030, my wife would receive the $1,000,000 death benefit, tax-free.

    Permanent insurance is a little more complex. Within the category of permanent insurance, there are several types, but we will focus on the two main “flavors.”

    First, there is “protection-based” permanent insurance. Protection-based permanent insurance is designed to provide a death benefit for your entire life. Instead of securing a death benefit for a 20 year period, this kind of policy can provide a death benefit to your beneficiary regardless of how long you live.

    Second, there is “accumulation-based” permanent insurance. It also has a death benefit, but is really designed to grow cash value within an account housed at the insurance company. A portion of the premium you pay goes to cover the cost of your death benefit, a portion goes to the insurance company’s operating expenses, and a portion goes into an account for you. As you pay premiums, the cash in the account grows. Depending on the strategy of distributions, you can leverage this cash value in tax-advantaged ways.

    So you are probably thinking…why wouldn’t I always buy permanent insurance over term, as it has much more benefit?

    You guessed it: permanent insurance is more (and can be much more) expensive than term insurance. But, most millennials are at a point in their financial journey where permanent insurance is not only too expensive, but is unnecessary. You are likely better off focusing on maximizing your contributions to tax-advantaged accounts like a 401(k) or IRA, but also securing term insurance to protect your finances. (And, if you remember from the last article, term insurance sometimes can be converted into permanent insurance!)

    Remember: the cheapest day to buy life insurance was yesterday. If you just need term coverage, you are in good company. If you can afford permanent coverage, that may be a better fit. Either way, make sure you are protecting the financial plan you work so hard to build.

    Want more information on life insurance? Let’s talk! Face The Fear is here to help millennials make smart financial decisions that fit their lifestyle.

    Article Contributed By: Xavier Serrani

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com.

  • Insurance

    Why Buy Life Insurance?

    As a millennial, life insurance is likely not high on a list of financial priorities. With rent, student loan payments, and other essentials, life insurance premiums can seem like an unnecessary expense. When you’re young and healthy (read: invincible), what’s the benefit of life insurance?

    I had these same objections just a few months ago. But then I learned more about the benefits, and I bought my first personal life insurance policy.

    Here are a few reasons why:

    • The cheapest time to buy life insurance was yesterday

    Life insurance gets more expensive every year, so why not buy it as cheap as possible? For a 25 year old male in good health, the premium could be as low as $18 a month! This policy would provide a tax-free $100,000 death benefit to your designated beneficiary if you die any time in the 20 year policy period.[1]

    • Buying now secures your insurability for life

    Let’s say you buy that 20 year term policy. If in 10 years you develop a significant health problem that could prevent you from buying more life insurance in the future, you are still protected. Even if you couldn’t buy life insurance because of your health impairment, if you currently hold a term policy, you can convert it into a permanent one, albeit for a higher premium, and keep it for life.

    • It’s not for you – it’s for your loved ones

    The main reason most people buy life insurance is to provide their family with tax-free money in the event of an untimely death. But what if you’re single and have no kids? Well, there are still plenty of people affected by your death! Your funeral expenses need covered, which can be $10,000 or more. Also, any co-signers on a loan you have may still have to pay that loan if you die. That $100,000 policy protects your family members. And remember, if you get married and have kids, but become uninsurable, you can convert the term policy into a permanent one.

    Life insurance when you’re young is inexpensive and has long-lasting benefits. It protects your insurability in the event of future health problems, and protects your family in the event of a premature death.

    Still not convinced? Or do you have other personal finance questions? Let’s talk! Face The Fear is here to help millennials make smart financial decisions that fit their lifestyle. Contact us at: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    [1] Protective Classic Choice Term, Male, Indiana, Age 25, $100,000, 20 year term

    Article Contributed By: Xavier Serrani

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com