Who should consider obtaining life insurance and or disability insurance?
Life insurance and or disability insurance should be strongly considered if you have people in your life that would be financially impacted in the event of your death, or a disabling injury. Spouses and children are prime examples of people that may depend financially on others. While those might be the most obvious, the list should be expanded to include business owners, business partners, and people that have substantial financial obligations such as a mortgage. Life insurance is often used to fund buy-sell agreements between 2 business partners. If God forbid something happens to one partner, the surviving partner has the insurance benefit that can be used to buy out the other partner’s family. As, it relates to disability insurance, I often ask my clients, ‘what would you do if the last paycheck you received, was the last one you ever received?’ That concept question will help to identify if one should consider disability insurance. Nobody ever plans to become disabled. If designed properly, a disability policy can replace 60% to 70% of the insured’s income prior to the accident. If the policy is personally owned, (not purchased by the insured’s employer) any monthly benefit comes to the insured tax free. On a lighter note, my favorite answer to that question was by a young man that said “my parents own parking garages in NYC, so I’d move back home and live off of them.” My favorite answer, but not my favorite plan. Most people don’t have that luxury.
What are the most common misconceptions or fears people have about obtaining life insurance and how do you dispel those fears?
One common misconception I hear is “I’m young, and healthy and I don’t need life insurance right now.” Young and healthy is usually the best time to get life insurance. Insurance premiums are based on 2 variables – age, and health. If and when health deteriorates, or one has a major health event i.e. heart attack, insurance may be more difficult to get. If health has really deteriorated, it may be impossible to get. Based on age, it will never be as cheap as it is today. Both life and disability insurance is something people should get when they think they don’t need it. When you “need” it, it’s probably too late to get it. Another misconception I hear is that it’s expensive. That’s usually a generalization based on something they’ve heard or read. Meeting with an advisor and going through the underwriting process will help determine the health class you fall into. Once you know that, we can figure out cost. Most people are surprised at how cost efficient policies can be. Lastly, I’ve met people that love the concept of life insurance but think they can’t get it because of a medical issue they have. Again, until you meet with an advisor and go through the process, you really don’t know. I have clients with diabetes, and cardiac issues. In both cases, my clients were thrilled I was able to get them an offer.
What distinguishes Forest Hills Financial Group from every other provider of insurance and investment products?
Forest Hills Financial Group is a Guardian life insurance agency. That means I typically use Guardian as my primary insurance carrier. Guardian Life Insurance is a top rated, mutual life insurance company that was founded in 1860. That said, I have the capability and freedom to use any carrier on the market. Life and disability insurance are not “one size fits all” types of products. Having the capability to provide my clients with the carrier that best suits their needs is a tremendous advantage. So much of my practice is relationships. While of course I’m in the business of insurance, I’m really in the people business. It may sound cliche, but with Forest Hills Financial Group, you get my care and expertise, and you get the team of professionals that I work with at FHFG.