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Posts Tagged ‘Dollars and Sense’

  1. Problems of An Aging Society

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    April 10, 2012 by Milton Jones

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    In my childhood, I recall people speaking fondly of living “to a ripe old age.” My own father lived to celebrate his 100th birthday. But old-age is not always a blessing. Longevity creates its own expensive problems, and many more of us are living much longer than in the past.

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  2. Disability Insurance, Part Two

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    March 26, 2012 by Milton Jones

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    In the last column, we discussed the risks of Premature Death, Old Age, and Disability. One of these three gremlins is sure to take away your earning power, sooner or later. The Insurance & Health Insurance Industry offers policies to protect against all three. Life Insurance pays best when you die before your time. You can get an annuity policy, or utilize certain types of life insurance policies to provide retirement benefits. Finally, some companies offer policies that provide disability income. From the Insurance Company’s viewpoint, disability is the toughest of the three to cover. When we think of disability, the stereotype is to visualize someone paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair. That extreme example is rela- tively easy to insure against, because it’s relatively black and white. But things like stress, fibromyalgia, or back pain are much more subjective. Stated differently, it’s sometimes hard to know whether it’s really disabling or just something to put up with. With disability income policies, the definition of disability clause is really critical. A typical definition goes something like this: total disability is deemed to exist when the insured person is unable, by reason of sickness or injury, to perform all the important …

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  3. Protecting Against Disability

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    March 15, 2012 by Milton Jones

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    It is sometimes said that the Insurance Business is divided between those who insure Property Values and those who insure Human Life Values. What do we mean when we say Human Life Values? Life & Health Agents are fond of saying that we protect against the risks associated with Premature Death, Disability, and Old Age. One of them is sure to get you! We can’t insure that these things won’t hap- pen, but we can arrange to replace some of the lost income. It’s really a matter of Time and Money. We trade our time for money, and live on the money until we run out of time, or lose our ability to work. Of the three risks mentioned, Disability is often the most economically devastating. It sounds cruel, but if you die your family can bury you and get on with their life. If you’re disabled, your paycheck has died but you are still a consumer. Chances of becoming disabled are about three times higher than for premature death. A leading cause of fore- closed homes is disability of the bread-win- ner. So how can insurance compensate for a dis- ability? Different types of coverage include: (1) Liability settlements …

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  4. Mail-order ​Insurance

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    February 13, 2012 by Milton Jones

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    “Buying insurance through the mail is only slightly less risky than getting a mail-order appendectomy,” my former mentor was fond of saying. Rex Alan Smith (R.I.P), a respected New York Life agent, was viewed as a true professional. Among other things, he taught me to take a dim view of the kind of insurance that was usually sold through the mail, and these days via the Internet. “It’s not that there isn’t some good insurance sold that way,” he would point out (clearing his throat with his characteristic harrumph). “It’s just that the average buyer can’t distinguish between the junk and the good stuff.” Many things have changed in the 40 years since I heard that, but the junk is still out there. And, of course, we have the Internet and the broadcast media. One of the most common stories goes like this: “If you are over 50, and have been denied insurance, you can qualify for this guaranteed coverage from Mutual of Tupelo for only pennies a day … ” A lot of funeral expense policies are sold this way. They are perfectly legitimate, but are often a poor value. A recent example I saw was a $10,000 final expense police for a …

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  5. Remembering the Debit Man

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    February 8, 2012 by Milton Jones

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    The Debit Man, with his large leather bound collection book, was a familiar figure during much of the 20th Century. He would make his rounds through the neighborhood, collecting small insurance premiums in cash and recording the transactions in the homeowner’s premium receipt book. Along with the milkman and the Watkins peddler, home service insurance thrived until fairly recent times. If you owned this kind of insurance, it was not unusual for the Debit Man to appear at your door every week. Typically, the policies were of $500 or $1,000 face amounts, and premiums might be 25 cents a week, per policy. Perhaps there was a $1,500 policy on the father, $1,000 on the mother, and $500 on each of the three children. The official name for these weekly premium policies was “Industrial” insurance, and has its roots in the changing society brought about by the industrial revolution. As people left their small farms to work in the factories, they also left behind the inherent security of their farm. Living in crowded cities, families often did not have money to properly bury their dead. Existing life insurance policies called for an annual premium, which few people could afford. In answer …

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  6. Daddy Warbucks Makes a Gift ​

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    December 10, 2011 by Milton Jones

    Over my 40-something-year career, I recall several instances where a parent or grandparent made a gift of insurance. Perhaps it was a gift of life insurance on a young child, designed to encourage college money accumulation. Perhaps the bride’s father gave a gift of the first annual premium for life insurance on his new son-in-law.

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  7. Open Season for Medicare

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    October 30, 2011 by Milton Jones

    Open Season is just around the corner, and I’m not talking about hunting season. With Medicare coverage, it’s a time when we may change our Part “D” Prescription plan, or Medicare Advantage plan for the coming year. Actually, the correct language is “Annual Election Period,” or AEP for short. In the past, the AEP began Nov. 15 and ended Dec. 31. This year, the season opens Oct. 15 and closes Dec. 7. Any changes made will then take effect on Jan. 1, 2012. This time lag allows more time for processing your changed enrollment and getting your new cards out to you in the U.S. Mail.

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