Life Insurance Hacks: Basic Tips to Get the Cheapest Premium

Getting Life Insurance can be expensive. An insurance premium can often cost you more than what you can get for term life insurance, and it could prove to be pretty bothersome at times. However, it doesn’t have to be. There are ways for you to get the most out of an insurance deal, and you won’t need to be buying expensive premiums just to get a good deal.

Here are some tips for you to get the best Life Insurance available:

Considering Term Life Insurance Policies

As the name implies, Term Insurance policies provide protection for a specific period of time and generally pay a benefit only if the insured passes away during the “term.” Term periods typically range from one year to 30 years, with 20 years being the most common term.

One of the biggest advantages of term insurance is its lower initial cost in comparison to permanent insurance. Term Insurance is generally cheaper because you’re generally just paying for the death benefit – the lump sum payment the beneficiaries may receive upon the death of the insured, provided that it happened within term of the policy. As with most permanent policies, your premiums help fund the death benefit and can accumulate cash value.

couple discussing insurance

Term insurance is often a good choice for people in their family-formation years, especially if they’re on a tight budget, because it allows them to buy high levels of coverage when the need for protection is often greatest. Term insurance is also a good option for covering needs that may disappear in time. For instance, if paying for college is a major financial concern but you’re pretty sure that you won’t need life insurance coverage after the kids graduate, then it might make more sense to buy a term policy during your children’s college years.

Also, you can always just renew your Term Insurance if – which is the best case scenario – nothing bad happens to you during the “term”.

Get More than One Quote

The two most basic keys to getting cheap Life Insurance is to focus on getting a Term Life Insurance policy, and to get quotes from multiple providers. So, shop around!

Life Insurance is basically a purchase. Just like most purchasing decisions, finding many options can give you an edge. Most people don’t bother obtaining multiple quotes because it’s time-consuming. It could be an arduous task, but surely it would be better to spend more time before closing a Life Insurance deal than to regret your impulsive choices.

With today’s technology, there are now ways to go about the time-consuming aspect of finding multiple quotes for your Life Insurance policy. For example, using an online life insurance quote tool is the quickest way to get quotes from several reputable insurers at one time.

Avoid Riders and Additional Insurance

Riders are the supplementary benefits added in the primary life insurance policy purchased by the insured. These are the additional covers offered to the insured with the main policy so that the insured can get additional benefits under the single plan. Although they are nifty by nature, these riders entail additional costs to the insured in the form of increased premiums.

happy family

If your goal is to find the cheapest insurance possible, the best course of action is for you to say no to any add-on insurance or policy riders. Examples of these add-ons include the option to purchase child policies or more insurance at a future date without going through the medical exam process again.

Then again, there are “good” riders that can be beneficial in the end. Riders can be purchased to accelerate your death benefit and pay you out for medical expenses if you have a terminal illness but haven’t passed away yet. Term conversion is another rider that allows you the option of converting your Term policy to a Permanent (whole life) policy.

By the end of the day, you have to choose your coverage wisely. If you need coverage for your kids, then it’s totally fine to pay for the extra fee – but make sure that you actually “need” these coverage. Also, if you’re someone who is on the fence between term and whole life coverage, the Term Conversion Rider can give you that option for a few additional dollars per month.

Check your Lifestyle

For most Life Insurance Policies which are taken out over an agreed period or term, your premiums are based on a number of factors. When you apply for Life Insurance, your insurance company assesses certain criteria and details about you and your lifestyle in order to determine the cost of your premiums, and whether or not they would accept your application based on what you tell them.

insurance agent

This is one of the few insurance products that have the price tailored specifically to you, and your provider takes into consideration some or all of the following:

  • Age: Here’s a general Life Insurance rule of thumb: The younger you are, the better health you’re likely to be in, so getting a life insurance early on can mean lower premiums. Put simply, the younger you are when applying for insurance, the cheaper it could be.
  • Health and weight: If you are classed as overweight or obese based on a height-to-weight ratio measurement, you may pay more for your policy. This is because your insurance company could assume that if you are overweight, you are more likely to suffer from weight-related health problems.
  • Medical history: Most life insurance policies are medically underwritten, thus, you have to provide information about your immediate relatives’ medical history. Your insurance company, however, do pay particular attention to your medical history. Also, watch other small details – cholesterol levels can affect your rates, as insurers often give relatively more expensive premiums to those with already high cholesterol levels.
  • Occupation: Some professions carry a greater risk because of their day-to-day duties, so you might find that this impacts the cost of your insurance. A fireman, for example, is likely to pay higher premiums than an office worker.
  • Lifestyle: You can be asked to provide details of any habits or hobbies that play a regular role in your life. Frequent smoking and drinking are likely to increase your insurance rates because of the toll they can take on your health. Certain high risk pastimes could also affect your premiums, including sky diving, mountaineering, and motor sports, among other extreme sports.

Get in on a Group Policy or Bundle your Policy

Most of the corporate benefit programs nowadays offer Life Insurance that doesn’t require a physical exam or for you to undergo any medical tests. While the amount you can take out is often limited, it is a way to get some coverage if you feel that you are currently unfit or fear that you are unable to afford the premium by yourself. Becoming a member of an association or organization can often get access to a group life insurance policy in many cases.

more happy family

Also, another way to receive discounts on your quoted life insurance rate is to bundle coverage with your car, home, or other insurance. Large-scale insurers now have features that can be fairly cheap in the long run because they give you the most options to bundle. A good strategy to maximize your bundled discounts is to review all of your insurance at the same time and pick the company that can give you the best deal for switching.

Getting life insurance doesn’t need to be a tall order for anyone. If you follow these tips, surely you can reduce your life insurance premium costs and live a more comfortable and secured life.

How To Hire A Bookkeeper: A Guide

The abundance of cloud-based software that ultimately propelled the usage of cloud-hosted bookkeeping has made basic accounting and bookkeeping accessible to even the smallest businesses. Online bookkeeping services such as Quickbooks Online allow for many ways to high-tech accounting such as organizing all assets in one place, and also through various consoles such as computer, mobile phone or tablet.

Managing cash flow through different financial tools and well-balanced budget programs is crucial to the success of every business. Recording transactions and keeping an accurate ledger can mean the difference between having a profitable fiscal year or a year of waste and unnecessary tax audits.

The abundance of cloud-based software that ultimately propelled the usage of cloud-hosted bookkeeping has made basic accounting and bookkeeping accessible to even the smallest businesses. Online bookkeeping services such as Quickbooks Online allow for many ways to high-tech accounting such as organizing all assets in one place, and also through various consoles such as computer, mobile phone or tablet. Technology made sure that there are many ways to accurately, safely and efficiently track every item that goes in and out of a business enterprise.

A bookkeeper working

Nevertheless, outsourcing some of these important tasks to a professional bookkeeper helps businesses maintain accuracy and compliance standards. However, hiring or investing on a professional bookkeeper always spend more time innovating the core business model, as well as the whole system itself.

If you’re a starting businessman, or a rising medium-scale proprietor looking for a bookkeeping service for the first time, you have to understand the basics of hiring a third party for your bookkeeping. You have to first understand the definition of the types of bookkeeping services available, the criteria for comparing bookkeepers, and many more about finding the best bookkeeping service vendor.

The Fine Line Between Accounting and Bookkeeping

Before moving on to the specifics of bookkeeping services, it’s important to note the clear distinction between bookkeeping and accounting services. A good number of businessmen has made the rookie mistake of not defining the difference between the two.

Accounting vs. bookkeeping.

Accounting serves in a consultative capacity, using financial data as a baseline. According to TechnologyAdvice.com, accounting typically involves advanced reporting and business analysis, in addition to the rigors of corporate tax management. “Many accountants also provide advisory services for debt and finance, mergers and acquisitions, and trust planning,” they added.

In other words, an accountant uses bookkeeping data to support higher-level accounting requirements such as preparing sales tax, reducing product costs, and setting financial benchmarks.

On the other hand, bookkeeping is similar, yet different. A bookkeeper is responsible for recording the data that accountants use to generate reports and make decisions. In that sense, the two disciplines have a symbiotic relationship. It’s often defined in a way that bookkeeping is designed to generate data about the activities of an organization, whereas accounting designed to turn data into understandable and identifiable information.

The Market Overview of Bookkeeping Services

The standard practice for businesses of every size is to hire an outside accountant. The thing about outsourced bookkeeping is that it tends to be most prevalent among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), because SMBs have the same data entry and budgeting needs, but with less employees and/or resources to support it financially.

When it comes to financial reporting, being stretched far too thin can mean costly errors and a budget that never lines up with actuals. This is again one of the beginner mistakes that businessmen make (or simply take for granted), along with not keeping their records up-to-date, and not understanding their tax obligations. Also, failing to reconcile ledgers with bank statements, not recording reimbursable expenses, and running an inaccurate payroll are simple mistakes that SMB proprietors usually commit.

Woman bookkeeper.

Arguably, these sort of mistakes can slow down a business. Then again, it could easily be solved by outsourcing the bookkeeping requirements and putting their accounts in the hands of a trained professional. Business owners can focus more of their attention on bottom-line strategies like customer retention, product development, supply chain optimization, and expanding to new markets, at the cost of a little bit more capital.

Analyzing Bookkeeping Services

You may already have a specific bookkeeper or bookkeeping firm in mind, based on a referral or someone you’ve worked with in the past. Then again, the best way is to invest a little bit more time and effort to make the perfect business match.

The best way to invest it is through a personal interview with the bookkeeper. It’s important to compare and interview a few different candidates before you make the final decision. Here are some criteria to consider when screening your bookkeeping candidates.

Bookkeeper keyboard.

Define the Scope of the Owner-Bookkeeper Relationship

First, define how involved you need or want your bookkeeper to be, and what the relationship will look like.

Many businesses start by hiring a contractor to come in a few hours a week, or even as infrequent as once a month. Some businesses offer a bookkeeping services price list for standard arrangements, too. Also, it is best if you ask for it ahead of time so you can perform a cost and benefit analysis for hiring a bookkeeper.

Ask about their Accounting Software Specialization

Whoever is not keeping up with the race of accounting software or cloud-computing provision is not worthy of being hired at all; the efficiency and flexibility of the technology on bookkeeping should be used as much as possible.

Bookkeepers now have a particular accounting software system they specialize in. Some are even certified with popular vendors like QuickBooks  and Sage. This is very important to consider, especially when you’re already using a particular system to manage finances. Ideally, the bookkeeper you choose will know their way around the software and be able to get started right away.

Proven Track Record

In evaluating a bookkeeping candidate, always move past the resume and look for actual proof of success. Better yet, ask for some of their case studies from previous positions where the bookkeeping firm served a business similar to yours.

Furthermore, you can follow up for references, or ask other colleagues that have worked with the bookkeeper for their opinion. In this case, “success” might be defined as saving the business money through accurate record-keeping, increasing tax compliance, or streamlining financial reporting.

Some Examples of Bookkeeping Services

Although most bookkeepers share the same core competencies, they don’t all have the same experience or offer the same services. Here’s a breakdown of the four most common bookkepper categories:

Certified Bookkeeper: Aside from getting NACPB and AIPB certifications, bookkeepers may also get certifications for particular accounting software, certified to manage payroll, or certified in tax management. Generally, the more certifications a bookkeeper has, the more services and discretion they’ll be able to provide.

General Bookkeeper: A general bookkeeper offers basic services like data entry and account reconciliation. Think of it as a general physician in the field of medicine. As such, general bookkeepers tend to have lower rates and work lesser hours. They are usually uncertified, which meant that they have less on-the-job experience. A general bookkeeper can be a good choice if you have a limited personnel budget and do your own financial reporting and payroll.

Full-Charge Bookkeeper: A full-charge bookkeeper title denotes more advanced financial management and a closer relationship with company executives than that of a general bookkeeper. Full-charge bookkeepers usually manage payroll, fixed assets, invoices, and other financial statements, and some may even serve an accounting/advisory role. They could be certified bookkeepers, but usually full-charge bookkeepers have a one-size-fits-all approach to tend to most bookkeeping needs.

Virtual Bookkeeper: Virtual bookkeepers are the most uncommon of the four types. Virtual bookkeeping services are an attractive solution for smaller businesses and startups looking to outsource their financial records, but not ready to work with (or pay for) a dedicated contractor. Bookkeeping virtual assistants accept financial documents electronically, update your ledgers, accounts, payroll, etc., and send back copies of reports for your records. Since they are not as stable as the others, the risks you have when hiring these are indirectly proportional to the price you are paying them: Higher risk with lower salary and vice versa. Virtual services are convenient and cost-effective, but they can add to the challenge of maintaining a clear audit trail.

3 Habits of Money-Smart People

Money management is the ultimate tool in ensuring a particular business to withstand the test of time. In this regard, an individual who wants to effectively handle a business well should be mindful of the money coming in and going out of the business. Similarly, businesses should take into consideration a proper accounting method to promote efficiency and high level security. MYOB Accounting Software and other online accountancy tool can be the first stone that leads to leaps and bounds for the company.

In these economically harsh times, people are now required to become more aware of how they spend money. For those who are just starting their career, such as new college grads, it is especially significant that they take steps that can help them endure their independent, brand new life that they will have to face.

Counting money

Everyone has to go through the phase of having to be independent. However, independence does not only encompass living alone without the parents. Independence also means having to know the fundamental skills required in enduring daily life such as cooking, cleaning, and other chores at home. Similarly and most importantly, independence requires a person to be financially-stable and able to live within his or her means.

This begs the question – How can someone become financially stable?

The road to being financially successful is a tediously long one. Who better to emulate than those who have survived that stage in life. The ones who have flourished amidst the hard times?

So what does it take to take the first step towards financial freedom? Here are three of most important habits of a financially-stable individual that could help anyone financially win in life:

They Spend Wisely

An important facet for a person in becoming financially stable is having the awareness of how money works for them. Being ‘money-smart’ is a prerequisite for those who want to become truly financially free.

But how does one become money-smart?

locked wallet

It all begins with a mind-set of proper allocation. It is pertinent to practice buying only what is needed, as well as spending on things that are only necessary. Nowadays, it is so easy to give in to the “finer things in life.”

Luxuries like the latest gadgets, the finest clothing, and the coolest shoes can actually make a person dead-beat with regard to finances. Similarly, availing luxury services such as a thousand dollar spa or a ten-dollar coffee can haunt a person financially in the end. This is why a person should start to set his or her mind to only spend on things that are truly important.

This is not to say that luxuries in life are bad. The point is that for a person aiming to be financially independent, one has to inculcate a sense of awareness as to how their money is spent.

On another note, financially-stable people are aware of the fact that a person should not spend the money that he or she doesn’t have. Basically, it means that a person should not opt to be extremely indebted to a third party like a bank or a financier.

Credit cards are thought to provide a huge plus in one’s financial self-worth. This is actually a misguided notion because credit cards promote spending, and relentless spending opens more doors to financial roadblocks. Successful people always make it a point to eliminate any debt that may accrue interest. In turn, these accumulated interests can cause huge headaches financially in the long run.

They Save Wisely

The result of spending wisely is having a surplus of money – this is where saving wisely comes in. As any financial coach or expert would declare, saving money is an integral aspect in having a good financial life in the future. Nonetheless, there are some more exciting ways money can be saved, and can even provide profits at the same time.

Banking is the most commonly opted approach in saving money. Over time, money saved in a bank account can accumulate interest. The amount of interest can be noteworthy for people who put a lot of money in their account. However, for people who are at the beginning of their careers, it is difficult to reach that point where the interest gained is of significant value.

It is rare for banks to give out interest greater than 5% on a certain savings account. Naturally for smaller accounts, lower interest is accrued. In this light, an alternative method is opted by those who save wisely; they create more when they use their money for trading in the stock market.

Mutual fund.

Various firms and companies cater to those who want to earn more money. Money managers use the amassed amount in this way through two distinct means. They can use the money as principal to participate in stocks exchange. On the other hand, mutual funds promise an interest at the end of the year that is much higher than that of the banks. Either way, both are better alternatives to save up and get more from their money.

There is also the option to play in the stock market personally. He or she can buy or sell his own stocks online, giving him an idea of the current money he has. Ultimately, the money gained through this vehicle saved can be used for further ventures such reinvestment or setting up an entirely new business.

They Set-Up Their Own Business

Being able to get a salary after a month’s hard work proves to be quite an experience. However, being able to earn passively takes earning to a whole new level.

Rich guys are not necessarily geniuses or experts in the services their companies offer. They are just really good entrepreneurs, and most of them started as a dissatisfied and restless employee who wanted more for themselves. With the surreal amount of work and the time it takes to finish a certain job, not to mention the relatively lower salary, it is hard to get home and put in the extra effort to make a bigger change.

Open your own business.

In more ways than one, people should consider setting up their own businesses to reach the financial freedom everyone clamors for. Though, this isn’t naturally for everyone.

Having a business takes time and effort, too. Entrepreneurship provides control over an individual’s time for professional activities. He or she is his or her own boss, and this alone creates a huge disparity as compared to being an employee.

A person who has his own business can take himself to brand new landscapes, given that he or she is willing to take the risk in business. In this way, what can actually help is integrating a sense of of becoming money-smart in the business.

Money management is the ultimate tool in ensuring a particular business to withstand the test of time. In this regard, an individual who wants to effectively handle a business well should be mindful of the money coming in and going out of the business. Similarly, businesses should take into consideration a proper accounting method to promote efficiency and high level security. MYOB Accounting Software and other online accountancy tools can be the first stone that leads to leaps and bounds for the company.

The world has evolved into an unforgiving place to people who are not financially-stable. This is why it is essential for young professionals to open themselves to success habits of those who have flourished financially. There are obvious schemes which these successful people made in order to go where they are now. Besides, if a person wants to be the best, there is no mistake in imitating the best.

Money problems

 

All in all, people should always look forward to being financially independent, while taking small important steps towards a life of true financial freedom.

Being money-smart is a fundamental step towards a great life.