The Value of the Insurance Review

Why should you speak with your insurance agent each and every year?

How Speaking with an Insurance Agent can Help you.

What can your insurance broker learn by speaking with you?

Consumers of Insurance – often are unaware that their Insurance needs are constantly changing. Changing for a full variety of reasons. One particular example that is rather obvious is clients becoming newly married. Talk about Insurance Coverage Changes! First they need to Select the One Insurance Company or Insurance Agent to represent them. Then they quickly need to move to changing and modifying coverages. Next they will be Exploring newer and often higher liability amounts. Pooling risks never seemed so intricate. However not all coverage changes are so grand and as clear.

One example of a coverage change that is not so obvious is when kids go off to college. Think that your personal property coverage for your kids merely extends to their off campus apartment? You better call your insurance agent as their is a whole mix of changes that may need to be made for both the auto, home, and umbrella policy.

What Else Could Be Changing:

The Coverage that is required by your home, either by valuation or coverage type.

The number of insureds in a home, either by birth, death, or moving out.

Changing of lifestyles as in kids moving off to college, insureds divorcing or retiring.

An expanding or shrinking net worth.

Changes in careers. One Spouse who stops working.

Purchase of Investment properties or other specialized land purchases.

Collections and Valuations Coverages such as wine, comic books, coins, etc.

There is of course the obvious reason that your home or auto insurer may be cancelling your insurance for many different reasons.

This is really just a partial list.

Why you should Check in with your Insurance Broker?

As you can see from the short list of items above, a lot about your life could be changing. Much of your risk profile could be different year over year. Since property coverage is based on what you own, its easy to understand why you should reconsider your insurance needs.

Since liability coverage to a certain extent is loosely based on a liability profile and asserts owned, one can also imagine why their insurance should change as well.

Since so many of these things will be changing year over year, Clients that often speak with their insurance agency typically have a better and more customized coverage program in place. With more information an Insurance broker will be more likely to lower your overall costs and just focus on the coverages that you need and want and not insurance that does not best fit your lifestyle.

In summary the next time your Independent Insurance Broker reaches out to schedule 15 minutes of your time, take his or her call – he may be able to save you money and increase your insurance coverage.

Critical Decisions in Your Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning may be looked at as having two distinct phases; the Accumulation Phase and the Distribution Phase. Let’s take a look at both.

The Accumulation Phase is the period of time between starting your working career and your ultimate retirement. This is the time when you set money aside for future use. This money, when combined with Social Security and a company retirement plan (if any), will provide the income after you stop working. We can debate the “best” way to accumulate retirement dollars until the cows come home and never reach a conclusion. Asking the questions about should I invest in mutual funds or the market, or should I focus on guarantees with CDs, money markets, annuities or permanent life insurance can and should be answered with a resounding YES! After all, the alternative is not accumulating anything at all. Each savings or investment product has plenty of merit and each has ample drawback. There is no one right answer, but there are abundant “next right answers”. If indecision leads to inaction in your accumulation phase the results will be foreboding. Consider using some of each and develop a plan that fits your comfort zone.

The Distribution Phase is the period of time between the end of a working career and, well… the end. The concern here is that we have no idea how long a time that will be. So, we run the risk of a) running out of money before running out of time, or b) not enjoying our retirement lives because we are holding onto our money in fear of running out. The key issue in the distribution phase is having a plan that will account for, as best we can, how long our money can last, the income that we may enjoy from that money and steps we may take to assure that we will enjoy retirement without worry about running out of money. After all, once you hit retirement the paychecks are in the rearview mirror. Every plan needs to make sure there is a guaranteed source of income that cannot be outlived. An income at the very least that will cover living expenses: food, utilities, shelter and clothing. So, not to put too fine a point on this, some of your retirement money should find its way into an annuity.

Putting the two phases together to achieve a retirement income goal requires action, determination and ongoing attention. This is an activity that should not be postponed regardless of which phase you may be in currently. Retirement planning needs to be proactive, taking the action to pay “you” first and to consider and plan for life’s contingencies. Otherwise, you may be dependent on the “Blind Squirrel” strategy. That being… even a blind squirrel will occasionally find a nut.

Living by Our Heartfelt Intentions

“I met a real looker. He picked me up at the two dollar slot machines, so you know he’s no cheapskate.”
Grandma Mazur
Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovick

One of my husband’s and my most favorite call-in radio shows is Car Talk with The Tappet Brothers. The weekly show hosts two brothers who are wizards at automobile maintenance and repair. Each week they attempt to identify the malfunctions of the callers car and give advice on how to fix it.

The best part, for me, is how the brothers pepper their callers, and themselves, with jokes and humor as they give advice on how to fix the car. And if stumped, and not sure of the fix, they use their most famous line, “unencumbered by the thought process,” as they attempt to give an answer anyway.

On this particular day, as we listened to the show, the caller, a woman, wanted the brother’s advice on her husband’s hair brained scheme on how to fix her car. And, of course, as is their style, the humor and joking began — as one brother said, “Oh, you married a cheapskate, huh?!” They all laughed heartily as they agreed with the caller about her husbands repair idea — And, yes, on the cheap!

I, too, laughed at his witty comment — their humor and playfulness with their guests, along with their ‘say it like it is’ frankness, is endlessly entertaining.

“But wait a minute,” I said out loud. “Don’t be giving cheapskates such a bad rap!”

In fact, there are dozens of good solid reasons to be a cheapskate. Many people’s money lives would drastically improve if they, too, would just adopt the approach!

Yet, Cheapskate is a term that most of us find distasteful, and brings visions of a stingy, mean, and dishonest person. A tightwad to the extreme who pinches pennies until they squeak! Someone who holds their money so tightly that only death releases their grip.

Not a pretty vision and certainly not one that I would embrace nor suggest. It is definitely the opposite of an abundant, thriving way of life.

So, let’s look at what it really means to be a cheapskate and reveal its hidden benefits.

To help motivate you to continue reading (and help shift your belief around being a cheapskate)… Here’s the major benefit — RELIEF!

So, here we go…

A good cheapskate would…

• Cut costs
• Decrease expenses
• Live on less
• Spend less
• Embrace frugality
• Do stuff cheaper
• Ask for discounts
• Find the best deals
• Stop wasting money
• Pass by the sales tables
• Stop unnecessary shopping
• Buy only what they need

In other words, what I call PURPOSEFUL SPENDING.

Now, before you squawk or complain, no one is suggesting you give up all your possessions, move into a 200sf tiny house and ride a bike to work. Although, for many, this would be an ideal answer.

Instead, let’s look at what “Purposeful Spending” really means?

It means, you get crystal clear on what you want and need in life and every time you spend, it is in full alignment with what you said you wanted and needed.

You live and spend by your clear, heartfelt intentions.

You cut away the fat, the excess, and the wasted spending and apply your money to only those things you really want — only that which supports the way of life you envisioned.

No deal or discount is worth it unless it agrees with the heartfelt intentions you set. Step away from that sale table if the thing you truly want is not on it!

That flashy car — is it on your heartfelt intention list? If not, let it speed by and land in someone else’s driveway!

A big trip to Figi — was that on your heartfelt list? If so, then enjoy.

You get where I’m going with this, don’t you? It’s all about what you said you wanted and needed.

Nothing else takes its place. Otherwise, you’ll find you are never satisfied and the wasteful spending continues as you try to fill that emptiness.

Did you notice — Every single thing on the list above means MORE MONEY in YOUR POCKET?! Not someone else’s. Plus, you are all that much closer to your own clear, heartfelt intentions.

That’s what purposeful spending is all about… that’s what being a true cheapskate means –> living and choosing on purpose NOT living by habitual, reactive impulses.

If someone calls you a cheapskate — wear that badge proudly! There’s nothing unseemly about being one!

Are you spending on purpose? Are you crystal clear on your heartfelt intentions?

I know you can do it… shift from living by habitual, reactive impulses and instead, embrace PURPOSEFUL SPENDING

There are steps you can take, wise ones, which will help you determine the difference for you. Don’t go it alone… Let me guide you in the most useful steps to take, specific to you. The steps that help you let go of those things that simply do not satisfy and keep you from your heartfelt, money intentions.

High Ticket Affiliate Marketing

I started learning about affiliate marketing several years ago. I had bought a digital product in the form of an eBook from eBay. It seemed like a good business model straight away since the sales were automated, and the product could be downloaded instantly. I looked to do the same thing and created a few of my own eBooks to sell online. However, I struggled for a number of reasons.

But the thought of an automated business system never went away. I continued to look into the idea and this led me to the business model of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a form of referral based marketing which rewards the affiliate for a sale made on someone else’s website. Anyone can learn how to become an affiliate marketer. What drew me to affiliate marketing was the potential to work for myself from my laptop, without the need to actually handle products or even speak to any customers!

It was also the sheer scale of potential to earn income from digital sales worldwide.

In the first instance, after I created an eBook myself, I couldn’t get anyone to see my content. I figured people would just buy from a website once I had thrown it into the ‘cyberspace’ of the internet world. I suspect many people make this same incorrect assumption.

The truth was a little hard to bear after a number of failed attempts to promote digital products online. However, my first success came after selling a website building program I had used. I created a free blog from a site called hubpages.com. I wrote about the product and created a product review. This is a simple strategy which many affiliate marketers use to make money on the internet. It works if they can get their content seen by the right audience.

My first sale only made me $40 though but at the time it was huge for me. It was a breakthrough which spurred me on to keep going. For me, it wasn’t just $40. It was the future of my earning potential and the ability to earn from the internet without a boss or a crummy job; something which I was desperate to escape having to do!

Nothing much happened after I made my initial sale. I went from one strategy to another and kept getting distracted by shiny objects which promised more money for less work! It wasn’t until I discovered high ticket affiliate programs that thing really stepped up a gear for me.

Within a few months of joining a high ticket program, I was able to make two high ticket sales after advertising on Facebook. It was absolutely amazing and I thought I’d made it! I rested on my laurels though and because I didn’t have a steady income at the time, I pulled the money out, not even thinking about continuing the marketing.

After that I spent all my time focused on content marketing for a while. Content marketing is a pretty slow strategy but I did get some results from it. It was much, much slower though than the paid marketing I had done previously.

Until I had gained some more confidence in what I was doing, I hadn’t put more money into paid marketing strategies again. When I eventually did, I had another major success. High ticket programs can give you huge commissions, depending on how you position yourself in a business system. Products valued up to $20,000+ can earn you 40% commissions on a single sale.

I had a range of these products within my sales funnel but I didn’t have the right mindset or knowledge to trust the journey I was on! I was too scared to spend money on advertising for quite some time. When this changed, so did my business – dramatically for the better.

The power of subscription products also suddenly came into my awareness. Although I had this sales funnel, I didn’t understand it for a long time. It is ‘geared’ to pay you in multiple ways. Subscriptions are just one strategy which can pay you again and again for work done previously.

With subscription products, you sell something once, and it pays you an income – potentially for life. Even a small subscription commission month in month out, can be far better than the odd sale here and there of a much more valuable product. Over time, and as your number of memberships grows, your income grows too.

Multi-tier sales are another feature of the best high ticket affiliate programs. With multi-tier, you can earn commissions based on the sales of your referrals. This means that if you sell membership products of a certain business system, your members sales count as your own and you get a percentage of the commission.

Up-sells are another component of a good high ticket sales funnel. A good sales funnel will have a range of products which you can earn commissions on. You don’t need to sell every product personally because an in-house sales team will do this for you. Simply refer people into your sales funnel and let the funnel do the work.

As an affiliate marketer, your main focus is on marketing. With the right business model, you can earn in multiple ways for having referred customers to useful products and services which will be of value to them.

My journey to find the high ticket affiliate programs was a long one filled with a lot of failures! I tried selling smaller valued products in a variety of different ways. I used organic content marketing strategies and paid strategies to market products. But it wasn’t until I discovered the right business model that things changed for me.

With a good business model you can have more confidence in your marketing strategies. With the right training and mindset, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter time period.

So, if you want to be an affiliate marketer, I would recommend looking at high ticket affiliate marketing. It is still a business and like any business it takes hard work and motivation to keep going and to make it work. But it takes the same amount of work to fail many times if you face in the wrong direction from the start!

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