Jan/Feb Let’s Talk Money Newsletter

View the newsletter here: https://www.ltmonline.com/jerrysiver

Estate Planning:

What your children should know about your finances

It may not be easy talking to your adult children about your finances and estate strategy. But discussing your finances with your grown children now can better prepare your whole family for the future.

General Interest:

Great way to start the new year

If you spent more than you wanted to this holiday season, you need to take a closer look at where your money is going. A spending plan can help you track your money and get your finances in order.

I resolve to . . .

Instead of making the same resolutions you have in the past, resolve this year to improve your financial health. We offer several ways to become more financially fit.

By the numbers: spending patterns

The Employee Benefit Research Institute has released some statistics on the spending patterns of Americans ages 50-64.

The minimum payment trap

Paying the minimum amount on your credit card may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. Not only will it take you longer to pay off the balance, but you’ll also end up paying more for the item than what it originally cost.


Single? You need life insurance, too

Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider life insurance. Incorporating a life insurance policy into your financial strategy can be a smart move.

The gift of a better financial future

If you’d like to help a family member get the year off to a better financial start, consider making a gift that can make a real difference in your loved one’s financial future. Your generosity also may help save estate taxes later.

Retirement Planning:

Take charge of your retirement

With pensions becoming far less common than in the past, it’s up to you to figure out how to fund your retirement. We discuss several recommendations from the IRS for preparing for retirement.

Put a realistic price tag on your retirement

When it comes to funding retirement, not everyone needs to save the same amount. Figuring out how much income you’re going to need ahead of time can put you on the path toward an enjoyable retirement.


Have you had the talk?

The beginning of a new year is a good time to talk to your loved ones about your possible long-term care needs. Discussing your wishes and possible solutions for long-term care can help alleviate any future stress and indecision.

Small Business:

Does your business have a contingency plan?

Financial issues can cause considerable stress between business partners. Setting up a buy-sell agreement can alleviate some of that potential stress.

The life insurance crisis

Many American households don’t have individual life insurance, even though they need the protections it provides. If you’re looking for a way to help your business attract and retain valuable employees, consider making life insurance part of your employee benefit package.


Are you an abstract or a concrete thinker?

If you have trouble saving money, it could be because your strategy doesn’t match the way you think. Figuring out what kind of thinker you are can help you create a successful strategy for reaching your goals.


Protect your income with disability insurance

Illness or injury can happen to anyone. Would you be prepared if it happened to you? Having long-term disability insurance coverage could help keep you financially afloat if you were prevented from working due to disability.

7 Tips to Selecting the Right Car Insurance Coverage

Better be prepared with car insurance before you buy your car and drive it off the lot. But finding the right car insurance coverage is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. There are many parts to the policy and many different types of coverage and limit options. Here are seven tips you can use when considering the car insurance that’s right for you.

  • 1. Know Your State’s Minimum Required Limits for Auto Insurance

In most states you are required to carry auto insurance and establish minimum liability limits, including Insureville, Idaho, of course. This protects you and the public. States do not generally require you to insure for physical damage. You should ask your independent agent what Idaho’s minimum required limits are and whether owning just the minimum is the right solution for you.

  • 2. Think about the Liability Limits You Buy

Most states typically have minimum liability limits of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 per accident and $20,000 for property damage. Just think about how little that amount is should you cause an accident and seriously hurt others or cause serious damage to someone’s property. How much liability limit you should purchase depends on a number of factors, such as the value of your personal assets. Your best bet is to discuss the appropriate limits for your needs with your independent agent.

  • 3. A Combined Single Limit is Better Than Split Limits

Just think about the split limit scenario above. Let’s say you injure four people in a car accident and two of the injured require $25,000 for medical care. If you have a $25,000 per-person limit with a maximum per accident of $50,000, you may be personally sued by the other injured parties. But if you had purchased combined single limits, you would then have a bucket from which to pay all injured parties up to the limit purchased. So, it may make sense to purchase a combined single limit.

  • 4. Purchase Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Just think of the minimum state limits most people purchase. If they cause an accident in which you are severely injured, would $25,000 be sufficient? Or what if they had no insurance? To protect yourself and your family, consider buying both uninsured and underinsured coverage with your car insurance.

  • 5. Protect the Value of your Car with Physical Damage Coverage

If you have an automobile loan or are leasing your car, you will be required to purchase physical damage coverage to protect the lending institution. If something happens to your car, physical damage coverage will pay to repair or replace your car. So whether you are required to by your lender or not, you should consider purchasing this coverage.

  • 6. Select a Suitable Deductible for Car Damage

The physical damage coverage portion of car insurance has a deductible. This means if any damage is done to your car, the insurance company will pay the amount to repair or replace your car and you pay the deductible. If you take a low deductible, like $250, the insurance company will have to pay more to have your car repaired and, consequently, you will pay a higher premium. The higher your deductible, the lower the premium. Consider choosing the highest deductible you can afford, but realize you will then have to pay if your car needs a minor dent repaired.

  • 7. Ask for Car Insurance Discounts

There are a number of car insurance discounts available to drivers. There is a discount for insuring multiple cars, for taking safe driving courses, for good student drivers, and there may even be a discount for having your car insurance policy with the same company that insures your home.

Not having the right limits and coverage on your car insurance policy can lead to the loss of your assets in case of an accident. As your independent agent, we can help you select the appropriate coverage and limits for you with the most competitive premiums from a variety of insurance companies we represent. Contact us today.

MA Regulators Offer Advice to Drivers Who Are at Fault in Accidents

MA at-fault accident FAQThe Massachusetts Division of Insurance recently published a guideline for drivers who are found to be at fault in an auto accident.

Drivers involved in accidents need to know the ramifications of the accident on thier insurance cost. This FAQ guide answers many of the most asked questions.

Car Sharing Gets Boost

Car sharing has gotten a boost with GM announcing its OnStar subscribers can now rent out their cars using the RelayRides car sharing service. There are many car sharing services…ZipCar being one of the first and most widely known. But many of the original sharing services owned their vehicles and insured them on fleet policies. This new model of car sharing, where the vehicles are owned by individuals, creates insurance problems. Depending on what state you live in, you may or may not be able to find insurance for your car while it’s being shared.