Moving Fast On Your Offers in This Market

In today’s housing market buyers need to move fast.

 Can you move fast?

Sometimes buyers realize this, sometimes they don’t. But I had a buyer the other day comment, once she started looking at homes in her price range, that “I guess we need to move fast” since homes she liked in her price range were gone in a day.

It can be especially hard as a first time buyer to realize market demands are such that in order to get the home you want means moving forward quickly. Being fully prepared to make such a huge purchase, and then being decisive, can be a challenge. But for those who want to buy in a competitive market, it’s pretty much essential.

Here are 6 strategies to get you there fast.

financing

GET PRE-APPROVED WITH A REPUTABLE LENDER

Yes, we Realtors harp on this constantly. There’s a reason for that. Sellers and their agents want to know you are financially in a position to purchase a home and there is a strong likelihood of you closing.

You need to prove that with a full, written and current pre-approval that will convince a seller you are golden (credit, assets, income, etc.). Your lender should be readily available to make any changes in the pre-approval letter, depending on your offer, and perhaps also to take a call from the listing agent to ask a few questions, or even contact the L.A. once your offer has been submitted to emphasize how qualified you are.

Sorry, but an online lender is not going to impress most sellers or their agents.

Knowing exactly what you can afford to buy, based on your loan qualifications but also your personal budget, will make you more confident, enabling you move ahead quickly as needed.

Learning about the housing market

KNOW AS MUCH ABOUT THE MARKET AS YOU CAN

You need to quickly get educated about the local market conditions. Some of that comes about through research and looking at listing activity, but your Realtor (who hopefully knows the market thoroughly) can and should help you understand what’s taking place in the local market and what this means for making a competitive offer. For example are most properties getting multiple offers and selling for over asking price? Lack of understanding leads to hesitancy to act quickly.

ASSUME OTHER WILL BE INTERESTED

Making assumptions in real estate is generally not smart. It’s better to ask questions and to verify than just assume. But in the case of competition, I feel pretty comfortable telling buyers to always assume there will be competition and act accordingly. That means making a strong offer and without delay.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

You really should have a good idea of what you want, but more importantly what you need. And that means realizing there are trade-offs and you simply will not get everything you would like. If you are still waffling about those amenities you would like to have, or are unclear about where you really want to be, you are not going to be able to move quickly. Or if you do make a decision it will be the wrong one. It’s a waste of time and energy, and emotionally draining.

Buyer Handbook

UNDERSTAND THE OFFER PAPERWORK AND THE PURCHASE PROCESS

If you aren’t provided one, ask for it! Understanding the important decisions you have to make (offer price, closing date), the contingencies to include (inspection, appraisal, loan, HOA), and competitive terms and conditions up front will save you time, and you won’t have to angst over it when it’s time for writing that offer

You also want to discuss the purchase process with your Realtor before making an offer so you know what to expect. Confusion around what to expect, or what happens first, then second, etc., will lead to uncertainty, which will not allow you to move quickly when you need to.

HAVE A MINDSET OF DECISIVENESS

In order to move fast you will have to be prepared to decide quickly, not think about it for a day or two. It’s not easy to do, especially with a big purchase like a home. And perhaps you are just a bit more cautious in your decision making…and that’s fine. The important issue is that if you are ready (you are qualified, you know what you want, you like what you found, and there is competition), be prepared to make a decision to move forward fast.

It’s perfectly fine if moving quickly is, well, just too fast for you right now. You certainly don’t want to make a hasty decision. But you must realize there are possible consequences of delaying a decision on a home you really like, want, and can afford. You may have to step outside your comfort zone.

Understanding the market, doing your homework, being prepared, and working with a good Realtor will put you in the best position to react quickly when the right house comes along. Then it’s up to you!

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Apple gets in the Self-Driving World

Apple along with the iPad and iPhone have decided to test out the self-driving car world. How will this affect car insurance? Will the price go up or go down?

Apple’s using a Lexus RX450h SUV for its autonomous vehicle testing program, as revealed by documents filed with the California DMV in accordance with licensing requirements for self-driving tests in the state. Now, Bloomberg has images of the vehicle in action, captured by a chance observer who saw the vehicle pull out of an Apple facility in Silicon Valley.

The SUV looks pretty much like similar test cars used by Waymo, the former Google self-driving car company whose headquarters are pretty much just down the road from Apple’s Cupertino HQ. The equipment adorning the SUV include optical cameras, LiDAR, and radar, all of which appear to be off-the-shelf components, including Velodyne’s top-of-the-line LiDAR unit atop a frame that extends a few feet out from the roof of the vehicle.

Judging by these spy shots and the information found in the DMV documents made public by a public records request, Apple is very early in its autonomous technology program compared to companies like Waymo (which has been developing its tech for nearly a decade), and even Uber. The test vehicle’s lack of any obvious custom parts suggest that, at least at this stage, the company’s emphasis is on software development first and foremost.

We already knew that Apple had some kind of self-driving test program in place, and we already knew what vehicles it was using, but seeing images of the SUV on the road is still a bit like getting a glimpse of an elusive and previously mythical white whale.

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Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…..

Eliminate “Should” From Your Vocabulary!

Should has a connotation that is frought with negativity. A guilt-ridden word, if you will.

Instead of should that has a tendency to make one hang one’s head in shame, try one of these words or phrases instead:

want to 

I would like to

am going to 

I will try to 

or simply I will

This makes one embrace the future of getting something accomplished and taking a positive look at how to do it rather than feeling chagrined about not taking on a task or not completing something. 

Writing goals down is one sure way to move ahead in accomplishing them more readily as well.

It’s been proven that they are more likely to come to fruition when you write a goal down and focus on it daily, weekly. Having visual reminders puts the mind on that course to completion. Vision boards are useful for this as well.

Call that family member or long-lost friend instead of saying to yourself, I really should call so-and-so. Or,  I should take some time off.

Set a date on your calendar!

Say, I WILL do this!

 

It feels so good when you can take something off your To Do list and you just might make your day as well as someone else’s day better, TOO!

http://www.robertjrussellcompanies.com

 

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Is there a decline for life insurance?

Application activity for individually underwritten life insurance was off -6.0% in March—one the steepest monthly declines of recent record, according to the MIB Life Index. At the close of the first quarter, the MIB Life Index was off -4.5% YTD, impacted by consecutive year-over-year declines in the opening three months of 2017. Historically, the composite Index is coming off a record eight consecutive quarters of growth that ended in Q2 2016. Month-over-month, March application activity was -2.7% lower than that of February.

 

Mirroring the composite Index, U.S. life insurance application activity was off sharply across all three age groups. In March, activity ages 0-44 was off -5.3%, ages 45-59 was off
-8.4%, and ages 60+ was off -4.5%. At the close of the first quarter, application activity ages
0-44 was off -4.3% YTD, ages 45-59 was off -6.4% YTD, and ages 60+ was off -2.1% YTD.

Age Group Trend Summary: In the first quarter of 2015, U.S. application activity ages 0-44 surpassed all other age groups for the first time with leading growth continuing until Q2 2016. In the subsequent quarters’ declining environment, application activity for ages 60+ has been the least elastic (showing the smallest declines) and ages 45-59 has been the most elastic (showing the largest declines) with those in the 0-44 age group have shown more moderate losses.

MIB’s CEO comments on the 2016 industry in our MIB Life Index Year-in-Review video. Download the 2016 MIB Life Index Annual Report at no charge by registering at the Enhanced Life Index Portal: http://www.mibsolutions.com/regLI or login at: https://portal.mibsolutions.com/lifeindex.

Monthly Percent Change

Composite Index

(year-over-year)

Mar-17

-6.0%

Feb-17

-4.5%

Jan-17

-2.6%

Dec-16

0.3%

Nov-16

-3.3%

YTD – 2017

-4.5%

Year End – 2016

1.3%

Q1-2017

-4.5%

Q4-2016

-1.2%

Q3-2016

-0.6%

 

% Change
Age Groups
(year-over-year)

0-44

45-59

60+

Mar-17

-5.3%

-8.4%

-4.5%

Feb-17

-5.0%

-5.7%

-1.0%

Jan-17

-2.2%

-4.8%

-0.2%

Dec-16

0.8%

-1.3%

1.5%

Nov-16

-4.0%

-3.3%

-0.9%

Oct-16

-1.6%

-1.2%

1.7%

 

U.S. Monthly Percent Change

vs. Prior Month

Mar.

-2.7%

Note: Effective January 2017, MIB has reset its benchmark comparison (basis=100) for the MIB Life Index from January 2001 to January 2011.

About the MIB Life Index
The MIB Life Index is the life insurance industry’s timeliest measure of application activity in the United States. Released to the media each month, the Index is based on the number of searches MIB life member company underwriters perform on the MIB Checking Service database. Since the vast majority of individually underwritten life premium dollars in North America include an MIB search as a routine underwriting requirement, the MIB Life Index provides a reasonable means to estimate new business activity.

About MIB
MIB is the life and health insurance industry’s most trusted and secure resource for data-driven risk management services that protect the financial integrity of its members and address their evolving needs. Owned by its members, MIB is uniquely positioned to securely collect and analyze confidential data. MIB services help to detect fraud, errors and omissions on insurance applications; to analyze industry data needed to manage a variety of financial risks; and to make regulatory reporting compliance less onerous and more efficient. As the life insurance industry’s first statistical agent, our MIB Solutions, Inc. subsidiary cost-effectively performs annual data calls for those insurers subject to principles-based reserving. MIB Group, Inc., a membership corporation, provides services through its wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, MIB, Inc. and MIB Solutions, Inc.  For more information about life insurance go to: http://www.InsurancePricedRight.com.

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Spending in the United States

Robert J Russell, LAS, LUTCF, IRES, ICREA, GMA, REALTOR and Insurance Broker has been helping people for over 32 years. Many people ask my opinion about politics, the economy etc. Here is some info on a local website:

If we categorize spending more generally as entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Refundable Credits, Federal Civilian Retirement, Education, Food Stamps, SSI, Housing Assistance, and ACA subsidies) what we find is that this portion of federal spending exceeds 61% of total U.S. Government cash outlays.

Military spending, at 20%, is a distant second to entitlement spending.

While it receives a lot of attention, foreign aid is dead last at 1%.

Sanders also notes that entitlement spending has risen dramatically since 2011, with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid rising 15% as Baby Boomers age and the ACA qualifies more people for Medicaid than had previously been eligible.

During the same period, defense spending dropped 22%.

As for Federal revenue, payroll taxes, which ostensibly fund Social Security and Medicare, were 34% of the total while spending for those entitlements was 39%, a 5% shortfall, which is likely to increase in coming years.

We so often hear that the government doesn’t do enough to support its citizens. In fact, it is income earners who are supporting non-earners or low income earners at a hefty rate. The largest share of federal revenue is personal income taxes, which make up 47% of total revenue. Combined with payroll taxes, 81% of all Federal revenue comes from working individuals.

So, Happy Tax Day–not to be confused with Tax Freedom Day, the day after which the average American’s earnings are finally his own. That day doesn’t come until April 24 this year.

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How NOT to be ripped off buying life insurance

Robert J Russell has been selling life insurance for over 32 years so this topic is not new to him at all and now here are ways NOT to get ripped off buying life insurance.

For some people, under the right circumstances, using leverage (i.e., loans) to pay the premiums on a larger life insurance policy is a very smart move. This strategy can be used to cost effectively address estate planning needs as well as fund deferred compensation and other corporate benefits.

“The issue is that many people who buy premium financed life insurance end up or will likely end up with a life insurance strategy that does not work as presented leading to anxiety, unanticipated costs, and sometimes lawsuits,” says Pat Rufolo, Chairman of the Private Client Services Group, McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP. “The problem is that there are times premium life insurance is badly oversold with unrealistic ‘promises’ such as cost-free life insurance.”

Robert J Russell of InsurancePricedRight.com is a leading authority on life insurance policies and strategies. He is also a renowned expert witness in the field. According to Mr. Russell, “Based on evaluating these types of transactions, there are many ways they can falter. From failing to recognize that, over time, interest rates will move around to all too rosy projections concerning the investment performance of policies to convoluted structuring arrangements including wrapping the interest owed into the policies, a good number of these transactions are like landmines waiting to explode. Someone is making a serious mistake when it comes to premium financed life insurance by not having the transaction vetted before entering into it; looking at it as a way to have ‘cheap’ life insurance; and buying an amount of insurance that has no bearing to their needs.”

Without question, there are times when premium financed life insurance is a very good strategy because a person who, for example, needs a large amount of life insurance lacks liquidity. The potential problems with the strategy are often a function of a lot of moving parts and dubious assumptions.

For individuals who have premium financed life insurance or are considering buying life insurance this way, it is wise to carefully address all the possible complications and the impacts of those complications from potentially needing to post more collateral to the policy collapsing. Many times the best way to evaluate the viability of a premium financed life insurance strategy is to get a second opinion from a qualified expert.

Need help on life insurance? Click HERE for free quotes

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Selling your own house – easy as Pi (ya think?)

For whatever reason, most of us are aware of “Pi”.

Mostly we just think of it as that number that goes on and on forever, with no end or solution. And we just know it as 3.14.

When and why do we learn about it in life? What good does it ever do us?

There’s certainly a lot more to it…

For instance, it’s a “constant” ratio in circles. And, it’s an “irrational” number. They teach us that, too. Maybe that stuff sticks with us. Maybe not.

For most of us, just knowing the 3.14 part is good enough. There’s no need to think about it much beyond that. Pi probably isn’t going to affect you or me one way or another in life…

But…there is a rather “constant” and “irrational” number in real estate that does affect many people. And most people never learn about it in life…at least until they list their home for sale.

That number is the listing price of a home…

It’s a “constant” in the sense that almost every homeowner wants the listing price of their home to be a much bigger number than it should be.

It is also a “constant” thing that real estate agents have to help clients understand, and even come to terms with.

But many homeowners disregard what real estate agents explain, and list their home for an “irrational” number, which is too high.

Which then creates an unsolvable problem (much like Pi is)…

Listing a home for too high of a price, typically makes the process of selling a home go on, and on, and on. Forever. With no end…(also much like Pi is).

But, unlike Pi, proper listing prices for homes are not unsolvable. There’s a rational number to list every individual home for on the market.

No, it isn’t necessarily easy to figure out. But it doesn’t take a mathematician. It takes a real estate agent who knows how to analyze where the house should be priced and positioned within the current market. And, it takes an agent who knows how to explain it well, so that their client doesn’t decide to list for too high of a price.

Not all agents can or do these things well. Which is why “irrational” pricing is a “constant” problem so many owners struggle with.

When selling your home, it’s important to find an agent who prices homes perfectly. Not too high… but also, not too low. It’s a fine balance that needs to be struck.

So, when it comes time to list your home for sale, it’s important that you or your agent finds, and understands, the most rational number to list your home for on the market.

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6 Reasons to Leave Your Car Insurance Company

You might be familiar with a few scenarios that could make your auto insurance rates change: You bought a new car, moved, got in a car accident, or even got married or graduated from school. In all these cases, it’s important to shop around for car insurance to ensure you’re getting adequate coverage — at the right rate — to meet your needs.

Even if you’re happy with your car insurance company, simply checking out the competition on a regular basis (we recommend every six months) can help keep your current rate low because it indicates to your insurance company that you’re on the lookout for better deals, and your insurer will, therefore, be motivated to keep you.

Insurance rates and policy details vary widely by insurer and by person. If you get a quote from a dozen insurance companies, many of the quotes might look quite similar, while others might show your premium varying by hundreds of dollars.

Insurance is intended to protect you when you need it — legally, medically, financially. You want to make sure you choose the company and service that meets your needs and has your back. If you’re not getting that support, you might consider changing insurance companies.

 

1. Your Rates Increase (And It’s Not Your Fault)

As we’ve discussed, countless factors impact your auto insurance rates, including where you live, what kind of car you drive, your driving record and insurance history, and your personal information such as age, gender, marital status, credit score and more in many states. (You can view two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)

When any of these factors change, your rates may change, too. Sometimes it’s for the better (the older you get, the lower your rates drop — until about age 60, that is), and sometimes for the worse (if you cause a collision, your rates could rise nearly 50%!). Long story short: It shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Because auto insurance companies are businesses that must make money to stay afloat, they may raise premiums for their customers, likely following a high claims payout period in which they incurred hefty losses. You may or may not be able to find lower rates elsewhere (for example, if a violent storm caused damage in a certain geographical area, other insurance companies could be suffering the same losses from big claims payouts), but it’s worth shopping around.

 

2. Your Insurance Agent Is Inflexible About Your Policy

A big part of the insurance company choice comes down to customer service, and if you aren’t getting the results you expect, within reason, you might consider other options. You should expect a certain degree of flexibility from your insurance company, and if you speak with someone who isn’t flexible with your insurance requests, keep in mind that there are plenty of companies that would like to try to keep your business.

“Changes like updating coverage or adding or removing a vehicle are simple requests, so if you hit a roadblock with an agent, it can be a sign that you need a new insurer,” said Richardson.

You should have full access to your policy and the ability to make adjustments, even mid-cycle, so if you’re told it’s not an option, begin shopping around.

It’s also important to note that you should be realistic about rates. Every time you make an adjustment to your policy, whether you’re adding or removing drivers or vehicles, your rate will change. So, if your rate goes up a little in one of these instances, it likely doesn’t mean you’re being treated unfairly.

 

And/Or a Member of the Company Is Rude to You

It goes without saying that if any member of the customer service team or an agent is rude to you, you should consider taking your business elsewhere.

“There are just too many insurance options out there for you to stick with a company that doesn’t value your business,” Richardson said.

There are certain issues outside a representative’s control, but you can always ask to speak with a supervisor to voice your concerns. And if you end up switching companies because of a customer-service issue that isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, mention the incident to your new insurer to avoid going through the same headache.

 

3. You Notice Changes to Your Monthly Bill That You Weren’t Informed About

If you’re billed monthly for your policy, the price should be consistent each billing cycle.

If you notice a change in your bill for which you were not contacted, it can be a sign that something’s amiss with your insurer.

“Sometimes policy updates get sent to your email spam, and sometimes phone calls or mailings are missed, but if you notice a change in your rate, you should look into it immediately,” said Richardson.

If you don’t feel you were adequately informed, shop around for a new company that meets your customer-service needs.

4. You Want 24/7 Agent Access

Many local insurance agencies aren’t available to customers at night or on the weekends, and while often this works just fine, if you’re the type of person who needs more access, you might consider a switch.

For instance: If you buy or lease a new car on a weekend and your insurer doesn’t have weekend availability, you might not be able to take your car home right away. Many dealers require proof of insurance (especially if you’re leasing or financing) before they allow customers to drive off the lot.

Plenty of big national insurance companies have 24/7 agent access, which can be a plus if you’re the type of person (or family) who regularly changes vehicles. Keep in mind, your local agent might be willing to make an off-hours exception for your insurance needs if you give them advance notice.

5. You Want to Conduct Insurance Business Online

Some of us are more comfortable conducting business online, and that’s OK. If you want to add or remove drivers or vehicles without speaking to someone on the phone, you’ll need an insurer who can meet your needs.

Insurers offering online access tend to be larger national brands, but every company is different, so check out all the options in your area. Most insurers spend a lot of money to allow customers online access, so if you want to know about an insurer’s online policies, just ask, and they’ll usually be happy to help you navigate.

If online access is important to you, remember that it’s just one piece of the insurance puzzle. You should always consider the importance of adequate coverage, as well as service and rates.

6. You Want to Add Drivers to Your Policy

When you have a new spouse, a newly licensed teen driver or a new roommate, you might consider adding them to your own auto insurance policy. Adding extra coverage or drivers to your policy often shifts both your needs and the discounts you qualify for enough that you might find you fit better — and save money — with another company.

“Life changes — big or small — could put you in a new risk category, which might mean you’re a better fit with a different insurance company,” Richardson said. “There’s not an advertised rate for life-event changes, so you’ll need to shop around to see if you can get better coverage prices and discounts from other companies.”

If you’ve been with a company for a while, particularly a local one you know, the idea of changing companies might feel uncomfortable and make you feel a little guilty. But when it comes to insurance, you need to do what’s best for you.

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The 10 Assumptions About Real Estate

Real estate is a prolific profession. Everyone either knows a real estate agent, or is connected to one through six (probably less) degrees of separation. Between friends and relatives, and the stereotypical representation of real estate agents on television and in pop culture, the general public has a adopted some assumptions about agents that are very far from the truth.

Here are ten things that people assume about real estate agents that just aren’t true:

1. They make “easy money”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. The only people who could ever possibly make the case that being an agent is an easy way to make money are those who have never done it. It’s hard, uncertain work, with many instances of months wasted on a deal that doesn’t ever close. The only thing easy about it is reading the Lighter Side of Real Estate.

2. They are required to show you houses even if you’re not pre-approved

There are definitely agents who will show you houses without a pre-approval (or at minimum a pre-qualification), but an agent is not required to, and most experienced agents probably won’t. The ability to qualify for financing dictates whether or not a deal is even possible, so an agent is simply saving you from disappointment (or worse) by asking you to get pre-approved.

3. Zillow is more accurate than they are

It would be wonderful if Zillow (and similar websites) were accurate in their home valuations, but if you compared their results to actual appraised values, in most cases you’d burst out laughing. Real estate agents want you to get as much money as possible for your house, but oftentimes reality gets in the way. Trust your realtor to give you a fair market assessment for your house…at least more than you trust Zillow.

4. They make huge commissions

The popular real estate flipping shows on cable, and Million Dollar Listing have given everyone the impression that real estate agents are rolling in the dough. Most real estate agents wish that this was true, but reality is much different. The median US existing home sale price in December 2016 was $234,900, which means after splitting the commission and paying their broker, an agent took home about $3500 on the transaction, not including all marketing and related expenses. As a monthly income, this adds up to about $40,000 per year. Not exactly huge.

5. They’re an unnecessary evil

Many people have made the argument that real estate agents are unnecessary and are merely an impediment to a more efficient “For sale by owner” model of real estate. The best way to eliminate this misconception is to try selling your house yourself. There is nothing more sobering than desperately Googling state and federal real estate laws as some unkempt stranger is knocking on your door asking you questions about your FSBO house.

6. They’re sleazy

Unfortunately, real estate agents have joined the ranks of lawyers, politicians, and salespeople in some of the public’s assumptions about their trustworthiness. The financial collapse of 2008 exacerbated this perception. Thankfully, the market correction also weeded out most of the unsavory elements in the business. The truth is, real estate agents are honest, hardworking people, making a living like any other profession. And just like any other profession, there are a few bad apples that unfairly give the others a bad name.

7. They’re uneducated

This misconception really gets under most agents’ skin, because not only do many agents have degrees (and advanced degrees in quite a few cases), but the knowledge required to pass a real estate exam is substantial. There are many people who are unable to get their licensing because of an inability to pass the licensing tests, which makes the concept of an “uneducated” agent laughable.

8. They want you to pay more for a house so they can make more money

If you truly looked at the math involved in calculating real estate commissions, you’d never utter this falsehood again. An agent getting you to pay $10,000 more for a property will net that agent approximately $150, which barely covers the cost of gas required to drive to and from your appointments. The truth is that an agent absolutely wants you to buy a house. What’s not true is that they want you to pay more for one.

9. They’re mostly part-timers or bored housewives

If you ask the average person to describe the archetypal real estate agent, they’ll probably say it’s an older married woman who is looking for something to do in her free time. Ugh. This is stereotyping at its finest, and ignores the hundreds of thousands of male agents, the hundreds of thousands of full-time agents, and the hard-working primary bread winners that make up the real estate workforce. Sure, the stereotypical agents do exist, but they’re the exception to the rule.

10. All they want from you is the deal

Yes, agents want your business. But true professional real estate agents want to be your lifelong real estate advisor. They want you to think of them whenever you or your family and friends have any real estate questions. They want to see you and talk to you more than once a decade, and they want to make sure that you remember your interactions with them as being absolutely delightful.

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Is today a good day to buy life insurance?

Robert has been selling life insurance for over 32 years and today the question is: Is today a good day to buy life insurance?

Almost everyone understands the value of life insurance. Simply put, a life insurance policy is a way to look out for loved ones in the event of your death.

But when is the right time — and the right way — to buy life insurance?

Three out of five Americans own some form of life insurance, according to a recent study by the insurance education group Life Happens. And while that sounds like a large number, the nonprofit group’s leader points out that coverage rates can vary greatly by age groups based on “life cycle decisions.”

“When young millenials get married and buy a home and incur a bunch of debt, then they start to look at that and say ‘I need to take care of that’ and start to consider life insurance,” said Marvin Feldman, president and CEO of Life Happens.

Of course, considering isn’t always buying, Feldman adds. Most 30-somethings don’t dwell too much on their mortality.

“When you and I were that age, we were thinking ‘nothing is ever going to happen to us,’ ” he said.

The great irony there is that when you feel great in your 30s, it’s the perfect time to buy life insurance.

“The younger you are, assuming you’re healthy, the less expensive it’s going to be,” Feldman said.

He also says it’s wise to buy insurance when you’re younger to “protect your insurability,” because older Americans in poor health may pay big premiums or even be denied coverage altogether because they are seen as too risky to insure. For instance, Feldman said it may be wise for 30-somethings to consider term life insurance that spans 15 or 20 years but is also structured as a “convertible” policy that can be made permanent without the added hassle of proving you’re in good health down the road.

While being proactive and buying a term policy when you’re younger can be cost-effective, there is also a growing group of wealthy Americans who are using life insurance vehicles as a kind of alternative investment strategy, said David Fabian, managing partner of FMD Capital Management in Irvine, Calif.

There are “cash value” products with investment components that “work as an additional tax-deferred savings vehicle for high-income earners,” Fabian said. That’s because, like an IRA account, the money you contribute into the policy can grow tax-free via the investments you choose. And, with the right provider, you can invest with more flexibility and fewer restrictions than an IRA.

“Cash-value policies are often more expensive because they offer coverage for an extended period of time,” Fabian adds, but can be an effective way to grow your wealth and pass it on to future generations.

Because of the variety and complexity of policies, Feldman of Life Happens recommends getting personalized advice from a financial adviser or insurance agent to get a personalized fit for you and your family. And don’t put it off too long, he adds.

“It’s always interesting to have somebody you’ve worked with who calls after a few years and says, ‘Remember that insurance we discussed? I’d like to buy it.’ And you ask what’s changed and they say they’ve been diagnosed with cancer or just had a heart attack,” Feldman said. “Well, then it’s too late.”

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