By carefully managing debt, borrowers like you can utilize it to their advantage and pave the way for financial success. Whether taking out loans or …Not All Debt Is Bad: 6 Ways to Manage Your Financial Debt
The real estate industry knew higher mortgage rates were coming—but they didn’t expect it to go this high.An economic shock just hit the housing market
Over the years, I’ve seen that there is a lot of confusion around this topic – from what type of insurance is best to how much you need and where to get it. With that in mind, below are the five most common mistakes people make when it comes to life insurance. Hopefully, through this list, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of how life insurance works and why it’s a good tool for you and your family.
Mistake #1 – Having no life insurance at all
Many people simply overlook the importance of life insurance. It doesn’t appear to be something they need and it can be viewed as an added expense. But take a second to stop and consider all the important people in your life. If you weren’t there, how would they be impacted financially? It’s not fun to think about, but by “playing dead” you can begin to understand that life insurance is a critical tool to ensuring your family feels financially supported should anything happen to you. For instance, if you have any financial obligations, a life insurance policy will help to ensure that those burdens do not fall entirely on your family members and they can avoid starting a gofundme page in your name to pay for funeral cost. Remember, it is also important to get life insurance sooner rather than later because the cost goes up the older we get.
Mistake #2 – Relying solely on employer-provided workplace life insurance
Life insurance provided by your workplace is an excellent benefit and can serve as a good starting point for your basic minimum coverage. But remember any life insurance provided automatically from your employer is only good as long as you work with the company. Chances are you will not be with the same company for your entire working career either by choice or by force and the insurance does not go with you. You can purchase additional coverage through your employer or on your own to help fill the gap.
Mistake #3 – Only considering term life insurance
Term life insurance provides a “death” or “survivor” benefit, which is the amount beneficiaries receive if you pass away, for a certain period of time (15, 20 or 30 years are common increments), after which the coverage ends. An alternative solution would be to adopt cash value life insurance, which similarly provides a death benefit, but will grow over the years as long as you continue to fund the policy. Furthermore, cash value life insurance can help with financial obligations in a tax-advantaged way, whether it is paying for college, a business venture or retirement. These policies are generally more expensive, but can make a lot of sense if you are able to commit to regularly funding the policy.
Mistake #4 – Leaving retirement savings vulnerable
If you do not have any/enough life insurance, your family is likely to look to your retirement savings for financial support. This may seem like a safe solution for finding additional resources, but I would advise against using funds saved specifically for retirement for another purpose. If you are the higher earner in the family, your spouse may have been relying on those savings for his or her own retirement. Similarly, if your spouse is forced to liquidate or take large loans from the retirement account, it will hurt the potential long-term investment gains that would have benefitted your family down the road. It is important that the money you are saving is allotted for different goals – from life insurance to retirement – so that you are making the most of each savings opportunity.
Mistake #5 – Guessing on how much life insurance you need
Many people who walk into my office have no idea how much life insurance they need. Is it five times annual salary? Ten times? Some other figure? There are many factors to take into account to figure out how much life insurance is right for you. Often this is where a financial professional can really help with the process. We can help quantify how much and what type of insurance makes the most sense for you and then help get that coverage in place. There are also many online calculators available to use as a starting point.
At the end of the day, we all just want to know that our loved ones will be taken care of after we’re gone. I have seen firsthand the peace of mind a life insurance policy can deliver. So this month, as life speeds up again, take a few minutes to pause and think about the future. Life Insurance Awareness month may only last 30 days, but a good policy will last for years to come!
The level of abundance in your life in any area (love, friendship, success or finances) is a reflection of your inner state — what you hold in your mind and heart.
Want to create a healthy and loving wealth consciousness? Here are seven ways to transform your money mindset.
1. Forgive your past.
So many of our unquestioned beliefs and behavior patterns today around money are simply things we picked up at childhood or our past. They are not true and they don’t serve our highest good.
Forgiveness is a way to release them from our heart and energy field, so we are no longer blindly re-creating the same patterns and keeping ourselves stuck at the same level of abundance.
Grab a piece of paper and write down all of the painful memories you have around money –involving your parents, lovers, bosses or even yourself — that make you feel icky, stressed, anxious or frustrated.
Now, go through your list and practice forgiveness until you release the negative charge from each memory. You could try:
(a) Using a mantra such as: I forgive you. I’m sorry. I love you.
(b) Placing your hand on your heart and simply letting yourself feel the emotions that arise — giving yourself permission to feel them fully without attaching a mental story to them. Often as you let your feelings rise and observe them without judgement, they will naturally dissolve.
(c) Having compassion. Maybe your parents fought in front of you or didn’t have enough money and it caused you pain, but they were doing their best from their level of awareness — and they were probably re-creating the patterns they had learnt when they were children. Everyone is a divine loving inner spirit deep down — sometimes our true nature just gets temporarily obscured, like a cloud covering the sun.
2. Change your story.
The poet Rumi once said: “This world is like a mountain. Your echo depends on you. If you scream good things, the world will give it back. If you scream bad things, the world will give it back.”
He is referring to the Universal law of creation. Your inner world (thoughts, beliefs and feelings) creates your outer reality.
Do you find yourself saying or thinking things like: I’m so broke… Making money is hard… I’m always down to my last dollar… I never have enough… Wanting money is bad or greedy…?
Try changing your story around money. Start saying and thinking things like: I’m so blessed… I have everything that I need… the Universe always takes care of me… I give to the world and I receive… it is safe for me to have abundance… I am provided for.
3. Open your mind to infinite possibilities.
When it comes to manifesting, your logical mind can be your worst enemy.
It has a limited capacity to think beyond what it already knows, and it can be quick to tell you things like: Well, you can’t earn more from your current job, so receiving more money is, frankly, impossible.
When you have unexamined assumptions that you can only receive money in certain pre-determined ways — like a pay cheque from a day job — you block the Universe from finding other amazingly creative ways to bring you abundance.
Begin asking the Universe: What would it take for more money to flow to me? What would it take for me to get paid for being me? What would it take for creative ideas to come to me?
4. Practice gratitude.
The world is a reflection of you. When you look around your life and see and feel lack, the Universe receives the message to send you more lack.
So many of us suffer from a condition called Onlyness. We look at our bank balance and think: I only have $42. We look at our wardrobes and think: I only have these clothes to choose from. We look at our lives and think: I only have this much love, friendship, success, wellbeing or happiness.
When you start looking around your life and seeing everything as evidence of abundance, and feeling thankful and deeply grateful, the Universe sends you more abundance.
Look at your bank balance and think: Wow, I have a whole $42 to spend, that’s awesome. Look at your wardrobe and thank: Wow, I have warm clothes for my temple, how amazing is that? Look at your life and think: Wow, I already have this much love, friendship, success, wellbeing and happiness, and I am excited for even more. I am so grateful to be alive, adventuring in time and space, and I am going to soak up and appreciate every moment.
Bless your money as it goes in and out of your life. Bless it as you buy something as simple as your morning coffee. Pause and give thanks to the Universe for providing so much for you.
5. Create space.
When your life is full to the brim with old energy, memories and clutter, you are not symbolically or energetically creating space for abundance to come into your life.
Do a life assessment — look lovingly and honestly at your home, possessions, bank balance, love life, friends, career, leisure time, wellbeing and lifestyle.
Where are you not being true to your heart, soul and values? What needs to go in order for you to feel freer, lighter and liberated?
The more you remove anything that no longer serves you, the more space you create — physically and emotionally — for new people, opportunities and abundance to flow into your life.
6. Know your worth.
You are a divine spiritual being having a human experience.
You are the Universe experience itself through you. Your creator desires for you to experience endless happiness, peace and fulfillment.
Until you know your true nature and worth, you will probably experience feelings of guilt and doubt around receiving and abundance.
When you wake up to who you really are, you begin to realize that you are not here just to struggle and survive – you are here to love, create, expand and thrive.
7. Take small steps to cultivate the feeling of abundance.
Abundance is not a number on a bank statement, a large house or a luxury holiday. Abundance is a feeling.
Think about what abundance means to you. Does it mean freedom? Does it mean generosity? Does it mean indulgence?
When you know what abundance means to you, you can start taking baby steps to cultivate the feeling of abundance on a daily basis.
You can do this through visualization (imagining your dreams already being real) or by looking around your life and coming up with creative ways to feel the way you want to feel.
Maybe you feel abundant when you: spend a whole hour with a good book and a glass of wine; cook dinner for friends; have freshly washed hair and wear your favorite outfit; or carry a $100 note in your wallet. Start doing these small actions more often.
When you create the feeling of abundance within you, the Universe will pick up your new signal and start bringing you circumstances to match your new vibration.
Elyse Santilli Writer and life coach at NotesOnBliss.com, your guidebook to happiness and creating a beautiful life
Elyse is a writer, life coach and happiness teacher at NotesOnBliss.com and the creator of the Beautiful Life Bootcamp online course. She teaches people to align with their inner spirit, design a life they love, and expand their happiness and inner peace. For updates and inspiration, sign up now.
This week, Congress finally began to vote on a $1.1 trillion spending bill, avoiding government shutdown and putting at least a temporary halt to the gridlock that had defined Washington for much of the Obama administration.
The spending package, which hasn’t been voted on yet, would fund most federal agencies throughout 2016 and may actually demonstrate that Republicans and Democrats are, in fact, still capable of compromise. Here are five things to know about the bill:
There are actually two bills: For political reasons, the House leadership decided to split the funding measures into two different bills. One is the $1.1 trillion funding plan, the other is a $629 billion tax cut package. By splitting the two measures, USA Today notes, Democrats can vote against the tax cuts and conservative Republicans can vote against the funding bill while both can still pass.
The oil export ban is gone: The Republican caucus fought hard to put an end to the40-year ban on American companies’ ability to export oil. They got that done, much to the delight of the energy sector.
Republicans lost on refugees: Another major goal of some Republicans, especially more conservative members, was to restrict President Obama from bringing Syrian refugees to the U.S. They didn’t get that, though USA Today notes that the spending bill includes new anti-terror provisions relating to visas for visitors from 38 countries.
Planned Parenthood is safe: One of the most contentious issues for the past several months has focused on federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a national network of women’s health care centers that provide abortions. The organization will continue to receive funding, to the consternation of conservative Republicans.
The medical devices tax is gone: Mark this as a win for House Speaker Paul Ryan. Though it isn’t off the table forever, the deal delays the tax for at least two years.
The computer industry was hit hard.
Last month saw a surge in layoffs, primarily due to large-scale employee cuts at companies like Hewlett-Packard.
U.S. companies laid off 58,877 workers in September, according to data released Thursday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. September layoffs are up 43% from August when about 41,000 workers were let go.
In total, employers have announced 493,431 planned layoffs so far this year, a 36% jump over the same period last year and 2% more than the 2014 total.
“Job cuts have already surpassed last year’s total and are on track to end the year as the highest annual total since 2009, when nearly 1.3 million layoffs were announced at the tail-end of the recession,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The computer industry accounted for the heaviest job cuts in September primarily driven by Hewlett-Packard, which said it would cut 30,000 jobs. The job losses, which were announced in mid-September by CEO Meg Whitman, should save the company $2.7 billion annually and represented about 10% of the company’s workforce, HP said.