Movie Review: Term Life


movie poster for the film, "Term Life," featuring a father looking to take care of his daughter with a term life insurance policy before his life comes to a screeching halt

Photo Credit: IMDB

It’s not every day that a movie is created about the industry you work in – which is why it was exciting when a film aptly titled Term Life was released earlier this year. Featuring a range of familiar faces including comedic icon Vince Vaughn (Nick Barrow), drama veteran Bill Paxton (Joe Keenan,) and rising star Hailee Steinfeld (Cate Barrow) the cast was entwined in a battle of life, death, betrayal and the pursuit of the truth throughout the film.

Plot

“A guy wanted around town by various hit men hopes to stay alive long enough for his life insurance policy to kick in and pay out for his estranged daughter.” — IMDB

The film begins by diving directly into Nick Barrow’s heist-planning business. In Nick’s mind, there is a three-person process to getting a job done:

  1. “Bottom Feeders” find potential jobs that are handed to a “Designer.”
  2. A “Designer” – the role Nick plays – makes the criminal job doable. He plans the timeline, acquires any necessary access information and ensures that the job can be carried out as smoothly as possible.
  3. The “Buyer” essentially purchases the job from a Designer and executes the plan. The Buyers are considered the risk-takers of the operation, but they also stand to make the most money if the job is a success.

Through Nick’s interior monologue, we learn that he has a daughter, Cate, who he loves from afar. Nick believes he is protecting her from his business decisions by staying out of her life; and this theory remains mostly true until Nick’s latest job goes awry.

When the son of a cartel leader, Viktor, is killed by crooked detective, Joe Keanan, Nick’s life is placed into immediate danger. Viktor begins to pursue Nick, believing that it was he who orchestrated his son’s death following a heist.

With a cartel lord hot on his tail, Nick decides to make sure Cate would be taken care of in the event that Viktor catches up to him. Nick files for a term life insurance policy with Cate’s name listed as the sole beneficiary. Unfortunately, it is this same term life insurance policy that exposes Cate’s existence to Nick’s enemies.

The pace of the movie kicks into high gear as Nick races to keep himself and his estranged daughter out of the hands of all who threaten their lives, including Viktor, Detective Keanan and an array of other burgeoning adversaries.

Spoiler Alert: The End

By the end of Term Life, Nick and Cate are able to work through the 16 lost years between them, ultimately leading Cate to save her father’s life by striking a deal with those who originally sought to kill them.

It is in the last ten minutes of the film that Nick receives a “better payout” than he would have received from his term life insurance policy: He gets to keep his life, spend more time with his daughter and his name is cleared of all charges framing him for two murders he did not commit.

Final Thoughts

While Term Life may not win an Oscar in February, the film does highlight the lengths a father will go to protect his child, such as investing in a term life insurance policy to ensure his daughter is financially taken care of once his questionable career has caught up with him.

To learn more about how you can financially protect your family from a life-ending event, read our official Term Life Insurance page.

 

Term Life Insurance products offered through TMFS Insurance Agency LLC, a separate company, affiliated with Financial Engines Advisors, L.L.C. (FEA), in states where licensed. TMFS Insurance Agency, LLC is under common ownership with FEA. Each entity is its own separate entity that provides services for its client independent from the other.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?


how much life insurance do I need?

If you have decided to get life insurance for you and your dependents, congratulations! You are on the right track. But the question of how much insurance to get is often overwhelming. Check out our guide below for some tips to help you figure everything out.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need and Other Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. How much debt do I have other than my mortgage?

If you have any other debt, you are spending more than you earn. If you have debt, you need more life insurance so it can be paid off in the event that you pass away.

2. How much do I spend each month?

Using an online tool like Mint can help you track your budget. Or you can view your past few bank transactions and calculate your spending accordingly.

3. Do I have children?

If you have dependents, you will likely want them to have coverage until they are independent. Independent may mean when they turn 18 or after they finish college. Every family is different.

4. How much money do I need for the future?

Are you saving enough to fund your kid’s college, cars, and spouse’s retirement?

Your life insurance should provide enough for your family to function if you were to pass away suddenly. If you are a stay at home parent, your work still has economic value. Think about how much day care, cooking, or cleaning will cost if you are not around.

If you are not sure where to begin, apply this rule of thumb: 20 times your yearly income when you are 30 to 40 years old, 15 times your income when you’re 40 to 50, ten times your income when you’re 50 to 60, and five times your income when you’re 60 and up. But you may need to adjust this according to the specific needs of your family.

It is important to talk to an expert to make sure you are not under-covered or paying for more than you need. Contact us today for a free evaluation.

High Risk Sports and Life Insurance


MAUI, HI - JANUARY 16 2016: Professional surfer Francisco PorcelDon’t worry thrill seekers, most likely your sport or adventures lifestyle won’t cause you problems when purchasing life insurance. But, there are a few hobbies or careers in particular that may have you running into bumps when you start researching life insurance policies. High-risk sports and life insurance don’t always go together, but with the right insurance partnership, you will find a plan that meets your needs.

High- Risk Sports That May Increase your Life Insurance Policy

1. Base Jumping

Base-jumping is illegal in the U.S. unless it’s being performed by a professional at an event. But, if you are traveling and are a base jumper or even a performer it may still be hard to get covered.

2. Ice Climbing

Ice climbers are in constant danger of causing a self-inflicted stab wound from one of their razor-sharp crampons, as well as the risks that come with regular mountain climbing. Ice climbing is a highly dangerous hobby or career. If you are one that spends a good amount of time pursuing the adventures of an ice climber you may have trouble getting insured.

3. Surfing

By surfing, we are talking about the dangerous big wave surfing, the ones that masters travel around the world to catch. Riding 50-foot waves for a career can make it hard for you to be insured. Big wave surfing can lead to drowning, broken bones, and more; making for a high risk policy, indeed. 

4. Cliff Diving

There is an old cliche, that it’s not the fall that hurts but the landing. The most dangerous part of diving so high into water is the landing. If you hit the water the wrong way, or rocks below you could seriously injure your spine, hip, collar bone, or worse.

5.Street Luge

Did you know riders on luge can reach up to 70 miles per hour? Think how dangerous it is just to be in a car going that fast. Now remove several thousand pounds of protective steel and air bags and imagine the potential for fatal injury.

So how do you get the best rates, without giving up your sport?

1. If you are a professional or serious about your sport, take safety training and certification courses. Training from a credible professional company may reduce your life insurance rate and make your sport more credible. You can also purchase highly-rated safety equipment to see if that helps lower your premium. It couldn’t hurt and may even save your life!

2. If you only engage in a dangerous sport every so often make sure this is clear to your insurer.

3. Shop around policies to find one that fits your lifestyle. Even the biggest thrill seekers have term life insurance options.

There is a difference between being a thrill seeker and taking unnecessary risks. Even those who like living on the edge should talk to a professional about term life insurance.  Contact us today and we’d be happy to help with your insurance policy needs.

Is My Life Insurance Through Work Enough?


Are your benefits and life insurance through work enough?

If your company provides free or low-cost life insurance as a benefit, you may feel pretty lucky. You might think it’s one big thing to check off your list of responsibilities. You should wait, however, before you check it off and move on to other priorities. Life insurance is a huge decision and you should ask yourself whether your life insurance through work is enough. If you look deeper into your policy provided to you by your employer, you may find you also need a supplemental policy.

Employer-sponsored plans don’t always provide the full protection you need. If you have a mortgage, children or other big financial obligations, you may need to look into a supplemental plan. Also, young and healthy employees might be better off with individual coverage since they can often qualify for lower rates.

If you are close to retiring, have adult children and a paid-off home, your employer coverage may be enough and what is most affordable for you. For single adults, younger employees and those with dependents, additional coverage is recommended. Let’s discuss a few situations in which you may need more life insurance.

Is Your Life Insurance Through Work Enough? It May Not Be for These Scenarios:

1. Your Employer Does Not Offer Enough

Look into your work-provided policy and determine if it’s enough for you and your family. If your death would be a financial issue for your spouse and children, you probably need coverage worth around six times your annual salary. Even up to 12 times worth your annual salary is necessary in some cases. Your employer’s policy may be sufficient if you’re single, if you have a spouse who isn’t dependent on your income to cover household expenses or if you don’t have children. But if that is not your situation, you most likely will not have enough coverage for your family with your job’s insurance alone.

2. If You Change Your Job Your Coverage May Change Too

Most employees who have coverage through work don’t know where their life insurance will come from if they change jobs, are laid off, their employer goes out of business or they switch from full-time to part-time work. Even if you think you will always be safe at your job, you never know what could happen.

In some situations, you won’t be able to keep your life insurance policy if you no longer work at that company. Gaps in insurance could also make it more challenging to find affordable coverage. For example, if you were laid off, the premiums might be unaffordable when you apply on your own.

3. Your Health Declines

If your health affects your work and your insurance is through your job, your insurance may also be affected. If medical issues cause you to quit your job, take a few months off or change to part-time, your life insurance may no longer be applicable. You could have problems getting new insurance on your own with your medical condition and end up stuck at your job just for insurance.

4. It May Cost More

Even if your company provides all the protection you need for both you and your family, it’s a good idea to get quotes and shop around for the best value for your situation. If you are young and healthy, you may find a better rate outside of your work policy. Also, keep in mind that the policy provided by your employer tends to become more expensive as you age. Overall, healthy people in group policies pay more than they would if they purchased private policies, so do your research.

 The solution to the scenarios listed above is to buy some or all of your life insurance directly through an individual term policy. If you have any questions or would like a free term life insurance quote, contact us today.

How to Get an Affordable Term Life Insurance Policy


affordable term life insurance policyOpening a term life policy is like being taught how to save money at a younger age—the sooner you get into the habit, the more financial security you’ll have in the long run! Purchasing an affordable term life insurance policy might not be as expensive as you think. Depending on your age and health, you could qualify for a very affordable policy. Without diverging too much of your savings to retirement or college, you can also be secure financially with a term life insurance policy.

The key to saving is finding an affordable policy that offers the coverage you need. Similar to car insurance, the insurance company keeps the money and does not have to pay a death benefit. This is just like your auto policy — if you don’t get into an accident, there is no payout from the insurance company if you don’t pass away during the term. This is what makes term insurance typically cheaper; the coverage is only provided for a specific period. In most cases, the insurance company will never pay out because you will outlive the term and the policy will expire.

Keep in mind term your actual insurance cost is based on many factors, with age and health being the biggest factors.

For either term or whole life, the following factors can impact how much you pay:

• Your Health including if you are a smoker
• Family history
• Age
• Gender
• Lifestyle (high-risk activities)
• Career
• Location

Tips for Buying an Affordable Term Life Insurance Policy

1. Stay Healthy
Staying healthy is important to keep your life insurance policy affordable. Eat well, don’t smoke, watch the drinking, and exercise a few times a week.
If you have a chronic condition, don’t worry, you can still get an affordable policy. Talk to an agent about your situation specifically and see what type you can afford.

2. Stay Safe
If you have a high chance of a claim, your policy will be more expensive. If you engage in hobbies such as flying planes, skydiving, scuba diving or other dangerous activities, you may not get an affordable policy. Your premiums will be much higher.

3. Buy a Policy Early

If you need life insurance, it’s best to apply as soon as possible. The older you get, the more expensive policies will be.

Getting a Quote for An Affordable Term Life Insurance Policy

Getting a quote is the first step to buying the right policy for you. Get a few quotes and compare companies before making a decision. Click here to get a free term life insurance quote from us at The Mutual Fund Store.

5 Simple Term Life Insurance Facts


term life insurance factsTerm life insurance is basic, inexpensive and straightforward to understand. At first, life insurance can be overwhelming, but if you learn a few life insurance facts and talk to an expert in the field, you will find it’s all pretty easy to grasp. Term life insurance affords you the opportunity to buy the amount of insurance you need at a very reasonable cost. When it’s time for you to make a decision about insurance a few factors weigh into your decision, including age, marital status, net worth, income, savings habits and outstanding debt. Besides knowing your situation, there are a few more things to know about term life insurance that will make the process of buying much smoother.

Here are 5 Simple Term Life Insurance Facts:

1. Getting term coverage is easy. You can research online and call an expert in the field for a quote. They will help tell you what you need based on your unique situation.

2. Term coverage is for a limited period. You pay a level premium for a set period, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive the death benefit. Given that you need life insurance only until you’ve managed to save up money elsewhere, just pick the term that works for you.

3. Term life helps you plan. A term policy gives you confidence during a specific period; your family could handle potential expenses that will eventually disappear, such as paying for college or a mortgage. This reassurance can help you plan our your future with less stress.

4. A term policy is affordable. Compared to a permanent policy or whole life insurance policy—which pays a death benefit no matter when you die—term coverage is very inexpensive. That means you can get more coverage to protect your family when they need it most even if you don’t have a lot of money right now.

5. You can get your term premiums back. Many term policies allow you to add a feature called Return of Premium (ROP). If you live to the end of the term, 100% of the premiums paid will be returned to you. Pretty good, huh?

If you have any questions on term life insurance, contact us today! We can offer you a free quote and help answer any questions you have about our policies.

4 Ways to Lower Your Life Insurance Rates


life insurance ratesLife insurance is essential, especially as you start to build a family. While you need life insurance, do you need it to be high priced? We are going to discuss how you can get the best life insurance rates for your family and still not break the bank, because there are plenty of things you would rather spend money on!

Life insurance applications always ask a basic set of questions to assess your overall health and lifestyle. Each family will have a unique rate and policy. With that in mind:

4 ways to help keep your life insurance rates as low as possible

1.Take Care of Yourself

Keeping you and your family as healthy as possible is very important. While being healthy overall can be very overwhelming, it is possible! If you smoke, that should be the first habit to quit. Smoking can lead to bad health and bad health leads to higher life insurance rates. Also, smoking is an expensive habit! It costs $5.50 on average for a single pack! That’s more than $2000 a year if you smoke a pack a day. Generally, a smoker’s insurance rates are around double or triple the rates of a non-smoker. Life insurance companies weigh this heavily because on average, smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

Also, try to properly manage the health conditions you have, eating right and getting plenty of exercise can lower your risks, and help keep life insurance rates down, too.

2. Purchase When You’re Young

You may be able to save a lot on your on life insurance policy if you get it when you’re still young. Life insurance companies base your premiums on how likely you are to pass away while you still have the policy, so rates tend to go up as your age does.

3. Drive Safe

Keeping your driving record clean can actually help keep your life insurance rate down too. According to the National Safety Council, Americans have a 1 in 113 chance of dying in a car accident . So if you have a less-than-spotless driving record, this will increase your premium compared to someone with a few traffic tickets and marks on their record.

4.Bundle

If you’re thinking about purchasing Life insurance, you may already have some other big investments. Maybe you have a car, a house, a boat, or your own business. All of those things need insurance! By bundling your insurance policies, you can get them all with one company, and may be able to save.

Are There Taxes on Life Insurance?


taxes on life insuranceHello, tax season! It’s that time of year again where we are all faced with uncertainties and a lot of paperwork. Have you ever wondered if there are taxes on life insurance?

Generally, if you receive the proceeds under a contract as a beneficiary due to the passing of the insured person, the benefits are not includable in gross taxable and do not have to be reported. But, there are a lot of other factors to be aware of when it comes to tax season and life insurance.

Taxes on Life Insurance | What You Need to Know

1.Life insurance contracts must meet IRS requirements.

The IRS definitions are a way to ensure that an insurance policy isn’t really an investment vehicle. For federal income taxes, an insurance contract cannot be considered a life insurance contract and qualify for favorable tax treatment unless it meets state law requirements and satisfies the IRS’s statutory definitions of a life insurance policy.

2. You can’t deduct your premiums on your federal income tax return.

Because life insurance is considered a personal expense, you can’t deduct the premiums you pay for life insurance coverage. As we said above, yes, if you receive the proceeds under a contract as a beneficiary due to the passing of the insured person, the benefits are not includable in gross taxable and do not have to be reported. But, this is not the same for premiums.

3.Your life insurance beneficiary might not have to pay income tax on death benefit received.

Typically whoever receives the death benefit from your insurance policy usually does not have to pay federal or state income tax on those proceeds. For example, If you pass owning a life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit, your beneficiary under the policy will generally not have to pay income tax on the receipt of the $500,000. Every plan is different, so make sure to discuss this with your insurance agent.

4.  Interest is taxable.

Any interest you receive is taxable and you should always report it. This is the same as any other interest you receive.

When in doubt, consult a professional. Tax time is confusing enough, as is life insurance. The tax rules surrounding life insurance are complex and are subject to change. For more information, contact a qualified insurance professional today.

Consider Life Insurance for Student Loans


College loans are completely normal and common for students these days. With the rising cost of tuition, it’s nearly impossible to get through college without considering taking out a loan. If your child is going to college soon or signing up now you may want to think about your involvement with their loans. If you’re co-signing private student loans, you should seriously consider taking out a life insurance policy for yourself or recommending your child to purchase a policy. While, this is something you never want to have to face, if your child is to suddenly pass, you may not be able to take on all their student debt alone. 

If Your Child Has Private Loans They Need Life Insurance

Remember, the younger and healthier your child is when they purchase the policy, the lower the premiums will be. A 20-year term life insurance policy could be very affordable for them at a young age, and well worth the worry for passing on extreme debt.

If you sign a private loan, the lender can take you t court even as a cosigner. Typically you wouldn’t be involved unless they know your child cannot pay, and this situation is really only in the scenario of their death. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans are not discharged upon the death of the student. Dealing with a death of a child is enough stress on a family, imagine also dealing with the news of a large outstanding debt. Fortunately, life insurance is the safeguard from that scenario.

Life Insurance is a Safeguard From Loan Debt

When you go to sign your student loans think about how much debt your child is acquiring. Remember, you should also explore all federal student loan options before taking out a private loan. If you do need to turn to private student loans, life insurance for student loans should be part of the plan. It’s an inexpensive solution but the penalty for not buying life insurance can be devastating.

Are you considering life insurance for your child or are you a college student needing a term life insurance policy? Contact us today for a free quote and get your questions answered and the protection you need.

What Is Term Life Insurance?


what is term life insurance and how your family could benefitWhen making a decision about life insurance a few factors weigh into your decision, including age, marital status, net worth, income, savings habits and outstanding debt. It is also important to consider the available budget for life insurance premiums, how long you may need the insurance protection and the specific purpose for getting coverage.

What Is Term Life Insurance and How You Can Benefit

The easiest way to remember the difference between term and whole life insurance is to think of term life as temporary insurance and whole life as permanent insurance.

Term life insurance is basic, inexpensive and easy to understand. It gives you all the coverage you need and none that you don’t. That’s why it’s the best choice for almost everyone.Term life insurance affords you the opportunity to buy the amount of insurance you actually need at a very reasonable cost. This type of insurance is good for a specific period of time; that can be one year, 10 years, 20 years or even up to 30 years. Given that you generally need life insurance only until you’ve managed to save up money elsewhere, just pick the term that works with the time frame that you need coverage.

Term life insurance is a great plan for temporary coverage. For example, you might have a large mortgage that would need to be paid off if you were to pass or your children’s college education costs. In any scenario, the need for large sums of life insurance would most likely be temporary. A term policy might be a perfect fit for your family. At the end of the agreed upon term, you will usually have the opportunity to convert part or all of the policy to permanent insurance or to renew it for another term.

Do you have any questions about whole life versus term life insurance? Contact us today, and see why term life insurance can benefit your loved ones!