You Are Not Too Young for Life Insurance

 

You Are Not Too Young for Life Insurance According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2,596,993 deaths in the U.S. in 2015. Leading end-of-life causes included diseases of the heart, malignant neoplasms, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases and accidents—most of which can strike at any age.

This means we can all benefit from life insurance, whether we use it to pay for our funeral expenses, as an investment vehicle, or to protect our family from financial hardship in the event of our death. Consider the following life stages and reasons to purchase this valuable form of insurance for each.

Young Adulthood

When you’re young and single, life insurance is unlikely to be a priority. You may have a career and earn a decent wage, but you probably don’t have anyone other than yourself who relies on that income. However, if your parents or grandparents have cosigned a loan for you—perhaps for college or a home purchase—you’ll want to make sure that those debts don’t become a burden to them in the event of your death. You can do this with life insurance. Bonus: your premiums will be lower if you buy your policy while you’re young and in good health.

Marriage

If you purchased life insurance as a young single, now’s the time to adjust your policy to account for your increased financial responsibility. And if you’ve yet to purchase life insurance, there’s no better time than the present. Even if your partner earns a good income and believes he or she can manage financially once you are gone, life insurance can provide the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve done everything you can to provide for his or her future.

Babies

If you have young children and no life insurance, you’re jeopardizing your family’s well-being. Whether you’re a single- or double-income couple, insuring both partners is essential. Death of a breadwinner or a domestic partner can wreak havoc on one’s finances. You can use life insurance to make sure your spouse and children can keep your home, pay off debts, afford childcare and eventually finance college educations.

Retirement

Your mortgage may be paid off, and your children grown and raising families of their own, but this doesn’t mean you should cancel your life insurance policy. Life expectancy is increasing, and the volatile economy has made it difficult for Americans to amass the wealth they need to sustain themselves in retirement. A life insurance policy will give you the freedom to tap into your home equity if you need to supplement your retirement income, knowing the proceeds can pay off the mortgage. And if you don’t have much in the way of savings or financial assets, the payout can serve as an inheritance for your family.

If you’d like to explore more reasons for purchasing life insurance at your life stage, or want to review your current policy, contact your insurance professional.

 

Soap Up to Fight Germs

Soap Up to Fight Germs

American author John Steinbeck once wrote, “A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ.” While certainly a poetic statement, and even somewhat true, those pesky germs—found everywhere and on everything—can still make you sick. Fortunately, washing your hands is one of the best defenses against the infections and illnesses they induce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing can reduce respiratory illnesses—such as the common cold—in the general population by 21 percent. Other U.S. public health authorities have stated that bad hand hygiene cause nearly 50 percent of food-borne illness outbreaks.

When to Wash Your Hands

While it may seem like common sense to wash your hands whenever you do something that might cause you to come into contact with—or spread—germs, many people don’t do it. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health by researchers from Michigan State University revealed that only 5 percent of their subjects washed their hands properly after using the restroom. Thirty-three percent used water without soap, and 10 percent didn’t bother to wash their hands at all.

Other situations that require handwashing include:

  • Before, during and after food preparation
  • Before eating a meal or snack
  • Before and after caring for someone who is ill
  • Before and after treating a wound
  • After assisting a child in using the restroom or changing a diaper
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • Before touching your eyes (as when inserting or removing contact lenses)
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

How to Wash Your Hands

We all learned how to wash our hands as children, but we may not have learned to do so correctly. It takes 15 to 20 seconds of vigorous handwashing with soap and water to kill of all the germs according to the CDC. However, the Michigan State University study found that most people who bothered to wash their hands only spent about six seconds. Make sure you—and your family—are handwashing correctly by following these steps from the CDC:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (any temperature will do).
  2.  Apply soap generously.
  3.  Rub your hands together vigorously to create a lather. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under the tips of your nails.
  4. Scrub for at least 20 seconds.
  5.  Rinse your hands thoroughly under clean, running water.
  6. Dry your hands with a clean towel or allow them to air dry.

If you don’t have access to soap and water, you can utilize an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Look for one that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Studies have found that non-alcohol hand sanitizers do not work well on all classes of germs, can cause germs to develop a resistance to the sanitizing chemical, and are more likely to irritate the skin than alcohol-based hand sanitizers are.

Because even alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been found less effective against certain types of germs, it’s best to wash your hands with soap and clean, running water whenever possible. And remember: the fewer doctor visits you make each year, the lower your overall healthcare costs, even with insurance.