Counting dollars instead of calories

By Stacy Lewis
State Farm® agent

Think east versus west, the Yankees versus the Dodgers, Manhattan versus Hollywood.  New York, N.Y., and Los Angeles, Calif., boast many differences, but they have one thing in common:  Many of their residents don’t have enough life insurance to protect their families. 
The State Farm Life Insurance Company recently released the first-ever Fiscally Fit Cities Report to help raise awareness of State Farm’s life insurance products and how they impact a fiscally responsible lifestyle.  State Farm worked with demographic consultant Bert Sperling to rank how well consumers living in the top 50 metropolitan statistical areas are planning today for a secure financial future.  Results indicate that less than half of American households are taking the proper steps to prepare for a secure future.  According to the survey, investments, quality of life and life insurance coverage define fiscal fitness.  Salt Lake City, Utah, tops the list of fiscally fit cities. 
Although many customers plan for a comfortable retirement, less than half plan a secure future for their family by purchasing adequate life insurance.  Without life insurance, families often need to change their lifestyle or spend savings to cover living expenses after an unexpected death.  Life insurance can help families maintain their way of life.
Here are a few steps to improve your financial and physical health: 
o    Start early. You’re never too young to reduce debt and live within your means.
o    Protect your financial future with a life insurance policy.  Most people need several times their annual income in a death benefit from their life insurance to maintain a comparable standard of living.
o    Take care of yourself.  There’s a high cost associated with poor health – including loss of income and even premature death.
o    Plan for a long life.  More and more people are living well longer.  To help extend a retirement financial plan, families could consider annuities as a flexible investment option that can offer guaranteed income for life.*
What’s missing in many households across the United States is a holistic approach to personal finance, including life insurance coverage.  People may need up to seven to ten times their annual income in a death benefit from their life insurance to maintain a comparable standard of living.  Many families believe the breadwinner should be the insured; there are many others in a household who also need protection such as the stay-at-home spouse or the second wage earner.  Establishing protection early for your children is another reason to consider life insurance.
What type of life insurance is best for your family?  That depends.  While not a very concrete answer, your particular situation will be the driver for any life insurance you may need.  There are a variety of products I can show you from a permanent life insurance policy to a term life insurance policy and other appropriate products.  You’ve hear the saying, “buy term and invest the difference”, but you really need to analyze your situation and get an accurate assessment. 
Although Salt Lake City tops the list of fiscally fit cities, just 34 percent of its households have life insurance.  Many residents across America risk vulnerabilities to their careful planning in the event of an unexpected death and loss of income.  The Fiscally Fit Cities Report reaffirms our goal to reach more customers with life insurance – the foundation of every solid financial strategy.
Contact me today to schedule an Insurance and Financial Review.
*Based on the claims paying ability of the issuing State Farm life insurance company.

Stacy Lewis is located at 4020 S. Cedar Street, Lansing, MI 48910.  Her phone number is517-887-1777.