Autumn 2018 Newsletter
Life insurance is for the living
Life insurance is not a popular topic of conversation, because in doing so we are contemplating our eventual death. It’s not something anyone likes to dwell on for long, however it’s an important consideration in financial planning. So, how do you know if you should take out life insurance?
Life insurance should be considered when someone else is dependent on your financial contribution. In other words, if you weren’t around anymore, but your earnings are still needed, then you should consider having life insurance. If there is nobody financially dependent on you then there is no monetary shortfall to anybody else.
There are two possible exceptions to this generalisation however:
- Sometimes a lender wants insurance as extra lending security, and so a new homeowner might have to take out life cover to get the loan.
- Some people might have family medical history that makes it harder to get insurance later in life, so it may be worthwhile getting life insurance while young and healthy, before they actually have dependents.
So if you believe you need cover the next question is, how much?
Just pretend you aren’t here anymore, then have your partner work out what they need coming into the household starting next week. Establish the monthly living expenses that are required and then subtract what your partner will reliably be able to bring in (remembering that you aren’t here to help). Then decide how long you will need that regular amount coming in for – a limited time or until retirement for example.
Next think about what other expenses are required (lawyers and estate settlement, funeral expenses, etc)? What loans or liabilities need to be removed? Is there a need for an emergency fund to see the rest of the family through for a period? If so, how much? Is other capital needed for other purposes, such as children’s education, or your partner’s retirement fund?
Your partner does the same exercise next, and it may be that you both come up with different amounts of cover required. That is fine; you should each be working out what you need. At this point you may have come up with what probably seems to be a couple of large numbers. Don’t let that put you off – life insurance is an easy and cost-effective way to provide for your family. Once it’s in place you can rest assured that you have done the right thing for your family, and you only need to revisit it if your circumstances change.
The process is really that easy. It isn’t morbid either – it’s quite analytical and very practical. It’s also an excellent way of making sure you talk about your estate planning.
Simply call Eric James and Associates and we can help you get the right cover to protect your family’s needs.
What do I do if I need to make a claim?
There are a couple of ways to make a claim and they will differ between insurers.
We recommend that you contact us straight away if you need to make a claim or if you believe you will have to in the immediate future.
Once we have spoken to you we can either send out a pre-approval form or put you in contact with the insurer directly in order to submit your claim.
Getting a good night’s sleep
When it’s 2am and you’re tossing and turning, mulling over the events of the day, it’s probably not helpful to realise that you may not be doing your long-term health any favours.
An article during Sleep Awareness Week highlights the relationship between a lack of sleep and a raft of ailments, including Alzheimer’s. Just knowing that non-REM (deep) sleep is essential to brain health, there are steps we can take towards a longer deeper night’s sleep – these are from the Sleep Foundation:
- Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, by separating your sleep time from activities that can cause stress, excitement or anxiety. Avoid bright light in the evenings and expose yourself to sunlight in the mornings.
- If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoons.
- Exercise daily – vigorous is best but even light exercise is better than no activity, but not before bedtime!
- Design your sleep environment to the conditions you need for sleep. Y0ur bedroom should be cool – between 15-19degC and free from noise and light.
- If your mattress is more than 10 years old, think about getting a new one. Supportive pillows are important too.
- Avoid heavy meals in the evening – large spicy meals are a culpruit.
- Spend the last hour before bed in a winding down activity, such as reading. Avoid using electronics such as working or watching YouTube on your laptop before bed or during the night.
- If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
- If you’re still having trouble sleeping, speak to your doctor or sleep professional. You could also talk to your pharmacist about a magnesium supplement, which some people find very helpful as a muscle relaxant and to sooth troubling thoughts.
“Good night and good luck” and remember it’s never too late to begin getting a good night’s sleep.
Barrel draw winner
Our latest barrel draw winner is Leanne Robinson from Sockburn, Christchurch seen here being presented with her winning prize by Kinest Jin, our Christchurch Assistant Regional Manager.
The Sauce (tomato sauce that is)
Autumn is near – a time for picking the remaining tomatoes from the vines and freezing them for use in pasta sauces during the winter.
This year we are roasting our tomatoes before freezing them, which adds a deeper flavour dimension to pasta sauces or soups.
Simply cut the tomatoes in half, sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and sufficient olive oil to coat the base of the roasting pan and leave a slick of oil over the tomatoes, and roast uncovered at 150C for about an hour or until they are shrivelled but not browned. Cool, then pack into freezer containers or bags and freeze until needed.
When you want to make your pasta sauce or soup, let the frozen roasted tomatoes thaw a little then collate your ingredients in the usual way.