Financial Advisor Don Dirren Gives 5 Practical Uses for Term Life Insurance

Most people are familiar with whole life insurance and that it can help to leave a financial legacy for beneficiaries. Experienced Financial Advisor, Donald Dirren, says there is an affordable alternative to whole life that is affordable and protects family assets and lifestyles.

That alternative is term life insurance. As the name suggests, term life insurance is in effect for a specific period of time or a “term.” Once that time period has expired, so does the life insurance policy.

1. Protect Family Against Sudden Loss of Income

Don Dirren says term life will produce a significant payout that is based on the amount of coverage that you obtained. If you should pass on while the term life policy is in effect, the insurer will pay the insured amount to your chosen beneficiaries.

That payout can help to protect your family’s assets and prevent a significant change in their standard of living if you are the primary source of income for your family.

2. Pay for Medical Bills and Funeral Expenses

Term life is especially useful for paying off short-term financial obligations if the insured person should die while the policy is in effect. Those short-term obligations might include medical bills and funeral expenses that other insurance policies do not cover.

3. Mortgage Protection for Your Home and Properties

Many people buy homes and other properties with mortgages that require payments over many years. Donald Dirren notes term life is a terrific financial tool for protecting those financial obligations and ensuring those debts are paid if you die unexpectedly. You can buy a decreasing term life policy whose coverage amount and cost decrease as your debt gradually becomes less and less.

4. Ensure Children’s College Tuition and Costs

If you have children who are enrolled in college or plan to enroll, term life can ensure the tuition is paid if you are no longer around. Term life is an affordable way to ensure your children’s educational future.

5. Protect Family Assets and Businesses

Term life helps to ensure your family’s assets remain in the family upon your passing. Instead of forcing a sale of assets to raise funds, your family can hold onto them and continue to benefit from owning them.

Why Term Life Is Preferable to Whole Life Products

Term life does not come with a guaranteed payout like whole life insurance. Instead, it exists for as long as you need to protect certain financial obligations, like a home mortgage, protecting business assets, or ensuring your children’s college tuition is paid if you should pass on unexpectedly.

Term life also is much easier to obtain than whole life insurance because the policyholder does not have to undergo medical examinations. Because there is no guaranteed payout, insurers are more willing to underwrite coverage and charge less. That makes term life insurance a very smart investment for protecting financial obligations that eventually will not exist after a period of time, such as a home mortgage. 

Paul Inouye Discusses Best Practices in Mergers and Acquisitions Structuring  

 When implemented correctly, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) can be beneficial. To get it right, you must know how to handle the complexities. Paul Inouye, an investment banker, says that’s where good corporate governance comes in. He emphasized that properly managing an organization’s internal structures and processes is vital to successful M&As.

Proper governance makes it easier to form a new entity the right way. That way, everything falls into place. Policies, competencies, and procedures align seamlessly, ensuring a smooth merger. The best part about effective corporate governance is that you won’t struggle managing risks.

On top of that, it helps you comply with regulations while running the business more efficiently. It also ensures successful outcomes by focusing on shareholder value. With all these ducks in a row, maintaining continuity between the two companies is a breeze. Best of all, there’ll be transparency and effective communication.

So, what’s the best way to approach mergers and acquisitions? Here are the things Inouye says you should do.

Understand the organization better

It’s common for entities with different yet complementary characteristics to join forces. One organization may do things centrally while another spreads things around. Because of this, Paul recommends learning as much as possible about an entity’s regional variability.

Familiarize yourself with its processes and structures at a granular level. While you’re at it, get to know how both companies organize and manage critical data. This information includes products, customers, and locations.

Come up with good communication strategies

For an M&A to work, there’s a big need to define how various structures interact and share information. Inouye says this bit is super-important because the information isn’t always readily available or known. That’s why it’d be best to provide information kits. Doing so makes everyone’s job so much easier.

The last thing you want is to create information gaps that cause confusion. On the other hand, a good communication plan ensures that collaboration and productivity kick into high gear early on.

It’s vital that the communication kits indicate how the merger boosts both entities’ fortunes. The two organizations could benefit by improving the ease of doing business, cost savings, and a bigger portfolio. You can motivate employees by highlighting what kind of career development opportunities will arise.

Also, indicate the merger’s scope and schedule. At the same time, don’t forget to keep technology vendors and other stakeholders in the loop. That way, everyone understands the impact of changes and what’s expected of them.

Harnessing transformational value

Although it’s given that an M&A brings value to both entities, it’s best to maximize benefits by harnessing the combined resources. Paul says you must find ways to make the most of cost reduction and operational efficiency. So, look at the technology, skills base, and processes at your disposal.

Use these assets to increase the overall competitiveness and market share. If you do things right, getting new customers that were out of reach before the merger should be easier. Meanwhile, technological assets provide a surefire way to make things run more smoothly, boosting productivity. As a result, the business expands more rapidly in existing and new markets.

What’s more, your offerings may increase based on the other entity’s product or service suite.

About Paul Inouye

Paul has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania who ks based in Portola Valley, CA. He’s an investment banker who understands the importance of embracing M&A best practices for a successful outcome. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, cross fit and travel.

Rodrigo Alonso Salas Musso On the Connection Between Music and Creativity

Rodrigo Alonso Salas Musso has long believed in the importance of music and creativity and the unique ways that music can help a person mentally and emotionally. His thinking isn’t too far off because scientists have discovered that music is one of the most creative forms of expression and a key factor in a person’s creativity and emotional strength.

Rodrigo Alonso Salas Musso: Why Music is Important

Over the years, Rodrigo Alonso Salas Musso has listened to and created music and found that it continually provided him with joy, wonder, and excitement. He’s not alone: music is integral to millions of people’s lives and can be critically important for emotional health and well-being. A recent study examined this connection and showcased how much music taps into a person’s creativity.

This study was published in the journal PLOS ONE and found that “happy” music helped people perform better on various intellectual and creative tasks, mainly when working on divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is critical to developing new concepts and creating information in surprising forms. While the study focused on classical music, its find was not surprising.

Rodrigo Alonso Salas Musso has believed for years that music is one of the key factors of creative thinking and that stimulating and exciting music is important for making a person more creative. The science behind it isn’t important to him, and even in the study, they weren’t sure exactly what caused this increase in divergent thinking and why this impacted so many people.

Salas Musso believes music taps into people’s emotional hearts more effectively than any other art. Music sounds can be happy, sad, angry, soothing, and funny. The ways that these tones interact with the brain can enhance a person’s mental state, such as happy and thrilling music, making it easier for people to focus heavily on creative work and produce fascinating and divergent results.

However, the study highlighted an essential fact that Rodrigo Alonso Salas Musso understands all too well. Listening to depressing or anxious music when already feeling that way can increase these emotions and worsen their mood. Furthermore, music can also distract people who are already anxious and increase their worry, making it essential to choose the right music.

Regardless of this concern, this study is an important one because it could provide people with a way of boosting their creativity in unexpected ways. While the results may not be dramatic, a little music in the background may help people on the verge of a creative breakthrough reach it or find a better way of enhancing their current lives.

That’s a big deal and shouldn’t be ignored, Rodrigo Alonso Salas Musso believes. For example, music therapy could help young children live healthier lives, boost their overall mood, and enhance their creativity.

Tax Relief Attorney Terry Selb Offers Tax Preparation Tips for the Upcoming Tax Season

Tax Relief Attorney Terry Selb Offers Tax Preparation Tips for the Upcoming Tax Season

Tax season 2023 is approaching, and preparedness is essential to not getting overwhelmed. Tax attorney Terrance “Terry” Selb is an expert in tax law and solutions. He recently offered his top tax preparation tips.

Start Now

Selb’s No. 1 tip for preparing for tax season is to start as early as possible. He recommended that individuals or families with simple returns e-file early for the quickest turnaround time. Direct deposit also ensures your refund goes into your account ASAP.

Individuals, families, and organizations with more complex returns should start gathering all their documents and information now. Speak with a qualified tax professional to ensure you have everything you need. You’ll also save countless hours and headaches by having a professional prepare and file your taxes.

Check Out the New Rules for 2023

Terry Selb explained that the rules regarding credits and dedication change regularly, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent world events. He recommends reviewing new rules for 2023, as they can increase your return or reduce the amount you’re required to pay. 

For example, child tax credits that increased in 2021 are back down to the 2019 amount. Most earned income tax credits will also be lower than last year. However, clean energy vehicle tax credits up to $7,500 are still available, as well as premium tax credits for individuals with health insurance through the marketplace. 

Arrange Your Credits and Deductions

Once you’re familiar with the new tax laws for 2023, start arranging your credits and deductions. Gather documents that display information like social security benefits, alimony, investment income, student loan interest, mortgage points, and more. 

Decide How You’ll File Your Taxes

There are numerous ways to file taxes. Some are more beneficial for individuals with simple tax situations, while others work better for families or businesses with more potential complications.

Decide how you’ll file your taxes, whether you use an online platform or speak one-on-one with a tax professional. Filing with a professional is highly recommended, as they can ensure all forms are correct. 

They can also help ensure you use all credits and deductions to get the highest possible return. A qualified tax professional can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Selb and American Tax Solutions

Terrance Selb is an expert in finding tax solutions for everyone, from individuals to large corporations. You can contact his team for a confidential and free consultation before getting started solving any issues you may have regarding taxes, including liens, asset seizures, wage garnishments, and more. 

Selb and his team make it their mission to solve your tax problems and create a plan that works for future tax seasons. From IRS representation to estate and trust tax preparation, American Tax Solutions can relieve all the stress you may be feeling about the upcoming tax season.

Don Mihalik: Will Florida Real Estate Prices Drop in 2023?

Don Mihalik: Will Florida Real Estate Prices Drop in 2023?

Donald Mihalik has been a successful real estate professional in the state of Florida for a long time. Over the course of his career, he has been involved in local real estate sales, mortgage originations, and even property management services. Similar to other real estate professionals in the state, he has seen dramatic improvements in real estate values in the state over the past few years. While the Florida real estate market did well over the past few years, there are concerns about the near-term future in 2023. Various factors could influence real estate prices in the state in 2023.

Current Real Estate Trends

When looking to project real estate values in 2023 and beyond, Donald Mihalik and others will first look at current and recent trends. Similar to other states, Florida saw considerable increases in value from 2020 through early 2022. From May 2020 to May 2022, the median sales price in the state increased by nearly 50%. However, since then, the values have declined each month slightly and are now down nearly 5% from the peak. Further, the volume of homes sold has declined more than 25% year-over-year as of September 2022, and homes tend to sit longer before a sale takes place.

Factors to Influence 2023 Values

Clearly, there has been a slowdown in the real estate market in Florida since mid-2022. Donald Mihalik and others believe that 2023 could also be affected due to various factors. There are various reasons why values could be affected in the coming year.

Sticker Shock of Prices

One of the reasons that home buyers may be shy about purchasing a home in 2023 is the sticker shock of prices. While most people agree that homeownership is an excellent long-term investment, there is a point where it makes more sense to rent. With home prices up more than 50% over a two-year period, Donald Mihalik and others believe there is a chance that many people could be priced out of the market.

Increased Interest Rates

One of the reasons for the dramatic rise in values over the past few years was the decline to historically-low interest rates. Many qualified owners could refinance their loans or purchase a home with a new mortgage and take out a loan at under 3%. Due to rising interest rates, mortgage rates in less than a year have increased to more than 7%. This dramatically increases the monthly mortgage payment and could make home ownership unaffordable.

Low Supply and Growing State Could Offset Declines

While high prices and mortgages could make owning a home unaffordable, the state housing market does have some things working in its favor. Donald Mihalik and others continue to point out that Florida is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, which increases housing demand. As supply remains low due to the costs of building new and people are reluctant to sell, the average values could continue to remain high.

Overall, Florida has had a solid real estate market over the past few years. While values have gone up considerably in this time, there is a chance that they could head in the other direction in 2023. Donald Mihalik and other real estate professionals in the state have identified various reasons why this could occur.

3 Signs That You Should Be Looking For A Better Career

Just because you have a certain job right now doesn’t mean that that job is going to be the best for you for the rest of your time in the workforce. But because seeking a new job can be quite the headache, many people are willing to put up with jobs that they don’t love just for convenience. However, at a certain point, finding a new job may be the best option for you.

To help you to know if and when this is the case for you, here are three signs that you should be looking for a better career. 

You Don’t Have Growth Opportunities

At the best of jobs, having the possibility for career advancement is vital. Without this, you could find yourself stuck in a dead end job that won’t allow for things like better pay, a better position, more responsibility and experience, and more. So if you’re currently working at a company or in a job where moving onward and upward isn’t something that seems like a possibility for you, it could be well worth your while to look for a new job that will give you this capability. 

You Feel Bored With Your Job

Although many people don’t particularly enjoy the work that they do each and every day, if you’ve found that you’re regularly bored with the work that you’re doing, it might be a good sign that you should be looking for a new job to take on. 

While being bored at work isn’t the worst thing, if you’re newer in your career, you could have decades left being in the workforce before you’re able to retire. And if you spend all of those years not being challenged or curious about the work that you’re doing, which can happen even with a job that you used to love, you might want to look into a new career that can be more exciting for you at this point in your life. 

You Can’t Properly Prepare For Retirement

The last thing you want to have happen to you is to go from working in a job that you hate to not even being able to retire the way that you want to when you’re done working. And because retirement can be expensive, especially if you’re likely to move into an assisted living facility, you’ll want to be sure that the job you have enables you to retire comfortably. 

So if your current employer doesn’t have a good retirement program for you to invest in or you’re not making enough money to put a decent amount of funds toward your retirement, it might be time to look for something that will help you be more financially stable for the long run. 

If you’ve been wondering whether you should stick it out at your current job that you don’t like or look for something new, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you in making this decision. 

Darrin Eakins Shares Four Must-Know Tips For Newbie Investors

Darrin Eakins of Wilmington NC Shares Four Must-Know Tips For Newbie Investors

Looking to start investing? Read this advice from the expert first!

If you want to protect your wealth, investing is a wise idea. Unfortunately, investing can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to it. Further, even for experienced hands, some investing concepts are complex and challenging to understand. Fortunately, Darrin Eakins of Wilmington, NC, will share some must-know investing insights for those new to investing.

“The first thing to understand with investing is that knowledge really is power, or perhaps more to the point, profits,” he explains. “It’s smart to study investing and do so every day, even if you only spend 15 minutes studying; it can make a huge difference.”

Studying investing doesn’t mean having to complete a finance degree at a university or online. Although, if you want to take formal classes, consider your local community college. Many colleges offer affordable investing classes that working professionals can complete in their spare time.

You can also find plenty of great investing books on Amazon. Then you can work through the books one chapter at a time. Another option is to subscribe to a finance/business-focused newspaper, like the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times. Staying apprised of industries and government policies can go a long way too.

So what might you learn while studying investing? Some of the basics can go a long way.

“The first concept newer investors should understand is probably diversification,” Darrin Eakins argues. “If you diversify your portfolio, you can reduce risks, which is very important when safeguarding your wealth.”

Diversification can mean many things. For example, you might hold stock in Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon instead of just Apple. This way, if one company stumbles, your wealth is still protected. You can also diversify by industry, investing in, say, Apple, Toyota, and Johnson & Johnson.

“Investing in multiple industries is often wise,” Darrin Eakins explains, “however, with newer investors, I recommend sticking to industries you know. If you follow technology closely and work in retail, investments in retail and technology offer a good start. Just make sure you don’t let any allegiances say to your employer or favorite tech brand color your investment decisions.”

Investing in industries you’re familiar with may make it easier to understand trends, data, consumers/customers, and more. Macrotrends, in particular, can be very important. If you understand the general trends in an industry, you can look for winning companies that will profit from those trends.

“Definitely, keep an eye on macro trends. If a recession lands, most stocks and other assets will lose value,” he notes. “Also, pay close attention to government decisions, say raising or lowering interest rates, as they can have a big impact on society as a whole.”

Setting Up Your Investment Portfolio

Once you have some knowledge under your belt, it’s time to start building your portfolio. So how do you get started? By finding a stockbroker that offers affordable fees and value-added services.

“One thing investors sometimes fail to consider is how quickly fees add up,” Darrin Eakins says. “Some brokers charge $30 bucks or whatever a trade. Those fees can add up, so consider lower-cost brokers, especially at the start of your investing efforts.”

Local Housing Market Cool Off: Mike Bjorkman on the Signs to Watch Out For

Mike Bjorkman is a real estate professional with many years of experience. Based in California, he’s been paying close attention to recent market activities and is fielding many questions from people as a result.

Recently, he’s had a lot of inquiries about how to tell when a particular local housing market is cooling off. Thankfully, learning how to tell isn’t necessarily difficult, though it will require you to pay attention to a few important things. 

What Your Local Housing Market is Trying to Tell You

Mike Bjorkman notes that one of the best ways to tell whether or not your local housing market is cooling off involves paying attention to the available inventory in the area.

In 2020 and 2021, in particular, as demand surged due to the pandemic and historically low-interest rates, it was rare that any particular house sat on the market for very long. Some didn’t even make it to market before getting several offers. In particularly hot areas, it was more common to see “Coming Soon” signs in front yards than “For Sale” signs.

However, as the market begins to cool down, this all starts to change. More houses will be sitting on the market, and they’ll also be available for longer periods – think days or weeks instead of hours.

Another tell-tale sign that a local real estate market is cooling off is the level of activity at the open house events that usually occur on weekends. Over the past few years, if you walked around your neighborhood and came across an open house, it would probably have a steady stream of people going in and out all afternoon. When the market begins to cool, the number of interested parties willing to stop by will likely begin to drop off – leading to less activity.

You can also tell whether a real estate market is cooling off by paying attention to the prices that the homes that are selling are going for. Keep in mind that sale prices on real estate are a matter of public record – after someone closes on a property, the price that it sold for will be listed on sites like Redfin and Zillow in just a few days.

At the height of recent buying activity, homes were going for incredible prices – including ones that they would never have been able to achieve under normal circumstances and ones that they likely won’t be able to reach again once things return to normal. If you start to see the average selling price of a home in your area creep back down, it’s an indication that things are definitely in the process of cooling off.

In the end, Mike Bjorkman wants to reiterate that we see some genuinely historical activity regarding real estate. First, there were unprecedentedly low-interest rates and record demand. Now, there are higher interest rates to combat inflation. As the old saying goes, “everything old is new again” – real estate runs in cycles, and before you know it, the pendulum will swing back in the other direction. Those who are paying attention are those who will benefit when it does.

Joe Fairless Explains how Rising Interest Rates are Impacting Commercial Real Estate Investors

It’s no secret that rising real estate rates are impacting residential home buyers and leading to cooling home prices throughout the United States. However, for commercial real estate investors, the rising rates are a mixed blessing. Joe Fairless, whose firm Ashcroft Capital manages billions of dollars in assets, offers insight into how rising interest rates are affecting the commercial real estate industry.

Commercial real estate prices are likely to remain stable or even rise in spite of rising inflation rates. Joe Fairless explains there are several reasons for this state of affairs. First, supply chain disruptions and worker shortages have limited the construction of new commercial real estate venues. At the same time, demand is still high, especially in select niches such as warehouse space, multifamily properties, and properties designed for use by medical facilities. Additionally, rising interest rates impact investors’ ability to borrow money to invest in real estate. They can even make it impossible for some investors to purchase potentially profitable yet expensive investment options.

Investors who have refinanced current investments may struggle to make payments, especially on loans with a variable interest rate. There is also the fact that supply chain disruptions that are helping to raise commercial real estate prices are also putting a squeeze on businesses that would rent or lease these spaces. Experts agree that commercial real estate values can remain stable in a strong economy even during inflationary periods; however, the economy is currently struggling to recover from the COVID-19 lockdowns and continues to struggle with various challenges.

At the same time, Joe Fairless notes inflation does have a positive impact on commercial real estate investment in some ways. The fact that commercial real estate space is typically rented or leased to tenants acts as a hedge against inflation in some ways, as renting costs rise along with rising inflation. Population migration due to inflation has opened up new market opportunities in areas where demand for certain properties is on the rise due to population growth. This trend could provide great opportunities for savvy investors who may not be able to afford investments in popular cities or states with skyrocketing inflation rates. Rising interest rates can cause some to choose other investment options, which means there will be less competition for good properties than there was in times past.

Joe Fairless has long encouraged individuals to invest in the commercial real estate market. Investment options range from warehouse space to multifamily dwellings to real estate investment trusts (REITs), and the profit margin can be high for those who pick the right investment option and know when to buy and sell their holdings. Inflation has certainly put a squeeze on the market as prices remain high and mortgage interest rates rise. Investors can lose money if they borrow more than they can afford and are unable to rent out the space in a timely, profitable manner. However, there are also updates an investor should consider. Reduced competition, rising rent prices, and new opportunities can enable savvy individuals to generate substantial passive income both now and in the future.

Tips for Choosing a Gold IRA Custodian

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Saving money for future requirements is essential, especially if you earn enough to handle the expenses. That is why you should think about opening an individual retirement account. Generally, this account will allow you to invest in numerous assets, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 

As soon as you enter here, you will get relevant info about gold futures, which are investments you can choose apart from physical commodities. 

However, if you wish to go even further and take advantage of precious metals, you should open a self-directed account where you can get physical commodities. This is an entirely different approach than a regular retirement account because gold’s value functions opposite. 

If you wish to diversify your portfolio and ensure you protect it against economic turmoil, you should stay with us to learn everything about it. 

How Does It Work?

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First, you should remember that you cannot invest in gold in a regular IRA. Instead, you should create a special one specifically created for precious metals. Therefore, you can rest assured and get everything you wanted in the first place. 

Regulations are almost the same. The main difference is that you cannot hold paper assets in the gold IRA, which is the case with the regular account. Instead, you can keep physical bars or coins, depending on your preferences. Apart from gold, you can invest in other precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and silver.

Choosing Reputable Companies 

Suppose you start investing without understanding everything you should expect. In that case, you will eventually end up making severe mistakes that will cost you. Similarly, as you would find a reputable bank or brokerage online, you can follow a few tips to help you reach reputable professionals offering you Gold IRA. 

Choosing to make this investment option means you should find a reputable company to help you with the process. Understanding a few essential factors would be best when choosing a gold IRA company.

  1. Qualifications

The first thing you should remember is to find an expert that meets the qualifications for handling your retirement account. Since the investment area attracts a wide array of risks for investors, you should choose someone who can handle the operation without any additional hassle. 

You should consider insurance, registration, adequate safeguards, and licenses, ensuring you deal with a prominent, professional and experienced company. Before you sign any agreement or contract, you should ask for relevant information and licenses to verify the reputation of the company you wish to get. 

  1. Transparency

Finding someone with proper transparency is vital, mainly because the investment is not something you should take lightly. You do not wish to engage with an agency that will avoid showing you everything you can expect from the start. As a result, a transparent company will show you the expenses you must expect throughout the investment process. 

It is vital to know the expenses you must spare for top gold IRA companies, which will prevent surprises and shocks in the future. One of the most common situations is the realization that you must handle hidden fees afterward, which is something you must handle no matter the surprise. 

You should avoid this situation by ensuring the company is upfront about everything. On the other hand, if you find out that they are hiding something and you cannot get them to say it, we recommend you choose someone else. 

  1. Experience and History

The main goal is to check out the track records of a particular company before starting the process. That is why you should research various companies comprehensively and determine their online reviews, testimonials, and experiences beforehand. 

That way, you can choose the best company for your requirements. It is vital to read both positive and negative reviews and use that as a basis for deciding. 

  1. Can They Address Your Requirements?

Remember that a reputable gold IRA company can deal with your preferences and requirements. Each investor comes with specific needs, which is why a good company should understand how to handle them in the best possible ways. 

Visit this link: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-gold-still-a-good-investment_b_9294686 to determine whether investing in gold is still a reliable option or not. 

You should ensure that a company is flexible to handle your gold IRA requirements with ease. You can find the guidelines by searching IRA investing, which will help you understand every aspect of the process.