CVS Stops Selling Cigarettes

Dianne Jimenez

Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been a proponent of wellness initiatives for years. 4 Ever Life also encourages wellness by promoting separate smoker and non-smoker rates on our GUL program, marketed exclusively to Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees and their families. Now we see a major drug store chain, CVS, implementing their decision to stop selling cigarettes in their stores. This post from Health and Human Services details the upcoming change by CVS to be effective on October 1, 2014.

CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes | PG Compliance Coach
Top  ▲

Think You Don’t Need Life Insurance?

Sasha Schnurr

The article below reveals the most common reasons consumers do not purchase life insurance and the regrets that it can cause later.

If you have ever had any of the following thoughts then I urge you to keep reading:

  • “I have plenty of assets to support my family.”
  • “Life insurance is a waste of money because I am healthy.”
  • “Life insurance is important, I will get it eventually.”

 Visit the link below and U.S. News will take you through some real life examples of people who had these same thoughts and the negative affects it had on their families. 

3 Ill-Advised Reasons Not to Buy Life Insurance | U.S. News

Top  ▲

4 Ways You Can Use Life Insurance for Retirement Planning

Dianne Jimenez

This informative article from NAFA focuses on four primary ways to use life insurance in retirement planning: 
  • Saving for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis
  • Replacing lost social security income benefits
  • Long-term care benefits funding
  • Guaranteeing a legacy
Visit the link below to read the full article.

The Top 4 Benefits of Using Life Insurance in Retirement Planning  |  Copeland and Littell, NAFA Annuity Outlook
Top  ▲

Life Insurance Policies Being Used for Long Term Care

Dianne Jimenez

A Wall Street Journal article focuses on the use of life insurance policies to help with the cost of long term care. With the aging of baby boomers, many states are looking to this resource to cover the rising costs of elder care.

Many people forgo long term care policies since they feel they may be buying something they may never use. And often you hear someone say that they no longer need life insurance since they are empty nesters or are widowed. Now there is another reason to maintain life insurance coverage into your older years. Doing so may give you the option of electing a Life Settlement enabling you to receive funds to help pay for your care either at home or in a facility.

States Ease Use of Life Policies for Elder Care | The Wall Street Journal

Top  ▲

Group Benefits Plans and DOMA Ruling

Greg Petit

Prior to the high court’s historic ruling last month, Section 3 of DOMA denied gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits afforded to opposite-sex married couples under more than 1,000 federal laws. As an example, for employers already voluntarily offering group health and retirement benefits to their employees’ same-sex partners, experts say the Supreme Court’s ruling should provide some administrative relief by ending the Internal Revenue Service’s disparate taxation of those benefits. Employees may save thousands of tax dollars each year as well. These changes will most certainly create a ripple effect as ERISA laws are clarified and as guidance comes from the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor.

In the meantime, non-ERISA programs such as the 4 Ever Life Group Universal Life program do not pose these issues to employers. Furthermore, the program has been designed to rely jointly upon state law and employer practice eliminating any issues surrounding the current inconsistency in state laws governing who is a spouse.

Top  ▲

How to Choose the Right Life Insurance Beneficiary

Dianne Jimenez

When choosing a life insurance beneficiary, it is important to think about the purpose of your life insurance. Here are some questions to guide you:

  • Is it for the purpose of providing financial support to people who normally count on you for life’s expenses?
  • Is it for the purpose of providing funds to others who may experience financial costs due to your passing away?
  • Is there another purpose other than these?

As you think about your answers, make a list of potential beneficiaries. These might include one, two, or more people. These commonly are family members, such as spouses and children, but may include others as well. Keep in mind that listing family members directly as beneficiaries may make your insurance liable to incur estate tax. Also, when you name your spouse as primary and your children as secondary, you may inadvertently exclude a grandchild originating from a deceased child. Consider naming your children as per stirpes beneficiaries, or by representation, instead.

You may also want to consider making a trust the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. This will exempt the funds from certain estate tax considerations, and you can specify through a will that these funds will not be used to pay off creditors.

A favorite charity may also be named as a beneficiary.

Finally, you may name your estate as beneficiary. This however, may make your estate subject to additional estate taxes. It could also complicate your probate process resulting in increased legal fees.

While you are still alive, these decisions may be changed at your discretion. It is always a good idea to review your policy and beneficiary designations once a year. BCS is not providing tax or legal advice. To discover what is best for you, please contact your tax advisor.

Top  ▲

Is there anything good about a cancer diagnosis?

Greg Petit

Two years ago, I was surprised when diagnosed with stage three prostate cancer. Considered young for such a diagnosis since I was only in my fifties, the cause was not something to celebrate. Caught just in the nick of time, my diagnosis was a textbook case in support of annual PSA testing. Prostate cancer in stage four drops from a 100% 5-year survival rate to something around 29%. There were many blessings that came to the forefront during this time. At the top of the list was the support of my three children. Their response to my illness made me proud to be a dad and grateful for the experience of witnessing of my children’s maturity and amazing outlook on life.

My employer’s voluntary Group Universal Life insurance program, however, turned out to be a surprise blessing. The year before the diagnosis, with my children essentially on their own, I cut the amount of my coverage down from six times my annual pay to just one. My employer also provides two and a half times my annual pay on a noncontributory plan. I reasoned that the two plans together would be enough to get me through until my future retirement. About six months after my hospitalization and surgery, my company offered a special limited open enrollment opportunity for our voluntary GUL plan. With nothing like a cancer diagnosis to make one rethink the sufficiency of coverage amounts, I was pleased to realize that I would be able to increase my coverage one additional time my annual pay without evidence of insurability.

Another newly appreciated advantage to the voluntary GUL program was the Accelerated Benefit Rider. This rider provides the ability for someone diagnosed with a terminal illness to choose to take up to 50% of the face value of the policy during the final twelve months of life. Even though in my case the diagnosis was not terminal, it is nevertheless comforting to know that if something changes, I will have a powerful and important choice at my disposal. Should that ever occur, I would be required to keep paying premium on the full face value. Even so, there would be options available, such as using some of the early benefit payout to cover that expense or electing to use cash set aside in the cash accumulation feature to cover those costs.

No matter how my condition turns out in the long haul, there is plenty to be grateful for, not the least of which are the often overlooked additional benefits of the 4 Ever Life Insurance Group Universal Life program.

Top  ▲

Top  ▲