Walter L. Woodrick
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Happy Life Insurance Day!

Thursday, May 2 is National Life Insurance Day – aren’t you excited? Have you been dying to celebrate it? Feel free to text me any of your own puns and plays on words to (850) 724-1369. This article may not apply to any of the healthy, intelligent, active, footloose and fancy-free people in Gulf/Franklin county who are going to live forever, but I thought I would put it out there anyway!

But, seriously, life insurance can play a very important role in protecting your loved ones, paying estate taxes, or leaving a legacy for family and/or charity. There have been some pretty dramatic changes in the life insurance industry in recent years, so if you have not reviewed your life insurance policies, now could be a good time.

One of the biggest benefits of recent improvements has been the combining of life insurance with long-term care insurance. Many companies have gotten completely out of the long-term care business because they found out it was not profitable to them because people are living longer and care is expensive! Others have raised their rates, which for some are unrealistically high. So, there are now policies that offer a combination of life insurance and long-term care coverage that can include in-home care as well as out-of-home care.

If you want to have someone review your current insurance coverage, ask your insurer for a “declarations page” or a “policy summary.” It’s best to get an independent agent to review your policies so that they can compare your current policy with multiple companies currently in the business. Also ask for a list of your current beneficiaries as you may find these need to be updated based upon your current relationships. It is generally a bad idea to have your estate be the beneficiary of your life insurance policy as that would require the death benefit to endure the probate process. See my earlier article about probate. 

You will also need to be able to provide a good overall health summary which includes height, weight, tobacco status, current medications including dosages and frequency, dates and names of doctor visits, etc. Yes, it is a pain to get all that information. I encourage people to keep a Microsoft Word document that has all of that information recorded and updated. It’s handy for new doctors and other people in your life. Also, when you are asked a question, answer the question and the question only. If you keep talking, you may talk yourself right out of improving your situation.

I would be happy to run an analysis on your financial situation to help you determine what coverage you might need for a variety of policy types including long-term care, disability, and life insurance. One final piece of advice – address these issues before your name gets written in stone. Now go play some pickleball or take a walk on the beach!

Gulf County resident Walter L. Woodrick is a certified financial planner practitioner, and the author of two books. His website is Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. 1-570288

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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