Who Wanted To be A Pirate As A Boy?

I Wanted To be A Pirate As A Boy

Today most of us think of pirates as the Robin Hood of the sea, unaware of the reality.

Yes, most boys like pirates … even though they are really criminals.

This might seem a bizarre post, but the reality is that not all posts on a blog need to be too serious and instead occasionally you will find something a bit different that you want to share … this is a little different!

But then again we can relate anything to business too.

Pirate GirlsMaking Fun Of Pirates

These days pirates are just a fun dress up idea and people make fun of them.

Question: How does a pirate make his fortune?

Answer: He’s an invest-ARRRR!

Question: What is a pirate’s least favorite vegetable?

Answer: Leeks … as in leaks

 

There Is An International Pirate Day

Believe it or not, International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) has been in existence for 19 years. On 19 September 1995.

John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) from America proclaimed the day should be marked where one and all would talk like a pirate.

They have even created a website!

CLICK HERE to visit the one and only, official, accept-no-substitutes International Talk Like A Pirate Day Web site.

The Pirate Crawl, where enthusiasts dress in pirate garb and gather for merriment.

CLICK HERE to see what this is all about too.

Learn To Speak Like A Pirate

The Five Basic Terms Pirates Use

Ahoy   Of course we all know this one – “Hello”.
Avast!  “Stop! Give attention!” This term can be used when surprised.
Aye!    “Yes, I absolutely agree.”
Aye aye! “I’ll get on that, as soon as my break is over.” Typical conversation is “aye aye captain”
Arrr!  Not to be confused with “Arrgh!” Arrr! can be used for most things. “Yes, I agree,” I’m happy,”

Now The More Advanced Pirate Language

Beauty  This is how a pirate would address a woman, for example, “C’mere, me beauty.” Kiwi’s use the same term for a car or other item; “she’s a beauty”
Grog  An alcoholic drink – usually rum diluted with water – but use this term freely for any beverage you want. Water aboard ship was stored in slimy barrels so rum was added to a sailor’s water ration, to kill the rancid taste.
Lubber (or land lubber). A seaman would refer to someone who would not go to sea as a “lubber” (land lover.) It’s possible you are a lubber for most of the year, but not if you’re talking like a pirate. You can use this term as an insult.
Smartly This means do something quickly; “smartly does it lad”

piratePirates In The Movies

There are a number of movies that use pirates as the hero’s – not criminals.

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most popular of the recent movies and the fourth installment of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been revealed to be the most expensive movie in history with production costs of $410.6 million according to new research by Forbes.

The image of the classic pirate in the movies has little to do with reality. Most of them spent their life at sea, suffered from severe nutritional disorders, and died young.

But What Is A Pirate?

The definition of a pirate is someone who commits robberies (acts of piracy)at sea, usually without being appointed to do so by any particular nation, and while most of use think of pirates in the era of sailing ships, unfortunately piracy is still commonplace around the world today. Piracy has shifted from its original purpose of stealing to include kidnapping of people for ransom, sabotage, seizing of personal objects (rather than cargo), and murder.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of pirates in areas of political unrest.

You may be shocked to see the number of acts of piracy and where they happen.

CLICK HERE to view the Live Piracy Map

This map shows all the piracy and armed robbery incidents reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

Kids Love Pirate Stories

Luckily for most of us the thought of pirates is a fun person like those we see in the movies, or those from childhood books. We are not exposed to the continuing acts of piracy that happen around the world today.

We are more likely to hear about acts of piracy in the form of internet piracy; downloading movies or music.

Piracy Is Bad For Business

Often we hear people saying that for someone to copy them it is the highest form of flattery; however in business people spend a huge amount of time and often money to create products so to then have someone copy that without your permission can be devastating.

But it happens all the time.

In my role as a mortgage broker I have developed systems and processes that I use with clients to help them pay their mortgage off faster. It is my debt reduction system and we are in the process of making this available online for people.

The risk and challenge for me is to have the system developed and released while still retaining the intellectual property that makes this a unique service offering. If we can price this well and make available to other mortgage brokers then we should be able to make it a viable option for people, but we know that other mortgage brokers will try to copy us – it is just a fact of life.

 

 

 

 

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Is Using A Life Insurance Calculator The Right Thing To Do?

They say in life only two things are certainties – death and taxes.

You do not need a life insurance calculator to tell you that!

Is A Life Insurance Calculator Needed?

Statistics tells us that in 2013 there were 29,568 deaths registered in New Zealand.

When you look at the statistics in more detail we can tell you that people between the age of 35-40 make up 1% of those deaths while people aged 55-60 make up almost 5%. Of course most of the population these days lives beyond 80-years old, but if you were to die at an earlier age you want to know that your family is going to be okay financially.

But I Already Have Life Cover!

Most banks and insurance companies will calculate how much life insurance I need based on how much debt you have, but is this really the best way to work out what you need?

Probably not!

This often means people have the wrong level of insurance cover and are either paying too much or too little.

While nobody likes to talk about death and the financial consequences of a family member dying, it does happen and most of us want to know that our dependants are going to be looked after financially at least.

Calculate How Much Life Insurance Is Required

There are thousands of free online calculators available for various insurance calculations and one of the better ones is the Consumer life insurance calculator.

Consumer have a life insurance calculator to help you assess home much life insurance you need and focuses on what debts and expenses your dependants would face after your death.

The calculation suggests that all debts are paid in full including any mortgage, hire purchase and credit cards plus funeral costs are included – suggesting $10,000 as an average cost of a funeral. They then ask what ongoing income your dependants would need and for how many years and factors in any Government benefits or other income or cash they might have access to.

Visit the Consumer website to see for yourself.

The biggest issue with any life insurance calculator is they rely on the right assumptions being used and then any monies being invested correctly and spent wisely.

A Better Way To Calculate Life Insurance Requirements

Insurance advisers understand and have seen the reality of what happens to a family’s finances when someone dies and in particular when the main income earner dies and this is why most people will suggest that you talk to a reputable insurance adviser.

Unfortunately many people will underestimate how much life insurance they would need.

It is important to remember that life insurance is designed to provide financial compensation for a family on the death of someone that provides financial assistance and therefore you would like to think that you would receive financial compensation should that person is die.

But insurance is not about the emotional side of death, it is a very unemotional affair, providing financial compensation only.

Pay Off Debt First!

It is prudent to pay off the debt with life insurance as it means the ongoing living costs are less and therefore less insurance is required.

Most banks will suggest that you have enough insurance to pay your mortgage off, but really what they should be saying is reduce your expenses.

Luckily for most Kiwi’s the reality is the same.

You Can Buy Life Insurance Online

There are a lot of people today that would rather buy life insurance online than buy it at their bank or from an insurance adviser.

We have partnered with a New Zealand insurance company Fidelity Life Assurance to offer the ability to buy life insurance online: CLICK HERE to get a quote and buy online.

There is also a simple life insurance calculator here to help work out how much life insurance may be required, but like many online life insurance calculators it is not perfect.

Talk To An Insurance Adviser

Even though you can buy life insurance online, most people still prefer to talk with a “real” human. This is the same with any advice, but especially when you are talking about intangible things like long-term finance.

An insurance adviser is paid by the insurers and can therefore work at no charge, so it cost you nothing to ask the questions.

 

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Is Using A Life Insurance Calculator The Right Thing To Do?

They say in life only two things are certainties – death and taxes.

You do not need a life insurance calculator to tell you that!

Is A Life Insurance Calculator Needed?

Statistics tells us that in 2013 there were 29,568 deaths registered in New Zealand.

When you look at the statistics in more detail we can tell you that people between the age of 35-40 make up 1% of those deaths while people aged 55-60 make up almost 5%. Of course most of the population these days lives beyond 80-years old, but if you were to die at an earlier age you want to know that your family is going to be okay financially.

But I Already Have Life Cover!

Most banks and insurance companies will calculate how much life insurance I need based on how much debt you have, but is this really the best way to work out what you need?

Probably not!

This often means people have the wrong level of insurance cover and are either paying too much or too little.

While nobody likes to talk about death and the financial consequences of a family member dying, it does happen and most of us want to know that our dependants are going to be looked after financially at least.

Calculate How Much Life Insurance Is Required

There are thousands of free online calculators available for various insurance calculations and one of the better ones is the Consumer life insurance calculator.

Consumer have a life insurance calculator to help you assess home much life insurance you need and focuses on what debts and expenses your dependants would face after your death.

The calculation suggests that all debts are paid in full including any mortgage, hire purchase and credit cards plus funeral costs are included – suggesting $10,000 as an average cost of a funeral. They then ask what ongoing income your dependants would need and for how many years and factors in any Government benefits or other income or cash they might have access to.

Visit the Consumer website to see for yourself.

The biggest issue with any life insurance calculator is they rely on the right assumptions being used and then any monies being invested correctly and spent wisely.

A Better Way To Calculate Life Insurance Requirements

Insurance advisers understand and have seen the reality of what happens to a family’s finances when someone dies and in particular when the main income earner dies and this is why most people will suggest that you talk to a reputable insurance adviser.

Unfortunately many people will underestimate how much life insurance they would need.

It is important to remember that life insurance is designed to provide financial compensation for a family on the death of someone that provides financial assistance and therefore you would like to think that you would receive financial compensation should that person is die.

But insurance is not about the emotional side of death, it is a very unemotional affair, providing financial compensation only.

Pay Off Debt First!

It is prudent to pay off the debt with life insurance as it means the ongoing living costs are less and therefore less insurance is required.

Most banks will suggest that you have enough insurance to pay your mortgage off, but really what they should be saying is reduce your expenses.

Luckily for most Kiwi’s the reality is the same.

You Can Buy Life Insurance Online

There are a lot of people today that would rather buy life insurance online than buy it at their bank or from an insurance adviser.

We have partnered with a New Zealand insurance company Fidelity Life Assurance to offer the ability to buy life insurance online: CLICK HERE to get a quote and buy online.

There is also a simple life insurance calculator here to help work out how much life insurance may be required, but like many online life insurance calculators it is not perfect.

Talk To An Insurance Adviser

Even though you can buy life insurance online, most people still prefer to talk with a “real” human. This is the same with any advice, but especially when you are talking about intangible things like long-term finance.

An insurance adviser is paid by the insurers and can therefore work at no charge, so it cost you nothing to ask the questions.

 

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Don’t Accept Insurance Exclusions Without A Fight!

When you apply for mortgage protection insurance you will be required to complete an application form which includes details about your health, your occupation and activities. The reason for these questions is to assess as accurately as possible the risk for the insurance company and therefore to determine if they are able to offer you insurance at standard rates, with a loading or with any exclusions.

Insurance Companies Are In The Risk Business, But…

Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and one of the ways they ensure their profitability is by limiting their risk.

That may sound a little odd at first since no one lives forever!

Insurance companies try to protect themselves from paying claims for people who die younger than expected by excluding some causes of death, like suicide or dangerous activities like skydiving.

Insurance companies limit their risk by the use of loading’s and exclusions and other terms in the actual insurance contract – the fine print. 

Understanding any standard insurance exclusions is important because they can be used

o lower the premium of seemingly identical coverage from different companies

Standard Exclusions To Expect

The most common insurance exclusion within a mortgage protection policy is the suicide exclusion.

The suicide exclusion says that the insurance company won’t have to pay if the insured person commits suicide in the first 13-months of taking out the policy. This insurance exclusion protects insurance companies from people purchasing insurance with the intention of committing suicide to provide a financial benefit to their families or other beneficiaries.

Another common insurance exclusion is for illegal activities.

This insurance exclusion is pretty straightforward; if you should die or be injured while committing a crime or participating in an illegal activity, the insurance company can refuse to make a payment. This clause means that if you are killed while you are participating in a bank robbery your claim will not be paid, but  the same exclusion may also apply if you were involved in a very minor illegal activity like driving with an excess alcohol level - in which case your claim may be declined.

Whether you call them loopholes, technicalities or the fine print, you can’t afford to ignore the exclusions within an insurance policy. There are also a number of reasons an insurance company may include additional exclusions and these are where you need to be careful as insurance companies can often apply unreasonable loading’s and exclusions.

Common Reasons For Loading’s Or Insurance Exclusions

There are three key areas that the underwriters at any insurance company will look at;

  1. Your health
  2. Your occupation
  3. Your activities

Your Health

When you get a quote for life insurance and mortgage cover  it is based on the assumption that you are reasonably health and probably a non-smoker. The insurance company have based their premiums on this and to ensure that the premiums remain competitive for all the policy holders they need to be careful not to let people with higher risk factors be included within the standard pool as they can affect the ongoing premiums for everyone.

Therefore if you are not in good health you would be expected to either pay more (a loading) or have a specific medical condition excluded. Smokers also pay more as they are expected to have more health issues and a shorter life.

Your Occupation

insurance exclusions We all know that some occupations are more dangerous or have associated risks.

An underground miner’s job has a higher degree of risk that a storeman. This means that a miner is paid more, but it also means that a miner will expect to pay more for their insurance – and that is assuming that they can even get insurance.

Some occupations like police and firefighters have group insurance schemes as they would otherwise find it difficult to get insurance cover.

The insurance companies produce a schedule of occupation classes that your insurance broker will use to create your quote; however sometimes when you complete the application forms and provide more detail on the actual activities within your job role your premiums may be either cheaper or more expensive.

Your Activities

There are a few sports and activities that will be excluded if you are currently participating or have any intention of participating in them.

The following are a list of the more common pursuits and activities that the insurance companies may deem as hazardous; aviation, hang-gliding, kiting, sky diving, mountaineering, caving, scuba diving, long-distance sailing and motor sports.

When I was a bit younger my sport was water-ski racing which was considered a high-risk sport and therefore I could not get any insurance company to cover me for any income or repayment cover if being off-work was due to a ski-racing accident. The initial insurance exclusion was going to include any water skiing; however I fought back and had it limited to racing and preparation for racing only.

I could not argue that ski-racing was not a little more dangerous than other sports – take a look for yourself.

This video was taken during the Southern 80 which I raced in 3 times behind a similar boat in the unlimited class.

Full Disclosure Is Important

It is definitely important that you disclose everything at the time of doing an application!

You have a duty of disclosure and the consequences of non-disclosure are dire.

Some people choose not to tell the insurance company about something that they do and think they are saving money; however they could easily find that the insurance company will refuse a claim and therefore they have paid years of premiums for no benefit.

Be very careful also with any short application forms or online insurance applications as they do not have as many questions but they do ask you questions like if there is “any other medical matter, condition or disorder not mentioned” and if there are “any other sports or pastimes” that may affect the insurance companies assessment of your application.

You are better to list everything that you think may be an issue and this was not risk the claim being declined.

Question Any Insurance Loadings

You are entitled to question any insurance loading’s either at the time of applying for cover or at any future time.

Often if a loading has been put on a policy for being overweight or a condition like high blood pressure you can try to negotiate it down or at least question what you would need to do to get the loading reduced or removed. Often loading’s are automatically applied due to a persons BMI (body mass index) which can be quire unfair as often heavy people (sportsman etc) are very healthy and therefore by providing more information the underwriters at the insurance company can assess the risk more accurately.

After giving birth a new mother might be carrying extra weight which again affects her BMI, but this is temporary and as such should always be questioned.

The insurance company may suggest a target weight for a person at which time they would have any loading applied to their policy reviewed with the view to reducing it or removing it completely.

Question Insurance Exclusions Too

Having anything excluded from an insurance policy is not ideal but it is sometime unavoidable.

You or your insurance broker can usually get the insurance company to remove any suicide exclusion when you are replacing another policy with similar cover, and it is important to select a good policy to ensure that any other of the standard insurance exclusions are as favorable as possible.

Make sure you understand any exclusions that are added by an insurance company in their offer to you. Sometimes you will find that by providing additional information you might be able to limit the exclusion or have the exclusion removed.

Your insurance adviser can help you with what is needed to review the exclusion.

The Power Is With You!

With most life insurance policies, income protection policies or mortgage protection policies sold in New Zealand the insurance company cannot cancel of change the terms of the policy once issued, but as a policy holder you can request changes.

Many insurance advisers will suggest that you take the offer which may include loading’s and/or insurance exclusions which ensures that you have the cover in place, and then you review it within a set period to request the removal of any loading’s or exclusions.

Review Your Insurance Today

People should review their insurances when their circumstances change, but they should also review their insurance every year or so as the insurance covers are changing and there may be a better or cheaper option that would suit. You might have purchased your first home, increased or reduced your mortgage or had a baby – all very good reasons for a review.

Unlike many products, insurance can get cheaper over time as life expectancy is increasing.

If you have a loading or an exclusion on an existing policy you should definitely have it reviewed.

If your insurance adviser is not willing to help, or is not experienced enough to know how to get loading’s and exclusions removed then you are welcome to contact us here and we will help you to get the best terms we can.

Get Insurance While You Are Young And Healthy

It is an easy statement to make, but when you are young and healthy you often do not see the reason to have insurance or at least have much insurance. If you get a chance to speak to a good insurance adviser they will tell you to consider adding some future insurability to any cover that you have as this allows you to get additional insurance cover later without any medical assessment.

 

 

Mortgage

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Would You Buy Cheap Insurance

cheap insuranceWe all think we want cheaper insurance premiums and to be able to apply for the cover we want using an online system or a simple application form.

Yes, we all think that this would be much better.

In life you can get away with buying some cheap stuff.

Cheap wine might not taste to great and may even make you ill, but it is unlikely to cause any long-term effect on you. Drinking cheap wine will also not have a huge impact on you or your family financially.

But some things like insurance can have a huge impact and with products like insurance you may not know how bad it is until many years later.

The reality is cheap insurance is expensive – if you have paid premiums for years and then it does not pay at claim time when you really do need it to work for you.

What I Have Learnt About Buying Cheap Insurance

My name is Stuart Wills and I have been working in the insurance industry for just over 15-years but more importantly have had my own insurance policies since leaving school. I therefore both earn money from insurance companies and pay money to them personally.

Over the years I have dealt with many claims on behalf of clients and also had claims myself and within my family. I have also seen programmes like Fair Go that have some seemingly shocking stories where it looks like insurance companies are wiggling out of claims due to what appear minor and unfair reasons.

Two things that I have learnt and which continue to be reinforced are;

  1. Cheap insurance typically is cheap for a reason
  2. Simple application forms are dangerous

Let me expand on this and explain what I mean with these two statements.

About Cheap Insurance

Often we talk to people who have been sold insurance that appears cheaper than other policies that they have been recommended. I had a lady today that told me she could get cheap insurance through her bank and it might appear cheap.

We also see and hear the advertisements that promote cheaper insurance premiums.

Now, I know that we all like to get a bargain and most of us think that insurance companies make too much money by charging us too much. I too like to make sure I am not paying too much for insurance of any other product, but I also know that the saying “you get what you pay for” has some truth to it.

With most purchases we will want to get value for money, which means we want a good balance between price and quality. You want a product that is going to work well but also not send you broke. Most of us know that a $5 bottle of wine is probably not as good as a bottle you pay $15 for, and then the $50 bottle will probably be better again. We may not be able to justify the $50 bottle, but most of us will want something a bit better than the $5 bottle too.

Insurance is a little different.

When you buy insurance you are buying a policy that has the “promise” or more precisely a contract. This policy document (contract) details what financial compensation the insurance company will provide you in the event that something happens.

The biggest problem is that to most people these policy documents are too complex so they assume that they are all pretty much the same. Furthermore, when you are sold the insurance by most banks, insurance companies and even “so called” insurance brokers (advisers) you are provided a very bias opinion and therefore recommended the policy that suits them…. not necessarily you.

Insurance policies do vary a lot and even though they may be promoted as similar products they are quite different and therefore they work very differently when you actually need them – at claim time. If you have the wrong policy you may not find out until claim time when you are told why it is not going to pay you what you had expected.

Consider Mortgage Protection Insurance

Just about every bank and insurance company has a Mortgage Protection Cover which they promote and to most people they think that they are all the same or very similar, but they are not!

Most Mortgage Protection Covers will have a component of Life Cover that pays off your mortgage should you die, and then some will cover you also if you get diagnosed with a terminal illness, a critical illness (trauma condition)  and may the repayments for a period of time should you be unable to work.

Initially the major concern for most people is they want to leave their family with no mortgage should they die but little consideration is given to all those possible events where you can lose your income and therefore not be able to pay your repayments.

House 7Would You Lose Your Home?

Most people could not survive and pay the mortgage for 6-months on a sickness benefit of $170.90 per week and would definitely loose the house to a mortgagee sale if they were still off work in 2-years, 6-year or never able to work again.

But people think that they will always be able to work.

Statistics show that in New Zealand 40% of males and 60% of females will be unable to work for more than 30-days for health reasons and 50% of these people will be aged between 30-years to 50-years old. The worst statistic however is that the average amount of time that people spend on an income protection claim is just over 1-year.

I would therefore ask you again; could you keep up your mortgage repayments and other household expenses if you were forced onto a sickness benefit of $170.90 per week?

This is a pretty compelling reason to make sure that your Mortgage Protection Cover or Income Protection Cover will properly protect you.

Maybe it also emphasises that a “cheap” insurance cover might not be quite as important as knowing that your insurance cover will actually support you at claim time!

Simple Insurance Applications

We all hate filling out long forms for insurance or anything else.

I have learnt over the years that insurance companies didn’t invent long forms for no reason. Sure we have seen short-form applications and online applications for insurance, but in my opinion nothing beats the long application forms.

To understand what I mean we need to consider what happens at claim time and what causes most claims to be declined or not paid in full.

Painting a Picture

House EarthquakeThe insurance company is expected to provide you financial compensation (pay a claim) at any point in the next ‘say’ 30-years and therefore need to assess you to ensure that they price this correctly for both you (the policy owner) and also for their shareholders.

We do not want to see another AMI scenario where the insurance company has priced the policies wrong (cheap insurance) and goes broke and therefore is not around to pay your claim. With AMI the Government came to the rescue, but I would suggest that was an extraordinary case and it was more about the people who suffered due to the earthquake than actually wanting to help out an insurance company.

Remember the insurance company can only make an assessment on you with the information that you put on the form and any additional information that they may request from your doctor, or tests they may request. We want to ensure that all applications are properly assessed so that the claims process runs smoothly and the only way we can ensure this happens is to provide the insurance company with full information at the outset.

You cannot paint a full picture on a 1-page application and therefore the insurance company will either over-charge you to cover their potential risk or leave it until claim time to fully assess you. The stress of having your application re-assessed at claim time is something that everyone should avoid. It is better to deal with the application fully while you are fit and healthy that try to deal with this when you are unwell and stressing about your health and finances.

Explaining Non-Disclosure

Non-disclosure is the biggest reason that claims are not paid.

Insurance companies expect you to disclose everything to them on the application and may decline your claim if they find that something was not disclosed whether it seems relevant to the claim or not.

Each application form will mention your duty of disclosure within the declaration that you sign, and while you may not read it, it is there and the insurance company is quite entitled to decline a claim on the basis of non disclosure.

Short-form and online applications will contain a question that reads something like “have a question that asks “if you have had any illness, injury, medical examination, advice or treatment?”

Do not ignore the importance of this question!

You may have visited your doctor for a headache, a mole, had an abnormal smear or been told your blood pressure is slightly higher than it should be. Any of these seemingly minor health issues could give the insurance company a reason to decline your claim.

In Summary

I know it can seem like a major exercise to fill out these long insurance application forms and to provide all of the supporting information, and I know at times it seems like you are paying too much in insurance premiums.

But there is a reason.

You want to know that there will be no issues at claim time – you will want your claim paid!

If you are going to spend any money on insurance you want to know that you will receive your financial compensation at claim time when you and your family need it most. A good insurance adviser (like myself) will ensure that you get good value and the right types and levels of cover plus they will be there to work with you to amend things as required.

You really don’t want cheap and easy … you want good value.

 

 

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Why Banks Sell You Mortgage Cover

Have you ever wondered why banks sell you mortgage cover?

You Have Just Got A Mortgage

You have just gone through the process of getting a mortgage so that you can buy your new home and while you are exited and grateful to have been approved for the home loan, you are now being asked about mortgage cover.

It seems like a good idea… but do you really need the mortgage cover that the bank are suggesting?

Did You Want A Mortgage?

Of course you did not want a mortgage, but you did want the new home!

House 4

Unfortunately for most people a new home does not come without a home loan. This is especially true for first home buyers, but the reality is that most people will be paying off a home loan for the majority of their working lives and sometimes beyond this too. It is not that anyone wants a home loan, but we do not have the cash available to us and therefore the only way to get that new home that we want is to borrow the money from a bank or some other non-bank lender.

Having Debt Increases Reliance On Income

With a home loan comes a commitment to meet regular loan repayments and therefore a reliance on our ability to earn income. If we fail to pay the mortgage then we risk having the home sold as the lender needs to recover the money that they lent to us.

We know that we can pay the repayments – now.

But want happens to the repayments if we die or even if we are just unable to work for a prolonged period?

This is a real risk and something that you need to consider.

What Happens If You Die?

Funeral Casket

A bank will always try to sell you mortgage cover with life insurance so that there is enough money to repay your mortgages if you were to die. This is often seen as a prudent thing to do too as it means the house is paid off and therefore the bank no longer need to be concerned about who will be paying the repayments.

If you have family then it may be nice to leave them with a freehold home, or at least with a smaller and more manageable home loan, but this is not always needed.

The questions you need to ask are;

  • Would the surviving family be able to afford if you did die?
  • Would they even want to stay in the same home?

If you are single or have no dependents what would happen – would the house be sold in which case the mortgage can be repaid when it is sold and everyone can get paid then.

Just because you have a mortgage does not automatically mean you need to have mortgage cover.

The hope is that we will all have our mortgage paid off many years before we pass away. That will be the reality for most of us, but there are occasions when people die too young and it is for this that you might consider some life insurance.

What Happens If You Cannot Work?

This is a far greater risk – the inability to work and therefore the loss of your income.

When you are fit and healthy you are able to work and pay your mortgage repayments, but this can all change very quickly if you fall ill or have a major injury.

What happens to your finances when you are unable to work?

Most people rely on their income to live and to pay the expenses which include your mortgage repayments. When that income suddenly stops your finances can quickly turn bad.

Sick pay – most employees have some sick pay which helps cover costs for s short time, typically up to 2-weeks

Savings – how much savings have you got? You can use your savings to help cover costs, but they will run out if you are unable to get back to earning money.

Mortgage holiday – most banks will allow you a mortgage holiday for up to 3-months. This means your repayments are not required and instead the interest is added to your mortgage.

ACC entitlements – you may be able to claim a benefit from ACC if you are not working due to an accident which happened in New Zealand and was accepted by ACC.

Income protection insurance – if you have an income protection insurance policy then you can claim on that.

Passive income – some people will have investments or business interests that produce passive income which would continue regardless if you are able to work or not.

Could your finances cope with what you have available?

If your income stopped when you are unable to work and you do not have a passive income then you should be considering some form of income protection insurance.

There are many types of income cover, and some mortgage cover options have a mortgage repayment cover that can be included. Make sure it is as often the banks do not suggest this and only include the life insurance.

The Best Mortgage Cover

Of course the best mortgage cover is having a small or no mortgage at all and this is what we all strive for.

With the right mortgage structure and a debt reduction plan you can pay your mortgage off much more quickly and therefore lessen the risks much more quickly too. With a little planning and effort many people will be able to pay their mortgages off in half the time!

Speak to a mortgage broker who will be able to show you how.

The other way to protect yourself is to have a passive income.

This can be achieved from investment, but often that takes quite a long time to establish large enough investments and by that time your mortgage is probably paid off too.

With the internet it has become more popular to create online income that can be set up on autopilot. This is another way to protect yourself and it also creates additional income so you can pay your mortgage off faster.

Of course creating any passive income takes a little work or investment initially, but the results are very worthwhile.

Comparing Mortgage Cover

Not all mortgage protection insurances are the same.

Obviously some of the mortgage cover includes repayment cover while others are just straight life cover, but there are also many subtle differences that can make a huge difference at claim time.

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What Can We Learn From The Life Of Robin Williams

I did not know Robin Williams really…

Sure, I saw some of his films and saw him on television in the same way that millions of others did, and I thought he was extremely funny and a skilled actor, and maybe I even thought he was a little peculiar at times.

Being an American actor I would not have been surprised if he had drug or alcohol issues, but I really would not expect that someone like Robin Williams would take his own life.

The fact is he has … and now the media is in a frenzy about it all.

So Who Was The Real Robin Williams?

Robin Williams became an overnight TV sensation playing Mork on Mork & Mindy.

In his first movie, Popeye, he starred as a comic-strip sailor, his chameleonic Genie in Aladdin ransacked the attic of comic caricatures and he had numerous roles that followed.

At the peak of his career he was a frequent guest on David Letterman’s show.

He could play funny parts, and serious roles too but the effort of juggling all those personalities must have been huge and it is said left him exhausted as well.

He died at his home in California at an age of 63 in an apparent suicide.

“Robin has been battling severe depression of late,” his publicist Mara Buxbaum said.

“This is a tragic and sudden loss.”

Robin Williams Was Human

Yes, it may sound obvious, but what I mean is underneath all that we saw publicly he was an ordinary bloke and we should never forget that those people with a high public profile were born in the same way that we all were, and have many of the same wants and needs as we do. More importantly they will encounter many of the same issues during their lives, but with a lot more expectation loaded onto them.

We may look at his lifestyle and wish we could have something similar, but I am sure he worked hard for what he had and we can only guess at the pressures that he had to deal with.

Robin Williams was not the first high profile person to suffer from depression and he will not be the last. In New Zealand we are lucky to have someone like John Kirwin that has made depression a little more acceptable and an issue that can be discussed, although it is still a subject that is rarely spoken about until after someone has gone.

Like Robin Williams, many people that suffer from depression are also great actors – they can go through life and everyone thinks that they are fine, but deep down they are struggling. They are just good actors and can keep that side of their life hidden from even those that are close to them.

Dealing With Depression

I guess we are all human and depression is a hard subject to talk about and most of us would not know how to deal with it.

As an insurance adviser I meet with people that have or are suffering from depression on a regular basis, and I still find it difficult to talk about. Each and every person is different and the cause of their depression or stress and anxiety can be completely different too, and sometimes quite horrible. But the people that I know that suffer from depression are those that have acknowledged it and are doing something about it.

I am sure there are many others that refuse to acknowledge the issues that may be caused by depression.

Personally I have some friends that I expect have suffered from depression to a greater or lesser degree, but at the time I did not recognise this or maybe just did not know how to approach it with them so instead just ignored it.

They say the first step in dealing with any issue is to acknowledge that there is an issue.

On A Positive Note

While many people will be sad with the passing of Robin Williams we need to also think that he would want us to celebrate his life.

Unfortunately death is one thing that will eventually get us all, so you need to make the most of your time on this planet and I believe that as Robin Williams arrives at the pearly gates he will look back on a very full life and a life that touched a huge number of people. Sure, he must have had some dark moments, but some of what he has done has brought so much joy to so many people and we should really be saying “thank you” Robin Williams for making our days on this earth a little more enjoyable.

I am not a golfer, but I do think this is one of the funniest video’s I have ever seen;

 

Thank You Again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It appears

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Let’s Create An Online Income

There are many ways to create an online income and the method that you use all depend on your business and what you are trying to achieve.

Marketing Your Own Existing Business

We have had success marketing our business which is mortgage brokers in New Zealand.

We have created our website and it ranks now well with Google meaning that people searching for mortgage brokers the New Zealand are seeing our website and contacting us regularly.

create online income

We could have spent thousands of dollars on Google advertising and hired SEO experts, but instead we created a blog within the website and we try to add at least one post every week.

We have gotten quite efficient at doing the blogs and it might take 15-minutes now to write a post or article like this – but then I share versions of them and have them all linked back to our Mortgage Link website – using the keywords as links and this seems to work well.

Promoting your own business on your website is the most effective way to make money online but it does mean you need to drive traffic to your website.

You can target organic traffic from search engines like Google and this is done by the quality of your website the information included on it and how regular you are at updating your website and blog posts, otherwise you can pay for advertising and drive people to your website.

Basically you need website traffic – people to visit your website.

How Do You Make Money Online?

You really need to have a website and traffic.

As mentioned you can promote your own product or services and therefore enhance the business that you’re already doing, or you can select a totally separate business or product to promote.

Let’s look at some options.

Product Sales

This seems like an easy way to make money and you can promote other people products and get paid an affiliate commission. People have made some very good money doing affiliate marketing, but these are really one-off sales unless you can create a list and have a program for email marketing to them.

There are plenty of very respected businesses that allow you to market their products: Amazon, Clickbank and many others. You refer buyers to these businesses and are paid a commission on sales.

Programs like Clickbank Pirate are worth every dollar is you want to create an online income using Clickbank.

Drop Shipping

This is another way of selling products and the advantage is you can get started without a website or any website skills.

With drop shipping you handle the listing of the products typically on e-Bay, you collect the money from the buyer and buy the product from your supplier, but the supplier ships the product.

Drop shipping has proven a popular way to start to create online income and we know a lot of people that now make a full-time living doing this. Most of those that are successful have either spent months or years making mistakes, or they have invested in some training. Watch the free video below and you will quickly learn what you need to do to create online income from drop shipping other peoples products.

Create A Business

A business where you recruit new business partners is more sustainable but also most often harder to set up.  Many people would have seen or even joined some network marketing or mlm business opportunities and unfortunately most believe they have failed – they have not succeeded.

The problem with most of these types of businesses is there is not clear training and everything is quite complex; hence people give up.

You need to select a business that is;

  1. Simple to get started with
  2. Simple to promote
  3. Simple for others to duplicate

That is the reason I decided to start this business.

I ordered my website and it was delivered back to me fully set up within 24-hours, then I promoted and received my first income within 48-hours after starting!

But you need to invest in any new business.

Invest Today And Benefit Tomorrow

Just because the business is an online business does not mean that you can create online income without any investment.

You will need to invest both time and money to be successful.

Well that is not 100% true as I know a few people that have been able to create online income without investing much at all, but they are the exception not the rule. It is a lot easier to invest in some marketing and you will surely see some success much quicker.

Create Passive Income

It is all very well creating more business for our mortgage broking business, but we then have to process the work. Of course we would prefer to generate an online income that is all handled by others – a passive income.

There are a lot of ways to generate passive income through having a website Passive income is the process of having income without having to do ongoing work you – effectively set up and forget.

I hope this has given you some information to think about.

 

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Finance And Money Is No Joking Matter

Yes, we may sometimes joke about finance and money but it is not always a laughing matter.

It is easy to ignore financial issues and then look for someone to blame when the s*^t hits the fan.

finance & money

“I didn’t know”

“I trusted him/her..”

“It was my ex’s fault!”

excuses … excuses … excuses…

Like many things in life we need to stop looking for someone to blame and instead admit some past mistakes and then move on.

You sometimes need to move on.

Time To Move On…

Sure, it can be hard to admit to making mistakes with the way we have managed our finance and money but it does us no good to dwell on things that we cannot change.

Like the cartoon here, many people have hit hard times over the years, but the ones that pick themselves up will often be those that we as successes many years later.

Learn From Your Mistakes

As mortgage brokers we are often called upon to sort out people’s financial issues and it is something that we like to think we are good at too. We may consolidate some expensive debts, refinance a mortgage or arrange a loan to sort out the finance and money issues.

The key two things that we are always looking for is;

  1. Making sure that there is a better long-term outlook
  2. That they have learnt from the mistakes that saw them end up with a financial issue

Every situation is different, but generally there were some decisions made or not made that contributed to the situation.

People Love To Spend Money!

Most of us enjoy to spend money or at least enjoy the nice things that money can buy.

We like to have luxuries…

finance and money

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The problem for many of us is the availability of money (loans) that allow us to buy those nice things before we can really afford them, but we should not blame our financial woes on the lenders – we are adults and should be able to control ourselves and our spending.

We also often do not accept that we can wait and save up, and instead want to buy those items now.

What Is Financial Planning And Budgeting?

Most people might “think” they are good with money but when you ask them about their finances and money, or about their budgets and financial plans they have nothing to share with you.

The only way to measure success in life is to measure against some form of expectation – a goal, a plan, a budget…

Without a plan you can easily find that you lose control of your finance and money.

A budget will monitor your income and expenses and you can therefore see very easily if you are managing to get ahead with your finance and money, or if you are overspending and therefore not achieving your goals. Most importantly a budget lets you know immediately that you start to stray off course so that you can address the issues immediately.

In business many accountants will produce very detailed budgets and then produce cashflow plans so that you can monitor your business finances and ensure that you can see any potential financial issues before you actually get there. Many seasonal businesses might require finance at certain times of the year and therefore knowing when and how much you will need takes a lot of pressure off those decisions around finance and money.

In both life and business there are only two ways to make the budget better;

  1. Increase what you earn – your income
  2. Reduce what you spend – your expenses

But how?

Increase Your Income

For some people this may be possible by working longer hours or for self-employed people it may meaning working a little smarter, but some jobs are not going to allow you to increase your income and therefore you may need to look at other opportunities to earn some extra money someplace else.

But where? Continue Reading →

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