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Life Insurance and Obesity: Just One More Reason to Lose Weight

If you’re overweight, you may already have a few reasons for wanting to lose weight. You might want to shop in regular clothing stores, feel more attractive, and have more energy. Losing weight can improve your health, too. As if these reasons weren’t enough motivation to lose weight, the effects of obesity on your life insurance policy can also inspire you to lose a few pounds.

Why Obesity Affects Life Insurance Rates

Life insurance is based on your risk of dying. Obesity can drive up your life insurance rates and affect your policy category because the extra pounds increase your risk for chronic conditions. These dangerous and potentially fatal conditions include the following.

* Heart disease.
* Type 2 diabetes.
* Gallbladder disease.
* Asthma.
* Sleep apnea.
* Liver disease.
* Stroke.

Are You Overweight?

Being as little as 10 pounds over your ideal weight increases your health risks, making life insurance more expensive and keeping you out of a preferred policy. About two-third of American adults are overweight or obese, and you can find out whether you are overweight or obese using a BMI calculator. Just enter your height and weight. If your BMI is over 30, you are considered obese.

Make Modest Lifestyle Changes to Lose Weight

Crash diets are not fun and they don’t work. For lasting weight loss, think about small changes that you can make throughout the day to eat fewer calories and exercise a little more.

* Grab fruit instead of cookies for dessert.
* Have raw cut vegetables for a crunchy snack instead of potato chips.
* Serve yourself smaller portions.
* Drink water instead of soda.
* Go for a walk after dinner.
* Choose lean meats and cut skin off of chicken before cooking it.

These small changes can help you lose weight and get healthier. You’ll feel better and look better, and you may be rewarded with lower life insurance rates!

 

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Go Play! How Having Fun Outdoors Can Lower Your Life Insurance Rates

Playing outside isn’t just for kids. It has tons of benefits for adults. One of the unexpected ones may be that it can lead to lower life insurance rates. It’s not always easy to make yourself go outside and exercise, but knowing that the effort can keep you healthy and save you money can be enough for you get off the couch. The more fun you have exercising, the better the results will be.

Benefits of Exercise

Exercise burns calories and improves your health. Since life insurance rates are based on your health risk factors, regular physical activity can help lower your life insurance rates. These are some of the benefits of exercise.

* Lower risk for heart disease and stroke.
* Lower blood pressure.
* Lower blood sugar levels and risk for diabetes.
* Stronger bones.
* Better mood.
* Clearer mind.

Make a Commitment to Exercise

Set aside some time to exercise most days of the week. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes, but even 10 minutes is better than nothing. The trick is to find some activities that you love, and any activity that is fun and gets you moving is a good choice. These are some options.

* Walk, jog, bike, swim laps, or hike.
* Join a local sports league. On the days your league doesn’t meet, train for your sport by doing drills, lifting weights, and getting in some cardio. 
* Take Zumba, boot camp or kickboxing in the park.
* Go surfing.

Take Advantage of Your Kids!

If you have children, they’re probably a significant reason why you have life insurance in the first place. Why not use them to help you get in shape? They’ll keep you laughing while you exercise.

* Play Tag, Follow the Leader, or Hide-and-Seek with younger children.
* Play catch, shoot hoops, or kick a soccer ball with older children.
* Walk around the field at your children’s sports practices, and run to chase any stray balls.

Everyone can find an activity that they love as long as they keep searching for it. Keeping yourself in shape will give you more energy and can keep your life insurance rates down.

 

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Life Insurance and Diabetes: What You Should Know

When you apply for life insurance, your level of risk determines which policies you may qualify for and your rates. If you have type 2 diabetes, your premiums are likely to be higher than for someone without diabetes. In addition, the insurance company may only offer you a standard plan instead of a preferred plan. However, you can take some steps to lower your rates.

The Dangers of Diabetes

Diabetes increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and hypertension, or high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Complications from diabetes are the leading cause of blindness and amputations in the United States. These complications are the result of having uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

Your insurance company will ask you about your A1C levels, which your doctor has likely already tested for in a routine diabetic blood test. A1C, or glycated hemoglobin, is a good long-term measure of how well you are controlling your blood sugar. Lower A1C levels lower your chances of having diabetic complications.

How to Get a Better Policy

The insurance company looks at your risk factors when determining your rates. Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can give you a better evaluation, since lower levels put you at lower risk for diabetes complications. Also, maintain a healthy body weight for your height, or try to lose weight if you are overweight.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward reducing your health risks. In addition to taking any medications that your doctor prescribes, quit smoking if you are a smoker. Exercise regularly to improve your insulin sensitivity and lower your blood sugar levels.

Your diet is another important factor. Limit sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages because they drive up your blood sugar levels and do not provide many nutrients. Try to reduce your sodium intake and avoid fatty meats to lower your risk for high blood pressure heart disease. Instead, emphasize vegetables, lean proteins like chicken and fish, low-fat dairy products, beans, nuts, and whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and oatmeal.

 

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Think Twice Before Skipping Out on Life Insurance!

Life insurance policies can cost from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars per year, and you may just think of them as another bill to pay. You may assume that you don’t need life insurance, but your assumption may be wrong. Read through to see why getting a life insurance policy might be a good idea for you.


Individuals Considering Having Children or With Children

If you are thinking about having children, it’s time to start thinking about a life insurance policy. Once you start paying the premiums, your children will be in line to receive the death benefits if you were to die. They are entirely dependent on you if you are the breadwinner in the household. Even if you feel invincible because you are young, nobody is immune to tragedy.  Plus, your premiums at a young age are lower than your premiums will be later in life.

Couples Without Children

If both couples are working and either could be self-sufficient if the other one’s income stopped coming in, a life insurance policy is not necessary. If a single income due to the passing of one spouse would cause severe financial hardship, you should probably consider purchasing a life insurance policy. That would allow your spouse to continue to work at his or her job while receiving the payouts from your policy should something happen to you.

Single Adults

This one may be surprising, but single adults without children may want to consider taking out a life insurance policy. The policy can pay for your funeral costs should something happen to you. A policy can also provide for your dependents if you are taking care of an elderly parent or another person that relies on your financial contributions.

Retired Adults

You probably don’t need a life insurance policy if you are not working and nobody is depending on your income to stay financially secure. You might need one if you have dependents.

Life insurance isn’t just for working individuals with dependents. It can give you security in other situations, too. Nobody wants an extra monthly bill, but life insurance may be worth the cost for you.

When do You Need a Living Will?

7583Living wills, also known as healthcare directives, inform loved ones and medical professionals about your wishes for life. Ensure your wishes are met when you draft a living will. 

When do you Need a Living Will?

Unfortunately, you may reach a season in life when you are unable to tell loved ones and doctors whether or not you want life support, blood transfusions and other procedures. A living will clarifies your wishes when you’re incapacitated and unable to discuss or sign a legal contract. 

In addition to making your medical wishes known, a living will saves your loved ones from making difficult decisions on your behalf. Let’s say they disagree amongst themselves or with the doctors about your treatment. Your living will leaves no doubt about your treatment wishes. 

Don’t wait and create a living will after an accident or injury. As soon as you reach legal adulthood, prepare this legal document. Likewise, ensure you have a healthcare directive in place: 

*Before major surgery
*Before dementia or Alzheimer’s strikes
*Before you become comatose 
*When you want a friend or unmarried partner, rather than a close relative, to make       end of life decisions for you

How do you Create a Living Will?

With your estate planning attorney, decide the details of your living will. It can include the name of a single person or a panel of trusted loved ones or medical professionals who will decide if you’re incapacitated. It also includes the types of medical care you want when you’re incapacitated. 

No one wants to think about becoming incapacitated, but you ensure your wishes are met when you create a living will before you need it. Discuss the details with your attorney. While you’re planning this document, update your life insurance and health insurance policies to make sure you have adequate coverage for your future.

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