What’s Your Legacy?

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What is your most important legacy asset? Let’s think about that for a minute. The answer may vary depending on your age and gender. Is it your house or your Maserati? Your Jet Ski? Maybe it’s a beach house or the ranch that’s been passed down for generations? I could go on, but really, it’s not any of these.

Your greatest asset is yourself. It’s the protection and income you provide for your family. Deep down we know this, yet when it comes to planning for the protection of this most important asset — we freeze. Addressing our own mortality is scary, so we do nothing. And yet, doing nothing can cause the most devastating results.

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Planning is asking yourself some simple questions about what would happen to your family or business if you weren’t here tomorrow. How would it impact them emotionally? Financially? Why did you buy the life insurance you have today? What is it supposed to do for your family? Will it be enough? How do you know?

I can’t say how angry it makes me when I hear one spouse say, “She’s attractive and smart. She’ll get remarried. I’m not funding his retirement.” Really!? Is that what you want for her?

Let’s think about this for a moment. She’s grieving – not the best time to make decisions, but she still has bills to pay. Can she afford to stay in the home with the children? Will she have to go to work? Can she earn a similar income? Will expenses increase for after-school care or hiring someone to help maintain the home? How will the kids get to/from their activities? What about college?

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How do you feel about your answers? You see your death is not just about your death. It’s about their life. Even in the grieving process, your spouse has to make many important decisions, oft en alone. It’s in your hands to control the outcome. What better legacy can you leave than being thoughtful about the decisions your spouse, children, or grandchildren will have to deal with? How much easier would it be if they could remember the discussions you had together in the planning process? How much easier to have life insurance in place to help the grieving process go a little more smoothly and reduce the stress associated with these overwhelming decisions?

Okay. I’ve painted the perfect picture of what you should think about. So why do we still procrastinate and do nothing? Often, we wait too long, and it becomes too costly. Or even worse, we wait too late. You see there are things we can control, and there are things we can’t. Take your medical history for example. I have an adult child, age 21, a senior in college at USC with her whole life ahead of her. She’s planning to be an engineer, get married, and have a family. Yet she has a health condition that prevents her from getting life insurance. She’s uninsurable at 21. Luckily, I thought about my legacy – my children and their children. I planned early. I purchased life insurance for her when she was 1 year old.

As an example, if she were 1 year old today and I purchased a permanent policy with a $250,000 death benefit, I could pay $105.83/month into the policy for 20 years and the policy would stay with her for life. Not only that, it will continue to accrue interest. By her retirement, say age 70, the death benefit would be approximately $456,984. The total premium paid would be $25,399 yet the policy cash value would accumulate to approximately $206,984, which could supplement her retirement or even help pay for her grandchild’s college! Withdrawn, by the way…Tax Free.

For me, this is financial security. This is planning ahead. This is thinking about the legacy you want to leave behind, for the loved ones you know and the loved ones you haven’t even met yet.

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This is love. Jennifer Scroggins

Jennifer Scroggins

With over 25 years of experience, Jennifer Scroggins helps small business owners and families make sound financial decisions based on trust and confidence. Dedicated to the service, support and success of her clients, her goal is to help them identify and accomplish their financial objectives, which generally include, protecting their families and/or business, accumulating assets for retirement, and transferring wealth to loved ones. Simply put, she strives to earn and keep your trust. Jennifer can be reached at (210) 789-2003, [email protected] or www.jenscroggins.com.

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