The Real Truth About Life Insurance

Myth: Cash value life insurance is a great investment for the masses.Truth: Cash value life insurance has a very poor rate of return historically and an investor would most likely be better served in mutual funds or other investments.Don’t let a life insurance agent try to tell you otherwise. Cash Value Life Insurance policies for the most part have terrible returns. Again, for the average investor, cash value life insurance is a waste of money.If an investor is not high income earner and/or subject to the estate tax, all they need is term life insurance and they should buy term and invest the difference.Another thing that anyone considering Cash Value Life Insurance needs to know is that the beneficiary only gets the death benefit and none of the cash value back. If the insured dies young and there is $100,000 cash value in a policy with a $125,000 death benefit the beneficiary gets $ 125,000.So to summarize… There are three types of people who need three specific types of Life Insurance, and never buy any Life Insurance that is not right for your specific situation.1. If you are a regular Joe – buy term and invest the difference. The mantra of financial advisors like Suze Orman and David Bach who preach to the regular Joe is “Buy Term and invest the difference”. Term is the right tool for this job. The suggested death benefit for most is 10-15 times income depending on age for working individuals, and 5 -10 times income for a non working spouse.2. However if you are a high net worth individual subject to the Estate Tax either now or in the future the most efficient wealth transfer tool available today is Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance held within an Irrevocable Life Insurance trust. Simplistically put, when a Trust is drafted and the Beneficiary is the trust, the death benefit is then considered outside of the estate by the IRS, meaning the death benefit is not subject to the Estate Tax. If the Grantor is in good health Guaranteed Universal Life contracts from A %2B rated insurers are paying 10%2B% at statistical mortality. When the estate tax of 45% is factored in as well these contracts can be paying a very substantial rate of return that may reach potentially into the teens. These returns can be spectacular especially given the guaranteed nature of the contract.The only drawbacks to this strategy are:1. Grantor must pay premiums2. The Grantor must pass away for the trust to collect.3. Grantor must pay to have the trust drafted. Also do note for Estate Tax Mitigation purposes the Guaranteed Universal Life contracts we use have relatively little or no cash value especially at statistical mortality thus we avoid the cash value trap described above.4. Alternately, High income earners that own a closely held company may greatly benefit from a 412i Fixed Defined benefit plan. This is the sweet spot for the cash value life insurance. By the way this is the only sweet spot that this Financial Advisor can find for Cash Value Life Insurance; however it is a super one for investors that can take advantage of it. For investors in high tax brackets a 412i Fixed Defined Benefit plan allows the MAXIMUM tax deduction possible of any qualified plan, allowing investors to put up to $300,000 in per year as opposed to the paltry $6000 in an IRA.$ 300,000 per year in qualified money?What is not to like?Well, what rates of return are these Fixed Defined benefits going to pay?That depends on the insurer, and the insured’s health, however expect 3.5% to 4.5%.Not too exciting you say?Hold on a moment, keep in mind that much like the Estate Tax issues that high net worth individuals can mitigate by taking out Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance policies inside trusts the Tax man makes investing in 412 i Fixed Defined benefits a very profitable endeavor by avoiding paying taxes until withdraw. You will have to pay taxes eventually barring you use your qualified assets to pass to charity through planned giving. Do keep in mind that this is a guaranteed investment which is subject to the viability of the insurance company, however, the main benefit is the fact that the IRS allows such HUGE qualified contributions.How most 412i Fixed Defined benefit plans work is a combination of a Cash Value Life Insurance policy with a Fixed Annuity. One other nice thing about these is the fact that they are much easier to administer than a standard Defined Benefit program as the returns are fixed and there is no chance of over or under funding. The exit strategy is clear, rollover the funds into a traditional IRA within 4-6 years, thus avoiding cash value trap described above.The result? The investor sheltered up to $ 1.8MM in a qualified tax environment at positive (albeit conservative) rates of return to rollover into a traditional IRA after six years…Yes, Cash Value Life Insurance is a terrible investment for most. However for investors with either a substantial estate subject to the Estate Tax or who are in a high tax bracket with a closely held corporation may want to seriously consider the appropriate type of Permanent Life Insurance. Due to IRS regulations it is hard to go wrong!This is neither tax nor legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor.

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Adult Learning Principles and Latent Music Training

Adults approach learning differently than children. While a child may accept an authority figure in the classroom imparting knowledge, the adult is not.Often published articles about music instruction and playing refer to children and their psychological and educational development compared to students that do not study music. How an adult learns is an important issue to consider while formulating music instruction.Some areas to contemplate if you are studying music or teach music to adults are:Self-DirectionAdults generally assume independence and expect to take part in the process of developing instruction as well as an active position in the evaluation of their performance. They prefer to work at their own pace in the areas they choose and feel that their “grade” or result should match their expectations of what they should receive.The best avenue of instruction for an adult then is not a large classroom with an authoritative instructor but either through independent study, where they in a sense act as the student and the instructor themselves, or one-on-one with a respectful tutor that facilitates the attainment of knowledge.Level of Physical ComfortKindergarten students may sit around in a circle on the floor or a high school student may concede to sit in a small desk with a hard wooden seat, but adults prefer and demand comfort. Some adults are set in their ways so to speak, they “like it how they like it,”period.To address the desired comfort level of adults either the classroom accommodates, or they choose to hire a tutor to instruct in their home or they learn through an independent course at home. They might also want to consider the instrument they choose in relation to how it is played. For example, a smoker that gets winded quickly might have more success learning the guitar or piano as opposed to a wind instrument like a saxophone or trombone.Insecurity or EmbarassmentSome adults are uncomfortable learning new things or not knowing how to do things. In their employment or at home, they may feel confident about their abilities and problem solving skills but in a new situation, they may feel inadequate or awkward. To counteract these feelings of insecurity, embarrassment or inadequacy adults usually overcompensate by trying to do everything perfectly, they ask the instructor many probing questions to try to focus information and requirements, and take their time to accomplish tasks in order to avoid mistakes.In music instruction, the adult wants all the information they can get a hold of, they are less inclined to try things without some kind of knowledge base. Whereas a child may blow into a trumpet and not worry about how badly it sounds, whether they know how to read the music or where to put their fingers, they do it just for fun, adults want to master it and not “make a fool of themselves.”The instructor or teaching method needs to be able to respond to the adults’ intense need for detail and affirmation. While an adult may do well in a formal education setting for a music theory or history class, when in comes to playing an instrument private instruction is a better choice to put the student at ease and allows for plenty of inquiries.Prior Experience and ApplicationYoung students have few experiences to afford them the ability to imagine a ‘real life’ application of knowledge. Adults may have decades of knowledge and experiences brought into the classroom with them and they can see how information may apply to other aspects of their life or to other areas of study.When an adult is learning to play music, they want to be able to apply their knowledge and experiences. So many adults do not desire to learn music just for the sake of it, but to be able to play at their church or in a band or to compose their own music. They come to learn music with a goal and prior expectations.Adults that desire to learn music are goal oriented, exercise autonomy, and require respect and comfort. So if you are planning to learn a new skill, such as playing the piano, or you are a teacher planning your curriculum consider the unique requirements of the adult student.References:Kearsley, Greg. Explorations in Learning & Instruction: The Theory into Practice Database Andragogy (M. Knowles).>Lieb, Stephen. Principle of Adult Learning.>Smith, M. K. planning your curriculum ‘Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and anadragogy’, the encyclopedia of informal education.>

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Chiropractic Is Effective For Neck And Shoulder Pain

Chiropractors are specially trained and educated to work with neck and shoulder problems. They are well educated in working with the musculoskeletal system in the body. This system includes the muscles, bones and associated soft tissue, like cartilage. Neck and shoulder problems often involve these areas.Chiropractors will perform a detailed evaluation to determine the cause of the problem. This will include asking questions to the patient to help determine the cause and extent of the problem. Understanding how the injury occurred can help to make a proper diagnosis. This will be followed with a detailed exam.When performing this exam, the chiropractor will check the range of motion of the joints. This involves bending and turning the head to determine if there is abnormal motion in the neck or cervical spine. If the shoulder is involved they will move the arm through different ranges of motion to determine if there is abnormal motion in the shoulder. Specific orthopedic and neurological tests are performed on the areas of complaint to determine what parts of the body have been injured.The doctor will often take X-rays of the injured area. X-rays are helpful to reveal misaligned bones which often cause neck and shoulder pain. X-rays can reveal narrowing of space between two spinal bones. Narrowing of disc space is often correlated with disc problems or a pinched nerve. X-rays may also reveal problems such as arthritis or spinal degeneration, tumors and narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord is. Fractures and instability of the spine may also be seen on X-ray.Sometimes the chiropractor may need to refer the patient to have an MRI or CT scan. MRI’s are an excellent imaging tool to provide a detailed view of soft tissue that is not seen on X-ray. For example this is helpful to get a view of injured tendons or ligaments with a shoulder injury. It may also provide a view of injured discs in the neck or cervical spine. MRI’s can provide a good view of nerve elements like a pinched nerve. Nerve conduction velocity tests are sometimes used to help diagnose neck and shoulder problems where nerve irritation is suspected.How is neck and shoulder pain treated? Traditional medical treatment often involves the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin or Tylenol. Muscle relaxers may also be prescribed to help the muscles involved. Sometimes a local corticosteroid injection may be recommended for arthritis or joint problems of the shoulder. At times, surgery may be recommended.While medication can help to relieve pain, it is important to understand that it often only masks the symptoms and doesn’t correct the underlying problem. With long term use of medication there is often adverse side effects.Chiropractic should be considered as a primary care method for neck and shoulder problems. Chiropractic is natural and safe. It focuses on correcting the cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. Neck and shoulder problems often involve misaligned joints. In neck problems, it is common for the bones of the neck to become misaligned. This often causes the nerves to become pinched which exit the spine. Muscles and ligaments may also become involved as they are stretched with the misplaced bones.Chiropractors are specially trained to correct the misaligned bones. This also helps to remove pressure off the pinched nerve and restore normal function. Chiropractors also perform physiotherapy modalities to help speed up healing of injured muscles and soft tissue. They may also recommend heat or ice be applied to the injured area. They can also give instruction for specific exercises to help strengthen and heal the neck and shoulders.

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