The Federal Reserve Bank has been taking a beating when it comes to how it has moved to handle the current financial and economic situation. The announcement of what is essentially a 200 billion dollar financing plan signals a change in direction.At this point in time, there is really no more mystery regarding the real estate market. Things are simply a mess. Lenders overreached when it came to writing loans for borrowers that didn’t really qualify for them. When the real estate market slowed down, many of those borrowers couldn’t meet their obligations. Large banks and investors in the secondary loan market then started to hemorrhage cash as the loans they invested went bad.All of this has led some absolutely huge losses by large investors and companies. The same investors are also players in most financial markets, which means everything has been impacted. Given the massive losses, a credit crunch has arisen that makes it much harder to find capital to fund transactions. Simply put, you may not be able to borrow money for a home even if you otherwise qualify. This, of course, has served to further crush the real estate market.The first part of this decade was an amazing one for the real estate market. 20 to 25 percent appreciation rates in many parts of the country. It couldn’t last and it hasn’t. Now, we are seeing similar rates of value losses in some parts of the country. Given the lack of money for lending, the chance of a big turn around in the real estate market seems remote.Real estate is the staple economic element of the middle class in this country. It is the foundation upon which much is built economically. This means something must be done. The federal governments decision to offer $300 to $1,200 in tax rebates is nice, but hardly a cure. The Federal Reserve Bank has recognized as much and taken a dramatic step.The Fed has come up with a rather stunning financing plan to add liquidity to the markets. It has created an international consortium with the central banks of Canada, Europe and Switzerland. Together, they will loan $200 billion dollars to investment banks in exchange for debt including poor mortgage products. In short, we are talking about a huge bailout to try to get the investors that bolster the back end of the real estate market moving again.Why has this happened? Why would these banks come forward and offer such a creative plan? Well, there is a scary secret out there. First, the worst has not yet hit in the real estate market when it comes to mortgages. Vast numbers of mortgages are going to reset this year and in 2009. This year, 2008, should be very ugly. To keep the real estate market from completely collapsing, the Fed is trying to make buying possible again via financing. It is a smart plan.The question that most have is will this work? The Federal Reserve Bank has never done anything like this before so there is some risk. That being said, this is the type of creative and “out of the box” thinking needed at the moment. This plan seems to have a far better chance of working than anything offered to this point, so keep an eye on the real estate market. Liquidity can make all the difference between a dropping and rebounding market.
Having a cancer history or even going through present treatment can be difficult enough. When dealing with the financial issues associated with the illness (medical bills, inability to work normal hours… ) one may feel even more overwhelmed and alone. Although, many non-profit associations have made resources available for individuals with cancer, the subject of life insurance, we feel, is often poorly covered. Individuals with this illness may not have thought of securing enough life insurance or may not have had the time to. Now that they are ill, many feel that no insurance plans may be available or rates may be too high or no one cares to simply advise them on how to secure a policy now or later.Here are some simple steps to follow to improve your chances of securing a life insurance policy.Get your medical information togetherAs much possible, it is important that you share your health history with the insurance company or broker. This should include not only your cancer history but also your other health history. Your height and weight and your tobacco use should also be shared. Note that this information should be shared with a broker or agent before you even apply to any company. The purpose of this step is to eliminate companies that would not even consider an approval. Although none can guarantee an approval based on the information you will save much time weeding out the ones that are most likely to deny coverage just on the medical information you furnish them. Be precise when sharing information. For example, some insurance companies may consider “presently undergoing cancer treatment” as a treatment such as chemotherapy but not maintenance drugs such as Arimidex. Cancer maintenance drugs are not always ground for automatic decline.Select the top three choicesHow can one decide which companies are the top three choices for life insurance? Two factors will influence that, price and coverage type (assuming you have already selected only highly rated companies). Most insurance companies will give you a possible approval price range. Some, as with simplified whole life, may give you a fixed rate which will either be approved with a simplified underwriting process or be declined. Plan types are also a factor. If you need long term coverage, select the plans that offer you the longest term possible. If all you need is a short term plan such as a 10 year term life insurance policy, then only apply to these plans. Note that, at times, you may find that long term plans are better priced than 10 year term polices. In that case, of course, select the better plan.Stay in touch with your brokerOnce you have applied, it is imperative that you stay in touch with your broker. A good broker will update you regularly but not all will. You must stay in touch and make sure that medical records are being processed by your doctor, exam is set and any information needed is supplied. Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout the process or even suggest other possible insurance companies. No matter how great your broker is, he or she does not know everything and if you work closely with him or her, a good broker will appreciate your input and the information you share about other options and insurance companies.Errors people may make· Look at the application and decide that they cannot get approved – insurance companies often have different interpretation of terms used.· Select a short term plan to cover a long term need – Thinking that you may always re-apply later at a lower rate once your cancer is far behind, we feel, is too big of a gamble.
Give up too early because of a decline or high rating
Not selecting a broker with access to multiple insurance companies
Lying on the insurance application
Automatically not accepting an offer because it is graded life insurance (coverage is delayed for two to three years)
Thinking that having an insurance exam will be worse than doing a no exam life insurance
Not asking enough questions and share vital information before, during and after the underwriting process
We hope that these simple steps and tips will greatly help you secure the life insurance coverage you need. Always feel free to ask us questions. Be well.