Your Guide to Renting with Pets









Maybe you’ve always been a pet-owner and can’t
imagine your life without your furry companion at your side. Or perhaps you’re
interested in becoming a pet-owner for the first time; you’ve got your heart
set on adopting a dog or bringing home your first goldfish (baby
steps, right?). Whatever the case may be, if you’re a renter or future-renter,
then you’re probably learning that not all landlords love animals as much as
you do.
Finding a pet-friendly rental can be
challenging, but the good news is it’s possible! Use the tips below to find the
perfect home for your companions.

Tips for finding a pet-friendly
apartment:

Choose
your pet wisely.
If you’re a renter or a soon-to-be renter who is interested
in getting a pet, the first step is deciding what kind of pet realistically
fits your lifestyle.
Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of having a Great Dane but also realize that
perhaps your budget doesn’t allow for a rental
space that would provide the room and yard that a Great Dane would
require.
As a future pet owner, it’s important to ask
yourself what you’re realistically up for. Pets are a lot of work! And some
definitely require more care and attention than others. For example, if you
work 10-hour shifts, then it might be difficult to have a dog. Instead, you may
want to consider a smaller animal such as a fish, lizard or hamster. These
smaller animals don’t need to be taken outside frequently and require less
affection than traditional pets such as cats and dogs. Cats work well for pet
owners with busy lifestyles as they tend to be solitary creatures and don’t
mind being left alone for prolonged periods of time, so long as they have food,
water and other necessities.
Give
yourself time.
It can be difficult to find a landlord
and rental property that are OK with pets. Giving yourself plenty of time for
the search can alleviate some stress. Once you start your search, be diligent.
Do your research and check out your top prospects in-person.
Look
outside your current community.
Not finding exactly
what you need in your current neighborhood? Then perhaps it’s time to expand
your search perimeter. Set a perimeter around the places you commute to most
often, and work from there.
Set
your pet up for success.
Make a resume for your pet!
Sound silly? Maybe. But your future landlord will appreciate the effort you put
in to showing how your pet may just be the best-behaved pet there ever was. On
your pet’s resume, include their adoption story, their best qualities and any
training courses they may have completed.
Prepare
your pet.
Remember all of those great things you’re
going to say about your pet on their resume? Make sure they’re all true! This
is especially important if you’re a dog owner. Train your dog not to bark or
chew on things they shouldn’t, like furniture and blankets. Need help in the training
department? There are plenty of training resources available online.
Provide
references for your pet.
Just like people, your landlord will be more accepting of
your pet if you can provide references. If you’re currently renting and have a
good relationship with your landlord, consider asking them to write a letter of
recommendation for your pet.

 

Best Practices, once you’ve found
your new home:

You found a place that allows pets! Cue enormous sigh of relief. But the
work doesn’t completely stop there. It’s important to start developing a good
relationship with your landlord, who may or may not still be wary about your
pet. Follow the tips below to ensure that your dreams of renting with a pet
stay on track:
Stay
true to your promises.
If you’ve promised that your
dog is the best-behaved dog on planet earth, then now isn’t the time to let
Fido start barking at the cat across the street. Just like how new environments
and life changes can be stressful to people, they can also be stressful to
animals. Help your pet through the moving transition by paying close attention
to stress behaviors. Identifying what is causing your pet stress will help you
alleviate their stressors and, as a result, mitigate potentially poor behavior.
It’s also important to continue to enforce good behavior with affection and
treats.
Keep
your place clean.
Just like any good tenant, be
mindful of keeping your space clean. This is especially important as a pet
owner as you want to make a good impression with your landlord, should they
ever need to pop in to do some maintenance. Keeping a tidy space
also means less temptation for your cat or dog to go rummaging through things they shouldn’t,
such as food, cleaning supplies and medicines while you’re away!
The cleanliness should continue outside. Be
respectful of your landlord’s outdoor space. If there is a specific area where
your pet should relieve themselves, be sure to always take your pet to that
location. If not, make sure you always clean up after them. The last thing you
want is your landlord to ruin a shoe over your beloved pet and have the both of
you looking for a new place to live.
Consider
renters insurance.
Renters insurance is affordable and
can protect you and your belongings from theft and disaster. Consider pursuing
renters insurance to add an extra level of protection to your home for you and
your pet.









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Bridger Insurance Services and AgentSync Pioneer Operational Efficiencies


This post is part of a series sponsored by AgentSync.

Insurance is a highly regulated industry, and, with a producer workforce that’s turning over as a generation retires and signs over their businesses, reducing time spent on manual data entry for both internal and external teams is key to long-term growth.

When I took on the role of president at Bridger Insurance Services a little more than a year ago, one of my first priorities was to streamline operations. As much as the industry likes manual, I was ready to fire “manual.”

Appointing was one of those processes that was too manual and required too much hands-on attention for a company that has hundreds of offices around the country. Prior to working with AgentSync, our process went something like:

  • A producer would send us an email or call us to ask to be appointed
  • Our team would send a PDF of our agency agreement, an electronic funds transfer agreement, a W-9, etc.
  • The producer would send back everything with copies of their licenses
  • Our staff would manually type up everything to put it into our client relationship management system and policy admin system

It was a terribly inefficient process, despite looking much like the process of numerous insurance companies operating in our space.

Gaining efficiency through process improvements

Prior to my coming aboard as president, Bridger was already working with AgentSync and had implemented an agent onboarding portal to automate this process. This is a heavily regulated industry, and we can only maintain appointments and do business with producers who are properly licensed. So, synchronizing national producer numbers (NPNs) and being able to let agencies know to get their producers current on their continuing education (CE) and licenses was a great way to ensure compliance.

That first step of automating producer onboarding and appointments helped further our reputation as a technology-forward company. Yet, we’re seeing the insurance industry change, with long-time agency owners leaving the industry and selling their businesses. So, when I saw our portal still had 40 or so questions, I knew we had some room for improvement.

When it comes to online processes, if something is too long or complicated, there will be a drop-off in completion. So we examined our portal to critically look at the data we were collecting. We tried to experience the process as our users would, and understand where the bottlenecks or pain points were. And we decided there were a lot of places we could create even more efficiencies beyond a digitized version of our onboarding process.

Customer Success team levels up the partnership

Taking a manual, paper-based, process and making it electronic isn’t the same as being modern or digital. We know our partners don’t have the time to spend 45 minutes on an appointment application – whether digital or on paper. So, we started a conversation with the AgentSync team about how to further streamline our onboarding and appointment process.

One of the challenges we faced was managing producers and agency partners across hundreds of locations in different states. Rethinking our onboarding process was going to require a lot of hands-on learning, and, fortunately, the AgentSync Customer Success team proved to be up to the task.

From field mapping between AgentSync and our e-signature tools to stripping down required fields and ensuring the user experience was solid, the AgentSync team was with us every step of the way. Not only did they do what we asked, but they engaged with us to give feedback and input on ways to improve our process, too.

The team at AgentSync saw this as a challenge to better not just the Bridger experience, but also the AgentSync solutions set. Knowing that we had a team behind us, committed to delivering something that really works for all of us, made the process far easier. Instead of taking hours to type and retype information, fields autofill across our platforms. Our prospective partners can sign up online, access the portal, and apply for an appointment in a matter of minutes. Our admins check applications to ensure the information is all there, then click a button to create a signature package. I sign it, the producer signs it, and we’re done. And in all of that, we know state-specific compliance rules are baked in so we don’t worry about missing them.

Over time, these efficiencies turn into profit. Over the last 12 months, we’ve grown our business more than 450 percent, so having an efficient, automated, and streamlined onboarding and appointing process is instrumental.

Using innovations to meet a changing industry for growth

Industry longtimers are aging out. While there are many statistics to back this up, even anecdotally, Bridger is seeing a fair share of people who are retiring and selling their businesses. Most of these sales end up with name changes, entity principal changes, and a whole process of changing information for the business entities and the producers involved.

We’re growing our base even as this industry changing-of-the-guard occurs because we are making this shift simple, with e-signature tools and auto-filling integrations into our other systems, all of which make it easier to attract new agency owners and retain the businesses we already contract with. But there are many carriers out there that are still using written papers to handle these changes.

Taking advantage of technology puts us a cut above. Instead of recruiting new offices by having to make a lengthy case for why they should sit through an hour or more of printing, filling, and scanning paperwork, we can present prospective partners with a QR code where they can apply for an appointment straight from their phone.

Partnering with AgentSync has been part of this vision – we have come to expect the responsive communication needed to implement changes as we see them, and we know we can get responses or meetings with our AgentSync team in a measure of hours, not days. That has set us up for success in better targeting our opportunities in untapped market areas, taking advantage of market cycles, and leveraging our momentum to grow and scale.

At Bridger, we’ve seen that operational efficiency, effective compliance, and our partners’ experience converge in this speedy onboarding process built on modern insurance infrastructure. As the market conditions continue to drive these innovations, we’re looking forward to what comes next.

Hear from other customers about their experiences working with AgentSync. See how AgentSync can help you innovate.

Topics
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Permanent vs. whole life insurance: What’s the difference?


What’s the difference between permanent life insurance and whole life insurance? Whole life insurance is a subcategory of permanent life insurance, meaning that every whole life insurance policy is also a permanent life insurance policy. There’s no difference between whole vs. permanent life insurance, but there is a difference between whole life insurance vs. other permanent life insurance products like universal life and variable life.

There’s also a significant difference between whole life insurance and term life insurance. Whole life insurance, like all permanent life insurance policies, is designed to provide lifelong coverage. Term life insurance is designed to provide life insurance coverage for a designated term length — often 10, 20, or 30 years. Both whole life and term life insurance policies offer level premiums that remain constant over the life of the policy, but term life insurance premiums tend to be more affordable.

Some people ask themselves whether they should choose permanent vs. whole life insurance — but since whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance, the real question you should be asking is whether you should choose permanent life insurance vs. term life insurance. Which policy is likely to offer the lowest monthly premium payments? How much will it cost to take out enough coverage to pay for your final expenses and cover other financial obligations such as mortgage payments? Are you taking out life insurance to provide a death benefit to your loved ones, or are you looking for a life insurance policy that includes a cash value component that can be borrowed against while you’re still alive?

Here’s what you need to know about whole life insurance vs. permanent life insurance vs. term life insurance — and how to decide what type of life insurance is right for you.

In this article:

What is permanent life insurance?

Permanent life insurance is an umbrella term for any life insurance policy that is designed to last your entire life and offer lifetime coverage. Unlike term life insurance, which is designed to provide life insurance coverage for a specific period of time, permanent life insurance provides lifelong coverage. As long as you are able to cover the costs of your monthly premium payments, your permanent life policy will remain active your entire life.

Like term life insurance, permanent life policies allow you to choose the amount of coverage you need — whether you’re looking for just enough life insurance coverage to pay off final expenses or hoping to provide your beneficiaries with the kind of death benefit that can cover other financial obligations such as mortgage payments or childcare costs. In most cases, choosing a higher coverage amount means paying a higher premium.

Most permanent life insurance policies offer a level premium — which means that you’ll make the same premium payment every month or year, no matter how long you have the permanent policy. Many permanent life insurance policies are structured so that your policy accumulates cash value with every premium payment, giving you a financial resource that can be borrowed against or used to cover future premiums.

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. As the name implies, whole life insurance is designed to cover you for your whole life — as long as you continue paying your insurance premiums. Miss a premium payment, and your whole life insurance policy could lapse.

How much does whole life insurance cost? It depends. In most cases, the premiums on a whole life insurance policy are likely to be higher than the premiums you’d pay for a term life insurance policy offering the same amount of coverage. However, your whole life insurance premium payments are likely to be less expensive if you take out your life insurance policy when you are young and healthy — which means that if you want to make your whole life insurance policy as affordable as possible, make sure you apply for life insurance early.

Whole life insurance generally includes a cash value component that can be borrowed against or used to pay future monthly premiums. Many people choose whole life insurance to take advantage of the policy’s cash value benefit, which can be used to cover home renovations, college education costs or retirement expenses. That said, you should always be careful with a cash value life insurance policy — if you borrow against your policy’s cash value and are unable to pay it back with interest, your beneficiaries could end up receiving a lower death benefit. You could also end up owing a hefty tax bill on the amount of money you borrowed if it’s more than the premiums you’ve paid in, so make sure you only withdraw as much of your policy’s cash value as you can afford to pay back.

What other types of permanent life insurance are there?

Whole life insurance isn’t the only type of permanent life insurance available to consumers. You might also want to consider universal life insurance, which gives you the option to pay flexible premiums instead of being locked into a fixed payment. You could also look for a variable life insurance policy, which allows you to invest your policy’s cash value and take advantage of market growth — though you should also be prepared for the possibility of market decline.

Many categories of permanent life insurance have their own subcategories, each of which offers its own unique benefits. Indexed universal life insurance, for example, allows you to allocate a portion of your policy’s cash value to a fund whose return is based on the performance of a broad stock market index such as the S&P 500. Guaranteed universal life insurance provides a guaranteed death benefit. Variable universal life insurance allows you to invest your universal life policy’s cash value.

When you’re considering life insurance products, make sure to consider all of the pros and cons before making your decision. If you’re thinking about permanent life insurance, remember that it isn’t as simple as whole life insurance vs. permanent insurance — it’s more like whole life vs. variable life vs. universal life vs. variable universal life vs. indexed universal life vs. guaranteed universal life. You have a lot of choices, so do your best to choose carefully.

Is permanent life insurance right for you?

If you are looking for a life insurance product that is designed to provide coverage for your entire life, permanent life insurance could be a good option. In addition to the permanent coverage that a permanent life insurance policy can provide, you can also take advantage of the cash value component. If you are looking for extra money to put towards an unexpected expense or financial obligation, taking out a policy loan against your life insurance policy could get you the funds you need — as long as you can afford to pay back the money you borrowed.

What about permanent vs. whole life insurance? Since there are so many different types of permanent life insurance, it’s a good idea to talk to an insurance agent before choosing a permanent life insurance policy. Do you want your permanent life insurance policy to include an investment option? Do you want to ensure that you’re choosing a policy with level premiums that will remain the same for decades to come? Take your time before selecting a permanent life insurance policy, and make sure to review all of your options.

Is whole life insurance right for you?

If you’re thinking about whole life insurance vs. other types of permanent life insurance, ask yourself whether a basic life insurance policy offering lifelong coverage is right for you. A whole life policy comes with a cash value component, but may not give you the investment options associated with variable life insurance policies or the flexible monthly premiums associated with universal life policies. That said, a whole life insurance policy may give you the ability to pay level premiums for the remainder of your life and offers the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly how much money you’ll be able to leave to your beneficiaries.

What else do you need to know about permanent vs. whole life insurance?

Again, since whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance, maybe the question you should be considering isn’t permanent vs. whole life insurance — it’s permanent life insurance vs. term life insurance. Do you want an insurance product that provides lifelong coverage in exchange for higher premiums, or do you want an insurance product that offers a lower premium in exchange for coverage that lasts for a specific period of time?

Many people who are considering permanent life insurance might be better served with a term life insurance policy instead. Not only are term life insurance premiums more affordable, but term life policies allow you to focus your life insurance coverage on the years in which you are most likely to leave behind financial obligations. By choosing a 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30-year term life insurance policy, you can carry enough life insurance coverage to provide for your beneficiaries until your mortgage is paid off or your children graduate from college — and after that, you can take the money you would have put towards monthly term policy premium payments and start working towards another major financial goal.

If you’re thinking about whole life insurance vs. other types of permanent life insurance like variable life or universal life, make sure you think about term life insurance as well. In some cases, whole life insurance could be the best life insurance option for you and your family. In other cases, term life insurance could provide the coverage you need at a much lower cost — making term life policies one of the most affordable ways of providing for your loved ones.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus

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How to create generational wealth


Eight things anyone can do to leave a legacy for their loved ones.

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably asked yourself what kind of financial legacy you’d like to leave for your child or children. Maybe you’ve even taken the important steps of buying life insurance to provide a financial safety net or creating a will to ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.

But you might not have thought about how your children’s inheritance will be passed down to your grandchildren — or how the lessons you teach your children could eventually be passed along to future generations. Generational wealth compounds, which means that anything you give your children could help them build a better life for your grandchildren, who in turn could pass along assets, skills and knowledge to your great-grandchildren. It’s the kind of legacy that could continue to generate wealth long beyond your lifespan.

We reached out to three financial experts to learn more about how to create generational wealth, why generational wealth is a key component of the racial wealth gap, and how to think about generational wealth in terms of not only money, but also skills, values, assets and resources. Not all of us can leave our children a significant financial inheritance — but we can all do our part to give the next generation the tools they need to succeed.

In this article:

What is generational wealth?

Generational wealth refers to the money, assets, skills and values you pass along to the next generation. Many parents hope to leave their children an inheritance, for example — but even if you can’t leave your children money, you can still pass along skills, values and tools that your children can use to improve their lives, increase their opportunities and build wealth that might someday be passed down to your grandchildren.

This kind of wealth — both asset-based and skills-based — is especially important if your family is part of a group of people who have been historically marginalized or disenfranchised. “Generational wealth benefits families because it gives them the opportunity to succeed despite socio-economic issues and barriers that could otherwise limit them,” says Bola Sokunbi, founder and CEO of Clever Girl Finance.

That said, you don’t need to pass down a significant inheritance in order to give your children the opportunity to succeed. “You don’t need to leave a lot, if someone has the right tools launching into life,” Tom Anderson, financial planning expert and author of The Value of Debt in Building Wealth, explains.

Helping your children graduate from college without taking on student loan debt, for example, could give them a huge head start in life — and those kinds of financial boosts can help your children create wealth that can be passed on from generation to generation.

What can you do to create generational wealth?

There are many ways to leave your children an inheritance — and not all inheritances involve money. In addition to making your children the beneficiary on your investment accounts or your term life insurance plan, you can also give your children other life-changing tools and skills such as a good education or strong financial values.

Here are eight different ways of creating generational wealth.

1. Homeownership

“Homeownership is the chief way we build wealth in this country,” says Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, CEO of financial education company The Money Coach and author of Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom. “The average American who owns a home, they have a leg up in many ways.”

Not only do homeowners get federal tax breaks that are unavailable to renters, but owning a home gives you equity — and you can tap into that equity to start a business, ride out tough financial times or help fund your children’s college education. “The lack of a house can be a serious financial drawback,” Khalfani-Cox explains.

Sokunbi agrees, noting that investing in real estate can be a way that wealth is passed down from one generation to the next. Anderson, however, cautions homeowners to be wary of treating their nest like a nest egg. “The challenge with a home is two-fold,” Anderson told us. The first challenge is ensuring that your home appreciates in value over time — which, if you remember the way the housing market crashed during the Great Recession, might not be entirely within your control.

The second challenge is ensuring you keep your home long enough to pass its value down to your children. “We’re all living a lot longer, and it’s rare that we’re still living in the house that we thought would be an asset at the end-of-life period.” Many people downsize to a smaller home before moving to a senior care center, assisted living center or nursing home — and the value of the home is often put towards the high costs of end-of-life care.

2. Small-business ownership

home isn’t the only major asset you can leave your children. If you run a small business, you have the ability to not only earn your own money and be your own boss, but also to pass the business along to your children as they get older — and give them the opportunity to continue growing the family’s wealth.

“If you look at millionaires in this country, the vast majority of them have made their wealth through property ownership and business ownership,” Khalfani-Cox explains. Your small business might not make you a millionaire, but it can still give you the opportunity to take control of your career and support your family — and who knows? Maybe your children will be the ones who take the family business to the million-dollar level.

If you’re concerned about the risks involved in starting and building a business, keep in mind that there are also risks involved in working for someone else.

“Even though it may be difficult to launch and start an enterprise, it’s sometimes easier to create a business than it is to find a job,” says Khalfani-Cox, “especially for women, African-Americans and people who might feel like they’ve hit a certain ceiling.” Starting a small business could change your family’s life — not only right now, but also generations from now.

3. Investments

Sokunbi, Khalfani-Cox and Anderson all spoke to the importance of investing — and the ability to turn your long-term investments into generational wealth. You don’t need to be Warren Buffett to pass along stock market returns, either. If you have a 401(k), you have money that could eventually become part of your children’s inheritance.

“Designate beneficiaries on any assets you might already have, no matter how small,” Sokunbi says, “For example, workplace retirement investment accounts.” This is one more reason why you should always sign up for your employer’s retirement plan — and always take advantage of any matched funds that your employer offers.

4. Education

“Knowledge in itself is wealth,” explains Sokunbi, “because once you know what something means and how it works, you are able to take the actions necessary to implement your knowledge.” Helping your children with their homework when they’re young, for example, can turn into helping them apply for scholarships when they’re ready to go to college.

You can also pass along skills that can make your children’s lives easier and more affordable, such as the ability to cook, plan meals in advance and grocery shop on a budget. If you have a side hustle or small business, teach your children how you earn income — because they might be able to use what they learn to start their own businesses in the future.

Make sure they understand not only the tools of the trade, but also the skills involved in bookkeeping, marketing and client management.

5. Values

Many parents want to pass certain family values down to their children, like kindness, generosity or compassion. If you’re thinking about building generational wealth, you should consider passing down financial values as well. “Children observe your behaviors and actions,” Sokunbi explains. “Simply seeing the action of you budgeting, paying down debt and saving can be incredibly impactful to their financial decision-making in the future.”

Anderson agrees. “Train your children to save, and they will be wealthy relative to their needs.”

You can start by setting up the classic three-compartment piggy bank: one compartment for spending, one for saving and one for giving. From there, Anderson suggests asking yourself the following questions: “What would be the coolest values for my kids to have when they are older? What values would set them up for success?”

Maybe you want to teach your kids the importance of hard work. Maybe you want to teach them the value of being their own boss. Maybe you want to teach them about financial independence and the ability to live a life that isn’t dependent on a job. Choose your values carefully, because they’ll become part of your children’s inheritance.

6. Life insurance

“Life insurance is one of the easiest, no-brainer ways to help pass along wealth to the next generation,” Khalfani-Cox told us — and we agree. An affordable term life insurance policy can help protect your family from unnecessary financial strain, and the value of your life insurance policy can become part of your children’s inheritance.

Why is an affordable life insurance policy, and estate planning in general, one of the key components of generational wealth? Because it allows you to set aside funds for your beneficiaries without having to save the money yourself.

“It might take you 20 years to save $250,000 or $500,000,” Khalfani-Cox says. “You could just as easily buy a term life insurance policy, and that policy would have a face amount of coverage of $250,000 or $500,000. If something happened to you, your beneficiaries would get that payout.”

Plus, a good life insurance plan can help reduce the racial wealth gap. “Life insurance is one of the very easy ways in which Black people especially can start to build wealth,” Khalfani-Cox explains.

“Life insurance is one of the easiest, no-brainer ways to help pass along wealth to the next generation.”

—Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

7. Annual gifts

You don’t need to wait until your death to pass along generational wealth to your children. If you have the money to spare, giving it to your children while you’re still alive can help them buy their first home, pay off debt and set them up for a strong financial future.

That said, it’s a good idea to hold off making annual gifts to your children until you’ve saved enough money for your own retirement and end-of-life needs. “You’re either on track to a comfortable retirement or you’re not,” Anderson says. “If you are, start annual giving.” Read the IRS’s rules about giving and gift taxes to ensure you aren’t getting yourself into a tax pickle — in 2023, for example, parents can give children up to $17,000 each before gift taxes kick in.

8. Philanthropy

There’s one more way of passing along generational wealth — and that’s by giving it to organizations that are designed to support, promote and educate the next generation. Making philanthropic contributions, whether as a bequest, an endowment or a recurring monthly donation, is an excellent way of ensuring that your money goes towards a good cause.

People without children often wonder what to do with their assets both during their life and after their death. Philanthropy can help you use your accumulated wealth to help others — whether you’re making a charitable gift in addition to the gifts you’re passing along to family members, or whether you’re designating a charity or organization to be your primary inheritor.

How has generational wealth contributed to the racial wealth gap?

“You can’t really talk about the history of generational wealth in this country without having a conversation about racism and about how structural inequities were created specifically to disenfranchise some populations, especially Black people,” says Khalfani-Cox. “The idea was to not let them be able to build wealth!”

There are many reasons why the racial wealth gap between Black Americans and white Americans is so large — and several of those reasons are directly related to the concept of generational wealth. A first-time homeowner, for example, is not only purchasing an asset that can be passed along to the next generation. That homeowner may also be giving their children the gift of stability, as well as helping their children understand how the homebuying process works and teaching their children that owning a home is an important family value.

Even if their children never inherit any money from the home itself, they will have inherited several related skills and tools that they can use to build their own security, stability and financial success — and that kind of generational wealth also compounds over time.

But not everybody has access to something as important as homeownership. The Urban Institute recently reported that 71.9% of white Americans own homes, compared to just 41.8% of Black Americans — the greatest gap in 50 years — a deficit that has its roots in redlining, the practice of not allowing Black citizens to buy homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.

When you are part of a community that has been disenfranchised for generations, building generational wealth can seem like an impossible goal — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to leave your children the skills, values and tools that can help them take advantage of opportunities and build their own wealth.

If you are part of a community that has been historically privileged, you also have the opportunity to use some of your own wealth to help people who haven’t received the same benefits. Philanthropy, mentoring, activism and allyship are all ways to pass along the money, skills and resources that have helped you succeed — and sharing some of what you’ve earned and learned can take us all a bit closer to closing the racial wealth gap.

“You can’t really talk about the history of generational wealth in this country without having a conversation about racism and about how structural inequities were created specifically to disenfranchise some populations, especially Black people”

—Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, CEO and author

Remember, generational wealth isn’t just about giving your descendents an inheritance. It’s about using what you have to ensure that the next generation might have it a little bit better.

By understanding that wealth is not always correlated with money, and that you have the opportunity to share your skills and resources with both your family and your community, you’ll be better prepared to pass along your wealth to the people who need it most — and since generational wealth compounds, your legacy might be the seed to someone else’s success, generations into the future.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus

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  • My experience with Haven Life has been nothing short of fantastic from start to finish. After working tirelessly with brokers and getting quotes that were complicated to understand online, I found Haven Life and I am very pleased that I did. Haven Life’s respectful and understandable approach to issuing something as important as life insurance and doing so in such a straightforward way is why I would recommend Haven Life to my loved ones and friends alike.

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Oliver Wyman appoints global head of cyber risk



Oliver Wyman appoints global head of cyber risk

Oliver Wyman, a management consulting business of Marsh McLennan, has appointed Souheil Moukaddem (pictured above) as global head of its cyber risk platform.

Moukaddem will oversee the development and implementation of Oliver Wyman’s cyber risk strategy, harnessing the consulting firm’s reach across 30 countries and its 6,000 employees.

Prior to joining Oliver Wyman, Moukkadem was executive vice president and managing director of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Middle East and North Africa business, which was acquired by Oliver Wyman in 2022. Before that, he established another global strategy consulting firm in the region. He was also previously chief strategy officer at a private equity firm, with projects ranging from the Middle East to Malaysia. Across his career, Moukkadem has overseen the design, building and implementation of large cybersecurity programs.

According to Oliver Wyman, the strengthening of its cyber risk platform responds to fast-evolving client needs and involves collaboration between Oliver Wyman and other members of the Marsh McLennan group – including insurance and risk management consultancy Marsh, economic consultancy NERA, and human capital expert firm Mercer.

“Cyber risk is a dynamic and fast-moving domain, which in turn requires smart, responsive action – Oliver Wyman and the wider Marsh McLennan group has the breadth and depth of expertise to deliver the right solutions for our clients across both the private and public sector,” said Michael Zeltkevic, the global head of capabilities at Oliver Wyman. “We are delighted that Souheil will add his 30+ years of experience to helping corral the best of our firm’s capabilities to meet our clients’ most important challenges and opportunities.”

 



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Understanding cargo coverage: What brokers should expect for the transportation and logistics market


Understanding cargo coverage: What brokers should expect for the transportation and logistics market

         

Which factors will shape the cargo insurance market in 2023? What solutions can minimize third-party exposure and leverage first-party coverage?

Join Falvey Insurance Group’s Jack Falvey, chief operating officer, and Mike McKenna, chief underwriting officer, as they share their expertise and answer these questions, and much more, in the latest episode of IBA Talk. Understand the different types of cargo insurance coverage that affect the transportation and logistics marketplace, and what you should keep top of mind over the coming months.

Listen today and gain insights on:

  • How brokers in the cargo space can gain more clients and be more proactive in retaining current ones
  • How different coverages are impacted based on regionality
  • Which additional coverages brokers should consider for specific clients



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Beating the Winter Blues: Tips for Combating Seasonal Affective Disorder



Winter in New York State is often associated with holiday memories and dazzling snowy landscapes. Unfortunately, it can also be cold, dark and gloomy. As the days get shorter and temperatures drop,
people tend to spend more time staying warm indoors and less time socializing and staying active. For many people, the combination of cold weather and
shorter days can negatively impact mental health. For some, this seasonal mood change is
characterized as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal
Affective Disorder—aptly acronymized as “SAD”—is a common mood disorder that
impacts more than 3 million people every year. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as many as 9 percent of people
residing in northern states like New York may experience SAD.

SAD’s impacts
can vary from a minor drop in serotonin (often dubbed the “winter blues”) to
major depressive episodes. The effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder can be
truly debilitating, so it is important to know the symptoms and begin to combat
them when you notice a significant change in your mood or the mood of a loved
one.

Here are some
ideas for activities that may help to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder and
help lift your spirits this winter:

Know the Symptoms

If you
experience any of the following symptoms, it may be time to seek help and make
some changes.

  • Feeling
    depressed for most of the day, nearly every day
  • Feelings
    of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • Having
    low energy
  • Loss
    of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Changes in weight and/or appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating

Exercise and Go Outside Regularly

During cold
seasons, it is especially easy to get into the habit of staying indoors.
Lethargic behavior and decreased exposure to sunlight are both causes of
Seasonal Affective Disorder. You can eliminate both problems by regularly
taking walks outside during daylight hours.

Other forms of
exercise such as yoga can also help improve your mood. Exercising increases
serotonin levels and improves mind-body connection.

 

Make Plans and Keep Busy

Since many
major holidays are in the winter, it is easy to stay
busy by preparing for family get-togethers and other events. Whether you’re preparing a meal or adorning your house with festive décor, there’s always something that you can
do to distract yourself and keep busy.

 

Use a SAD Therapy Lamp

One of the most
common treatments for SAD is light therapy. This involves exposure to light
from a special type of lamp that mimics natural sunlight. Studies have shown
that light therapy can significantly decrease the effects of SAD and improve
overall mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps are sold by many online
retailers and at some drug stores.

 

Seek Help From a Mental Health Professional

If the symptoms
persist, it may be time to seek further help from a qualified mental health
professional.

Most mental
health professionals are well-versed in treatments for Seasonal Affective
Disorder. Supplements, medication and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are
some of the options they may offer to you. Remember that your mental health is
just as important as your physical health and there is no shame in seeking
help.

These tips should
help you to identify and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder if it ever arises
so that you can enjoy all the positive aspects of winter.




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Risk Strategies acquires Tanenbaum-Harber of Florida



Risk Strategies acquires Tanenbaum-Harber of Florida

Risk Strategies has revealed that it has acquired the insurance and risk management advisor Tanenbaum-Harber of Florida. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1860, the Miramar, FL-based Tanenbaum-Harber is one of the largest independent retail agencies operating in South Florida. According to a release, Risk Strategies not only acquired Tanenbaum-Harber of Florida, but also the assets of Tanenbaum-Harber of California, which operates in San Diego, CA.

Tanenbaum-Harber reported “strong business growth” over the past five years, and has more than 5,000 clients across a range of industries, including wholesale distribution, real estate, security, hospitality, technology and non-profit.

“Tanenbaum-Harber brings another industry-leading brand to our growing Florida team,” said Risk Strategies Atlantic regional leader Scott Popilek. “They have terrific, highly experienced people and an approach to client service built and refined for over 150 years that perfectly aligns with our firm.”

“Given the long history of our firm, we wanted to find a partner that could provide a path for our people and business to scale both within the state and nationally,” added Tanenbaum-Harber of Florida president Fred Jove. “Risk Strategies, having both a strong presence in key areas within our home state and more than 30 specialty practices nationally, presented both a great business and cultural fit.”

Last month, Risk Strategies acquired Statewide Condominium Insurance. Based in Vero Beach, FL, Statewide is a retail broker specializing in the condominium and apartment complex risk sectors.



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Conduit Holdings reports 60% growth in estimated ultimate premiums


Conduit Re’s property business made up the bulk (47%) of 2023 estimated ultimate premiums, followed by its casualty (27%) and specialty (26%) lines of business.

Conduit Holdings reported that “extremely strong” market conditions in the property and specialty lines of business had provided it with the opportunity to grow both these classes, while continued selective growth in the casualty lines also gave the company a share of “attractive” underwriting opportunities.

“Sixty percent premium growth is the true indication of the underwriting conditions we have experienced,” Carvey said. “This is manifesting itself across pricing and rates, terms, and deductibles, and the strong increase in new business that we have enjoyed. From a capital perspective, we have plenty of room to execute our plan and the growth we anticipate.”

Business trended towards a mid-80s combined ratio in the medium term, Conduit Holdings reported, supported by significant improvements in Conduit Re’s terms and conditions, reduced acquisition costs on renewed business, and an “exceptional” pricing environment.

Conduit Re also maintained a legacy-free balance sheet, placing it in a position ready for continued growth under the current market conditions.

“We experienced a busy and rewarding start to the year,” said Conduit Holdings chief underwriting officer Gregory Roberts. “In the January 1 renewals, we increased our weighting towards property and specialty business, capitalising on an exceptional shift in pricing, while balancing it against our casualty book, which is still attractively priced. A highlight was that we successfully secured our retrocession program in line with our objectives. As a team, we are absolutely delighted in the way that we executed the renewals period.”

Executive chairman Neil Eckert added: “This has been an exciting January renewals…. We are continuing to see reserve strengthening across the reinsurance industry, which gives Conduit Re with its legacy-free balance sheet, [a] competitive edge. Conduit Re is now truly through its start-up phase.”

For 2023, Conduit Holdings believed significant movement in pricing and terms and conditions evidenced a structural shift in the market caused by a “fundamental repricing” of risk, as well as an imbalance in the supply and demand of capital. This new industry landscape would endure for the rest of 2023 and beyond, creating an opportunity for improved margins.

Conduit Re is set to announce 2022 yearend financial results on February 22.



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RIMS' new president shares what makes her stay in risk management



RIMS' new president shares what makes her stay in risk management

Jennifer Santiago (pictured above) took office as president of international risk management society RIMS at the start of this year. Santiago holds RIMS-CRMP, ARM and MBA designations, and is the director of risk management and safety at Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the US. She has been a member of RIMS for 15 years and has been part of its board of directors since 2014.

Corporate Risk and Insurance spoke with Santiago about her career in risk management, as well as what she is looking forward to as president of RIMS during a pivotal time for the industry.

Corporate Risk and Insurance: Please tell us about your career in risk management. How did you get into this field?

Jennifer Santiago: It was definitely fortuitous. I got an internship in the medical field as a medical liability representative in medical malpractice – which is a fascinating area. That led to my role at NYU Medical Center in risk management and insurance. It was an entry-level job, but I was promoted to director after a couple of years. The director role was expansive, and it required me to manage a team, report to the CFO and work with my first captive insurance company. There, I got tremendous exposure and experience in healthcare risk management and the seed was planted for an exciting career.

CRI: What made you stay in risk management?

JS: I continued to expand my knowledge and grow professionally through opportunities in several different organizations of different sizes and financial structures spanning healthcare, pharmaceutical, higher education, manufacturing and services. These include well-known organizations such as Novartis Pharmaceutical, Ingersoll Rand and Penn State University and, most recently, at an US$18 billion cooperative called Wakefern Food Corp. The diversity of operations and business model has kept things interesting for me. Here, I’m able to apply my risk management leadership, skills and experience to help organizations and teams assess risk and uncertainty, plan, prepare and develop organizational resilience based on smart decision making.

I find no day is the same; I am always learning, growing and pushing the boundaries and barriers, and it has made for a very rewarding career.

CRI: Tell us about some major challenges and learning opportunities you’ve encountered during your career?

JS: I think, as you move along and up in your career, there can be many challenges that may rattle and derail your path and test your personal fortitude and resilience. I have chosen to take some fairly big risks with my career and drive that change when I found the path becoming too narrow or things not in line with my values. RIMS and the RIMS community have always been my guiding light.

I’ve found that all my challenges and opportunities have given me a chance to get to know myself better, which is key for a leader. It has allowed me to develop into a better, more effective leader for my teams and organizations. It is fair to say I have not met a challenge or opportunity that I didn’t like and, as I mentor young professionals and I learn from them, I hope to instil some of that personal fortitude and resilience to help them respond and thrive in these challenging, uncertain times.

CRI: What does becoming president of RIMS mean to you? What are you looking forward to tackling during your term?

JS: We are entering this all-new post-pandemic world, and it’s proving to be one of the most pivotal times for risk management in recent history.

Risk professionals need to dust off their strategic plans, re-examine key priorities and reassess processes and our organizations need to do the same to transform strategies and evolve processes that, ultimately, strengthen organizational resiliency.

The road to building a resilient organization is not an easy one to find or follow. That’s where I strongly believe RIMS can step in to help. As president, I want to ensure that RIMS continues to empower the risk community to be catalysts for change, that it focuses its energy on providing risk leaders with the tools and support to innovate within their organizations and strengthen their programs. Most importantly, RIMS must continue to be a platform for the exchange of ideas and powerful conversations that connect and inspire risk professionals from all industries, career levels, professional experiences and backgrounds.

It is a great honor and privilege to serve RIMS and the risk management profession in this capacity. It is an incredible opportunity to continue to help elevate the profession and bring it to new heights.

CRI: What is your forecast for the risk management profession in the near future?

JS: Risk management is fundamental to creating resilient organizations and the “Road to Resiliency” starts with the risk professional. Leaders around the world have recognized the importance of strong risk management capabilities in their organizations – the pandemic clearly highlighted this. As such, they need trained, skilled risk management professionals to not only help them respond in a crisis, but to build in the capabilities, plans and resources to ensure organizational resilience.

The global pandemic has pushed boardroom doors open for risk management professionals. Leadership sought risk management’s support, especially when it came to emergency and crisis management, business continuity, risk financing and adapting operational strategies. It’s up to us and our organizations to keep this door open and move more risk management professionals into C-suite roles and in seats on for-profit, not-for-profit and private company boards.

Needless to say, my prediction is strong for the growth of the risk management profession into the future.



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