Joint Life Insurance: The Fundamentals

Many people apply for life insurance policies for securing their own as well as their near and dear one’s lives. However, on certain occasions, they become confused as to what is right for their needs – a single life or joint life policy. There are a number of differences between single life and joint life policies that count.

How does a joint life policy work?

A joint life policy helps cover two lives on an individual basis. On the other hand, a single life policy only covers one life.

Term life insurance policies are the most affordable variety of life insurance and they can be purchased both as a single or joint life policy. A term life insurance policy is valid for a certain number of years where you need to pay a specific amount of premium every month. If you pass away within the term of the policy, your family will get a one-time payout.

Differences between joint life policies and single life policies  

A joint life policy is typically cheaper than a single life policy. In simple terms, it is always more affordable to purchase a joint life policy than a single life policy.

However, there are certain benefits of purchasing two single life policies instead of one joint life policy. Despite the fact that there will be more expenditure from your part, two single life policies will offer twice the coverage and also twice the one-time financial benefit.

For instance, if a husband and his spouse purchased a joint life policy and both pass away as a result of a motor vehicle mishap, the kids who are survived will just receive a single payment.

A joint life insurance policy will not work effectively if there is a marital separation. There are a very limited number of insurance providers who will agree to split the cover into two parts.

In addition, if one policyholder of a joint life policy makes a decision that they will stop paying premiums for their policy, it will result in the policy being annulled.

Problems also occur when the divorced person remarries or has new kids. They are to be taken into account when the insured person passes away.

Essential features of Joint Life Insurance

  • Under a joint life policy, payout is typically offered on a first death basis. It implies the first individual will be getting the payout if the other person in the policy passes away
  • Once this financial benefit is offered, the other individual will not be covered by the policy any more. So, this can be an embarrassing situation
  • Certain joint life policies have the “second death” as one of their integral features but the number is quite limited
  • As a whole, the premium costs for joint life policies with a “second death” feature are less than a joint life cover with “first death” feature since the level of risk to the carrier is less.

A substitute to a joint life policy is buying two individual life policies. In this case, payouts will be received for both the first and second expiry.

With whom can I purchase a joint life policy?

You can buy a joint life cover with the following individuals:

  • Your spouse
  • Your registered domestic partner
  • Your partner living with you
  • Your business partner

However, remember that the key to finding a good joint or single life policy is performing comparison of quotes online. The cost of the cover is not the only thing to consider. You should check out how much cover you are receiving and what the exemptions are. It is always essential to guarantee that you are receiving the best value for your money and a cover which suits you the most.

A Change of Mind – A Change of Lifestyle

One of the most important skills that people need more than they realise is financial management. It goes without saying that proper management of monetary resources will make the difference between more money at the end of the month or more month at the end of the money. Various institutions have come up seeking to educate people on effective resource management.

How does this translate to the life of the ordinary person trying hard to live a good life and stay clear of debt collectors?

1.      Earn the interest, do not pay it 

One of the best choices that anyone can make is to make investments. Whether it is in a business or in a savings scheme, or even a bank, it is important to ensure that an amount is being tucked away regularly, as this will surely come in handy in days to come. The common excuse people give is that they do not have enough money to spare for investments. However, not the amount makes the difference, but the actual act of putting away even the little because over time, it will accrue interest and bring back handsome returns.

2.      Go the cash way
With the convenience of always having electronic cards to access money from the account or even mobile banking systems, people are carried away by the ease of transacting. However, various fees go into carrying out these transactions and over time, the service charges tend to total to a sizeable amount that would have been saved. Instalment payments as well clearly show how the buyer actually pays more for the item as opposed to having paid cash.
3.      Take care of tomorrow today 

The future is not as much a mystery as many tend to presume it is. There are expenses attached to the many aspirations that people carry in their hearts to do. The fact that various costs may be attached, be it fees for the children’s education, car purchases, real estate investments or even the desire to have a comfortable retirement, it makes sense to find ways of saving up for these expenses before their time so as to prevent the possibility of entering into debt trying to meet them.

4.      Debit over credit 

There is usually a lot of talk regarding credit cards. In real sense, they may appear to be an easy way of doing things but in actual sense, it calls for more restraint and responsibility than most people can muster. This is the reason behind people being caught up in payments because they take on more than they can chew. Instead of having the credit card, opt for a debit card. This is one way of guaranteeing that the purchase can actually go through.

5.      Anticipate emergencies 

The whole rationale behind an emergency is the fact that it cannot be predicted. More to this, it may at times cost more than the individual is prepared for it financially. Fortunately, there is a way to prepare in part for the likelihood of its occurrence by having an emergency fund. This will help cushion against unexpected costs and prevent the tendency to run into debt as one borrows money from friends and family, unable to guarantee when they will repay.

Judging from the pointers above, a large part of living the debt free life is dependent on developing a saving culture. The initial process may be challenging, but in the long run, it will safeguard and enhance the stability of the individual, according them a comfortable life.   

Eileen Monks is a financial advisor who has helped many well-established businessmen acquires quick personal loans to help them remain financially afloat. With his help, many have been able to secure the start-up money they lacked; thereby helping them realizes their business dreams.

How To Be Aware Of And Avoid Binary Options Scams

Although binary options is a fast growing way in which to trade on financial markets, there are plenty of reports of this method of trading being a scam. Many of the accusations and criticisms of this trading method centre on the brokers who offer these contracts. The lack of regulation and a general misunderstanding of the premise on which this investment approach is based help to fuel these arguments.

In this article I look at the various potential pitfalls associated with online binary trading and help you to become aware of and therefore avoid any potential binary options scam you may encounter.

As with any industry there will always be someone who is looking to make a quick profit from the uneducated. The arena of financial trading is one which is synonymous with such activity. Over the years many investors and traders have lost countless millions at the hands of unscrupulous dealers. Therefore when a new trading niche is launched, it can only be expected that it will be viewed with a level of suspicion.

Trading with binary options contracts first became available to the retail trader in 2008. Since this time it has grown immeasurably in popularity. Much of this growth has been fuelled by the attractive profits that are on offer and the low barriers to entry. The product is pitched as being tradable by anyone with just a few dollars to spare the ability to call the price of an asset higher or lower. As a result many people have flocked to the potential promises of high profits only to be disappointed when this promise did not materialise. And so here is the first accusation against binary options – it overpromises but under delivers.

Part of the reason why it is difficult to make big profits from trading with binary options is that it is not quite as simply as it looks. While the process of trading with digital options is simple, you will still need to invest as much time and effort into analysing the markets as you would with any alternative trading approach. It is not possible for a novice trader to last in the game for a long time without gaining a proper education in trading methodologies and learning to manage their risk.
A secondary problem is that binary brokers know that most traders will not invest the time to learn how to trade profitability. However they still advertise the ease with which high profits can be made and draw in new traders with the lure of big deposit bonuses. However these have conditions attached. Often you will need to ‘round trip’ large amounts in your account to qualify the bonus for withdrawal. This is of course done for a reason as the broker knows that the longer that the new trader has to transact on their account, the more likely it is that they will lose their deposit. This of course equals greater profits for the broker.

So what can you do to protect yourself if you want to take up binary trading? Well you need to change your mind set and accept that you are going to have to learn about the market if you want to make any money. There is no easy route to profits no matter what you read. If you are serious about getting started with binary options trading then you need to make sure you read up on the markets, stay up to date with current news and affairs and learn how to read the charts.

When it comes to opening your account you also need to read the terms and conditions on your account that are supplied by the broker. This includes finding out about any conditions that may affect your bonus. There is nothing wrong with accepting an account bonus, but you should be aware of how it will operate in relation to your account. You can of course choose to decline any bonus that is offered if you prefer.

In both knowing and accepting how the industry operates you will help to avoid any binary options scam, and will be free to focus on your trading.

Save money and get out of debt – Think out of the box with 6 tips

It’s rather common to wish to get wealthier with every passing day. However, one of the major differences between all those who’re actually wealthy and those who’re not is pretty basic. It’s more like the wealthy are the people who essentially earn interest, whereas the rest are busy paying interest or perhaps even seeking debt relief. This is obvious as the more interest you keep accumulating against you, the higher are your chances of going down the debt whirlpool.

So, you must be wondering that wherein lies the key to financial bliss. Firstly, it’s rather important for you to realize that money is the most effective tool that can ideally help you reach your goals. True financial independence calls for you to make money begin working for you. Moreover, as soon as that happens, you’ll not only be able to get out of debt, but also build yourself a solid financial foundation for your future.

Tips to save money which you thought wouldn’t work

Basically, the trick doesn’t lie in saving money itself. It’s more about making those things work which you initially thought wouldn’t. Now, if you’re looking for ways to get out of debt, then it’s high time to take immediate action. Read on to find out how you can do so.

Be easy and focused: The very first thing that most don’t think can work is to be as easy and relaxed as possible regarding saving money. What’s actually important is the focus bit. Getting tensed and panicking unnecessarily won’t get you anywhere and neither will your finances benefit from it. You need to go about everything easily because the more you force yourself at something, the tougher it’ll get.

Simple steps make the difference: Believe it or not, but it’s the small and simple steps that can make a major difference to your financial situation. Hence, don’t ignore that 1 dollar. Put it aside for you never know what they can finally amount to be.

Set yourself time limits: Simply deciding that you’ll do something or take a certain step doesn’t really go a long way. You’ve got to put a time cap on all your decisions. Most don’t realize the worth of time especially as far as finances are concerned. For instance, you decide to clear your debt on a particular credit card. In that case, simply deciding doesn’t really go a long way because with increasing time that so-called payable credit card debt is going to take on unmanageable proportions. Set yourself a time limit and work towards paying off that particular debt by then.

Try and be organized: No matter how busy you’re, good finances always call for organization. If you don’t know what all your outstanding debts are in the first case, then there’s no point in looking for debt relief. Get all your papers in order and know how much you owe and to whom. Most importantly, you should also know things like what exactly is needed for your everyday life. Unless you’re accurate about these things, it’s more than expected that you’ll land up spending more than required.

Try being innovative with your house: There are so many things all around you that you might be overlooking. Get yourself working and have a close look all around and see where exactly you can save money. For instance, when it comes to your house, then you could try some measures like say weather stripping. It’s rather easy to install and it can make a great difference in helping to keep out drafts. You could also insulate outlets and light switches also. People often forget that these are sources of air leaks. Steps like these will prove friendly to your pocket.

Make money with unused stuff: It might seem weird, but it’s surely worth giving a thought. You must’ve ignored or in fact not even spared a thought to what that clutter you’ve got could do for your finances. There are loads of opportunities online which you could make use of by selling those old books instead of letting them turn yellow, you could sell off electronics stuff instead of letting them rust. Or easier still, you can sell them all off at your nearest thrift store.

Keep in mind the tips discussed above and make use of the money that you make towards getting debt relief for yourself. Be alert and innovative and your finances are bound to get better with every passing day undoubtedly.

Understanding How Student Loan Debt Affects Your Credit Score

Are you aware of the adverse impact of student loan on your credit score? The peculiarity of student loan is that it scores down your credit point though you have not defaulted on payment and just obtained the fund. The effect is so spontaneous that there is no scope of enjoying better interest rate. 750 point is considered favorable to take advantage of lower interest rate but student loan pulls down the score to 500 or below, thereby leaving you no chance to take advantage of favorable interest rate. As a result, a chunk of your money is drifted towards interest payment that is quite a heavy sum to bear.

Student Credit Score

The question is why student loan inflicts so harsh impact on one’s credit ranking. To understand this point, you need to know the complexities involved in student loan transaction.

Exaggeration of Truth

Yes, that is a common case in student loan borrowing. The amount recorded in the credit report sheet is the triplicate of actual sum you borrowed. For example, if you have taken out $6000 as student loan, it will be entered as $18000 in your credit report. This false statement exacerbates your case not only in terms of drop in credit point but also through the hike in interest rate on principal.

Early Payment Lowers Score

It is hard to believe that early payment negatively impacts one’s credit score instead of pushing it up. But that is the oddity about student loan. The point is the lenders don’t want to lose additional interest rate and never want the borrowers to payback before due date of payment. If you pay off before the scheduled period of time, the creditors might send an unfavorable report to the credit agencies and that will result into further drop in your credit rank.

Long Time of Repayment Drops Your Score

The usual period of repayment for student loan is minimum ten years. Such a long time span induces an unfavorable impact on your credit report. Though the repayment term is agreed by both the parties, still the credit report mentions ‘too long to pay back a debt’ which adversely affects your credit history. Another disadvantage is even a single student loan may be recorded in such a way that equates with seven different types of borrowing. This also scales down your credit point.

A Way Out….

In spite of what may be said against student loan borrowing, it is a good pipeline of monetary resources for those who need support to afford higher education expenses. A good way to evade the negative impacts is to opt for consolidation of all existing loans. When the outstanding dues are combined, regular interest payment is reduced to much an affordable border.

Contact an experienced loan counselor. You can also hire an online service provider to help you with consolidation program. The debt consolidation companies also extend help to those who need to improve their sliding credit score. Following these counter-active tips will help you pay off student loan sooner and at the same time, up your credit point.

Who's Buying Britain's Farmland?

Twenty-twelve could be considered something of a landmark year for agriculture; the price of farmland has escalated to such an extent that some commentators have hailed it ‘a better investment than a Mayfair apartment’.

In actual fact, the price is said to have trebled over the last decade to an average of £8,900 per acre – which might be some welcome good news for those in farming.

With the value of land increasing so much, farmers ought to make doubly sure that their own fields, sheds and farm buildings are adequately protected by comprehensive farm insurance policies, as should any new land owners – of whom there are a lot. As a consequence of rising farmland values and the advantages associated with owning it, British farmland has caught the attention of many foreign investors.

Yet with a shortage of farmland entering the market (one agent estimates just 100,000 acres will change hands in the South West this year), who exactly is buying our farmland and more to the point, why?

Who are the new buyers?

According to estate agents, the majority of sales are made between British farmers; however many have seen an influx of City bankers and investors from foreign climes making enquiries. Most notably are prospective buyers from Italy and Greece (surprising, given the effects of the Euro crisis) – plus investors from India and China.

There appears to be a split between investors who hope to simply cash in on land values by selling in the not-too-distant future and ‘lifestyle’ buyers who want to ‘procure social status’. Owning a piece of England is considered very desirable in China, for example and sales are highest in the south west of England.

Why are they buying British farmland?

Not only has the value of British farmland trebled over the last ten years, but industry experts expect it to increase by a further third during the next five years. Therefore it’s fair to say that farmland could be considered a lucrative investment right now. Some dismiss it as simply the ‘movement of capital between countries’, but others have emphasised the real benefits to owning British farmland.

Like gold, farmland is deemed a ‘safe-haven’ asset class but with added bonuses, as it offers returns of two – three per cent per annum, if not more due to the rising price of commodities. What’s more, the government applies tax breaks to this sort of land and exempts it from inheritance tax – provided the land is used as a farm.

How are they managing it?

Excluding British farmers, some 30 per cent of the new buyers will not be based on the farm itself. Many live in the city, where they work all week or are situated overseas. In order to maintain the farmland, they will hire a local farmer to manage the acres on their behalf. With any luck, their experienced farm manager will be aware of the requirement for reputable insurance – particularly if the land is left unoccupied at times.

Clearly, foreign investors are injecting much needed funds into the economy, but the debate rages on about the lack of available land for those that genuinely need it for their livelihood. However, it’s unlikely this trend will change in the short-term, if predictions about land values come to fruition.

Litigation Funding – Understanding the ILR's claims

The US-based Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) published a document containing 11 separate claims against litigation funding within the UK in 2009. The issues raised in this document have caused much discussion in the industry.

Litigation funding, which is also known as third party funding; provides financial assistance to mainly big businesses fighting commercial cases, rather than aiding those with consumer or personal injury claims. Its use in the UK is growing.

The ILR made a number of misguided comments and attempted to blast the Code of Conduct set out by the Association of Litigation Funders (ALF). All members of the Association adhere to this code.

Some of the comments made by the ILR included: 

1) Litigation funders don’t always make agreements in writing

Those interested in litigation funding always go through their solicitor, therefore it is implausible to believe that a solicitor would allow their client to agree to funding without a written contract.

2) Third party funders should have enough capital to last for more than 36 months

The ALF’s Code of Conduct states that all litigation funders must have enough capital to last for 36 months to ensure they do not run out of money part-way through a case. The ILR believes this is not enough.

However, when you take into account the fact that many cases may not even last that long, and that a lot of cases are settled before even going into court, this claim is completely unfounded. The upper-limit of funding is rarely reached.

3) Litigation funding companies should continue to fund a case to its completion

This comment is very surprising; as the ILR has previously mentioned that it believes that third party funding encourages companies to fund cases without merit. The idea that third party funders shouldn’t be allowed to pull out of cases that are doomed to fail is incredibly misguided.

Litigation funding companies go through rigorous vetting processes when taking on a client, as they must ensure the case is strong enough to win out. However, if a case loses its merit it would be in neither party’s best interests to continue to provide funding.

4) Funders should never provide input concerning settlement decisions

Funders in the UK do not interfere with the litigation process and leave all of the decisions up to the client, who is guided by their lawyer. Of course, if they do have any concerns they can always voice them, but it is still the client’s choice at the end of the day.

The ILR completely misunderstood the litigation funding industry in the UK. However it could be argued that their views are driven by their big-business members who want to stop plaintiffs from bringing cases against them by limiting their funding options.

Litigation funding has many rules and regulations specifically to ensure that the industry remains well-managed, which is why the ALF’s Code of Conduct exists.

 This article was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf Vannin Capital, a litigation funding expert.