Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

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Most of us know that we need life insurance, but it may be less clear if you have enough life insurance. According to a recent LIMRA study, 90% of us think that the primary wage earner in the family needs life insurance.[1] While you may think that the term policy you get through work is enough, if something were to happen to you, would your family be financially secure?

It may seem like a daunting task, involving complex calculations and endless spreadsheets. A qualified financial professional can give you detailed insights into how you can secure your family’s future in case the worst happens. If you’re looking to gauge how much life insurance you need, consider the following four factors.

1. How much annual income will your family need?

It’s hard to come up with a total number for life insurance, but easier to think in annual increments. How much money are you and your spouse bringing in each year? Will you need that same amount to be comfortable in the future? More? Less? If your wallet is feeling light and it’s hard to make ends meet, think of what would feel comfortable and start there. Factor in all expenses that you pay each month such as rent, utilities, groceries and insurance.

This isn’t a decision to make on your own – involve your beneficiaries and have frank conversations about what life would be like if you – or they – are no longer in the picture. Whether that’s your spouse or dependent parents, understand what they would want if you can no longer contribute financially.

  • Will beneficiaries be able to keep working at their current jobs without your support? If they are becoming the primary caregivers to your children, that may no longer be possible.
  • Are they satisfied with your annual household income? Your perceptions of how easy life is at your current budget may be different.
  • Do they want to continue living in your home? Your spouse may want to move closer to family or downsize if they are alone in your home.

Determine a hard number to start with, based on your current income and your beneficiaries’ wishes.

2. For how many years will they need that income?

Consider how long your family will need to maintain their current cost of living.

  • How much longer will your children be in school or living at home?
  • If you’re married, does your spouse have a separate income and retirement savings?
  • Does your spouse have any other revenue that kicks in at a later date, such as a trust or inheritance? Your family may need less annual income after that time.

It’s important to know the maximum number of years you’ll need your insurance to provide for your family. Multiply this by the annual income you’ve estimated.

3. Take debt, funeral expenses, and other obligations into account.

Do you have consumer debt or a mortgage? If so, it’s a good idea to have enough insurance for your family to pay off those accounts and have income left. It’s also a good idea to make sure your children’s college educations are taken care of. Add these debts and obligations to your total.

4. Factor in your current savings.

If you have savings, other existing insurance policies, and you’re on track with your retirement accounts, you can subtract those assets from the total amount your insurance policy will cover. Make sure that you have kept track of all your accounts and listed your beneficiaries on retirement, pension and life insurance policies. Keep those records up to date if anything changes.

Remember that it is a general estimate of what you’ll want to consider when determining if you have enough life insurance coverage. The benefit of life insurance is that your beneficiaries will receive a lump sum payment after your death – no probate or waiting. If you find that the estimated face value of your policy is untenable, work with an agent to determine how much your family will need to live comfortably. By investing a portion of the death benefit, your beneficiaries can plan for some growth in their funds before they need to use them.

When determining if you have enough life insurance, consider your family’s annual income, how long they’ll need to earn income at that rate, your debt and expenses as well as any savings, inheritance or other earnings you have.

[1] 2018 Insurance Barometer Study, Life Happens and LIMRA

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FFS Champions – March Game Balls Awarded

March 2019 wrapped up the best first quarter in FFS history in terms of commission paid to the field. The results showed it as March continued the great trend for FFS field leaders hitting new and higher milestones in their business than ever before.

Brandi Bridgett - Game Ball

March was a great month for Brandi as she hit her first cash flow milestone with FFS by joining Success Society. She also set several career-best numbers in several categories in the past couple of months. She has a great team with her and some really great things planned for the near future. We know that she'll be hitting more milestones in the near future.



Yvonne Nguyen - Game Ball

Yvonne had an amazing month of March and had her best production in terms of cash flow in her 9 years with FFS. She has been absolutely on fire lately, leading the entire company in many different production categories. Already a member of the Champions Club, we wouldn't be surprised to see her hit her 2nd Diamond sometime in 2019.

FFS Champions – A Month of Momentum in October

The month of October carried amazing momentum for many FFS leaders and their teams as we race towards the end of the year. You can check out the latest episode of FFS Champions to hear more about all the exciting contest updates, several agents achieving big cash flow milestones, and all the other top performances in the month of October.

Joshua John - October Game Ball

Congratulations to Joshua John on receiving an FFS Game Ball for an amazing month of October. Josh joined FFS in July of 2018 under Mark and Bridget Biermann's team up in Minnesota and is already leading the way in some major categories as a new business builder. In the month of October, Josh was ranked #5 in personal applications submitted.


Ama Vital - October Game Ball

Ama is another recent newcomer to FFS. She also joined FFS in July of 2018 and is already really getting after it. In October, Ama ranked #1 in personal recruits. An incredible accomplishment for a new leader already building a strong team in a very short time. She also was near the top in personal points in October. Congratulations to Ama Vital on a great month.

Death Benefits Designed For Your Life

Life insurance is a crucial component of a healthy financial strategy. While thinking about what happens once you leave this world is never pleasant, planning and providing for your loved ones can ease your mind and help you focus on living.

What is an insurance policy?
A life insurance policy is a contract between the policyholder and the insurer – typically an insurance company. In exchange for paying a specific amount of money on an ongoing basis (a premium) the insurance company promises to pay a
d. For example, you may pay $25 per month to the insurance company and in exchange they will give your beneficiary $250,000 upon your death.

Life insurance policies are not one-size-fits-all. They’re designed with the current and future needs of your family in mind. For instance, if you’re married with a mortgage and three young children who plan to go to college, you’ll need a significantly higher death benefit than if you were retired, owned your e,homildren were grown. Consider who you would leave behind and what financial responsibilities will they inherit upon your death. The type of insurance and the amount of coverage that suits one family may not help accomplish the goals of another.

The above describes the simplest form of insurance policy, but there are a wide variety of policies that can be used for more than just a death benefit. Certain policies serve as part of an effective estate planning strategy to preserve wealth and provide significant tax advantages. Others offer a cash payment to the insured in the event of an illness or other emergency rather than just in the event of their death. Still others offer retirement benefits, replacing income long-term once you leave the workforce. Insurance policies are all safety nets that a deliver added security and peace of mind for you and your family. Their variety means that they can be tailored to exactly your needs.

Term vs. permanent life insurance -- what’s the difference?

Term life insurance, also known as “pure life” or “death benefit only,” is the most basic, common and least expensive type of insurance. It provides financial protection in the event of the insured’s premature death, but only for a specific time period, which is referred to as the policy’s term. Typical terms are 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.

Throughout the term, the amount of the death benefit and the premium, or cost of the policy, generally remains fixed. If the insured dies during the policy’s term, the beneficiary is paid the full death benefit in one lump sum leaving the policy with no other additional value. If the insured stops paying the premium, the policy ceases and retains no cash value.

Permanent Life Insurance is the umbrella term for all the life insurance that provides lifelong coverage. It’s essentially the opposite of the coverage offered by term insurance. Permanent life insurance provides an insurance component, as you would expect, but it also presents a unique savings component. A portion of each premium payment is allocated to savings and any increase in value accumulates tax-deferred. The total translates to the policy’s cash value.

Another attractive feature of a permanent life insurance is the ability to borrow against the policy, if needed. Of course you’ll need to repay the loan with interest, otherwise the policy’s death benefit will be reduced. If you decide to surrender the policy, you’ll receive the total cash value in a lump sum and your coverage will cease.

Types of permanent life insurance
Whole life insurance and universal life insurance are the two main types of permanent life insurance. A whole life policy comes with level premium payments (where payments remain the same for the live of the policy), the opportunity to accumulate cash over time, and a fixed death benefit. The addition of a living benefit, like a loan feature, is also an attractive option.

A universal life policy offers the policyholder the additional flexibility of increasing or decreasing the death benefit and changing the amount and frequency of the premium payments.

There are certainly more differences between the two, so speak with a qualified insurance professional to help you determine the type, coverage, flexibility and features that best meet your family’s needs. With a life insurance policy in place, you’ll be able to enjoy today and worry less about tomorrow.

Developing Leaders: How to Identify and Grow Your Next Generation

A strong leader is one who understands the importance of developing leaders within his or her organization. Area Marketing Director Zak Fang explains why it’s important and how to do it.

Being a strong leader is one of the most important roles you can play in the success of your business. Another is developing leaders within your organization who can help free you up to focus on the big picture. The challenge, however, is that you’re often wearing too many hats at one time. You’re selling, recruiting, mentoring, training and trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance at the same time. We can agree that it’s hard work. If you’re managing it alone, or with the help of a few people, it can be overwhelming.

Your Next Generation Is Key

Developing Leaders How to Identify and Grow Your Next Generation Business Success Leadership Business Strategy First Financial SecurityOne of the responsibilities of being a productive and forward-thinking leader includes developing your next generation of leaders. It’s a critical need that many teams recognize but often have difficulty executing. Three years ago, when I joined First Financial Security, Inc. (FFS), I was immediately introduced to the Business Building System. I followed it step-by-step. Leveraging the connections I had within my circle of influence, I began hosting weekly business opportunity meetings. It didn’t take long for us to reach 100 … 200 … and now 500+ agents in our organization. It was easy to see that, from a recruiting perspective, we were experiencing great success. I also recognized that as those numbers grew, the number of leaders in our organization would have to grow, too. It was relatively easy to identify those who had great potential. They were good listeners who were coachable and willing to become students of the business. They were fast risers who had a quiet confidence about them. I could see them as good followers at first and with the right coaching, they had the potential to become mature, responsible leaders later.

The Starting Line

People have asked me if we have a particular strategy in our organization for developing our leaders. Many of our agents join us at different places in their lives. I firmly believe that you have to meet them where they are. When new associates sign up, we ask them about their goals, what they want to accomplish, and in what time frame. Pace is important to establish. Some agents join full time, some part time and some even less than part time. We’re very intentional about getting to know them, observing them as they learn, and assessing and developing their confidence. Letting them participate, even in the smallest capacity, helps build them up. Gradually, they’re ready to take on larger roles. They might be the emcee for a Super Saturday or do a two-minute talk in front of a crowd. This helps them build the skills they need to become better leaders. Eventually, we give them responsibility for part of the Business Opportunity Presentation because they’ve proven their ability. It’s critical, though, not to push them through the system too rapidly. We’ve found by allowing them to move at their own pace, within reason, we help create long-lasting confidence that delivers effective leadership throughout our organization.

Everyone Has Their Niche

Is everyone on our team the same type of leader? Absolutely not. We have a wide variety of leadership skills and that’s the beauty of having a team of leaders. Some have the gift of public speaking or building great relationships. Some have fabulous technical skills and others can organize events like a pro. We’re able to leverage each other’s strengths so we can accomplish more business together. This is something we truly embrace as a team. It’s critical to our success and deeply rooted in our culture.

Much Needed Rest and Relaxation

If I put that success in terms of cash flow, it’s allowed me – and our leaders – to establish self-sustaining businesses. Generally, if you own your own business, the busier you are, the less time you have to enjoy your success. With capable leaders in place, I’m able to enjoy an income stream even when I’m not in the office. I can take a family vacation and not worry about missing a paycheck or coming back to a week’s worth of work to catch up on.

Far-sighted Leaders Wanted

Some leaders are reluctant to promote leaders within their organization because they’re nervous about the short-term effects on their income stream. Yes, your spread is lower, but the responsibilities that your new leaders assume frees you up to recruit and develop new associates and leaders. You have the time to build even more width within your organization. Don’t be shortsighted in your business decisions. Invite your down line to contribute to the team’s success. It’s not fair – or helpful to you – to simply have them stand on the sidelines. Our team looks forward to promoting leaders. In fact, it’s a big deal, complete with celebration. They’ve worked hard and we want to recognize that effort. It’s motivating to other associates and allows our team to visualize our growth. It’s critical to see it and present it in terms of the big picture.

Be a Great Follower First

As an organization, we’ve experienced much success and I am grateful for the opportunity. I will say, however, that there’s no secret. We follow the system and teach what we’ve been taught. The process creates great teams and even better leaders. Don’t be afraid to trust it.

How to Create a Positive, Productive Team Culture

National Marketing Director Daniela Dubach shares how to create a positive, productive team culture and why it’s important to your success.

Every person has a leadership style. For some, it emerges early in life. But for others, it blooms gradually when they begin to recognize, develop and focus on their strengths.

Growing the Leader within

In the earlier years of my life, I never saw myself as a leader. I was extremely shy and lacked self-confidence, so much so that I was afraid to speak in front of others. Looking back, First Financial Security, Inc. and the opportunity they offered impacted my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It gave me a platform that empowered me and allowed me to believe in myself and what I could accomplish.   Daniela Dubach in Puerto Rico for FFS Dream Destination 2016 I gained the confidence to expand my vision into something so much bigger, which wasn’t always easy. I had to be willing to push the boundaries of my comfort zone, which I still do. For instance, dealing with different personalities, learning how to effectively manage them, and keeping drama to a minimum are difficult. Maintaining balance among my career, personal and spiritual lives can be a challenge, especially during the year’s busier times. I still feel that these are opportunities to grow, learn, and to stretch myself and my vision. It’s not only when things are going well that these opportunities present themselves.

The Importance of Team Culture

I love the diversity of our team (EFC Javier Rodriguez’ Crusaders) and what it lends to our team culture. Different backgrounds, ethnicities and beliefs make our team strong and open-minded. I’m proud to say that there’s an amazing amount of synergy, support, and encouragement among this diverse group’s leaders. We often rely on each other for help. Associates are eager and willing to learn not only the business, but also how to grow personally and professionally. Daniela Dubach with members of Team Crusaders at Leaders Convention 2016 Creating a Team Culture If you don’t think your team has a “team culture,” you’re mistaken. Your team has a culture whether you like it or not, and it’s defined by what you tolerate. You need to be intentional about nurturing the culture you specifically want or a not so favorable alternative will emerge. I make a conscious effort every day to encourage a positive environment. I value everyone on our team because everyone contributes to our success. If your team feels valued and appreciated it creates loyalty, positivity, the desire to work harder and to achieve more. It encourages them to work together as a team. It’s amazing what people are capable of and willing to do when they feel they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. I always celebrate team members and thank them publicly for even the smallest contributions or achievements. I invite a potential leader to join our leadership team. I regularly conduct strategy sessions with team members who are serious and have the will to do what it takes. These are just some examples, but they go a long way in terms of motivation.

Teamwork Leaves No Room for Drama

Encouraging teamwork is another way to foster a positive, productive team culture … and when you have a positive, productive team culture, it encourages teamwork. Our team leans on each other often. We practice scripts together, help with training, run contests, and discuss improvements we need to make, to name a few. Regardless of where they contribute in the process, everyone can take credit for the success of our team Having a positive work environment that values teamwork, however, doesn’t mean there’s never any conflict. That’s simply unavoidable. We strive for a drama-free work zone, but if conflict does arise, we address it quickly so it doesn’t fester. I find it most effective to do a round table discussion with those involved, but most definitely behind closed doors. I follow the golden rule, “praise in public, punish in private.” It’s worked extremely well for our team.

Daniela Dubach Speaking at JumpStartKey to Success

Only during the last two years have I shifted to team building and duplicating what I have learned. I’ve realized that it's not about me; It's about helping other people to personally grow and become successful. I invest a lot of resources and time into developing associates. This contributes to the loyalty and empowerment of a positive, productive team culture. Our office is a place where people want to belong and feel appreciated, maybe for the first time in their careers. That’s something to be excited about. I lead by example. Everything I encourage them to do, I've done myself. I truly feel that decision was a turning point in my career. My advice to other leaders in FFS?
  1. Establish clear goals for yourself and the team and hold yourself and the team accountable.
  2. Lead by example and create a positive and productive team culture.
  3. Keep drama out of the workplace and establish group norms that center around conduct and respect.
  4. Appreciate and recognize your team members. Make sure they know that they matter to you and to the rest of the team.
People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care. Genuinely care about your team and their success more than about your own. To be or become a good leader, you have to be a good follower at times. Staying coachable and humble are key. It’s what’s worked for me. I’m thrilled and grateful to say my business and my amazing team have thrived as a result.

About the Author:

Daniela Dubach is one of the leading innovators of the next generation of FFS leaders. As a Champions Club member, she has built a strong and successful business through her great capability to lead and train. Daniela spends a lot of her time assisting those in need of financial security for their future in the school and law enforcement

First Financial Security Heads to Mexico for Dream Destination Conference 2018

First Financial Security Dream Destination Conference 2018 DDC18 Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Mexico

First Financial Security, Inc. Director of Marketing and Communications, Laura Manzer, just announced to a packed house at the company’s Jump Start 2017 (JS17) event that Dream Destination Conference 2018 (DDC18) would be taking 100 field couples to Los Cabos, Mexico. The Minneapolis Convention Center, where JS17 was wrapping up a two-day event, erupted in cheers and applause when the location was revealed.

While the organization has taken its field representatives to Mexico’s Pacific coast before, this marks the first time the company will travel to the Los Cabos area for its annual reward trip.

The luxurious, all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva resort will host 100 qualifying FFS couples from Apr. 15-19, 2018. Situated at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula, the hotel is surrounded by natural beauty, from desert dunes to majestic ocean rock formations. The Hyatt Ziva’s pristine beachfront offers a magnificent view of the Sea of Cortez.

Whether its from the relaxing confines of a beach chair or perched atop a personal watercraft in the water, this sun-kissed, sea-sprayed coast beckons travelers to have fun. Hyatt Ziva’s guests can participate in a variety of outdoor activities on land and sea:

  • Four pools, including one for the kids, as well as two hot tubs
  • Deep-sea fishing
  • Scuba diving
  • A state-of-the-art fitness club
  • Tennis, basketball and beach volleyball courts
  • Several championship golf courses, including the nearby, Jack Nicklaus-designed San Jose Country Club

The onsite luxury beauty spa, Zen, provides a variety of relaxing treatments that can be enjoyed in the spa or outdoors, overlooking the azure sea.

Located throughout the property are 12 individual restaurants, bars and lounges. Of particular note are Zaffiro, an Italian restaurant located on the beach, and the Mexican Plaza with its authentic taqueria. After dinner, catch live music or a Cirque-du-Soleil-style show in Hyatt Ziva’s Grand Theater.

Following a day of fun-in-the-sun or sightseeing, DDC18 qualifiers will want to relax in the the comfort of their spacious room. The Hyatt Ziva’s elegantly appointed, 591 rooms offer oceanfront and ocean views. There are one- and two-bedroom suites, including 34 Swim Up, Club Level Ocean View and Presidential suites. Many of the rooms feature spa-like bathrooms with rainfall showers, chic décor, private balconies and leading-edge electronics.

First Financial Security Dream Destination Conference 2018 DDC18 Los Cabos Mexico Pacific Coast Baja California PeninsulaAlthough DDC18 qualifiers will attend meetings while on the trip, there will still be time to do some sight-seeing and shopping in nearby San Jose del Cabo. This charming town is only minutes from the hotel and boasts fine examples of 18th-century Spanish Colonial architecture.

Centering San Jose del Cabo is Plaza Mijares. Gentle breezes from the nearby ocean waft through the town square that’s shaded by old jacaranda trees. Along its narrow boulevards are adobe houses that have been converted into stylish restaurants, smart boutiques, art galleries that feature the work of local artists, and jewelry stores.

Anchoring the square are a town hall and Iglesia San Jose, a lovely, colonial-style church. It was built on the site of the 1730 Mission San Jose del Cabo.

Take a break from sightseeing and try some bird watching instead. Located east of the town is the Estero San Jose Wildlife Reserve. This peaceful, palm-lined estuary is a great place to spot many bird species, including hummingbirds, ibis, white herons, frigate birds, sparrow hawks and red-tailed hawks.

Beginning in February, FFS representatives will begin competing to earn a spot on this trip of a lifetime. Contest dates and guidelines can be found in the Agent Back Office (ABO) intranet site.