January 27, 2016

‘Next Generation’ message applies beyond agriculture

By Annette Tait
These aren’t your parents’ policies anymore. They’re not even similar to the insurance or financial planning parents – or grandparents – may have done 20 or 30 years ago to prepare for their twilight years and for property to change hands when the inevitable occurs.
While the meeting was hosted by the Oliver County Livestock and Crop Improvement Association, the information provided by featured speakers Leo Carton and Ron Schmidt during their “Transferring Assets to the Next Generation” presentation last Thursday evening applies beyond the agricultural community to anyone with a home, property, or business they want to see passed along to family members.
First and foremost, both men urged people to take a look at their current life insurance policies, long-term care policies for those who have them, and financial planning.
Schmidt, a certified financial planner with Investment Centers of America, provided a basic overview of the different types of retirement savings plans, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. He also noted that, depending on commodity prices and related income levels, a person or family may start with one product, then transition to another that better suits their individual circumstances.
“Some things will work for some of you and not for others,” Schmidt said, noting that every situation is different. “If you go to a meeting and there are 30 things thrown out there and there’s one you can take home with you, it’s still been a valuable meeting.”
Carton then addressed insurance, specifically life insurance, long-term care, and disability insurance, explaining how the world has changed and how insurance policies are changing to keep up with it.
“The first idea is ‘small print’ – don’t buy anything new,” Carton said. “Review what you already have, especially if you have life insurance.”
Carton explained that different companies and policies offer different options. Financial planners can help policy owners understand what they have, and whether to keep the policy and coverage they currently have or consider other options.
“Life insurance has changed,” Carton said. “The costs have been going down for 30 years because we’re living longer. The flip side is long-term insurance costs are going up because we’re living longer, but it doesn’t mean we’re living healthy.”

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