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How Much Should You Save For Retirement?

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With every working American wondering “How much should I save for retirement?”, and many different kinds of advice and answers out there, it’s hard to know for sure when you can afford to retire or how much money you should save. Every person is different, so there is unfortunately no standard rule for how much you should save for retirement. However, depending on your job, income, goals, and other factors, there are some tips that can help you decide.

Check out these tips on figuring out how much you should save for retirement:

  • According to Fidelity Investments, a good rule of thumb to follow is saving 8 times your ending salary. This amount helps you ensure that you don’t outlive your savings during your retirement.
  • Some people worry that they won’t be able to save 8 times the amount of their ending salary, but don’t worry! Starting small, staying committed to saving, and then saving more and more over time is a great way to build up your retirement savings. For example, experts suggest that by age 35 you should have saved at least 1 times your current salary. You can continue working upwards from there, in order to eventually accumulate the recommended 8 times.
  • Keep in mind your unique goals and situation, and adjust this rule of thumb to fit your needs. For example, what if you get laid off? This may eat away at some of your savings while you are in between jobs.
  • A life insurance policy can help you plan for retirement, pay off loans, and offer financial stability for you and your family.
  • Various factors have an impact on how much money you will need at retirement, and how long it will take you to reach that goal. Some of these include:
    • The age you start saving
    • The age you hope to retire
    • How much money you plan to save each year
    • The increase in your salary over the years
    • Salary replacement during retirement
    • Your life expectancy
    • The expected rate of return on your investments
  • Another good rule of thumb to follow, according to CNN Money, is to start saving 15% of your income as soon as your twenties.

While everyone is different, and therefore has different retirement plans, one thing remains common for everyone: The earlier you start saving, the better!
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Understanding Insurance Carrier Ratings

Posted by & filed under Blog, Educational.

All insurance carriers and companies are given ratings in order to portray their overall strength and trustworthiness. There are several ratings companies who evaluate various factors about insurance companies and come up with a final grade for the carrier. These grades effect how insurance agencies and other providers view the products and services offered by these carriers, however many consumers don’t really understand these ratings.

While it’s obvious that an A+ rating is good, it’s also important to understand what types of factors are included in these insurance carrier ratings, what the range of possible grades are, and more.

Here are some important points to know about insurance carrier ratings:

  • A leading company in this industry, A.M. Best Company, provides credit ratings of insurance carriers based on both quantitative and qualitative data. Things that are considered include the carriers’ balance sheet strength, business profile, operating performance, and debt security details.
  • A Financial Strength Rating is also conducted for insurance companies, which takes into consideration the insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its contract obligations. Two other main ratings are the Issuer Credit Ratings and the Debt Ratings.
  • The ratings also take into consideration of and comparison with industry standards, the performance of similar companies, management, operating plans, and other factors.
  • Each company that is rated by A.M. Best is assigned a primary analyst, who is in charge of maintaining a relationship with the carrier and performing the credit analysis.
  • Ratings can be re-evaluated after major company changes, regardless of the annual schedule.
  • Companies can choose to only show one of their ratings, or to release all of their ratings.

The bottom line is: The better rated the insurance carrier, the more reliable of a choice it will be for you! Now that you understand all of the details that go into the insurance carrier ratings, be sure that while shopping for insurance in Massachusetts, work with agencies that have relationships with top-rated carriers.
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NFL Playoff Games This Weekend: Celebrate Safely!

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The NFL Playoff games this weekend kick off the exciting football post-season with a handful of wild card spots up for grabs and a number of interesting matchups. It’s an exciting time for football fans as the post-season progresses, and we in Massachusetts can expect the New England Patriots to have a strong showing, possibly leading up to another Super Bowl this year. If you’re a Pats fan, you will definitely be celebrating at football tailgating parties this month. However, if you’re throwing a party at your house, there are some safety tips and precautions you will want to consider to protect your liability and avoid home insurance claims. Here are some tips for throwing a party that is safe and fun for all football fans involved.

Provide Alternative Foods

Be aware of any guests who may have food allergies, diet restrictions, or health concerns when it comes to food. Always offer a wide array of options to your guests – after all, what’s a party without a variety of delicious things to eat?!

Watch Out for Fire Hazards

If you’re warming your home as you throw a party, be sure to remind your guests to be cautious around the fireplace or any space heaters that are around. Throughout Massachusetts and New England, Patriots fans may be getting rowdy as they celebrate, and you don’t want a celebration turning deadly due to negligence.

Monitor Alcohol Consumption

On the top of the list of tips for throwing a party is to watch out for alcohol. Football tailgating isn’t the same without some ice cold beers, but it is still important to monitor everyone’s alcohol consumption when hosting a party. Offer a spot on the couch for anyone who needs to stay over, and be sure nobody drinks and drives!

Have Home Insurance

By having a homeowners insurance policy, you are protecting yourself from liability for an accident that may happen in your home. The celebrating may get a little too loud and fun, and the result can be damage to your home or injury to yourself or one of your guests. By protecting themselves with home insurance, Massachusetts residents can cover their liability in the event of resulting claims.

Use these tips for throwing a party, and you can avoid home insurance claims resulting from injuries or damage. You don’t want your liability in question, and you want everyone to be safe. Enjoy the NFL Playoff games this weekend and throughout the next few weeks, and Go Pats!
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Does Your Massachusetts Business Need Key Man Coverage?

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If your business doesn’t have key man coverage, you may be exposed to more liabilities than you realize. What if a key person in your company left abruptly due to disability or untimely death? How would your business be affected? Key man insurance coverage can help your business stay on track during the transition and maintain your business’ security.

Learn more about what key man insurance is, and how it may be able to help protect the future of your business!

  • This type of policy helps assure that the business continues despite the absence of a key member. This peace of mind and security is essential for other employees, as well as any clients, customers, and lenders.
  • One feature of key man or key person insurance is a death benefit payment, which can be used to help your business through the difficult time after losing a major person in your business.
  • Recruiting and hiring a new person to take the place of the previous key employee often involves substantial time, money, and effort. This process can have less of a burden on the business through the right kind of key man coverage.
  • A key person insurance policy may give potential creditors and lenders more confidence in your business’ stability, and therefore may be willing to invest more in your company.
  • Depending on the policy, some cash may be available to your business as a withdrawal for a loan during this transition period.
  • Various key members of the company can be covered, not necessarily just the CEO or other top executives. For example, it your business would suffer due to the loss of your leading salesperson, it would be a good idea for your business to get key man coverage for this employee.
  • This type of policy is different than life insurance or disability coverage! Since this policy is purchased in order to protect the business, not the individual employee, the business would be the beneficiary.

Would your Massachusetts business be directly impacted due to a sudden loss of a top employee? If so, contact an insurance agent in your area in order to learn more about how a key man insurance policy would benefit your business.
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The Benefits Of Business or Personal Excess Liability Insurance

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A business or personal excess liability policy can offer you invaluable protection that your typical insurance cannot. A personal excess liability insurance policy, such as umbrella insurance, protects your personal assets in the event of damages, lawsuits, etc. Similarly, excess liability insurance for your Massachusetts business can help provide you with peace of mind and financial security.

Umbrella

Is this type of policy right for you or your business? Learn more about the benefits of business and personal excess liability policies, and start protecting your assets!

  • What is personal excess liability insurance?: As the name suggests, personal excess liability policies provide additional liability protection that goes beyond the protection of your basic homeowners, auto, and other personal insurance policies. This type of policy can provide you and your family with further protection in the event of injuries, accidents, damages, or lawsuits against you. Since the costs of these incidents, especially with lawsuit rulings, can be extremely expensive, your basic insurance may not provide enough coverage and your personal assets could be at risk.
  • What is umbrella liability insurance?: Umbrella insurance is a type of personal excess liability insurance. The main difference between the two is that umbrella insurance not only provides additional liability protection, it also provides coverage for a wider variety of incidents that aren’t included in standard policies.
  • How can excess liability insurance benefit your business?: An umbrella or excess liability policy can help give business owners peace of mind when it comes to the future stability and success of their venture. Accidents, damages, or lawsuits are all unpredictable and oftentimes unavoidable, however having this type of policy can help ensure that your business overcomes these obstacles without threatening its financial security. Just like personal excess liability protection, this type of insurance “kicks in” when a claim is made that exceeds the limits of your standard Massachusetts business insurance coverage.

In order to provide the highest level of protection for your personal or business assets, learn more about your excess liability and umbrella insurance options today!
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