ShopBenefits – A New Year, A New You

Time to review your protection components

By Guest Author Al Schiebel

I was talking with my friend Brian Bliss with Liberty Mortgage in Atlanta regarding the insurance protection for my property and I stopped and thought that I had not done a thorough review of my protection components for my income, life and property.

Property & Casualty – We get so busy with life and trying to take care of things at work that ever so benignly we neglect to review what protects us. For example, a person must get homeowners insurance when they buy a house and unless they sell or something happens, they never look at a policy ever again. There may have been changes in the property value, additional “stuff” such as a boat, jewelry or electronics may have been purchased that needs to be insured.

Photo Courtesy of Al Schiebel

Legal – When your child was born, you may have gotten a will which included a guardian for your first born. How long ago was that? How many children have you added? Ron Dobelstein, an attorney in Atlanta, says that wills should be reviewed when a change of life event or other life changing circumstances take place. While you are reviewing your will, talk to your attorney about a Healthcare Power of Attorney.

Life Insurance – Do you really know how much life insurance you currently own? I often speak with folks who say, I have around $X in life insurance and come to find out that the policy had lapsed or it’s about to expire. Term insurance, while it is a very cost effective tool, does expire after a certain period of time. Here is an understatement : Life insurance is cheaper the younger you are, no duh! Talk to your agent about reviewing all your policies. I suggest that you gather all the policies and bring them when you meet. If you cannot find them, you may call the carrier or agent to order you a copy of the policy.

Investments – Matt Reiner, a fee based financial planner with Capital Investment Advisors suggests that you should meet with your financial advisor at least once a year for an hour to do a review. It is amazing how time flies, so schedule it in advance and make the appointment . Jeff Davis with Waddell and Reed suggested to me to establish a regular monthly draft for investments; that way is automatic. He also recommends to establish a plan , a road map so you know where you are headed. Also , has there been a life changing event lately such as a divorce? Make sure that the proper beneficiary is on the investment account.

Health insurance – You may not have much choice if your employer provides health insurance. But if you are self employed or have your own individual policy it would be advisable to speak with your agent about reviewing alternates within your current carrier or elsewhere.

I can go on and on about protection, what is important is to go to experts who can help you with the process. If you need help with life, disability, health, dental and long term care insurance please contact Al Schiebel at 404-256-2171 or email

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