Let’s Talk About Insurance. Facts – San Francisco Bay Times

By Brandon Miller, CFP-

My uncle’s ill-fated birds were a source of endless joy to me as a child. When it was hot, it would slide to the other side and the bald man who wanted to hide would go to see the moon. The wind can blow up and down, roll the ear, or blow back. I had to enjoy the fun in silence, however, as my elders made it clear to me that uncle’s wig was not something we talked about.

Insurance is like the wrong hairpiece because it’s not something people talk about. Arguing about something that is good when things are bad is pointless, after all. But it is very frustrating not to have the right insurance and the money to buy it when you need it. So, let’s take a quick look at what you need and why, as well as some tips to help make insurance work for you.

Consolidating points at one company is easier for you and can lower your salary. Another rule of thumb is to insure yourself for the smaller things (broadband) and pay for the insurance for the bigger things (car size). Higher deductibles and/or longer waiting periods can help you do this.

Other tips include:

health – Although not regulated at the Federal level, everyone needs health insurance, which most people get through their employer or Medicare. If your occupation is “self” or “un” and you are under the age of 65, Covered California has a marketplace that can save you from naming insurance.

Do you have the cheapest health plan? You may be eligible for a High Savings Account (HSA). The annual contribution you and/or your employer can make each year is limited, but the money you invest is tax-free, the income you earn in the account is tax-free, and the distributions you make are tax-free. It’s a hidden money tool, if you ask me.

Auto- If you own a car, you need car insurance, plain and simple. But you may be able to avoid collisions if the car is old.

Property – Anything with a mortgage requires insurance. But even if you have your own real estate, it would make sense to carry security. Construction costs are on the rise, so make sure you know how much you’ll get if your home and its contents are damaged. An annual review with your insurance broker or financial planner can help you stay on top of your finances during tough times.

Earthquake insurance has recently changed, and it is very important if you have rights in your home. Flood insurance may be wise if your property is in a flood plain. In the case of wildfires, homeowner’s insurance should cover the damage. It is difficult to find policies in some areas. The California FAIR Plan is designed to make this easy.

Umbrella – This has nothing to do with rain and everything to do with protecting your belongings. It expands your auto liability and homeowner’s policy coverage to include things it doesn’t cover, such as stress and emotional injuries. Umbrella insurance is very affordable and I recommend many people to get it.

Disability – Do you rely on checks? Then you need disability insurance. Your employer’s explanation (if there is one) may not be enough, Social Security knows exactly who is eligible, and the loan does not end just because your income is earned. Get as much as you can (and pay for it) because shopping fees don’t go down over time.

Time and Life to the Whole – You can borrow or have sudden death coverage. Time is good in the short term, like until your loan is paid off. Comprehensive or permanent insurance is more expensive, but it’s also a way to generate income, cash back, add cash to your estate so the kids don’t have to sell the house to pay taxes, and it offers free collection for high income earners.

Long Term Care – This requirement is for expenses related to elder care, home health care, senior care, etc. for those over 65. It is expensive, so it may not make sense if you are wealthy (net worth more than $5 mil) or the poor (Medi-Cal will kick in). You need to be fit, so get it early—50-55 is a good age—especially if dementia runs in your family.

Yes, insurance isn’t fun, but don’t neglect getting the coverage you need to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your life. Because a lack of coverage is the last thing you want when a storm exposes your bald spot.

Brio does not provide tax or legal advice, and nothing contained in these materials should be construed as such. The views expressed in this article are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or any other security. Its purpose is to provide education about the financial industry. To find out which investments may be right for you, consult your financial advisor before investing. Past performance discussed in this program does not guarantee future results. Any comparable indices are unmanaged and cannot be indexed directly. As always please remember that investing involves risk and the loss of significant capital; please consult a licensed professional for advice.

Brio Financial Group is a registered financial advisor. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of Brio by the SEC nor does it indicate that Brio has acquired any particular skill or expertise. Advisory services are provided only to clients or prospective clients where Brio Financial Group and its representatives are licensed or unlicensed. No advice can be given by Brio Financial Group unless there is a customer agreement.

Brandon Miller, CFP®, is a financial advisor at Brio Financial Group in San Francisco, specializing in helping LGBT individuals and families plan and achieve their financial goals.

Published on August 11, 2022