Understanding Key Terms in Your Life Insurance Policy

The benefits of life insurance are innumerable — from the peace of mind you get knowing you can protect your loved ones in the future to the immediate financial assistance that a policy can generate in an emergency, such as through a Life Credit Living Benefit Loan. With so many advantages, however, comes complexity, as there are myriad policies and ways in which they can be maximized. To navigate that confusion, there are some life insurance terms to know that, once you’re familiar with, can build a foundation to help you determine the best way to buy and use life insurance. Life Insurance Terms to Know Dividends: If you have what is known as a “participating policy,” you may be eligible for a portion of the life insurance company’s profits, which are known as dividends. You can apply them to your premiums, take the dividends as cash, buy additional insurance or many other options. Cash value: This refers to the value that has accumulated in a permanent, or whole life, policy. As you pay premiums, a portion of each is set aside to generate cash value that you can later borrow against or, depending on your policy, withdraw. Beneficiaries: This is the person or persons who will receive the death benefit associated with your policy after your passing. You can name one or more individuals, and should periodically revisit the beneficiary list. Surrender value: The surrender value refers to the amount you would get if you opted to cash out your policy, as the insurance company may levy hefty surrender fees, significantly lowering the cash value. That’s why many...

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Things You Need to Know

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, a time when those affected by the disease, researchers and others assess all that we know about thyroid cancer, and all that there is still to learn. From signs of thyroid cancer to treatment options, it’s important to keep yourself apprised of the latest research so that, should your life be touched by thyroid cancer, you can be more prepared to face the diagnosis head-on. Here are five things you should know about thyroid cancer to protect yourself and your loved ones: 1. Rates are on the rise: According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the country, with rates more than tripling in the last decade. While there are a number of factors that could contribute to that growth, among them better screening and testing techniques, more aggressive forms of the cancer are also becoming more prominent. 2. It is most common among young women: Because the cancer is less complex than some other forms, which may involve a number of genetic mutations, it’s often diagnosed earlier. Women are disproportionately affected, with only about a quarter of diagnoses in America in men. 3. The signs of thyroid cancer: While thyroid cancer is most commonly diagnosed after the presence of a lump, the vast majority of thyroid-related lumps are benign. Other signs of thyroid cancer include pain in the thyroid area, trouble swallowing and persistent hoarseness. 4. Survival rates are decreasing: Mortality rates vary depending on a number of circumstances, but survival is usually quite common, especially if the cancer is caught early; however, survival rates are lowering,...