Home > Blogs > Trent Warner's Blog
35,408 views

Trent Warner's Blog

By Trent Warner Monopoly Builder | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in Cincinnati, OH
  • How to Find a Trustworthy Insurance Agent

    Posted Under: Financing in Dayton, Home Insurance in Dayton, Credit Score in Dayton  |  November 4, 2010 6:04 AM  |  461 views  |  No comments

    How to Find a Trustworthy Insurance Agent

     

    Knowing you need a trustworthy agent and actually finding one are two different things. As you may have guessed, one of the best ways to find a good agent is to ask for references from friends, family members and co-workers. Also, if you belong to a local group that puts out a newsletter or an email bulletin, post an ad asking for recommendations. Insurance agents and brokers must obtain a license from the state in which they do business.

    Contact the state licensing agency and check to make sure the salesperson is licensed and doesn't have any disciplinary proceedings pending. Many states provide this information online. You also might want to call the Better Business Bureau or state or local consumer affairs agencies and ask about the number of consumer complaints filed against the salesperson. Finally, speak with several agents and note whether the agent asks probing questions about your insurance needs or just tries to sell you a product. You should also compare the insurance products each agent offers to see which is the best deal and which best meets your needs.

    Before you sign on the dotted line, you should check out the reliability of your insurance company. As some surprised and angry insurance policy owners have learned, insurance companies can encounter serious financial trouble, and even go broke. For instance, a few insurance companies invested heavily in junk bonds during the '80s, and paid the price of insolvency when glimmers of fiscal (and societal) sanity returned to these economic areas in the '90s.

    There is no national or federal insurance guarantee fund for life insurance companies similar to FDIC insurance for bank depositors. In 47 states, there is some sort of industry-sponsored state guarantee fund. (Colorado, Louisiana, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. have no such funds.) While these funds offer most policyholders the reasonable hope that they won't lose everything they invested if their insurer goes broke, you still certainly don't want to have to wait for state regulators to take charge of an insolvent company, investigate and finally -- and it can take a while -- determine how much money you get back.

    The purpose of this newsletter is not to give legal, insurance or tax advice. The purpose is to stimulate thought for our clients and those professionals we network with. If you are a family planning, legal or insurance professional receiving this newsletter or know of one, please contact our office to introduce yourself and your services to us. We are always seeking to grow our referral network and expose professional services to our client base. The loan professional that has made this information available specializes in providing financial solutions for those buying, selling or refinancing real estate.


    Sincerely,

    Trent Warner    

    Sr. Mortgage Planner
    Union Savings Bank

    Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Lexington

    513.294.8020 - 24/7 Access

    twarner@usavingsbank.com

     

    Knowing you need a trustworthy agent and actually finding one are two different things. As you may have guessed, one of the best ways to find a good agent is to ask for references from friends, family members and co-workers. Also, if you belong to a local group that puts out a newsletter or an email bulletin, post an ad asking for recommendations. Insurance agents and brokers must obtain a license from the state in which they do business.

    Contact the state licensing agency and check to make sure the salesperson is licensed and doesn't have any disciplinary proceedings pending. Many states provide this information online. You also might want to call the Better Business Bureau or state or local consumer affairs agencies and ask about the number of consumer complaints filed against the salesperson. Finally, speak with several agents and note whether the agent asks probing questions about your insurance needs or just tries to sell you a product. You should also compare the insurance products each agent offers to see which is the best deal and which best meets your needs.

    Before you sign on the dotted line, you should check out the reliability of your insurance company. As some surprised and angry insurance policy owners have learned, insurance companies can encounter serious financial trouble, and even go broke. For instance, a few insurance companies invested heavily in junk bonds during the '80s, and paid the price of insolvency when glimmers of fiscal (and societal) sanity returned to these economic areas in the '90s.

    There is no national or federal insurance guarantee fund for life insurance companies similar to FDIC insurance for bank depositors. In 47 states, there is some sort of industry-sponsored state guarantee fund. (Colorado, Louisiana, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. have no such funds.) While these funds offer most policyholders the reasonable hope that they won't lose everything they invested if their insurer goes broke, you still certainly don't want to have to wait for state regulators to take charge of an insolvent company, investigate and finally -- and it can take a while -- determine how much money you get back.

    The purpose of this newsletter is not to give legal, insurance or tax advice. The purpose is to stimulate thought for our clients and those professionals we network with. If you are a family planning, legal or insurance professional receiving this newsletter or know of one, please contact our office to introduce yourself and your services to us. We are always seeking to grow our referral network and expose professional services to our client base. The loan professional that has made this information available specializes in providing financial solutions for those buying, selling or refinancing real estate.


    Sincerely,

    Trent Warner    

    Sr. Mortgage Planner
    Union Savings Bank

    Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Lexington

    513.294.8020 - 24/7 Access

    twarner@usavingsbank.com

  • Plan for Your Money

    Posted Under: Financing in Dayton, Property Q&A in Dayton, Home Insurance in Dayton  |  November 2, 2010 9:11 AM  |  444 views  |  No comments

     

    When it comes to money, planning is where it all begins. Everything you do with money requires a plan, whether you realize it or not. Without a thoughtful plan, you're bound to get lost or confused.

    Planning doesn't have to be difficult. We have simplified basic financial planning into four questions:

     

    Where do you want to be?

    How much time do you have to get there?

    Where are you now?

    What vehicles give you a chance to get there on time?

     

    Where Do You Want to Be?

    Setting an investment goal is no different than choosing a travel destination-you're trying to get somewhere with your money. First, Part A: What is the event for which you're planning? Part B: What's a good estimate of the amount of money you will need to achieve that goal?

    Knowing your goal means everything in money management. If you don't know where you want to be, you won't know how to get there. And you won't know how to avoid or minimize the risks along the way. You may not even recognize the risks at all.

     

    Where Are You Now?

    How much money can you put toward your goal now? What's your starting point? Whether planning a trip or a financial goal, it's critical to know the distance between where you are now and where you want to be.

    Let's say you want to buy a car for $20,000. How much money can you designate toward this goal right now? Your answer will affect how you plan to reach your goal.

    Perhaps you have $25,000 in a retirement plan and $5,000 in a bank savings account. You don't want to touch your retirement savings, but you think you can set aside $2,000 from your savings account toward the car.

    If so, then "where you are now" = $2,000.

    And the distance you have to travel is $18,000 to buy the car.

    How do you know where you are now? In terms of money, there are two ways to know:

    Your net worth, which is the total value of everything you own, minus the debts you have to repay; and

    Your budget (or cash flow picture), which shows your monthly income and spending patterns. It's a snapshot of how money flows into and out of your life every month.

     

    How Much Time Do You Have?

    The time you have to reach your financial destination often influences whether you are in a rush, or can plan a more leisurely course.

    The question of time is the third question because, like planning a trip, once you see how far you have to go, you will:

    Be okay with the time you set to get there;

    Give yourself more time to get there; or

    Adjust your goal or starting point in order to shorten the distance.

    Time is a huge factor in investing. The relationship between time and distance always plays a huge role in planning. If you have five hours to travel 500 miles, you're going to think about planning your trip differently than if you have five hours to travel only 50 miles. It's the same with money. You have to know (1) how far you need to go and (2) in what period of time, in order to create an intelligent plan for getting there on time.

     

    What vehicles have at least a chance to get you there on time?

    When you plan a trip, once you know how far you have to travel and how long you have to get there, choosing the vehicle and the route to take becomes almost second nature. It can feel like second nature with investing, too, once you answer the first three questions.

    For example, what if you had five hours to go 500 miles? You could take a car and speed, averaging 100 mph. You might take a train that goes that fast but won't take you door-to-door. You could take a plane that flies 600 miles an hour, and get there early. You might try to get there by walking, or running, or riding a bike, but you're guaranteed not to get there on time.

     

    Give yourself at least a chance. When planning, first look for vehicles that have at least the potential to get you to your goal on time. In the travel example, they would be the car, the train, and the plane. You may not be entirely comfortable with any of those—you might feel safest walking, running, or on a bike—but you're guaranteed to fail.

    This applies to your money too. First, look for vehicles that have at least the potential to reach your goals. If, for example, you have 2 years until you want to get a new car, and you start out with $15,000. You will need to save $5,000. You should save the extra money in a safe investment, such as a money market fund, because you will need it soon, you can't afford to lose any of the money, and this investment account will get you there on time.

     

    Or let's say that you want to retire in 15 years and you need to save $200,000. Putting most of your money in a money market account probably won't get you there on time. Some combination of stocks, bonds and cash is more likely to help you reach your goal.

    Find out more about three major money strategies and the vehicles that can help you reach your financial goals:

    Protecting what you have (investing in CD, money markets, or very safe short-term bond funds)

    Earning steady income (investing in bonds and/or bond funds; and that also may increase or decrease in value)

    Growing more money (investing in stocks and/or stock funds; and that also may pay some steady income from dividends)

     

     

    One should consult with a qualified financial planning professional prior to implementing any financial planning strategies. 

    If you are a tax, insurance, financial or real estate planning professional receiving this newsletter, please call our office and introduce yourself to us.  We are always seeking to grow our referral network and expose more service professionals to our client base.

    Trent Warner    

    Sr. Mortgage Planner
    Union Savings Bank

    Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Lexington

    513.294.8020 - 24/7 Access

    twarner@usavingsbank.com

 
Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer