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Show Your Love This Valentine's Day With Life Insurance

Bookmark and Share February is the month of love. Millions of couples will get engaged on Valentine's Day or get married this month, and couples spend an average of $260 on cards, flowers, jewelry and other gifts. Those gifts could include life insurance. It's not the first gift you think of when you consider romance, but it's a good way to express your love to the important people in your life. In fact, you could think of life insurance as love insurance. Seventy-five percent of life insurance purchasers buy a policy because of love. This February, show your love with a life insurance policy, too.

Life Insurance for Yourself

When you buy a life insurance policy for yourself, you give your loved ones financial security and peace of mind. While life insurance benefits don't replace you, they are a small way you can continue to provide for your loved ones after you're gone. Your beneficiaries can use the money for miscellaneous purposes, including daily living expenses, an emergency fund for the future, debt repayment, school tuition or retirement account funding.

Life Insurance for Your Fiancé or Spouse

Maybe you won't give your fiancé a life insurance policy along with the engagement ring, and a policy is probably not the first thing you buy together as a newly married couple. However, life insurance is an expression of your love and care. Your partner can choose the beneficiary and provide financial assistance to children or aging parents. The policy payout could also repay your partner's outstanding debts, fund a favorite charity, cover end of life expenses or boost your retirement savings.

Life Insurance for Your Children

Kids have their whole lives in front of them, but they aren't immune to birth defects, accidents and diseases like cancer. You can't protect your kids from everything, but you can give them life insurance. A child's life insurance policy can pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses and other end of life arrangements. It can also be donated in your child memory to his or her favorite charity or be used for the educational costs of surviving siblings. Whole life insurance policies also grow with your child. When they turn 21, they take over the policy and keep the same coverage or purchase additional insurance for their future.

This February, purchase life Insurance for your loved ones. A policy can cost less per day than your daily coffee, and it provides peace of mind. It's a loving gift that keeps on giving. Discuss available policies with your insurance agent today.

What to Know Before you Schedule an Overseas Surgery

Bookmark and Share Because of high deductibles in the United States and affordable treatment overseas, medical travel continues to gain popularity. Almost one million Americans traveled overseas for medical treatment in 2014. One-third of these patients had dental work done, and one-fourth went for surgeries like bariatric operations and coronary bypasses. Cosmetic surgeries and hip and knee replacements were also popular. If you're considering getting your next medical procedure done overseas, do your research.

Who Will Pay for Your Overseas Procedures?

In 2014, roughly five percent of employers covered surgeries aboard. Up to 25 percent plan to add that coverage by 2019. These companies pay for overseas surgeries and may even offer employees a cash bonus because medical travel saves them money. For example, one company saved $11 million since it started offering a medical travel program in 2010.

However, the majority of employers do not cover medical travel. Your health insurance may not cover it, either. That means you will pay the full cost out-of-pocket. Figure out the payment details before you schedule your procedure.

How do you Choose a Facility?

The Joint Commission International website can assist you in finding accredited hospitals that meet high quality and safety standards. Be sure the specialist you choose is board-certified, and ask for references. You may also hire a third-party facilitator. He or she will introduce you to specialists, manage appointments and assist you in making travel arrangements.

Next, confirm the treatment with your primary care physician. He or she needs to ensure you are healthy enough to travel and approve the procedure. You are then ready to get a written agreement from your chosen facility and specialist. The agreement includes details about the procedure, including the covered treatment, care, supplies and extra amenities. It should also outline what happens if there's a complication or you need additional medical care during or after the procedure.

What Happens While You're Overseas?

An English-speaking concierge will meet you at the airport and drive you to the hospital where you'll meet your surgeon and get any blood work or required tests. After the procedure, you'll receive any necessary therapy. Someone will give you after care instructions and possibly a hard copy of your medical records before you're driven to the airport when you're well enough to return home.

Medical travel can save you big bucks on your next procedure. Do your homework before you schedule the appointment. Then consider purchasing medical travel insurance that covers medical malpractice and includes a death or disability benefit. This insurance gives you peace of mind as you travel overseas for your next medical procedure.

Natural Ways to Improve Oral Health

Bookmark and Share Your oral health affects your physical health. Heart disease and osteoporosis are two health challenges that can stem from poor oral health. Try several natural methods that improve your oral health. To figure out if the methods work for you, try them for at least two months.

Eat Whole Foods

When you eat only whole, unprocessed foods, your oral health improves. That's because refined flours and sugars promote tooth decay. Alternatively, fresh foods contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients that grow strong teeth and healthy gums.

Choose Sugar Substitutes

If you have to consume sweets, look for foods made with sugar substitutes such as xylitol and sorbitol. These substitutes fight cavities.

Drink Tea

Green and black teas contain flavonoids. They stop the bacteria growth that causes tooth decay. Teas can also contain fluoride that reduces cavities and strengthens teeth.

Take a Multivitamin

A quality multivitamin reduces dietary deficiencies. It also contains selenium and zinc, two minerals that improve your immune system which then fights dental bacteria.

Avoid Environmental Toxins

Lead breaks down tooth enamel and creates chalky lesions on your teeth. By avoiding exposure to it, you can improve your oral health.

Use Mouthwash That's Alcohol-Free

Alcohol dries your mouth, which allows bacteria to grow. Mouthwashes with chamomile, myrrh and Echinacea kill germs and reduce dryness.

Minimize Medication Usage

Certain medications cause oral health problems. For example, antidepressants reduce saliva levels, which can cause tooth decay. Birth control pills also promote bacterial growth and increase your risk of developing gum disease. If you must take medications, ask your doctor for a lower the dose or take extra vitamin C and chew sugar-free gum to reduce the adverse oral effects.

Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

Worn toothbrush heads don't remove food and plaque effectively. You could end up with tooth decay, gum inflammation and gingivitis. At least once a month, replace your toothbrush.

Improve Your Brushing Technique

The way you brush your teeth can efficiently remove food debris and plaque. Use five to 10 strokes on all surfaces of each tooth. Brush downwards on your upper teeth, upwards on the bottom teeth and in a circular motion on your back teeth.

Brush Regularly

At least once a day, brush your teeth. For optimal oral health, brush after every meal.

Take these natural steps to strengthen your teeth, prevent cavities, reduce gum disease and improve your overall oral health. You should also use your dental insurance benefits and visit your dentist at least once every six months. Receive a thorough cleaning and an oral exam as you prevent dental problems and promote oral health.

6 Times to Reevaluate Your Life Insurance Coverage

Bookmark and Share Life insurance provides financial compensation to your loved ones after your death. Your policy is not like a slow cooker where you set the timer and walk away, though. You'll need to reevaluate your policy when six life events occur. Get Married When you get married, your spouse depends on your income and contributions to the home. Take a look at your insurance policy. Is the death benefit adequate for your life partner in case something happens to you? Update your policy or purchase a secondary policy, and make your spouse your primary beneficiary of the benefits. You can also purchase a life insurance policy for your spouse as you give him or her peace of mind.

Have a Baby or Become a Primary Caregiver

Add a baby to the family, adopt a child or begin caring for an aging parent, and you now have another dependent who relies on you for support. Life insurance benefits help to pay for expenses associated with dependent care. In addition to ensuring your policy provides adequate financial assistance, consider making your dependent a secondary or contingent beneficiary on your policy.

Buy or Sell a House

Mortgage payments are probably a significant portion of your monthly budget. Could your surviving spouse pay the mortgage and other household expenses without your income? Make sure your life insurance policy covers the mortgage repayment if you die before the house is paid off. If you downsize or repay the mortgage, consider cancelling the policy if you no longer need it.

Incur or Pay Off Significant Debt

Student loans, credit card bills and other significant debts put a damper on your monthly budget. Repaying those expenses could also affect your survivors. Ensure your life insurance policy covers any significant debt repayment as you care for the people you love. Once the debt is repaid, you can decide if you wish to keep or cancel the policy.

Experience Income Changes

Lose a job, switch jobs or get a large raise, and you'll also want to check your life insurance policy. Make sure it provides adequate resources to replace your income. Ideally, your policy should be at least five-to-10-times your annual salary.

Begin Planning for Retirement

As you begin planning for your future retirement, remember to update your life insurance policy. The benefits can assist your surviving spouse in maintaining his or her current lifestyle, traveling the world or covering nursing and medical care. With it, your spouse has peace of mind and financial security even during the retirement years.

Life insurance provides peace of mind. Regularly evaluate your policy with your insurance agent to ensure it meets your needs.