HWH029 Living The Slight Edge with Jose Gonzalez

In this episode I had the pleasure of talking with my friend Jose Gonzalez about the book The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. In our conversation we discuss what the slight edge is and how you can use it to reach your goals. This is one of the most motivating books I’ve ever read. I’m so thankful that Jose shared this book with me. If you get a chance, I highly recommend reading this book. I know that it will inspire you just like it did for me.

Here are a few topics that we discuss:
1. What the slight edge is.
2. How it can reshape your life.
3. Why it’s important to make the slight edge a habit.
4. How attitude plays into the slight edge and to your overall success in life.
5. 3 steps to reach your dreams.

HWH028 7 Positive, Productive Habits from Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

What are some habits that you can adopt right now that will help you to achieve your goals in your life? This is what I’m going to be answering in this episode. I was recently reading the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and came across 7 habits that Jeff says will “bear you up under any circumstance and support you on the path to your dreams.” I really liked these habits and I want to be intentional about incorporating these habits into my life. I think these habits are incredibly important to anyone who wants is striving to achieve their goals.

1. Show Up
The first habit is to show up. What this means is that you show up and take that first step. Nothing is going to get done if you never start it. This concept reminds of Wayne Gretzky’s quote “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” In Jeff’s book he states that “By simply showing up you can rise above half of the population in any circumstance.” What he means by this is most people don’t even try. Most people just watch life pass them by on the sidelines. If you want to be someone of action, you need to get off the bench and into the game. And in order to do that you need to show up, be present, and take that first step towards the direction you want to head.

2. Be Consistent
The second habit is to be consistent. It doesn’t just end with showing up. You have to show up every day. You can’t show up just one time and expect that all of your goals are going to be accomplished with just one try. You have to keep showing up, keep pushing on, keep taking that step forward, even when it’s hard, even when the odds are against you, and even when it’s easy not to. In The Slight Edge, Jeff says “As essential as it is to show up, it is consistency that greatly multiplies its power. Showing up consistently is where the magic happens.” Of the few people in life that are actually willing to show up and start something, there are even fewer people that are willing to consistently pursue their goals until they accomplish them. Sometimes in life you get curve balls thrown at you and things change. That doesn’t mean that you have to change your goals, it just means that you have to change your plan for reaching your goals. Jeff goes on to say “If you will commit to showing up consistently, every day, no matter what, then you have already won well more than half the battle. The rest is up to skill, knowledge, drive, and execution.” So, show up and be consistent.

3. Have a Positive Outlook
The third habit is to have a positive outlook. If you want to reach your goals it’s incredibly important to have a positive outlook. Jeff says “approaching the events of everyday life with a consistently positive outlook moves you towards your goals.” Think about this for a second, imagine if you always had a negative outlook. Maybe you would say to yourself, “That’s not going to work, it never works out.” Do you really think anyone with this kind of attitude ever gets anywhere? I highly doubt it. Why? Because who wants to try something if they think they are just going to fail? Seeing yourself as failing all the time is a negative outlook. If you want to win, you have to have a winning outlook, a positive outlook. Sure, there’s going to be many times in life where things are difficult. We all face hard situations in life. If you’re not facing hard situation then you’re not really pushing yourself. When you’re encountering something difficult, try to look at the bright side. Train yourself to find the good in every situation, even if it’s a bad situation. What this will do is help you see the opportunities that will help drive you to success, even when the situation looks bad from the outside.

4. Be Committed For The Long Haul
The fourth habit is to be committed for the long haul. Jeff starts out talking about this habit by saying. “Showing up is essential. Showing up consistently is powerful. Showing up consistently with a positive outlook is even more powerful. But doing all that for a week, is just doing it for a week.” What he means by this is, if you want to get good at something, it takes time. That’s the bottom line. If you want to be good at your job, then it’s going to take you time in order to get good. If you want to get your body into shape, then it’s going to take time. If you want to train yourself to run a marathon, it’s going to take time. This reminds me of the old adage, “Good things happen to those who wait.” While you’re waiting you need to be working for it. So, let’s change the ol’ saying to “Good things happen to those who are committed for the long haul.” And it’s true. People eventually achieve what they set out to achieve if they work at it long enough.

5. Cultivate a Burning Desire Backed by Faith
The fifth habit is to cultivate a burning desire backed by faith. When pursuing goals you have to have something motivating you. That something creates a desire in to you pursue whatever it is that you want. Sometimes desires come and go but a burning desire is something much more intense. Jeff says that “That’s the kind of desire that gets you up early and keeps you up late. It’s what keeps you motivated to press forward when adversity hits. A desire like that can move mountains and alter the course of rivers.” If you’re serious about accomplishing something you need to have not just a desire, but a burning desire. When I’ve experience a burning desire to do something, there wasn’t much that would be able to slow me down. I was ready to stand up against anything that got in my way. The key to harnessing the burning desire is having a clear vision of what you want. Now, if you really want to succeed have a burning desire backed by faith. Jeff explains the faith aspect as “A burning desire backed by faith simply means deeply, passionately wanting to get somewhere and knowing -not hoping, not wishing, but knowing that you’re going to get there. In other words, there has to be congruence between your desire and your faith.” So, figure out what you want, set a goal to get there, create a plan to achieve it, believe in your heart that you’re going to achieve it, and light that desire up!

6. Be Willing to Pay The Price
The sixth habit is being willing to pay the price. We all know in the back of our minds that nothing is free and there is a cost of achieving your goals. There is always a cost, a cost for anything. When you make a decision, no matter what that decision is, there is a cost. Sometimes the cost is simply not doing the other thing that you could have done. There is also a cost for not doing something. For example, there is a cost for not eating healthy. The price you pay is feeling like garbage. Your body pays the price of poor eating habits by not functioning as good as it could with good eating habits. Sometimes in order to do big things you have to make big sacrifices. You might have to give up some of the most valuable things to you like time with friends or family. You might have to decide to get up early and work on your project in stead of staying up the night before watching movies. If you know that whatever you do is going to cost you something don’t you want to get the most out of what you pay? If you’re going to be spending 40 hours a week at a job, why not make it worth your while and do the best that you can? Why not spend that 40 hours accomplishing the most that you can and help you to be as successful as possible? In The Slight Edge Jeff make a good point, “Remember, there aren’t many millionaires who bowl over 100. Why not? Because they left the bowling league behind to build their fortunes.” What do you need to give up in your life right now to help you reach your goals? The junk food? The time sitting in front of the TV? The negative people in your life? The bigger the sacrifices you’re willing to make, the higher you can climb.

7. Practice Slight Edge Integrity
The final habit is to practice slight edge integrity. What does this mean? I’ll tell you! Jeff explains slight edge integrity being, “What you do when no one is watching”. In other words, are you working on your goals when no one else knows that you’re working on your goals? Are you going for that run like you had planned on doing? Are you being intentional about reading a good personal development book on a regular bases? Are you eating the types of foods that you planned on eating? More than likely no one else really knows if you’re sticking to your plan to reach your goals except you. Are you holding yourself accountable to working your plan? That’s what the slight edge integrity is. It’s about being intentional about doing those small things that are easy to do but also easy not to do every day that will help you take one more step towards vision.

The bottom line is we’re all capable of accomplishing great things. Creating good habits in your life will help you accomplish your goals! Jeff summarizes the habits this way, he says, “Show up. Show up consistently. Show up consistently with a positive outlook. Be prepared for and committed to the long haul. Cultivate a burning desire backed by faith. Be willing to pay the price. And do the things you’ve committed to doing – even when no one else is watching”

HWH027 Bodybuilding and Achieving Your Goals with Joe and Nina Evans

In this episode, I get opportunity to talk to Joe and Nina Evans about bodybuilding and the recipes to achieve success in life. Joe and Nina are a husband and wife couple who, in my opinion, are winning in life and they demonstrate this by achieving very big goals. My first conversation is with Joe who is a former wrestling champion. Joe talks to us about his experience with preparing to compete in bodybuilding and how that compares to what it took to be a wrestling champion. He shares some really helpful strategies for reaching success in any area of life. After talking with Joe we jump right into my conversation with Nina. She shares her experience with competing in Bikini competitions and also shares some really great insight to what it takes to choose to reach your goals.

Here are just a couple of the many great lines that came out of this episode.
“If an individual want’s it bad enough, they’ll find a way to do it.” – Joe Evans
“Nothing is a have to, it’s a choose to. What do you choose to do for you?” – Nina Evans

HWH025 7 Things to Know Before Getting a Home Loan

As someone who works in the lending industry, I want to share some helpful tips that can set someone up for success when it comes to getting a home loan.

1. Know what your lender needs to start the preapproval process and the loan process. Your lender should provide you with a checklist of items that you need to gather and bring to the lender in order to start either of these two processes. If they don’t give you a checklist, then ask for one, even if that means the lender needs to hand write each item down for you. For a preapproval, most lenders are going to ask for a loan application, authorization for release of credit information, income verification, asset verification, and identification. After you have the preapproval the key item that your lender needs to start the loan is going to be the Purchase and Sale Agreement also known as the PSA. Your lender is also going to ask you who you want to use for your homeowner’s insurance and who you want to use for your title company, if it’s not already listed on the PSA. There will be several other questions your lender should ask you too, such as if you want escrows collected, which is the property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and PMI (if applicable).

2. Know when you get to lock in the rate. Different lenders lock in the rate at different times. Some lenders lock in the rate at the time that you get a preapproval. Some lenders lock in the rate at the time that you apply for the loan. Other lenders might lock in the rate at the time the loan is approved by the underwriter. Also, know the length of time the rate is locked in.

3. Plan to have an in-depth conversation with your lender about what you want to do and your particular situation. There could be things that your lender needs to know about you in order to avoid time consuming mistakes later. For example, are you currently going through a divorce? Is a trust going to be involved with the purchase? Where are the funds for the down payment coming from? Where are you looking for a home? What type of home are you looking for? These are examples of things that you need to discuss with your lender before making an offer on a home. You need to be open and honest with your lender so they can make sure that any issues are addressed in the beginning of the loan process and don’t cause problems later.

4. If you know that you’re going to be looking to buy a home in a few months then get prequalified. The prequalification is a little different for different lenders. Most times what prequalification means is that you talk to your potential lender about where you’re at with your gross monthly income, monthly liabilities, and funds available for down payment and closing costs. With this information, your prospective lender can determine your housing ratio and debt ratio and will then be able to tell you approximately how much you could qualify for without needing to pull your credit. This is usually more of a simple, non-formal, conversation. Once the lender knows your financial situation, they can give you a loan estimate, which will show you approximately how much closing costs are going to be, how much you will need to bring in at closing for your down payment, what your loan payment is, and what your estimated property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and if applicable, PMI is going to be.

5. Be prepared financially before you get a home loan. One aspect of being prepared is to pay off as much debt as you can prior to applying for a home loan. Payoff and close credit cards, pay off the last little bit of that car loan, and get rid of as much debt as possible. There are several reasons that I suggest doing this. The first reason why I suggest this is buying a home with a lot of other debt is going to stress you financially. And I don’t want anyone to be in this kind position. I’ve heard over and over that the number one reason for divorce is money problems. If you want to stay out of money problems don’t get yourself into more debt than you can handle. The second reason I suggest paying off as much debt as you can prior to buying a house is because I’ve seen time and time again people not be able to qualify for the loan they needed to buy the house they wanted. In most cases that I have witnessed this, the borrower had recently purchased a new vehicle and had a huge car payment. The car payment pushed their debt ratio too high to qualify for the loan. In these cases the borrower had to pass up buying the home they wanted and put home buying on hold while they paid down debt. So, let me repeat myself, don’t put yourself in a poor financial position by taking on too much debt! Another way to be prepared is make sure that you have an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of expenses in a savings account prior to getting a home loan. This, again, is to make sure you have a financial buffer incase of unexpected expense, which, if you’re buying a home, I can guarantee you, you’re going to have plenty of these. And keep in mind that your emergency funds should be different than you down payment funds. In other words, don’t wipe out your emergency funds to use as your down payment on your home.

6. Know what PMI is, if it applies to you, and when it will go away. PMI stands for private mortgage insurance. It’s basically an insurance that is paid by the borrower, typically on a monthly basis, that protects the lender in case of default on the loan. PMI is usually required on loans where the borrower is putting less than 20% down. Most of the time PMI goes away once the LTV reaches 80%. LTV means loan-to-value, in other words, the ratio of loan amount to the original value of the home. This value could either be the appraised value or the sales price. The lender typically goes with whichever of these two values is lower. Also, an option that might be availed to you is getting a new appraisal and then basing the LTV off of the new appraisal in lieu of the old value. A borrower would do this because the new appraisal could value the home much higher than the old value. Make sure to ask a lot of questions to your lender if PMI applies to you so that you know the exact details.

7. Ask your lender what the fees are for additional payments to principal or paying off your loan. You don’t want a lender who is going to charge you a fee every time you make an additional payment to principal. I recommend paying off your home as fast as you reasonably can. Paying off your mortgage early can help you to put more money away for retirement and education costs for your children. If you want a really great system for paying off your mortgage early you should check out the Speedpay Strategy that I created to help people pay off their mortgages faster.

I hope these 7 items are helpful for you and help you have a smooth loan process!

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the author’s blog, podcast, posts, and other media belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employers, affiliated organizations, associates, clients, or any other group or individual.

HWH024 Top 7 Money Mistakes to Avoid with Bill Spring

Bill Spring and I layout 7 money mistakes to avoid AND… we even include an 8th bonus mistake at the end of the podcast, which in my opinion, is the biggest mistake a person can make financially. These mistakes are the big ones!!! If you want to be intentional about building wealth, then you need to be intentional about avoiding these mistakes. Getting caught up in these mistakes can literally destroy you financially. All of these items are big mistakes but are not listed in any particular order.

Here are the top 7 money mistakes to avoid: 

1. Taking on too much debt. Examples: Buying too much house: This means that the loan is way too much for a person to afford. Dave Ramsey recommends no more than 25% of your take home pay go towards your total housing payment which includes taxes, insurance, principal and interest. Buying too much car: In other words, buying a car you can’t afford. People too often buy new cars that they shouldn’t and have a hefty car payment every month that takes away from their ability to contribute to investments. Misuse of credit cards: Racking up debt on your credit card and then just making the minimum payment can cost you big bucks. According to Creditcards.com the average national credit card interest rate that you’ll pay is 16.15 percent. Yikes!!!

2. Unable to say no to friends and family that ask you for money. An example of this could be a mom who is kept broke because her adult son is mooching off of her. The mom feels obligated to support her son and the son is taking advantage of this. The mom needs to establish boundaries to eliminate the son’s dependence. It’s not wrong to help those in need, I encourage doing so, but don’t let giving get out of control and be aware when giving becomes enabling.

3. Taking on unnecessary risk. An example of this could be someone that does not have life insurance, health insurance, or disability insurance. The old saying “expect the unexpected” can really help you to avoid costly issues. Also, if you have a family or someone in your life that is dependent on you, you need to get life insurance. Sometimes employers provide these types of insurance. If your employer does then you need to make sure that the coverage is adequate for your family’s potential needs.

4. Not investing in a retirement. This is especially true if your employer offers a matching program. For example, if your employer matches up to 3% of your gross annual income. If you’re not making contributions to a retirement program, then you need to do so immediately.

5. Not having an emergency fund. I’m sure everyone has experienced an unanticipated expense. It could be a medical expense, a vehicle expense, or a housing expense. It could be anything! You need to have an emergency fund to protect yourself against unforeseen expenses. The biggest reason to do this is because you’re going to have to borrow the money, like put it on a credit card, in order to pay the unexpected expense. If that happens, you could be paying 16.15% interest! For your emergency fund you should have 3 to 6 months of expenses saved up.

6. Not considering opportunity cost. When you spend your money on something, you’re not able to spend it on something else. What does that translate to? It means when you blow your money on that third pair of running shoes (that you really don’t need) you’re giving up the opportunity to invest that money and earn a return.

7. Thinking that money is a mathematical problem and not a behavior problem. Let me repeat that… Thinking that money is a mathematical problem and not a behavior problem… This sounds illogical but it’s very true. Poor money habits are behavioral problems. In other words, being financially healthy means being disciplined with your money.

If you’re looking for financial help, reach out to a financial coach – like myself, take a Financial Peace University class, or look into the financial classes offered by your local Love INC organization.

HWH023 Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster with The Speedpay Strategy

I’m excited to tell you guys about a helpful tool called the Speedpay Strategy. It helps you to layout a plan for making additional payments to principle on your mortgage (or really any kind of loan). Its purpose is to help you pay off your mortgage faster than if you just made the minimum payment. Let’s take a look at what this tool is, when you should use it and what you should do before you use it.

Download the Speedpay Strategy in Excel.

What exactly is the Speedpay Strategy and how does it work? It’s a payment plan that uses increasing payments to principal that are based off of customized data that you input into the Speedpay Strategy Excel Worksheet. The Speedpay Strategy creates a schedule where each year the amount of what you pay directly to principal increase by a percentage of the original principal and interest payment. This allows you to anticipate how much faster your mortgage will be paid off and how much your monthly payment will need to be in order to reach your desired payoff date.

Why use increasing payments? One of the best parts about the Speedpay Strategy is the increasing payments. The reason this is a nice feature is because a person’s income tends to rise over time. Think about it, for most people, they will likely make more money next year than they did this year. So, it only makes sense to increase your mortgage payment, if you have a little more income, in order to pay your mortgage off faster.

I created a template for the Speedpay Strategy using Microsoft Excel and this template is available for free download on my website, buildwithkeegan.com. You can find it in the “Success Tools” section. As a side note, feel free to customize the Speedpay Strategy Template to fit your specific needs. To use the template from my website you don’t need to be a wiz at Microsoft Excel. First, simply download the template from my website and open the file. Please note, you will need the program Microsoft Excel in order to use the template. Second, enter in your loan information in the yellow boxes at the top left part of the screen. In this section, you will need to enter your original loan amount, which is the amount of loan that you started with when you either bought your home or when you refinanced. The next amount you need to enter is the current principal balance of your home loan. You can find this amount by either looking online, if you have online access to your mortgage, or by simply looking at the most recent mortgage statement available. Then, enter the amount of the original term. The original term is the number of months that you had at the beginning of the loan to pay back your loan. For instance, if you had a thirty year loan then the original term would be 360 months. Next, input the interest rate on your loan and the principal and interest payment amount of your loan. As side note, if you have a mortgage that requires bimonthly or biweekly payments then feel free to modify the Speedpay Strategy Template to accommodate your situation.

Once you’ve entered in your loan information, it’s time for the fun part! Enter in the percentage amount by which you would like your principle payment to increase each year. You can adjust this percentage up or down to meet your level of financial capabilities. You can also adjust this percentage to show you how long it will take to pay your loan off in a given amount of time. For example, say you want to pay your home loan off in 10 years. You would simply input different percentages until the loan balance is paid off within the 10 years as shown on the amortization schedule within the Speedpay Strategy Template. You can tell when the loan is paid off by looking at the “Loan Balance” column. When the loan balance hits negative and it is red, you know the loan is paid off.

If you want to put a little extra money to go to just the principal in addition to the Speedpay percentage then you can add that in the Speedpay Boost box. Whatever amount you enter will be added to the monthly principal payment amount for the entire life of the loan. For example, let’s say that you get a home loan and you know, right when you get the loan, that you want to put an extra 50 bucks towards the principal each month. Well then, you would enter the $50 in the Speedpay Boost box and this will show you paying $50 per month, every month, for the life of the loan, to just the principal.

Once you get all of the numbers entered into the Speedpay Strategy Template play with the Speedpay percentage and the Speedpay Boost amounts until you achieve a payment amount and a loan payoff date that you are comfortable with.

Next, let’s look at some recommendations on when you should use and should not use the Speedpay Strategy.

First, if you do not yet have an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months, you need to establish this prior to making additional payments towards your home loan. An emergency fund is crucial to keeping you from falling into high interest consumer debt. Most people who are living paycheck to paycheck use a credit cards, personal loans, and payday loans, in case of an emergency. This is a big mistake. In lieu of using short-term debt for an emergency, build up an emergency fund so you can pay cash for an emergency if you need to.

My second recommendation is that you eliminate any other consumer debt before using the Speedpay Strategy. After you’ve eliminated your consumer debt then you can start making additional payments to the principle on your mortgage. I recommend doing this because the rate on other credit items such as: credit cards, car payments, student loans, etc. typically have a higher interest rate than home mortgages.

My third recommendation is that you make sure to contribute to your retirement plan prior to making additional payments to your home loan principal. If you can contribute to your retirement plan and afterwards you still have room in your budget then great, do the Speedpay Strategy. If you are not contributing to your retirement plan, then you need to do this before starting the Speedpay Strategy.

Lastly, if you expect to live in your home for less than two years I suggest putting the Speedpay Strategy on hold while you put away money for the down payment, closing costs and moving costs on your next home.

HWH022 3D Exercising with Natalie Harris

Natalie Harris is Personal Trainer and Exercise Physiologist who works with people to help them achieve their physical goals. In this episode, Natalie talks with me about functional training and 3D exercising. She helps us to understand that the benefits of exercising go much further than just helping us physically. As she points out, exercising can also help us to grow mentally and spiritually. If you’re someone who is seeking growth in your life, this is a great episode to listen to.

If you would like to learn more about hiring Natalie as a personal trainer she can be reached at Pro-Motion Functional Fitness in Yakima Washington. The office phone number there is (509) 452-4187.

Natalie Nobbs

Natalie and her friend Irina Whittlesey have recently started their own blog and podcast called The Versatile Athlete. These are two very educated individuals that have an incredible wealth of knowledge to share and are quite fun to listen to. On their blog and podcast Natalie and Irina will debunk fitness myths and provide new and exciting ways to doing fitness and viewing health. I’m really looking forward to hearing and reading the content that they come up with.

HWH021 Achieving Your Maximum Performance with Dary Reed

Dary Reed is a Personal Effectiveness Coach and the owner of Assets LLC. His goal is “to help individuals operate in a culture of high performance by teaching intrinsic behavioral skills that direct ones path to elevated levels of success.” Dary shared a tremendous amount of success wisdom with me and I felt very fortunate to have him on the show. If you’re someone who wants to achieve your maximum performance in whatever you’re doing, this podcast episode is for you!

Here are just a few of the nuggets of wisdom that Dary shares:

  • “Once you can say that ‘failure is my leverage for effectiveness’ and truly believe that in your heart, then failure doesn’t frighten you anymore.”
  • “When I learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, when I embrace the suck, however you want to phrase it, you know, that’s really where I learn and where I grow.”
  • “Everything of high level quality is practiced, drilled, and rehearsed, which is discipline”
  • “Discipline establishes patterns and patterns establish effectiveness. You can’t have random effectiveness.”
  • “You don’t learn on the mountain tops, you learn down in the valleys.”

Dary’s words of wisdom in this podcast will help you:

  • Learn how fear destroys our success and how to overcome it.
  • Learn the importance of discipline while achieving success in your life.
  • Embrace the tough parts of your life as a way to learn, grow, and become better than you were yesterday.
  • Become a better leader both in business and in life.
  • Learn how to achieve on a whole new level.

Dary’s Contact Information: 

HWH020 Life Insurance 101 with Steve Wagar

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Steve Wagar, Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual, about life insurance and the benefits that life insurance provides. He offered some really great insight that you should listen to if you’ve been considering protecting your family by getting life insurance.

If you would like to talk to Steve about life insurance or other financial topics here is his contact info:
Steven M Wagar | Financial Representative
117 East Yakima Ave.
Yakima, WA 98901
P: 509-457-1660 | F: 509-248-3552
E: steve.m.wagar@nm.com   Website: www.stevemwagar.nm.com

Points Steve made from the interview:
• Life insurance is a contract between you and the insurer that, if premiums are paid, and the policy is in-force, meaning in effect, when the insured party passes away, a benefit is to be paid to the beneficiary.

There are three basic types of life insurance: Term, Whole life, and Universal Life.
Term insurance is great for covering a need for a specific period of time, like 10, 20 years or longer. Generally, it is the lowest price of the three types and allows families with any income to protect themselves.
Whole Life insurance is an insurance that is with you until the day you pass away, not for a specific time. It also can be a tax-deferred cash accumulation vehicle. Whole Life insurance has a bad reputation, given by a few people who have used it in a manner it was not intended for. If you buy a quality whole life insurance product from a quality company, it can be a worry-free asset down the road that can serve a lot of purposes. Here, it pays to do some research about the insurance company’s performance.
Universal Life policies are a sort of hybrid policy between Whole Life and Term insurance. They have flexible premiums, but not the guarantees of traditional whole life insurance. They work like Whole Life insurance policies, but can have certain pitfalls if not designed and executed properly. In other words, they require more maintenance generally, than traditional Whole Life policies.

• One of the most common questions I hear about life insurance is: If someone has a good chunk of money saved up, can this suffice as a “self insured” policy? Steve answered this question by asking another question:

“Do you think someone with a $300,000 house that is paid off, meaning they own it outright, would have home owner’s insurance still, just in case it was destroyed somehow?”

Questions to ask if you’re looking for life insurance:                                           • The best way to find a financial representative that you can trust will do what’s right for you, is to talk to those you love, respect, and trust yourself and ask them who they go through. If someone you know has had a very positive experience, and has trusted their representative, that is probably a good sign!
• What are the financial strength ratings of the company or companies you represent? Ultimately, when it becomes time to submit a claim for life insurance, you want a company that will be there, do the right thing, and be able to pay the claim. Look for companies with high financial strength ratings.
• Ask if these companies do financial planning as well. Life insurance is not usually a standalone product; it is something we use as part of a larger financial plan in order to insure your family’s financial security are met no matter the things life throws at us.
• Ask if the company the representative works with is a mutual company. Mutual companies by definition have no stock holders, only policy owners. So as someone who owns a policy with these companies, if a dividend is paid, it is paid to those who have policies with the company, not an outside stock holder. What this translates to, is the mutual company then has an incentive to perform well for those people who own the company, those who actually own policies with them. Historically mutual companies have provided life insurance at a lower cost than stock companies.
• Ask if the representative has professional distinctions pertaining to life insurance and financial planning, such as a CLU, ChFC, CFP, or are working towards such designations. Having these designations, or having a mentor of the representative holding these designations, shows that the representative has gone above and beyond to learn the ins and outs of life insurance to best provide for your needs.

HWH019 An Introduction to CrossFit with Irina Whittlesey

Hey guys! I recently had the privilege of interviewing Irina Whittlesey a CrossFit Coach with Hop Valley CrossFit in Yakima Washington. She told me about the many benefits that CrossFit offers and how it is different from having a regular gym membership. If you’ve ever considered CrossFit here are some of the benefits we discuss:
1. Strength: Become physically and mentally strong.
2. Endurance: Go harder – last longer.
3. Motivation: The coaches and other participants cheer you on.
4. Coaching: Have a knowledgeable person guiding you all they way.
5. Premade Workout Plans: Workout of the Day (WOD) is different everyday.
6. Nutrition: CrossFit gyms may also provide nutrition coaching.
7. Weight Loss: Getting lean and mean? CrossFit can do that for you.
8. Community: Make friends and take the CrossFit journey together.
9. Accomplish: Reach goals that you didn’t think you could.

Hop Valley CrossFit in Yakima Washington is owned and operated by Robb & Jenn Paul. Hear their story and learn more here: hopvalleycrossfit.com

 

Special Notes: Some CrossFit gyms may offer a free class as a way to let people try it out. CrossFit gyms typically have a monthly membership fee with a minimum commitment period. Contact your local CrossFit gym to learn more about their pricing structure and what they offer.