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Your Interstate of Life

Do you ever feel that you're trying to speed through life, taking more chances than you should? Are you missing the beautiful scenery along the way?

What Haunts you?

I asked a question recently of a medical professional, and the answer shocked and emotionally moved me.

New fallen snow, a watch, a wake, a promise...

Have you ever made a promise? Was it for a short-term promise or was it a forever promise? There's a difference, isn't there? Forever promises typically aren't flashy. They're thoughtful and serious. This morning, I saw a promise through, which was made thirty years ago. So, as I pause and take in the scenery of this new fallen snow, let me share with you a story of a watch, a wake and a promise.

Butter Knife or Screwdriver?

 Have you ever found yourself needing to tighten a screw, but you couldn’t find a screwdriver?  Admit it.  You went to a kitchen drawer and pulled out a butter knife, didn’t you?  Once the project was complete, you probably returned the knife to the drawer slightly bent at its tip, because a butter knife isn’t a screwdriver.  Would you have consider buttering a piece of bread with a screwdriver?  Let’s hope not.  Here’s the thing – Use the correct tool for the correct purpose.  I see this time and time again with people who tell me that their 401(k) or their IRA is a retirement plan.  Neither is a plan.  They’re both accounts, a place to accumulate money.  In fact, there are many advisors who spend countless hours working with these products to try and create a retirement plan, and I’ve met many attorneys who try to coordinate ways of alleviating the problems associated with these retirement accounts to correct estate planning problems or mistakes.  You may believe that your account is a plan.  You may also believe that a butter knife is a screwdriver.  Neither is.

Real or Not Real?

At some point in our lives, things become real. In fact, sometimes things become ‘really’ real. Years ago, Mark Bertrang had a client who worked in the silk-screening industry. This specialization creates the display printing on the front of your kitchen appliances and the imprinted dials and wood grain dashboard finishes of your automobile. Mark had always been impressed with some of the beautiful finishes on the dashboard detailing of premium automobiles. He was disappointed to learn that the ‘wood’ finishing was barely wood at all. Instead, it was simply a sheet of paper (so, it was kind of wood) encased inside epoxy or plastic. So, was it real or was it not real? The discussion of life insurance can be the same, as Mark shares the story of how this young design engineer’s life ended abruptly. How might term insurance play out as compared to permanent whole life insurance? Is one real and the other not real?

Three Questions to ask yourself

There are three questions you need to ask yourself. Mark Bertrang read these questions from Joe Polish's new book, What's in it for them?, this morning with his team, as he does each day at 9:00am sharp! The questions are: #1. Where are you? #2. Where do you want to go? and #3. How are you going to get there? These three questions might be the only ones you need to ask yourself in determining your present, your future and your journey. During this video Mark Bertrang also explores the additional three roadblocks that might be preventing you from succeeding in your personal goals.

Icy Conditions

When winter arrives, we begin to downshift into a brand-new driving mode.  We become much more cautious; at least if you’re an experienced driver.  While having my morning coffee at breakfast this morning, I received a text from a team member notifying me that they would be arriving late into the office due to his young and still somewhat inexperienced teenage driver sliding into the ditch on the way to school.  He was waiting for a tow truck along the side of the road.  This incident only caused damage to the driver’s feelings, but it provided important future wisdom,that can only be learn through experience.  We can’t all know all everything. That’s when we look toward the wisdom of others, who have gained that wisdom through their own years' worth of experience.

Contracts & Small Print

What do Halls cough drops have to do with life insurance contracts? We’ll discuss the importance of security and guarantees found within whole life insurance policies.


Mark Bertrang discusses best strategies for utilizing your Required Minimum Distributions. 

How do you Rent Money?

How do you rent your money?  That quick question answers the definition of borrowing.  Taking a loan out, whether it's from a bank or a credit union or any number of financial institutions, simply means that you’re renting money.  The real question is, at what cost?  What is the cost to you to rent someone else’s money to get what you want?  What is the amount you can borrow?  What are the terms – the interest charged or the length of the loan?  What is the collateral you have to put up to obtain the loan; your house, your business?  What happens if you want to delay or skip a payment?  Is there another way? 

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