While thinking about preparing for death isn't exactly a walk in the park, obtaining life insurance is something we all can benefit from, in order to be sure those we care about are covered financially after we're gone. Before getting your policy, brush up on these common terms associated with life insurance so you know what you're signing up for.

Agent: Unless you're Brad Pitt and being pitched for a blockbuster, this is the party who handles contracts of insurance and services the policyholder of the plan for the insurer.

Annuity: The contract that gives details of a periodic income provision at pre-set intervals is an annuity. This is usually a life-long agreement.



Beneficiary: When a policyholder dies, the person named in their plan who will receive their insurance proceeds is the beneficiary (AKA: lucky son-of-a-gun).

Binding: This is temporary insurance coverage given to the applicant while the underwriting process takes place.

Death Benefit: While it sounds like an oxymoron, a death benefit is the payment given to beneficiaries of a policy holder when the insured passes away. AKA proceeds or face amount.



Evidence of Insurability: In order to be eligible for a life insurance plan, you must provide proof of health and financial information/job details to access your "risk" level. Now if only Trump would release his tax returns…

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: While usually more expensive than the average policy, this is the type of life insurance where the applicant needn't submit their health information and they can still obtain insurance no matter their health status.

In-Force: While this could be a comic book hero's alter-ego, in-force describes an active life insurance policy which by all accounts is in good standing.

Insured: The person you want to be! This is the person who is covered by a life insurance policy.

Other Insured Rider: Kind of like the person riding "shot gun." This is an optional add-on to a policy which allows for coverage for another person other than the insured.

Permanent Life Insurance: No, you're not going to live forever. Permanent life insurance provides coverage to the insured until they die, rather than for a certain number of years.



Policy: This is the legally-binding document provided to the policyholder that lays out the terms of the insurance contract. Make it your "policy" to read all the fine print.

Policy Owner: This is the lady or gent who owns a life insurance policy. The insured and the policy owner are not necessarily the same person, but they can be.

Premium: This is the payment or payments the policyholder agrees to make towards their insurance policy. Usually, the payments are required annually, twice a year, quarterly, or monthly.

Smoker Ratings: This isn't the Marlboro Man's assessment of the latest movies, but a higher premium charged to tobacco users by insurance companies. As if cigarettes didn't cost enough already!

Standard Risk: This is what insurance companies call a person who is considered to have an average life span based on their lifestyle and health.

Sub-Standard Risk: As you may guess, this is a person who is assumed to have less-than-average longevity due to poor health, risky behaviors, and additional frowned-upon traits. Not only are these folks deemed sub-par, but they must pay higher premiums. Kick 'em while they're down, why don't ya?

Suicide Clause: An insurance company need not pay the death benefit if an insured person commits suicide within a certain period after they get their life insurance policy. This is generally two years' time. Sad, but true.

Underwriter: This person carefully reviews the insurance application and makes the decision if the life insurance applicant meets all qualifications as well as the premium they will adhere to.

Uninsurable Risk: When an insurance company assesses that a person's mortality risk is too high for them to be insured, this person is considered an uninsurable risk.

Now that you're a vocabulary whiz, it's time to inquire about that policy. Before it's too late...

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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