No Exam Life Insurance: Guaranteed Issues vs. Simplified Issue

Not all “no exam” life insurance policies are created equal. There are two primary differences when it comes to these policies: guaranteed issue and simplified issue. One aims to make the process more convenient while the offer is a last attempt at getting life insurance when you’ve been denied or may be denied elsewhere.

If you have had issues getting coverage with other carriers, you might be looking to these two types of policies to give you the important protection afforded by life insurance. Understanding how these work is important for you to get a good perspective on what to do next.

Comparing the Two

Caps are higher with simplified issue because it’s still geared towards healthy people. This means that the coverage obtained under guaranteed issue is guaranteed but limited. The bar for declines is higher with simplified issue since it is not meant for people with serious health issues. If you have medical concerns, it is a possibility that you could be declined for coverage with simplified issue. Simplified issue is intended to make the process easier but the challenge with this is that you must still qualify in general.

Bear in mind that being denied for one company does not mean you will be declined for all coverage. Do not jump the gun and apply for guaranteed issue because you’re concerned about not getting coverage at all. Do some shopping and speaking with a life insurance expert to learn about all your options. Some carriers have specific red flags that might cause you to be declined there, but this does not mean you are out of choices. Get the details from someone who knows as soon as possible so you’re not limited by your next steps.

When Is It Best to Go Traditional?

Even though both of these types of policies have their benefits, there are times when it just makes more sense to go the traditional route and get an exam. Knowing the carriers and which ones will be friendlier to the medical issues you have makes the application process much simpler. As is the case with no exam life insurance, various carriers view issues in different ways. Do not get hung up just because one company gives you a bad rate or a decline.

If you decide to go the traditional route, you might get better rates, the potential to look at more carriers overall, and more coverage options. With caps being such a big issue in simplified issue and guaranteed issue, traditional exam life insurance opens the potential for your beneficiaries to get more value from a life insurance policy. If this appeals to you, consider working with an independent life insurance agency that can recommend the best option for your individual situation.

Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

We Joined Amazon Prime

For the first time ever, our household has joined Amazon Prime as paying members!  We had previously been Prime members for a trial period during the heyday of the Amazon Mom program, and scored lots of great deals on diapers and such, but once our free period ran out, we returned as non-Prime members.

We have gone back and forth for awhile, and when Amazon had a one day $67 deal for new members last month (marked down from the regular price of $99) , in celebration of their Emmy award, we decided to go for it.

Here are a few things we’re looking forward to:

2-Day Shipping

The first and probably still most popular thing about Prime membership is the 2-day shipping.  We don’t have bad luck with the Free shipping, but it can back up at times, and always works out that when you want something most, it takes the longest to get there.  It’ll be nice knowing that most items will be there in two days.

Movies and TV

Amazon has a pretty good selection of movies and TV shows available for free streaming.  I think the only issue I’ve seen is that a lot of their content isn’t HD, but I can live with that.  We have a Roku that we rarely used, which has a built in Amazon Prime channel, and also have a couple of Chromecast devices that can stream to the TV.  We limit the amount of TV our kids watch, but when it’s really bad weather in the winter, we do tend to allow it a little more, so it’ll be nice to have a few more options.  I also know they have a lot of different options in case my wife and I want to check out a movie or TV show.

They have quite a library of songs available for free streaming as part of Prime membership.  I love listening to music at work and my wife very frequently has something going on her tablet as she does things around the house.


I love reading and try to get through at least 4-5 books a month rented for free from our local library.  I believe that you get a couple of free Kindle rentals per month as Prime members.  I don’t have  a Kindle, but this could entice me to get one or ask Santa for one!

File and Photo Storage

You get 5GB of free cloud storage space as a Prime member, plus unlimited photo storage.  When you upload photos, they’ll automatically expand your total limit so that photos never count toward your 5GB.  That’s pretty cool and is a great way to back up your precious memories!

I’m hoping that our Prime membership saves us money in the long run.  It’ll be nice to order things that we would have gone out and bought anyway, and gotten either a lower price or the same price, but saved on time and gas.  I know that many people find that they spend more with Prime, and obviously that’s what Amazon wants you to do, but I would think that if we limit our spending, it could work out well for Amazon and for us!

Readers, did any of you sign up for Prime with the recent special or have you been Prime members for a while?  What do you like or dislike about Prime?  Please share your experiences in the comment section below.


Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Working From Home

With more and more people quitting their jobs to pursue their passions as freelancers and home based entrepreneurs, the landscape of work is changing. Back in the day, you had to to have a 9-5 job – any job, especially if you were the man of the house – just to conform to society’s standards.

This often meant doing a job you hated, in an office you despised, much like what many people are still going through now. But what the heck. As long as it pays the bills and provides health benefits, all’s well that ends well. Right? Well, that pretty much sums up why 70% of Americans hate their jobs!

Shifting Gears

This has brought on a shift in the way people think. Many of them are realizing the benefits of working from home and are turning to freelancing or accepting positions as virtual employees for some of their income, while working on another side hustle to generate more money.

Telecommuting is fast on the rise, with an estimated 3.2 million Americans enjoying the comforts of working from home and many more international employees getting hired by companies who realize they could get cheaper talent abroad at a fraction of the cost. Freelancing has also become a pretty lucrative business if you’re skilled at what you do.

The benefits are awesome, to say the least:

  • Everyday is dress down day.
  • No traffic!
  • No jostling for position in a crowded subway.
  • Eat healthy, home cooked meals all the time.
  • Everyday is bring your pet to work day!
  • Everyday is bring your child to work day!
  • Perfect work-life balance.
  • Extreme flexibility.
  • Never be late!
  • Lower your carbon footprint.

These are just a few of the benefits of working from home. Of course, your pet or child can’t be with you for the duration of your work, but at least you can spend time with them during lunch or when you’re having a short break. Your office should also look and feel like an office, or your productivity will suffer.

What job can I get?

There are many things you could get into while working from home. Here are some of the more lucrative jobs and projects you can take on:

Writer – If you’re a talented wordsmith, put your pen and wits to good use by offering your services as a writer. There are many options to choose from, depending on what you love doing. You can be a ghost writer, web content writer, copy writer or technical writer. Writers get paid either hourly or per project, so choose which one is most applicable for you, and don’t forget that you should charge for research!

English Tutor – There are many websites that can pair a native English speaker to a person from across the globe looking to learn, all from the comfort of home through VoIP. If you’re an English major or if you know how to teach basic English, tutoring is a great way to earn money from home. Conversational English may be part of the deal, but translation isn’t. If your client is looking to you to help translate a document, ask them to try a professional linguistic service like Textualis.

mb-2015-10-laptopGraphic Designer – If you got an eye for design and color, a career as a freelance Graphic Designer may be in the cards for you. The good thing about this is that everything can done virtually, from talking to clients by VoIP to getting an idea what they want. Files can be shared instantly, and cloud computing makes collaboration much more easier to do.

Web Designer – Another creative telecommuting idea is to offer services for web design. These days, web design is all about templates, and sites like WordPress, Weebly and SquareSpace offer templates by the dozen. But if a client wants something unique and different, you can use your CSS and HTML5 skills to make them beautiful web pages.

Other good, work from home careers are in accounting, customer service, tech support, sales and programming.

See you at Home!

The list above is hardly complete and there are a myriad of other lucrative work from home jobs available if you know where to look and if you put in enough time and research into honing the skills you’re offering. Don’t forget to check out sites like Fiverr, Elance and Freelancer if you want to view what jobs are in demand and what other people are charging.

Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Disney World, Less Than 2 Months Away And Counting!

A few months back I wrote about how we had made the decision to take a family trip to Disney World later this year.  Well, most of the year has passed and we’re now less than two months away from taking our trip.  I’ve been bad with updates (a whirlwind summer with mostly great weather has a way of doing that), but wanted to check in with some updates and observations!

So, let’s take a look at how things are shaping up!

We Splurged

The first thing that I have to admit is that we made a change of plans that increased our budget and is a big splurge.  When we first planned things out, we had decided to stay at a moderate level resort.  Since then, we’ve upgraded to one of the deluxe resorts.

After we did our initial planning, Disney came out with a free dining plan, but you had to stay at one of the deluxe resorts in order to get it.  The increase in the hotel price exceeded the savings in the meal plan, so we ended up paying more.  But, we put a lot of thought into it and we’re OK with it.  Here’s why:

  • This is a rare trip for us – If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, we do go away quite a bit, but 80%-90% of our traveling is local and camping.  A trip to Disney is something we’ve been thinking about for five years, and it’ll probably be another five years or more before we do it again.  My wife knows people that go down there every year, sometimes multiple times!  Since we don’t do that, we felt OK with the extra costs.
  • Our kids LOVE animals – We are staying at the Animal Kingdom lodge, and we have a room type that makes it possible that we’ll see animals right outside of our room.  Many reviews state that you walk out on your balcony and you can see zebras or giraffes or other animals.  Our kids could go to the zoo every day, so we know they will love this element as well as the cool themes within the room.
  • My wife;s  business supported the cost – I mentioned in the original article that my wife had decided to fund the trip with money made from her Etsy shop, and even with the change we were able to do so, as her business did better than she’d projected at the end of the day.  So, while it certainly would have been great to have that extra money, we’re 100% fine with having the same amount of money at the end of the trip as we would have with the original projections, and getting what we hope is an awesome trip.


I’d been following airfares before the trip, and was happy that we got what appeared to be a great deal.  I’m mb-2015-02-disneysomewhat obsessive and have been tracking the fares ever since, and we appear to have booked with the single lowest fare available since we started tracking.  Our flight is the ideal flight for the time of day, and is about twice as expensive as what we paid for it.  The flights on either side of the time are still 20% higher.

We are also looking forward to avoiding having to pay for luggage costs as we paid for it with a Delta American Express card.

One thing of note, they did adjust the schedule a bit so that we’re leaving (and arriving) about one and a half hours earlier than when we’d booked.  We’re cool with that.

Planning Is Nearly Complete

Because we’re on the Disney meal plan, we had to plan out our schedule pretty tightly.  We had to pick what park we wanted to be at on which day, as we made reservations on certain days for different restaurants.  My wife did a lot of research on what restaurants have the best characters present and some of the ‘must see’ places, and we were lucky enough to get things planned almost exactly as she wanted.

We later were able to book many Fast Pass reservations, which also ties into our schedule, and allows you to get on rides with a lot less wait time versus standing in line.  You’re only allowed a certain number per day, so my wife did a lot of reading up on what rides and attractions would be the hardest to get into that our kids would enjoy, and so far, it looks like we have a good plan.

It’s Looking Busy…But That Could Be A Good Thing

We chose our time with one of the reasons that it is typically a less crowded time, as it happens to fall before Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is when things often pick up.  Because of the different promotions (including the meal plan), it appears that the crowds will be pretty heavy.

But, that could actually be a good thing.  Why?

Because one thing that often happens during less crowded weeks is that Disney will offer pretty short hours for many of the parks.  When reservations indicate higher crowd levels, they’ll expand the hours, which they have started doing. This will give us flexibility to either enjoy the parks longer, or take some time in the middle of the day to return to the hotel, rest, and head back out.  With much shorter hours, this wasn’t looking like a possibility, and this worried us, as our kids (and let’s face it, the grown ups) need their rest.

We Told The Kids

We’ve been planning this for a while, and this past weekend we finally told our kids about the trip!  My wife wanted to tell them far enough in advance that we could show them information about the park and start getting them used to the idea of rides, and really increase their excitement level.  We also want to make sure to prepare them for the idea of a plane ride, as my daughter has never been on one, and my son was on one when he a year old, so it’ll be a new adventure for him, as well.

My wife came up with some great ideas:

  • We got some balloons with Mickey on them, and put them into a box that was taped shut.  When the kids opened the box the balloons floated out.
  • Mickey Mouse wrote them a letter telling them that they were coming down, and went through some of the great things that have been lined up for them to do, including the hotel, the parks, and some of the restaurants.
  • There is a ‘How Many More Days’ picture frame that has a piece of glass in front that we change the number each day with a dry erase pen, to show the countdown on how many days left!

Thanks To The Planner

If you’ve read through all this, by now you may have noticed a theme.  How many times have you read the words ‘ My wife’?  Answer: A lot.  She’s been amazing and has pretty much single handedly planned (and of course paid for) the entire trip.  She’s great at planning things that turn into wonderful memories, and her attention to detail and knowing the details of what will not only make it a wonderful time, but a wonderful time for our family, are huge.

So much love and thanks to her for all the work!

Readers, if you’ve had or have a big trip, tell me about your planning and details and excitement in the comments below.  Any tips or tricks as we get ever closer to the travel date?

Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.