2009-12-24 / Features

Give To Save This Holiday Season

The holiday season is an exciting time - people look forward to time off from school and work to see friends and family, and to indulge in the spirit of the season. It can also be a stressful time, however, with the increased pressure to buy gifts, food and decorations and the persuasion of holiday sales and incentives.

Keep in mind that this time of year also offers opportunities that are frequently overlooked by consumers. Taking care to give financially beneficial gifts can help you to minimize your debt, maximize your retirement and purchase gifts that will keep on giving.

Even if you’re putting money away for the future, it’s difficult to save for the present during the holidays. Even in today’s downturnedeconomy, when most people are extremely value-conscious, most shoppers want to get what they need and finish shopping as quickly as possible. Taking the time to consider how much you spend and what you spend it on can go a long way. Before you set out to shop, take the amount of money you are willing to spend out in cash before you hit the stores so that you know to stop when your money runs low.

Then consider what you're spending your money on. No matter what traditions we celebrate, we all want to find gifts that will be kept and remembered long after the holiday season. We tirelessly consider all the options – toys, clothes, gift certificates, electronics – only to come to the same conclusions as the previous year. The fact is that the gifts we buy during the holidays are often only used for a short time, then put aside.

Make a change this year and get a gift that won't be forgot- ten. Consider the ways in which you can make an investment in the recipient's future. Great gift ideas for young children include a check for their savings account, a savings bond, or a certificate of deposit (CD), which will earn even more interest. Take this idea a step further by bringing your children or younger relatives to deposit their first checks at the bank, or even to open their first savings or checking account. You can find information about these options at www.mymoney.gov.

Another gift opportunity that people often overlook is life insurance. “Buying single term life policies for your children when they are young will give them the opportunity for lifelong security, even after you're not around to protect them. With one payment, you can help make sure that your children will be able to obtain permanent life insurance protection at age 21 . no matter what their health,” says James Machovsky, senior vice president of marketing and sales at SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc.

A one-time premium of $65, for example, will purchase $5,000 of term life coverage for your 14- year-old child or grandchild, with a guarantee to convert to a whole life policy worth $25,000 when he turns 21. Increase that one-time premium to $185 for up to $15,000 of coverage, and the convertible amount increases up to $75,000 at age 21.

If you don’t already have a policy in your name, the holiday seasonis also an appropriate time to consider your own financial security. Think about getting a policy for yourself as a gift to your family, or for a parent who has expressed concern about his or her legacy. For more information, or to speak with a licensed agent, call 866-331-3078, or for a free, noobligation quote go to www.sbliusa.com. Save money and time this year, while building a strong financial future for you and your family.

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