September 1, 2023

Understanding Life Insurance

September marks the Life Insurance Awareness Month. While it might not be the most exhilarating topic, it’s essential to understand the nuances of life insurance.

If you currently hold a life insurance policy, the Annual Statement is your best friend. It provides insights into the type of insurance you have, whether it’s term, level-term, decreasing-term, whole life, or any of the myriad other types. This statement also reveals the death benefit, cash value, loan amount (if any), premium details, and most importantly, the longevity of the policy.

For those with term insurance, it’s vital to be aware of when the level premium is set to increase. Often, these hikes can be so significant that they render the policy untenable.

Another critical aspect to monitor is the potential lapse of a policy. Many are caught off-guard when they discover their “permanent” insurance can lapse. Ignoring the annual statement is a grave mistake, as it holds the key to understanding the policy’s duration.

Lastly, always ensure that your beneficiaries are updated and correct. It’s a simple yet often overlooked detail that can have significant implications.

If you feel that your current financial advisor hasn’t addressed these points, it might be time to seek a second opinion. Remember, understanding and managing your life insurance is a fundamental aspect of financial planning.

A Timely Reminder on Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)

P.S. For those who need to meet their annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), it’s crucial to get everything in order within the next 8 weeks. This ensures that all requirements are met before the year concludes. Additionally, for the philanthropic individuals, remember the option of the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) as a way to give.

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Defensive Planning for an Unsteady Market

Investing is never a straightforward journey. There are bound to be ups and downs, especially when the market exhibits rapid economic shifts that could potentially affect your financial portfolio. So, how can you navigate these turbulent waters? The answer lies in defensive strategies. Here are some tactics to consider:

  1. Assess Your Risk: Before diving into any investment, it’s crucial to evaluate your exposure to potential risks in the economic market. By understanding your risk tolerance and aligning it with your future objectives, you can then pinpoint specific strategies to help you weather unstable markets.
  2. Diversify Your Portfolio: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. By spreading your investments across various asset classes, industries, and geographical regions, you can mitigate the effects of a market downturn in any particular area. Diversification is a proven method to reduce overall risk and volatility.
  3. Invest in Defensive Sectors: Some sectors have historically shown resilience during market downturns. Investing in these areas, such as health care, utilities, and consumer staples, can provide an added layer of protection against market volatility.
  4. Monitor and Adjust: The market is ever-evolving, and so should your investment strategy. Regularly rebalance your portfolio based on market conditions, your risk tolerance, and your financial goals. This proactive approach ensures that you remain protected against unforeseen market shifts.
    While market fluctuations can be unnerving, implementing these defensive strategies can help safeguard your investments during uncertain times.

Until next month, Wayne

Recipe of the Month

Peach Flatbread

Looking for a gourmet dinner that’s ready in just fifteen minutes? Try this simple peach, basil, and ricotta flatbread drizzled with balsamic glaze.


  • 2 store-bought whole wheat flatbreads or naan
  • ¼ cup ricotta
  • 1 to 2 ripe yellow peaches, peeled and sliced (or substitute with ripe tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Balsamic glaze


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the flatbread in a cast iron pan or baking sheet.
  3. Spread ricotta evenly across the flatbread, leaving a ½ inch border.
  4. Arrange peach slices over the ricotta.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Once baked, sprinkle with chopped basil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Slice and drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.

Enjoy this delightful dish that perfectly captures the essence of the season!

What's in Season

Sandusky Office

1325 Hull Road,

Sandusky, OH 44870

(419) 626-3900

Elyria Office

347 Midway Blvd #109,

Elyria, OH 44035

(440) 934-3141

Medeira Beach Office

150 153rd Ave, Unit 302

Madeira Beach, FL 33708

(727) 455-9388

Great Lakes Benefits Inc. is a Financial Advisory firm. Investment Advisory Services are offered by Great Lakes Benefits & Wealth Management, an OH Registered Investment Advisor.

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