Mavs and Kings For Our Seventh Straight Win

Our Free NBA Picks have been absolutely on fire having won six straight, and we're leaping for our seventh consecutive NBA win tonight.

Dallas Mavericks/Sacramento Kings Over 202

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs should get into a shootout with Brad Miller and the Kings tonight, and we love this over/under at just 202 points. The addition of Jason Kidd helps the Mavs push the ball up the court much faster than they have been, and the books haven't quite adjusted to their faster pace. Oh, and the Kings will score sometimes, too.

Our overall Free NBA Picks record is 20-9, which is about 69%, so make this pick with confidence. Good luck!

Wisconsin Takes Care of Michigan St.

The Wisconsin Badgers took care of the Michigan State Spartans by a count of 57-42, easily covering the five point spread. It looks like we really have our Free NCAA Basketball Picks back to where they should be, and just in time for March Madness.

Don't forget to make Stock Lemon your home for the NCAA Basketball tournament, as we'll have a play on... Every. Single. Game.

Can't wait unitl March? Don't worry, neither can we. There will be more free picks tomorrow, so make sure to check us out. After tomorrow, there will not be any Stock Lemon Free Picks on February 29 for at least another four years.

Badgers Have Huge Value Tonight

Bo Ryan and the Badgers are one of the toughest teams at home and we have them as being a great value pick tonight.

Wisconsin Badgers -5 over the Michigan State Spartans

We have tweaked our Free NCAA Basketball Picks and thought we had a winner last night in Kentucky until they let Ole Miss close the gap at the end. Still, Kentucky was the right play last night, and we should finally get our Free NCAA Basketball Picks to where they need to be with a win by the Badgers tonight.

Good luck!

They're NOT offering me enough for my vehicle.

Whenever your vehicle has been declared a total loss, the insurance company will offer you a settlement based on the fair market value of your vehicle. (this works for cars, motorcycles, RV's, boats, etc.)

In the realm of United States tax law, the definition of "fair market value" is found in the United States Supreme Court decision in the Cartwright case:
The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts. United States v. Cartwright, 411 U. S. 546.

So you get offered some money for your vehicle. They give you a number. Sometimes you'll like the number... sometimes you won't.

Here's what to do when you don't.

First of all, you should always have a number in mind when you begin to enter the final phase of the claim.. That requires that you do a little research on your own. Please keep this important truth in mind as you do.


I know that YOU wouldn't do that, but some do. Just think about if for a second: Most people list their vehicles at a given price either in the paper or Auto Trader and then end up settling for less than that when they actually sell.

Remember: The price that the vehicle actually sells for is the FAIR MARKET VALUE of the vehicle.

Ok, so with that in mind, let's get about finding the FAIR MARKET VALUE of your vehicle. Here's your BEST sources.

  1. Call ads in the newspaper for vehicles that are as close to yours as possible. Hope to find people who have already sold the vehicles. WHY? Well because you quickly explain your situation and ask them if they would mind telling you the price for which the vehicle ACTUALLY sold. Might be more or less than the advertised price. Make a record of the ad, the phone number and the ACTUAL PRICE. Get as many of these as you can.
  2. Call a local used car dealership and explain your situation and ask for their help. Be willing to go see them. REMEMBER, you're in the market for a new car if yours has been totaled. Ask them help you determine the value of you car by looking in their records to see what similar models of theirs had sold for.
  3. BE SURE the insurance company has the right specifications on your car. If you had leather seats and power EVERYTHING, make sure they have that noted in the file. (more on this later.)
So once you have a number in mind, you're ready to begin discussions with your insurance company. We'll get to that in a minute.... (and let me remind you here that I'm an agent not an adjuster, but I've worked with adjusters for over 30 years and I know how they think and what they need to write you that check...)

Here's a couple of things that are IMPORTANT to keep in mind as you proceed.
  1. The claim adjuster is a hard workin' person just like you are. They're given MANY files a week to work through. I've seen it as high as 75!
  2. They want to get this file off their desk as much as you want to get your money.
  3. Most likely they DON'T REALLY CARE HOW MUCH THEY GIVE YOU FOR YOUR CAR! Yes, that's probably true. It's not their money. BUT... They have to justify in the file the amount they give you. If you can give them good justification for the value that you want, they are happy to write the check and get on the the next file.
  4. If you become their ally in this effort, you'll get a much easier and (likely) more profitable settlement.
  5. Insurance companies usually use an outside vendor to determine the value of the vehicle. (remember we talked about having your car accurately described to the insurance company....Leather Seats, etc???) The insurance company simply forwards that information to this vendor who researches SOLD VEHICLES in your area to determine the FAIR MARKET VALUE. It's usually NOT the adjuster who crunches the numbers..... he's just the messenger.
OK, now...back to the settlement.

ALWAYS have your acceptable number in mind before you call and ALWAYS let them make the first offer. You might be thinking $5,500 and they offer you $5,800. If that happens, simply say, "That sounds reasonable to me, can you mail the check today or would tomorrow be easier for you."

Have your documentation at the ready. You've done your research so you're ready. If the number is too low DON'T come unhinged. Ask them how they got the number and let them explain. Listen calmy and patiently without interrupting. Remember.....he wants settle and get rid of this file as much as you do.

Offer your documentation to help him justify paying a higher amount to you. Use phrases like, "Can I get a copy of this to you to help you with the file?" or "Would it help if I gave you some documented sales that were several hundred dollars above your offer?"

Calm... Collected and in control because you are. You don't have to settle until you're completely satisfied that you're getting fair market value.

If you don't have enough documentation, you'll have to go out and get some more. The more examples you can find, the better settlement you'll get for your vehicle.

Remember it's a process, not necessarily a one-time phone call. Take your time and win a friend along the way.


It's a Good Life !

Dennis Volz Insurance Agency
10783 Jamacha Bl, Suite 1, Spring Valley, CA 91978
OFFICE: (619) 670-1000 - FAX: (619) 670-1121

Websites: Company Site:

Client Convenience Site:

My 'Other Blogs'
Working by Referral
Musings from California

New and Improved Free NCAA Basketball Picks

We've tinkered with our system for the Free NCAA Basketball Picks, and we believe we finally have it down--and just in time. We've got a very strong lean tonight.

Kentucky -5.5 over Ole Miss

Kentucky has won eight of their last nine and is facing and Ole Miss squad that has won just one road game all year. Ashley Judd's team should have no problem covering the spread and coasting to an easy victory tonight. Good luck!

No Plays Today

In case you didn't notice, we didn't have any free picks today. The value just wasn't there and our policy is to never force a pick. We want to continue to hit around 70%, so we won't be posting plays just for the sake of posting plays.

That being said, there is a lot of value on the board tomorrow, so it looks like we will definitely have a free pick.

Spurs Make it Six Straight!

After scoring just five points int he first quarter on 1-17 shooting, the Spurs came back with a comeback win and cover against the Hawks tonight. The

89-74 win took care of the -12 spread and improves our Free NBA Picks to 20-9, which is nearly 69%.

Tim Duncan and the Spurs were able to plow over Marvin Williams and the Hawks by outscoring them by 25 points in the final three quarters, including a 27-11 performance in the third.

Our Free NBA Picks are on an incredible run, so stay with us as we go for our seventh consecutive win and beyond! If you haven't yet, make sure to bookmark us to give yourself easier access to what is essentially free money. There will be more plays throughout the week, so stay tuned.

Going for Six Free NBA Pick Winners in a Row!

Thanks for waiting patiently to ride our hot Free NBA Picks, which have hit five in a row and are 19-9 on the year. We finally have another play tonight.

San Antonio Spurs -12 over the Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks still haven't pieced everything together yet, so we like Manu Ginobili and the Spurs at home in this one.

Good luck!

Blackhawks are the Free NHL Pick Tonight

Our Free NHL Picks are hitting 80% this season, and we are looking to improve upon that once again tonight.

Chicago Blackhawks +1.5 over the Anaheim Ducks

The Blackhawks should have an edge over the no longer mighty Ducks tonight.

New Formula for Free NCAA Basketball Picks

After much deliberation, we decided yesterday that the Free NCAA Basketball Picks needed a little tweaking. As a result of our findings, we tinkered with the formula and let our statistical analysis reset to adjust to some noticeable trends and betting patterns that have been occuring this season.

We have hit over 60% in each of the last four college basketball seasons, and intend on yet again doing so this year. Historically, we recover from any losses during March Madness, where we are a cumulative 67% over the last four years.

On the plus side, the Free NBA Picks need no tweaking whatsoever, as they are hitting about 68%. We will continue to provide these NBA picks, as well as our adjusted NCAA Basketball Picks, for the low low price of absolutely free.

Another Big Game Tonight

We're told there's some other big game in college basketball today that we should bet on, and we will do just that. In the big Memphis vs. Tennessee match-up, we like it to go Over 156.

The number one and two teams in the nation both have prolific offenses, so there should be no shortage of scoring tonight.

Additionally, Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl (seen above) used to be the coach at UW-Milwaukee, who we like to cover the spread against Bradley in a Bracket Buster tonight. Is that a coincidence or another sign of two easy winners from Stock Lemon? I guess we'll see.

Good luck again.

Free Bracket Buster Pick

There's a big game in college basketball today that everyone's talking about, and it's UW-Milwaukee against Bradley in a Bracket Buster showdown. As with every big game, we have our winning pick ready to go.

UW-Milwaukee +10 over Bradley

As that random UW-Milwaukee fan might tell you, the Panthers have surprised the college basketball world this year, even without any real star players. They should at least cover against the Braves, if not win straight up.

This Bracket Buster is, of course, only a primer for March Madness, which we will cover extensively. Stay tuned.

Good luck!

Pistons Make it Five in a Row

With a 127-100 pounding of the Bucks, the Pistons gave our Free NBA Picks their fifth consecutive win, boosting the record to 19-9, or just about 68%. What's more, all three wins since the All-Star Game have been blowout victories, including tonight's easy cover of the -12 spread.

Tayshaun Prince and the Pistons took care of Charlie Villanueva and the Bucks without too much of a problem, and for all intents and purposes had this one won by halftime.

The Picks are hotter than ever, so check back daily as the winners keep on coming. As a matter of fact, go ahead and bookmark this page for the easiest access to the winners.

7 Things you need to know BEFORE you buy LIFE INSURANCE

The delivery of TAX-FREE LIFE INSURANCE proceeds is one of the most powerful social and economic forces in our country. What a shame that so many people don’t understand or appreciate its value.

As you carefully read this post, you’ll be better able to make wise and forward-thinking decisions regarding your LIFE INSURANCE.

By far and without exception, a life insurance claim is the most sobering and rewarding aspect of my profession as an insurance agent.
Sobering in that it reminds me of the brevity of this life and the certainty that it will end for all of us… eventually.
Rewarding because it’s an opportunity for me to deliver: A stay-at-home mother to children and the promise of a quality education for them, a paid-for house and a debt-free existence to the family, or a comfortable retirement for a weary widow.

It’s ONLY with the incredible power of LIFE INSURANCE that these are possible. When it comes time for you to consider this valuable cornerstone to your financial plan, you’ll want to make some very informed and calculated decisions.

Let me walk you thru some of them to help you make the ones that are best for you.
If you’ve read any of our other reports, you’ll know that even though insurance has been part of our culture for over 100 years, to most people – It’s still a just a mystery. And because they don’t understand it, a lot of people think they’re being “ripped off” by the Insurance Industry; aka “The Club”
I want to end that for you.

I'm an industry "insider": A licensed member of “The Club”
I’ve been inside the insurance business for over 25 years and I know it like the back of my hand: From policy to claims and back again.
I've sold insurance. I've bought Insurance.
I've studied it and I've learned that there's "good insurance" -- and there's "not-so-good insurance".
All insurance is "created equal".
Let’s take a quick trip with your imagination.

Picture yourself gone. Yes, I mean GONE, gone! Kind of morbid, I know. So if it makes it easier, go ahead and picture your exit as some grand, heroic or adventurous one. Maybe you went out skydiving or chasing wild horses in Wyoming. Or possibly you saved some kids from drowning when a school bus plunged into the lake. Either way… you’re gone.

Now -- Just ask yourself a few of simple questions.

  • Are there some bills left to pay? Funeral? Credit cards? Maybe a car? Or possibly a gambling tab out at Viejas Casino?

  • Is someone going to suffer without your income?

  • Is there anything to which you’d like to leave a legacy? Possibly you’d like to start a scholarship fund for some special group or just kids who need it. Maybe you’d like to have a small part of funding Meals-on-Wheels or grant some wishes come true through Make A Wish Foundation. Or maybe you’d like to leave something for your church. The possibilities are really endless.

If you answered yes or will be answering yes to any of those in your future, then LIFE INSURANCE is something you should seriously consider.


“How is that possible?” you ask.

Life insurance dollars come to your beneficiaries costing just pennies on the dollar. Here's how it works... Dollars you earn and have put into savings, on the other hand, cost MORE THAN A DOLLAR for every dollar you receive. You work; you get taxes taken out of your pay. Every dollar you spend really costs you about $1.27 to get after you’ve paid the tax man. Life insurance, on the other hand, is ALWAYS delivered for just a fraction of a dollar! You may pay $500 per year for $100,000 of insurance. You may have it for 25 years before you die. $500 x 25 years is only $12,500, yet the policy will pay $100.000. You've paid only 12.5 cents for every dollar of benefit.

I think I know what you’re thinking about this point.
You’re thinking of all the hassle it is to decide what kind and how much and then complete the application and then to get the physical (often you DON’T need one) and then on and on and on…

I know how you can quickly get past all that…
In reality, it only takes about an hour. You can just skim this report to get an overview of what you need to be thinking about and then if you’d like…JUST CALL ME.
I’ll likely take about 10 minutes of your time on the phone to see where you’re at and then, if you’re ready, we’ll set a time to get together. If you just want the information for future reference, that's fine too. It’s really pretty simple and I’LL DO MOST OF THE WORK FOR YOU.

After all… It’s what I do.

So let’s just hop right into it….

7 Things you need to know BEFORE you buy LIFE INSURANCE

Life Insurance Need-to-Know #1
Don’t buy it unless you need it

The truth is that nearly everybody could probably use a little Life Insurance. Remember the questions we asked above? If you answered yes to any of those or you’d just like to make your exit a little easier on those who are left to sort out the pieces and arrange your funeral and wake, you’re probably a good candidate for at least a little policy.
If you buy the right kind of policy, you’ll build up cash values within the policy and in many cases you’ll build more than the premiums you’ve paid. So if you’re thinking you might need some life insurance, go ahead and get a small policy that builds cash for you and you’ll be on your way.

Sometimes, people just don’t need or want any life insurance. You might be single with no debt and sufficient money in the bank to take care of ALL of your final expenses such as funeral cost, paying off all your debt, enough money to pay for the disposal of all your personal property, etc, etc. If you are, and you just don’t want any life insurance and think that you’ll never need it, then don’t buy it.


If you think you might need it in the future you might want to get a small, cash value policy with a GUARANTEED INSURABILITY OPTION. (means you can buy more later, but you don't have to...)

Life Insurance Need-to-Know #2
If you’re going to buy it, buy the right amount

We could make this portion of this report very lengthy, but I’ll give you a couple of simple options.

First is just the REPLACE MY INCOME estimate. Use the one-step chart below and there’s your answer.

Table 1-Income Replacement

First Column: Annual income to be replaced. Top Row: Years of replacement income required. Table Body: Lump sum life insurance required. Assumptions: Annual inflation rate assumed to be 4.0%; Annual investment return assumed to be 6.0%.

It’s just as easy to buy too much life insurance as it is to buy too little. You want to be sure you have the right amount of coverage.

You should also consider life insurance on your spouse or any other person on whose income you depend to make ends meet each month.

If you’re married with children you should also consider if there additional expenses should you and your spouse die at the same time or within a short time of each other. For example, you might want to provide additional monthly income to whomever you have designated to finish raising your children for you.

This short form can enable you to get a little more specific if you’d like to. It might give you’re a better idea of how much you’ll need.

1. Would you like to pay off your mortgage or have money available to pay the rent? If so, either enter the mortgage amount or your Annual Rent Cost times the Number of Years)You’d like to Provide. (Rent x Years = TOTAL)
$ __________________________

2. How much do you want available to pay off any other debts like credit card balances, car loans, student loans, personal loans, etc.?
$ __________________________

3. How much of your annual income will your family need each year after your death? (Remember if you paid off the house above or provided rent money, you won’t need to include that in their annual needs.) Use the INCOME REPLACEMENT TABLE above.
$ __________________________

4. How much do you want to set aside to pay your funeral costs? You may also want to complete this calculator for your spouse to see if they have a need for life insurance.

$ __________________________

5. How much do you want to set aside for any other needs such as an emergency fund, gifts to charity, or a family member with special needs?
$ __________________________

6. How much do you want to provide for your children's education if you die?
$ __________________________
7. TOTAL NEEDS: (add 1-6 above) $ ____________________


A. How much life insurance (individual and group) do you have now?
$ __________________________

B. What other assets (such as savings accounts, CDs, mutual funds,
stocks, bonds, 401k, retirement plans, or pension plans) would you
want your family to use to meet these needs?
$ __________________________

C. TOTAL RESOURCES: (add A & B above)
$ __________________________

TOTAL Need for LIFE INSURANCE: (Subtract Line C from Line 7)
$ __________________________

You may also want to complete this calculator for your spouse to see if they have a need for life insurance.

Can I give you a little hint?
If you’re married, let your spouse decide how much life insurance to get on YOUR life -- And vice-versa. Whoever will be around to fix the problems should get to decide how much $ will
be available.

As you fill in the amounts, keep in mind the people that will be dealing with these issues. Do what’s best for them and you’ll be on the right track.

Life Insurance Need-to-Know #3
If you need it, then buy it, AND BUY THE RIGHT KIND

A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TERM AND CASH VALUE INSURANCE Probably one of the best analogies I’ve heard and have used for most of my 25+ years as an agent is this: Cash Value (aka: Permanent, Whole Life, Universal) life insurance is like owning a house. Term life insurance is like renting. When you own a house, initially you will pay a little more each month than you would if you were renting. Yet, in the long run, with the appreciation of the value of your home, you’ll likely make more money than it costs you to live there. Your monthly house payments are really contributing toward your own wealth. It’s like mailing money ahead to YOURSELF! When you rent, you pay less each month but you’re not building any equity or cash value and when you leave, you just leave all that rent money sitting in the landlords bank account. Your monthly rent ends up contributing to your landlord’s wealth instead of your own.

Face it! Odds are you’re going to live a long, happy and healthy life and your family WON’T need this policy. So buy the kind of life insurance where you get some or all of your money BACK when you’re older.

“Cash Value” or “Permanent” life insurance policies are tremendously powerful financial instruments. BUT…they’re designed for insurance that you’ll need to keep for all of your life.

You’ll probably want a little permanent life insurance in your plan because you will SURELY make a claim on it someday. Hopefully it will be when you’re VERY old & wrinkled and your need for life insurance is at a minimum: Just enough to pay off a few bills and cover your funeral expenses.

Realistically, TERM insurance is usually a better choice for those needs you may have now, but will not have forever.

So here’s a couple of help questions for you:
  1. Do I want some life insurance in force when I die? (probably yes)
  2. What’s my best guess of when that will be? (let’s say you guess 78)
  3. How much do I want in place at that time?

Whatever your answer is for question 3, THAT’S how much permanent insurance you should have. Consider term insurance to fill the rest of your needs.If you’re currently one of the bread-winners in your household and there are people depending on your income for everything from food to tuition, then you probably need a pretty big chunk of life insurance – For NOW at least. You likely won’t need that much for the long term. THAT’S where TERM insurance is likely your best bet.

Get some permanent insurance for the long haul; maybe $25,000 - $100,000. Usually you won’t need more than that. Get TERM INSURANCE for the temporary times in your life that you need more. Then DROP IT! No loss.

And here’s the real rub! TERM insurance is usually only renewable to a certain age and even then it gets VERY expensive. When you’re 70 or so (and your income is less because you’ve retired) your term insurance could be too expensive to keep and you may still want or need some life insurance. With permanent insurance, there’s usually enough cash value there so that you can just QUIT PAYING and be insured for life.

Life Insurance Need-to-Know #4
Once you buy it – KEEP IT until your reason for buying it no longer exists

Too many times I’ve seen people buy life insurance: Either term or permanent and then, for some reason, let it drop. Usually it’s for one of a couple of reasons.
They initially got in a little over their heads with too big of a monthly premium and it’s finally caught up to them.
They didn’t buy for the right reasons.

Make a commitment when you get your life insurance to make it comfortable on your budget so you can keep it with no financial pressure. And commit to keep it until the reasons for purchase no longer exist.

For example, if one of your reasons is to ensure that your kids complete college, and then keep it until they’ve all walked across that stage and received their diploma. (Or at least until you’ve made that last tuition payment.)

If you don’t buy this way, you’ll just be wasting your money if you keep the policy for several months and then quit.

Here in the Dennis Volz Agency, we want you to be comfortable with your insurance.
We’ll explain your LIFE INSURANCE options in simple, everyday language that you can understand.
We strive to personalize every insurance policy to be sure you have exactly what you need and want.

Life Insurance Need-to-Know #5
Let Uncle Sam help you pay your premiums

When you purchase permanent life insurance, the money accumulates tax-deferred. You end up saving even more because the accumulation is tax favored. This could make you think that even the Federal Government thinks that life insurance is a good idea!

Life Insurance Need-to-Know #6
Don’t touch the Nest Egg

Money that you contribute to you permanent life insurance can build a significant amount of cash over time. This money is available to you. Let me encourage you that as those numbers start to grow, LEAVE IT ALONE!

Here’s a good rule of thumb to govern your dipping into the nest egg.


No, a year-end sale on a Corvette doesn’t count as a PHENOMENAL OPPORTUNITY! Nice try !

Life Insurance Need-to-Know #7
Review, review, review… But only once a year or so

Every year that you’re living with either too much insurance, the wrong kind of insurance or not enough, you’re probably wasting some money.

A simple review that can take as little as 10-15 minutes over the phone with your agent can prevent this. Sometimes changes in your life can be so much and so harried that you don’t even realize when things affect your needs for life insurance. An agent who’s willing to spend the time required with you and asking the right questions can uncover these changes and often save you hundreds of dollars in the process.


What about my GROUP insurance at work?
Group insurance is probably the LEAST EXPENSIVE of all life insurance policies. Sometimes it’s even FREE! (Well, paid for by your employer anyway) My advice is TAKE IT! But don’t depend on it. Count it as just a little extra, but in addition,
Have your own plan that YOU CONTROL.
Group insurance can come and go. The company can “change the deal.” You could change jobs and be with out coverage for a time. Maybe the new job doesn’t offer group life insurance.
I’ve seen people become uninsurable for health reasons, change jobs and then they’re unable to replace their group insurance. Keep your life insurance under your control not your employer’s or other circumstances beyond your control.

Can Life Insurance double as my RETIREMENT?
Permanent insurance should NEVER be a substitute for a good retirement plan. Any agent that tells you to dump hundreds of dollars a month into a permanent life insurance plan to fund your retirement before you’ve established a good, regular investment program outside of life insurance for your retirement should be questioned.

The permanent portion of your life insurance does give you flexibility in your retirement years. You can keep the insurance, sometimes stop paying the premiums (and continue to be insured), draw on some of the cash value if you need to and a host of other options. But life insurance should never be your main vehicle to retirement planning.

A word about beneficiaries…
The beneficiary is the person who receives the proceeds of a life insurance policy at the death of the insured. Carefully structure and word your beneficiary clause. You can cause big problems if you’re thinking one thing and actually say something else in the beneficiary section of the policy.

Carefully discuss this with your agent. Something as simple as a Per Stirpes clause can save a lot of confusion.

So how do I know just how much I can afford to spend on my life insurance?

Well we have some suggestions for that for you too. The trick is to know how much you’re spending and where you’re spending it. You can’t know that unless you have a written budget. It’s really the most important key to effective money management. We have some help for you there too. Making a budget isn’t as difficult as you might think. We’ve actually broken it down to 7 simple steps that anyone can follow. If you’ve been frustrated with your money get your FREE REPORT: 7 SIMPLE STEPS Make a budget and STICK TO IT ! just click the link above or give me a call 619-670-1000 or drop me an email

What about Life Insurance on my kids?
Getting a small policy on kids is usually a great idea. While kids generally don’t need insurance for financial reasons it does a couple of things for them.

First it protects their insurability. Kids can sometimes develop physical problems that make them uninsurable. Doesn’t happen very often, but it’s probably a good idea to get them a nominal permanent policy.
Second, it locks in a nice low monthly premium for them. Life insurance rates on kids are phenomenal. The monthly premium on just a small $25,000 policy on a 30 year old is nearly DOUBLE what it is on a 2 year old. And that premium is good for life!

You’ll always want to get what’s called the GUARANTEED INSURABILITY OPTION. (Look back to the yellow insert )

Why should I buy Life Insurance when I'm young?

  1. Life insurance is cheaper when you’re younger. On the permanent portion of your insurance plan, the longer you put your money to work for you, the better the result!
  2. When you’re young, you’re insurable. When you’re older; maybe you’re not. We’re all just one doctor visit away from NOT being able to buy life insurance. If you’re diagnosed with even a minor ailment the cost of your life insurance can go up dramatically and in some cases, you won’t be able to buy it at all.

Other questions I could answer (but I won't here...)
Is it ultimately cheaper to pay annually or monthly?

How can I be sure that my life insurance company is safe?
What are ‘Banded Premiums” and how can they save me money?
What about Accidental Death and Dismemberment Riders? Should I have one?
Should I own my own policy or should my spouse?
Can I buy insurance on my business partner?
Is the Non-Tobacco rate really THAT MUCH BETTER?
What’s the difference between dividends and cash value?
What’s a “contestable clause” and how could it hurt me if I don’t understand it?
What are PAID UP ADDITIONS and how can they increase my insurance coverage?

Really.. I could really fill a book.
That’s why you really need a committed agent to do all this thinking with you.
After all… You probably have better things to do.

If you're in or near San Diego County, I'd be happy to help. If you're not, find a good, knowledgeable agent in your area. Take your time... it's an important decision.

When it comes to buying life insurance, you should always deal with a LARGE, WELL-KNOWN, REPUTABLE INSURANCE COMPANY. One easy rule is that if you haven’t heard of them, be suspect. I guarantee you’ve heard of ours – we’ve been at it for over 75 years! Today we have over 7 million life and annuity policies in force. Since 1929 we have been protecting American families one policy at a time. Just go to . (don't worry, this window will stay right here...)

WOW! Kind of impressive!

I think so.

And it’s ALL included at no additional premium...

We offer NATIONWIDE AND 24 HOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE. That’s right -- Doesn’t matter if it’s a claim or a question. You simply call my office number, 619-670-1000 and you’ll have access to our 24 Hour Customer Response Team and/or to my personal cell phone.
Should you need insurance help while away from home, we have over 1000 claim offices and over 16,000 agent offices across the United States and Canada all committed to giving you friendly, efficient home-town service (even if you’re from California ! )

We also offer free 24 hour online access to your policy information. Our company website offers you more insurance information than your brain can possibly hold. It’s all available with just the click of your mouse, 24/7/365.

We’re a friendly, local office with a licensed, trained team to assist you in every phase of your insurance. We’ve been in business here in San Diego County for over 25 years.
Whenever you call us during regular business hours, there’s NO ELECTRONIC TELEPHONE MENU to navigate -- Just a friendly voice on the phone ready to help you. (if you call after hours, there is a single-choice menu where you simply choose to leave a voicemail or to speak to a real, LIVE person)
Go ahead try it right now. If it’s during business hours, you’ll get us; after hours and you’ll get the Customer Response Center. 619-670-1000 !

“WOW”, you say!
“And that’s all included at no additional premium?”

This is so simple and easy to do.
We do all the work for you and in usually less than 30 minutes, you’ll have protected your family, their future financial stability, and your peace of mind!

Why somebody wouldn’t have their LIFE INSURANCE with us is simply beyond me.

In our agency we offer you 5 different ways to pay your premiums.
You have your choice of annual, semi-annual, Quarterly, Monthly and SPECIAL MONTHLY…
“So what’s so special about SPECIAL MONTHLY,” you might ask.
It’s special cuz it’s just so insanely easy.

We set it up for you and your monthly payment comes right out of your checking account: Same day; Every month.

Once again, If you're in or near San Diego County, I'd be happy to help.

You’ve got everything to gain and NOTHING to lose.
I look forward to talking with you soon!


It's a Good Life !

Dennis Volz Insurance Agency
10783 Jamacha Bl, Suite 1, Spring Valley, CA 91978
OFFICE: (619) 670-1000 - FAX: (619) 670-1121

Websites: Company Site:

Client Convenience Site:

My 'Other Blogs'
Working by Referral
Musings from California

This post contains only a general description of coverages and is not your insurance contract. Details of coverage or limits can vary. All coverages are determined by the terms, provisions, exclusions and conditions of your policy along with any endorsements.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright (c) 2006 – SmarterInsurance Inc -- No part of this document may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission of the copyright owner. LEGAL NOTICES: While attempts have been made to verify the information provided, SmarterInsurance Inc will not assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. Since this document presents general discussions, always consult a qualified professional regarding your specific tax, legal, financial, and personal circumstances. (911.21740)

Pistons Have Good Value Tonight

Our Free NBA Picks are hitting nearly 67% at 18-9, including a four game winning streak, and we expect the streak to continue with another winner tonight.

Detroit Pistons -12 over the Milwaukee Bucks

These two teams met in Milwaukee on Wednesday and the struggling Bucks pulled out a surprise victory, so Chauncey Billups and the Pistons should be ready to extract revenge on Mo Williams and the Bucks as the teams head back to Detroit tonight.

Blue Jackets Lift Free NHL Picks up to 80%

The Blue Jackets got their 200th win in franchise history with a 3-2 shutout victory over the Senators, but more importantly, they covered the +1.5 puck line to give our Free NHL Picks a 4-1 record.

Check back tomorrow as we get back to the NBA with a Free NBA Pick, which are undefeated since the All-Star Game.

Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Postponed

No wonder the Las Vegas casino we got out Free NCAA Basketball pick from thought this game would go under. It turns out that the Georgia Tech/Virginia showdown has been postponed due to a leak in the roof, which puts this game under by 153.5 points.

If the game is not played, it will be graded as no action.

UPDATE: This game has been officially cancelled.

Stock Lemon Makes Move at Trade Deadline

In honor of the NBA trade deadline, we decided that we might be able to benefit from a deadline deal of our own.

In a trade with a Las Vegas casino that shall remain nameless, we were able to pull this blockbuster off:

Vegas Casino gets:
Lemmy's fresh squeezed lemonade
Replica Lemmy Award trophy

Stock Lemon gets:
One free winning NCAA basketball pick
One free winning NHL puck line pick
Cash considerations

The winning picks we acquired are:
NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets +1.5 over the Ottawa Senators
NCAA Basketball: Virginia/Georgia Tech Under 153.5

We think we got the better of this deal, although Lemmy's fresh squeezed lemonade is rather tasty. Good luck with the free winners!

Term Life Insurance – Beware of the Ticking Time Bomb

Beware Of Your Term Insurance -- THE TICKING TIME BOMB!time bonb


If you’ve read any of our other reports, you’ll know that even though insurance has been part of our culture for over 100 years, to most people – It’s still just a mystery. And because they don’t understand it, a lot of people think they’re being “ripped off” by the Insurance Industry; aka “The Club”

I want to end that for you.

I'm an industry "insider": A licensed member of “The Club”
I’ve been inside the insurance business for over 30 years and I know it like the back of my hand: From policy to claims and back again.
I've sold insurance. I've studied it. I've discovered what makes "good insurance" -- and what makes "bad insurance".

I know that not all insurance is "created equal". Life insurance is certainly no exception. Placing all your coverage in TERM LIFE INSURANCE can be one of the costliest mistakes you could make.

To help us get started, please answer this question for yourself:

(IN FORCE means that it’s paid, current and ready to pay a death benefit if you should die. )

Well, the obvious answer is: WHEN I DIE!! Of course…

OK, when do you plan to die????
old man
The next obvious answer (at least MY answer is) When I’m old.

Let’s face it. You purchase life insurance really hoping that you’re NOT going to use it any time soon. And you know what? Odds are that you probably won’t. Most likely you’re going to die when you’re older – Much older. But just in case you don’t, you purchase life insurance to protect the financial future of those you love.

So let’s look at the facts of term life insurance. Nothing emotional or prejudged – Kind of like an FBI agent just examining the evidence to see where it leads.

term rates

Here’s what Term Life Insurance life rates look like. This is just a typical example for a $100,000 5 year Term Policy, Male, non-tobacco rates. You can get different rates from a hundred different companies. What will be the SAME from ALL THE COMPANIES is the UPWARD TREND of the rates.


FACT #1 – Term life insurance is not very expensive when you are young. Notice how the rate doesn’t even change for the first 3 years.

FACT #2 – Term life insurance premiums increase as you get older. Take a look at the chart. Except for the first few years, the rate increases EVERY YEAR.

FACT #3 – Term life insurance gets VERY EXPENSIVE when you’re older. Notice how it increases VERY SLOWLY until about age 50 when it really starts to take off.

FACT #4 – The premiums you pay for term life insurance never come back to you. You see term insurance is kind of like renting an apartment. Certainly cheaper every month than buying a house, but when you leave you leave all your hard earned money with your landlord.

FACT #5 – At some point in time, you’ll look at your monthly premium for your term life insurance and say, “I just can’t afford this any longer.” It usually happens just about the time you retire and your income is going down a little and the cost of your life insurance is rocketing through the roof! Check the premium at AGE 71… WOW!

Could be a problem, don’t you think?

At age 71 you may not need the insurance any longer. But let’s just say that you do. Maybe the house isn’t quite paid for, there’s some money you’d like to leave to family, grandkids, spouse, your church… could be a hundred different reasons. The problem is that if you want to keep your insurance, you probably can’t because it’s just become too expensive for you.

Wouldn’t you like to have the option to keep it or not?

Let me show you how you can have that choice then by making a simple decision today.
Get a small permanent life insurance policy today that will give you options when you are older.
Here’s what permanent insurance can do for you.
1. Provides you with insurance you can keep for the rest of your life.
2. NEVER increases in premium.
3. Usually allows you to stop paying the premiums just about the time you retire and REMAIN INSURED FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
4. Sometimes you can even have the policy PAY YOU a monthly income.
(I’ll include a few more for you at the end of this section…. Look or this little guy again. ---------------------->

Remember -- Odds are you’re going to live and your term insurance isn’t going to pay a death benefit for you. But it fills a need when you’re young. Generally in your younger years 30-55, your financial responsibilities are high. You have kids, house payments, extra cars, college to pay for, on and on and on…

Usually, when you hit 55-60 or so, those obligations are MUCH LESS! You don’t need the amount of life insurance you needed when you were younger. The kids are out of the house, you have fewer cars to “support”, college is done, the house is paid for (or nearly so…).

BUT…. There will still be expenses to handle when you die – Funeral, maybe some small debts to pay off, or possibly you need to provide an income for your spouse at the loss of you retirement income.

The cheapest way to pay those expenses is ALWAYS WITH SOME LIFE INSURANCE. Much cheaper than drawing money out of the savings account.
But here’s the problem with that…

If you need $500,000 of insurance coverage today because your obligations are still in the fast lane, you probably can’t really afford to buy all of your life insurance as PERMANENT insurance.

$500,000 or permanent insurance would cost you at least $300-$400 per month.
And here’s the answer….

Get the term insurance you need to cover your obligations today. Get a small amount of permanent insurance to keep for the rest of your life – maybe $50,000 or $100,000. Drop the term insurance when it gets too expensive and keep the permanent insurance.

Life insurance is the ONLY kind of insurance you buy where you’re GUARANTEED to make a claim. Your term insurance may or may not be in force when you die. Your permanent insurance will be.

And here’s the real rub! Even if you decide to pay the additional premiums, TERM insurance is usually only renewable to a certain age. You may live longer than the policy can be renewed

Here’s some more benefits of permanent insurance if you choose UNIVERSAL LIFE as your policy:

5. Your earnings are TAX DEFERRED which means Uncle Sam actually is helping you pay your insurance premlg2iums.
6. Your policy PREMIUMS are flexible which means that if you hit a period of financial hardship you can actually STOP PAYING for a short period of time and continue to be insured.
7. You can adjust the amount of your coverage up and down depending on your changing needs. (you’ll need to be insurable of course to increase the coverage unless you’ve planned ahead by adding GIO to your policy. Good to get, but too much to explain here. Ask me when I see you.)

So here’s all you need to do…

Get the numbers on your own permanent insurance plan and just look at 'em. (that's FREE for Pete's Sake) For just the price of a Starbucks a day OR LESS, you can have the peace of mind that comes with owning a permanent insurance plan that can make your life so much easier when you are older.

NO obligation, no pressure, just take a look then decide.

So here's a couple of help questions for you:

  1. 1. Do I want some life insurance in force when I die? (probably yes)
  2. 2. What's my best guess of when that will be? (let's say you guess 78)
  3. 3. How much life insurance do I want in place at that time?

Whatever your answer is for question #3, THAT'S how much permanent life insurance you should have. Consider term insurance to fill the rest of your (temporary) needs.

If you have any questions, just give me a call 619-670-1000 or drop me an email to

(if you'd like to look at your numbers,)

I just need to know three things:
1. Your age
2. If you want $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000 or permanent insurance (you can choose any amount above $50,000 of course, but most choose one of those three.)
3. Do you use tobacco in any form?

I’ll email you an illustration of your policy and then let you decide.

It just doesn’t get any better -

OR EASIER - than that…

You’ve got everything to gain and NOTHING to lose.


It's a Good Life !

Dennis Volz Insurance Agency
10783 Jamacha Bl, Suite 1, Spring Valley, CA 91978
OFFICE: (619) 670-1000 - FAX: (619) 670-1121

Websites: Company Site:

Client Convenience Site:

My 'Other Blogs'
Working by Referral
Musings from California

76ers Blow Out Knicks

Another Free NBA Pick, another blow out win for Stock Lemon. The 76ers jumped on the Knicks early and often in this one, doubling New York at halftime by a count of 72-36. The final score was 124-84, easily covering the mere -6 1/2 spread.

The blow out victory gives our Free NBA Picks an impressive record of 18-9, which is nearly 67%, including a perfect 2-0 following the All-Star Game.

Isiah Thomas looked ready to gauge his own eyes out, but he thought better of it when he realized that doing so would render him unable to visit Stock Lemon and get his free pick for the day.

Check back again tomorrow for yet another absolutely Free NBA Pick. It's all Isiah has to look forward to.

76ers Are the Pick Tonight

Our Free NBA Picks remain hot, hitting over 65%, and we have another play for you today.

Philadelphia 76ers -6 1/2 over the New York Knicks

As the trade winds blow, there's speculation that this could be Andre Miller's last game in Philly. Either way, we expect him and his current squad to drive all over Jamal Crawford and the Knicks.

Good luck!

101 Ways To Save Money And Live Better

101 Ways to Save Money and Live Better is provided for one purpose and one purpose only!


You thought I was going to say, “To save you money,” didn’t you?

You will save money by using these ideas. You might even save a lot of money. But…

Until you change your thinking about how you spend your money,
you’ll only be scratching the surface of what you could do!

Many of our clients, who really use this guide to change their money habits, take off on their own when they “get the fever.”

These ideas will not work unless you do!

The more you save, the more you can save for yourself in the form of retirement, mutual funds, bonds, whatever you think is best for you.

It will take a purposeful dedication to your goals, but you can change your situation!

Well I promised you 101 Ways To Save Money And Live Better, so here it is.

In General

1. Don’t go shopping! If you don’t go shopping, you won’t spend ANY money. Of course if you really need something from the store, go and buy it. But don’t just go shopping. Don’t get trapped like 34,300 surveyed mall shoppers who were asked the primary reason for their visit to the mall. Only 24% said they had come for a specific item.

So don’t go shopping. And while you’re at it, stay away from the advertising that whets your appetite for stuff that you don’t need and likely don’t even want! And for heaven’s sake, don’t tune in to the Home Shopping Network.

2. Avoid Everything Stores like K-Mart, Target, or WalMart. These stores are just too dangerous. Because they carry everything in the world it’s just too easy to go and stray from your plan. If you need hairspray, get it at the grocery store when you do your food shopping. If you’re especially weak in these stores, take your spouse or a good friend who understands your quest for Intelligent Frugality and ask them to be sure you stick to your list.

3. Live within your means. This notion is so outmoded that some readers might not even know what it signifies. To live within your means is to buy only what you prudently can afford and to avoid debt. Living within your means suggests that you wait till you have the money before you buy what you need. No interest charges, no sweating the end of the month and no unconscious spending. It also gives you a “waiting period” in which you may very well discover that you don’t need or want those things after all.

4. Take care of what you have. This is sort of a no brainer but some people simply don’t care for what they have. When you neglect what you have, when you defer inexpensive maintenance and care for replacement instead, you feed the system instead of feeding yourself. Get into changing the oil in your car, clean your tools, clean you appliances (hair dryer, vacuum, refrigerator, etc.) Machines, unlike our bodies, are not self-healing. You let ‘em go, they’ll let you down.

5. Wear it out. I know this sounds contrary to what you just read. It’s not. Think for a minute – What’s the last item you actually wore out? Americans discard 1,455 pounds of garbage every year. Much of it is perfectly usable. We replace, upgrade, trade up to the newest fashion, and just plain junk perfectly good electronic equipment, furniture, clothing, kitchenware, linens and automobiles.

Think of ways to recycle (for yourself) items that are just a little worn and possibly not just the latest. Think of ways to use parts of items you’re going to discard. And before you buy anything new, ask yourself, “Do I already have something that will do the same job this one will?”

6. Learn to enjoy each moment as a special gift. Truly in the 90’s we can get so busy chasing the carrot, raising the kids, improving our minds, eating low-fat, striving for excellence in all that we do, that we fail to enjoy doing any of it. Part of the title is Living Better and with that goes some change in our thinking. One very important factor in living better is to enjoy each moment. Waiting in line, driving to the beach, drifting off to sleep, reading a story to the kids, making dinner, and answering the phone are all necessary components of our lives. Just accept it. Learn to love the process of getting there instead of always focusing on that distant goal or achievement that will “make you happy.”

7. Do it yourself. Can you tune your car? Fix a plumbing leak? Do your taxes? Rewire a toaster? Think of all the things you pay others to do that you could at least try yourself. There’s hundreds of books (FREE at the library), or sites on the BIG WWW that will walk you step by step through just about anything from building your own computer to changing out a broken window.

8. Anticipate your needs. Forethought of purchases can bring you tremendous savings. With enough “lead time” you can get items at savings of 20 to 50 percent under the usual price. Think in terms of white sales, end-of-the-season clothing sales (buy your winter coat at the end of winter when they’re all on sale). When you wait till the last minute to buy things you need you’re at the mercy of whatever is out there RIGHT NOW. A little planning allows you time to search for sales, coupons, and garage sales.

9. Get it for less. With the availability of discount catalogs, discount chain stores and the miracle of the Yellow Pages, and shopping on Ebay or other WEB sites, you can, with just a little effort usually save up to 30 percent just by checking a few options before getting out that checkbook!

10. Buy it used. Reexamine your attitudes about buying used items. You might say, “I don’t want to get any used items.” Well let’s just think about that . . . EVERYTHING YOU OWN IS USED! It’s true. Buying used requires a little forethought (see #8) in that you may not be able to find what you need as quickly as buying new. At least give it a try.

11. Write down everything you spend for 30-60 days. You would be amazed how unconsciously you spend your money. Be sure to write down EVERY PENNY you spend. Do it for at least 30 days. My lovely bride did this about 15 years ago and learned that she was spending over $100 a month at MacDonald’s! Things changed real quick. J

12. When you want a non-budget item, write it on a Want List. Then, just before payday, if you have some extra money, you can grab your Want List. This is an excellent habit for a couple of reasons. You will be more disciplined throughout the month because you know that there’s something else you really want. The time between writing it down and the actual time of purchase may be enough time to decide you don’t really need the item anyway. If that’s the case, cross it off the list.

13. Study and follow all the steps of this program. The steps in this program have been followed successfully by thousands of people. They have found that doing all the steps leads to a transformed relationship with money. When you change your thinking, tremendous things will happen!

Probably most important of all is that you have a plan for your money and your future. Planning is just too easy to let worry and frustration over money get in the way. There are simple models to follow based on your income, goals, and financial situation.
* * * * * (Please see me for additional information: Call me at 619-670-1000 or Email me at )

Transportation Expenses

14. Learn to do certain minor automobile repairs yourself. It’s not true that men can naturally fix cars and women cannot. Whatever labor costs you save are like making money at a part time job. If you normally spend $20 at “Slimy Lube” for an oil change, you can make about $14 an hour at your part-time oil changing job by spending $6 for oil at K-Mart and doing the job yourself.

15. Shop around for a reliable, reasonable mechanic before you need one. Ask around. Check with people you trust. Then when you run up against a repair you can’t do or just don’t know what’s wrong, take it to them. After time you’ll build a relationship and they’ll treat you really well. Sometimes paying them $10 just for a few minutes to tell you what’s wrong will enable you to fix the car yourself.

Sometimes you can shop for parts yourself, often saving 15 to 20 percent and then, if needed, your mechanic can install them for you.

16. Perform regular maintenance (or do it yourself). I’m sure you remember the old commercial with the mechanic and the oil filter. “You can pay me now (he holds up the oil filter), or you can pay me later (he holds up some oily, drippy, ruined part from the car engine). It’s oh so true. Regular maintenance will add years of life to your automobile. It will add years to your life through reduced stress and anxiety from a car that is not reliable.

17. Assess whether or not that extra car (or two) is necessary. Go ahead and figure out what that car costs you. Don’t forget license, insurance, maintenance, gas, oil, storage, time and energy. Be careful not to over rationalize or confuse need for want.

18. Walk to do local errands. How far is too far to walk? Is it good exercise? You might enjoy the walk as an escape from it all. Short trips in your car on a cold engine are the major contributors to wear and tear and poor gas mileage.

19. Use public transportation. I know this may sound a little “out of the box”. Just consider the cost of going downtown is more than just parking; it’s gas, wear and tear, and more. If the IRS computes mileage at 27 cents a mile, shouldn’t you.

20. Carpool to work. It can be a little inconvenient, but once you get used to it, you’ll never go back. You will reduce your expenses, form new relationships, possibly reduce your commute time because you can use the “commuter lane” and zip past all the single-occupant cars!

21. Move closer to your job, or get a job closer to your home. You might even go so far as to get within walking distance (or at least bicycle distance). In order to really get ahead on your finances, it will require some real “thinking out of the box.” Just explore the possibilities. If you live close enough to bike to work and you don’t have a bike, borrow one for a few weeks and then if it makes sense, go out and buy a good used bike.

22. Check out insurance rates before you buy a car. Once you buy your car, hopefully you’ll keep it for a long time (till the wheels fall off!) That way you’ll get maximum value for your purchase. So in consideration of keeping the car awhile, check out the insurance rate you’ll be paying on that car for it’s stay with you. Even if you save $50 a year by getting one model instead of another, that’s $50 you can use for investment or debt reduction. Remember, THEY ALL ADD UP!

23. Repair your older car rather than purchase a new one. It can be a little inconvenient but consider the added insurance costs for a new car, the car payment, and you’ll probably wash your newer car more. Keep a record of your maintenance costs. By doing that, when you consider purchasing a newer car, you can look at accurate figures to see if you’re really spending more than your new car payment will be. At $300 a month for a new car payment, your old car would have to be in the shop a full week out of every month to exceed that expense!

24. Consolidate errands to conserve money. Every trip you take costs you money. Keep a notepad at home or in your car to jot down things you need to do and get. Then, once a week or so, do all of it at once. Do it all at one shopping center if you can.

25. Get off of the Advertiser’s Bandwagon. If you listen to them, it’s impossible to be happy, or sexy, or young, or successful unless you are driving a brand new whatever. Given a line of diminishing returns, older cars are better for you. When I compare the years of car payments up to my neck or years without them, I’ll pick the minor repairs anytime.

And if you’re afraid that your friends or work associates will judge you unfairly based on what you drive, here’s a clue. THEY WILL. They will make judgements about you whatever you do. Stop buying to impress others and start buying to wow yourself with your cash flow!

On Your Job

There are more ways to make more money on your job than there are ways to save money. After all, isn’t that what the job place is all about? Making money. The first consideration is your wage. I know people who say they make $10 an hour, or they make $27.50 an hour, or whatever. They think they make money for the time they spend. Not true. If that were true, they could just say home and have their company send the money.
In reality, they get paid for the value they bring to the hour. If that’s the case, here is a question for you. Is it possible for a person to become more valuable and therefore receive more money for the value they bring to the hour? The answer is, of course. As we bring more value to the market place, we will be compensated accordingly.
Why would large corporation pay its Chief Executive Officers millions of dollars a year. They have become more valuable. If an executive makes a company a billion dollars, why wouldn’t they pay him several million?
With that in mind, let’s see how we can affect our financial condition at the workplace. Here’s a couple of ideas – a few on saving and a few on becoming more valuable.

26. Stay away from the “snack area” or the “break room.” This is a double whammy! You’re likely to be spending money on things you don’t need to eat and aren’t healthy. You’re also likely to be talking with the negative complaining bunch. Instead, grab an apple from your lunch pale and spend the time enriching you and your work environment. Use the time to talk with someone who might have a position in the company that you’d like to have someday. Ask to help out with some project, take some work home, or study some of the appropriate manuals in the area.

Do what you can to make yourself more valuable to your employer. Despite that negative bunch you used to hang out with, they will recognize your improvement and pay you accordingly. If they don’t, you are more valuable and another company will pay you for your improved condition. Speaking as an employer, I’ll always keep and pay more to the person that has become more valuable, dependable, or trustworthy!

27. Ask the boss for a raise. I’m amazed at the number of people who fail to do this. Maybe it’s fear or lack of confidence. The truth is that if you go into the situation with some reasonable documentation or logic, the boss will be more than likely to grant your request. There are books at the library that will teach you how to go about the process.

28. Cut your wardrobe expenses by 20 percent. Most of the time, companies are much more concerned about your job performance than your wardrobe. Although you can’t come to work looking like a homeless person, you don’t need to have all the latest and totally trendy clothes just to go and get the job done. As long as the clothes are neat, clean, and presentable, your employer will prefer superior job performance to fashionable presentation any day!

Medical Costs

29. Consider getting a major medical insurance policy with a $1000 - $2000 deductible. Usually deductibles are annual and some can be carried into the next year if expenses are incurred during the last quarter. If you follow the rest of the suggestions in this section, you won’t need to be going to the doctor as often.

30. Comparison-shop for medical services and supplies just like you shop for anything else; EVEN A DOCTOR. We’ve been so conditioned that doctors are almost god-like. Don’t be afraid to call several doctors’ offices and ask them their prices. Ask them if they will discount their price if you pay cash. Even if you have insurance you will save on deductibles, co-pay, and you will get better prices for your insurance company that will help control premiums. (Remember, insurance companies don’t decide the rates, they only compute the rate necessary based on costs.)

31. Eat a proper diet. Preventative maintenance works just as well for your body as it does for your car. Except you can’t trade your body in when you wear it out. Get some good nutritional books from the library, exercise regularly, don’t snack, drink lots of water, all that stuff your mother told you still makes sense.

32. Stop smoking cigarettes. Not only to non-smokers have fewer health problems, but insurance companies honor that by giving them lower rates. In addition, consider just the cost of the cigarettes. If you smoke a pack a day, you’re up to at least $2 per day with cost of cigarettes and ruined clothing. Of you quit at 30, put that $60 a month into a tax shelter, you’ll retire with $49,450.87 more than you would without quitting. Not to mention you’ll probably love longer and better!

33. Get proper rest. According to Reader’s Digest, in the time before the electric light bulb was invented, people slept nine and a half hours. Now, if you sleep more than six or seven hours, people think you lack drive and ambition. Depriving yourself of needed rest will create problems in your thinking, your health, and your attitude. All will affect your pocketbook! Give yourself what money can’t buy; A good night’s rest!

34. Maintain the proper body weight. You will save on food, medical costs, clothing, and you’ll just feel a heck of a lot better. Keep from using an expensive diet program by making small adjustments in your eating habits – One at a time, every few months. Get good nutritional advice for free from books at the library and find a friend who has good height/weight ratio and who eats well and ask them for help.

Living Expenses

35. Move to a less expensive area. Try to keep the theme of living close to your work, but compare living expenses against commuting expenses. An apartment in Honolulu will run you abut $980 a month. The same apartment in Oklahoma City will rent for $308 a month. It DOES make a difference. Moves within your own city can see drastic differences in your living expenses. Also consider schools, proximity of shopping, parks, church activities, and whatever “things” that take you away from home.

36. Sell your house and live in a motor home. Have you ever herd of “snowbirds?” They are retired people who have sold their homes and now live in very nice motor homes and follow the summer! There are magazines and books that will offer you information on this kind of lifestyle. Even if you’re younger with children, there are places in your city that will accommodate a motor home as a permanent living arrangement. You might even consider this as a temporary arrangement to help you power out of debt or save to buy a home.

37. Buy a piece of property and put a used mobile home on it. A couple I know of purchased a piece of land and a used mobile home just forty minutes outside of Seattle for $10,000. She couldn’t believe she had paid over $1000 a month for a home for so many years. There are cheaper ways to live.

38. Do your own home repairs. If you own your home, maintenance can put a terrible damper on your cash flow. Learning to do it yourself isn’t as formidable as you might think. It’s usually just a matter of knowing the little “tricks of the trade.” Several years ago we remodeled our home. I watches the workmen rip my home apart. I flinched with each hole in the wall, each piece of shattered plaster. Then I watched them put it all back together and found myself saying, “Well, I could have done that!” Of course I could . . . AFTER I WATCHED THEM DO IT. Get someone to teach you, get videos at Home Depot, or watch “This Old House” on TV. Most tasks around the house are a lot easier than they seem.

39. Another variation on doing your own repairs is a working potluck. When there’s yard work or home maintenance, get together with a friend. Work at his house and then they come to yours. Maybe it’s regular maintenance items (yard work or auto maintenance) or a project such as removing storm windows or painting the fence. If you agree on some maintenance items that each of your homes need, you can share the time, share the tools, and possibly get a better deal on buying the materials you need for the job The task ends up like a quilting bee with the socializing making the time fly.

Around the House

40. Remove your shoes at the door. This works for a couple of reasons. First, when you get home and remove your shoes it’s kind of a symbolic thing. I’m home, I’m going to relax! Second, it will reduce wear and tear on your carpeting. My kids tell me that they like to run and slide on the tile. (Keeps it clean!)

41. Keep the thermostat at 68º in the winter and at 78º in the summer. Just a few degrees off of the heater or the air conditioner can save substantially on your utility bill. Wear a sweater around the house in the winter and during the summer, if you have air conditioning and the house feels hot, step outside for a few minutes. The house will feel great when you go back inside.

42. Run the dishwasher only when full. My mother, in her later years when living by herself, ran her dishwasher about once a week. She just waited till it was full and ran it. Also you can usually use half the recommended amount of soap and never know the difference.

43. Check your phone bill for unnecessary or unwanted features and charges. Could be just a little thing, but they will remove items you don’t want and if they were unwanted they will give back credit for a reasonable time.

44. Call the local utility company for a free evaluation of your home. They will come to your home and advise you energy-saving ideas. They will test for gas leaks. While on the phone be sure and ask for any free energy saving devices they offer. Also keep an eye on your bills for announcements of various saving ideas and tools they will offer for free or at reduces cost.

45. Install attic vents. Attic vents (those silvery things that spin on your roof) can save you up to 30 percent on cooling bills in the summer. If you have them or get them, be sure to close them in the winter to prevent unnecessary heat loss.

46. Keep your blinds closed during the day. This will not only wave money on cooling but will also reduce fading and deterioration caused by the sun on furniture, clothing, and carpeting.

47. Reduce your water heater setting to 120º. For each 10º you reduce your water heater you will save 6-10% of its cost. Most appliances will run just fine at 120º.


Ah, yes. Everybody’s favorite subject. Tax laws change so frequently that it would be hard for specific information to remain current. Here are some general hints that will transfer a few dollars from Uncle Sam’s pocket to yours.

48. If you get a tax refund, redirect that money into an IRA. Tremendous tax advantage! If you receive a $1500 tax refund each year, you are loaning the government your money INTEREST FREE! Change your exemptions at your job so that they will withhold less taxes (about $100 a month – which will reduce your refund by $1200 to $300). Put that money into a tax deferred IRA. The deduction you realize will increase your refund back up to about $700. Magic!
* * * * * (Please see me for additional information: Call me at 619-670-1000 or Email me at )

49. Start a home-based business. Some of the greatest benefits of running a business from your home are the tax advantages. But be careful! Although there are tremendous tax advantages, there are also a dozen ways to lose your shirt. Review the basic considerations of running any kind of home-based business: How to avoid stupid start-up costs; How to minimize an audit from the IRS; How to pay your children as employees; and How you can let your voice-mail become a 24 hour sales person for you. You can be cashin’ in while you’re snoozin’ out!
* * * * * (Please see me for additional information: Call me at 619-670-1000 or Email me at )

50. Pay your children to help in your home-based business. Your children cam become employees and be paid money that you would be giving to them anyway – Now it’s just tax deductible money! Plus, if you get them an IRA to boot (there’s no age limitation on an IRA) the money they receive won’t be taxed. * * * * * (Please see me for additional information)

51. Take an aggressive posture on your tax return – When In Doubt, DEDUCT! Less than 2% of all tax returns get audited. Some parts of the tax law are gray at best. While I don’t encourage anyone to knowingly evade taxes they owe, people seem so unnecessarily intimidated by the IRS that they’re afraid to take the completely legitimate deductions for fear it will trigger an audit. I

Interest and Financial Charges

52. Pay off your credit cards. Credit card companies can rip you off for interest rates of 16 to 21 percent of your unpaid balance. That means that for every $1000 you carry on your balance, you pay $200 per year for that privilege (at 20 percent). Although credit cards are a convenience, they’re no bargain. If you pay off your balance every month instead of carrying an average of balance of $2500, you save $500 a year in interest charges! If you invest that $500 a year at just 10% interest, you will accumulate a mere $13,069.78 in 20 years.

53. Eliminate all but one credit card for emergencies and stop paying unnecessary annual fees. With rare exceptions, each credit card you have will carry with it an annual fee of from $20 to $300. With a little “shopping” you can get a card with no annual fee.

54. Pay cash for all purchases, even major purchases like your car. Follow this simple rule and you will get rich! Use the savings you realize in these ideas to start a MPSA (Major Purchase Savings Account). Save for refrigerators, washers, cars, home remodels, etc.

55. If have to take a loan, be sure to get a simple interest loan with no fees. You can pay hundreds of unnecessary dollars if you’re not careful. Most loans at the car dealership are not an especially good deal. You can get a much better deal through your credit union or, in this case, through your insurance agent . . . ME. * * * * * (Please see me for additional information)

56. Pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible. Choosing to extend your mortgage to the 30 year term (as preferred by the mortgage company) you can pay up to three times the purchase price of your home before the loan is paid off. Simply double your principle amount every month. Notice I didn’t say double your house payment, just the principle amount. On a $1200 house payment, $200 of it might be principle. Give your mortgage company a call and ask the easiest way to do this. Usually it’s simply just sending larger check each month.

57. Put most of the money you save in this program to retire other debts. Debt (a.k.a. Monthly Payments) is the killer of even the best income. You are strapped to the debt wagon and are controlled by it every month. Retire your debt and then prudently invest those monies in your future.

58. Avoid paying unnecessary fees to your bank every month. Check with your bank and see how you can configure your account to avoid ALL FEES. Don’t get trapped into, “Well, it’s only $10 a month.” They all add up! There may be a minimum balance requirement. Decide if you can meet that consistently. If all else fails, go shopping. There’s always some bank begging for your business with a year or so of free checking. There’s no marriage contract with your bank and there’s no magic staying with the same one for years and years.

59. Don’t bounce checks. Keep an accurate record of your spending. Bounced check fees can eat you alive. A client of mine was victim to an electronic deposit error by his employer. With only four returned items in his account, the fees totaled over $250! Fortunately the employer reimbursed my client, but the point is made – Bounced Checks Are Worse Than Bank Fees.


Are all of your possessions in use all the time? Of course not! So what’s wrong with letting others use one of them when you aren’t using it? Begin to promote a sharing philosophy with your friends and neighbors. When you lose a little of the “mine mentality”, life will be cheaper and more fun. You can also barter goods and services.

60. Start a neighborhood tool and skill swap. (This works with your church, or civic group, or any group.) Make a list of tools and skills you have to offer and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Distribute them among your group and see how often the help you need is as close as next door.

61. Swap services – Haircut for Health care. Or try baking for pruning, or oil change for sewing, etc. The more you know about your friends and neighbors, the more services you can exchange.

62. Start a babysitting co-op. Many parents have banded together to exchange babysitting services. It frees more of your time and money to do things that would normally cost you quite a pretty penny. How many times have you opted to stay home because the babysitter bill at the end of the night was just more than you could handle?

63. Borrow books and magazines from the library instead of buying them. I find that I rarely want to own the book or magazine, I just want to read it. And, with the exception of some great motivational, reference type books or my Bible, I can’t ever remember reading a book twice.

64. Share subscriptions to magazines or newspapers with a friend or neighbor. Chances are that someone you know shares your interest. One neighbor gets the morning paper, reads it in the morning before work and drops it on his neighbor’s porch who reads it after dinner.

Your Food and Shopping

65. Never shop when you’re hungry. Your hunger will override your good intentions every time.

66. Stick to a list prepared ahead of time. A little discipline will save you lots-a-bucks.

67. Learn to cook from scratch. Get out your cookbooks and be BRAVE! You will save a lot of money; you’ll eat better. If I can do it . . . anyone can!

68. Shop with cash. You will be a much more careful shopper knowing that if you’re over, you’re in trouble! J

69. Use coupons carefully and religiously! Carefully is important because often you will pay more using a coupon to buy a name brand than you would buying your regular generic item without one and is usually EXACTLY THE SAME STUFF! Religiously because you can cut 10%-15% off your grocery bill by using coupons every time.

One of the greatest ideas we’ve used in the past is to put our children in charge of clipping coupons and then managing them during the shopping at the grocery store. They have more time than I do to clip and will remember better than I do which coupons we have. Here’s the DEAL . . . the kids love it! Whatever we save at the register – they keep half of it. We end up saving more than if I did the coupons myself even after our children get their “commission!”

70. Don’t shop at convenience or specialty stores. You won’t find any bargains there! Avoid them.

71. Know your prices. Take a day and check out the stores in your area. Check the most standard items on your grocery list. You can’t recognize bargains if you’re not familiar with other prices.

72. Make milk and produce runs ONLY with a list. When you have to make a trip between you major shopping run, go with a list! Get in and get out.

73. Find a market that offers DOUBLE COUPON Value! This practice varies from time to time. Be on the lookout. Be sure it’s still a better deal with double coupons (usually it is because they don’t figure they’re going to run up against a coupon animal!) Sometimes you can even find a TRIPLE COUPON Deal!

74. Shop less frequently. You will be forced to make the food last longer and you will become much more creative. If you go to the market everyday, stretch it to every other day. Once a week? Shop for two weeks next time! You’ll waste less, use less, and spend a bunch less !

75. Make up menus seven to ten days ahead of time and base your meals on what’s on sale. You will save money because you’ll buy what’s cheap and you won’t overbuy on items that will go unused.

76. Be resourceful. If you run low (or out) of an item before your next shopping day, improvise with what’s on hand instead of running to the store. Remember that more frequent shopping trips will increase your spending. You’ll probably pick up several “other” items on that trip.

77. Know the “loss leaders” at your stores. Merchants use loss leaders to get people into their store. These are items that the merchant will sell at or below his cost to get you into the store knowing that “as long as you’re there” you’ll get other items you need as well. Beat him at this game. Find the loss leaders (they’re usually the items in the ads) and when you find something you can stock up on, raid the store for as much as they’ll let you buy.


78. Relax closer to home. You might even enjoy just being around the house. Try using you house for a home base while you explore your local area. Adventures are made in the heart. Remember: If you need to “get away”, 3 miles and 300 miles are both away. Vacation is not any time to try to prove you’re making it financially.

79. Buy airline tickets well in advance. If you buy your tickets at least a month ahead of time, you can get a better deal. Also, be sure to take advantage of mid-week fares. If you fly during the week and stay over the weekend, you will avoid the higher weekend air fares.

80. Take a camping vacation. As U.S. citizens we each “own” 3 acres of land. There are beautiful parks, both state and federal, that you can visit for pennies a day. You might feel more relaxed at the end of a week full of listening to a babbling brook and the wind through the trees than you’ll ever feel racing from sight to sight so you’re sure to get your money’s worth on your vacation.

81. Avoid restaurant food as much as possible. Restaurant bills can put a tremendous dent in vacation funds. Eat in your room whenever possible. If traveling in your car, take an ice chest and cold cuts for sandwiches. Snack on fruit instead of prepared, expensive junk food.

Entertaining and Dating

The key to frugal entertaining and dating is to remember why you’re doing it – to enjoy the company of other people. If you really think about it, beyond a certain level of comfort, money doesn’t really make an encounter any more (or less) delightful.

82. Have potlucks rather then dinner parties. Potlucks are the ultimate in ease and relaxation. I personally love potlucks. There’s more variety of food, it usually tastes better, and the atmosphere is just so relaxed that I can focus on the people rather than the event. Often your guests only want to take home their empty dishes, leaving you lots of leftovers that can feed you for several days!

83. When you do invite friends to share a meal with you, eat what you would normally have prepared. Mom’s casserole might be old hat to you, but quite a treat for your guests. Entertaining in your home doesn’t have to cost any more than a couple of extra servings.

84. Invite friends to view a movie or documentary with you. This can stimulate some very interesting discussions. You will get to know your friends on a deeper level and it’s a whole lot cheaper than going to the movies at $10 a pop.

85. Have a progressive dinner party. This will work well in a neighborhood or a small town but can be adapted to larger cities and wide open spaces. Start at one person’s home with appetizers, go to the next person’s house for soup, then another for salad. Keep a theme through the evening (or afternoon). It’s like a potluck but no one person gets all the work or clean up.

86. If you just can’t wait for a movie to come out on video, go to inexpensive matinees. The afternoon prices are about half of the evening prices, the crowd just isn’t there, and when the movie is over, you’ve still got lots of the day to finish chores, errands, or to take an afternoon nap.

87. If you like to attend movies or play regularly, check into ushering. Some local theatres will trade you an afternoon of ushering for several free movie passes. It’s a better deal for the owner and you get movies for free. My wife and I ushered at a local playhouse. We’d show the people their seats and sell refreshments during intermission. In exchange we watched the play for free.

88. Instead of dating expensively, go for quality of encounter. What the heck does that mean? Take an evening at the local coffee house and then on to the bookstore to browse and discuss. Drive to a local lake or beach and take a walk. Watch planes land at the local airport. Take your favorite game and some refreshments to a local park. Eat at home and go out for just dessert and coffee. Remember: It’s the encounter and quality time together that’s the reason for the date.

If you have young children, work a babysitting exchange with a friend or neighbor.


Insurance has been one of the necessary evils of life for over 100 years. In this day of higher taxes, rising food prices and soaring housing costs, it is possible for you to get a handle on your insurance costs. Sometimes insurance can be complex and confusing but here’s just a few ideas that may help.
* * * * * (Please see me for additional information on all the insurance items: Call me at 619-670-1000 or Email me at )

89. Drop your collision coverage. There comes a time in the life of almost every car when its value does not warrant the cost of collision coverage any longer. You will need this coverage for your car when you are in an accident that is your fault, or if your car is the victim of a hit and run accident. Ask your agent how to decide if this is right for you.

90. Drop your comprehensive coverage. Use the same decision process to decide if it’s the right time for you to do this.

91. Raise your deductibles. If deleting collision and comprehensive coverage puts you at greater risk than you are willing to assume at this time, you may want to consider increasing your deductibles as a compromise. As you raise your deductibles your insurance company will lower your premium. You get this reduction for two reasons: First, when you have a loss, the insurance company will pay you less money when you have a higher deductible; second, with a higher deductible, you will have fewer claims presented to your insurance company.

92. Evaluate your medical coverage. Medical Payments coverage is designed to pay for injuries sustained by you and anyone else in your car. Particulars of this coverage vary so the details are best discussed with your agent. But, here's the basic idea. If you have good medical insurance through your work or a private plan, it may be wise to minimize your medical payment coverage on your auto insurance. As far as the coverage applies to you, there might be a lot of overlapping coverage. It is probably not a good idea to drop this coverage completely as you are never sure just what kind of health insurance others that ride in your car may have.

93. Double check your mileage. Most companies consider the mileage you drive quite heavily when computing your premium. Be sure to learn from your agent what the categories are and just where the markers are between short and long mileage. Become an expert in this area. It can put dollars in your pocket. Definitions may vary greatly between companies.

94. Double check your ticket and accident record. Insurance companies handle thousands of policies on a daily basis. They make mistakes on a daily basis! You may be being charged for tickets and accidents that are not yours. Check with your agent to see exactly what items show on your record that may be increasing your premium. If you are not sure of your record, go to local motor vehicle office and ask for a print-out of your record and compare it with the insurance company records. Removing these errors can save you 30% and more on your premium.

95. Get all the available discounts. Discounts offered by insurance companies are as varied as the cars they insure. Cross examine your agent to be sure that you are getting every possible savings opportunity that you can! Ask for a list. Check for the availability of the following discounts: Non-Smoker; Accident-Free; Citation-Free; Longevity with the company; Passive Restraint Devices (such as automatic seat belts and air bags); Car Alarm; Over 21; Over 50; Over 65; Driving Safety Course Completion.

Marketing conditions dictate that insurance companies constantly update their discount programs. Be watchful in your renewal notices for notification of new ways to save your premium dollars.

96. Use care in rating your youthful driver. Certainly one of the most expensive items for young people today is the cost of auto insurance. Because the inexperienced operators do cause a higher percentage of claim costs, they get to pay higher percentage of the premiums. Take heart! There are ways to effectively minimize the impact on your checkbook.

By far, the greatest savings on the insurance bill is wrapped up in the kind of car that the youthful operator drives. Almost 50% of your premium is shelled out to protect the more expensive car that is too valuable to withhold comprehensive and collision coverage. Consider buying a car that is within your "write-off" limit as defined in your Financial Picture. Selling this idea to your 16 year-old may be much more of a challenge than just paying the higher premium. But, it will provide substantial premium savings.

Additional tricks for the youthful driver include the Good ­Student Discount. The usual threshold is a B-average or better but some companies will accept statements from the school that the student is in the upper 20% of the class or similar alternative requirements. Some parents have made the B-average the requirement for the young person to drive. No B's -- No Keys! Check out all of the rules of your company involving the rating of youthful operators.

97. Check the amount of insurance you have on your home or renters insurance. (You should have one of them!) You may be over insuring your possessions or your home. If you are you are wasting your money and making the insurance company very happy. On the other hand, it’s foolish to spend money on insurance that’s not enough. When you need it, it’s not going to do the job you need. So don’t over-insure, don’t under-insure.

98. Consider not insuring your heirlooms, jewelry, and antiques. Would you really replace them? Sure it would be nice to get the settlement from the insurance company, but insurance is designed to help you recover from an unrecoverable loss.

99. Increase your deductible on your homeowners/renters policy. You can save between $50 and $150 a year by increasing your deductible. The average homeowner has a loss every 10 years. Learn to handle the little losses yourself and save the insurance for the big ones that you can’t handle yourself. The premium you save just might be your own.

100. Review your life insurance at least once a year. Things change! Again the goal is to be properly insured, not too much, but enough. The decision for term or whole life insurance is best solved individually. If you’re disciplined to be investing elsewhere in your future (IRA’s, Mutual Funds, etc.) then term is probably best for you. If it’s difficult for you to discipline yourself for that necessity, whole life might be the only way you’ll secure your financial future.

There are simple formulas to determine exactly how much life insurance you need. I have several.
* * * * * (Please see me for additional information: Call me at 619-670-1000 or Email me at )

101. Don’t buy credit life or credit disability insurance with a loan. Instead get separate life and disability policies that will do the job for you regardless of the loan. Loans will come and go but your insurance needs are fairly constant. You’ll get more bang for your buck with a regular insurance policy rather than the specific credit stuff.
We value your ideas and input. Many of the ideas you’ve read come from our clients. Who knows, you could be part of:

101 Ways to Save Money And Live Better – The Sequel
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It's a Good Life !

Dennis Volz Insurance Agency
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright (c) 2006 – SmarterInsurance Inc.-- No part of this document may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission of the copyright owner. LEGAL NOTICES: While attempts have been made to verify the information provided, SmarterInsurance Inc will not assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. Since this document presents general discussions, always consult a qualified professional regarding your specific tax, legal, financial, and personal circumstances. (911.21740)