Myerson Agency

Innovations Everywhere You Look

I received an unexpected holiday gift last week. My brother sent me a gadget the likes of which I’d not previously seen. This particular device is used for saving wine from spoiling if the bottle is not consumed the day it is opened. Since my wife enjoys drinking white wine, and I prefer red, and we enjoy a glass or two of wine with most meals, this occurs every time I open a new bottle.

There are many products on the market that do, or profess to do, something similar. Some of them work quite well, from very inexpensive gas fillers to more elaborate re-corking devices.

But none of them does what this device does.

Without removing the foil or the cork the device gently inserts a surgeon’s type needle through foil and cork, and then magically extracts just the amount of pour one wants to taste or drink at that time. The air that is left in the bottle is replaced with an inert gas that has been used in winemaking for decades and has zero impact on the wine no matter how long it is stored. In this way, the original cork continues to do its work over time. The beauty of this device is not only being able to consume from the bottle one or two glasses without the remainder ever being spoiled, but it allows one to extract just a taste of the wine to determine its readiness to drink. A brilliant new gadget for both casual wine drinkers and oenophiles alike.

Times change, technology marches on, and new concepts and products are being developed in a continuum. These newer iterations are almost always sleeker, more efficient and result in a less costlier net outcome for the consumer than their predecessor.

This is no different from the legacy planning and insurance industry.

Timely example:

The long-term care market has been ravaged by the low interest rate environment in recent years, forcing premium increases at the same time that benefits were reduced. Most long term care insurers have withdrawn from the market completely, leaving few desirable options for this important risk management tool.

The government itself is concerned about the increasing burden to taxpayers of unfunded long term care expenses; fortunately the government is occasionally functional, and, as part of the recent Pension Protection Act is enabling owners of specially designed life insurance policies to withdraw up to $9,900 per month to cover just about any expense associated with long term care needs. Even better, the government indexes this amount for inflation – so inflation protection is built in. So while traditional long term care policies have been largely withdrawn, policy owners can now insure anticipated long term care expenses with:

  • Guaranteed premiums (including limited premiums, even single-pay or exchanges)
  • Indemnity style benefits – no reimbursement hassles!
  • Guaranteed return of premium either via long term care, life insurance, or both
  • Government sanctioned inflation protection

Eat well, drink well, and live well!
Richard

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