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Life is full of guidelines, although some activities require more regulations than others do. For example, the official rulebook of the National Football League is over 100 pages long. The certified version of the Affordable Care Act has more than 900 pages. In contrast, buying real estate appears pretty simple; just avoid breaking these four essential home purchase rules.

1. Use a real estate agent.

Your residence may be the single biggest purchase you’ll ever make; don’t you want an experienced professional by your side? Sure, you can learn a lot about the process online, but according to the National Association of Realtors, 88 percent of homebuyers still choose to use a real estate agent or broker. There are many reasons to do so. For one, their services are generally free because the seller’s agent splits his or her commission with them. Also, a buyer’s agent can access historical price data for the area; without one, you’re definitely in danger of paying too much for the property.

As numerous greeting cards have proclaimed, for many Americans life really begins at retirement. Without a boss expecting you to punch a time clock five days a week, you’ll suddenly discover hours that you didn’t know you had. You’ll find time to travel, relax, enjoy your favorite activity (yes, napping counts) and spend more time with the people you love. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work—if you avoid these financial missteps when preparing for your golden years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2,596,993 deaths in the U.S. in 2015. Leading end-of-life causes included diseases of the heart, malignant neoplasms, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases and accidents—most of which can strike at any age.

This means we can all benefit from life insurance, whether we use it to pay for our funeral expenses, as an investment vehicle, or to protect our family from financial hardship in the event of our death. Consider the following life stages and reasons to purchase this valuable form of insurance for each.

Despite the rise of social media, email is still the marketing mainstay of many businesses—and the numbers show us why. According to the Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, worldwide email accounts will increase 27 percent between 2014 and 2018, from 4.1 billion to more than 5.2 billion. Additionally, the number of worldwide email users—both business and consumer—will increase 12 percent during the same period. Whatever your industry, chances are excellent that most of your customers are on email and willing to subscribe to communications from your company.


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