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Knights of Columbus Field Agent


You’re NOT too young to plan NOW for long-term care.
November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month.  Even the U.S. Congress has
urged “the people of the United States to recognize (this) as an
opportunity to learn more about the potential risks and costs … and the
options available.”  We’re proud to support this important educational
Smart reasons to think about long-term care as part of your overall
financial plan:
You protect against other risks like a car accident or house fire.  A need
for long-term care is a risk to your savings and to your retirement.  It
will impact your family and loved ones.  Just as it is smart to plan ahead
for retirement, it’s smart to plan now for long-term care.  Here are some
things you should know.
Ø Buy before age 65; avoid the high cost of waiting - Your age and your
health are important factors that determine the cost of long-term care
insurance protection.  Costs are based on your age at application and go up
each year.  By waiting to purchase until you are closer to retirement you
might find it’s just too expensive to buy this important protection.
Ø At younger ages you can lock in good health special savings - Your
good health today can help you ‘lock in’ preferred health discounts that
won’t change even if your health does.  If you currently have a health
condition, it’s especially important to find out if you can health-qualify
before it may get worse.
Ø Discounts can help significantly reduce the cost - I believe you will
be surprised by how affordable long-term care insurance protection can be
for some of the newer plans suited for people your age.  Today, there are
ways to reduce the cost of long-term care insurance; savings are available
when you plan ahead.
Ø The first step is in your hands - Getting the information you need to
make an informed decision is always a smart move.  Waiting is never
I encourage you to take this first step.  

Retirement balancing act


Think of retirement as a three-legged stool.  In order to maintain balance, you need all three legs… or there is a real possibility of a crash!


One leg consists of the benefits the government offers you.  Debate rages about the viability of future benefits, and my best advice is to stay tuned to the discussion and make sure you are aware of what is planned for those benefits.  Any change in future promises should be accounted for when we get to the third leg.


The second leg is your company’s pension plan, either defined benefit (such as a traditional pension: you work so many years and the company provides you with so much monthly benefit) or defined contribution (such as the popular 401K plans).  Some of these plans, particularly traditional ones, are under stress, have been frozen or pared back.  Learn how yours works; read the plan description; stay on top of the news coming from the company.  On the 401K side, become a good investor.  Teach yourself the fundamentals of good diversification and know how much you have and when you will need it. 


Finally, the third leg is the saving you do yourself, and this is the only aspect you can control completely.


Everyone needs this third leg.  It consists of the money you personally set aside on a disciplined basis to help in retirement.  You don’t directly control government benefits and you don’t directly manage your company’s pension plan, but you must manage your money and your life.


Establish a retirement plan of your own.  Here at the Knights of Columbus, you can open a retirement annuity for as little as $300.  Consistent and disciplined savings placed into that annuity over time can guarantee you an income that you cannot outlive at retirement.  That’s right – guarantee you an income you cannot outlive.  That really will provide you with peace of mind.


As you ponder all the things that may not work out as you proceed toward retirement, think about the one thing you can do to help yourself.  It’s reasonably priced, guaranteed and controlled by someone you trust:  you!



Basic knowledge on insurance products


For this month’s column, I thought a little “Life Insurance 101” might be beneficial.


Whole life insurance is the most basic plan of permanent life insurance protection, and calls for premiums to be paid for your entire life, or to age 100.  You may also consider another permanent life insurance product – one with guaranteed cash values – that offers a limited period of premium payments.  The Knights of Columbus offers three permanent life insurance products for which premiums do not have to be paid for all of life.


“Twenty Pay Life” is exactly as the name suggests: a permanent plan with premiums payable for 20 years.  After the premiums are paid for the 20 years, the plan is “paid up” and no more premiums are due.  Unlike its term counterpart, however, the plan stays in force, the death benefit remains intact and the guaranteed cash value continues to grow.


Another such plan is our “Life Paid Up at 65.”  With this permanent product you pay premiums until you reach age 65.  Then, premiums stop (just in time for retirement), but the plan remains very much in force.


Finally, the ultimate in limited pay is our Single Premium Life product.  Imagine buying life insurance – permanent life insurance – and only paying one single premium?  It’s possible.


I have detailed information on all of these products.  At your convenience, I’ll meet with you and your wife to perform a free, custom-tailored needs analysis, to help determine which of our many life insurance products is right for you and your family.