Friday, May 31, 2013

Last Day of Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Today is May 31st, the last day of "Disability Insurance Awareness Month"...Let's end the month off with one final...PAYCHECK POP QUIZ: What are the odds that you'll suffer a long-term disability during your career? Check out the video below for the answer—is it higher than you expected?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Celebrate College Savings Day - What is a 529 plan?

529 Plan History

A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. It is named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code which created these types of savings plans in 1996.

State plans are OK for out of state colleges

529 Plans can be used to meet costs of qualified colleges nationwide. In most plans, your choice of school is not affected by the state your 529 savings plan is from. You can be a CA resident, invest in a VT plan and send your student to college in NC. Check to see if your institution is eligible under 529 rules.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What's In Your Wallet?

So there I was, hanging out at the bar having dinner last Tuesday. Next to me was this guy with a flight of wine glasses. Out of curiosity, I had to ask, “What’s your favorite? He gave a long look at the three glasses and then said, “the pinot from Washington State. It’s light, smooth and silky.” We traded names and continued to chat for a while as we passed the night away. A while later, Monica, our server, asked if we were finished and we both said it was time to call it a night. Monica tallied up our bills and presented us our respective bills.

Both of us reached for our wallet. Right then, it dawned on me so I asked, “Hey, Tom, what’s the most important card in your wallet?” Tom looked into his wallet and pulled out a picture of his kids and smiled at me. “Tom, I get that—they’re important in your life! Which card though?”

Tom fingered through several credit cards and landed on his VISA card. He started to pull it out and then saw the one. “John, it’s my medical insurance card.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought as well until …”

Tom quickly chimed in, “Until what?”

I paused and then said, “… until I learned that my medical insurance card paid everybody but me. You see, when I had my water skiing accident and was confined to a hospital bed, my medical card paid the hospital and doctors to put me back together, but it never, ever paid me my salary. That’s when I learned that the most important card to have in my wallet is my paycheck protection card—the card that shows I have disability insurance. That’s what paid me an income when I was unable to work.”

I’m sharing this story because I think Tom’s answer might be the same for most people, including you. So I want to challenge you to think about what would happen if you became sick or injured and unable to work? How long would you be able to make ends meet without your paycheck? In my case, the accident left me unable to earn an income for an extended period of time. I would have been in dire financial straits without the income that my disability insurance policy provided me. That’s why you need to protect your paycheck with disability insurance. Learn more at then give us a call.

-John F Nichols -

Monday, May 20, 2013

Safeguarding Your Income From the Impact of a Disability

Decades ago, the traditional family unit consisted of a husband and wife with 2.5 children. Most women were stay-at-home mothers, able to call on extended family members in case illness or injury affected their abilities to care for their children.

But these days, there is no longer a “traditional” family unit (and by extension, an extended support network), as the following figures attest:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"All My Paychecks"

Why are soap operas so riveting? Is it because the characters are larger than life and always, always live in a really big, fancy house, regardless of their profession or income? Or, maybe it’s due to the fact that despite everything being over the top—from the plot to hairdos—there is a kernel of truth in these stories … something that resonates with us. That’s why I think “All My Paychecks” will resonate with you. Indulge in a few minutes of guilty pleasure and watch (all three episodes!). Then let us know what you think.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Could You Live on $1125 a Month? If Not, Read This

You’ve just become disabled, but you’re not worried. Why? Because you think Social Security disability payments will “take care of you.” Really? According to statistics from the Social Security Administration, the average person who has qualified for Social Security benefits receives $1,125.10 a month.

If you’re making $50,000 per year, how long could you (and your family) survive on a disability payment of $1,125.10 per month? That’s only $13,501 per year, or 27% of your income. This assumes you qualify for benefits, and not everybody does. And if you do, it may still be more than two years—yes, years— before you start to receive any payments. What will you do in the meantime?

It’s time for you to protect your paycheck.

What am I talking about? You protect your home by insuring it against loss. You do the same for your car, boat, motorcycle, RV and personal property, but have you insured your paycheck?

Yes, I am talking about disability insurance. You protect your worldly goods with insurance, and you also need to protect your income against loss. If you become ill or injured and are unable to work, disability insurance pays you a percentage of your income until you can return to work.

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, the perfect time to talk to us and learn how to protect your paycheck.

-Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, President and CEO of the LIFE Foundation

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Don’t Let These Myths Stop You From Getting the Proper Coverage

Figuring out if you need disability insurance is pretty easy.  If you have a job, you need it.  Why then do the majority of American workers lack this basic protection?  Common misconceptions are largely to blame.  Here I will debunk four of the big myths surrounding this essential insurance coverage.

1.    Myth:  “I’d rely on my savings until I could get back to work.”

Reality:  Most people overestimate the resources they have to cover their expenses if a disabling illness or injury kept them from earning a paycheck.  According to a LIFE Foundation survey, half of working Americans say they couldn't make it a month before financial difficulties would set in, and more than one in four would have problems immediately.  Keep in mind that disabling illnesses or injuries often last for months or even year.

2.    Myth: “I don’t need it – I don’t work in a dangerous profession.”

Reality:  You actually have a three in 10 chance of suffering a disabling illness or injury during your career that would keep you out of work for three months or more.  While it’s true that people in professions like farming, law enforcement, and construction face greater risks, the odd of suffering a long-term disability are high for all workers because illness – not accidents – account for 90 percent of disabilities that keep people out of work.

3.    Myth:  "The government provides assistance when people get disabled."

Reality:  According to the National Safety Council, 73 percent of long-term disabilities are a result of an injury or illness that is not work-related and therefore wouldn’t qualify for state-based Workers’ Compensation programs.  If you were hoping for Social Security disability benefits, know that about 45 percent of those who apply are initially denied, and those who are approved receive an average monthly benefit of just $1063, which would leave you with an income barely above the poverty online.  Government programs are a good back-up plan, but shouldn't be your main line of defense.

4.    Myth:  “I have disability coverage at work.”

Reality:  Disability insurance through work is a great benefit, but you need to find out exactly what coverage you have.  According to the U. S. Department of Labor, more than 70 percent of employers don’t offer long-term disability coverage.  And short-term or partial coverage wouldn’t be enough to allow you to meet your current and future financial obligations if you were unable to work for an extended period of time.

Call our office to see how we can help you get your protection today - 800-560-4637