Catholic Financial Life Blog

Summer Forecast: Catholic Financial Life Events

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jul 3, 2018 10:12:46 AM

Summer is upon us! Looking for something fun to do? Check out some of our affordable member and young adult events!

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Pawtucket Red Sox - Sunday, August 5, 1:35 p.m.
McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, R.I.

Come see the AAA Boston Red Sox affiliate Pawtucket Red Sox face the Rochester Red Wings. Game ticket includes a $10 concession credit. Limit 10 tickets per household. Deadline to purchase tickets is July 15.

NEW: Mexican Fiesta - August 24-26
Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Wis.

Join us for this annual celebration featuring authentic Mexican foods, music, cultural exhibits, and merchandise. Take advantage of discounted admission from Catholic Financial Life. Tickets are $8. Limit 10 tickets per household. Deadline to purchase tickets is July 27.

To learn more or register for these events, visit: https://www.catholicfinanciallife.org/AboutUs/News/events.htm

Young Adult Events

Urban Ecology Center (UEC) - Land Stewardship Program
Saturday, July 28, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Menomonee Valley Location, Milwaukee, Wis.

Join us at the Urban Ecology Center-Menomonee Valley Location as we participate in their Land Stewardship Program. We will be helping, along with other volunteers, to remove invasive species of plants around the grounds of the UEC. All ages are welcome to participate.

Professional Development Night: Networking in Today's World
Tuesday, August 14, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Catholic Financial Life Rooftop, Milwaukee, Wis.

Jeff Sherman from OnMilwaukee will lead a discussion on tips for networking, best practices and ways to develop as a young professional. Afterwards, we will have a networking event to put those tips into practice! All young adult professionals are welcome to attend.

To learn more or register for these events, visit: https://join.catholicfinanciallife.org/theyah

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Topics: Family

Five Ways Your Kids Can Earn Money This Summer

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jun 6, 2018 2:22:21 PM

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Summer is finally here! With your kids out of school, we understand as parents the need to find something constructive to keep them occupied. Why not encourage them to make a little extra money? Here are five ways your kids can make some extra cash and get in the healthy habit of saving!

  • Yardwork – There are plenty of yardwork opportunities available over the summer. Lawn mowing can be a great way to make some easy money. Many families will be on vacation and won’t be able to take care of their lawn themselves. This could be a one-time gig or turn into a weekly thing if they do a good job. For younger children that might not be old enough to use the lawn mower, planting flowers or picking weeds are other options.
  • Open a lemonade stand – Good old fashioned lemonade stands are one of the most common ways for a child to make some extra spending money. This will help them keep up their math skills and is a great introduction on how to run a business.
  • Host a garage sale – Do your children have toys they don’t play with anymore or clothes they don’t wear? Consider hosting a garage sale to sell their things. Encourage them to price each item and count the money for any items sold. Clothes that don’t sell could be donated.
  • Walk dogs – If your kids love animals, this is the perfect job for them. Most parents work during the day and might not have the time to give their furry friends the exercise they need. This is also a great excuse to get them physically active.
  • Babysit – Are there young kids near you? Encourage your teen to offer their babysitting services to families in the neighborhood. They don’t need formal training but many local communities offer CPR or first aid classes. These are great classes for people of all ages to take to ensure they know how to take care of younger children.

There are plenty of jobs out there for kids of all ages. Getting a summer job is a great way for kids to learn money management and be responsible for their own money. Encourage your kids to take advantage of one of these easy-money opportunities!

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Topics: Family

Special Member Benefits Just For YOU!

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Feb 23, 2018 10:00:55 AM

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Did you know that as a member of Catholic Financial Life, you are eligible to apply for a number of special value-added benefits that can enhance your membership? These benefits are one component of membership that differentiates Catholic Financial Life from commercial and mutual life insurance companies.

Educational Benefits:

  • Scholarships – Last year, we awarded nearly $300,000 in scholarships to our members! This is one of our most popular member benefits, and are offered to students from elementary school through college.

Financial Benefits:

  • Member Rewards Program – Looking to save money at your favorite stores? Members may receive savings of up to 70 percent at hundreds of national and local merchants, such as Costco, Disney, Verizon Wireless, Starbucks, and Target! Last year, members saved nearly $75,000!
  • Additional benefits include estate planning, childhood cancer benefit, special needs benefit, and family protection.

Wellness Benefits:

  • Family Care Suite – We offer a hospitality apartment for members or members’ families hospitalized in the Milwaukee area. A home away from home, the suite is available at no cost, subject to availability.
  • Prescription Savings Program – Members and their families can receive prescription savings on name brand and generic medications, vision and hearing care, diabetes care and supplies, and daily living products.

Spiritual Benefits:

  • Camp – Do your kids enjoy going to summer camp? Members are eligible for up to $100 toward the cost of attending a Catholic summer camp.
  • Retreat – Retreats can be times of discover, prayer and spiritual growth. Members are eligible for $100 annually toward the cost of a Catholic retreat.
  • Sacramental – Are you celebrating your child’s First Communion? The sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Matrimony are recognized with a commemorative gift. In addition, confirmands are eligible for $100 toward the cost of a confirmation retreat and seminarians are also eligible for scholarships.

 

For full eligibility requirements, to apply for any of these benefits or to request more information, contact us at 800-927-2547 or visit www.catholicfinanciallife.org/benefits

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Family

After the Big Day, Protect Your Money the Right Way

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Aug 30, 2016 10:27:21 AM

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First of all, congratulations to those who have an upcoming wedding in their lives! As Pope John Paul II reminded us, “Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage.”

Marriage is truly a blessing, yet it is also a union of two individuals who depend on each other emotionally, spiritually and financially. So while discussing life insurance and other financials might not be a top priority for a newly engaged or married couple, it certainly should be. 

As a newly married couple, you should map out your long-term goals and ways to financially protect your family. Life insurance can help you do this. Being prepared will help support your family if something ever happens to you.

Catholic Financial Life offers a variety of life insurance plans to help you protect your family.

Types of Life Insurance to Consider

Permanent Life Insurance

  • A permanent life insurance plan provides coverage throughout your entire lifetime. Catholic Financial Life offers universal and whole life plans. Permanent life insurance offers:
    • the protection of a death benefit, and
    • the potential to build cash value -- increasing the amount your beneficiaries receive or giving you access to extra cash while you live.

Term Life Insurance

  • Term life insurance offers a low-cost way to provide life insurance protect to those you love. It provides coverage at a level cost for a specified period, usually 10, 20, or 30 years.

Contact an advisor today or the Insurance Solutions Team 1-800-965-2547 for more information on life insurance plans and how to start planning for your future.

Related Posts:

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Topics: Family, Life Insurance

Helping Kids Heal After a Loss

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Mar 31, 2016 4:30:00 PM

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Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult for everyone, but it is especially hard for children. Feelings of sadness and confusion over the matter of death can be overwhelming for kids. As a parent, grandparent, teacher, or other important adult in the life of a child, your openness, mindfulness, and responsiveness to feelings or questions they express can make all the difference in helping them heal after a loss. 

What to say

Children will probably have many questions as they cope with the loss of a loved one. They may be scared or confused, so remind them that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to think about death. Here are some topics to consider discussing with your children, whether they ask them or not.

  • How and why people die
  • What happens when someone dies
  • How the loved one died
  • What will change
  • What will stay the same

What to do

Beyond just thinking or talking about the loss of a loved one, encourage children to participate in any of these activities to feel better. Not all these ideas work for all kids, as each person copes with loss and sadness differently. 

  • Say a prayer coping.jpg
  • Practice something the deceased person taught you, like a card game or family recipe
  • Create a scrapbook about the loved one, filled with stories, pictures, memories, how that person made you feel, how you and that person were similar, how you were different, what the person taught you, and what the person was like.
  • Talk to other loved ones in your life that you turn to when you are sad, like teachers, aunts, uncles, cousins, or friends
  • Talk about all the other people in your life that love you
  • Create a memory box
  • Plant a tree for the deceased person
  • Exercise
  • Play with a friend
  • Sleep
  • Cry
  • Write a story
  • Draw a picture
  • Sit quietly
  • Tell stories about the loved one

Grieving takes a toll on the spirit, mind, and body, so your child may experience stomachaches, headaches, good dreams, bad dreams, or trouble concentrating. With so many family and friends around also going through grief and sadness, children often become even more confused and overwhelmed. Although it's difficult, talking about your feelings with children truly helps them through the healing process. 

 

Related Posts:

Protecting Your Young Family With Life Insurance 

3 Easy Ways to Pray With Your Family

The Importance of Life Insurance at Every Stage

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Topics: Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith

Making Resolutions You'll Actually Keep

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jan 1, 2016 10:12:00 AM

Happy New Year! Today is the first of the year -- time to make a 2016 new year's resolution plan.

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Every year we make a promise to ourselves: lose weight, spend less money, eat healthy, pray more, spend more time with family. Come December, how many of us are actually satisfied with what we have accomplished?

New year's resolutions are a great form of goal setting that can lead to self-improvement in many ways -- in our health, faith, family, career or community. Resolutions give us hope and optimism for the year ahead. This year, let's make sure those feelings don't fade away by February.

Have you ever heard of SMART goal setting? It's way to set yourself up for success in achieving your goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound, and it's a perfect method to use for your new year's resolution.

  • Specific - The more exact your goal is, the better. Assign times, dates or amounts. For example, don't plan to lose weight. Rather, plan to lose 15 pounds. Don't just say you'll pray more with your family -- actually make a plan to gather after dinner every Monday, for example, for prayer. This way, you will know exactly what you need to do to achieve your resolution.
  • Measurable - Building off of the importance of having a "Specific" goal, make sure that come December, you will have a clear way of knowing whether or not you have achieved your resolution. Step on the scale; did you lose that weight? Check your calendar; how many Monday evenings did you gather to pray?
  • Attainable - Be realistic with what you know you can accomplish. If you haven't finished a book in years, don't tell yourself you'll read 20 novels in 2016. Shoot for 6, instead. If you want to pick up running, train for a five-mile race rather than a marathon.
  • Realistic - After you have identified your goal and the steps you'll take to reach it, ask yourself, "Is this really something I am willing and able to work toward this year?" When you make sure that this goal is a top-priority, you will have more motivation and energy in working to keep your resolution.
  • Time-bound - For a new year's resolution, the timing is simple: December 31, 2016 is your deadline. But don't wait until then to check up on yourself. Make a note to think of your resolution every month or two, and set smaller goals throughout the year. A clear timeline like this will improve your committment to your resolution.

Now that you've read these tips, does your resolution need a few changes? Preparation is key. Write down your plan of action to achieve your SMART goal, and get to work!

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter posts throughout January. We'll be giving you 16 new year's resolution ideas for 2016!

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Topics: Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith

7 Ways to Enrich Your Advent Experience

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Nov 19, 2015 6:00:00 PM

Advent is a season of joyful anticipation for the birth of our Savior, Jesus. In the midst of all your holiday shopping, cookie baking, and home decorating, reflect on the waiting. What do you usually do when you're waiting -- waiting for the arrival of a new baby or for a guest at your home? When we think about Advent this way, we can understand why it's important to focus so much time and energy on our preparations for the coming of Jesus. Here are seven tips to inspire you throughout the upcoming Advent and keep you motivated in your anticipation of Christmas.

1. Sing

This seems like an obvious one, because music is all around us in Advent -- in Church, in school, on the radio -- but singing is one of the easiest ways to spread the joy of the Advent season. The word "carol" means a joyful dance that is set to music. You can even spread this joy by visiting hospitals and nursing homes and singing Christmas carols to the patients and residents. Focus on songs of waiting, like "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and "O Come All Ye Faithful."

2. Decorate

In the Bible, Jesus is called "the living light of Christ," and so we bring this light to our homes every year. On the night of his birth in Bethlehem, the bright star in the sky which led the three kings to Jesus's manger is the inspiration for Christmas lights decorations and the most magnificent of all the lights. Put up lights inside and outside your home to signify your anticipation of Jesus.

3. Remember St. Nicholas

The tradition of gift-giving is so much a part of our Christmas culture today that we usually forget the true meaning behind it. The tradition of giving Christmas presents truly began with St. Nicholas hundreds and hundreds of years ago. His generosity inspired our current customs of leaving out stockings and awaiting the visit of Santa Claus on Christmas night. Test your St. Nicholas knowledge with our trivia quiz.

4. Avoid a Black Friday and Cyber Monday mindset

Focus on care, love, and thoughtfulness, not greed or competition when buying gifts this year. The first Christmas presents were gold, franincense, and myrrh from the Magi to the baby Jesus, and of course, the true gift of the Christmas season is God's gift of his son to the world. Instead of running from store to store in search of the perfect present for your dad, sister, or aunt, take a minute to stop and consider the real meaning behind your gift-giving. The purpose of this tradition is to show care for our loved ones. When we remember this, our mindset toward shopping completely changes.

5. Turn Moments of Frustration into Joyful Anticipation

It's inevitable that we will get frustrated "waiting" in different ways during these next few weeks: waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for a parking spot at the mall, waiting in traffic. Instead of letting these unavoidable situations get the best of us, avoid anger by taking a moment to relax and reflect on this important Advent theme of waiting. Say a prayer or thank God for all your blessings this year.

6. Start a Family Tradition

Presents are not the only way to show our family members that we love them. The most important Christmas gift is our time. When you dedicate time to spend with family during Advent, you create and continue traditions that make the season so special. Decorating the house, baking, and gift wrapping suddenly become fun activities, not chores, when the whole family gets involved.

7. Have an Advent Wreath

This is another great way to bring the light of God to your home this Advent. An Advent Wreath has four candles that you light every Sunday of Advent. A prayer is said with each one, as well. To learn more about the symbolism of Advent wreaths and how to make your own, check out our previous blog post.

Sign up for our online Advent Calendar

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Topics: Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith, Advent

Critical Illness Insurance: Because surviving can be financially devastating

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Nov 9, 2015 6:00:00 PM

Over two-thirds of bankruptcies among American families result from medical bills.

Thanks to modern medical technology, your chances of surviving cancer, a stroke, kidney failure, a heart attack, or other physical illness are better than ever. But are you prepared to handle the financial toll your medical bills will bring in the coming years? If your family would suffer financially from a recovery, you need critical illness insurance, the latest financial product from Catholic Financial Life.

The History of Critical Illness Insurance

The idea for this insurance plan originated from Dr. Marius Barnard, a South African heart surgeon who witnessed first-hand the financial suffering survivors of heart attacks endured. Of course, it was a good thing that more and more people were surviving heart attacks, but the medical bills that followed in years of recovery were nearly killing them. Barnard worked with insurance companies on a new product to address these patients' needs. "Dread disease" insurance was launched in 1983. He has travelled to countries around the world promoting this insurance plan.

What Sets Critical Illness Insurance Apart from Life Insurance?

With life insurance, your family doesn't reap the benefits until a death occurs. Critical illness insurance, on the other hand, lets you take advantage of your investment while you're still living. Without having to go through underwriting and other standard insurance approval procedures, you receive a lump sum cash benefit upon diagnosis of a critical illness. Heart attack, cancer, and stroke are most common, representing 85 percent of the claims, and renal failure and organ transplants are also common coverages.

Flexibility is perhaps the best part about critical illness insurance. You can spend your lump sum cash benefit on anything you please. If you need help taking care of a spouse who has suffered a stroke, you can hire an in-home private nurse. If you have just been diagnosed with cancer and want to give your family some much-needed fun and relaxation, you can take a vacation.

In addition, you can receive 100 percent of the benefit as much as three times. Critical illness insurance is split up into three categories: cancer, heart attack and stroke, and other illnesses like advanced Alzheimer's or kidney failure. If, unfortunately, you suffer from more than one illness, you will receive 100 percent of your benefit for each illness, as long as they fall within different categories. You do not need to pay a higher premium to receive this benefit.

Why You Should Have It

Modern medicine and technology has dramatically changed the financial profit landscape. In the words of Dr. Barnard, "You need critical illness insurance not because you are going to die -- but because you are going to live." Here are some statistics that might further convince you about the importance of critical illness insurance.

  • Medical problems contribute to up to 62 percent of personal bankruptcies.
  • Approximately 90 percent of disabilities are caused by illness rather than injury.
  • Nearly 1.4 million Americans suffer a heart attack each year. The odds of dying have decreased by 63 percent since 1950.
  • The average brand name cancer drug in the U.S. costs $10,000 per month.
  • The average cost of treating a heart attack in 2011 was $72,000. For a stroke, it was $61,000.
  • Most Americans have around only $10,000 in emergency-fund savings.

How Much Coverage You Should Have

People ages 18 to 64 can purchase critical life insurance. Coverage can be renewed until age 75. The sooner you have it, the better. Benefit amounts range from $5,000 to $50,000, so how do you know how much coverage is right for you? A good rule of thumb for figuring this out is to take the amount you would spend on six months of your mortgage payments or rent. If you pay $1,000 per month for your apartment, you would spend $6,000 on your critical illness insurance. If you pay mortgage on your $1 million home, your insurance investment would obviously be much higher.

You may think that you can't afford to have critical illness insurance, but really, you can't afford not to have it.

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

 

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Are Your Financial Priorities Out of Sync?

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Topics: Financial Literacy, Family, Life Insurance, Financial Security

Are Your Financial Priorities Out of Sync?

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Oct 19, 2015 5:30:00 PM

A new house, a shopping spree, the latest smartphone, an island getaway vacation -- sure, these are all fun ways to spend your hard-earned money, but make sure you're getting your priorities straight. In a tragedy, would your cable TV or brand new car protect your family's financial future?

Millenials and Gen Xers believe that it's more important to pay for things like internet and cable, vacations, shopping and eating out, and new cars, homes, and boats than to purchase life insurance, according to a 2015 study from Life Happens and LIMRA (Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association).

Of course, many people of these generations also recognize the importance of setting aside money for things like college savings funds, mortgage and groceries, paying off debt, and retirement, the study showed.

However, one vital piece of this financial puzzle is missing. What if you or your spouse passed away, or suffered a severe injury and could no longer work? How soon would you feel the impact of this loss? The income you rely on for all of these things -- from your iPhone to your home -- would disappear. Unless you make life insurance your top financial priority.

Don't let the cost of life insurance scare you away. In fact, most people are unaware just how affordable life insurance really is. And when you need them, the benefits will greatly outweight the costs.

Contact a Catholic Financial Life advisor today to learn how you can make a life insurance plan or more life insurance coverage the most essential part of your family's financial future.

out_of_syncContact an advisor about our your retirement options

Related posts:

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Parenting, Financial Literacy, Family, Life Insurance, Financial Security

3 Easy Ways to Pray With Your Family

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Oct 7, 2015 5:00:00 PM

We often find ourselves so caught up in the hustle and bustle and routine of our everyday lives that we forget about the most important part of our lives -- our relationship with God!

Between back-to-school meetings and soccer games this fall, refocus some of your energy on prayer and thank God for all your blessings.

Prayer is one of the most important aspects of our Catholic faith. Here are three fun and easy ways you and your family can create new traditions of prayer.

1. The Rosary

This prayer is easy to learn and fun to do with a large group of people. Devoted to the Virgin Mary, the Rosary is a sequence of mysteries and decades recalling important events in the life of Jesus. The Hail Mary is recited over and over again along with other common prayers like the Our Father and Glory Be.family_prayer_rosary

So pull out those old Rosary beads your aunt gave you for your First Communion and give it a try. If you have never prayed the Rosary before, or if it has been a while since the last time you did, you can look up directions.

Why not invite neighbors, family, and friends to your house one evening per week to pray the Rosary together? Pass out copies of the prayers and share dessert afterward. This is a great way to spend time with loved ones, and there’s nothing like the power of a large-group prayer.

2. Pope Francis’s Five Finger Prayer

This prayer is simple yet powerful because it reminds us of those in the world who need our prayers the most. All you need are your hands!

Back when he was an Archbishop in Argentina, Pope Francis created this prayer that reflects his selflessness and compassion.

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Here are the five steps of the prayer, according to Catholic Online:

  • Start with the thumb. It is closest to us, so it reminds us to pray for the people in our lives who are closest to us.
  • The index finger is next. Pray for the people who instruct, teach, and heal us like teachers, doctors, and mentors.
  • The middle finger is the tallest. This reminds us to pray for those who have authority, such as church and government leaders.
  • The fourth finger, the ring finger, is the weakest. We pray for the weak, sick, poor and vulnerable people of the world.
  • The last finger is the smallest, and it reminds us to pray for ourselves. Once we have finished praying for others, we can more clearly understand our own needs.

 

3. The Labyrinth

Cool and crisp fall is the perfect time to learn to pray the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is a meditative prayer representing the Christian spiritual journey. Some of the most beautiful and peaceful labyrinths are located outdoors.

The labyrinth is a complex path that resembles a maze, but it is not a maze at all, actually. You cannot get lost on the labyrinth. There is one winding path that leads to the center, and one path that leads back to the outside. As you travel closer and further from the center, reflect on the people and things in your life that bring you closer or pull you away from God.

Find a Catholic church in your area that offers opportunities to pray the Labyrinth and see why so many Catholics find joy and relaxation in this prayer.

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Topics: Parenting, Education, Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith