Catholic Financial Life Blog

Are You Saving Money?

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Oct 23, 2017 10:58:24 AM

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It’s a known fact that saving money can be hard. Spending less than we make is often cited as the most important personal financial goal. It helps us get out of debt, save for emergencies, and stash money away for retirement.

Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started. Here are five easy steps to help you start saving today.

  1. Set-up an emergency fund
    • The standard for an emergency fund is to have three to six months’ worth of living expenses stashed away before you can save for other goals. In the event that an unexpected emergency such as an illness or job layoff were to occur, you would have the funds available.
  2. Forget the plastic
    • Limit yourself to only one to two credit cards and only use them for emergency situations. Try to pay off more than your monthly credit card balance each month.
  3. Pay off debt
    • Take care of remaining debt by paying more than the minimum payments. Try to pay expenses early to save money in interest payments.
  4. Determine your wants from your needs
    • Make a list of your expenses for each month. Determine which are considered “wants” and which are “needs.” Work to cut back on some of those wants each month e.g., dining out less, cutting back on shopping.
  5. Plan by taking advantage of our easy-to-use financial calculators
    • Plan for the future by utilizing our financial calculators to help figure out things such as how long your money will last, how much are you spending, etc.

For more information about saving, contact a Catholic Financial Life advisor today - join.catholicfinanciallife.org/contact_advisor

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Topics: Financial Literacy

Insure Your Love this February

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Feb 5, 2016 1:49:12 PM

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Buying chocolate, sending flowers, writing cards – these are all things we do each February to show our loved ones how much we appreciate and care for them. We want to make them happy and let them know how important they are to us. This year, give your husband, wife, or kids a gift that will last even longer than a lifetime. Life insurance is perhaps the most important gesture of love on Valentine’s Day, or anytime throughout the year.

The Insure Your Love campaign from Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance foundation, calls life insurance “love insurance” because we buy it to protect the ones we love. Would your spouse or kids suffer financially if you were to pass away? Life insurance is a proactive measure to financially protect the dreams of your loved ones.

People often think that buying life insurance can be confusing and overwhelming. How much should you have? What's the best kind? When should you purchase it? How much will it cost? Most people just don't have the time to dive deep into the topic, so instead they postpone their planning. We all know that things can happen in life--one's that we never expected or planned for. So postponing your life insurance protection isn't really the best idea.

Many people find the easiest way is to meet with an insurance advisors. They can help explain the different types of plans available and suggest which one might fit your overall goals. Our advisors are very knowledgeable and make a career of helping families with the issue of life insurance. They are specialists in the field and are here to serve and support you. They will help you go through the process of protecting your family in the easiest way possible. 

Life insurance today is very affordable with plans to meet almost any budget. And best of all, once you're insured, you can rest easy -- knowing that your family will be ok. Life insurance is for the living. Protect the ones you love.

Try our Life Insurance Calculator!

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

 

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Topics: Financial Literacy

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?

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

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Choosing the right type of life insurance:
#3. Universal

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 28, 2015 4:30:00 PM

For Life Insurance Awareness Month 2015, this three-part blog series will provide basic information on the different types of life insurance and help you determine which kind is best for you. When choosing between the different types of life insurance, always make sure that you are purchasing enough for you, your family, and your future.

 #3. Universal Life Insurance

universal

Universal is somewhat of a mix between term and whole life insurance. If you want more flexibility with your life insurance plan, consider a universal policy.

  • It's flexible. You can pay in level premiums, or you can increase and decrease payments at different times in your life. In addition, you can increase and decrease coverage as your level of need changes.
  • With universal, you must review your policy often because of changes that can happen based on interest, loans, or withdrawals.
  • If you take the time to set up your universal policy properly, your death benefit will increase over time. Therefore, you can be proactive in avoiding possible insurability problems in the future.

 

Did you miss our first two posts of the series? Check out #1. Term Life Insurance and #2. Whole Life Insurance.

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Financial Literacy, Life Insurance

The Importance of Life Insurance at Every Stage

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 27, 2015 10:25:00 AM

 A multi-generational family enjoys the benefits of life insurance.

Through all of life's milestones, with every major financial decision, a life insurance policy from Catholic Financial Life is important. If you’re 18 or 81, read to find out why you need life insurance today. 

Children

When you buy a life insurance policy for your newborn infant, you lock in the lowest-possible payment rate, ensuring the best for your child’s future. As your children grow and attend school, you must own a life insurance policy for them for them to be eligible for our scholarships and other educational benefits.

Young adults

It’s no secret that college graduates these days have more debt than ever before. Catholic Financial Life can help you make a financial plan to make the process off paying off these loans as easy as possible. At a young age, life insurance is very affordable and lays the foundation for a life of smart financial decisions.

New families

Newlyweds should purchase a life insurance policy to make sure that in the case of the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse does not have to deal with the burden of paying off bills. When baby makes three, Catholic Financial Life’s policies help new parents protect their income and begin funding their child’s college education. In other important milestones in the life of a new family, such as buying a home, Catholic Financial Life assists in paying off a mortgage and any other debts.

Middle-aged adults

The life insurance you bought as a young adult or newlywed may need sprucing up. Make sure you still have enough and the right kind of coverage. For business owners, a life insurance policy provides the funds necessary to keep your business running even after you die. If you find yourself unemployed at any point in your life, your old employer may have been your life insurance supplier. In that case, you need to purchase a new plan.

Senior Citizens

Make sure you have a life insurance policy to assist with the loss of pension and Social Security. Your coverage will also help your loved ones with your burial and funeral expenses. Charitable people, investing in life insurance now will allow you to leave a generous donation to a church, school, or organization when you pass away. In a similar way, the wealthy can benefit from financial membership with Catholic Financial Life because we can help you pass on your estate efficiently, avoiding large tax payments.

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

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How to Start a Conversation that Matters

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 25, 2015 4:30:00 PM

It’s September, the start of a new school year. Before you know it, your college graduate will head out into the real world to make a difference. It’s never easy for a parent to see a child become more and more independent, only praying that they are ready to be on their own and face the challenges that lay ahead.

Do you have a graduate, a soon-to-be graduate, or recently-graduated graduate? You've probably already had the serious conversations about what their plans are for after graduation and securing a job. But have you talked about life insurance?

Starting a discussion about life insurance is never easy because it involves something we don’t want to talk about—death. What would happen if we suddenly left behind those we love the most? Life insurance isn’t going to benefit you in your lifetime, but it will protect your family in the event of your passing, with you knowing that they will be financially supported even in your absence. ThinkstockPhotos-dv1850043

A recent study revealed that many parents would rather have a discussion with their children about basically anything else—drugs, alcohol, religion, politics, and other taboo topics. But why? Thinking about our own mortality is unsettling, and no one enjoys talking about it, especially with their children. But it’s important for young adults to understand and appreciate the value of financial protection for their future family in the face of an unforeseen life event.

So how do you bring up the topic of life insurance to your loved ones, especially with your matured children?

Here are 3 easy steps to get started:

1. Discuss goals. What would your child like to do with their lives? Do they want a family? What is their dream job? Would they like to buy a house?

2. Now talk finances. How will your child pay for their future? For their travels? For their family? Does their job salary support these?

3. Finally, talk about yourself. Explain why you have your life insurance policy and why you chose it.

Talking about goals and objectives can help frame the conversation around finances and long-term financial planning. This in turn can lead to a dialogue about the importance of having life insurance, especially when it comes to potential parenthood and having dependent children.

Our $250,000 Term  Life protection costs only $20 a month*...so life insurance really is affordable on an entry-level salary.

But can you really put a price on peace of mind?

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

*For a healthy 30 year old male.

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5 Life Insurance Tools to Help Determine Your Financial Needs

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Sep 22, 2015 5:00:00 PM

Life insurance has great value to anyone, whether you’re married, single, retired, a growing family, or a small business owner. The proceeds can help with the many financial needs a family may have including:

    • Paying bills

    • Education for children

    • Retirement plan protection

    • Future financial obligations


Knowing if you need life insurance means you need to think of a worst-case scenario, meaning think of what would happen if you died today and how that could affect your family financially. Life insurance helps to ensure that your loved ones are protected and provided for even after you’re gone.

Another point to consider is how much life insurance you need. First you must determine how much money your family will need after your death for immediate expenses, and how much money your family will need to continue their standard living. To help determine these amounts, here are some useful tools.




These tools are just stepping-stones to give you an idea for how much life insurance you may need. It is important to consult with a professional insurance advisor to help determine other factors that need to be considered before you purchase life insurance. Take the time with the life insurance professional to carefully assess your needs and cover all your options before choosing a plan.

Contact a Catholic Financial Life Advisor today for more information about life insurance and determining your financial needs. Click here to find an advisor in your area.

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Choosing the right type of life insurance:
#2. Whole

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 21, 2015 4:30:00 PM

For Life Insurance Awareness Month 2015, this three-part blog series will provide basic information on the different types of life insurance and help you determine which kind is best for you. When choosing between the different types of life insurance, always make sure that you are purchasing enough for you, your family, and your future.

 #2. Whole Life Insurance

Whole life is a type of permanent coverage life insurance, which means it's a good long-term plan that will accumulate cash value. 

Parents can protect their children's futures with whole life insurance.

  • It's the perfect plan to purchase for a child. The younger the individual is at the time of the purchase, the cheaper the premium will be, and this price is guaranteed to be locked-in for life.
  • It's ideal for someone who wants lifelong coverage.
  • Cash value begins to accumulate after a few years. You can borrow from this cash value, but be sure to pay back the loan to avoid interest rates which decrease the value of the policy.
  • Catholic Financial Life offers three ways to purchase it:

1. Buy whole life insurance as a standard policy and pay premiums every year for life.

2. The 20 pay policy allows you to complete premium payments after 20 years.

3. Pay in one single premium, and the policy will be completely paid for right away.

Coming up next week: #3. Universal Life Insurance

Did you miss our first post of the series? Check out #1. Term Life Insurance.

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

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Asking the Right Questions

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Sep 19, 2015 11:00:00 AM

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When it comes to insurance, make the decision-making process a little less daunting by asking the right questions. During this process, sit down with your personal Catholic Financial Life advisor and consider the following questions:

    • Does your income fluctuate? If yes, how does that impact your short and long-term financial goals?

    • What plans do you currently have in place to make sure you reach these goals without taking on a lot of risk?

    • How much of the money you have set aside is subject to market fluctuations, inflation and taxation?

    • What financial role are you planning to take with your children’s/grandchildren’s education?

    • If you are a business owner, have you determined the value of your business if you wanted to sell it today? Are you aware of the most tax-efficient ways to transfer your business?

    • What income will you need during retirement to enjoy the same standard of living you are accustomed to?

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

Click here for more information on Catholic Financial Life’s products

Products are not available in all states. Catholic Financial Life is not licensed in all states. Nothing contained herein should be construed as solicitation for insurance, financial products or annuity products in any state in which Catholic Financial Life is not licensed.

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