Catholic Financial Life Blog

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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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.

family_prayer_5_fingers

 

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.

family_prayer_labyrinth

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

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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FAQ: When should I contact my Catholic Financial Life advisor?

 

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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.

CFL-Contact-Us-Question-Icon

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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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Choosing the Right Type of Life Insurance: Is Term Insurance Right for You?

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 14, 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.

Choice #1: Term Life Insurance

If you need coverage but have a limited budget, term life insurance might be a great life insurance choice for you. Here are some things you need to know about term life insurance.

Young adults are in the perfect age range to purchase a term life insurance policy.

  • It's temporary. You can purchase it for ten-, twenty-, or thirty-year periods. Catholic Financial Life also offers a Term Life for Children plan (TLC).

  • There's no cash accumulation. With term you are paying for coverage only and not building any cash value like a whole life insurance plan will do. You can think of term insurance as "renting vs. buying." When it expires, it's done. There's no coverage nor cash.
  • It's affordable. A 30-year-old in good health could pay less than $25 per month for term insurance.
  • The initial cost is very low. Some plans also allow you to convert your coverage to permanent insurance before your term ends later on down the road.
  • Coverage can be renewed at the end of the term, but you will probably have to pay much higher rates and your premium could as much as quadruple due to an increased risk of health problems that comes with age. For this reason, it's important to take advantage of this temporary insurance plan sooner rather than later. 

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

This post is meant to provide general information about life insurance and is not to be considered as a solicitation for life insurance. Not all Catholic Financial Life products and services are available in all states.

Coming up next week: #2. Whole Life Insurance

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Feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, Grandparents of Jesus: July 26

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jul 24, 2015 12:40:00 PM

 

Joachim and Anne were the father and mother of Mary, and the grandparents of Jesus.

Although they are not directly mentioned in the Bible, traditions and stories about them lead Catholics to celebrate this couple's significant impact on our faith.

Joachim and Anne serve as great examples of faith for all married couples, parents, and grandparents. Like several Biblical couples, they had difficulty conceiving a child. As time was running out, they desperately prayed to God to grant them a child. By strong faith and patience, God granted them their daughter, Mary.

St. Anne and St. Joachim are the patron saints of grandparents and infertile couples.

St-Anne-Mary-Jesus

A Prayer to St. Joachim and St. Anne:
Dear parents of the Virgin Mary, grandparents of our Savior Jesus Christ,

Bless all parents and grandparents and help them teach their children Christian values of faith and compassion.

Bestow courage and hope upon couples
who struggle to start their families. 

Guide new parents and bless parents of growing children with strength and understanding,

And bless grandparents with wisdom and kindness.

We thank you for the example you set for us with your daughter Mary and grandson Jesus, and we strive to show the same love to our children and grandchildren. 
May the strong foundation of faith you laid for Mary and her son Jesus always inspire us to guide our children and all future generations in their faith journeys with love and support. 
In God’s name we pray, 
Amen.
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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Parenting, Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith, Feast Day

Summer Boredom Busters: A daily activity for kids every day in July!

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jun 21, 2013 9:41:37 AM

121121616“I’m bored. What should I do?”

If you are asked this question frequently by your children or grandchildren during summer vacation, we might be able to help.

To break up summer boredom, every day in July we're going to post an activity or idea at the Catholic Financial Life Facebook page to help you and your child create some memories and enjoy the summer months a little more.

From games to crafts and trips to treats, we will post ideas to inspire and captivate your children for a few hours each day.  You can watch for our daily posts on Facebook, or you can sign-up to have them delivered to your inbox.

Catholic Financial Life would love to hear your feedback about our summer boredom busters. So please post your pictures or stories about activities that you tried with your children and grandchildren to beat the summertime blues at the Catholic Financial Life Facebook Page.

Sign up for our activity emails here.*

[contact-form to='kari.lueneberg@catholicfinanciallife.org' subject='Sign Up: Summer Boredom Busters'][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Zip Code' type='text'/][/contact-form]

*Privacy is important to us; therefore, we will not sell, rent, or give your name or address to anyone. At any point, you can select the link at the bottom of every email to unsubscribe, or to receive less or more information.

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Topics: Parenting, Family, Our Catholic Faith

6 Quick Tips for Choosing the Right Summer Camp

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Apr 24, 2013 7:46:27 AM

Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. For many people, this means pulling out the grill, relaxing with friends, and enjoying the warm weather. For the kids, though, it could mean attending summer camp. Many camps reach their capacity early, so now is the time to start making your summer camp arrangements.

There are many summer camp programs available, but choosing the right camp for your child will make the experience something they'll remember for years to come. Here are some tips to make your child's summer camp memorable, enjoyable, and comfortable for everyone involved.

1. PiKids-Campingck a camp focused around an activity that your child enjoys:

This is definitely the number one priority when choosing a summer camp. Not all camps offer the same activities. Many camps now offer special sessions that focus on a theme (such as adventure) or an activity (such as horseback riding), while others offer educational experiences such as environmental science. Another very important option are those camps with a religious affiliation. Catholic summer camps offer children a chance to still experience the life lessons, fun and friendships that are made at any camp, but these integrate faith into their daily routine and foster their faith life. Catholic summer camps are located in most states. Many of our Wisconsin members have enjoyed their stays at Camp Tekawitha in Shawano and Camp Gray in Reedsburg. Catholic Financial Life members are also eligible for a $100 grant annually towards a Catholic camp. Click here to find out more about our grant opportunities.

2. Choose a camp that is the right distance for you:

While this may sound logical to some people, distance is often overlooked. Make sure that your son or daughter isn't going to a summer camp that is too far away from home, to avoid homesickness.  Remember, homesickness can work both ways, too. If you can't enjoy your summer because your child is too far away at camp, and you're constantly worried, then it is time to look somewhere closer to home. Also, in the event of an emergency, you want to make sure that you are a reasonable driving distance from your child.

3. Make sure the camp can accommodate any special needs your child may have:

Summer camps come in many sizes and flavors. So consider including your child in the search process. You may discover something that tips the scales in favor of one camp or another.  You might ask yourself if your child would fair better at a small or a large camp, at an all-girls/all-boys camp or or a coed camp. If you have concerns about the camp environment, take advantage of the camp's open house so you to see the facilities and meet the staff. This can help relieve the anxiety of parents and campers alike--especially when campers are younger or are leaving for longer camp sessions. If your child has special needs, there are also many camps available based on their needs and cognitive abilities. Websites like ChooseACamp.com*  or KidsCamps.com* provide lists of camps that allow you to filter by details such as state, activity, and special requirements, so that you can pick out the best fitting camp program for your child.

4. Coordinate with friends

If your child is on the shy-side or you are worried about homesickness, check with the parents of your child's friends. While making new friends is an important aspect of camp, some children feel more at ease if they can attend camp with one or more of their friends. Make sure the camp is aware that they are traveling together so they might be placed in the same bunkhouse.

5. The early bird gets the worm (and the discount):

If you're thinking about registering for a summer camp, many camps offer early bird specials for those who register before a specific date. In addition to that, there are many grants available to save money on the cost of summer camp. The American Camp Association provides a searchable list of grants that you can apply for online.

6. Schedule overnight trips to prepare for camp:

If your child has never been to camp, or if it's been a long time since he or she has slept away from their own bedroom, then overnight trips can help them adjust to sleeping in a new environment. The best option is to arrange for your child to have a sleepover or "practice camp" at a friend or relative's house. A "practice camp" can help determine if your child is really ready to be away from home overnight. If they get homesick during a "practice camp," an overnight camp might not be the best option for them. There are many day camps available as well, which works great for children who want the experience of camp, but have difficulty sleeping away from home.

* Catholic Financial Life does not endorse any individual summer camps or third-party camp search sites and the individuals camps or programs listed therein.

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Topics: Parenting, Education, Family