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Financial Fitness Blog

Summer freebies to heat up your financial knowledge

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Brenda EcheverriaThis summer, give your financial knowledge a boost by attending a financial seminar from Member Benefits.

Why take the time to attend, you ask? We have a few reasons:

  • They're free.
  • Statistics show that people who have a better understanding of financial concepts are better off financially.
  • We tailor our seminars to address the financial needs and circumstances of Wisconsin public school employees.

We have a variety of topics lined up for you, including preparing for retirement, understanding WRS, learning the basics of budgeting, and long-term care insurance options.

Locations in July and August include Madison, Reedsburg, La Crosse, Milwaukee, and Kenosha, with many of the long-term care insurance seminars available live online for your convenience. You can also view our WRS video series on demand anytime, all year long.

Seminars are posted regularly, so watch for one near you or ask your district to contact us to request a seminar during the school year.

And if you have specific questions about retirement savings or personal insurance, you can always schedule a personal phone consultation with us by signing up at weabenefits.com/consults.

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

Have a fun (and safe) 4th

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Mark DannehlFourth of July celebrations will be starting this weekend and going on through the holiday. It's one many people look forward to and often the highlight of the summer.

Whatever fun stuff you have planned, we want you to be safe. Here are a few common sense tips from the American Red Cross to help make your celebration a great one to remember.

Fireworks

The best choice is to leave the fireworks to the professionals. However, if you really want to set off your own fireworks at home, be sure to follow these safety steps:

  • Never give fireworks to small children.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.

Grilling

Don't get burnt stoking up the barbeque:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
  • It's tempting to accelerate the heat, but never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

Beach safety

Around Wisconsin, we have so many lakes to enjoy...always stay vigilant around the water:

  • Keep alert for local weather conditions.
  • Swim sober and always with a buddy.
  • Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Keep a close eye and constant attention on children as well as adults.
  • Don’t dive in the water headfirst and risk breaking your neck.
  • Lather on the sunscreen.
  • Stay hydrated...and remember, alcoholic beverages actually cause dehydration, so drink plenty of water along with your adult beverage.
  • During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If you think someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place.
  • Know the signs of drowning! They probably aren't what you expect. See INVESTIGATORS: Drowning is silent (video/story).

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant

Do you have the right protection?

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Steve SchofieldHow confident are you that your insurance will get you from the first scenario below to the next? 

fire rebuild photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be putting yourself unnecessarily at risk by not having the appropriate coverage.

Find out if your insurance will deliver when you need it most with a free insurance consultation with Member Benefits. A free insurance consultation can help you:

  • Become a better insurance consumer.
  • Avoid paying too much.
  • Fix common coverage errors that could leave you at risk.

Schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 1-800-279-4010.

Steve Schofield, Personal Insurance Consultant

Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply. 

Are you wisely protected? An example

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Tim GanoungIn our article, “Are you wisely protected?”, you learned that insurance consumers fall into one of three categories—the Wisely Protected, the Exposed and Unaware, and the Unintentional Over-Spender. While nearly everyone THINKS they are Wisely Protected, few actually are.

If you’re like most people who treat auto and home insurance like a commodity—or one-size-fits-all—you risk leaving yourself (and your family) exposed to financial loss or purchasing coverages you don’t need. Here’s one example to help illustrate our point.


Two 40-year-old men drive a 2010 Chevy Malibu. Person A is spending money on the right things by maximizing his dollar and having appropriate coverages.

Person B is spending on the wrong things, with low deductibles and about half the liability coverage. In this example, Person B is actually paying more than Person A and is not getting nearly as much for his money.

Premiums shown are for illustrative purposes and are not meant to reflect your situation.

PERSON A  
Auto insurance, 2010 Chevy Malibu Coverage limit
Bodily injury $250,000/$500,000
Property damage $100,000
Uninsured motorist $250,000/$500,000
Underinsured motorist $250,000/$500,000
Medical payments $10,000
Comprehensive $250 deductible
Collision $500 deductible
   
Umbrella policy None
Annual premium $476
PERSON B  
Auto insurance, 2010 Chevy Malibu Coverage limit
Bodily injury $100,000/$300,000
Property damage $100,000
Uninsured motorist $100,000/$300,000
Underinsured motorist $100,000/$300,000
Medical payments $5,000
Comprehensive $100 deductible
Collision $250 deductible
   
Umbrella policy Do not qualify
Annual premium $496

Give us a call

Remember, we're here to help you become a better insurance consumer. Let us take a look at your needs and existing coverage so you can find out if you're wisely protected. Call 1-800-279-4010.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. Certain recommendations or guidelines may not be appropriate for everyone. Consult your personal advisor or attorney for advice specific to your unique circumstances before taking action. Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply.

 Tim Ganoung, Personal Insurance Consultant

“100 Deadliest Days” have begun

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Mark DannehlAAA just released their top driving distractions for teens as the “100 Deadliest Days” begin from Memorial Day through the summer. Over the past five years, more than 5,000 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during this time period. Nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel and unfortunately, texting and social media use are on the rise among teen drivers.

The top three distractions for teens when behind the wheel in the moments leading up to a crash are:

  • Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle: 15 percent of crashes
  • Talking, texting, or operating a cell phone: 12 percent of crashes
  • Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: 11 percent of crashes

Talk to your teen about distracted driving and consider creating a parent-teen agreement about family rules against distracted driving. And perhaps most importantly—be a good example to your kids.

Full story: AAA Reveals Top Driving Distractions for Teens as “100 Deadliest Days” Begin

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant