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Financial Fitness Blog

Learn and earn with Member Benefits' resources

(Money Management) Permanent link

Brenda EcheverriaSchool is well underway and our kids are soaking up new knowledge, which will pay off for them in the long run. Have you thought about doing the same? Take time now to gain financial knowledge, become more engaged in your personal finances, and improve your financial situation for today and tomorrow.

Member Benefits is here to help by offering free financial education, information, and tools both on-site and online. Here's some great options to get you started.

Attend free financial seminars 
Watch for financial seminars offered on-site by your district throughout the year. You’ll learn about ways to improve your financial condition. Register here for a live seminar or to view seminars on demand.

Read up on financial tips and information 
Subscribe to our weekly blog and read our regularly posted articles that address the financial issues of public school employees. Our quarterly your$ magazine is posted online and is full of useful money tips, member stories, and relevant articles to help you make sound financial decisions. Or, you can request paper copies by sending an e-mail to

Connect with us 
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Use our tools 
Our Web site offers a plethora of useful financial tools and resources, including:

Schedule a consultation 
Have questions about your retirement account or want to review your insurance coverage? Set up a free personal phone consultation by visiting

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

Seminars are free to attend; however, if you choose to invest in the WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity or WEAC IRA program, fees will apply. Consider all expenses before investing.

Child passenger safety week

(Insurance) Permanent link

Kelly BehnkeAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3 out of 4 children are not as secure as they should be in a vehicle because of incorrect car seat use. Therefore, it’s important to know the different types of car seats on the market. Generally speaking, there are three main types of car seats for children under age 12: an infant seat, a convertible car seat, and a booster seat.

  • An infant car seat is mostly suitable for infants from birth to around 30 pounds. Typically these are the carrier-type seats that come with a detachable base that stays latched in the backseat of the car. Infant seats should always be installed rear-facing.
  • Convertible car seats—seats that allow your child to ride rear-facing and later forward-facing—typically fit infants and toddlers from 5 to 50 pounds, depending on the type of seat.
  • Booster seats are suitable for young children (usually age 4 and up) once they reach 50 pounds or have outgrown their forward-facing car seat. These seats are designed for children mature enough to sit still and in the proper position for the entire ride.
  • Seat belts should only be used when a child is tall enough for the seat belt to fit them properly (typically 4’9” tall) and they have outgrown their booster seat. A properly fitting seat belt should lie snugly across the upper thighs—not the stomach, and the shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest—not the neck.

Remember, children age 12 and under should never ride in the front seat of a vehicle—the safest place for a child is in the back seat. When using a car seat, always consult the car seat manufacturer’s manual for specific height and weight guidelines, and use their specifications to help you find the best seat for your child. When purchasing a car seat, keep in mind that not every car seat can be installed properly in every vehicle, so make sure to try before you buy.

Want more?  

6 car seat tips to help keep kids safe.

A Visual guide to car seats from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Find a child car seat inspection station near you.


Tips for driving in a roundabout

(Insurance) Permanent link

Mark DannehlCommunities in Wisconsin and throughout the United States are relying more and more on traffic circles and roundabouts as an effective way to slow and keep traffic moving through an intersection. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, studies have found reductions in injury crashes of 72-80 percent and reductions in all crashes of 35-47 percent in intersections converted from traditional traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts. Statistics show roundabouts decrease the likelihood of fatal accidents, though minor fender-benders can arise when drivers don’t know the proper way of negotiating a roundabout. Here are a few rules of the road you should consider:

Before you enter:

  • Always check for pedestrians or bicycle traffic before entering the roundabout.
  • Look left, merge right. Look left before you enter and always remember to yield to cars already in the circle. In the U.S. traffic inside a roundabout always flows counter-clockwise.
  • Follow the signs. Choose a lane and note the speed limit before entering the roundabout.
  • Be sure to yield to both lanes of traffic when approaching a multi-lane roundabout. No cars? No need to yield.

The inner circle:

  • Once inside the roundabout, do not stop.
  • Be aware of over-sized vehicles and trucks in a multi-lane roundabout. In order to compensate for their wide-turn radius, they may use both lanes.
  • Slow down and pay attention to the speed limit.

 Making an exit:

  • Use your turn signal to change lanes or exit the roundabout. Other drivers need to know you’re exiting the roundabout so they can yield or make their entrance.
  • Never exit from the inside lane.
  • Miss your turn? No problem. Continue driving around the traffic circle until you approach your intended exit.

 For some, roundabouts can be intimidating. But, they don’t have to be. Just remember the guidelines above and slow down.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant


Time is running out on current long-term care policy rates

(Insurance) Permanent link

Kelly BehnkeIf you're considering a new long-term care insurance (LTCi) policy through Member Benefits' LTCi program, you need to act now. After September 15, 2013, significant rate increases take place. Rates for new LTCi policies are rising nationwide. Women's rates in particular will increase 60% on top of base rate increases.

Why the gender difference? Because women account for more and higher claims than men. According to a 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal, women “are paid two out of every three benefit dollars from long-term care insurance, in part because they live longer and often have no caregivers at home.”

LTCi pays for extended care needs following an accident, illness, or frailty that often results from normal aging. It provides coverage for quality long-term care services (including home health care) that may be needed at any time of life—services that are not covered by health insurance or Medicare.

If you'd like to purchase a new policy, call us today to ensure that you get the most complete protection at the lowest cost available. To schedule an appointment, call 888-247-5905 or visit

LTC insurance products are underwritten by multiple LTC providers. Program administered by LTCi Marketing Administrators (LiMA).

Kelly Behnke, CIC, CISR, ACSR
Personal Insurance Consultant