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Rita Moreno and the NAIC

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On June 1, 2016 the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) announced a partnership with award-winning actress Rita Moreno. The purpose of this partnership is to reach out to seniors and educate them to “get smart about insurance policies and financial plans.” In general, insurance is not easy to understand, no matter if it is health, life, or property and casualty.

As a result of the NAIC’s commitment to helping consumers, they formed INSURE U,  a public-education program created by the NAIC to help consumers with information about insurance issues.

At the NAIC 2016 Summer Meeting I attended, NAIC presented their public service announcements that Ms. Moreno would be participating in English and Spanish. I found the message to be quite intriguing as I listened to Ms. Moreno’s story. She shared a heartbreaking story about how lost she felt when her husband passed away after they had been married for 46 years. She explained that during her marriage she didn’t want to take an active role in their finances and, looking back, wishes she did. At the time of her husband’s death she was completely unprepared to take on complex insurance and financial plans. Now she realizes she should have taken more of an active role in their financial planning and encourages older Americans to take part in their finances so they don’t end up like her.

Some thoughts Rita shared were,

  • “Sharing is caring.” If you haven’t done so already, discuss your finances and insurance with your spouse or partner.
  • “Ask the experts.” When you review your policies, do not assume anything. Ask for clarification so you understand your coverage. Make sure it is what you need and that it is adequate. Call your agent or your state Department of Insurance; they are there to help you.
  • “Pass it on.” Make sure your loved ones understand long-term-care plans, life insurance policies, and end-of-life desires.

NAIC is not just focused on seniors; INSURE U is a multi-generational program. I always try to encourage my younger friends to invest, even if it’s just five dollars a week—the earlier the better—so your money has time to accrue dividends to help prepare for retirement. As your salary increases, so should your contributions. It’s hard to think ahead and plan 30 or 40 years out. Statistics from MarketWatch* show that approximately 62% of us have less than $1,000 in their savings account and 21% don’t have a saving account at all, according to MarketWatch.

Here are some suggestions to consider when preparing for retirement: insurance and investments.

  • Most companies offer a 401K plan. At least take advantage of matching dollar for dollar; it is like the company is giving you free money.
  • Consider life insurance. It covers your liabilities and may provide security for those left behind.
  • What about not being able to care for yourself as your health deteriorates? Hopefully that won’t happen, but having Long Term Care (LTC) insurance will ensure you’ll have the assistance you need.
    • It is a win–win situation. If you need it, you will have it. If you don’t need it, then that could mean your health remained good.
    • You can still maintain your independence and not have to depend on family members to care for you.
    • If you don’t think LTC insurance is affordable, work with a reputable agent who understands the many features and benefits it has to offer; there are almost infinite combinations to meet your needs.
    • The younger you buy it, the lower your rates will be. Most likely, you won’t have health conditions that prevent you from being insured or rates that are too expensive to add to your budget.
    • Remember too, the key to LTC insurance is that you don’t have to spend down your assets to receive care.
    • One more thing that a lot of people don’t think about. You don’t have to be elderly to take advantage of long-term-care insurance coverage. Long-term care is just that; care that is needed for a long time. Remember Christopher Reeves?

For more information about INSURE U, visit http://www.insureuonline.org or click here to listen to Rita Moreno’s public service announcement.

*Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings; December 23, 2015.

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