2015 AFBA Fall Newsletter

Chairman & President’s Message

 

As your Association approaches its 70th year of service, it has never been as financially strong or better prepared to support the generations of AFBA members and their families in their time of need and in their daily lives. Our low-cost life insurance coverage, underwritten by 5Star Life Insurance Company, has no combat or terrorism exclusions, and offers an emergency death benefit of up to $15,000 sent out within one business day of notice.

AFBA Scholarship - Since 2004, the Charles C. Blanton scholarship has been available to candidates for use towards an undergraduate degree at an accredited college of up to $10,000 per family per year for a maximum benefit of $40,000 for college tuition and fees. The scholarship is provided to the surviving spouse or children of an insured AFBA member who dies as a result of combat or a first responder who dies while involved in operations at the scene of an incident. Over 116 families are now eligible for this program.

Salute to Veterans - We are reminded by the upcoming Veterans Day holiday to express our gratitude to all the men and women who have served. AFBA salutes all veterans. Our office will be closed in observance of Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11.

Enhanced service to the National Guard - I am very pleased to announce an AFBA and 5Star Life Insurance Company Consolidation with The Shuey Agency. This strategic consolidation will enhance State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI) Provided to National Guard Soldiers and Airmen through Guard State Associations. read more »

2015 Soldier-Citizen Award - I am honored to have received this award from The American College of Financial Services. read more »

Newest Member Benefits and Services to Better Serve You - AFBA continues to maintain strategic alliances with like-minded organizations to better serve our members.

Need a new mortgage or is it time to refinance – or do you need an auto loan? You can now access world class financial services through Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed). read more »

Considering Long Term Care? AFBA, working with LTCI Partners, LLC, now provides a more comprehensive long-term care insurance offering. Access five long-term care insurance companies to meet your long-term care insurance needs. read more »

Are you prepared for an emergency? In light of the recent tragedies in the Carolinas, we have provided an emergency checklist to help you cope in the event of an emergency. read more »

Help Us Better Serve You - We continually seek new ways to improve our products, member benefits, and member services. The best way to do this is to ask the experts – you, our members. Please visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/AFBAsatisfactionsurvey to complete a quick survey. Upon completion of the survey, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 gift card. We appreciate your participation and value your feedback. We hope this survey will help us meet your expectations and improve our overall service to our members and their families.

Tell Your Friends About Us - AFBA reaches out to support all of those brave men and women in this great nation who may go into harm’s way. This includes members of the uniformed services, first responders, government employees and families of each group. Referrals are the greatest compliment. Please send your interested friends and family to www.afba.com. or ask them call us at 800-776-2322.

 

General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart, USAF (Ret.) Chairman & President



 

Veteran’s Day

Since its inception following World War I, Veterans Day has evolved over the years in name, date and traditions, but the purpose of the holiday has always been to honor the men and women, living and dead, who have served in U.S. Armed Forces.

Veterans Day is observed on November 11, regardless of the day of the week it falls. November 11 marked the end of World War I and its significance helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


Enhanced Service to the National Guard

Effective 1 September, The Shuey Agency (TSA) consolidated with AFBA and 5Star Life Insurance Company. Our two organizations have enjoyed a successful partnership since 2002; working with State Association leaders to build what we believe is the best State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI) program in the country for the Soldiers and Airmen of the National Guard. This move allows us to operate more seamlessly as we continue to focus on providing outstanding service, value, and protection to Guard members and their families, as well as offering programs that enhance State Associations’ revenue. Click here for the press release giving further information. 


Solider-Citizen Award to General Ralph Eberhart

Congratulations to our very own General Ed Eberhart on being the 2015 recipient of the Soldier-Citizen Award presented by The American College of Financial Services. The Soldier-Citizen Award was established in 2014 to recognize extraordinary individuals who have served honorably in the United States military, achieved success in the financial services industry, and who have selflessly given back to society and their community.

General Eberhart attended a ceremony hosted by The American College with a number of fellow industry leaders on August 20, 2015 in Lake Geneva, WI.

The press release regarding this honor can be found at http://www.theamericancollege.edu/assets/pdfs/News_Release_2015_Soldier-Citizen_Award.pdf


World Police and Fire Games

Fairfax County, Virginia hosted the 2015 World Police and Fire Games from June 26th 2015 to July 5th 2015. The Opening Ceremony was held at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on June 26, 2015 to lots of excitement.

The World Police & Fire Games constituted a spectacular international sporting event, offering police officers and firefighters from around the world an opportunity to showcase their athletic excellence in over 65 sporting events, with an estimated 12,000 competitors from over 70 countries.

Aligned with our core mission to “serve those who serve this great nation,” AFBA sponsored the 2015 World Police and Fire Games in a show of support to First Responders for their great effort to make our lives safer.

During the World Games, AFBA had an Exhibitor Booth in the Athlete’s Village.

Teamwork is everything when it comes to representing a company during a public event. The AFBA team working at our exhibitor booth provided information to firefighters and police athletes who approached our booth to learn what AFBA stands for and how we serve those who serve.

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Comprehensive Preparedness Guide

We all know that having an emergency preparedness checklist of supplies and equipment is a must to prepare for emergencies or disasters and keep our family and business safe. Somewhere along the line, many people find themselves entirely too busy to take the time for any kind of long term emergency preparedness.

Here are some articles on the importance of Emergency Preparedness. Also, included is a short survival kit list of some essential supplies and equipment that are very basic to disaster kits and hopefully get you in the right direction to at least prepare a little bit.

This will be a good base of items to think about and you can add or change items as you see fit.

 

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Protect Your Loved Ones:

Review Your Beneficiary Designations

Congratulations! By purchasing and maintaining quality life insurance coverage provided by AFBA, you’ve taken a huge step toward safeguarding your loved ones’ financial futures.

The beneficiary designation is the person/trust/entity to whom the proceeds will be paid at the time of your death. Please review your beneficiary designation at least annually and notify us immediately of any changes, even changes of address.

Minors:

By law, a minor cannot directly receive proceeds of life insurance coverage. If a minor becomes the beneficiary of life insurance, the court will have to appoint a guardian for that minor to accept the proceeds on the minor's behalf. To avoid delays or added expense in processing life insurance proceeds, we suggest the naming of a trusted person or entity as the beneficiary or the establishment of a trust on behalf of the minor(s) as the life insurance beneficiary rather than naming a minor(s).

Divorces:

Many states remove a former spouse as beneficiary based upon the presumption that, upon divorce, the insured no longer intends to designate a former spouse as the life insurance beneficiary.

In all cases of divorce, it is our recommendation that upon the granting of the final divorce decree, the insured person should update his/her beneficiary designations. If the insured person wishes the former spouse to be maintained as the beneficiary of the life insurance, the insured person is required by state regulations to re-designate that former spouse as the beneficiary using the terms "former spouse" or "ex-spouse" as the relationship on the appropriate change of beneficiary form.

Click here to download our change of beneficiary form.

You’ve already taken the big step to protect your loved ones — don’t let it get outdated. Please review those beneficiary designations on a regular basis. 

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8 Ways Veterans Can Continue To Serve After The Military

 

For many veterans, one of the most significant things learned in their time in the military was the importance of service to others. A large percentage of veterans want to continue to help their communities even after being discharged. The commitment to service is so ingrained in a veteran’s personalities that many seek alternative ways to continue helping those around them. AFBA has listed several ways veterans can continue to serve their communities after leaving the military. 

1. Volunteer with local veterans groups
One of the most rewarding things former servicemembers can do is to help other veterans with the transition to civilian life. Seek out veteran advocacy groups and find out what ways to help. 

2. Participate in fundraising activities
Whether it is a bake sale for an elementary school class field trip or collecting donations for local first responders, getting involved with fundraising can be an excellent way to help promote development in your community. 

3. Be a listening ear
Former servicemembers have likely experienced some difficult things in life. Use those memories and learned coping methods to help others who may be struggling. Host a support group for fellow veterans or community members who need a little extra help getting from day to day. 

4. Join a nonprofit
The goal of nonprofit organizations is to provide a service that will improve the community in some way. These programs often have difficulty finding volunteers to assist with the day to day operations and special projects. Prior military experience often creates highly organized individuals prepared to tackle tough projects. Make a difference and find a nonprofit that needs these skills.

5. Organize a community event
Veterans are looked to for our leadership. Organize an event like a community clean-up, a family-friendly activity day or a block party. Not only will this strengthen community relations, it allows for veterans to reconnect with neighbors and friends missed during service. 

6. Become a mentor
Children need positive role models to look up to. Fulfill that role by mentoring the youth in your community. Consider coaching a Little League team, tutoring at the local high school or volunteering to help at-risk teens.

7. Donate blood
Don’t underestimate this simple act. Many blood banks are often low on supplies, and every donation can save someone's life. This is an especially useful form of service for those with rare blood types. 

8. Lend a hand to the homeless
Veterans homelessness is a big issue in the media right now. However, former servicemembers are not the only group of people affected by it. Help your communities in a big way by raising the money for a transitional housing community. By fundraising and organizing a build, housing may become available for the less fortunate members of your community. Donate your time to a local food bank or soup kitchen for more immediate results.

Life after service does not have to mean life without service. There are plenty of opportunities for veterans to get involved with their communities and continue serving. In the words of author Howard Truman, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." If service is what makes you come alive, then that is something you should pursue.

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Safeguarding Your Retirement with Long-Term Care Insurance

Scott Williams, President, MarketPlace Group a Division of LTCI Partners

Retirement planning is more challenging than ever. For years, people were able to rely on the proverbial three-legged stool (pension, social security, and private savings), to help assure a secure retirement. These days, that stool is more than a little wobbly and it is difficult to imagine that anything will change in the future.

Few employers still offer the defined benefit pension that was a mainstay of retirement. In many cases, traditional pensions have been replaced by 401k plans, which were hard hit during the economic downturn. Social security is threatened by the ballooning deficit, with changes to the current structure all but certain. Even private savings, while on the rise, are suffering as people contend with rising food and gas prices, not to mention unemployment.

If you’re lucky enough to have a retirement nest egg, you want to do everything you can to safeguard it. One potential threat that you may want to consider is the need for long-term care. Often overlooked as part of retirement planning, long-term care is the kind of care you may need when you are no longer able to perform some of the basic activities of daily living, like bathing or dressing, without assistance. Since approximately 70% of people who reach age 65 will require some period of ongoing assistance or supervision, due to physical or cognitive impairment, it is important to understand the implications. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, accessed September 25, 2009).

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your medical insurance covers long-term care or that government programs will foot the bills. Medical insurance is intended to cover acute illness that you will recover from – not chronic, debilitating disorders that can lead to the need for long-term care. Medicare and Medicaid can offer some help, but only after stringent requirements are met. And like Social Security, both programs are under considerable strain because of limited resources. Relying on any of these options may result in your having to pay out-of-pocket for your own care.

For this reason, many financial planners are now recommending the purchase of long-term care (LTC) insurance as a way of helping to protect your assets. The coverage is designed to pay for care in a variety of settings, from your own home to a nursing home setting. The premiums for the coverage are far less than the amount you would have to pay for your care, should you ever need it. Since costs vary by state of residence and kind of care, you can determine coverage amounts by considering where you might expect to receive a particular kind of care in the future.

Many people start considering this insurance coverage in their late forties and early fifties. This is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, you must be in good health to be accepted for coverage. If you wait to apply and your health changes you may not be able to purchase a policy. Second, long-term care premiums are based on your age when you buy the insurance, so the younger you are, the lower your premiums. But if you happen to be over 60 it may not be too late either.

AFBA has a Long-Term Care Insurance Program that allows you the opportunity to work with salaried LTCI advisors who work exclusively by phone – no agent coming to your home. No pressure – we make the process of understanding and owing long-term care insurance easy.

Click here for What you Need to know about Long-Term Care Insurance.

For additional information on the AFBA Long-Term Care Program please call or clickwww.getltci.com/afba here for more information or call 855-581-6647.

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Special Discounts for AFBA Members from GEICO

Save even more on insurance from GEICO!

With GEICO enjoy:

·         Savings for multi-car policies, good student, safety features, and more.

·         24/7 support, online or by phone, for claims bill paying, policy changes, and more.

·         Great policy rates for renters, motorcycles, and much more.

·         Storage protection plans with reduced premiums.

·         75 years of service to the military.

Get a free quote: http://www.geico.com/mil/afba or call (800) 368-2734.

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Discount amount varies in some states.

GEICO contracts with various membership entities and other organizations, but these entities do not underwrite the offered insurance products. Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Discount amount varies in some states. One group discount applicable per policy. Coverage is individual. In New York a premium reduction may be available. GEICO may not be involved in a formal relationship with each organization; however, you still may qualify for a special discount based on your membership, employment or affiliation with those organizations. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, One GEICO Plaza, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2015.

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PenFed Mortgages: Helping AFBA Members Do Better

Whether you are in the market to purchase a new home, need an equity line of credit, or want to refinance your mortgage, PenFed's mortgage lending programs will match your needs and budget.

Consider a Fixed Rate Mortgage with PenFed. Competitively priced rates, combined with our easy online application and our free 60 day rate lock on home purchases with a ratified sales contract and refinances, make these programs an attractive choice for doing better financially.

PenFed's Adjustable Rate Mortgages [ARM] are straightforward programs that get frequent industry recognition. Our adjustable rate mortgages are available for home purchases and refinances.

Take a look at what PenFed offers and decide which program is right for you. Visit PenFed.org/AFBA  or call (800) 247-5626 to learn more.

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AFBA Members are Invited to Apply for Auto Loans from PenFed

PenFed's Auto Lending programs provide the flexibility and all the extras you seek as you try to do better with your finances:

  • New car financing available up to 110% of MSRP - including taxes, title and tags
  • Used car loans available up to 110% of NADA Avg. retail value

  • No down payment required

  • Convenient online application process

  • Various lending terms available

If you're thinking about buying a car, why wait? To get behind the wheel of a new or used car with PenFed, visit PenFed.org/AFBA today.

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Emergency Assistance Plus Provides a Crucial Safety Net

Any time you have an accident or sudden illness while traveling, AFBA Emergency Assistance Plus provides a crucial safety net that helps pay for emergency medical transportation expenses your health or travel insurance generally will NOT cover. With more than 20 assistance benefits, EA+ steps in to provide Medical Evacuation, Medical Assistance, Travel Assistance, and Assistance for Companions.

For more information, visit www.emergencyassistanceplus.com/afba or call toll free 1-855-352-3032.

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Store Your Digital Assets and Asset Information

Have you or your family considered a document protection and retention program? If not, let Assets in Order be your secure digital file and document protection resource.

AFBA has entered into an exciting marketing alliance with Assets In Order (AIO) through which AIO will be allowed to extend its Legacy Lockbox platform to AFBA members as a complement to our life-insurance programs. The Legacy Lockbox is a secure online planning and storage service that organizes all of your documented and digital assets in one central location to be accessed by you or your loved ones when needed.

With your Legacy Lockbox, you can be sure that all of your digital assets and private information will be safe for coming generations. Family photos, videos, insurance documents, as well as final wishes and words of wisdom can be preserved for years to come.

How Does It Work?

Store Your Digital Assets and Asset Information
With your Legacy Lockbox, you can store various digital assets as well as asset information. From lists to files, we keep everything consolidated on a secure server.

Add Verifiers
Add friends and family that will be able to verify a passing, in the event that one is reported.

Add Recipients
Recipients are trusted individuals that will receive your asset information and carry out your final wishes when the time comes.

Report Event
Friends and family can login to the system to report a passing.

Automated Asset Information Notification
Once a passing has been verified, Recipients are notified and given access to digital assets and asset information. They will receive their own password key to access the account.

Membership Has Its Benefits

As an incentive to join, all AFBA members receive a complimentary Legacy Lockbox subscription for 60-days. Thereafter, renewals are discounted to only $14.95 per year, a 25% savings and benefit because of your membership in the AFBA.

Sign Up today at www.assetsinorder.com/afba and get started protecting your digital assets. The Legacy Lockbox is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet your needs!


Save with the AFBA TRICARE Supplement Plan

Enroll in the TRICARE Supplement Plan and receive reimbursement for:

  • Inpatient and outpatient cost shares
  • Prescription drug co-pays
  • Excess charges up to the TRICARE legal limit

What does this mean for you?

Choosing the TRICARE Supplement Plan will provide you with worldwide coverage that wraps around your TRICARE benefit plan giving you the protection you need and want for you and your family.

We offer supplement programs for:

  • TRICARE Standard
  • Prime
  • Reservists
  • CHAMPVA

With the uncertainty of our health care system and yearly increases in premiums, rest assured that you will have stability with the AFBA TRICARE Supplement Plans.

Don’t pay more than you need to for health care. Enroll at www.AFBA-tricare.com or call us at (855) 311-1478.

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