Posts tagged with "life insurance"

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Financial Future

Securing Your Financial Future

Mark Williams, CEO Brokers International

When it comes to securing your financial future, the best time to start planning is today. There are a lot of tools and products available to help put a plan together, but they all have one thing in common: the earlier you take advantage of them, the better off you’ll be.

Studies have shown that younger individuals, particularly millennials, tend to prefer savings over retirement accounts. Whether that’s because they lived through the Great Recession and saw what happened to older generations whose retirement strategies were rooted in the stock market, a lack of financial literacy, or something else altogether, the fact remains that younger generations have a more conservative mindset regarding financial planning and investing.

Many people put off retirement planning until retirement itself moves more into focus. But to maximize the impact of your efforts to plan for a secure financial future, start as early as you can. Here’s where you should start.

Workplace 401(k)s

For many people in the workforce, a 401(k) is offered through their employer. Saving money for the future in a tax-advantaged vehicle is a wise move, but for those whose companies offer a 401(k) match, it’s a no-brainer to maximize that source of free money. Due to the power of compound interest, even a small regular contribution makes a major difference over time.

Consider this example. If you invest $50 a month into a 401(k), at an average 7% annual rate of return, that investment adds up. After 15 years, you’ll have invested $9,000, but it will be worth over $15,000. That same $50 a month after 30 years will amount to $18,000 out of your pocket, but it will have grown to nearly $57,000. And if you invest just $50 a month for 45 years, that $27,000 investment will be worth just under $171,500. (You may not get 7% every year, but as an illustration, the value is clear.)

Annuities

Planning for your financial future can be difficult when you may not even have a view of that horizon. You don’t know what your life will look like, what your financial needs will be, and what resources will be available to you once you are no longer working.

Annuities provide a great response to the uncertainty of long-range financial planning. It’s the only financial product available that guarantees an income stream for life — once you turn on that income stream, it’s fixed. Fluctuations in interest rates or the marketplace won’t affect it. An annuity will provide you with a paycheck every single month until the day you die — and some products even allow you to extend that benefit to your spouse or children.

Life Insurance

This is the big one, but many people overlook life insurance because they won’t be able to take advantage of it themselves. But ask yourself, at any stage of life, if you don’t make it home one day, who relies on you to provide financially? More than anything, insurance is a form of safety and protection, for you and for those you love. It’s critically important for someone who is married with children to have life insurance in case of tragedy, to be able to help cover debts, provide a future source of income and even allow space for grief without financial anxiety.

But even for single young professionals, just starting off their careers, life insurance should be a primary consideration in financial planning.

Consider a young, single, 23-year-old individual who may not have anyone who depends on their income. Why would that person want to purchase a life insurance policy in that situation? In part, because they don’t know what their situation will be like in 1, 5 or 10 years, and a 20- or 30-year term life insurance policy will provide financial safeguards for some of the possibilities that may arise. Additionally, there’s a popular saying in the insurance industry: money pays for life insurance, but health buys it. When you are young and healthy, you’ll never be able to get a life insurance policy as cheaply as you can at that point.

Just as you never know if or when your circumstances may change and you’ll find yourself wanting a life insurance policy to protect the financial interests of someone you married five years after initially deciding not to purchase a policy, you may also receive a diagnosis in that same five-year period that makes life insurance impossible (or prohibitively out of reach).

If you buy life insurance when you’re young and healthy, you can take advantage of the best rates possible and provide a blanket of financial security for your loved ones.

Plan Ahead

Financial planning isn’t a lot of fun for most people, but it is necessary. Whether you are aiming for a specific short- to a mid-range financial goal or turning your eye toward your eventual retirement, it pays to start thinking about securing your financial future as early as possible. The cost of doing so when you are young is comparatively lower than if you wait 10, 20, or 30 years to make some of the same decisions.

If you’re young, take advantage of your long time horizon and plan accordingly. If you’re older and already feeling close to retirement, you may not have taken advantage of the power of compound interest but it’s still not too late to reallocate some of your assets and shore up your financial situation as much as possible.

For anyone, I would strongly recommend seeking out the advice and experience of a financial professional — they will understand all of your available options and know best how to construct a strategic plan to help you reach your goals.

Vaughn Lowery illustration by Allison Christensen for his book Move Like Water x Be Fluid produced by 360 MAGAZINE

Move Like Water × Be Fluid

By Katrina Tiktinsky

Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, is set to release his first book this month. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.

This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.

The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Both Joseph and Vaughn Lowery are members of the first intercollegiate historically African American organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others. 

In 1920, his grandmother, Agnes Christine Moore Lowery (the little girl in the blue dress, also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha), came with her grandmother to become the first black to vote in Tennessee. The kids’ book, The Big Day, depicts their journey the day she voted, now available on Amazon here.

Photo of LaJUNE by Armon Hayes for 360 Magazine

Photo: Armon Hayes, Talent: LaJUNE

360 Magazine is also now selling one of a kind home goods via Chairish, a curated marketplace for the best in vintage and contemporary furniture, decor and art. Check out this piece designed by 360’s founder Vaughn Lowery.

In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.

As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.

Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives. 

The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.

Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.

Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.

Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.

Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.

Chapter 5: Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.

Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.

Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.

Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”

Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.

Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.

Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving. 

Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid, by Vaughn Lowery, is available this month exclusively on the 360 MAGAZINE’s website. 360 MAGAZINE has received numerous accolades, and has recently been featured on Dancing with the Stars. Stay in touch by following both Lowery (@vaughnlowery) and 360 (@360magazine)

Additionally Vaughn has an audio book titled, “Say Uncle: The Story of Vaughn Lowery” which loosely based on his childhood. It is available for here on Amazon Music. For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid is available in PDF format on Blurb.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid is available in hard copy format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books and Target.

Signed copies of Vaughn’s memoir,  Move Like Water × Be Fluid, are available in our shop.

Cemetery illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Covid-19 Funeral Assistance

FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Task Force Undertake a Historic Endeavor

National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association Partner with FEMA to Reimburse Funeral Expenses

The National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc (NFDMA) has partnered with FEMA to provide support for the agency’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Task Force to undertake a historic endeavor: reimbursing eligible funeral expenses to those who incurred them in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021 through their dedicated call center.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial reimbursement for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. The NFDMA, and additional stakeholder groups, will give FEMA their input on the best ways to provide this assistance and help with outreach to families and communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. The NFDMA is dedicated to fulfilling FEMA’s mission to help before, during and after disasters and are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.

African American funeral directors have had a vast involvement with many historical events, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been no exception; said Dr. Hari Close, NFDMA President and Owner of Hari P. Close Funeral Service. I am honored to worked with FEMA to provide some relief for the thousands of families and community members we have helped through this difficult time.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will reimburse expenses to individuals that paid out of pocket or with life insurance for funeral services and interment or cremation. Potential applicants with any receipts received for expenses that are not related to funeral services will not be determined eligible expenses. Eligible expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation may include but are not limited to transportation, transfer of remains and headstone.

Those needing assistance are asked to call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number at 844.684.6333, TTY: 800.462.7585, starting April 12th 8am-8 pm CT Monday through Friday.

Click here for more information on the assistance program and eligibility.

About National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association: As the only African American National Funeral Association, whose members consist of professional funeral directors and morticians and embalmers; NFD&MA was organized under the name of the Independent National Funeral Directors Association in 1924 under the leadership of R.R. Reed. It was organized by a group of licensed funeral directors seeking to maintain high professional standards for the benefit of the public and their own business community. More information available here.

About FEMA: FEMA’s mission is to help people, before, during and after disasters. For more information, please visit the FEMA website.

relationship illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Insurance for Valentine’s Day Let-Downs

Survey shows percentage of those suffering Valentine let-downs, finds women caught cheating more often than men, and more.

The leading online resource for health, auto, home and life insurance for more than 20 years, Insurance, recently surveyed 2,000 individuals to determine how frequently Valentine’s Day disasters occur. The good news: most (83%) report escaping relationship drama around the holiday. But, for those who endure heartache, finding highlights include:

  • 27% broke up with someone
  • 20% had a serious argument
  • 65% of men caught partner cheating (vs. 35% of women discovering an unfaithful partner)
  • 52% of men initiate break ups (vs. 48% of women calling it quits)

The complete survey results are available: 5 heartbreaking scenarios—insurance after divorce.

“It’s understandable that insurance may not be top of mind when going through a stressful break up or divorce,” acknowledges Michelle Megna, editorial director for Insurance. “But failing to assess life, homeowners, auto and home insurance can be costly. Our guide makes it easy for people to understand where they may be exposed to financial risks so they can efficiently make any necessary insurance coverage changes.”

Insurance checklist during divorce

Life insurance: Consider changing the beneficiary or setting up a life insurance trust for the benefit of any children.

Home insurance: Ensure the correct name is on the policy and/or secure renters insurance if moving out of a shared home. The guide explains what to do if homeowners are underwater on their mortgage and/or leaving a home unoccupied.

Auto insurance: It is possible to stay on the same auto insurance policy until car ownership is determined. But, assess your estranged spouse’s driving habits, speeding tickets and/or accidents. It may be more cost-effective to separate your auto coverage before finalizing a divorce.

Health insurance: If an individual wants to remain on a former spouse’s health plan after divorce, it may be possible to obtain COBRA coverage for up to 36 months. COBRA is generally a high-cost option and it may be more cost effective to purchase an individual high-deductible health plan.

The report includes an interactive map showing divorce and marriage rates by state, along with their differences from national averages.

Megna is available to elaborate on break up survey findings and answer questions about how people can best assess any insurance coverage changes that may be important in the wake of divorce.

About Insurance.com

Insurance is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST), a leader in providing performance marketplace technologies and services to the financial services and home services industries. QuinStreet is a pioneer in delivering online marketplace solutions to match searchers with brands in digital media. The company is committed to providing consumers with the information and tools they need to research, find and select the products and brands that meet their needs.  Insurance.com is a member of the company’s expert research and publishing division.

Insurance.com is a trusted online resource dedicated to educating consumers on auto, home, health and life insurance, developing relationships directly with carriers to offer consumers comparison rates from multiple companies. Since 2001, Insurance.com’s industry-first online tools, data-based reporting and experienced experts have helped consumers make informed insurance-related decisions, so they can choose the right insurance for their individual needs.