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Cardinal Gibbons Council #2521
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Recent articles


August 2018
Have you insured your most valuable asset
Is your income protected if you become sick or injured and cannot work? Your ability to work and earn an income is your most valuable asset. Yet a disability could prevent you from earning that income. Just one year of a disability could eliminate your savings.

I would like to show you that Income Armor, an individual disability income insurance product from the Knights of Columbus, should be a key part of your overall financial plan and family's protection.

If you are ill or injured, Income Armor provides monthly benefits to help you meet living expenses and maintain your standard of living. Your monthly benefits help you pay your mortgage and other monthly bills, while your savings and retirement assets remain intact.

In short, if you have a job and don't have a way to protect that paycheck, you should seriously consider Income Armor today. I look forward to meeting with you.

July 2018
The pitfalls of replacing coverage
We all know the old adage, “the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence.” When it comes to replacing your existing Knights of Columbus life insurance with coverage offered by another company, the adage holds true. Perceptions are deceiving. A move to the other side of the fence might seem like a good one, but it can leave you with less green in your wallet — in some cases, a lot less. That’s why it pays to remember another old saying, “Read the fine print.”

There are many reasons to keep your existing coverage in force, whether that coverage is with the Knights of Columbus or with another company. I’ll focus on the potential pitfalls of replacing coverage here — pitfalls that an agent trying to convince you that the grass actually is greener might neglect to mention.

First, all life insurance contracts contain a contestability period, which allows the insurer to contest claims made for a period — typically two years — after the contract is issued. Chances are this is no longer an issue with your current coverage.

Second, it’s unlikely that you can obtain the same amount of coverage, for the same premium, that you were able to obtain with your existing contract. The two factors that determine how much you’ll need to pay for life insurance coverage are age and health. Certainly, you’re older now than you were when you took out your current coverage. There’s no way around that one. And you have to ask yourself, has your health changed during that time? Is your blood pressure the same? Your cholesterol? Have you gained weight? All these can factors affect the amount of coverage you’ll get for your premium dollar.

If someone encourages you to replace — or worse, drop — your existing coverage, please call me. I’ll show you how your existing coverage is working for you and why replacement is rarely in your best interest.

June 2018
Our guarantees set us apart
Knights of Columbus life insurance offers something precious few other financial products can – guarantees. As long as you pay your premiums, the policy proceeds will be there for your beneficiaries should something happen to you. We call that peace of mind, and that’s what we offer with our every product in our portfolio.

We guarantee the cash value in your whole life policies will be there.

We guarantee the rates on your term insurance.

We guarantee our retirement products will provide a stream of income when you need it.

On top of those product guarantees, I guarantee that I will offer professional, high-quality service that you would expect from our organization.

Our Order is among the highest rated life insurers in North America. AM Best has rated the Knights of Columbus “A++, Superior” for 42 consecutive years. This shows our track record for excellence and security.

I would suggest that a principal reason that we were able to achieve those accolades is because we remain steadfastly committed to the vision of Father Michael J. McGivney by providing life insurance by brother Knights for brother Knights.

That commitment is an essential core value of the Knights of Columbus, and our core values permeate all levels of our organization. These principles for marketing are summed up by our Golden Rule: “In all my professional relationships, I pledge myself to the following rule of conduct: I shall, in light of all conditions surrounding those I serve, render that service which, under the same circumstances, I would apply to myself.”

Let’s talk soon to discuss how our products can bring that peace of mind to you and your family.

May 2018
We stand strong on ethical ground
Some people believe that ethics in business is a contradiction in terms. They think that in order to be profitable, a company and its leaders must abandon morality and embrace the dark, greedy side of capitalism.

At the Knights of Columbus, we know this business model is incorrect. As a Catholic organization, we understand the value and importance of our core beliefs and the original mission of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. In fact, much of the strength and financial security we provide to members and their families can be attributed to our ethical, moral standards.

More than 96 percent of Knights who buy our life insurance keep it, year in and year out. The Order takes this commitment to our members very highly. This means carefully planning when it comes time to invest. Our professional staff researches all transactions to insure that they fall in line with Catholic values. If a transaction makes them uncomfortable, they don’t make it.

“We exclude any company engaged in activity that conflicts with Catholic moral teaching: companies directly involved in abortion, contraception, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, for-profit health care that pays for any of these, or pornography,” said the Supreme Knight. “There are many companies in the pharmaceutical and communications industries that would undoubtedly provide excellent returns for us, but which are not in our portfolio because they engage in research and development or programming in ways that violate the sanctity or dignity of human life.”

In the end, the Knights of Columbus investment strategy is motivated by morality and not money-making. Yet, each year we remain profitable, increase our assets and stay dedicated to this vision that will keep the Order sound financially for generations to come.

“Faithful Catholics have choices when buying life insurance,” said the Supreme Knight. “But they know that at the Knights of Columbus their policy is supplied by an insurer that shares their moral and ethical values and is guided in all of its investment and sales practices by those values.”

To learn more about our products, contact me today.

April 2018
Update your beneficiaries
Sometimes it is easy to overlook the simplest of things.

Take the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies. If your policy was applied for and issued several years ago, it could very well be that the person you originally selected as the beneficiary is no longer the person you would want to receive the policy proceeds. If you bought the policy when you were single, for example, you may have named your parents as beneficiaries. If you have since married, your policies should be updated to reflect your spouse as beneficiary. Maybe you’ve had children who are not named on the policies.

Most people list a primary beneficiary, who is specifically designated as the first in priority to receive policy proceeds. We also encourage the naming of a contingent beneficiary, an alternate person designated to receive policy proceeds, usually in the event that the original beneficiary pre-deceases the insured.

I routinely call all of my policyholders for annual review appointments, usually near the anniversary date of your policy – the date it was originally issued. One of the matters that I’ll discuss during this review is the status of your beneficiary designations. If they need updating, and they often do, I can complete the paperwork during that appointment.

I look forward to meeting with each of you to discuss your family’s needs.

March 2018
The pitfalls of replacing coverage
We all know the old adage, “the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence.” When it comes to replacing your existing Knights of Columbus life insurance with coverage offered by another company, the adage holds true. Perceptions are deceiving. A move to the other side of the fence might seem like a good one, but it can leave you with less green in your wallet — in some cases, a lot less. That’s why it pays to remember another old saying, “Read the fine print.”

There are many reasons to keep your existing coverage in force, whether that coverage is with the Knights of Columbus or with another company. I’ll focus on the potential pitfalls of replacing coverage here — pitfalls that an agent trying to convince you that the grass actually is greener might neglect to mention.

First, all life insurance contracts contain a contestability period, which allows the insurer to contest claims made for a period — typically two years — after the contract is issued. Chances are this is no longer an issue with your current coverage.

Second, it’s unlikely that you can obtain the same amount of coverage, for the same premium, that you were able to obtain with your existing contract. The two factors that determine how much you’ll need to pay for life insurance coverage are age and health. Certainly, you’re older now than you were when you took out your current coverage. There’s no way around that one. And you have to ask yourself, has your health changed during that time? Is your blood pressure the same? Your cholesterol? Have you gained weight? All these can factors affect the amount of coverage you’ll get for your premium dollar.

If someone encourages you to replace — or worse, drop — your existing coverage, please call me. I’ll show you how your existing coverage is working for you and why replacement is rarely in your best interest.

February 2018
LTC is an important piece of the puzzle
There are many financial consultants and retirement authorities who emphasize the need for a long-term care (LTC) product for estate preservation and family protection as you near or attain the age of 60.

While many commercial life insurance companies have gotten out of the long-term care business, the Knights of Columbus considers LTC a very important piece of the family protection puzzle. The Order has been actively offering our members this product for nearly 15 years without a single premium increase on current policyholders. Members who wisely purchased an LTC plan from the Knights in 2000 are still paying the same premiums today. Even better, our LTC coverage is backed by the full strength of the Order, which remains rooted in our strong Catholic values. Talk about stability when it counts.

If we have not spoken about your need for LTC coverage in your family portfolio, please take some time out of your schedule to meet with me.

Remember, long-term care policies are purchased with your health, and you most likely will never be any healthier than you are today.

January 2018
Only Having Insurance "Through Work" Doesn't Work
Do you know anyone whose life or career has drastically changed during these years of economic downturn? It's very likely that someone in your immediate or extended family or group of friends is facing financial uncertainty. Maybe there's a possibility that you (or your spouse) could change employers, or even lose your job.

Too many people have often relied on group term life insurance as their only safety net. Often, this insurance is an employee benefit provided at low or no cost. The existence of this coverage might convince someone that personally-owned life insurance is not necessary.

But only having "through work" insurance can leave you and your family vulnerable. Most group life insurance policies are limited in amount, which may be tied to salary or some other benchmark. These numbers are often capped, and this cap may be dangerously low when compared to your family's actual needs. In fact, a detailed needs analysis that evaluates your specific situation, will likely show that any employer- provided coverage falls short.

In addition, the amount of group insurance offered is almost always reduced, sometimes dramatically, when you retire. You could one day find yourself without coverage, and if your health has changed (which it will as you age), you might also find yourself unable to secure individual protection. At the very least, it will definitely be more expensive.

While group life insurance can help, it does not replace the need for individually owned life insurance. I'll be happy to meet with you and provide a no-cost needs analysis, so you'll know exactly where you stand.

December 2017
Annuities: More flexible than you might think
Annuities are easily misunderstood, in part because of their name. When you "annuitize" the money you've paid into an annuity (plus the interest it has earned), you've chosen to receive monthly payments for life or for a fixed period.

However, annuitizing this money isn't your only option. You may also treat an annuity like a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). That is, you use the annuity as a way to accumulate savings and earn a steady interest rate. You can make withdrawals from the annuity for any reason, although you may then owe income tax on some or all of the withdrawal amount. If you do choose to annuitize, you also have several payout options. The point is, these products are flexible enough to serve a variety of needs.

Contact me if you're interested in setting up an annuity as an RRSP, spousal RRSP, RRIF, a non-registered account, or a TFSA account.

November 2017
Annuities: More flexible than you might think
Annuities are easily misunderstood, in part because of their name. When you "annuitize" the money you've paid into an annuity (plus the interest it has earned), you've chosen to receive monthly payments for life or for a fixed period.

However, annuitizing this money isn't your only option. You may also treat an annuity like a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). That is, you use the annuity as a way to accumulate savings and earn a steady interest rate. You can make withdrawals from the annuity for any reason, although you may then owe income tax on some or all of the withdrawal amount. If you do choose to annuitize, you also have several payout options. The point is, these products are flexible enough to serve a variety of needs.

Contact me if you're interested in setting up an annuity as an RRSP, spousal RRSP, RRIF, a non-registered account, or a TFSA account.

September 2017
Annuities: More flexible than you might think
Annuities are easily misunderstood, in part because of their name. When you "annuitize" the money you've paid into an annuity (plus the interest it has earned), you've chosen to receive monthly payments for life or for a fixed period.

However, annuitizing this money isn't your only option. You may also treat an annuity like a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). That is, you use the annuity as a way to accumulate savings and earn a steady interest rate. You can make withdrawals from the annuity for any reason, although you may then owe income tax on some or all of the withdrawal amount. If you do choose to annuitize, you also have several payout options. The point is, these products are flexible enough to serve a variety of needs.

Contact me if you're interested in setting up an annuity as an RRSP, spousal RRSP, RRIF, a non-registered account, or a TFSA account.

August 2017
Have you insured your most valuable asset?
Is your income protected if you become sick or injured and cannot work? Your ability to work and earn an income is your most valuable asset. Yet a disability could prevent you from earning that income. Just one year of a disability could eliminate your savings.

I would like to show you that Income Armor, an individual disability income insurance product from the Knights of Columbus, should be a key part of your overall financial plan and family's protection.

If you are ill or injured, Income Armor provides monthly benefits to help you meet living expenses and maintain your standard of living. Your monthly benefits help you pay your mortgage and other monthly bills, while your savings and retirement assets remain intact.

In short, if you have a job and don't have a way to protect that paycheck, you should seriously consider Income Armor today. I look forward to meeting with you.

July 2017
Ask eligible men to join
Today, I want to address the growth of the Order. Membership growth is the fuel that keeps this great fraternal engine running. All of our charitable works in the council, state, national and international level are thanks to our hard working members.

We also recognize that the membership blitz is a tried and true way for councils to increase their numbers. We see these pushes often in March, in celebration of Founder's Day, and again in October. These drives are successful because brother Knights are more visible than normal, during and after Masses and at special events. We must remember to ask each and every Catholic gentleman to join our ranks for the good of the Church, the community and the Order.

During the rest of the year, we often "forget" to ask men to join our ranks and bring their families into the Knights of Columbus family. You probably know an eligible Catholic man you could ask today. Chances are that the only reason he hasn't joined already is because no one asked him.

When telling a prospect about the strengths of the Order, don't forget our greatest fraternal benefit: our insurance program. This is often an interesting "selling point" to a potential member who is on the fence. Many members come into the Knighthood simply to be able to buy coverage for their family. Soon after, they realize the good our charitable works do for their community and they are proud to be members.

As your professional Knights of Columbus insurance agent, I look forward to helping us grow in fraternity in any way that I can.

June 2017
The value of life insurance for children
As a father, you worry about your children and do many things to protect them. We try to raise them right and make sure they are prepared to become adults. But have you ever thought about buying life insurance on your child?

When you insure a child, you are protecting his or her future. Did you know that one out of every six adults get rated, postponed, or denied for insurance coverage? If you purchase a policy for your child from the Knights of Columbus, it guarantees that more insurance can be purchased for that child without proving insurability.

Unfortunately, as fathers we don't have a crystal ball to tell us the future of our children. Your child could eventually have a rare disease, cancer, or be overweight. Did you know you can purchase a child's policy, in many cases, for less than $10 a month?

I've heard it said that people don't want to "profit" from the death of a child, so they won't purchase coverage on their children. God forbid something tragic happens, those funds can come in handy at a time when finances will be the last thing on a parent's mind. I have never heard a story about someone who regretted buying coverage on a child.

Contact me today to discuss the many policy options for children's plans, including 10- and 20- pay life insurance.

May 2017
LTC is an important piece of the puzzle
There are many financial consultants and retirement authorities who emphasize the need for a long-term care (LTC) product for estate preservation and family protection as you near or attain the age of 60.
While many commercial life insurance companies have gotten out of the long-term care business, the Knights of Columbus considers LTC a very important piece of the family protection puzzle. The Order has been actively offering our members this product for nearly 15 years without a single premium increase on current policyholders. Members who wisely purchased an LTC plan from the Knights in 2000 are still paying the same premiums today. Even better, our LTC coverage is backed by the full strength of the Order, which remains rooted in our strong Catholic values. Talk about stability when it counts.
If we have not spoken about your need for LTC coverage in your family portfolio, please take some time out of your schedule to meet with me.
Remember, long-term care policies are purchased with your health, and you most likely will never be any healthier than you are today.

April 2017
Ask eligible men to join
Today, I want to address the growth of the Order. Membership growth is the fuel that keeps this great fraternal engine running. All of our charitable works in the council, state, national and international level are thanks to our hard working members.

We also recognize that the membership blitz is a tried and true way for councils to increase their numbers. We see these pushes often in March, in celebration of Founder's Day, and again in October. These drives are successful because brother Knights are more visible than normal, during and after Masses and at special events. We must remember to ask each and every Catholic gentleman to join our ranks for the good of the Church, the community and the Order.

During the rest of the year, we often "forget" to ask men to join our ranks and bring their families into the Knights of Columbus family. You probably know an eligible Catholic man you could ask today. Chances are that the only reason he hasn't joined already is because no one asked him.

When telling a prospect about the strengths of the Order, don't forget our greatest fraternal benefit: our insurance program. This is often an interesting "selling point" to a potential member who is on the fence. Many members come into the Knighthood simply to be able to buy coverage for their family. Soon after, they realize the good our charitable works do for their community and they are proud to be members.

As your professional Knights of Columbus insurance agent, I look forward to helping us grow in fraternity in any way that I can.

March 2017
Annuities: More flexible than you might think
Annuities are easily misunderstood, in part because of their name. When you "annuitize" the money you've paid into an annuity (plus the interest it has earned), you've chosen to receive monthly payments for life or for a fixed period.

However, annuitizing this money isn't your only option. You may also treat an annuity like a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). That is, you use the annuity as a way to accumulate savings and earn a steady interest rate. You can make withdrawals from the annuity for any reason, although you may then owe income tax on some or all of the withdrawal amount. If you do choose to annuitize, you also have several payout options. The point is, these products are flexible enough to serve a variety of needs.

Contact me if you're interested in setting up an annuity as an RRSP, spousal RRSP, RRIF, a non-registered account, or a TFSA account.

February 2017
Income Armor
Have you insured your most valuable asset? Is your income protected if you become sick or injured and cannot work? Your ability to work and earn an income is your most valuable asset. Yet a disability could prevent you from earning that income. Just one year of a disability could eliminate your savings.

I would like to show you that Income Armor, an individual disability income insurance product from the Knights of Columbus, should be a key part of your overall financial plan and family's protection.

If you are ill or injured, Income Armor provides monthly benefits to help you meet living expenses and maintain your standard of living. our monthly benefits help you pay your mortgage and other monthly bills, while your savings and retirement assets remain intact.

In short, if you have a job and don't have a way to protect that paycheck, you should seriously consider Income Armor today. I look forward to meeting with you.

December 2016-January 2017
Only Having Insurance "Through Work" Doesn't Work
Do you know anyone whose life or career has drastically changed during these years of economic downturn? It's very likely that someone in your immediate or extended family or group of friends is facing financial uncertainty. Maybe there's a possibility that you (or your spouse) could change employers, or even lose your job.

Too many people have often relied on group term life insurance as their only safety net. Often, this insurance is an employee benefit provided at low or no cost. The existence of this coverage might convince someone that personally-owned life insurance is not necessary.

But only having "through work" insurance can leave you and your family vulnerable. Most group life insurance policies are limited in amount, which may be tied to salary or some other benchmark. These numbers are often capped, and this cap may be dangerously low when compared to your family's actual needs. In fact, a detailed needs analysis that evaluates your specific situation, will likely show that any employer- provided coverage falls short.

In addition, the amount of group insurance offered is almost always reduced, sometimes dramatically, when you retire. You could one day find yourself without coverage, and if your health has changed (which it will as you age), you might also find yourself unable to secure individual protection. At the very least, it will definitely be more expensive.

While group life insurance can help, it does not replace the need for individually owned life insurance. I'll be happy to meet with you and provide a no-cost needs analysis, so you'll know exactly where you stand.

Sept-Oct 2016
The Knights of Columbus offers a complete portfolio of top-quality products to our members and their eligible family members.

Permanent Life Insurance - Insure Your Life for Life

Term Life Insurance - Affordable Protection for Temporary Needs

Retirement Annuities - Give Yourself a Paycheck for the Rest of Your Life. Guaranteed.

Long-Term Care Insurance - Protect Your Assets. Prepare for the Future.

Disability Income Insurance - Shield Your Income from Illness and Injury

Jul-Aug 2016
A founding notion: protecting the breadwinner's income
While jobs are safer in 2016, accidents, injuries, and illnesses that can impact your ability to work still happen. Most, in fact, do not happen on the job site or place of employment. Did you know that a recent study revealed that more than 95 percent of the long-term disability claims on file were not work related?

The "loss" of the breadwinner does not have to mean that person's death it can also mean the loss of the breadwinner's income. Consider that loss for a moment. How would your family fare if a source of income suddenly stopped? Could a dual-income family manage on one income stream? What about young families with a working father and a mother who cares for the children? What if his income halted due to an accident or illness?

I've heard some people say they have coverage at work, but too many aren't sure what this coverage entails, how much income it would provide or for how long. Having this protection counts for something, certainly, but it isn't "yours" it's provided by the company for which you work at their discretion. It could be eliminated tomorrow. That's where a personally-owned disability income insurance product, like Income Armor, comes into play. It can offer valuable income replacement in the event of an injury or illness. While Father McGivney likely never imagined such a product in 1882, I'm sure he would wholeheartedly endorse the protection it can provide to a family. If you have a job, you must know about this coverage.

May-Jun 2016
Think you are too old for coverage? Maybe not
You are never too young or too old to consider purchasing life insurance. If you have a financial need for coverage, or will in the future, a permanent life insurance policy can be just the thing you need.

When you are young and presumably healthy, coverage will be very inexpensive when compared to purchasing the same policies when you are older.

If you've put off purchasing coverage, or you realize that you may need additional insurance, the Order may still be able to help you, even if other companies cannot. In fact, in 2012, the issue age of our permanent life insurance products was extended to age 80. Naturally, your health, and whether or not you smoke, will be taken into consideration, so underwriting standards for risk and age apply.

This change came in response to a question I've heard before: "My wife and I are almost 80, do the Knights offer anything to take care of our final expenses?" And it can also help the members who thought they were "too old" to attain our coverage.

This extension of our coverage ages allows me to help members I couldn't help before. I look forward to discussing coverage with you.

Mar-Apr 2016
I write to you today to share some wonderful news. On November 3rd, your Knights of Columbus surpassed $100 Billion of life insurance in force, further cementing our position as one of the largest life insurers in North America.

It is a tremendous achievement, and one that we should all celebrate - let me tell you why.

It's not about the number. It's not that $100 Bilion isn't impressive - it is. It's not that it doesn't matter - it does. But it's about the purpose and the potential of those dollars, not the dollars in and of themselves.

It's $100 billion of protection for brother Knights and their families. It's $100 billion of real money, waiting to be paid out, to keep the hopes and dreams of Catholic families alive when a breadwinner suddenly dies. It's a $100 billion promise that our members have entrusted to us.

I smile when I see that number. I smile, not because I like big numbers. It's not the number that impresses me. But the Supreme Council office tells me that on an average night that 74 brother Knights passed away. 74 of them. And yet only 30 have insurance with the Knights of Columbus. There are 44 widows somewhere out there to whom we have nothing to give. To be sure we have prayers, and dinners, and fundraisers. But we don't have enough. We don't have enough to send the children to school. We don't have enough to save the family home. We don't have enough to make a terrible time easier.

That $100 billion number makes me smile because I know that bringing that number up, means bringing the number of unprotected widows down. I know that sometime in the not too distant future, 100 will become 150, and 150 will become 200, and subsequently the number of brother Knights left uninsured at the time of their death will decrease, the number of widows and orphans provided for will increase, and Catholic families will flourish, despite the odds, because of the diligent planning of a brother Knight - just as Father McGivney would have wanted.

What a tremendous number. What a point of pride for you and for me.

For those of you that have given the Knights of Columbus the privilege of helping to protect your family's financial future: thank you for your trust.

For those of you that haven't yet: there has never been a better time to turn to your Knights of Columbus. We are here to protect you, just as Father McGivney intended us to be. That is a claim that no other company can ever make. We are the premier Catholic insurance company, and we are yours.

Jan-Feb 2016
Only having "through work" insurance doesn't work
Do you know anyone whose life or career has been drastically changed during these years of economic downturn? It's very likely that someone in your immediate or extended family or group of friends is facing financial uncertainty now. Maybe there's a possibility that you (or your spouse) could lose your job or change employers.

Only having "through work" insurance can leave you and your family vulnerable. Most group life insurance policies are limited in amount, which may be tied to salary or some other benchmark. These numbers are often capped, and this cap may be dangerously low when compared to your family's actual needs. In fact, without a detailed needs analysis, any employer- provided coverage will likely cause a shortfall at the insured's death.

While group life insurance can help, it does not replace the need for individually owned life insurance. I'll be happy to meet with you and provide a no-cost needs analysis, so you'll know exactly where you stand.

November-December 2015
Annuities: More flexible than you might think
Annuities are easily misunderstood, in part because of their name. When you "annuitize" the money you've paid into an annuity (plus the interest it has earned), you've chosen to receive monthly payments for life or for a fixed period.

However, annuitizing this money isn't your only option. You may also treat an annuity like a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). That is, you use the annuity as a way to accumulate savings and earn a steady interest rate. You can make withdrawals from the annuity for any reason, although you may then owe income tax on some or all of the withdrawal amount. If you do choose to annuitize, you also have several payout options. The point is, these products are flexible enough to serve a variety of needs.

Contact me if you're interested in setting up an annuity as an RRSP, spousal RRSP, RRIF, a non-registered account, or a TFSA account.

September-October 2015
The pitfalls of replacing coverage
We all know the old adage, "the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence." When it comes to replacing your existing Knights of Columbus life insurance with coverage offered by another company, the adage holds true. Perceptions are deceiving. A move to the other side of the fence might seem like a good one, but it can leave you with less green in your wallet - in some cases, a lot less. That's why it pays to remember another old saying, "Read the fine print."

There are many reasons to keep your existing coverage in force, whether that coverage is with the Knights of Columbus or with another company. I'll focus on the potential pitfalls of replacing coverage here - pitfalls that an agent trying to convince you that the grass actually is greener might neglect to mention.

First, all life insurance contracts contain a contestability period, which allows the insurer to contest claims made for a period - typically two years - after the contract is issued. Chances are this is no longer an issue with your current coverage.

Second, it's unlikely that you can obtain the same amount of coverage, for the same premium, that you were able to obtain with your existing contract. The two factors that determine how much you'll need to pay for life insurance coverage are age and health. Certainly, you're older now than you were when you took out your current coverage. There's no way around that one. And you have to ask yourself, has your health changed during that time? Is your blood pressure the same? Your cholesterol? Have you gained weight? All of these factors can affect the amount of coverage you'll get for your premium dollar.

If someone encourages you to replace - or worse, drop - your existing coverage, please call me. I'll show you how your existing coverage is working for you and why replacement is rarely in your best interest.

July-August 2015
Life insurance as a gift?
The initial reaction for many people when you mention life insurance as a gift is a quick step back and a questioning stare. How morbid, they may think quietly or aloud. While it may seem that way when you first mention it, life insurance is a really thoughtful gift that can be a financial life preserver in tough times.

The problem with life insurance is the general perception. Many think of life insurance only in cases where someone dies. Life insurance should, in fact, be thought of as a precautionary protective measure for a family unit. The purchase of this product can mean saving your home, sending your children to college, and preserving your spouse's quality of life in the event of your death.

One of the times you may want to purchase life insurance for someone is when a family has a new baby. It's a great, low cost way to set money aside for the future (i.e. college tuition, housing, business start up, etc.). Of greater importance, it ensures these children will have insurance as adults, in case an illness later in life makes him or her uninsurable.

Newlyweds are also ideal recipients for life insurance. As they join their lives and financial responsibilities, young couples need to make sure that their early investments are fully protected. If something were to happen to one of them, the other may be faced with serious financial hardship. A life insurance policy is an ideal way to ensure their future and protect their assets.

As nontraditional as it may be, life insurance is a wise and caring gift to purchase for many people.

June 2015
Have you insured your most valuable asset?
Is your income protected if you become sick or injured and cannot work? Your ability to work and earn an income is your most valuable asset. Yet a disability could prevent you from earning that income. Just one year of a disability could eliminate your savings.

I would like to show you that Income Armor, an individual disability income insurance product from the Knights of Columbus, should be a key part of your overall financial plan and family's protection.

If you are ill or injured, Income Armor provides monthly benefits to help you meet living expenses and maintain your standard of living. Your monthly benefits help you pay your mortgage and other monthly bills, while your savings and retirement assets remain intact.

In short, if you have a job and don't have a way to protect that paycheck, you should seriously consider Income Armor today. I look forward to meeting with you.

May 2015
Ask eligible men to join
Today, I want to address the growth of the Order. Membership growth is the fuel that keeps this great fraternal engine running. All of our charitable works in the council, state, national and international level are thanks to our hard working members.

We also recognize that the membership blitz is a tried and true way for councils to increase their numbers. We see these pushes often in March, in celebration of Founder's Day, and again in October. These drives are successful because brother Knights are more visible than normal, during and after Masses and at special events. We must remember to ask each and every Catholic gentleman to join our ranks for the good of the Church, the community and the Order.

During the rest of the year, we often "forget" to ask men to join our ranks and bring their families into the Knights of Columbus family. You probably know an eligible Catholic man you could ask today. Chances are that the only reason he hasn't joined already is because no one asked him.

When telling a prospect about the strengths of the Order, don't forget our greatest fraternal benefit: our insurance program. This is often an interesting "selling point" to a potential member who is on the fence. Many members come into the Knighthood simply to be able to buy coverage for their family. Soon after, they realize the good our charitable works do for their community and they are proud to be members.

As your professional Knights of Columbus insurance agent, I look forward to helping us grow in fraternity in any way that I can.

April 2015
LTC is an important piece of the puzzle
There are many financial consultants and retirement authorities that emphasize the need for a long-term care (LTC) product for estate preservation and family protection as you near or attain the age of 60.

While many commercial life insurance companies have gotten out of the long-term care business, the Knights of Columbus considers LTC a very important piece of the family protection puzzle. The Order has been actively offering our members this product for nearly 15 years without a single premium increase on current policyholders. Members who wisely purchased an LTC plan from the Knights in 2000 are still paying the same premiums today. Even better, our LTC coverage is backed by the full strength of the Order, which remains rooted in our strong Catholic values. Talk about stability when it counts.

If we have not spoken about your need for LTC coverage in your family portfolio, please take some time out of your schedule to meet with me.

Remember, long-term care policies are purchased with your health, and you most likely will never be any healthier than you are today.

March 2015
The VANTAGE Annuity Advantage
Concerned about a comfortable and worry free retirement? In addition to our traditional Flexible Premium Annuity, the Knights of Columbus offers the VANTAGE Single Premium Deferred Annuity, and it may be part of the answer for you.

With a single deposit of $25,000 or more, the VANTAGE allows you to lock in a guaranteed interest rate for five years. In addition, there are several attractive renewal options once the five year period has expired, including keeping the funds in another VANTAGE Annuity, placing them in a more traditional flexible premium annuity where the interest rate can be changed on a quarterly or more frequent basis or - in the 30 day period prior to the fifth and tenth policy anniversaries - withdrawing the funds without a surrender charge.

The VANTAGE Annuity, along with our Flexible Premium Annuity, provides the guarantees that Knights of Columbus members have come to expect - guaranteed interest rates along with absolute safety of principal. In addition, we can easily accommodate rollovers and transfers free of charge.

I will be happy to meet with you at your convenience - in your home - to discuss with you in detail how the Knights of Columbus can help you to secure the comfortable, worry free retirement you want and deserve.

February 2015
Ways to pay for whole life
We live in a world of options and we are constantly bombarded by choices. Some of these make our lives more complicated, but many of these choices are created with our satisfaction in mind.

At the Knights of Columbus, every product we offer has been designed solely for the benefit of our members and their families. When I present an option to you, it's because a team of experts has discussed it at length to be certain it serves your best interest.

We have a few options on how you can provide and pay for the whole life coverage that your family needs. Many whole life policies call for premiums to be paid for your entire life or to age 100. But we also offer permanent life coverage with guaranteed cash values (and the potential to earn dividends, which are not guaranteed) through policies that offer a limited period of premium payments.

First, we offer "10 Pay Life" and "20 Pay Life." Consider paying premiums for 10 or 20 years, and never having to pay for the coverage again. The plan is "paid up" and no more premiums are due. The plan stays in force, the death benefit remains intact and the guaranteed cash value continues to grow.

A plan with similar benefits is "Life Paid Up at 65." The difference over 10 or 20 Pay Life plans is that this permanent product requires you to pay premiums until age 65. Then, premiums stop (just in time for retirement), but the plan remains in force.

Finally, the ultimate in limited pay is our Single Premium Life product. Imagine buying life insurance - permanent life insurance - and only paying one single premium? It's possible.

To learn more about these products - our long-term care insurance, disability income or retirement products - please call me today.

January 2015
Update your beneficiaries
Sometimes it is easy to overlook the simplest of things.

Take the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies. If your policy was applied for and issued several years ago, it could very well be that the person you originally selected as the beneficiary is no longer the person you would want to receive the policy proceeds. If you bought the policy when you were single, for example, you may have named your parents as beneficiaries. If you have since married, your policies should be updated to reflect your spouse as beneficiary. Maybe you've had children who are not named on the policies.

Most people list a primary beneficiary, who is specifically designated as the first in priority to receive policy proceeds. We also encourage the naming of a contingent beneficiary, an alternate person designated to receive policy proceeds, usually in the event that the original beneficiary predeceases the insured.

I routinely call all of my policyholders for annual review appointments, usually near the anniversary date of your policy - the date it was originally issued. One of the matters that I'll discuss during this review is the status of your beneficiary designations. If they need updating, and they often do, I can complete the paperwork during that appointment.

I look forward to meeting with each of you to discuss your family's needs.

December 2014
The need for membership referrals
As a professional insurance agent, one of the things I appreciate most is when one of my brother Knight clients or his wife refers another member to me. This is a great endorsement of the service I provided. It tells me that they were so pleased with what I helped them accomplish that they want me to help others achieve the safe level of financial safety and security. When I meet with you, please pass along the names of those who might be able to benefit from the analysis that I provide.

On a similar topic, there is no stronger membership recruiting tool than the referral. How many of us know an eligible Catholic male who is not a member of the Knights of Columbus? Do you have Catholic family or friends, local or not, who have yet to join? Most likely, they've never been asked and don't know enough about the Order to seek out membership on their own.

If you have names of potential members, please pass them along to your Grand Knight or me. Let us know if we can use your name when we contact the gentlemen in question. It's always more effective to tell a candidate for membership that he was recommended by a current member, especially someone he knows. If the candidate is outside the area I serve or beyond the district of the local councils, I can contact the Supreme Council in New Haven, CT, to follow up on this referral.

New members are the lifeblood of the Order. The members drive all the good deeds done by the Order. Over the past decade, Knights have given more than $1.367 billion to charity and provided in excess of 639 million hours of service. And our membership has merely scratched the surface in North America. Imagine the potential.

November 2014
Think you are too old for coverage? ... Maybe not
You are never too young or too old to consider purchasing life insurance. If you have a financial need for coverage, or will in the future, a permanent life insurance policy can be just the thing you need.

When you are young and presumably healthy, coverage will be very inexpensive when compared to purchasing the same policies when you are older.

If you've put off purchasing coverage, or you realize that you may need additional insurance, the Order may still be able to help you, even if other companies cannot. In fact, in 2012, the issue age of our permanent life insurance products was extended to age 80. Naturally, your health, and whether or not you smoke, will be taken into consideration, so underwriting standards for risk and age apply.

This change came in response to a question I've heard before: "My wife and I are almost 80, do the Knights offer anything to take care of our final expenses?" And it can also help the members who thought they were "too old" to attain our coverage.

This extension of our coverage ages allows me to help members I couldn't help before. I look forward to discussing coverage with you.

October 2014
The value of life insurance for children
As a father, you worry about your children and do many things to protect them. We try to raise them right and make sure they are prepared to become adults. But have you ever thought about buying life insurance on your child?

When you insure a child, you are protecting his or her future. Did you know that one out of every six adults get rated, postponed, or denied for insurance coverage? If you purchase a policy for your child from the Knights of Columbus, it guarantees that more insurance can be purchased for that child without proving insurability.

Unfortunately, as fathers we don't have a crystal ball to tell us the future of our children. Your child could eventually have a rare disease, cancer, or be overweight. Did you know you can purchase a child's policy, in many cases, for less than $10 a month?

I've heard it said that people don't want to "profit" from the death of a child, so they won't purchase coverage on their children. God forbid something tragic happens, those funds can come in handy at a time when finances will be the last thing on a parent's mind. I have never heard a story about someone who regretted buying coverage on a child.

Contact me today to discuss the many policy options for children's plans, including 10- and 20- pay life insurance.

September 2014
Protecting your family... business?
You already know that the Knights of Columbus is here for all your personal and family financial protection needs, but did you know that the Order can help secure your business too? As your Knights of Columbus field agent, I can help you protect the continuity of your business for years to come.

Business insurance is the term used in the insurance industry to describe the use of life insurance and disability income insurance to solve certain financial needs of businesses and their owners. The products offered through the Order can cover many needs, such as:

o - Economic loss to the business when a key employee dies;
o - Disposition of a business owner's interest upon death or other separation from the business;
o - Attraction and retention of valuable employees.

If you've worked hard to establish a business, you owe it to yourself and your family to learn about the opportunities that the Knights of Columbus can offer. With protection for the family, the business, the farm, retirement, long-term care and disability coverage, the Knight of Columbus truly is your shield for all the elements of your life.

August 2014
Long-Term Care plans offer peace of mind
Since its addition to the Order's product portfolio in 2000, long-term care insurance has provided the Knights of Columbus with an excellent opportunity to further serve members and their families. And, for our long-term care clients in the United States, a Knights of Columbus Care policy brings added value.

That added value is in the form of a service called "Provider Pathway", a program offering access to a network of long-term care providers at discounted rates. The network includes discounts on products, such as hearing aids, diabetic supplies, personal emergency response systems, and durable medical equipment, as well as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, and adult day care. This program is not available in Canada as of yet due to the limited number of providers.

Eligibility for participation in this program is open to Knights of Columbus long-term care insurance policyholders, their spouses, dependent children, and parents and parents-in-law. All providers are fully credentialed and meet state licensing requirements.

If you haven't yet spoken with me about long-term care insurance, you owe it to yourself to do so. There are a few decisions to make in choosing a "plan" - a home health care plan or one that covers facility only, benefit amounts and durations, and the length of the "waiting period" before benefits kick-in. Having a professionally trained agent - and a brother Knight you can trust - to help guide you through the process is yet another valuable benefit thatcomes with your membership. Take advantage of it; contact me today.

July 2014
Life insurance as a gift?
The initial reaction for many people when you mention life insurance as a gift is a quick step back and a questioning stare. How morbid, they may think quietly or aloud. While it may seem that way when you first mention it, life insurance is a really thoughtful gift that can be a financial life preserver in tough times.

The problem with life insurance is the general perception. Many think of life insurance only in cases where someone dies. Life insurance should, in fact, be thought of as a precautionary protective measure for a family unit. The purchase of this product can mean saving your home, sending your children to college, and preserving your spouse's quality of life in the event of your death.

One of the times you may want to purchase life insurance for someone is when a family has a new baby. It's a great, low-cost way to set money aside for the future (i.e. college tuition, housing, business start-up, etc.). Of greater importance, it ensures these children will have insurance as adults, in case an illness later in life makes him or her uninsurable.

Newlyweds are also ideal recipients for life insurance. As they join their lives and financial responsibilities, young couples need to make sure that their early investments are fully protected. If something were to happen to one of them, the other may be faced with serious financial hardship. A life insurance policy is an ideal way to ensure their future and protect their assets.

As nontraditional as it may be, life insurance is a wise and caring gift to purchase for many people.

June 2014
Our guarantees set us apart
Knights of Columbus life insurance offers something precious few other financial products can - guarantees. As long as you pay your premiums, the policy proceeds will be there for your beneficiaries should something happen to you. We call that peace of mind, and that's what we offer with our every product in our portfolio.

We guarantee the cash value in your whole life policies will be there. We guarantee the rates on your term insurance. We guarantee our retirement products will provide a stream of income when you need it. On top of those product guarantees, I guarantee that I will offer professional, high-quality service that you would expect from our organization.

Our Order is among the highest rated life insurers in North America. AM Best has rated the Knights of Columbus "A++, Superior" for 37 consecutive years. This shows our track record for excellence and security.

I would suggest that a principal reason that we were able to achieve those accolades is because we remain steadfastly committed to the vision of Father Michael J. McGivney by providing life insurance by brother Knights for brother Knights.

That commitment is an essential core value of the Knights of Columbus, and our core values permeate all levels of our organization. These principles for marketing are summed up by our Golden Rule: "In all my professional relationships, I pledge myself to the following rule of conduct: I shall, in light of all conditions surrounding those I serve, render that service which, under the same circumstances, I would apply to myself."

Let's talk soon to discuss how our products can bring that peace of mind to you and your family.

May 2014
LTC is an important piece of the puzzle
There are many financial consultants and retirement authorities that emphasize the need for a long-term care (LTC) product for estate preservation and family protection as you near or attain the age of 60.

While many commercial life insurance companies have gotten out of the long-term care business, the Knights of Columbus considers LTC a very important piece of the family protection puzzle. The Order has been actively offering our members this product for nearly 15 years without a single premium increase on current policyholders. Members who wisely purchased an LTC plan from the Knights in 2000 are still paying the same premiums today. Even better, our LTC coverage is backed by the full strength of the Order, which remains rooted in our strong Catholic values. Talk about stability when it counts.

If we have not spoken about your need for LTC coverage in your family portfolio, please take some time out of your schedule to meet with me.

Remember, long-term care policies are purchased with your health, and you most likely will never be any healthier than you are today.

April 2014
Types of funds you can rollover/transfer to the Knights of Columbus
Many Brother Knights are finding tremendous peace of mind by rolling over or transferring existing accounts to the Knights of Columbus. I'd like to highlight the types of funds you and your wife can safeguard with the Order:

IRA Roth IRA 401k 403b 457 TSP (Thrift Savings Program) Cash balance pension funds, Simple IRA, SEP, Keogh Plans?Any type of regular savings account, CD or mutual funds

The process is simple and the products are safe. Last year the Order took in almost $700,000,000 on behalf of our members in retirement plans alone. We currently have $93 Billion of insurance in force and $20 Billion of assets under management. "Let?s talk and see if the Knights of Columbus can help you with your retirement and savings plans."

March 2014
Annuities: More flexible than you might think
Annuities are easily misunderstood, in part because of their name. When you "annuitize" the money you've paid into an annuity (plus the interest it has earned), you've chosen to receive monthly payments for life or for a fixed period. However, annuitizing this money isn't your only option. You may also treat an annuity something like a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). That is, you use the annuity as a way to accumulate savings and earn a steady interest rate. You can make withdrawals from the annuity for any reason, although you may then owe income tax on some or all of the withdrawal amount. If you do choose to annuitize, you also have several payout options. The point is these products are flexible enough to serve a variety of needs.

Contact me if you're interested in setting up an annuity as an RRSP, spousal RRSP, RRIF, a non-registered account, or a TFSA account.

February 2014
Only having "through work" insurance doesn't work
Do you know anyone whose life or career has been drastically changed during these years of economic downturn? It's very likely that someone in your immediate or extended family or group of friends is facing financial uncertainty now. Maybe there's a possibility that you (or your spouse) could lose your job or change employers.

Too many people have often relied on group term life insurance as their only safety net. Often, this insurance is an employee benefit provided at low or no cost. The existence of this coverage might convince someone that personally-owned life insurance is not necessary.

Only having "through work" insurance can leave you and your family vulnerable. Most group life insurance policies are limited in amount, which may be tied to salary or some other benchmark. These numbers are often capped, and this cap may be dangerously low when compared to your family's actual needs. In fact, without a detailed needs analysis, any employer-provided coverage will likely cause a shortfall at the insured's death.

In addition, the amount of group insurance offered is almost always reduced, sometimes dramatically, when you retire. You could one day find yourself without coverage, and if your health has changed (which it will as you age), you might also find yourself unable to secure individual protection. It will definitely be more expensive.

While group life insurance can help, it does not replace the need for individually owned life insurance. I'll be happy to meet with you and provide a no-cost needs analysis, so you'll know exactly where you stand.

To learn more about our products, contact me today.

January 2014
We stand strong on ethical ground
Some people believe that ethics in business is a contradiction in terms. They think that in order to be profitable, a company and its leaders must abandon morality and embrace the dark, greedy side of capitalism.

At the Knights of Columbus, we know this business model is incorrect. As a Catholic organization, we understand the value and importance of our core beliefs and the original mission of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. In fact, much of the strength and financial security we provide to members and their families can be attributed to our ethical, moral standards.

More than 96 percent of Knights who buy our life insurance keep it, year in and year out. The Order takes this commitment to our members very highly. This means carefully planning when it comes time to invest. Our professional staff researches all transactions to insure that they fall in line with Catholic values. If a transaction makes them uncomfortable, they don't make it.

"We exclude any company engaged in activity that conflicts with Catholic moral teaching: companies directly involved in abortion, contraception, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, for-profit health care that pays for any of these, or pornography," said the Supreme Knight. "There are many companies in the pharmaceutical and communications industries that would undoubtedly provide excellent returns for us, but which are not in our portfolio because they engage in research and development or programming in ways that violate the sanctity or dignity of human life."

In the end, the Knights of Columbus investment strategy is motivated by morality and not moneymaking. Yet, each year we remain profitable, increase our assets and stay dedicated to this vision that will keep the Order sound financially for generations to come.

"Faithful Catholics have choices when buying life insurance," said the Supreme Knight. "But they know that at the Knights of Columbus their policy is supplied by an insurer that shares their moral and ethical values and is guided in all of its investment and sales practices by those values."

To learn more about our products, contact me today.