Security Mutual Life News & Articles

Medicare Part B: Social Security’s Evil Twin

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

For years the people at the Social Security Administration (SSA) have been telling us that your Social Security benefit is protected against inflation. The reasoning is that Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) added to the benefit will help offset future price increases.

Too bad it just doesn’t work that way anymore.

Cover Your Digital Assets

As part of preparing a carefully crafted estate plan, most people want to ensure that they leave their assets, especially sentimental ones, to the proper beneficiary.

Unfortunately, one important asset—digital property—is often overlooked. That is a critical mistake in this modern age where our technological assets (social media, memories, photo albums, and connections) often hold as much value to each of us as any other sentimental item.

Grandparents and Grandchildren: A Match Made in Heaven

by Candice Faith, CLU, ChFC
Assistant Vice President, Marketing

To say that grandparents and grandchildren have a special relationship would be an understatement in many cases. Today’s grandparents would like to assist in smoothing life’s path for their grandchildren. This desire is nothing new. In the past, grandparents left the family business or the family farm as a legacy. In today’s culture, the number of family farms is fading and the grandchildren are choosing options other than the family business.

How does the grandparent help? Some may consider a life insurance policy. This is an excellent source of funds for college, a down payment on a home, or, in other words, funds to provide the grandchild with a good start in life. The problem is that most young people do not have the maturity to manage a lump sum windfall. The money may go as quickly as it came.

C.R. Weeks Elementary School Students Help Sock Out Cancer™!

(Binghamton, NY • April 21, 2017) At a special school assembly, the students, teachers and staff of C. R. Weeks Elementary School in Windsor presented a check for $296 to the Sock Out Cancer™ initiative. But that wasn’t the whole story. During the assembly, the school’s Teacher Parent Children group (TPC) made a surprise announcement saying it would match the Student Council’s donation, for a grand total of $592 going to Sock Out Cancer™ from Weeks Elementary!

Members of the school’s student council came up with the idea of wearing crazy socks and selling carnations on St. Patrick’s Day to raise money for Sock Out Cancer™. “They’re a good group of kids and they really enjoy doing things for the community,” said 4th grade teacher and Student Council advisor Mike Trapani.

Security Mutual Life Chairman, President & CEO Bruce W. Boyea accepted the check on behalf of the Sock Out Cancer™ Foundation. “I am so impressed with these students and with their desire to help families whose lives have been affected by cancer,” said Boyea. “They have done an outstanding job and have set a tremendous example for our entire community. We are extremely grateful to them, as well as to the C. R. Weeks Teacher Parent Children group.”

This latest donation will be added to the $120,000 raised through ticket sales for a benefit concert held March 10 and through the sale of Sock Out Cancer™ Socks. All proceeds help cancer patients who need assistance paying for basic living expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, food and transportation to the hospital.

Socks can be purchased at the Wegmans Johnson City Location as well as through the hospital gift shops at Lourdes and UHS.

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Joint Revocable Living Trusts­­—Watch Out!

We continue to meet with clients to review estate plans that include a “joint revocable living trust.” Joint revocable living trusts are very troubling, and it is our strong recommendation that married couples create separate revocable living trusts.

Generally speaking, a revocable living trust is a “will-substitute.” It directs distribution of assets and management of the estate at time of death. The huge advantage of using a revocable living trust instead of a will is that probate can be avoided. Thus frustration, delays, and significant expenses can also be avoided.

Planning for College? Consider This Option

by Candice Faith, CLU, ChFC
Assistant Vice President, Marketing

If you want to help your children, grandchildren, or other family members complete their dreams and educational goals, talk to your life insurance agent about a permanent life insurance policy that is funded to grow cash value.

Sock Out Cancer™ Benefit Exceeds Goals

(Binghamton, NY • March 21, 2017) The Sock Out Cancer™ concert held March 10 didn’t just meet the event’s fundraising goals—it exceeded them by 20 percent! Security Mutual Life Chairman, President & CEO Bruce W. Boyea had the honor of announcing that Greater Binghamton’s first-ever Sock Out Cancer initiative danced past its $100,000 goal, actually raising $120,000 to help people in the Southern Tier battling cancer. The proceeds will be split evenly between the Lourdes Hospital Foundation and the UHS Foundation and will help local cancer patients who need assistance paying for basic living expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, food and transportation to the hospital.

Boyea announced the results just prior to the benefit concert performed by the internationally renowned ensemble William Close and The Earth Harp Collective. He thanked all the sponsors, particularly co-presenters Chemung Canal Trust Company, Visions Federal Credit Union and WBNG, as well as major sponsors Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP, and Upstate Shredding, LLC. He also thanked the many audience members who supported the initiative through the purchase of concert tickets and Sock Out Cancer™ Socks.

“Because of what you have collectively done in purchasing socks, tickets and sponsorships, we exceeded our goal,” said Boyea. “And I can tell you that this event doesn’t stop here tonight. The socks sold so rapidly that we placed an order for an additional 5,000 pairs so we can continue our fight throughout the year. It’s truly amazing what we can accomplish when we work together.” The socks will be available through both Lourdes and UHS.

Boyea culminated his remarks with a tribute to the 300 cancer patients and survivors in attendance. “You motivate us by being here tonight, and we want to let you know that we are here for you and our prayers are with you,” he said.

Sporting Sock Out Cancer Socks, William Close and The Earth Harp Collective then took the stage, delighting the audience with the sights and sounds of The Earth Harp®, as well as the collective’s other original instruments: the Drum Cloud®, the Bass Shield® and the Drum Jacket®.  The concert was a huge success and earned the performers a standing ovation from the highly appreciative and enthusiastic audience.

William Close delights audience with the sight and sounds of his original instrument: The Earth Harp®

William Close and the other members of The Earth Harp Collective sported Sock Out socks in support of the Sock Out Cancer initiative.

Local News Coverage

College Bound=Financially Strapped

by Candice Faith, CLU, ChFC
Assistant Vice President, Marketing

Parents wish a happy, successful life for their children. Many hope that their children will go to college as a step in the right direction, and they think about how they can guide their children toward that dream. However, few really plan for that day. So, when the time comes and the child is college bound, the parents are often feeling financially strapped.

However, planning for college is more than finances. In fact, you are planning for a life-altering event for your child and for you. It often means a change of location for the student, a change in friends, and a change in lifestyle . . . even a change in attitude. It’s a whole new world, and good preparation will enhance your child’s opportunity for success.

I’m Afraid I’m Running Out of Money

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

Running out of money has become a more prevalent fear in recent years due to market fluctuations and increasing life expectancies. Thus, the emphasis on Social Security retirement benefits. You can spend your entire 401(k), but you can’t outlive Social Security.

Protect Your Assets

by Schanker and Hochberg, P.C.
Attorneys and Counselors at Law

When clients come to us for an estate plan, their primary focus is usually to design a plan to distribute their assets at time of death. Traditionally, a last will and testament is the document used. This is the simplest method of documented estate planning.

However, wise estate planning not only includes a written plan of distribution (not to mention the myriad of other planning considerations far too broad to be included in this article), but also a method to simplify the process and reduce delays and expenses. We use beneficiary designations, gifting, and various trusts to avoid probate and mitigate impending estate taxes.