Spring 2017 is here and the seasons are changing.
So we have changed along with the time and moved the office from Des Plaines to Oakbrook Terrace.
With improved technology and greater security measures, we are also able to offer more variety through even more A+ rated insurance companies. More products, more services, and a larger office with more staff growing to help everyone out with their financial and insurance needs.
Exciting times ahead. Are you ready to come along for the ride?
Today is the day is that will set the future for the next several years. Not to be political and choose one side or the other, all I can say is that the options we have seem to be getting worse every 4 years. The hatred being thrown around, the bias in one way or the other, is to the point of despicable.
We used to have candidates and elected officials that expressed honor, morality, discipline, strength. They had strong views to make not just a strong country but a strong and unified people. To make a strong and unified country.
We made great advances in technology and education, but we fell behind. We started to falter. This country got strangled by greed, crooked people, angled laws that favored those allies of law makers. Pay off's and bribes behind closed doors to make new regulations that everyone will follow.
And what have we, as a people, have done? We believe that the next leader will make change. We look at our advances in our technology by the version number after our phones. 4, 5, 6, 7 and look out here comes the latest technological advance - 8.
You can ask any senior citizen, and I hope some of you do, and ask them what they remember what this country was like when they came here. What the condition of the country that they left was and ask why they decided to come to this country. Not freedom, that phrase is overused. Honorable leaders made a country worth coming to. But now we are a country of hand outs. We have to hand out things to earn votes and not earn votes through respect. Now there are scare tactics used, lies, misleading statements. And this is from all parties, all angles, all political people and people that strongly put their faith in these political fiends.
We are losing our way as a people and as a nation. We lost sight of what we can do and instead ask what is in it for us.
I hope and pray to God Almighty that whatever choice the lost people make for the next several years, that we can all survive it. I have had my fair share of disasters because the world changed, the country changed, the economy changed, and so did my career change. It was gone in a flash. All by greedy people who made up laws and rules and regulations that nobody could understand and then all the pieces fell apart.
On this election day, vote your choice. This is your right in this country, to vote. Please do it.
Friday November 4th, 2016 is the parade of a lifetime. The Chicago Cubs took the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Such an amazing feat for the city and the fans are so proud.
It was such a beautiful day in November for a parade. We were all truly blessed in so many ways to have great weather to celebrate a great year. No matter what happens in future years to come we can all say that we were here to experience it. I took my young children to see the Cubs parade and why not, this may be a once in a lifetime or maybe we can do it again. Either way I wasn't going to take any chances to say, we can see that next year, and not go or watch it from the TV.
My children loved seeing the Cubs on the tops of the buses going down Michigan Ave. But as little kids can be they wanted to eat right after, and so we did. I would have loved to have seen the excitement in Grant Park but it wasn't in the cards for us that day. Little kids can just pick the easy way out of things some times. But they had fun with what they did do and see. I hope they remember this for a long time to come. And with the way Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat, we can all bet that we will be seeing these photos for a long time to come.
To our Chicago Cubs, have a great winter break. You guys deserve to spend time with your families now. You have made us all Chicagoans proud.
Oh an my kids stopped to get a quick photo with Peter Bear from The Peninsula Chicago. Such great people there, and a great place to stay.
It has been a long time coming, 108 years ago to be exact. The curse of the goat is finally gone. I won't say dead but it is pretty darn well what I want to say. It was a very exciting game to watch. And with today's technology we can watch it again and again, and again. And what an exciting game to watch again. Going into extra innings was amazing and the pitching was incredible. Both teams played great. Cleveland Indians put up a great fight and they were in the lead for so long.
To win 3 games in a row after being down so far, most people surely counted the Chicago Cubs out right after game 3 but to see these guys struggle and fight and come back the way they did made it more exciting. The Chicago fans were in the streets celebrating and even today they still celebrate, and this weekend there will be even more celebration. I can hardly wait for the Chicago Cubs parade. I am certainly going to be taking my kids because this may not happen again for another very long time or it may happen again next, year, you just never know.
I can be certain that Chicago will be definitely dieing the Chicago River Blue for the parade.
#GoCubs #WorldSeries2016 #ChicagoCubs
Well here I am in sunny Florida for a quick business trip and the skies are sunny. The weather looks beautiful. Even with all of the preparations going on for the ever approaching Hurricane Matthew. As the storm approaches, tension rises and the media is promoting fear and death and near panic.
I am sitting int he airport waiting my turn to fly out as scheduled. As I sit in the bar at the airport sipping my drink I am looking at the television and the media is showing images and videos of everyone flocking out of the Carolina's. Everyone leaving but only trucks going in.
I cannot believe the sight of it because here I am in the area of Florida about to be struck like a bolt of lightning and everyone is so calm and relaxed. Comments from the taxi drivers and hotel staff with: it's just a lot of rain, it will blow over. I see the lines of people at the gas stations and there is the media saying it is a 4 hour wait for gasoline, and I see cars at each pump but not a whole heck of a lot after that. Around 10-12 people standing in line at the propane tank filling pumps, but that is pretty typical because not every gas station sells propane. I can't help but wonder.
In the meantime, the storm is definitely coming. A company I visited closed operations at noon, regardless of how beautiful the skies looked. They know it is coming. But they are all calm about it. No panic, no fear, just organized people doing their job before punching out and going home to board the windows up.
I had seen on the news that Hurricane Matthew has dropped to a category 3 but is returning to a category 4, and is expected to make landfall by Thursday. Now I am hearing that it may circle back around after hitting the eastern coastline going up as far as Boston.
I think the native Floridians have a grip on things.
I am not sure why this article didn't post earlier but let's try this again.
So the whole health insurance Open Enrollment is right around the corner again and there are lots of stories in the media going around about the expected increase in rates for everyone. Obamacare is being questioned and more and more Health Insurance companies are leaving the Affordable Care Act marketplace. Already the Obama funded Land of Lincoln health insurance company has defaulted on payments, are no longer taking on new clients, and no longer accepting insurance producer applications. It sounded like they were on the verge of explosive growth but instead they are imploding.
Only time will really tell what the future holds for many more insurance companies. That and the next presidential election will really determine what will be happening with health insurance for the nationally funded and sponsored Obamacare program.
So what choices will we citizens have for health insurance?
We can still buy our own health insurance and be able to write a portion of those premiums off as tax deductions on our tax forms. Or if you have a small business you can get a full deduction for your business by offering health insurance to yourself and your employees. And the best part, they pay their own way.
Blue Cross Blue Shield has one of the largest PPO networks, personally speaking in Illinois that is. But for the individual policy holder, that network shrank in the beginning of 2016. But if you owned a small business and had at least 50% of the employees sign up for a health insurance program then you can have the largest PPO network that they have.
Aetna and Humana have merged forces and have come up with some great products, but it is a little more costly than the Blue Cross plans.
When shopping for health insurance, make certain you ask or find out:
1. Network name
2. Does your current doctor accept it as In or as Out of Network
4. Co-Insurance, very important is the coinsurance. Find out if it is 0% or 30%
5. Prescription medications, costs, availability, and possible deductibles.
6. Annual out of pocket (OOP). This is where payment plans can be set up. Investigate it closely.
7. And lastly the actual cost of insurance.
If the first 6 don't work for you, than number 7 doesn't matter at all. Don't go for the cost of insurance first.
I hope this helps people understand a little bit of what to expect for the future of health insurance. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or call me at (847) 384-9271
Here are some interesting facts that maybe you knew, or maybe you didn't. Either way, if you get more of these little tid bits it will make you a better player at Trivial Pursuits.
Just 6 life insurance companies have failed in the last 5 calendar years (2012-16) as of Friday 8/26/16 and were taken over by state insurance departments. A total of 105 banks have failed over the same time period and were taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (source: National Organization of Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Associations, FDIC).
Did you know that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson announced on 9/07/08 (i.e., 8 years ago) the government’s plan to take control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Treasury Department initially pledged up to $200 billion of financial support in anticipation of future mortgage defaults. Fannie and Freddie actually received $187 billion of taxpayer aid, but have paid back $247 billion for a $60 billion profit for taxpayers, equal to a+3.5% annualized gain (source: Treasury Department).
This one is a kick in the pants, the national debt, $19.5 trillion today, is projected to reach $28.2 trillion as of the end of fiscal year 2026, i.e., 10 years from now (source: Congressional Budget Office).
As Labor Day weekend approaches we must remind ourselves about the importance of staying calm while driving in heavy traffic conditions. A few little ideas could be to listen calm soothing music juat for the drive, also don't have so much coffee or any heavy sugar drink before getting into traffic, and most importantly don't drink alcohol and drive.
If you are driving the car, and the kids typically drive you crazy half hour into the drive, try having one parent in the back with the kids to tend to their needs while you focus on the road. Family singing helps keep everyone in sync while making the drive more bearable. You could find that this is the time to make family memories.
And finally, ignore the other drivers out there. Focus on your own driving while listening to soothing music. Keep your phone as far away from you as possible to avoid distractions. That simple text could cost you that $500 deductible.
From all of us at NorthShore Insurance Center, have a happy and safe holiday weekend.