Gelinas Financial Group, Inc.

LISTEN, UNDERSTAND, RESEARCH, HELP. Money management has a new reality. Financial-planning efforts must consider “the whole client.” We offer a multi layer approach that starts with education. We strive to gain your trust then deliver the results you seek. At Gelinas Financial Group, Inc., our passion is supporting our clients by adding value: You need information to make correct decisions. We’ll help you achieve higher levels of success and better process management through cutting-edge solutions, training, mentoring, and continuing education. Our objectivity and independence mean you get the financial-planning and risk-management solutions that meet the unique demands of your present situation. We offer our expertise in the following areas: Financial Planning Retirement Planning Insurance Investment Coaching Annuities More Hope is not a strategy. We meet with our clients regularly to scrutinize their investments and make adjustments.

Voluntary Employee Benefits: Something For Everybody

Author ShawnaKreis , 1/18/2017

men-1979261_1280 - SmallVoluntary benefits provide insurance products that your workers purchase through your company using payroll deduction at a group rate significantly lower than they could get on their own. These programs can include a wide variety of benefits, insuring everything from workers’ cars and homes to their pets. However, the most popular products include life policies, health-related coverage's – dental, vision, cancer, critical illness, hospital confinement, and long-term care – and disability income replacement. (Some employers also offer such non-insurance benefits as prepaid legal services and discount purchase programs).

Everybody wins with voluntary benefits. Your employees will enjoy:

  • Value: As noted above, group buying power allows workers to buy products at significant discounts.
  • Flexibility: Employees decide how to spend their discretionary income on the benefits of their choice – a “Chinese menu” approach.
  • Simple, painless tax-free payment. Small deductions from each paycheck, often using pre-tax dollars, are easier to handle than annual or quarterly payments.
  • Accessibility and convenience. Employees don’t have to shop for coverage.
  • Underwriting advantages: Voluntary life and health benefits are usually available on a “guaranteed issue” basis.

Your business will benefit in a number of ways.

  • Enhanced recruitment, higher employee morale and reduced turnover- from showing your workers that you care about providing them with a “safety net” that can help protect their health and their savings, while saving money.
  • Low cost of providing benefits (other than minimal administrative expenses).
  • Lower payroll taxes for each participating employees.
  • Reduced impact of any health coverage changes that might be required by the Affordable Care Act.

For more information, get in touch with our agency at any time. We’re here to serve you.

Don’t Stick Your Loved Ones With Student Debt

Author ShawnaKreis , 1/11/2017

Student Education Loans 2012 - SmallCollege students are graduating deeper in debt than ever, as tuition and fees keep escalating while family incomes stagnate. The average student debt jumped to nearly $30,000 for the Class of 2012, compared to $26,000 in 2011, according to the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access and Success. Average student loans in 2012 were even higher for newly minted physicians ($167,000), veterinarians ($152,000), and attorneys ($125,000).

If you’re a young professional with debts on this scale, you might well find it difficult to pay off these loans during the early years of your career, before you earn enough to build up savings. If you died before paying your loans, who would be responsible for the balance? Although federally financed student debts are forgiven in case of the borrower’s death, the burden of payment for a private loan would fall on your family or the guarantor (co-signer) of the loan – most likely your parents.

Not to worry. A term life insurance policy can cover this risk, so your loved ones won't take a financial hit when they're already reeling from grief. The policy will cover you for a fixed period, such as 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. You can either buy coverage for as long as the loans are likely to be paid off, or have a co-signer (for example, your mother) purchase a policy on your life, with herself as the beneficiary.

You can obtain this financial peace of mind for pennies a day. A 20-year, $250,000 term life policy for a healthy 30-year-old costs only about $150 a year, according to LIMRA, a life insurance trade group.

For more information, just give us a call. We’re always here to help.

Life Insurance And Chronic Illness: Reality Check

Author ShawnaKreis , 1/4/2017

im-insurance-grad05 - SmallJust because you have a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t mean you can’t afford life insurance.

A nationwide survey by Genworth Financial concluded that many Americans fail to buy life coverage because they have a chronic illness that they believe will make insurance unaffordable. The study of 24,000 adults found that between 39% and 54% of those aged 18 and 64 with common, self-reported pre-existing conditions don’t have a life policy. (Overall, more than 118 million American adults went without life insurance in 2012, continuing a trend of fewer people buying less coverage).

However, recent advances in medicine and wellness care are making it easier for people to manage chronic conditions. At the same time, the insurance industry is using more sophisticated underwriting practices to provide preferred rates to people with less-than-perfect health, allowing companies to balance the need the need to price policies competitively with their ability to pay claims.

"We need to redefine the word 'healthy' in the context of life insurance eligibility," says Janet Deskins, Genworth Senior Vice President for Product Development. "For adults with conditions such as anxiety, asthma, depression, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea, life insurance can still be an affordable part of their overall financial plan, especially if they’re actively taking steps to manage their condition."

Eric Tyson, author of Let’s Get Real About Money and Personal Finance for Dummies, points out that not all insurance companies gauge risk the same way; “Some companies have a better understanding of certain medical conditions. You may be able to get much better rate that you expect. The key is managing your condition well.”

Even if you’re not in the best of health, the professionals at our agency would be happy to help you find quality life insurance coverage at an affordable rate.

Happy Holidays from Gelinas Financial Group!

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/21/2016

It’s the Holiday season and we just wanted to say

‘ Thank You ’

and that... It’s been a pleasure working with you this year... Hope you and your family have wonderful Holidays and... A Happy New Year.

Survey: Employers Neglecting Wellness Best Practices

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/14/2016

Health-1 - SmallIn their efforts to control health care costs, most businesses offer their employees wellness programs, which often use incentives to boost participation. A recent nationwide study done by benefits software and solutions provider Bswift, found that more than half of employers that had been surveyed, are overlooking crucial practices that could increase worker involvement in these programs that would help keep employees healthy, reducing costs and boosting productivity.

“High levels of participation are critical for success, but companies are falling short when it comes to outcomes based incentives that reward participants for their actions and increase engagement.” says Bswift Executive Director Brad Wolfsen. “To move the needle on wellness, assessments must be objective, progress must be measurable, and employees need to invest in their own wellness success.”

The study reports that while 85% of large companies and 81% of smaller companies offer wellness programs, only 44% have more than half of their employees using them. Although more than three in four large companies (78%) and nearly seven in ten smaller ones (69%) use incentives to spur participation, the message apparently isn’t getting through.

Bswift recommends that employers shift their focus to results-based incentives. For example, only 15% of large business offer employees “carrots” or “sticks” based on biometric thresholds, even though more than three in four (77%) have automated biometric testing in place, up from 61% last year.

“What it boils down to is that many companies are making benefits administration too difficult,” says Bswift CEO Rich Gallun. “As businesses peruse such strategies as wellness programs to control health care costs, they’ll need to make more effective use of automation to measure outcomes and encourage employee participation.

Our agency’s employee benefits specialists would be happy to review your program and offer their recommendations, free of charge.

Your Disaster Plan: Continual

Author ShawnaKreis , 11/30/2016

MP900414115 - SmallYou want your disaster plan, also known as a “business continuity” plan, to be complete, accurate, functional, up to date, and able to meet your recovery objectives. To ensure that you meet these goals, there’s no better way than a “live test.”

You can create buy-in among managers and staff by providing a test scenario that's specific, realistic, detailed, and comprehensive.

Consider this real-world example: A television communication company in Miami was completing its disaster plan when it learned that a powerful hurricane was headed straight toward Southeastern Florida. Fortunately, because the business had several days’ warning, it was able to implement the plan rapidly and communicate it to employees. Although the company was prepared for the worst, the storm struck to the south and west, near Key West.

Although there was no significant damage in the Miami area, the exercise tested important components of the plan, such as the ability of the business to:

  • protect equipment and strengthen the building in a timely and orderly manner
  • activate and maintain an alternate transmission site
  • test backup electrical generation and other equipment under adverse weather conditions
  • communicate emergency technical instructions to affiliate stations throughout the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world
  • sponsor a shelter for emergency storm personnel
  • release and recall staff in an orderly basis

A post-disaster meeting led to a number of refinements in the plan. Most important, the exercise confirmed the ability of the company to maintain important business activities at a pre-established acceptable level, with minimal impact to its customers and revenue stream.

If you’d like advice on testing your company’s business continuity plan before disaster strikes, just give us a call.

Employer Sponsored Disability Insurance: Meeting A Need

Author ShawnaKreis , 11/17/2016

MP900385963 - SmallA study by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) spotlights the value of employer sponsored disability coverage in helping meet the health and financial well-being of workers.

According the Social Security Administration, one in every four employees will use their disability coverage at some point.

Despite this need, the nationwide survey found that fewer than two in five workers (39%) in the private sector have short-term disability (STD) coverage through their employers and only one in three (33%) have employer sponsored long term disability coverage (LTD).

Studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Mathew Greenwald & Associates have found similar rates of participation in these programs.

CFA Executive Director Stephen Broback says, “Surveys have shown that disability insurance is a critically important part of the social safety net”. . . “that plays an essential role in protecting the emotional and financial lives of workers.” Based on the study’s findings, he urged “all employers to offer the option of obtaining disability coverage.”

The survey also found that when businesses don’t offer LTD, many workers would buy it for themselves if they could receive the lower group rates available through employer sponsored coverage. Most disability plans cost workers between $10 and $30 per month, and the average monthly premium for STD coverage comes to $18.

More and more employees are benefiting from these plans, an estimated 650,000 disabled workers received employer sponsored LTD payments last year.

If you’d like to offer your employees this valuable “peace of mind” benefit, or for a complimentary review of your disability plan,– feel free to get in touch with us at any time. It’s our pleasure to serve you.

Three Ways To Boost Your Workers’ Financial Health

Author ShawnaKreis , 11/10/2016

MP900411794 - SmallThe financial well-being of your employees affects their health, their productivity and your bottom line!

A recent nationwide survey by Purchasing Power, Inc. found that:

  • A high percentage of employees suffer significant financial stress. More than one in four workers surveyed (28%) find it hard to meet monthly household expenses and nearly half (44%) have less than $2,000 in emergency savings.
  • They bring these concerns to the job. More than four in ten (44%) worry about personal finances during work hours.
  • This stress leaves them less engaged at work and reduces productivity. Nearly three in ten employees (29%) deal with personal finances during work hours and almost half of these (46%) average two to three hours a week on money issues.

Purchasing Power Chief Revenue Officer Elizabeth Halkos offers some recommendations to help your workers maintain their engagement and productivity at the office:

  1. Help them reduce debt by offering education, either in groups (through webinars or with a live speaker) or individually so that workers can learn about topics such as budgeting, intelligent use of credit and savings programs. A referral to a qualified credit counseling agency can provide a useful follow-up.
  2. Give them access to responsible budgeting tools. Offering non-traditional voluntary benefits, such as employee purchase programs ( which allow workers to acquire high-ticket items and educational services on a “forced saving” basis through payroll deduction) can help reduce their financial stress significantly.
  3. Encourage employees to participate in retirement programs such as a 401(k) plan. However, before workers do this, advise them to deal with debt and budgeting issues and tuck away a nest egg.

Our Benefits experts stand ready to help you ensure financial peace of mind for your workers. Just give us a call.

More 401 (K) Participants Seeking Professional Help

Author ShawnaKreis , 10/26/2016
Although most workers accept responsibility for financing their retirement and rely primarily on their 401(k) plans to get them there, many workers aren’t sure that they can manage the 401kplans effectively, according to a Schwab Retirement Plan Services nationwide survey with more than 1,000 participants. Nearly nine in ten participants (89%) believe they’ll be responsible for funding their “golden years” through a 401(k). The anticipated use of these plans fuels this self-reliance: • 61% report that the 401(k) is their only or largest source of savings; • 55% have increased their savings rate in the past two years; and • 70% say their plan is in better shape than ever. However, that savings in a 401(k) is not enough to instill confidence for many participants: • 52% find their investment explanations are even more confusing than those of their health benefits; • 57% would like an easier way to determine the best investments; and • 34% feel stress over allocating their plan dollars correctly. Of the workers surveyed, 61% want personalized investment advice on everything from asset allocation to risk tolerance and retirement income planning. Investment confidence nearly doubled when workers have the help of a financial professional. More than two in three respondents (61%) expressed confidence in making the right choices with professional advice, compared with one in three (32%) who relied on only their own abilities. “Getting more workers engaged in professional 401(k) advice should be a top priority for employers,” says Steve Anderson, head of Schwab Retirement Plan Services. “At Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc., participants who used third-party, professional 401(k) advice tended to increase their savings rate, were better diversified, and stayed the course in their investing decisions.” Sounds like sound advice.

Five Keys To Choosing Permanent Life Insurance

Author ShawnaKreis , 10/19/2016
Although both term life insurance and permanent life policies have their advantages, if you prefer permanent life, here are key guidelines to help you choose the best option:
  1. All policies are not created alike. Whole Life insurance combines a fixed premium with a guaranteed cash benefit and a death benefit. Universal Life offers a flexible premium plan that works like a combined term life insurance policy and bank account; you pay as much money as you want and the leftover funds paid will earn a variable interest rate. Variable Universal Life is similar, except that you can choose between mutual funds in which to invest your cash value.
  2. Because permanent life is written for a lifetime, rather than a limited term, you will be required to take a medical exam – the better your health, the lower your premium.
  3. Permanent life provides a tax-free investment vehicle. In most cases, a loan against the cash value of your policy will not be not taxable – and cash withdrawals (for tuition, medical expenses or other emergencies), up to your basis in the policy, will be tax free. What’s more, the "forced savings" of permanent life can help you build a financial safety net.
  4. Check the reputation and financial stability of the insurance company, as well as the underlying performance of its investments.
  5. You’ll pay more for permanent life than for the same amount of term insurance. Premiums depend on your health, age, and gender, as well as how much coverage you buy. Permanent life policies have sales charges, administrative fees, a mortality risk charge and fund management fees. If you cash in your policy during a certain period, you might be charged a surrender fee.
Our Life insurance professionals stand ready to offer you their advice on making this important decision.