“When we were younger, we had more bills to pay, a home mortgage payment, kids in the house and so on. Many of us chose a term life insurance policy,” said Paul White, financial advisor for Thrivent Financial, with offices in Litchfield and Atwater. “As we get older and the kids are out of the house and the house is paid off, many people ask themselves if they need as much life insurance or any at all.”
White has witnessed firsthand the benefits of life insurance and how it can support and boost a family after the death of a loved one. He has also watched families struggle when no life insurance or inadequate life insurance was in place.
White’s job is to ensure that his clients get the policy they need – not too much, not too little—so their family is protected when they are gone.
“When a couple retires, there are Social Security payments,” said White. “If one spouse passes away the lowest amount of the payments go away, and the expenses are still similar, with small reductions in medical and grocery bills. That missing Social Security payment may greatly impact the surviving spouse.”
The same goes for pensions.
“There can be a 50 percent or 75 percent reduction in pension for the surviving spouse,” he said. “If Social Security and pension drop and expenses only drops a little, there could be an issue. In addition, the surviving spouse may fall into a new tax bracket the year following their spouse’s death, which also will drop down the standard of living. It is kind of a double whammy.”
Making sure the surviving spouse can keep the family home and maintain his/her same lifestyle are two factors to consider.
“You may not have nearly as much as you think,” said White. “That is why life insurance is so important. Life insurance can pick up the gap created by reduced Social Security, pension changes and tax filing in the surviving spouse’s income.” White likes to sit down with each retiree or pre-retiree individual or couple and discuss their situation before coming to a conclusion on what policy will best suit their needs.
Thrivent Financial offers term and permanent life insurance (universal life, variable life and whole life) and can use a combination of the two when needed. For retirees, permanent life insurance is a popular choice because of its tax benefits and cash value.
“Permanent life insurance is nice for retires because the death benefit is tax free (to beneficiaries),” said White. “You also have the option to leave something as a charitable gift, maybe a legacy to the children or the grandchildren. It is a tax-free gift to the next generation.”
“None of us know how long we are going to live, so being prepared for that unknown is important in protecting your family financially after you are gone,” said White.
Thrivent Financial has been providing life insurance options since 1902 and has a variety of plans.
“Thrivent Financial rates are very competitive, and we always compare very favorably when stacked against other insurance companies,” he said.
In addition to helping people with their financial and insurance needs, White is also extremely active in his community helping people and groups in a variety of ways. Thrivent Financial is a not-for-profit organization that is owned by its members. Because of this designation, giving back is an essential part of the company.
“In July, I’ll be making my fifth trip to Guatemala through the Thrivent Builds program,” said White. “We plan to build three houses down there this year. The houses are not fancy, but they are very important to the families in Guatemala. The families who receive these homes are very excited about them and will use these houses for future generations.
The Guatemala trip has about 14 people going right now. White said there is room for a few more, and those interested should contact him to get more details.
White is active in his church, is a member of the Litchfield Rotary Club, the former president of the Atwater Chamber of Commerce and is on the Litchfield Ecumen Board of Directors. He is also the founder of a golf tournament called the “Tournament of Duty” (www.tournamentofduty.com) which is designed to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Those interested in supporting the program but do not have an interest in golfing can send a donation to White with the check written out to the Wounded Warrior Project. Those interested in sponsoring a wounded warrior, a veteran who has been wounded in battle, can sponsor a team ($300) so that the veterans on that team can play for free that day. Those checks can be written out to Island Pine Golf.
“New this year is a bean bag tournament, so if you are interested in that instead of golf, you can still come down and support the event,” he said.
If you would like to talk with Paul White about life insurance, his Guatemala trip, the Tournament of Duty or any of the services provided by Thrivent Financial call 1-800-641-6803. The Litchfield office is located at 403 North Sibley Ave., Litchfield, MN. The Atwater office is located at 126 North 4th Street, Atwater, MN. You can also email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Wounded Warrior Project is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thrivent Financial.
Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. They are also licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit Thrivent.com/disclosures. If requested, a Thrivent Financial representative may contact you and financial solutions, including insurance, may be solicited.