Uncovering $350/mo in savings- Client Success Story with Randy Harvey

Imagine this scenario. You’re retired and living on a fixed income. You have a life insurance policy that you try to pay a little extra into each month, and you pay a LOT for your health insurance. $400/mo to be exact! To make matters worse, The Medicare Supplement you have does not offer drug coverage, and you and your wife both take a number of prescriptions. You don’t have anything extra in your fixed monthly income to pay for your prescriptions so you’ve been racking up a hefty credit card bill. The bill now totals $8,000 and you see no way possible to pay this down, as you just keep adding to it every month with your expensive prescriptions. What would you do? Can you see any way out of this situation?

This is exactly what one couple was faced with when they met with their Cornerstone Wealth Representative Harry “Randy” Harvey, a certified Senior Advisor who was providing financial reviews to this family and their neighbors.

Believe it or not, Harvey was not only able to save this family money on their monthly prescriptions, he was able to help them completely pay off their credit card debt AND save $350/month on the cost of their health insurance! If you’d like to see how he did it, watch this month’s Client Success Story video, or read on below.

Client Success Story with Randy Harvey

 

“This family is dear to my heart,” Harvey relates. “When I met with them they felt they were in dire straights and saw no way out of their predicament.

“The couple was paying $400/month for their Medicare supplements and they did not have drug coverage included in their plan. They were putting the cost of their prescriptions onto credit cards each month, racking up over $8,000 of debt!”

Fortunately, there was a silver lining. While meeting with them and conducting a full financial review, Harvey discovered that they had been overpaying each month on their life insurance policy and this had created a cash value within the life insurance policy of over $9,000.

First, Harvey switched the couple to a Medicare Advantage plan WITH drug coverage. This cost them only $50/month TOTAL and covered both husband AND wife on their health insurance with a drug plan included! Now they no longer had to worry about putting prescriptions onto their credit card. Plus they were saving $350/month on their health insurance! That kind of savings is HUGE to someone on a fixed income.

Next Harvey facilitated a change in the couples life insurance policy. They were able to take some of the cash value into from the old policy and dump it into a new one. This gave them the same death benefit with a monthly premium that was $2 less per month than the previous plan. Finally they used the remainder of the cash value to fully pay off their credit card debt.

As you can imagine, this couple was overjoyed at the outcome!

“It was a win/win and in the end everyone went home happy,” Harvey says.

Stories like these are why we at Cornerstone STRONGLY encourage everyone to meet with a licensed representative for a financial review EVERY year! You never know what kinds of savings or opportunities may be uncovered!

Don’t hesitate! Set up a review today, at NO COST to you!

 

Randy Harvey has been helping retirees in South Carolina since 2005, and for many years before that in New Hampshire. He enjoys living in sunny Summerville South Carolina where he resides with his wife Vicki. In his spare time Randy plays golf and is an active member of his church, St. Paul’s of Summerville. To set an appointment with Randy, contact Cornerstone’s corporate office at 843-376-3350.

Cornerstone Presenting Sponsor for Pinewood Preparatory School’s Golf Classic

Always a big supporter of Education, Cornerstone Wealth was proud to be the presenting sponsor for a local school’s fundraiser back in September.

On September 28, 2018 Cornerstone proudly supported Pinewood Preparatory’s 20th Annual Golf Classic, to raise funds for the school. The event took place at the Legend Oaks Golf Club where golfers enjoyed 18 holes of golf plus refreshments.

Proceeds went to Pinewood Preparatory School.

Protecting Families with true WHOLE LIFE benefits- Client Success Story with Gary Braddy

Four Years ago when Licensed Advisor Gary Braddy visited his very first client, he knew he had found the career he wanted to be in. Watch his story by clicking here —> Client Success Story with Gary Braddy or read below.

“I was able to help people,” he said. “Four years ago I went out into the field after receiving training and the first person I ever spoke to was a man whose wife had passed away a while back and he had been under the impression that she’d had a life insurance policy with a death benefit of $10,000. Unfortunately what he’d thought was $10,000 ended up being worth only $800 because she’d had a graded death benefit.”

Gary learned that this client didn’t have any insurance himself and so at that point he was able to provide education on the type of policy that would be the best fit for the client’s circumstances.

A TRUE whole life insurance policy was put in place and now the client felt confident that he would be able to give his family the full $10,000 benefit on his passing.

“Right there at my first appointment I was able to help someone,” Gary said.

And that’s what we do here at Cornerstone. We educate and we change lives.

If you’re concerned about the true value of your insurance policy’s death benefit, contact Cornerstone today to set up an insurance policy review at no charge to you!

 

Gary Braddy has been in the industry since 2014 and resides with his family in Moncks Corner, South Carolina .

Maximize Growth and Preserve Wealth -Client Success Story- Troy Bell

Who wouldn’t want to earn the best rate of return on their investment? Who wouldn’t want to know that their life-long earnings were safe from the risks of market decline? Many pre and post retirees feel that it’s not possible to have BOTH of these options. It seems too good to be true, but the reality is, we help clients to maximize the growth of their investments AND safely preserve their wealth EVERY DAY!

Our advisor Troy Bell has just such a story he would like to share. Watch his video by clicking the link below or scroll down to read more about it.

Client Success Story with Troy Bell

“I had a client that had in excess of $500,000 increments in about 3 different banks. Her money was earning a very low rate of return, less than .04% on each investment. No one had ever talked to her about fixed index annuities. When I met this client I wanted to help her in ALL areas of her retirement planning, so we handled her life insurance needs first and then we worked on answering her health ins questions as well. She had a school aged child and two other children going off to college and I was able to consult with her on all of these area.

“Then we were actually able to pull together those investments from all three of those banks and after introducing her to a fixed index annuity we increased her rate of return and almost tripled the amount of money she was earning, on a tax deferred basis.

“She wanted to maximize growth and preserve wealth and we were able to help her accomplish those goals in a very efficient way.”

“Her investments weren’t something she was living off of, this was legacy money to leave to the children and grandchildren and she wanted to maximize growth and preserve wealth and we were able to help her accomplish those goals in a very efficient way.

“As a result she’s come back several times and purchased policies on family members and I will be helping her father with his investment portfolio as well.

“Servicing people’s needs at that level is really what I get the most enjoyment out of. It’s not a job at that point, it’s not work. It’s something you just enjoy doing because you’re actually helping someone.”

 

Troy Bell is a native Charlestonian and a 1988 graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

 Troy has a history in the financial   services industry, with past experience working as a Loan Officer and Bank Manager and as an Insurance Manager for AIG. He joined the Cornerstone team in 2014.

 His hobbies are horseback riding, swimming and tennis. Troy is also on the Board of the South Carolina      Association of Community Residential Care Programs.

 

 

 

Protect Yourself From Fraud!

Throughout history, those looking to do harm to others tend to prey on the weak and naïve, or those who lack a strong support system. Sadly, in our day, this often ends up being our Senior Citizens. Because of this, we live in a world where Seniors are often the target of financial fraud.

As a mature American, or the child of one, what can be done to make sure you or your relative does not become the subject of such abuse?

An article on MSN Money * focuses on steps that individuals and their families can take and emphasizes the importance the individual participating in the policing of his or her own finances if possible.

One important step is to consider WHY many Senior Citizens are targeted. “According to the FBI,” the article states, “seniors are targeted because they often have nest eggs, they come from a generation that was more trusting, and they’re often too proud to report the fraud. Another reason the elderly sometimes hesitate to report they’ve been ripped off? They’re concerned their relatives might see this as a sign of declining mental capacity and they don’t want to lose their independence. Smart and unscrupulous thieves know all this and try to exploit it.”

When fraud is detected, it can be frightening and confusing for the parties involved. For this reason, the FBI has come out with a comprehensive, yet easy-to-read, list detailing the different types of fraud and how to prevent them. Click here to view the information on the FBI’s Website. http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/seniors.

With all this in mind, it can be daunting to bring someone new into your financial life. At Cornerstone, we understand those fears and do our best to make your experience in dealing with us as reassuring as possible.

Feel free to take a look at this article to see more steps YOU can take to protect yourself from fraud and scams when working with a retirement planner. Protect Yourself from Fraud During Financial Review.

Information for Those Concerned With Protecting Elderly Relatives

As brought out in the article, Credit Card Fraud is one of the most common types that seniors face today. Here are a few steps that can be taken to help elderly relatives avoid becoming a victim!

Talk to your relative about email scams. You can’t be around your relative constantly, so take the time to explain why he or she should never give a credit card number by email to buy a product. These scams often promise a great product — anti-aging products, for example — but scammers need your credit card information. This type of scam also happens over the phone. Seniors get a call and are offered a new product that promises, say, youthful energy. Once scammers get your loved one interested, they ask for a credit card number to seal the deal.

Keep an eye on caregivers. Maybe your parent is still at home and has home health care a few days a week. Or maybe in a nursing facility with nurses and various medical assistants always present. Hopefully, they are dealing with professionals who are trustworthy. Just keep in mind that there are many reports of caregivers using a credit card belonging to people they’re taking care of. It’s awful that someone could stoop so low. But it happens all the time.

If you can, it’s best to visit your elderly relative frequently and shred any mail with personal information on it. If your loved one has credit card accounts, you can view account activity online with them. You can even opt out of paper statements altogether. That way, credit card account numbers won’t be within easy reach of whoever is in the room. Credit card fraud can still occur, of course, but by frequently checking your parent’s accounts online, you’ll notice if something suspicious pops up on their statement.

Even if you can’t visit often, you can still check their credit card accounts online every week from your home. But ask for permission so they don’t feel as if you’re invading their privacy.

Keep an eye on other family members. Unfortunately, family members are often the ones who rob their parents or grandparents. If you have a family member with a problem such as drug addiction or gambling debt, that’s a red flag and warrants additional caution. When people are desperate for money, they can justify taking it from anyone. They’re counting on the fact that no one will notice. You can prove them wrong by keeping on top of your relative’s credit card account activity.

Check the mail. You can learn a lot from the mail. Is your loved one getting letters from “charities” asking for a donation via her credit card? If she’s getting letters from organizations, she may have sent money to them previously. Looking at credit card accounts online is a good way to make sure she isn’t authorizing payments to fraudulent entities.

Pay attention to new friends. The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse recommends keeping track of any new “best friends.” The relationship may be innocent, but if it’s sudden and there’s an age difference, this may be a red flag that someone is planning to commit fraud.

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* http://money.msn.com/credit-cards/protect-grandma-from-credit-fraud

Stock Brokers vs. Financial Advisors

It’s Business…

“Its business,” is the excuse many professionals use when they are doing something they know is less than ethical. They aren’t doing anything illegal, they’re just maneuvering a situation to benefit the company they work for, or their own bank account, OVER the benefit of their client.

We see this frequently in the financial services industry, and it’s the reason so many individuals are leery to trust someone else to manage their money. And it’s logical to be cautious when you know that someone will make their living off of the decisions they lead you to make with your wealth.

Camouflaged under the concept of “Business is Business” many stockbrokers make recommendations to their clients that are not really in their best interests. An article found in Yahoo Finance Online* says,

“Many of those who work on Wall Street go through a process in which they gradually learn that what is perceived as “smart investing” is often unbelievably dumb. Specifically, they learn that many of the recommendations that Wall Street makes, and the transactions that Wall Street gets paid to facilitate, are not in their clients’ best interests.” The article goes on to talk about a former stockbroker named Josh Brown who left the business when he was forced to do things that weren’t really in the best interest of his clients.  He is now a Financial Advisor and says that in this position his interests and his client’s interests are more closely aligned.

Stockbrokers Vs. Financial Advisors

Most people don’t recognize that there’s even a difference between a “Stock Broker” and a “Financial Advisor,” but there is, the article says. “Stockbrokers generally work for brokerage firms and do not have to recommend trades that they think are in their clients’ best interests. Rather, they just have to recommend securities that are “suitable” (a much lower standard). Financial advisers, meanwhile, have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients.”

The article concludes by saying that someone looking for “sound financial advice” would be wise to choose a Financial Advisor over a Stockbroker.

Cornerstone proud to have a group of Financial Advisors who have a DUTY to provide their clients with more than just “suitable options”. Cornerstone advisors are required by law to make sure that they offer the very best options to anyone who comes to them for advice, and this business model pays off on all accounts. Cornerstone was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics in 2017, and has an A+ rating with the Bureau.

In addition to the state-specific laws and regulations they follow, Cornerstone itself has set very strict procedures that must be followed when their Advisors are meeting with clients. As mentioned in our previous article, ” FINANCIAL REVIEW: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FINANCIAL FRAUD we take collecting information about our clients VERY seriously. Why? Because to make the best suggestions, we must have all the information!

Investor Relations

Giving Cornerstone an even stronger ability to do the best for their clients, is the huge number of Investment Relationships they have. Cornerstone works with more than 150 different A+ rated companies (You’ve surely heard of some of them, like John Hancock, ING, MetLife, Lincoln Financial and Humana) and so their agents have the ability to compare the rates of a number of companies and find the best option for you!

Even dealing with a Financial Advisor who represents a specific Insurance Company or bank can bring on a challenge, because they may recommend the best option that THEIR COMPANY has to offer, but it may not be the best option for you overall. Cornerstone itself is not an insurance company and does not have any of its own products, so when meeting with a Cornerstone representative, clients can be assured that their Advisor has no ulterior motive in suggesting a certain product or service.

Their job is to pick the product that will save you the most money, make you the most money, or best meet any of your specific needs. When seeking good financial advice, as the Yahoo article mentioned above, contacting a Financial Advisor, such as the ones you can find at Cornerstone, is the way to go!

Feel free to contact any one of our representatives for financial advice completely free of charge!  Meet our Team.

Cornerstone Sponsors Cops Athletic Program

Cornerstone is proud to announce our recent sponsorship of the North Charleston Police Department’s CAPS (Cops Athletic Program). Their motto is, “Cops, kids and community, teaming up to make a difference” Their goal is to “inspire, educate and empower the young minds within our community with positive, lifelong educational experiences”

 

Cornerstone gives big to education!

Cornerstone is proud to announce their partnership with the Dorchester 2 Foundation, an organization with a mission to Mission: to create and build partnerships to support the advancement of education in our community.

The foundation works with the community in several ways:

Impact Initiatives

Impact Initiatives are projects that have been identified by District Two Superintendent Joe Pye and confirmed by the Foundation Board of Directors, as beneficial to learning on a large scale, but not possible within the standard budget. Often these initiatives allow opportunity for business and community partnership in addition to financial support.

Innovation Awards

Innovation Awards are submitted by district staff and are scored by leaders from the community, regional industry, and the school district. In three years, the foundation has awarded 28 grants for a total of $92,000! 18,764 students benefit from these programs annually. In December 2017, nine grants were awarded and will benefit 4,604 students.

Currently the Foundation’s Impact Initiative is a $1 Million campaign to equip the Advanced Manufacturing Center scheduled to open in 2018-2019.

In spring of 2016 a Manufacturing Advisory Committee was created to include representatives from business and industry, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development, SC Department of Commerce, SC Department of Education, local colleges and technical school, architects, SC Ready Program, Dorchester Two Educational Foundation, and district & school administrators. Goals of this endeavor are to prepare our students for well-paying jobs as well as support existing industries, play a key role in the recruitment of new industry, and build a pipeline of talented local workers able to fill the existing and forecasted labor shortage.

Cornerstone recently attended and sponsored “The Big Event” in support of the Foundation. Pictured below are a few members of the team enjoying a night of fun for a good cause!

To learn more about the foundation and how you can help, visit their website. https://dd2foundation.org/

Cornerstone Sponsors Miracle League

Giving back is so important to the Cornerstone team. This is why we are helping to sponsor the North Charleston Miracle League field and Playground.

Pictured, are a few members of our team at the kick-off awareness event Golf Tournament on Friday, March 16th with the proceeds to be used to build a portion of the park.

The City of North Charleston plans to construct an all-inclusive 24,000 square foot playground, Miracle League Baseball Field, sound garden, picnic area and more for ALL to enjoy- regardless of one’s physical, emotional, or mental abilities conveniently located in Park Circle. No place like it exists in the entire Tri-County area, which is why this project is so important to the community and why Cornerstone knew we had to help!

Check out this video to learn more about the program and how you can help too! https://youtu.be/zxsuhuZReyE

Lost Life Insurance Policies

Did you know that in the last few decades an estimated $1 BILLION dollars in life insurance benefits remain unclaimed? How is this possible? The answer is simple. Lost Life Insurance Policies. In this week’s post, we’d like to reference a recent article found on Yahoo Finance entitled “Life Insurers Pressed on Lost Policies.”*

The article begins by mentioning a woman, named Mary Lou, who was surprised to receive a check for $7,000 more than a decade after the death of her father. The check was from unclaimed life insurance policies her father had taken out previously, that his family had no knowledge of.

At the time of her father’s death, Mary Lou inquired with the insurance company with whom she knew he had policies, to see if there were any other accounts. She was told at the time that they didn’t owe her anything else. As it turns out, that $7,000 check was for three policies that she didn’t have a policy number for.

Mary Lou voices her concern for the situation as it may affect others, “Can you imagine all the millions or billions of dollars that belong to other people and they don’t know to claim it,” she says, in Yahoo’s article?

Backing up Mary Lou’s statement, state regulators estimate that over the decades life insurance companies have failed to pay well over $1 Billion in death benefits. The reason? Because it’s up to the beneficiaries to file a claim following death.  One industry official says that whatever the amount is, it’s a “very small percentage” of total claims paid. “We know the percentages represent real people and we’ve been working with policy makers on ways to ensure all policyholders get the benefits they deserve,” said the official, Bruce Ferguson of the American Council of Life Insurers.

Recognizing that new technology can help alleviate this problem, insurance companies in many states are being required to check old unclaimed policies against death databases, and to make payouts to those they owe.

Most insurance companies will probably not fight these regulations. Yahoo’s article went on to state that opposing a requirement to check the databases would be particularly difficult given that many insurance companies already check them when it’s in their interest- for example, to learn about the deaths of annuity customers because such deaths usually end the insurers duty to make payments under retirement-income contracts.

As many such modern systems are slowly being implemented into this industry, the process of handling insurance claims is no doubt going to undergo some changes. The article mentioned above referenced a number of such changes that are already taking place.

Of course we all look forward to a time when this process has been completely ironed out and everyone has a perfect way to keep track of all of the policies they and their family have. But in the mean time, the monetary figures mentioned most likely only strengthen your resolve not to be one of the many whose unclaimed benefits make up that staggering $1 Billion.

Taking advantage of free help which can keep you from becoming part of that statistic is definitely a wise course.

At Cornerstone, your advisor becomes your advisor for LIFE. They work with you to put together a portfolio with all of your information which we keep on file and make available to your beneficiaries when you pass away. This ensures that any policies you have are processed properly and your legacy is paid out to those you left it to.

Contact us today to set up an appointment where we can help you manage all of your insurance policies and investments in one place. Our services are always provided at NO COST to you!

*http://finance.yahoo.com/news/life-insurers-pressed-lost-policies-030100774.html