Who Gets the Call? Are Your Emergency Contacts Up To Date?

Nobody wants to think about a medical emergency happening to them. But everyone needs to recognize the importance of being prepared.

No matter your age or how healthy you are, emergency contacts are one of the most important ways to be ready in case of a medical emergency. After all, unforeseen events like car accidents, severe weather events, or natural disasters can happen to anyone, anytime. An emergency contact is more than a formality when filling out enrollment forms or completing paperwork at a doctor’s office. Immediate health issues might necessitate quick communication with family or specific healthcare professionals in times of need.

How to Choose Your Emergency Contact:

Having reliable emergency contacts can act as a safety net. Your emergency contact list should be people who:

  • Are close to you, you trust, and know your needs and wants.
  • Can talk knowledgeably to medical professionals about your medical history, current medications allergies, and chronic conditions.
  • Can make critical, life-saving medical decisions.
  • Is willing and mentally fit to take on the responsibility.
  • Also has the legal right to act on your behalf.
  • Can provide emotional support and comfort in times of distress.

How to Ensure a Reliable Emergency Contact

  • Regularly Update Information: Contacts might change over time. Whether it is a change in phone number or someone else becoming the primary point of contact, be sure to keep the information up to date.
  • Multiple Contacts: Having more than one emergency contact is always a good idea. This increases the chances of reaching someone quickly during urgent situations.
  • Clarify Roles: Clearly outline what each emergency contact is responsible for. For instance, one might be the primary contact for medical decisions, while another could be for logistical or day-to-day concerns.

The importance of emergency contacts cannot be overstated. These contacts serve as a bridge, ensuring you are always connected to loved ones and receive the care and support you need, no matter the situation. By maintaining updated and reliable emergency contacts, you can ensure the well-being and peace of mind. Likewise, being prepared for the cost of emergency medical transportation also can’t be overstated. A ground ambulance or air transport could cost thousands of dollars. Medicare may not cover this. Medical Air Services Association (MASA) provides the MASA Emergency Shield Plan for lifesaving emergency transportation services. Services are paid in full, with no deductibles, co-pays, or dollar limits. Whether you’re home or traveling, MASA Emergency Shield covers your ambulance or airlift, regardless of your age or medical condition. Plus, you can get your plan through a trusted source: NCRGEA and AMBA. Get your plan now at www.AMBAmedtransport.com/NCRGEA or call 800-956-1228.

Getting on Track to Meet Your Financial Goals

Get the Steps with Our Year-End Checklist

As you get ready to welcome 2024, it’s important to make sure you’re financially prepared. Do you have the insights and protections you need to maintain peace of mind in the new year? Here are the essential financial tips to take now.

7 Steps to Meet Your Financial Goals

Review Your Financial Plan

Whether you and your significant other have plans to travel more in 2024 or have had a medical setback and need to accommodate for the extra expenses, if there are any changes in your goals or situation, review how those expenses will impact your financial goals. Carefully plan how to make the necessary adjustments to avoid financial issues down the road.

Check-In on Your Emergency Fund

If you dipped into your emergency savings in 2023, try rebuilding it, the sooner the better. The conventional wisdom for many household financial goals is to maintain 3 to 6 months of expenses in a liquid account to help cover unexpected expenses.

Check Your Credit Report

Each of the major credit bureaus allows consumers to access one free report each year. Take the opportunity to double-check your credit score and identify any unexpected errors.

Take Steps to Lower Your Tax Liability

Do you have the opportunity to lower your tax bill by taking advantage of year-end tax loss harvesting? Not only can selling off losing investments potentially help lower your 2023 taxes, it also lets you use that money to rebalance your investment portfolio to ensure it’s up-to-date and in line with your financial goals and risk tolerances.

Year-End Charitable Donations

Another great way to lower your taxable income and increase your financial goals is through charitable donations. Research if a donor-advised fund (DAF) will allow you to receive an immediate charitable tax deduction in 2023 by filing an itemized return while having the flexibility to make donations from the DAF to your favorite charities later.

Review Estate Planning Documents and Beneficiary Designations

Regardless of your age, if you haven’t implemented estate planning documents, it’s important to do so ASAP. If you haven’t reviewed your documents in a while, be sure to do so to ensure they remain with your current wishes.

Likewise, beneficiary designations can supersede your will and trust directives. Be sure to locate and identify the designations of your assigned beneficiaries and update them if necessary.

Review Your Existing Insurance Coverage and Risk Management Needs

2024 is a new year, and with it you may also have new needs for your insurance coverage. If there have been any changes in your life or health that necessitate updating your current benefits. Additionally, maybe there are some policies you’d like to add for the additional peace of mind they can provide you and your loved ones.

As NCRGEA’s trusted benefits partner, AMBA provides knowledgeable Customer Service Associates and insightful Field Agents who are here to help you review options and determine the right coverage for you – whether it’s dental insurance, vision plans, or other policies. They’re just a phone call or an online form away. It’s nice to know that anytime you have questions about your insurance benefits, someone is ready to assist.

Request a FREE Benefits Review with an AMBA field agent at amba-review.com/NCRGEA or call 800-956-1228 Mon.-Fri 8am-5pm EST.

Please Mind the Age Gap: Planning for Couples with a Significant Difference in Age

Financial planning always has complexities, but couples with a significant age gap face additional concerns. Issues like differences in retirement eligibility dates, life expectancies, health issues, income needs, and more.

Strategies for Couples with a Significant Age Gap

  • Staggered Retirement Dates

Couples with a significant age gap may find themselves juggling different retirement dates. The older spouse may be ready to retire while the younger spouse is still enjoying prime earning years.

From a financial perspective, there can be significant advantages to staggering your retirement dates. For example, the working spouse may be able to maintain employer-sponsored health insurance until their own retirement. And the income they continue to bring into the household can reduce the need to draw from retirement assets, preserving retirement savings.

Of course, if the lifestyle challenges of one working spouse and one retired spouse prove too complex, consider a compromise. Perhaps the older spouse takes a part-time job for a few years and the younger spouse joins their partner in retirement a few years earlier than originally planned.

  • Timing Social Security

Properly planning for Social Security is critical for couples with an age gap because the younger spouse has the potential to live significantly longer than the older spouse. This means the younger spouse may need to rely on a survivor benefit for an extended period.

If the older spouse is the primary earner, consider the viability of delaying taking benefits until 70 or later. Doing so allows the Social Security benefits to grow by approximately 8% each year, which can also provide a higher survivor benefit for the younger spouse. 

  • Pension Payments

If the older spouse is eligible to receive pension payments, it may make sense to elect a joint-and-survivor payout option. While this choice typically reduces the amount of the household’s monthly payment, it also helps ensure the younger spouse can continue receiving payments for the rest of their life, even after the older spouse passes away.

  • Estate Planning

Estate planning for couples with an age gap is especially important. Take steps to ensure the younger spouse will remain financially secure for their entire lifetime. Make sure all documents are up to date, from your will to old 401ks that you may have assigned a Transfer On Death to a previous beneficiary, and other matters like financial and healthcare powers of attorney.

Another Important Step

It also makes sense for the older spouse to have a life insurance policy so each person can have peace of mind. If you’ve attempted to purchase life insurance in the past but were turned down due to lifestyle or health issues, NCRGEA and AMBA have good news. The Whole Life policy available through NCRGEA and AMBA guarantees acceptance if you’re between the ages of 45 to 85. No exams, no tests, no questions. Plus, premiums are set at a fixed rate – and as long as they are paid, you’ll never be dropped for any reason! This plan even features a no-obligation 60-day return policy. You can now purchase your Whole Life Insurance Policy online. Learn more at www.AMBAlifeinsurance.com/NCRGEA or call 800-956-1228.

Source: https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/t037-s004-retirement-planning-wrinkles-couples-with-age-gaps/index.html

Santa Is Coming Down the Chimney. With AMBA Discounts, Prices Are Coming Down Too!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and with AMBA Discounts, it’s even more wonderful! Getting into the fun and spirit of the gift-giving season is even more jolly when you can take advantage of all the thoughtful savings available through NCRGEA and AMBA. Get ready to save a Ho Ho Whole lot of money!

Electronics – The latest tech can be expensive, but not with AMBA Discounts on your side! We’ve got all the biggest and best brands, including Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, and Dell. We also offer big savings with Anker, the maker of the industry’s best chargers, power banks, and cables.

Curated Gifts – Our new partner Knack has the perfect gift for all your loved ones. One of our favorites from them is the “A Cold Winter’s Night” set. This gift set includes a cozy fringe throw blanket, super-warm (and soft!) socks, and a Swiss Cocoa Mug Candle. And that’s only one of their holiday-themed offerings. Snuggle up to 15% off your order with AMBA Discounts!

Family Vacations – Nothing brings us together like getting away together. There’s no better way to create lifetime memories and bond with the whole family than with a family vacation. AMBA Discounts partners include Adventures by Disney (AMBA Discounts members earn 4% cash back on your ultimate family enrichment vacation), Villas of Distinction (which gives members 2.5% cash back and $100 credit at hundreds of luxury vacation villas worldwide), and Bellagio Las Vegas (with up to 20% off room rates), and so many more options.

There are so many more savings to explore, including car rentals, hotels, clothing, dining, and more. AMBA Discounts provides great savings for the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday wish list.

Best of all, your membership is absolutely FREE! Start saving today!

Members, if you don’t have your activation code, please call our office at 919-834-4652 or 800-356-1190.

NCRGEA Lunch and Learn Webinar: July

July 18, 2023 @ 12:30 pm 1:30 pm

Virtual webinar Lunch & Learn Series: “Have Summer Fun with Member Benefits.” Our presenters will be our trusted AMBA partners, Jon Green and Tony Prince. Learn how to use the discount perks with exclusive member savings on travel, dining, waterparks, and more. Hear about the popular benefit for emergency medical transportation services.

Registration by Friday | July 14 is required. Click the Register Now button at the top. Space is limited so please register soon. You will receive the Zoom link by email on Monday, July 17. If you have any questions, please email info@NCRGEA.com or phone 919.834.4652.


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