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Six Reasons to Consider Life Insurance for the Entire Family by Lanny Ribes



Why do you need life insurance? If you’re like most, you see it as a way to replace income.

There is no doubt that the need to protect against the loss of a family’s main source of income is an integral part of providing surviving family members with a financially secure future. However, for many families, life insurance coverage begins and ends with the primary breadwinner.

It’s relatively easy to recognize the financial impact a family would suffer if its primary source of income was taken away. Less obvious, however, is the financial impact of the death of either parent or a child who doesn’t earn an income.

Life insurance is a sound risk management tool and appropriate for any individual whose death would cause a financial loss to a family. Although a stay-at-home spouse may not earn income, the value provided to the family is, in many ways, immeasurable. Even so, there are real costs a newly widowed parent will likely face if a spouse were suddenly gone.

For a parent, losing a child is probably the worst possible scenario imaginable. Just the thought of it can be more than some can bear. However, taking steps to prepare for the financial impact of such an event can help ease the burden if such a terrible loss were to occur.

Here are six reasons it makes sense to insure family members who don’t bring home the bacon:

  1. Childcare

    The death of a stay-at-home parent will likely trigger an immediate need to find and pay for childcare. This can be a sizeable expense if the children are elementary school age or younger.

  2. Final expenses

    Funeral and burial expenses can average between $5,000 and $25,000 or more depending on the type of arrangements. And, if the family member who has passed was ill for an extended period of time, there may be significant medical bills, debts or other unexpected expenses to pay.

  3. Recovery period

    A surviving spouse or parent may need to take time off from work to get things back on track and, in some cases, allow time for a job search, or training in a new career or field to support the new family dynamics. Insurance proceeds can also help pay for any counseling that may be needed by surviving family members.

  4. Future insurability

    One of the most important reasons to insure children is to guarantee they will be able to have life insurance as adults, regardless of their future health or genetic blueprint. This is especially important when there is a family history of disease or illness or, in the case of adoption, where the family history may not be known. Having life insurance in place now on a stay-at-home spouse ensures he or she will have protection down the road when and if it is needed for estate planning, charitable giving, education costs or even income replacement if returning to work is a future possibility.

  5. Leaving a legacy

    Many bereaved families have found comfort in providing a lasting remembrance of their lost loved one by making a substantial gift to charitable, educational or other organizations. Proceeds from a life insurance policy can even help surviving family members establish an ongoing memorial or scholarship fund in honor of their child or spouse.

  6. Future financial asset

    While the insurance protection is the primary reason to purchase permanent life insurance on a child, the accumulated cash value in a permanent life insurance policy may grow to be quite significant at adulthood. This cash value can be drawn on to pay for educational or other expenses.

Having life insurance on all family members is one way to protect against the risk of financial loss while, at the same time, helping secure a bright financial future for the entire family.


Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Lanny Joseph Ribes.  Lanny Joseph Ribes is a Financial Representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network based in Glen Carbon, IL for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  To contact Lanny Joseph Ribes, please call (618) 791-0471, email him at or visit his web site at

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7 Surefire Ways to Overcome Workout Procrastination




Average Reading Time – 4 minutes

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”


You keep telling yourself that you are going to start an exercise program, but you never do.  Something seemingly more important and more urgent always seems to come up, and you just don’t feel like you have enough time or energy for exercise. 


My philosophy is that if you don’t make time to exercise you will eventually be making time to be sick and/or injured.  I want you to use this article as a guide to overcome the hurdle of getting started, so that you can stop putting off exercising and start being proactive with your overall health.


If you are having trouble getting your exercise program started use the 7 tips below to help get the ball rolling.


7 Surefire Ways to Overcome Workout Procrastination


1)  Make Working Out a Priority and Schedule It

There are 24 hours in a day.  One of them needs to be devoted to your physical health.  Make exercising a high priority task and schedule it just like you would with any other appointment or meeting.  Nothing is more important than your health.  Make it a priority.


2)  Create a List of All the Reasons Why You Are Working Out

We each have our own goals and motives for exercising, but check out these 14 good reasons to workout if you need help coming up with your reasons for exercising.


3)  Find a Gym, Workout Class, or Program That You Enjoy

It’s easy to do the things we like.  It’s tough to do the stuff that we don’t.  Cold weather intensifies our resistance to exercising.  Find something that works for you, and you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.  The tasks that we want to do the most usually get done the fastest.


4)  Break Your Workouts Down Into Smaller Pieces

Think of your workout as a series of smaller pieces put together.  For example, the pieces to most, effective workout programs include a dynamic warm up or movement prep routine, strength and/or endurance training exercises, and a cool down or stretching period. 

So your breakdown would look like this:


– Dynamic Warm Up:  5 minutes


– Strength Exercises:  30 minute


– Cool Down or Stretching:  5 minutes


Viewing your workout this way makes it seem much more doable than if you just said you have to do a 40 minute workout.  Chunk it down for better results.


5)  Write Your Exercise Program Down or Print It Out

 If a task lacks structure we are more likely to procrastinate on it.  Create and print out or write down your workout ahead of time.  With a written workout log you know exactly what you need to do when you get to the gym or start your workout at home.  


Fill in how much weight and how many repetitions you did on each set.  Doing this also allows you to easily track your progress, and removes the feeling of uncertainty from your workouts.

6)  Create a Ritual Around Your Workouts

You have to get yourself mentally ready to workout before you get physically ready.  Create a ritual such as listening to music, making yourself a workout shake, or read a motivational/inspirational article on the internet.  When you go through your workout ritual you are preparing your unconscious and conscious mind for the work ahead. 



7)  Set Goals and/or Join an Exercise Group or Class

 I call accountability “the resistance to laziness.”  When you have a group of others or a goal to be accountable to, it’s much harder to not start or not be consistent with your workouts. 


Setting goals and having a peer exercise group are the best ways to build the need to be accountable.  You’ll be much more likely to go workout on the days you don’t want to if you feel like you are letting someone else or yourself down if you don’t. 


“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.
Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”


– Article Written by Pete Visintin Jr.

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Hollandy by Sarah Aarssen



Welcome to Hollandy
By: Sarah Aarssen

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. What do you get when you take a girl from Mapdot, Illinois, add in one tall Dutch man, mix with a study-abroad program gone off course, throw in an extremely throaty language, a baby and seven years into the mix?

Did you guess?

You get ME, Sarah Aarssen! I’m a thirty-four year old woman who grew up right there in Gillespie, Illinois. I went to high school in Highland and did what almost every other kid did – I played softball. I fought with my sister. I cruised around town as a teenager. I worked as a dishwasher in nursing homes (yes, plural) and at a Walmart. I was a pharmacy technician at Walgreens and finally decided it was time to grow up, go to college, and figure out what I wanted to be, at twenty-five years old. I enrolled at SIUE, and my sophomore year I decided I needed to spread my wings and fly… to the University of Wales, Swansea, for an entire semester.

We’ll skip the part where I had never flown before, didn’t own a passport, couldn’t find Wales or Amsterdam on a map to save my life, and had no interest in getting married… ever. We’ll fast forward right to the point where I met my Marco (Did you say “Polo” in your head? I thought so.) one random Valentines Day night in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 2004.

I have limited space so I’ll give you the quick rundown of how it all came to be. I was out with my single college friends, needed a light, asked the first person I saw, struck up a conversation, he introduced me to his cousin, Marco. (Polo!) He pinched my butt, I kind of liked it, the pincher offered to take me to a club, I ditched my friends, he kissed me, we danced all night, we had a junkie charge us 5 Euros for a Polaroid, we ate shoarma, we stayed out until 6AM. We exchanged email addresses. I went back to college (Wales, remember, different country) on a fourteen hour bus ride, very hung over and slightly smitten. He emailed, he came to Wales, spent five days together, he went home. April rolled around, I flew to Amsterdam, “tax day” he asked “the question,” I said YES (quickly, do the math, that was April 15th, two months after we met). May came, my semester ended, I kissed my new-found Welsh, Aussie and American friends goodbye and flew back… to Amsterdam. Mom and sisters said, “How romantic!” Dad and brother said, “Come home!” June arrived and we did fly “home.” He met my family. Dad and brother didn’t kill him. I collected my things and started my new life, which I like to refer to as “Hollandy.” It’s not all Dutch, it’s totally not Illinois, it’s just kind of, you know, Holland-y.

The BenGil Post has given me the unique opportunity and medium to be able to share some of my crazy adventure with you. What’s it like living in a foreign country, speaking (or spitting) a foreign language, and having your family an ocean away? Almost seven years into it, and I’m still trying to figure it all out, but I do have a couple of clues.


Let’s begin.

Have you ever heard the Dutch language? If not, please, go to Walgreens, stand next to the cold and flu section and listen. Hear that phlegmy cough from the guy standing next to you? That’s not an illness. That’s Dutch. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before, but I was living in the country and I was determined to learn the language.

Two weeks into my Hollandy, life I decided that if I was going to tackle the Dutch language, I needed to fully immerse myself in the culture. This could be done in a plethora of ways, my natural choice, watching Dutch television. I flipped through the channels until I found something that had the potential of being semi-interesting. I sat diligently watching for fifteen minutes, waiting for Marco (You didn’t say “Polo” again, did you?) to come home from work so I could impress him with my determination. Finally, my moment to shine arrived. He came home, walked over to me and gave me a kiss. I smiled proudly and turned my focus back to the television as I waited for him to comment on my choice of TV programs. He took notice rather quickly and then he politely asked, “Why are you watching the German channel, schatje?” Dutch lesson number one: epic fail.

But what about finding a new job, new friends, new doctor? How do you find health insurance or the post office? How do you avoid giving birth at home, like 33% of Dutch woman do, if you really, and I mean REALLY, do not want to? How do you raise a bi-lingual baby? How do you cope? How do you adjust? How do you survive?

I’m looking forward to sharing my answers, experiences and more in my next guest article!


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Create Your Plan B: Balance Your Priorities




Provided By:  Lanny Joseph Ribes, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Whether you want to buy real estate, pay for education, enjoy the good life or leave a legacy, it takes time and effort to accumulate funds. If even the most dedicated savers can take years to finance their long-term goals, how can you be sure to reach yours? It starts with deciding what you truly need and focusing on it.

‘Needs’ Are Both Immediate and Long-term
“Needs” are essential items you must have to survive – such as clothing, food and shelter – while “wants” are non-essentials you could live without, if necessary. To achieve long-term financial security, you must have at least enough savings and income sources to cover essential expenses through your lifetime. The earlier you start saving, the more you can accumulate for all your priorities.

Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Americans saved less than 4% of their disposable income in January 2010, considerably short of the 10 to 20% experts recommend setting aside before expenses. To accrue funds for any future goals requires the discipline to concentrate on “needs” and minimize discretionary spending on “wants.” One strategy for staying on track is to visualize the future you want and understand what it will take to get there. Building college savings and retirement plans takes dedicated effort over time to reach defined goals. What will it feel like when your child is ready for college? Based on your savings today, will you be ready for retirement when the time comes? Your financial representative can help you examine your unique situation and the best ways to meet your goals.

Consider the trade-offs as you balance your priorities between needs and wants:

Clothing — Everyone needs clothes, but a designer wardrobe could be considered a luxury. If you have expensive taste, could you compromise by limiting expenditures now to allow for greater financial security in the future?

Food — Preparing meals at home is a huge savings over eating out, especially at high-end restaurants. Is your priority the ambience of the place or the companionship around the table? Consider taking a gourmet cooking class and creating your own dining event at home for quality time with less expense.


Housing — Having a roof over your head is a priority, of course, but is a big, fancy home worth the energy and worry? Might you be just as content with a smaller, casual space that is easier to maintain and pay for? What is really important to you and how does where you live impact your long-term picture?

Health — Regular medical and dental care is essential to your ongoing good health and the ability to be there for your loved ones. Spa visits or cosmetic procedures may be considered more “wants” than “needs,” but taking care of your body with sound nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress relief is important for all your future plans.

Meaningful activity — Your personal needs aren’t all about money – consider which activities give you the greatest satisfaction and in what ways you want to make a difference. Contributing time and talent to favorite causes can be fulfilling and low cost. How could you incorporate volunteerism into your life to add meaning and accomplishment?

Social life — Certain people may believe that social and club memberships are essential needs because their well-being depends upon interacting with neighbors and friends. For others, simple evenings at home are most enjoyable. Whatever your pleasure, be sure you plan for it in your budget.

Vacations — For some, an annual trip to see the grandchildren is a non-negotiable necessity; others would like to treat their extended family to a special group trip. Perhaps you would find more satisfaction and less expense by using part of your time off to serve others. Or, you could invest in a professional development workshop that improves your career skills. Look beyond just dollars to personal rewards and be open to ways you can meet various goals.

Your Legacy — As we age, it is not unusual for individuals to become more interested in leaving a legacy. Life insurance or savings can help accumulate funds for a financial bequest, but you can also leave behind personal insights, writings and influence that will live on long after you do.

Staying on track for a strong future involves balancing priorities and visualizing your immediate and long-term goals. By focusing on your needs and minimizing discretionary spending on things that you can live without, you can help build not only a strong financial base but a meaningful life.



Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Lanny Joseph Ribes. Lanny Joseph Ribes is a Financial Representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network based in Glen Carbon, IL for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  To contact Lanny Joseph Ribes, please call (618) 791-0471, email him at or visit his web site at

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