AFLI’s Mission is empower people to take better control of their financial lives. We do this through educational workshops giving unbiased informative information and ongoing content and materials. According to various studies as many as 90 percent of American’s site financial stress as the number one concern in their lives. In our four building blocks to financial wellness program we focus on understanding your money, solving the insurance maze, investing 101, and retirement planning basics. Block one, understanding your money, focuses on building a sound financial foundation and discusses how to maximize lifetime earnings, the importance of budgeting, managing your debt, having an emergency cash fund, and the power of goal setting and savings. By partnering with companies, organizations, and municipalities, AFLI is committed to reducing financial stress and giving people the tools they need to feel good about making decisions with their money!





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Heart Attacks


Sometimes referred to as the “silent killer,” heart disease is officially the leading cause of death, claiming over 700,000 people a year.  A single EKG’s and MRI can cost over $5,000, hospital stays can average over $20,000, angiograms can be as much as $30,000, and a heart bypass can cost over $70,000. Drugs can be very expensive, not to mention rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance.  The CDC Foundation estimates that we spend over one billion dollars a day treating heart disease and strokes, with one out of every six healthcare dollars spent on heart care.  The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, estimated by CNBC to total over $3.4 trillion dollars a year with an average of over $10,345 per person.


Over 155 million people are covered under an employer sponsored heath insurance plan.   However, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that over 27 million Americans don’t have health insurance, with the Hispanic community making up the largest demographic without insurance.  The leading reason that people don’t have health coverage is that it was unaffordable, and with healthcare costs continue to increase at alarming rates, it will only become more prohibitive.


Health Insurance


When you consider some of these statistics, it easy to see why health insurance is very important.



According to The American Cancer Society, roughly 1.7 million of new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2017.  Men have a 1-in-2 chance of being diagnosed with cancer in a lifetime, while women have a 1-in-3 chance.  Unfortunately, 20 to 25 percent of those cases can be fatal, making cancer the second-leading cause of death.  In America alone, over $100 billion is spent annually in the fight against cancer.  New cancer-treating drugs can cost over $100,000 a year, with one new drug in particular, Keytruda (in the fight against melanoma), running as much as $152,400 a year.  Additionally, cancer drugs are only part of the costs, because there are tests, procedures, possible hospitalization, on going care, drug treatments, specialists, etc.  These costs can spiral out of control.


Insurance is about protecting yourself, your family, and your assets.  Otherwise known as “risk protection,” it shields us from the financial devastation that can be caused by unforeseen accidents, unplanned expenses, damages, illness, theft, and losses.  Navigating the world of insurance can be overwhelming, but do not underestimate the impact that it can have on improving your financial health.  After all, there is that old saying: “most of us hate paying for insurance, but how thankful are we when we need it?”

While insurance programs can be a balancing act between being insurance rich and cash poor, the hope is to protect against potential financial losses by off-loading unplanned expenses to an insurance company.  In essence, the entire idea of protection is to use the insurance company’s money as opposed to your own.  There are many different types of insurances- but our goal is to make sense of the coverage’s that could be most useful for you.


We could go on and on with savings ideas, but starting small, and adding different savings ideas on a regular basis starts to make a big difference.  It’s about taking small steps to reach the bigger goal, and getting a few wins along the way keeps us motivated.
If we make savings a habit, it’s not difficult.  It’s also very important to set realistic financial goals that are achievable, and to make savings simple.  As we touched on earlier, writing down our goals keeps us accountable, and tracks our priorities to get meaningful results.  If we set saving goals that require big results, chances are we will fall short.  I have seen several studies that estimate only 8% percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals, because we make them too hard or unrealistic.  If we don’t know how to set reasonable expectations, or to build a goal plan that we can’t sustain financially, a wish list per se, we will fail. Let’s say that we set a goal of having a down payment to buy a house in 1 year, but it’s going to take $12,000.  Rather than focus on the larger dollar amount, break it down into smaller benchmarks along the way to help get this done, such as $1,000 every month
For example, make a goal to save the same amount every month for 12 months, or cut back on (2) monthly expenses, and put that in savings.  Maybe it’s a priority to pay off our debt; simplifying your approach can make it easier, like shrinking an overall debt down by 10% over the next 3 months, or paying off the highest interest rate debt first.  It becomes easier to stay on track, and to review our progress.  Most importantly, when we see that it’s working, it gives us a psychological boost.   The key is to have a plan, stay focused on your goals, implement better financial habits, and manage your money so you can get results!