The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

What parents want to know

With work, family and finances, modern parenting can sometimes feel like a juggling act. The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips and health and safety. Although we may not be able to manage your retirement account, drive your all-star athlete to practice, or cook your family's favorite three-cheese lasagna, our parenting blog can provide you with ideas, advice and tips so that you can focus on what matters most: raising healthy, happy kids. We invite you to join the conversation and enjoy our parenting blog.

The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips and health and safety.

  1. Taking Advantage of Your Life Insurance Tax Benefits

    June 12, 2019

    Making sure that your family has greater financial security for the future is certainly the most important reason to have life insurance. However, there are two benefits that you may not be aware of that can help both you and your beneficiaries: A tax-free benefit payout, and a tax-free loan against your policy.

     

    Benefit Payouts Are Tax-Free

    When you pass away, naturally it won’t be an easy time for your family.  Along with their grief, they will be dealing with your final expenses and other necessary arrangements.

    The life insurance payout that your beneficiaries receive will help eliminate some stress. And the fact that the payout is not taxable is certainly a great benefit too.  Your beneficiary or beneficiaries will be able to use the entire payout amount without having to worry about paying taxes on it later.

     

    Take Out a Tax-Free Loan

    Your beneficiaries aren’t the only ones who can get a tax break with life insurance. If you have a permanent life insurance policy – a whole life policy – it most likely includes a cash value component. If so, you can reap benefits through its cash value.

     

    Here’s how:

    For each premium you pay, Gerber Life sets aside a small percentage of your payment, which grows month after month into what becomes the cash value of your policy. The available cash value represents how much money you’d get back if you ever decided to cancel your policy. It also can be a small source of ready cash that you could borrow against if needed.

    When you borrow against the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy, you’ll be charged interest (the percentage for a Gerber Life policy loan is 8%), but you won’t have to pay taxes on the loan amount because it’s not considered a distribution of income.

    As long as you pay back the policy loan and interest, the payout to your beneficiaries won’t be affected. However, if there is debt against the policy at the time of your death, the amount owed would be deducted from the beneficiary payout.

    Buying life insurance for your family is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make. Call us at 1-800-704-2180 to learn about our permanent life insurance policies.

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  2. 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Summer

    May 29, 2019

    More hours of daylight and warmer weather are just a couple of reasons why summer is the favorite season for many people. For parents, however, trying to keep young kids entertained and supervised all summer long can be stressful. Finding the right balance between keeping your kids busy and your bank account healthy can help reduce stress levels.

     

    Here are some tips for having a stress-free summer:

    1. Consider a nanny or day camps to save money

    According to the Center for American Progress, the estimated amount that families in the U.S. would spend for summer childcare in 2018 was 20 percent of their income.This amount may not come as a shock, but don’t worry – there are ways to save money on summer childcare.

    Hiring a nanny could be a more economical option than sending your kids to a daycare facility. To save even more money as well as time in searching for a childcare facility, consider sharing a nanny with neighboring families.

    Signing up your kids for summer day camps through their school or the community may cost even less than a childcare facility. Not only are camps a way to make new friends, they also can help to keep your kids physically active and continually learning.

    When day camp isn’t an option, look into non-profits, such as the YWCA, YMCA or local library. You and your kids will be supporting a cause while having fun and maybe saving some money.

     

    2. Keep a daily, flexible routine

    When your kids are home for the summer, it’s important to provide them with a daily routine and to keep it somewhat flexible.

    Make sure that the routine incorporates healthy habits, chores and learning. Try to leave an hour open here and there for something spontaneous, whether it’s an ice cream run or quiet time.

     

     

    3. Poll the family for ideas

    Take some pressure off of yourself. Ask your kids what they would like to do. Ask other family members. You may be surprised by their responses and ideas, which could be simpler than what you expected or may spark other ways to have fun.

    Some of these activities may cost money, but there are other ways to have fun without burning a hole in your pocket.

     

     

    4. Enjoy a ‘staycation’

    A Harris Poll survey in 2018 found that vacations cost families in the U.S. an average of $2,256, according to a blog on Nerdwallet.com.2

    Although going away – maybe far away – with the family can offer a break from the daily humdrum, there are more affordable ways to recharge and rejuvenate and still make lasting memories.

      • Invest in some fun backyard toys.
      • Visit a town fair or enjoy a picnic in a park, a local activity that can give everyone the opportunity to get out and stretch their legs.
      • Plan a family “staycation” around day or weekend trips to places where you’ve never ventured, such as a nearby aquarium, zoo, beach, theme park, observatory, museum, hiking trails or historical sites. Giving your family a mix of physical and mental activities will keep the staycation adventurous and different from day-to-day life.

    If your list of ideas gets long, prioritize the suggestions based on what will benefit the entire family. Then, be sure to schedule each outing on the family calendar. If they’re on the calendar, you’re more likely to do them.

     

    5. Be in the moment

    If you’re a working parent, simply trying to find enough time to enjoy activities with your kids can add another level of stress.

    One way to achieve quality time is to have the family disengage with social media. Try deleting your apps for the summer. Without those pop-up notifications, you can enjoy more moments with your family.

    Remember to reserve enjoyment time for yourself, too. Family time is important, but you, too, should recharge regularly, whether with a book or by going for a walk or shopping or starting a new hobby.

    ____________

    Sources:

    1 – Novoa, Cristina, “Families Can Expect to Pay 20 Percent of Income on Summer Child Care,” Center for American Progress, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/news/2018/06/11/451700/families-can-expect-pay-20-percent-income-summer-child-care/

    2 – El Issa, Erin, “Family Vacations Can Mean Big Costs and Little Lies,” NerdWallet: Summer Spending Report 2018, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/family-summer-travel-spending-report-2018/

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  3. 5 Ways That Procrastinating Can Be a Positive

    April 17, 2019

    how to procrastinate - girl studying

    Here’s the scenario: You’re tasked with an assignment – maybe to plan an event for your kid’s school or to complete a big work project. Do you get to it right away or wait until the last minute?

    Tackling tasks as soon as possible has merit. It’s certainly smart to check-off items from your list so that you can move onto the next. Yet, here’s the thing. Sometimes waiting isn’t so bad. There can be benefits to procrastinating but only if you do it correctly.

     

    1. Can Lead to Getting More Done

    Procrastinating is not necessarily synonymous with laziness. It’s simply taking your time to begin work on project, task or duty. Just because you might take your time doesn’t mean you’re not being productive. Procrastination at its finest requires being intentional and active.

    For example, mental planning, daydreaming, or simply thinking or talking about the task can be very productive, especially since you can do so while taking care of other things on your to-do list.

     

    2. Helps You to Prioritize

    Taking some time before starting or completing a task could help you determine what’s most important, particularly if there are other tasks you need to accomplish or juggle. Comparing and prioritizing tasks can give you a better handle on the big picture and everything you need to do.

    You may even decide that some tasks are just not worth doing, which would give you back a lot of time. Busy parents can use all the time they can get.

     

    3. Spurs You to Be Creative

    Jumping into anything too quickly could backfire, even if you have the best intentions. Coming up with the best or most efficient way to accomplish a task requires some brainstorming, which can be achieved through active procrastination. This doesn’t mean that you have to carve out time to sit at the table with pen and paper. It does mean that as you go about your day, you can brainstorm by letting your mind run free and making mental notes about options and ways for handling the work that needs to be done.

    Let your subconscious do the work for you while you consciously delay starting it. You may be surprised by how much time procrastinating actually saves you and by the creativity gained.

     

    4. Enables Making Better Decisions

    While your mind may be rational and you can usually trust your gut, it’s a good idea to weigh all of your options before making a decision. Some of the ideas you consciously or subconsciously brainstormed can become viable options. They may not have come to mind if you had rushed into the project or hadn’t thought about it at all until right before your deadline.

    Active procrastination can give you more time to find the best possible solution.

     

    5. Gives the Task Purpose

    When you’re assigned a task that seems menial, actively procrastinating gives you time to think about its purpose. Understanding why something needs to get done and who it affects can motivate you to complete it wholeheartedly. Understand the goal, keep it in mind, and work toward it.

    If you haven’t tried the concept of active procrastination, test it. It may feel odd to both the passive procrastinator and the self-starter, but it also may make your busy life a whole lot easier.

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  4. Earth Day Tips & Activities for Kids

    April 11, 2019

    Earth Day for Kids - child gardening

    This year on Earth Day – April 22 – an estimated billion people across the planet will take action to help preserve our planet.How can you teach your children to be environmentally responsible, and also make it fun for them?

    Here are some ways to make every day an Earth Day for kids:

     

    Plenty of outdoor time

    Even before Earth Day arrives, make sure that your children have plenty of outdoor time. Let them play with dirt, get fresh air, observe insects, and watch things grow.

    To experience empathy for our environment we need to be in it. So, let your children’s imagination run free by frolicking in the rain, collecting rocks, going on a scavenger hunt, or collecting different plants, flowers, leaves, or other things from a garden.

     

    How to Respect Nature

    Help your child understand the important roles that certain plants and animals play in the food chain. Bees are a great place to start, since so many plants and animals rely on pollination for food. Without bees, it is reported that 332,000 plant species could be in danger since they depend on insect pollination.2

    You and your child might decide to plant a bee-friendly flower garden, to provide forage and help keep the bee species alive. Certain flowers such as Black Eyed Susan, pansies and lavender, and herbs such as oregano and thyme, attract bees, which through pollination and the food chain helps animals and other creatures to survive, too.

    Another fun and helpful activity you can do with your child is to plant a tree in the backyard, since trees create oxygen for everything living nearby. You also could build bird feeders to sustain our winged friends, or set up a bird bath to help keep them clean. Both are fun and easy to do, making these great Earth Day activities for preschoolers and older kids alike.

     

    Recycle Routinely

    Kids learn through repetition, so by recycling things daily you can set a good example for your children. Teach them how to properly recycle paper, plastics, metals, glass, and other recyclables on your town’s list.

    However, keep in mind that not all paper, plastics or other objects are recyclable. Items such as food-soiled containers, used tissues, tiny pieces of plastic, and broken glass should be thrown out with the regular trash, or according to your town’s recycling list.

    Many items can be reused, such as paper and plastic bags. You can show your child how to put bags to good use by taking them along when you go shopping, to reuse instead of relying on new bags.

     

    Reuse with Purpose and Creativity

    Not only can repurposing help to reduce waste; it can also spark creativity. “Reuse projects” – which can come in handy, particularly on rainy days – can keep children creatively busy with  arts and crafts.  For example, your child could use photos from old magazines to create collages or other art, or could make a bird feeder out of plastic soda bottles.

     

    Ways to Conserve Energy

    Remind your kids to turn off the TV when they’re not watching it, and to turn off the lights when leaving a room. This good habit helps not only to cut down your electricity bill, but also to help your child understand the proverb, “waste not, want not.”

    The best way for your children to become more Earth-friendly is to be Earth-friendly yourself. Set good examples daily to help raise a responsible, respectful kid.

     

    SOURCE:

    1 – “Earth Day – April 22,” Earth Day Network, https://www.earthday.org/earthday/

    2 – “What You Need to Know About Bees and How You Can Help to Protect Them,” Earth Day Network, https://www.earthday.org/campaigns/endangered-species/bees/

     

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  5. Life Insurance Pricing Factors

    February 14, 2019

    Life insurance is something most people can benefit from no matter where they are in life, but life insurance prices aren’t the same for everyone. In fact, you may be surprised at what can increase life insurance rates. Here are some of the top things life insurance companies look at before pricing your plan.

     

    Life insurance pricing factors - What determines your life insurance premium?

     

    These are just some of the many factors that could impact your life insurance premium. Know them all and be sure to do your homework before selecting a policy. Get your free Gerber Life Term Life Insurance quote today.