How can I start a financial portfolio that aligns with my values?

When we go to the store we’re often presented with products we can pick off the shelf if they align with our values and beliefs.

There are non-toxic cleaning products for the environmentally-conscious, ethically made clothing for those concerned with working conditions, and organic or free-range food products for animal rights enthusiasts.

So it’s no surprise that many of us also want to be able to incorporate our values and beliefs into our personal financial plan. But unlike going to the grocery store, it’s not quite as easy to spot financial products that match our priorities.

Where would you even start?

Well, a really simple first step you can take towards building your own morally-conscious financial plan is to pick a life insurance product that will make a donation to your favorite charity when a claim is made.

There are very few of these products available in the market1, but Foresters FinancialTM offers two products with this feature: “Advantage Plus” whole life insurance  and “Your Term” term life insurance.

These two life insurance products are an easy way to begin making financial decisions that will also support causes that are most important to you.

But unlike free-range eggs and non-toxic bathroom cleaners, Foresters “Your Term” isn’t any more expensive than most of your alternatives – certainly a nice change!2

How does a Charity Benefit Provision work?

It’s really simple! When you purchase one of these two products, you just let Foresters know the name of your favorite registered charity.

If you pick the whole life insurance option, Foresters will make a donation in your name to that charity once you pass away.

If you pick the term life insurance policy, Foresters will make the donation if you pass away during the term of your policy.

In both cases you can also pick more than one charity if you’d like to split up the donation.

Can you give me an example?

Sure! Let’s say I purchase $250,000 of Foresters “Advantage Plus” whole life insurance. When I apply, I also let Foresters know that my favorite charity is Ronald McDonald House Charities® on my application.

Once I pass away, the first thing Foresters would do is pay3 the face amount of ($250,000) to my beneficiary – let’s say that’s my spouse.

But then Foresters will also make a donation equal to 1% of the face amount to Ronald McDonald House Charities in my name.

Also read: Procrastination solutions: Getting started with life insurance

So how much is that going to be?

Well I’ll try not to throw too much math your way, but if we do a little division we can determine that 1% of $250,000 is $2,500.

Which means $2,500 is headed to my favorite charity!

Wait a second, does that mean the $2,500 charitable donation is coming out of the money that was supposed to go to my spouse?

No! Absolutely not. The 1% Charity Benefit provision is in addition to the money that will be going to my spouse. So really, you could say the value of my coverage is actually $252,500.

Because $250,000 will go to my spouse and a bonus $2,500 will go to my favorite charity. It’s a total win-win. Plus it comes at no added expense to me.

What if I want to give more than the $2,500 in your example? Is there any way you could have increased the size of your charitable donation?

Yes! Because Foresters will donate an amount equal to 1% of the face amount, I could have increased the charitable donation by purchasing a larger face amount originally.

For example, if I were to have applied for a $300,000 policy instead of a $250,000 policy my Charity Benefit provision would be valued at $3,000 instead of $2,500. Not to mention, this would also leave my spouse with an additional fifty thousand dollars.

So essentially by leaving more money for my family, I’d also be leaving a bigger donation for my favorite charity.

Also read: Life insurance: What’s in it for me while I’m still alive?

This is certainly something to consider when choosing the size of your policy, but an agent or advisor can help you figure out what size policy makes the most sense for you.

What’s the catch here? Why is Foresters including this Charity Benefit provision as part of my policy?

If you’re skeptical about all this, it’s probably because you’ve never heard of a life insurance product that comes with a Charitable Benefit provision.

And there’s good reason for that – they’re incredibly rare. In fact, Foresters is one of only a few companies offering them.1

But to get back to your question, the reason we’ve made the Charity Benefit provision part of our “Advantage Plus” whole life insurance product and our “Your Term” term life insurance product is because it fits perfectly with the values that are most important to Foresters.

Each year we sponsor hundreds of local community and volunteer events for our clients and members, because we believe in enriching lives and building strong communities. It’s our purpose. This new Charity Benefit provision is just one more way we can walk the walk!

It’s a big first step for us to be able to incorporate our commitment to communities into the features of our products – so we’re really excited about it!

The foundation of a financial plan that reflects your values

Both the “Advantage Plus” and the “Your Term” life insurance products are great places to start if you want to make sure your financial plan reflects your personal values. They provide an excellent foundation for your entire financial portfolio because they ensure that your family and their financial commitments will be protected if you pass away.

But in addition to that, the charitable donation that Foresters will make in your name sends a clear message to your loved ones about the commitment you felt towards the causes that were most important to you. Not to mention, these policies allow you to invest your money with a company that shares your values and commitment to community.

Want to learn more about the Charity Benefit provision? An agent or advisor would be happy to answer all of your questions!

Also read: 5 Tips for your first meeting with a potential life insurance agent or advisor

1. Based on US market research conducted by Foresters Financial, 2017.

2. Your Term rates are top five amongst the competition. Ranked against: American General, American National, Assurity, Banner Life, John Hancock, Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, New York Life, North American Co., Protective Life, Pruco, Transamerica, United of Omaha. Data cited with permission of Compulife® (as of August 8, 2017). Compulife® is a registered trademark of Compulife Software, Inc. Data is subject to change and may not be accurate. Comparison created for producer use only and not for public use or distribution. Cannot be used to promote sales to clients.

3. Foresters will pay the eligible designated charitable organization in the name of the insured. The maximum payment under this provision is $100,000. The designated charitable organization must be an accredited 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code and eligible to receive charitable contributions as defined in section 170(c) of that code.

Products underwritten by The Independent Order of Foresters.

Foresters Advantage Plus or Foresters Your Term and their riders may not be available or approved in all states and are subject to underwriting approval, limitations, contract terms and conditions, and state variations. Refer to the Foresters Advantage Plus Whole Life and Foresters Your Term Life Insurance contracts for your state for these terms and conditions. Foresters Advantage Plus and Foresters Your Term and their riders are filed under the form numbers listed below, where “XX” represents your state’s postal abbreviation, as applicable. Foresters Advantage Plus: WL-XX01-2017; Foresters Your Term: ICC16-TERM-ANB-US01 or TERM-ANB-XX01-2016.

If you have questions regarding Foresters products and their riders, please contact your insurance agent or contact Foresters Financial to be connected with an agent in your area.

415556 US (08/17)

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Eric Tyndale

Eric has an extensive background in content marketing and professional writing. He loves to write about personal finance and life insurance issues for the Lifenotes blog because he enjoys the challenge of making complicated topics fun for readers! Eric also covers community outreach initiatives.