The NAIFA Launches a Micro-site Covering the Affordable Care Act

Lake Charles, Louisiana-based Steve Blount, a seasoned insurance professional, owns and operates PRC Professional Retirement Consultants, LLC, a full-service firm offering independent financial, tax, and business advice. At PRC, Steve Blount and his team offer a variety of insurance plans and estate conservation services for individuals and businesses. The author of The Spirit of Success, Mr. Blount actively served in the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).

In August 2013, NAIFA rolled out a micro-website (www.naifa.org/advocacy/aca) for health care insurance agents, brokers, and employees. The micro-site details the rules and regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obama Care, and examines how each component of the new law affects industry groups as well as consumers.

According to NAIFA executives, the new micro-site offers members and their clients background materials and information on specific areas of the law, such as insurance marketplaces and individual mandates, and helps them adapt to policy-related changes. Some NAIFA members refer their consumer clients to the website with any questions beyond their immediate expertise. Agents and brokers are also able to use the site to provide their clients with informed opinions on plan options and coverage types.

Membership Requirements for the Million Dollar Round Table

Financial planner Steve Blount lives and works in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he runs the firm PRC Professional Retirement Consultants, LLC, and advises clients on retirement planning, estate conservation, and related areas. During his more than 25 years in business, Steve Blount has earned multiple industry accolades, including the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ Outstanding Agent Award (1998), the New York Life Council President’s Top Agent in the U.S. Award, and the Million Dollar Round Table’s Top of the Table from 1996 to 2002.

The prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) includes more than 38,000 of the world’s leading professionals from the insurance and financial services industries. Active in more than 74 countries, the organization represents professionals from over 450 companies.

MDRT members maintain proven histories of professional expertise, superb customer care, and ethical practice. Furthermore, to join this international network, individuals must meet stringent sales requirements, such as earning either minimum annual commissions of USD $91,000 or a minimum annual gross income of USD $156,000 from sales of insurance and/or financial products. New MDRT members start out as Qualifying Members before they become Qualifying and Life Members and finally Life Members. The MDRT also offers two exclusive levels, Court of the Table and Top of the Table, which have even higher requirements. To qualify for Court of the Table, members must produce earnings either three times the amount required for standard MDRT membership, and for Top of the Table, six times that amount.

The Boys and Girls Village Supports Children with Special Needs

Steve Blount is an experienced financial consultant who currently owns and operates Professional Retirement Consultants, LLC, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. A socially conscious individual, Steve Blount contributes his time and resources to the Lake Charles community, in addition to supporting several larger charities and nonprofits, including the Boys & Girls Village, Inc.

Originally founded as a work farm for troubled boys in 1942, the Boys & Girls Village is a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services, including programs for families and children with foster care and special education needs, and support for people with emotional, psychiatric, and behavioral disorders.

In addition to operating a therapeutic foster care program and providing several therapy-based services, the Boys & Girls Village currently runs a therapeutic day school for children with special needs. Designed specifically for children ages six to 15, the Charles F. Hayden Day School is a private, special-education school that works to help children build the academic, emotional, and behavioral skills needed to return to a mainstream school setting. The Charles F. Hayden School is led by a dedicated staff of well-trained professionals who work in teams to meet each child’s individual needs and develop programs that help them build self-esteem, communication skills, and character.

Lion’s Club and Ducks Unlimited

As a member of the Lake Charles, Louisiana chapter of the Lion’s Club, financial services professional Steve Blount proudly volunteers his time to better his community. Lion’s Club International, the parent organization of local chapters, boasts more than 1.35 million members globally. It is the largest community service organization in the world, providing essential services in local communities. Activities include vision screenings, support for local youth via mentoring and scholarships, as well as humanitarian projects such as providing assistance after natural disasters.

Steve Blount’s other charitable efforts include volunteering for Ducks Unlimited projects in and around Lake Charles. A conservation organization, Ducks Unlimited seeks to improve waterfowl habitats through wetland restoration and management. Conservation projects occur throughout the United States and Canada, and activities include grassland and watershed restoration and forest replanting. Likewise, the organization works with private landowners and other partners to create better land management strategies to protect waterfowl now and into the future.

Choosing between a Simple 401(k) and a Simple IRA, by Steve Blount

It is common for small-business employers with fewer than 100 employees to establish a Simple IRA plan as a benefit to staff and the company. What is less common is opting instead for a Simple 401(k) plan, which has certain areas of greater flexibility for the employer.

For example, with a Simple IRA plan, employers are not allowed to maintain additional plans for personnel who do not qualify for the plan, whereas a second plan is admissible in the case of a Simple 401(k). However, employees of companies that adopt a Simple 401(k) plan must work for the company for at least one year and be at least 21 years of age, whereas this is not the case with Simple IRAs.

Another difference between the two plans is that loans can be made from Simple 401(k) plans for those employees who feel the need to access funds at some point prior to retirement age. Both plans offer 100% vesting of contributions, which adds a level of security to the employee, and employers can make matching contributions if they so choose.

About the Author: Steve Blount is an independent financial consultant with over 25 years experience in retirement planning and wealth management. His firm, Professional Retirement Consultants, LLC., is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana.