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Financial Fitness Blog

It's cycle season

(Insurance) Permanent link

Tim GanoungMotorcycle enthusiasts will tell you that there’s nothing like riding on the open road beneath the long-awaited Wisconsin summer sky.

Perhaps Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, captures it best. “On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

If you are a cyclist or considering taking up this popular pastime, recognize the additional risks that go along with it. Face it. Motorcycles are no match for other vehicles on the road, and the total exposure of the rider requires certain precautions be taken to ensure a fun and safe experience. Use common sense before you head out on the road.

Enjoy the ride this summer, but keep it safe.

  • Always wear a helmet that fits right and meets federal safety standards.
  • Improve your skills with advanced rider courses.
  • Stick to the speed limit.
  • Don’t tailgate other vehicles.
  • Use your signals.
  • Be respectful of other drivers. Don’t weave through traffic or drive on the shoulder.
  • Make sure other drivers can see you. Don’t ride in blind spots and always ride with your headlights on.
  • Watch the weather.
  • Educate your passengers.

Need motorcycle insurance? Call us at 1-800-279-4010.

Tim Ganoung, Personal Insurance Consultant

Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company.

Update your retirement goals

(Retirement) Permanent link

Brenda EcheverriaSummer is a great time to revisit your personal financial goals. If you have an IRA or 403(b)/TSA account with us, you can log in to yourMONEY to access your account.

On your home page, you will find a “My Retirement Goals” section with three boxes (blue, green, and red). Clicking on the “Update My Goals” gives you the opportunity to add in information that will indicate how much you will need in retirement, where you are at today, and identify any shortfall. An easy sliding calculator allows you to learn what it will take to eliminate the gap.

We also have a number of free calculators for you to use to help you with your retirement planning as well as savings goals, WRS projections, debt management, and more. Visit

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

The Trustee Custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Newport Trust Company. The 403(b) retirement program is offered by the WEA TSA Trust. TSA program registered representatives are licensed through WEA Investment Services, Inc., member FINRA.

Summer Safety Series: Trampolines

(Insurance) Permanent link

Janet AndersonSummer is here! We're continuing our Summer Safety Series with important tips on trampoline safety.

If your summer plans include using a backyard trampoline, make sure you know the risks and realities that come with trampoline use. Here's what you should consider.

Accidents happen

There is a surprising amount of power that can be generated from jumping on a trampoline—children can bounce up to 30 feet, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Head and neck injuries account for 10–17% of all trampoline-related injuries. These often happen with falls and failed somersaults or flips and can be the most catastrophic of all trampoline injuries suffered.  

If you decide to take the leap

If you must have a trampoline, put safety first. Take these steps recommended by the CPSC to reduce the risk of injury: 

  • Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.
  • Do not attempt or allow somersaults because landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis.
  • Do not use the trampoline without shock-absorbing pads that completely cover its springs, hooks, and frame.
  • Place the trampoline away from structures, trees and other play areas.
  • No child under 6 years of age should use a full-size trampoline. Do not use a ladder, as it can provide unsupervised access to small children.
  • Supervise children at all times.
  • Trampoline enclosures may help prevent injuries from falls.

The decision to purchase or keep a trampoline comes down to risk versus reward. While they may seem appealing as a fun summer activity, be sure to understand the safety risks as well as the legal and financial risks that come with owning a trampoline. Read more about trampolines and the ups and downs of owning one, here…

Janet Anderson, Personal Insurance Consultant