From getting life insurance and a burial plan to writing a will, Jo Ann Crooks discusses how to plan practically and financially for your future ascension. Jo Ann Crooks is a first generation Unificationist living in Arizona, who sold life insurance as a living.
Contributed by Jo Ann Crooks
I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed that our elder first generation Unificationists are passing into the spirit world at a consistent rate.
It is troubling to see their families unprepared for the ascension of their loved ones, and scrambling to ask for help to bury them as they are about to ascend, or afterwards. There is one thing that is for sure – we are all going to ascend to the sprit world at some point. It is best to prepare ahead of time for this eventuality. I want to give you some information that may be of help to you in planning for your final expenses.
The National Won Jeon
Years ago, I think we all thought that we would be buried in Korea. It seemed a natural thought. It was our Homeland – the home of our True Parents. But nothing has come of this hope in the ensuing years. In 2003, Unificationist created the National Won Jeon near Washington, D.C. There is a lot of information on their website about Seonghwas, etc. It is a holy burial ground for our Unification Church members. It is open to any Unificationists who wish to be buried there, but there is not currently room for all of the members in the United States. In 2011, I felt God pushing me to do research to find a place here in Arizona where we could make a Won Jeon. I did quite a lot of research. We chose a cemetery in Scottsdale, where two Blessed Children were previously buried. The management agreed to set aside 12 plots for us, and we had a ceremony to dedicate it as a Holy Won Jeon. Bill Selig, one of the directors of the National Won Jeon is currently writing a book that will include instructions on how you can make a Holy Ground in your own area. I can also offer you instructions based on what we did here. We have sold all 12 plots and the cemetery made room for four more plots for our use. We arranged it that the cemetery owns the plots and Unificationists can purchase the plots from them directly.
I am not a financial planner, but I have sold life insurance so I have some knowledge. I was told by a financial planner that life insurance should be the foundation of your finances. The best time to purchase life insurance is when you are young. That is when you will get the lowest rates (payments) and when you are most likely to be able to qualify for insurance, as your health will probably be good. You should have enough to allow your family to continue their current lifestyle if something happens to you. There should be coverage on the wife too, in case something happens to her.
There are two main kinds of life insurance – whole life and term life. Whole life builds cash value over the years you pay into it. It matures usually late in your life. Term life is insurance you get for a set period of years, like 10, 20, or more. The rates are usually lower than whole life because you usually have to be in good health to qualify for it. That is why is is generally marketed to younger people. The insurance companies know that most people will not die in their 30s or 40s, so they will sell you a term life policy for a small amount of money each month. The problem is, when the period is up, you have no more insurance and you are 10 or 20 years older, and probably have developed some health issues. Then insurance will be more costly and harder to get. I believe it is better to always purchase whole life insurance. The cost will be higher, but you will have it for your whole life. You can start with what you can afford and add to it later on, but start somewhere. This is aimed at our younger members and couples. NOW is the time to think about and purchase life insurance, for yourself or your family.
One important note about insurance: there is an abundance of companies lately selling what they call “Guaranteed Acceptance” policies. The reason you can be accepted without any medical questions is if you die of any illness in the first two years, they will not pay you the full amount (generally, if you die in an accident, these policies will pay). You have to read the fine print, or ask an independent insurance broker. If you cannot find insurance that will cover you (such as in the case of medical issues) contact your state’s Department of Insurance (may have a different name). They can help find policies you can afford, or some states have their own.
You can also purchase a burial plan which you can purchase from a particular funeral home or company. The advantage is it locks in the price of most funeral costs at the time you purchase it. One disadvantage is you may move out of the area where you purchased the funeral policy. But you can sell the plot to another member in that case. You can also cover your funeral with life insurance money, but one disadvantage is the cost of funerals will keep going up, and your life insurance has only a certain amount of money. You would have to make sure you have enough to cover your burial possibly years from now when the prices will be higher, or you would have to increase your insurance over time. I personally have both–whole life insurance and a burial plot that I am paying on at our Won Jeon.
Writing a Will
You should also have a will, and an Advance Directive (it is called by several names. It puts in writing your final desires if something should happen to you and you cannot speak for yourself). Every state has different laws regarding insurance, Advance Directives, and wills. You should research the laws of your state. In Arizona, you can make a hand-written will and it can be witnessed (signed) by another person and it will be legal. Make sure the forms you use are valid in all 50 states. And make sure you give the form to your spouse or someone else who will have it accessible when it is needed. And discuss your wishes with those you love. A special note for couples with children – you need to have a will to specify someone who will take care of your children should something happen to both parents. You must find someone who agrees to do this. It would be good to have a lawyer to help with this important task, but at least have a legal will to cover this, otherwise, generally, the courts of your state will decide what happens to your children.
For younger parents, it is wise to reach out to someone that can commit to taking care of your children should anything happen to both parents. Consider choosing someone who will raise your children according to your beliefs.
Also check out the Las Angeles Family Church Seonhwa website: www.seonghwaministry.com