First Choice Insurance Agency is dedicated to complete customer satisfaction.
For the past 3 years First Choice has taken an active interest in Supporting Mercy Home. Located in Chicago, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has broken the cycle of neglect and abuse for over 30,000 kids since 1887. Mercy Home for Boys & Girls saves young lives by providing a safe, nurturing residential treatment home.
At First Choice giving back to our community is ranked high on our priority list. Not only does First Choice give back to Mercy Home but we are also proud sponsors of World Vision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and National Association for Down Syndrome. We believe in making generosity a part of our growth strategy and hope you do as well.
It wasn’t so long ago that retirement meant a pension and a gold watch, but today’s world looks much different than it did for generations past. The burden of retirement falls more heavily on the shoulders of individual Americans than it ever has before, but you don’t have to carry it alone.
New Generation Retirement® is a holistic approach to retirement planning. It consists of a five-step retirement planning system that we will work through together. Through this planning process, you’ll be confident that you have given careful consideration to asset allocation and risk, income planning, asset maximization, legacy planning and tax strategies.The Five Steps
The New Generation Retirement System is based on three hallmarks of successful retirement planning: fiduciary, transparency and technology.
Prepare for a long and comfortable life, have a plan for long-term care.
Long-term care refers to medical and support services for those who have difficulty in executing routine daily functions, or those individuals with prolonged or degenerative illnesses, cognitive disorders, old age and or other conditions. Nursing homes are probably what come to mind first when discussing long-term care, but long-term care can also include assisted-living facilities, continuing-care retirement communities and home healthcare, among others.
One reason long-term care planning warrants more consideration today than in decades past is because we're living longer lives. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of people turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care during their lives. Not having a plan can mean that costs fall on younger family members, causing a financial strain; or on a retired spouse, leading him or her to deplete their own retirement savings.
As the baby boomer generation ages and the demand for long-term care increases, new methods of paying for long-term care have surfaced. In addition, individuals may look for assistance from life insurance and annuity policies that may include features that provide enhanced benefits if the policy owner becomes impaired (subject to certain requirements).
Since dramatic changes in our health can surface quickly and without much warning, it can be extremely beneficial to have a sound plan to be able to fund long-term care, should you need it at any point in your retirement. We are here to help you prepare for a long and comfortable retirement.
Insurance solutions to help meet a variety of goals.
Some retirees are concerned with the impact a market loss may have on the future of their income and assets. Others are looking for a reliable income stream. Still others actually underestimate the impact of a market loss.
For that reason, we offer a number of insurance solutions that can be used to protect more than just your physical assets. They can also be used to help protect your future. Whether they’re right for you depends on your unique retirement goals. Our firm specializes in helping individuals secure their retirement assets while still achieving growth by offering a variety of insurance products as part of a retirement strategy.
With the right strategy, you can potentially earn money with your money through the use of fixed annuities* and life insurance. Our firm can help you create a dependable and sustainable source of retirement income to be used now, in the future or whenever you need it most.
Contact us to explore if one of our insurance solutions could fit within your retirement strategy.*Annuities are designed to be long-term insurance products. Early withdrawals may impact annuity cash values and death benefits. Taxes are payable upon withdrawal of funds. An additional 10% IRS penalty may apply to withdrawals prior to age 59 ½. Income benefit riders may be offered either built-in or for an additional cost. Annuities are not guaranteed by FDIC or any other governmental agency. Keep in mind that most life insurance policies require health underwriting and, in some cases, financial underwriting. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Fixed Indexed Annuities are insurance products and not considered a security or investment. Some restrictions may apply. We are not endorsed by, or affiliated with, the Social Security Administration or any other government agency. Call for specific details and availability.
Life insurance offers multi-faceted retirement solutions.
Although some people view life insurance as a way to replace lost income or pay off debt after the passing of a loved one, it also can offer a number of potential benefits that may make it a valuable tool to accomplish different financial goals in retirement.
First and foremost, life insurance may provide peace of mind and a degree of comfort for the policyholder (the insured) that their loved ones (the beneficiaries) are taken care of financially in the event that they pass away. In addition, life insurance can be a sensible solution for many small business owners to help protect the financial future of their business if something should happen to them. Life insurance is also one of a few types of products that may offer helpful ways to reduce or avoid certain taxes.
In addition to a death benefit, however, life insurance is also one of a few types of products that may offer helpful ways to reduce or avoid certain taxes. Some of these benefits may include:Death benefits:
As an independent insurance firm, we are able to shop dozens of insurance carriers to find rates and product solutions to fit your specific needs and goals, meaning we are not relegated to simply one line of products or one brand name like a captive agent. In addition, we offer complimentary reviews on your existing life insurance contracts.
Medicare and retirement health strategy.
While there is no shortage of things to prepare for in retirement, it's critical to also address your health needs and concerns by crafting a comprehensive health care strategy. There are various ways to accomplish this, with Medicare being the most important for many Americans.
Medicare generally provides health insurance for most people age 65 and older, and others who have received Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months, have end-stage renal disease or have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Medicare is similar to Social Security, since it is a federal program that you have paid into throughout your career. Just like Social Security, you want to maximize this benefit in retirement.Medicare is split into four parts:
Many people with Part A do not pay a premium because they have already paid enough into the system. As with Social Security, a certain portion from each one of your paychecks is deducted to pay for Medicare. When you’ve had Medicare tax withheld from you or your spouse’s pay for at least 40 calendar quarters, then you may be be eligible for free Part A coverage.
The monthly premium associated with Part B is set according to income level, although most people will pay a standard monthly premium amount and a small yearly deductible. Individuals who have an annual income greater than $85,000 and couples who have a joint annual income greater than $170,000 will have an extra charge added to their premium due to their high income level. Parts C and D are provided via private insurance companies so the monthly premiums of these policies depend on the extent of their coverage and can vary between companies.We are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.
What is Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage?
Starting January, 1, 2006 Medicare prescription drug coverage became available to everyone on Medicare. Everyone with Medicare can get this coverage that may help lower prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. Medicare prescription drug coverage is insurance. Private companies provide the coverage. You choose the drug plan and pay a monthly premium. Like other insurance, if you decide not to enroll in the drug plan when you are first eligible, you may pay a penalty if you choose to join later.
What to remember when you are making a Medicare Part D decision.
Coverage – Medicare drug plans will cover generic and name brand drugs. Plans may have rules about what drugs are covered in different drug categories. These are also known as “tiers”. This makes sure that people with different medical conditions can get the treatment they need.
Most plans have a formulary, which is a list if drugs covered by the plan. This list must always meet Medicare’s requirements, but it can change when plan’s get new information. Your plan must let you know at least 60 days before a drug you use is removed from the list or if the costs are changing.
If your doctor thinks you need a drug that isn’t on the list, or if one of your drugs is being removed from the list, you or your doctor can apply for an exception or appeal the decision.
Cost – Monthly premiums and your share of the cost of your prescriptions will depending on what plan you choose.
Convenience – Drug plans must contract with pharmacies in your area. Check with the plan to make sure the pharmacies in the plan are convenient to you. Some plans also allow you to order prescriptions through the mail.
Security Now and In the Future – even if you don’t take a lot of prescription drugs now, you still should consider joining a drug plan. As we age most people need prescription drugs to stay healthy. The enrollment period for Medicare Part D begins each year on October 15th and goes through December 7th. If you sign up for a plan, your benefits begin January 1st.
If you delay signing up for a drug plan, your premium cost will go up at least 1% per month for every month that you delay. Like other insurance, you will have to pay this penalty as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Please allow us to help you make an informed decision. Currently we work with many Part D carriers. We will provide a free analysis using the medication you currently take. Please feel free to call us with questions, or take a moment to fill out an inquiry form and a licensed specialist will get back to you.
What are Medicare Advantage Plans?
Medicare Advantage Plans are health plan options that are part of the Medicare program. If you join one of these plans, you generally get all your Medicare-covered health care through that plan. The coverage can include prescription drug coverage. Medicare pays a set amount of money for your care every month to these private health plans whether or not you use your services. In most of these plans, generally there are extra benefits and lower co-payments than in the Original Medicare Plan. However, you may have to see doctors that belong to the plan or go to certain hospitals to get services.Medicare Advantage Plans
Here at First Choice Insurance we realize choosing a Medicare supplement that is right for you can be very confusing. Even if you already have a supplement, with the constant price increases that occur, what are the options available to you?
As you probably know, Medicare was not made to provide complete medical coverage and so supplemental insurance plans were developed to fill the gaps that are left. Medicare supplements are sold in 12 government-standardized plans A – L. Many insurance companies sell some if not all of the plans that are available. Plan – for – plan, all insurance companies must provide exactly the same coverage. What that means is whether you buy a plan F from a “Company A” or a plan F from “Company B”, the coverage must be exactly the same. What this allows you to do is comparison shop so you can purchase the plan you want at the best price available.
At First Choice Insurance we can help you review all of your options by allowing you a look at over 50 major insurance carriers including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mutual of Omaha, Standard Life, United American, and Pacific Care just to name a few. Our motto is “The Client Is Always First” and we uphold this by providing you with the most current information and plans available to you at the best price for your premium dollar. We can even help you save on your current prescription costs.
If you already have a supplement you may be questioning whether it’s safe to switch from one company to another and the answer is yes. Remember, the government mandates that every plan must be exactly the same. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements of the new company, it is safe to switch from one company to another. Many people change companies in order to save money but you should always make sure you are accepted to the new company before you cancel your current coverage.
We realize how important good dental hygiene is, but some dental services can cost a bundle if you don’t have the appropriate coverage in place. Our dental plans are low cost, and may greatly help you or your family to offset the high cost of dental procedures. Our dental, vision and hearing plans have one of the largest networks in the country. Our plans allow you to choose your own dentist, have $0 deductible options, high coverage maximums and large PPO networks available.
Michael Perna serves as President of First Choice Financial Services, LLC and First Choice Insurance Agency Incorporated. He boasts several years’ experience within the insurance and financial services industries. Mike Perna is an approved member of the National Ethics Association for over nine years. First choice has been rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and has been the recipient of the Compliant Free Award as well.
Michael specializes in financial planning, his strength is in the areas of retirement planning and his primary goal is to continually improve his clients’ financial position, while protecting their assets. He accomplishes these goals through a blend of financial services that are tailored to his clients’ specific financial needs.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH MICHAEL
Ashley Gambro grew up in Des Plaines and attended St. Viator High School, she now lives in Arlington Heights with her husband and two children. She studied history at the University of Kansas and attended cooking school at Le Cordon Bleu post college. Ashley spent the following years working in restaurants in downtown Chicago. She eventually opened her own catering company. For many years Ashley worked at First Choice during the week and did catering jobs on the weekends. When she got pregnant with her daughter, she pursued insurance full time. Although she has worked in the insurance field since 2006, she became a licensed agent in 2015. Ashley sites her favorite part of the job to “genuinely helping people, at First Choice we are always working in the best interest of the client and that makes me feel good about the work we do”. When Ashley is not working, she loves spending time with her family and friends. She is a member of the Arlington Heights Junior Women’s Club, which brings together women in the spirit of volunteerism and service. She enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and concerts in the park.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ASHLEY
John Wright resides in the western suburbs with his wife Jennifer and two children, William and Kate. He grew up in Elmhurst and has been involved in direct sales for the majority of his career but has also handled B2B sales. He is both knowledgeable and humorous. John has been one of the top ranked Illinois amateur golfers for the last 20 years competing in and winning many local tournaments. As the General Sales Manager, John has been a key part of First Choice Insurance Agency. He continues to learn all he can about the wide array of available Medicare supplement options and growing his insurance and annuity portfolio of clients across the state of Illinois. John is patient and forthcoming and will help you to answer even the most difficult insurance coverage questions in his attempts to find the insurance options most suitable for you and your family.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH JOHN
Abbagayle Emini, grew up in Michigan and always thought she would be a physical therapist. After graduating from Michigan State University she took a different path into business management. She accepted a job with J. Alexander’s restaurant group after school bringing her to Chicago where she was able to advance her career. She loved working in the hospitality industry for 10 years. During her tenure in management she had the chance to meet her husband and after 7 years of dating they were married. After finding out she was going to be a mom, Abbi decided to take a step back from management and pursued her insurance license. For the past 6 years Abbi has enjoyed working to help people navigate their way through retirement. The insurance industry has been a very rewarding transition for her allowing her to continue her passion of helping people while giving her the time to be there for her two little girls Sophia and Ava. Abbi believes that getting to know each clients background and needs will give them the opportunity to create a plan that helps them achieve their retirement goals. Insurance can be a confusing world and as a broker Abbi has made it her goal to educate her clients so they can make the best decision for them whether they are contemplating Medicare, long term care plans, life insurance or annuities. Her lifelong dedication to customer service sets her apart from others allowing her clients a personalized experience. When she is not working Abbi enjoys an active lifestyle always taking time to get in a workout. She believes in promoting healthy living for her girls Sophia and Ava. Family time is very important and maintains a primary focus for Abbi and her husband Mino.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH Abbagayle
BJ Paul is a loving husband, father, sales professional, golfer, and friend. He is outgoing, upbeat, and a friendly person to be around. Currently BJ resides in Westmont with his wife Amanda and two daughters Sarla and Lola. He grew up in Woodridge and attended Downers Grove South High School. BJ studied professional golf management at Ferris State University in Michigan. For the past 21 years he pursued his career as a golf professional. While playing golf professionally he won two tournaments in 2010 and qualified for the National Championship in 2016. In addition to competing in tournaments, he specializes in teaching the game of golf to clients in all walks of life. He began his career in insurance sales in 2018 while still maintaining his teaching business. BJ enjoys helping people find the right solutions for their needs in both career avenues. His favorite part of the job is meeting people and getting to know them on a personal level. On his time away from work he enjoys spending time with family, playing golf, and socializing with friends.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH BJ PAUL
Fran Emini started out her professional career as a flight attendant with American Trans Air and quickly worked her way up to senior level. During this time, she realized that she had a passion for people and putting their needs first came naturally to her. In 1992, after having her two children, Fran made a career shift. She found great joy in being able to spend as much time as possible with her children so she cut back her flying hours and began working with First Choice Insurance Agency. For the last 27 years Fran has dedicated herself to her clients and to building lifelong relationships with them. Fran will tell you that one of the attributes that sets her apart from other agents is her dedication and ability to treat every client like they are family.
Fran specializes in retirement planning and prides herself on listening to the needs of her clients in order to create a plan that works for them. With her tenure in the insurance industry, she has sharpened her skills and understanding of long-term care, life insurance and financial strategies. She has even served as a mentor and trainer for several new hires. Her vast experience offers her clients different possibilities and allows them alternatives to achieve their retirement goals beyond the basic ideas. Fran’s greatest accomplishment beyond work is her family. She is very proud to say she has several wonderful grandchildren that are delightful, and she enjoys spending time with them. In addition to spending time with her family, Fran enjoys traveling. Fran currently resides in Downers Grove with her husband, Michael.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH FRAN
Justin McCormack grew up in Athens, Ohio and attended Ohio University. After college he moved to Chicago, he has been with First Choice Insurance Agency since 2005. He started out setting appointments for our insurance agents, and in 2010 he became a licensed insurance agent. Since then, he has worked both out in the field and in the office as an insurance broker. Justin is Michael Perna's executive assistant, and spends most of his time on administrative work, but still maintains and services his own clients as well. Justin has two daughters, Violet and Rose, and lives with his wife Carrie in Skokie.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH JUSTIN