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The Cadet & Midshipman Monthly (March 2016 edition) – "The best decision I 'never' made"


As a senior at West Point in the late ‘80s, a professor that I had great respect for gave me a brochure about a small insurance company and said, “Join this organization.”

I found it peculiar: why “join” an insurance company? What was that all about? My professor explained that it was actually an association for military and veterans – an organization that would take care of my family in the event of my death. It wasn’t about insurance per se, but about values similar to our own as servicemembers, and about care that extended beyond simply administering a policy. That professor had never given me bad advice, so I figured what the heck, and eventually “joined” by purchasing a small, $5,000 whole life policy. And, that’s the story of how I discovered AAFMAA, and became a lifelong Member of the longest-standing financial solutions provider expressly for the U.S. Military.

You are now an introductory Member of this same great organization. Founded in 1879, AAFMAA provides a full suite of financial services including insurance, financial planning, investment management, trust services, and we will add mortgages in the near future. But it’s not just about the products. As my instructor told me, it’s about being part of an association that values you and your families individually. With that small policy I purchased a long time ago, I knew that if anything were to happen to me, AAFMAA would ensure that my survivors received all of the benefits that my service entitled them to receive.

You have that coverage now, but your introductory membership expires when you graduate. However, you can convert to full membership when your time as a Cadet or Midshipmen comes to an end. Here are just few reasons why you should:

  • AAFMAA beats SGLI. Your military status gives you access to Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI). You are probably already paying $28 per month for it — just check your LES. AAFMAA’s rates on a term policy comparable to SGLI are lower – you’ll save money every month! Locking in these low rates with AAFMAA while you are young means your death benefit and premium will not change through age 50 and you can keep your policy even after leaving the service. SGLI ends when you leave the service. Call 866-955-3585 and we can walk you through making the switch.
  • Survivor assistance. Only AAFMAA provides Survivor Assistance Services with every policy. Should you die, AAFMAA will work with your survivors to initiate life insurance policy death claims, discuss settlement options, and assist with all necessary forms. If applicable, we will also notify the Veterans Administration of your passing and assist with all necessary VA claim forms.
  • Transition assistance. At some point we all hang up our uniforms. If you join AAMFAA’s Premier Services, you will receive Digital Vault document storage, VA Claims assistance, Military Benefits Analysis, and a Transition Readiness Assessment when the time comes.
  • Financial services. As you progress through your career, whether in or out of uniform, your financial profile will grow and become more complex. AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust LLC offers financial planning and investment management.Also a non-profit, AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust provides fee-only services (no commissions) and operates with fiduciary responsibility to its clients, which means the law obligates it to always provide advice in the client’s best interests.

Becoming a permanent Member involves a very simple process. Membership actually comes with any of our policies or services. Don’t wait – you and your loved ones deserve to breathe easy and experience the difference with AAFMAA.

The best decision I never made was joining AAFMAA. I never made it because a trusted mentor actually had to nudge me into doing it. Fortunately, you already know about the great benefits of AAFMAA because of your introductory membership. Become a full member today and go into Active Duty with financial confidence — empowered by AAFMAA.

Contact us at 866-955-3585 or by email at [email protected] to get started.

The narrative is from the perspective of an AAFMAA Member, AAFMAA Assistant Secretary Carlos Perez, who has been a member of our organization since 1989. A West Point graduate and retired Colonel, he offers sounds advice to upcoming servicemembers.