Amazon Prefab Homes are Every Prepper’s Dream

Yes, you read the title correctly. Amazon does, in fact, sell prefabricated homes. They aren’t mansions or anything, but who cares. You can buy a home for less than $20,000, some as low as $5,000. Of course, you’re going to need tools and maybe a few basic carpentry skills. But has a lack of skills stopped you yet? We doubt it. Keep reading to find out how you can get your Amazon prefabricated home!

Amazon Prefabricated Homes

Owning two homes…who has that kind of money? Let’s be honest, most of us probably don’t have a few hundred thousand lying around. However, Amazon along with a lot of other retailers offer prefabricated homes for under $25,000. You can even find tiny homes for under $10,000. Of course, this is cheap in comparison to most single-family homes. And while you’ll be saving a lot, you will be compromising space, in both the prefabricated Amazon houses and other tiny home options.

Lillevilla Allwood Cabin Kit Getaway

Even if you’re not looking for a second home for when shit hits the fan, you have to admit, this isn’t a bad looking prefabricated house – off Amazon of all places. Right when you thought Amazon couldn’t do more than they’re already doing, they start shipping homes.

Who says you have to live in a tent after the apocalypse? Make this place your survival home instead.

Price: $18,800.00

Specs

  • Inside Combined Floor Area: 292 Sqf + the sleeping Loft (not part of the 292 Sqf)
  • Wall thickness: 1-3/4″ (44 mm) – dual T&G windblock pattern
  • Ridge Height: 12′ 8″ – Back wall height: 8″ – Kit weight is 7300 lbs
  • Doors: Exterior (2): 62-1/8” x 76-1/8” – Interior (1): 32-1/2” x 76-1/8”
  • Windows | front: 36” x 36” | back: 54-1/8″ x 36″ | left: 27-5/8″ x 46-7/8″ | right: 21-3/4″ x 68″

Allwood Claudia

This prefabricated home could also be a little garden room or the most beautiful shed you’ve ever owned. It’s one big open space – so plenty of room for activities. No one said you needed seven rooms and three full baths in your home away from homes, just a roof over your head and a way to keep warm.

 

Price: $8,250.00

Specs

  • Inside Floor Area: 209 Sqf – spacious yet cozy
  • Wall thickness: 1-3/4″ (44 mm) – dual T&G wind block pattern
  • Front / back wall height: 7’3″ – Ridge height: 11’11”
  • Each extra layer of wall planks adds approximately 4-1/2 inches to the wall height
  • Extra wall planks are listed separately – SKU: 8O-5C6V-VCA4

Timber Frame Cabin Kit

One of the more expensive options on Amazon, but still worth mentioning – because hey, it’s a cabin. Now you can be like your forefathers and build your own cabin back in the woods someplace. Of course, you’re not cutting your own lumber…but still. If you did it right, you’ll end up with two bedrooms and a bathroom.

This particular kit also has a bit more space, which is part of the reason you’re paying more.

Price: $59,321.00

Specs

  • 725 Square Foot Goshen Timber Frame Cabin Kit
  • Handcrafted Timber Frame
  • Prefabricated Insulated Panel Enclosure
  • Tongue and Groove Decking for Ceiling and Loft

Lillevilla Escape

Much smaller, and cheaper than the other options we’ve listed is this tiny little shelter. Yes, you could use it as a hobby space, a shed, playhouse, etc. Or, you could make it your survival home hidden away someplace up in the mountains. Really, it’s all about imagination, and I could imagine myself finding shelter in this 113 square foot building over a tent in a blizzard any day.

Price: $4,990.00

Specs

  • Inside Floor Area: 113 Sqf – 9’1″ deep x 12’5″ wide
  • Wall thickness: 1-3/4″ (44 mm) – Nordic Spruce Dual Tongue Windblock pattern
  • Ridge Height: 8′ 3″ | Wall height 6’5″
  • Door: 33.5″ x 69.7″ | Window: 46.9″ x 34.2″
  • Minimum site footprint 13’1″ x 9’8″ – Weight 3200 lbs

Allwood Ranger Cabin Kit

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any cooler, Amazon presents you with a ranger cabin kit that has a nice little covered front porch. No one said you couldn’t survive in style. Of course, it’s going to cost you, but not as much as that timber cabin listed above. No, it’s not as big, but there’s a bathroom, kitchen space, a living room, and a small loft to sleep in. What more could you possibly want?

Price: $19,990.00

Specs

  • 259 SQF main floor + spacious 168 SQF Loft
  • 2-3/4″ (70 mm) dual T&G windblock pattern
  • Milled from slow grown Nordic Spruce
  • 451 SQF roof area at 24.8 degree angle – ideal for solar panels
  • Lead time 45 days from order date

Why Get A Prefabricated Home

State of Emergency

If a state of emergency happens, do you have a place to go? Are you planning on running to the nearest cave? Maybe you’re planning on staying at your uncle’s place. No matter what, it’s important you know your options prior to the emergency. When things get really bad, you might have to forfeit everything you have and go someplace else, whether that be due to a hurricane, flood, or other natural disasters. Of course, there’s always the chance of a zombie apocalypse, so you should be prepared for that as well. Either way, you might need a place of retreat that isn’t your home on Sunshine Ave. Point being, you should be prepared for when things get really bad. Some choose a second home—you could use it as a vacation spot when your life isn’t being threatened too.

A Survivalist’s Second Home

Container Homes

Container homes are starting to become popular now. For those of us who have no imagination or building skills of any kind, there are container homes just for you. You can get all the necessities needed for survival, and oddly enough have a very modern looking home. There’s really no limit to what you can do with these things. You can add solar panels and even make additions later on.

20ft/40ft expandable container house With Solar Energy

What’s nice about a container home is how quickly you can turn it into a living space. Here you have this giant box and the next thing you know it’s a home. Of course, you might have to add some insulation for warmth. But, they do come water and windproof. Add some furniture and you’ll really be living in style.

Price: $24,800.00

Specs

  • Fast installation:2 hours/set ,save labor cost
  •  Anti-rust: all material use hot galvanized steel
  • Waterproof: without wood ceiling, wall
  • Fireproof: Fire rating A grade
  • Simple foundation: just need 12 pcs concrete block foundation
  • Wind-resistant (11 level) and anti-seismic (9 grade)
  • Solar power energy system can fully charge in 10 hours, it depends on the local sunshine condition.

Tiny Houses

Tiny homes aren’t anything new. They make great vacation spots, an awesome alternative to RVs, and they work as a survivalist’s second home. And yes, you can find them on Amazon.

Tiny Home – Park Model RV: Ultimate Vacation Home

Remember all those trips you took and made the statement, “We’ve taken everything but the kitchen sink!” Well, guess what? Now you really can take the kitchen sink. In fact, you can take the entire house. You’ll never have to worry about packing a suitcase again in this ultimate vacation home. Of course, if you’re planning to live long term out of your tiny home, you’ll have to downsize a little – maybe a lot. But, you’ll never have to worry about finding a pet-friendly hotel again. Or, maybe you don’t want to live long term in such a small space. It makes a great alternative if there’s a state of emergency or evacuation.

Price: $51,500.00

Specs

  • 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, 399 sq.ft.
  • Includes covered front porch, pine accents, tile flooring, decorative barn door, kitchen appliances, and window coverings.
  • High ceilings, open-concept floorplan, and ample storage space

USAA Investments

USAA has been more than a car insurance company for a while now. Today they’ve grown into a huge bank with plenty of investment opportunities USAA members can take advantage of. Keep reading to find out how to start investing with USAA. We’ve even included a section on how to transfer your TSP to a USAA IRA once you leave the service.

Investing with USAA

If you’re looking to invest, there are plenty of ways to do so. However, before you start, you need to think about your goals. Some investments offer tax benefits, while others don’t. There are short-term investments, long-term investment, education investments and more. So first, consider your goal(s), and then pick where you want your money to go.

Keep in mind, you should never invest if you’re not in a position to do so. Make sure you have an emergency fund saved up (because you never want to pull from an investment account – this will typically come with fees), you should be paying all your bills on time (if you can’t, get that under control first), and finally make sure if you have debt, such as a car or house payment, that it’s manageable. If you have all that going for you, then you can start looking to invest.

USAA Mutual Funds

If you don’t know a lot about stocks or you don’t have the confidence you’d like to invest in bonds, mutual funds are a good place to start. This is because an expert does all the work for you. Now, we’re not saying hand over your money and never look at it again until you’re eligible to withdraw. You should still keep an eye on your account, watch where your money is being invested and all that. But, it’s a much easier option for those who want to invest but don’t have a lot of knowledge about doing so. You can, of course, do this yourself, but financial advisors are there to educate you along the way.

You can open a mutual fund for $50/month after you’ve invested an initial $50 when opening the account. You also have the option of simply opening an account with $500, without the $50/month. Minimum investments range anywhere from $50 to $3000, depending on what type of mutual fund you open, which will depend on what type of investing you want to do (c

Digital Investment Adviser

Knowing which exchange-traded funds or EFTs to invest in can be confusing, especially if you’re new to investing. That’s why USAA has something called a Digital Investment Adviser to help you out. It’s like a little tiny robot who has all the right answers. You tell it how much risk you’re willing to take and then your new robot friend will do all the heavy lifting. Okay, it’s not really a tiny robot; there are real people, portfolio managers. The “robo advising” takes place when your account needs rebalancing.

The good news, you can invest at any given time, you’ll have a globally diversified portfolio, according to USAA, and you can track it all from your computer or fancy smartphone.

They do all the hard work for you. If your account becomes unbalanced, they’ll rebalance it for you, without an additional fee. There isn’t a transfer fee or any additional trading fees either—if USAA is the one buying and selling for you.

However, there’s a .50% annual fee for what your account is worth. This excludes underlying fund fees. You’ll also need $2,000 to open this particular account.

This is an option for those who are looking to make a long-term investment—5 or more years.

Exchange-Traded Funds

EFTs is an investment in diversified securities. If you want to invest in this, you’ll first need to open a brokerage account. You’ll also need a minimum of $3,000 to get yourself started. Unlike some of the other investment opportunities, this requires you to do the work. You have to give USAA your trade details and complete your own orders. USAA won’t be investing for you.

If you need a little help, don’t worry there’s something called Morningstar Investing Education, which has several virtual classrooms on everything you’ll need to start investing properly. You can learn about EFTs, mutual funds, and stocks.

Managed Portfolios

If you have $25,000 or more just sitting there in an account, begging to be invested, but you aren’t quite sure what to do with it, a USAA managed portfolio might be the way to go. You’ll start by telling them your financial goals—retirement, vacation, new car, house, sending your kid to college, etc.—and how much risk you’re willing to take. Then, they’ll let you know what type of portfolio fits your specific needs and desires.

You’ll have a professional helping you make the best financial decision for you and your money, instead of leaving you to figure it out on your own. They’ll monitor, reallocate and rebalance when need be. However, this does come with a fee, but you’ll get diversified investments and a professional to keep you on track toward the goals you’ve set with them.

If you have $250,000 lying around, you can open up a UMP Wrap with Wealth Management—USAA Managed Portfolio with additional benefits. This option is a bit more custom, and you’ll get a lot more than investment management basics. This also comes with a fee.

USAA CD

If you’re not wanting to hold your money up in a retirement account, but still want to invest, you might want to consider looking into a CD—no, not that disk you used to put in your car before iTunes came out, Certificates of Deposit. With a much lower risk than dealing in the stock exchange, you can choose to deposit as little as $250 and let your money sit for 1, 2 or maybe 5 years if you so choose. The longer and larger your investment, the larger your APY.

If you’re not looking at investing for years, you can opt for a 30-day CD. You won’t be making a lot of money this way, but it’s better than nothing. If you’re looking for something with a little more gain, you can choose a 7-year investment.

USAA claims that their rates are competitive. However, this does not mean they have the best rates. There are some banks who offer a better return. So, shop around some before taking the leap, especially if you’re planning on tying your money up for 7 years.

USAA 529 Plan

In case you didn’t know, USAA can help you save for college with a 529 plan. A 529 is just one more way you can help prepare yourself or your child for their education. The difference between this account and other investment options are the tax benefits. If you have to withdraw from the account for any educational costs, including K-12 expenses, you won’t have to pay federal income tax on it.

Pro Tip: If you open a 529 account under the parent(s)’ name, it won’t affect financial aid as much as with other funds. Also, you can earn cash back if you’re enrolled in UPromise. And if that’s not enough, USAA will let you invite your friends and family to help contribute to the educational expense through something called Ugift. Yes, you can do this on a social media account.

You can open an account for as little as $50 and make automatic investments of at least $50/month or make an initial investment of $250 and save yourself from having to make that automatic $50/month contribution. 

USAA IRA

IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account.  You have the option of a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Both are intended to help you save up for retirement. With an IRA  you can choose to place your money in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and even a managed portfolio, for a financial expert to manage. Which IRA you choose will depend on a few things, such as your future tax bracket and when you want to pay taxes on the money you invest.

In all cases:

  • If you withdraw money before you turn 59 1/2 you’ll risk a 10% tax penalty
  • You may invest a maximum of $6,000/year if you’re under 50 as of 2019
  • You may invest a maximum of $7,000/year if you’re over 50 as of 2019

Traditional IRA

Traditional IRAs aren’t for everyone. But if you think your tax bracket will lower once you hit retirement, this could be a good option for you. It’s also great for people who would rather pay taxes once they start withdrawing money, instead of right now. If you aren’t planning on taking out any money until you’re 71 1/2 this could be a beneficial investment.  It’s also a good option for those who are still making taxable income up until age 71 1/2.

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is nearly the opposite of a Traditional IRA. It’s optimal for those who intend to stay or be placed in a higher tax bracket in retirement compared to their working years. It’s best for those who don’t want their tax benefits now and would rather wait until retirement. Don’t mind paying taxes on their investment now, so they can make tax-free withdrawals once they’re retired. And it’s good for those who don’t want to worry about minimum distributions.

Transferring your TSP to a USAA IRA

Before we get into talking about how to transfer your TSP into a USAA IRA, let’s take a moment to go over what a TSP is, what you should be doing with it while you’re in, and then we’ll cover how to transfer it to USAA once you get out. 

What’s a TSP?

TSP is the federal government’s IRA. That’s why it’s so easy to do a rollover once you leave the military or federal service. What’s inviting about a TSP account is, you can choose what percentage of your paycheck you want to invest. Also, it’ll be deposited before you actually see it. If you elect a traditional IRA, you will not have to pay taxes on the funds until you start making withdrawals. This means that you’ll actually make a little more on each paycheck. Why? Because the amount of taxable income has decreased. So, if you need more money upfront, this might be ideal for you.

The TSP also gives you the option of doing a Roth IRA. The difference is when you pay taxes on any invested money. If you opt for a Roth IRA, you’ll pay taxes before you invest. In the end, It’s up to you to decide which option is more beneficial for you. Will it be better for you to pay taxes later? Invest in a traditional IRA. Will it be better for you to pay taxes now so you can withdraw tax-free in old age? Invest in a Roth IRA.

Who’s Eligible for a TSP?

Almost all hired personnel working under the United States Government are eligible to take part in the TSP. According to tsp.gov, the following are eligible:

  • A Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) employee (generally if you were hired on or after January 1, 1984)
  • A Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employee (generally if you were hired before January 1, 1984 and did not convert to FERS)
  • A member of the uniformed services (active duty or Ready Reserve)
  • A civilian in certain other categories of Government service
  • Actively employed by the Federal Government as a civilian employee or as a member of the uniformed services

*You must be in pay-status to contribute

How to Invest in a TSP

No matter which type of IRA you choose, investing through a TSP account is easy. Go into your MyPay account and select TSP. Then go down the list and select anything from 1% to 100% of your base pay. Bonuses, allowances, severance, etc. do not count as base pay. You may select different percentages you’d like taken out of these extra payments to put toward your TSP as well. If you want to stop your contributions, you can do so at any time. You can also make changes through tps.gov or MyPay at any time.

TSP Fund Options

Depending on how much risk you do or do not want to take, will depend on what fund you invest your money in. You have the option of a G, F, S, C, I or L Fund. Each of these funds can help get you a little more cash in your pocket come retirement day.

G Fund

The G Fund, or Government Securities Investment Fund, is a no-risk investment option. No risk unfortunately also means you’re not likely to make a lot in interest. However, while you might not actually make a lot between now and retirement, you cannot lose any money you put in.

For example, let us say you invest $500 into your G Fund this year. You might potentially make a few dollars. But, you’ll never lose the $500 you put in. So, if anything, a G Fund will ensure you’re saving money for your future, just not with a high-interest rate.

Keep in mind, interest rates fluctuate daily. Therefore, it’s impossible to say exactly how much you’ll make by retirement age. But, you can have peace of mind knowing you won’t lose anything you put into your TSP.

F Fund

The F Fund, also known as the Fixed Income Index Investment Fund has some risk. Any account you invest in with risk means you could potentially lose the money you put in. For example, let’s say that instead of putting that $500 into your G Fund account, you chose to place it into an F Fund. There’s a potential that you could lose all $500. But, an F Fund’s risk value is moderately low compared to other investment options. However, that doesn’t mean the risk isn’t there.

For instance, the stock market or bonds drop. If this happens, you might be left with less than you started with. This is because you are contributing to more long-term investment-grade securities. Keep in mind, you’ll experience gains or loses based on how bond prices rise or fall. This also means you shouldn’t get scared when the price of bonds drop because they’ll most likely go back up again.

C Fund

The C Fund, also known as the Common Stock Index Fund also has some risk. This is because of the market risks of stock in S&P 500 index rates. As the prices of stocks rise or fall, so will your potential gain or loss. C Funds, just as F Funds are also subject to inflation risk. This simply means, whatever you invest might be less than what you’ll need to offset inflation.

C Funds carry more risk than an F Fund, which means there’s a potential for higher gains. This is because your money is being invested in equity ownership of large and mid-sized stocks. These stocks are all U.S. Companies.

S Fund

The S Fund, or Small Cap Stock Index Investment Fund, attempts to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index. Unlike a C Funds, S Funds do not include the S&P 500 Index. Your money will still go toward U.S. companies, just not those in the S&P 500 index.

S Funds are subject to the same risks as those of the F and C Funds. This is because they are susceptible to market risks and the risk of inflation. But, that does not mean you won’t see some rewards. Similar to a C Fund, you can increase your profit through equity ownership. But, instead of investing in large and mid-sized companies, your equity ownership is in small and mid-sized companies. Again, these are invested in U.S. companies only.

I Fund

The I Fund, also known as an International Stock Index Investment Fund has the most risk. Also, unlike your other investment options, your money is going into international accounts. Because of this, your risk increases. Why? Because now your money is subject to market risk, inflation risk, and currency risk. However, this also means you have the potential of having a higher gain on your investment.

L Fund

L Funds, or Lifecycle Funds, work slightly different than other investment options. Instead of going in and selecting which fund you want to invest in at a any given time, the L Fund does it for you.

It’s never advised to approach investing with a “set it and forget it” mentality. However, with an L Fund, you can get help on when to risk more or pull back, and it happens automatically.

Now, an L Fund does not mean you’ll be investing in a G, F, S, C or I fund one at a time. It will be a mix of all five. How much you risk in each will fluctuate the closer you get to retirement. This means that the further away from retirement you are, the more risk you’ll have. Therefore, less money will be going into your G Fund the further away you are. However, the closer you get to retirement, the more money you’ll have going into the G Fund. The reasoning behind this is, you shouldn’t be risking as much, and there’s no risk in G Fund contributions.

Currently, when selecting an L Fund, you can choose between the L 2050, L 2040, L 2030, and the L 2020. These refer to the year in which you plan to retire. For example, if you plan to retire between 2025 and 2034, you would select the L 2030 plan. If you’re already withdrawing from your account, you’ll be using L Income. The same applies if you will be withdrawing prior to 2020.

TSP FAQs

A TSP is like a 401(k). On the outside, it may seem like a simple investment. However, there’s a little more to it than one may think. If you don’t invest your money properly, you might not be taking full advantage of what a TSP could offer you. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about TSPs.

Are there any TSP restrictions?

Yes, there are restrictions to a TSP account. First off, you must be working for the federal government to take advantage of it (refer to the section, “Who’s Eligible for a TSP?”). There’s also a restriction on how much you can invest. In 2019, the investment limit raised from $18,500/year to $19,000/year.

When can you withdraw funds from a TSP?

Ideally, you can withdraw funds from your TSP at retirement age. However, if you want to withdraw before that, you may. But, a word of advice, don’t. Withdrawing, before you retire will leave you paying extra fees along with taxes on the cash you take out.

What are the benefits of a TSP for service members not enrolled in the BRS?

Service members investing in a TSP account, up until recently, have not been able to receive government matching. However, that changed when the Blended Retirement System (BRS) came out. Before, only civilians working for the federal government could contribute with a 5% match from their employer. Unfortunately, the same did not apply to service members. With the BRS, those serving in the military can now receive a 5% match, just as their civilian counterparts. However, only service members who opted into the BRS, or were automatically placed into this retirement category have this option. If you’re unsure about which retirement system you fall into, check with your finance office.

If you’re not investing under the new BRS, you might be wondering what the advantages of a TSP are? Is a TSP better than other investments options? The answer, yes. Fees under a TSP are typically much lower than outside investment options. In 2018, the fee for G Funds was only .40 per every $1,000. L Funds work similarly. One might think because an L Fund involves more on the part of professionals there would be more fees. However, this is not the case, and it is based on the average expenses between all five funds.

How to rollover a TSP into a USAA IRA

Rolling your TSP over is pretty straightforward. It’s really a matter of transferring funds. Many banks will let you do this, but we’re going to USAA as our example since a lot of service members use them. Simply go onto USAA’s website and request to rollover your TSP into one of their IRA options. You can do this by following the steps below.

  1. First, open an IRA with USAA. You can do this online or over the phone with a representative.
  2. Select, “Rollover” for your funding source
  3. Download the form that applies to you: TSP-70 (full withdrawals) or TSP-77 (partial withdrawals)
  4. Mail, send via member message, or fax the completed form to 800-292-8177

Best Concealed Carry Purse

Women have it hard enough with all the stupid questions people ask about why YOU carry. I mean, couldn’t a man do it for you? Or…what if the gun goes off??—yeah that’s a question people ask—Despite the stupidity and the sarcastic reply in your head, you still carry. But how you carry, that depends upon too many things to discuss in a single paragraph. What’s really frustrating is the amount of crappy concealed carry purses on the market, what’s more shameful is how pricy the—advertised as—good quality purses are. That’s why we’ve put together an article to help you pick out a concealed carry purse that’s both structurally sound, made of good quality, and won’t break the bank, starting with some of the best concealed carry purses on the market today.

Top 5 Concealed Carry Purses

1. Slim Cross Body-Distressed Buffalo

  • Subtle elegant Pebble Grain American Cowhide
  • Lightweight
  • Year Round wear-ability
  • Soft Hand that will get softer with use
  • Matte texture
  • Outside front Wallet Organizer
  • Held closed with 2 rare earth magnets
  • Zippered pocket and one open pocket
  • Clear ID window
  • 14 card slot pockets
  • Chrome gold plate accent
  • Cross Body timeless styling
  • Slash Resistant Shoulder Strap
  • 1 Ply steel wire tastefully reinforced
  • Cross Body Length
  • Easily clips on and off
  • Adjustable
  • Designed for Left or Right handed use
  • Special padding to prevent gun imprinting
  • Includes our Mini Holster ( designed by Mernickel Holsters)
  • Tested w/S&W M&P Shield – 9mm, Glock 27
  • Subcompact 40C, Sig P238-.380 auto, Ruger LCP 9mm,
  • Walther CCP-9mm, Springfield XD-9mm
  • Main Compartment
  • Zippered Top closure
  • Extra pockets with zippered interior back pocket
  • Fully lined with easy-to-see khaki Gun Tote’n Mamas
  • logo lining
  • Overall Bag size: 9- 3/4″ Tall x 10″ Wide x 3 – 1/8″ Deep
  • GTM Gun compartment size: 7 – 1/4″ Wide x 7 – 1/8″ Tall
  • Zipper opening: 7″ Tall
  • Gun Footprint in holster: 5 – 3/4″ Wide x 6″ tall

Price: $175.95

2. Cross Body Quilted Sac

  • 100% Quilted Microfiber Polyester
  • With smooth Microfiber accents and leather trim
  • Luggage grade Microfiber
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Outlasts Handbag microfiber
  • Designed for either Left or Right handed use
  • Special padding to prevent gun imprinting
  • Slash Resistant Shoulder Strap
  • 11 ply steel wire tastefully reinforced
  • Cross Body Length
  • Easily clips on and off
  • Adjustable
  • Includes our Standard Holster (designed by Mernickle Holsters)
  • Tested with Glock 43, S&W Shield and S&W Air Lite PD revolver
  • Chrome color hardware
  • 2 front chrome metal zippers
  • Gun compartment uses nylon coil zippers for safety
  • Leather zipper tabs
  • Two outside Front pockets fit most Smartphone sizes
  • Zippered main compartment
  • Interior zippered pocket and 2 open pockets
  • Easily holds wallet, glasses, lipstick, book etc.
  • Fully lined with Gun Tote’n Mamas logo lining
  • Overall bag size:
    10″ Tall x 9-1/2″ Wide x 3-1/2″ Deep
  • GTM compartment size:
  • 9″ Wide x 7″ Tall
  • Zipper opening: 6-3/4″ Tall
  • Gun footprint: 8″ wide x 6-1/4″ Tall

Price: $86.99

3. Urban Moxy aurora Concealed Carry Gun Tote

  • 12 “(Top)
  • 14″ (Bottom) wide
  • 11″ long
  • 4″ deep
  • 6″ handle drop length
  • Holster dimensions are approx. 6.75″ x 8.25″ x 2.5″
  • Measures 14″ at the bottom widest part and 12″ at the top.
  • 11″ long and 4″ wide with a drop strap length of 6″

Price: $95

4. Ali Concealed-Carry Cross-Body Purse

  • Adjustable shoulder strap – adjustable from 22″ to 40″ length
  • Turn-Twist clasp closure
  • A separate concealed compartment on the back with 2-zipper-openings for both right and left-hand draw
  • Lockable gun compartment
  • Removable universal holster included
  • Dimensions: 11″L X 6.5″W X 11″H
  • Concealed pocket measurement: 9.5″W X7″H
  • Made with Faux Leather

Price: $59.99

5. Leather RFID Travel Tote

  • Superb South American Cowhide
    • Buttery Soft hand
    • Rich patina develops with use and age
    • Naked finish shows leather at its natural best
    • Natural markings makes each bag distinctly individual
  • 3.75 lbs.
  • Over 1100 Cubic Inches of room!
    • 5 extra large interior pockets + a zippered pocket
  • Generous Capacity! Main compartment Easily holds so much:
    • Laptop, IPads
    • Shoes
    • water and baby bottles
    • work-out clothes
    • diapers
    • baby blanket
    • binders
    • umbrella
    • make-up / toilet kits
    • newspaper
    • snacks
    • etc
  • Airline Carry-on size approved
  • 4 outside large pockets can carry:
    • bottles of most sizes, phones of any size in protective covers, pepper spray, flashlight
  • RFID interior zippered pocket
  • Zippered top closure
  • Fully lined with easy-to-see-in khaki Gun Tote’n Mamas logo lining
  • Flat Shoulder length straps
    • Drop length: 10”
    • Mini D-Rings allow the use of favorite lock
  • Designed for Left or Right handed use
  • Special padding prevents imprint
  • Cross Body Slash Resistant Shoulder Strap
    • 11 Ply steel cable tastefully reinforced
    • 1.25” wide to disperse weight
    • Easily clips on and off
    • Adjustable
  • Includes our Standard Holster (designed by Mernickle Holsters)
  • GTM gun compartment size : 9 – 1 /2” Wide x 10” Tall
    • Zipper openings: 9” Tall
    • Tested w/ Glock 19, Heckler & Koch VP9 full size, S&W M&P 2.0 full size, S&W, M&P Shield, Sig Sauer P320, Springfield XD 9 mm
    • Gun footprint in holster: 8 – 1/ 2” Wide x 9” tall
  • Antiqued brass color metal hardware Color: Tan

Price: $199.95

How we rate our Concealed Carry Purses

Disclaimer, our list is based on structure—for safety reasons—quality, and price, however, the purse you like will also depend on your personal taste. So, while the above are the top purses based on our three standards, style is also a consideration, though, you might find yourself in disagreement because everyone’s style is different.

Interested in getting concealed carry insurance? Read our blog, Best Concealed Carry Insurance 2019

Structure and Quality

Structure is one of the most important considerations when it comes to picking out the perfect concealed carry purse. If your purse isn’t structurally sound, you might find it hard to draw your weapon. Your purse needs to have good quality structure. This doesn’t mean it has to be costly—more on that next—but it does mean you should be able to handle and safely use your purse as a concealed carry option.

If you can’t safely remove your weapon for use, then what good will it do you? If your purse is made of such low quality that the zipper or button holding your concealed weapon, concealed, breaks or falls off, it’s probably not worth it, especially if you’re considering safety and that little one standing next to your now exposed weapon. 

Price

Why are concealed carry purses so expensive? A purse with a single compartment designated for your handgun constitutes a $300 price increase? I think not! With that being said, you should know, you don’t have to spend half your paycheck on a concealed carry purse. While we have listed some purses that are more than $100, know that they are also real leather and can be used for more than concealed carry, combined with quality; this is what constitutes the price. Also, keep in mind, there are much more expensive, high-quality purses out there, so in the grand scheme of things, a $300 purse isn’t that expensive (comparatively).

Concealed Carry for Women

The problem with a lot of concealed carry purses out there is their blingy, cheap and/or not structurally sound. They’re either ugly, but work like they should or they’re “girly” and you probably shouldn’t actually be using it to carry anything more than a spare set of keys and an unwrapped sucker in the bottom. At least, that’s how it’s been. Luckily the population of female shooters and carriers have increased, and so has the market.

Concealed Carry Challenges

As a woman, we have a few more challenges than men do. First, we have curves and second, our clothing is made in a variety of styles, but typically more form fitting than that of mens’ clothing. This challenge means that we have to find ways of concealing both properly and safely, and then make sure we practice drawing the weapon from that source, whether it be from a purse or in the waistband holster.

Practice with your Purse 

While there are better ways of carrying your concealed weapon, we understand that a purse is sometimes the best choice, it’s at least better than leaving your carry weapon at home and not having it when you need it. Unless of course, you haven’t actually practiced with your purse. Yes, this is pertinent. If you haven’t actually practiced, and it comes down to using it, you might find you have trouble withdrawing that revolver. You might find that it gets hung up on something because you have the wrong purse. Or, maybe you didn’t realize you’d have to shoot through your purse for time, and can’t get a proper pistol grip to do so.

These are all reasons to practice. It’s no different from the necessity to practice drawing from your holster. However, where you practice might be a different matter. Make sure you talk with your range before you practice this maneuver. There’s a chance that this won’t be allowed for safety reasons.

Once you find a place that will let you practice, do so—with an unloaded weapon first. Practice until it’s muscle memory. Also, make sure you’re practicing from the same position you carry your purse. Keep in mind your strong and week hand as well—although it’s advised to practice with both.

Read our review, USCCA Concealed Carry Insurance

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

If you’re carrying, the first thing you need to do is make sure you know the laws. Know where you can carry, how you can carry, and if you have a permit, what the reciprocity is of the other states. This basically says which states will accept your permit and the ones that will not.

Concealed Carry Permit

Depending on where you live, getting your concealed carry may be easy, near impossible, or completely impossible. Some states have strict laws and it’s near impossible to get a permit. Others, it’s a simple matter of getting a background check.

Where to buy Concealed Carry Purses

There are plenty of places to look for a concealed carry purse than from the list we’ve provided. You could look on eBay or Amazon for instance. However, take caution because not all of the purses you get from here will be made of quality. They may be cheap on the wallet, but they might also be cheap in quality too.

Concealed Carry Purses

It’s true, there’s no better way to carry your weapon than on your body. However, it would be unrealistic to think you’ll always be in a circumstance to wear a weapon on your person. Because of this, many woman look to alternative carry option, such as a purse. With this, though, becomes a new level of responsibility.

Because your weapon is no longer on your body, there’s the chance of someone other than you gaining access to it. Are you prone to taking your purse off at the grocery store and placing it in the cart? You’d better get used to not doing that. Do you often remove your purse and place it on the sink in a public restroom and then forget it? That’d be a terrible mistake to make. If you’re prone to either of these things, we’d advise you look at another carry option outside of purse carry.

Crossbody Concealed Carry Purses 

If you’re going to carry concealed in a purse, your best option is a crossbody option. This is because a shoulder bag is more likely to get ripped from your side—because someone just had to have that quarter covered in gum in the bottom of your bag. Now you have a crook running around with a weapon with your name on it.

Read our blog, U.S. Law Shield Review for more concealed carry insurance information

Why a concealed carry purse over a normal purse?

Aren’t all purses the same? Well, no, not really. A concealed carry purse shouldn’t just be an extra pouch. It should be an extra, concealed carry dedicated pouch with the ability to safely secure your weapon. If you keep your weapon in a pouch with other things, you risk the chance of getting something stuck in your trigger guard.

So, when you go shopping for a purse to conceal in, look for one dedicated to concealed carry. Start with a Purse you like, and then look to find a concealed carry purse that is similar to the style you normally carry. The reasoning for this is not just for aesthetics. It has to do with what you’re comfortable with. If you start with something familiar to you, something that is similar to what you’re already carrying, it will make using it as a concealed carry purse safer and more enjoyable for you. However, this does not mean you can forgo your practice sessions. You’ll still need to practice drawing your weapon from the purse.

Remember, when you’re practicing do not forget safety. Practice with an unloaded weapon. There’s no reason to risk safety with a loaded weapon when you’re simply practicing drawing your weapon. When you get to the point where you’re practicing shooting with your purse, do so with safety in mind, always. Make sure you have permission from your range. Make sure you’re still pointing in a safe direction. You need to make sure you’re prepared to take action in the case of an adversary, but never forget safety in your practice. Otherwise, you might be seen as the adversary.

Concealed Carry Purse Accessories

We haven’t personally used this, but a user did recommend this, so we thought we’d add it. If anything, do your own research on this product and see if you can find anyone who uses or has something similar and see what they think.

The product is meant to be sized to the purse or bag you carry. However, keep in mind if you’re putting it in your everyday carry purse, one that isn’t meant for concealed carry, to keep it free of other items which could be a safety hazard or cause difficulty for getting a proper pistol grip and draw.

Buy Here

Best AR-15 Triggers | 2019 Buyers’ Guide

Let’s face it, the market is completely flooded with AR-15 triggers so it’s hard to know where to start.  In the world of marksmanship your trigger pull/squeeze is incredibly important and having a good trigger will help ensure you accurately put rounds on target.  The purpose of this guide is to give you a few things to think about when shopping around for a trigger.

If you’re looking for the long and the short of it we strongly recommend replacing your AR-15’s stock trigger.  Replacing the trigger is arguably more important than getting an upgraded barrel, bolt carrier group or other enhanced parts because it’s such a huge piece to good marksmanship.

How we Rate the Triggers

When setting out to find the best AR-15 Trigger we wanted to create a few pieces of criteria.

Price

It’s easy to overspend on trigger upgrades and a lot of companies out there are pumping out some pretty mediocre triggers at super higher price points.  In the trigger world cost does NOT always equal quality.

Durability

Triggers take some serious abuse, so it’s important to spend your money on one that will hold up.  Trigger wells often get caked in dust, moisture, carbon and other debris that can keep the trigger from properly functioning; this is really important if you’re using the trigger in a duty AR-15.

Ease of Installation

Installing an AR-15 trigger can be a serious pain so we wanted to put this on our rating scale.  Many triggers are now drop-in triggers and can be installed in minutes while others take some advanced tooling.  It’s important to roll this into your cost because if you can’t install a trigger on your own you will need to hire a gunsmith to do it for you.

Interested in adding a red dot sight to your AR-15, check out our blog, Best Red Dot Sights| 2019 Buyers’ Guide

Overall Trigger Pull

The overall trigger pull is very important when deciding what trigger you’d like to purchase.  The pull should be smooth with a crisp sear break and a rapid reset.  The amount of play/creep in a trigger is also a deciding factor.  Some shooters prefer some slack when pulling the trigger while others want no slack at all.

Need new targets to test your trigger on? Check out our blog, The Best Rifle Targets for your next Range Day 

Trigger Pull Weight

We personally prefer triggers with variable trigger weights.  This allows the shooter to adjust the trigger weight to meet their shooting needs.  While lower trigger weights are enticing they can also be dangerous for unskilled shooters.  A lighter trigger can sometimes lead to negligent discharges.

Types of AR-15 Triggers

Mil-Spec Trigger

Mil-Spec is one of those terms that’s thrown around a lot but doesn’t really mean much.  There is no actual Mil-Spec on triggers or really anything for that matter so if you see the term being used to justify a product’s quality make sure you proceed cautiously.  In the world of triggers, Mil-Spec triggers tend to be stock triggers that come with most off-the-shelf AR-15s.  These triggers tend to have a heavier, less consistent trigger pull with a lot of slack or creep.  Most Mil-spec AR-15 triggers have around a 6-9lb trigger pull.

Best Mil-Spec Triggers

ALG Defense Quality Mil-Spec (QMS) Trigger

The ALG Defense Quality Mil-Spec (QMS) trigger is a very standard trigger with very standard features.  It’s a curved trigger with a 6.5lb trigger pull which is fairly normal for the Mil-Spec range.  The trigger itself is a non-adjustable single-stage trigger that won’t give you many options to tailor it to your specific shooting needs.  That being said it offers a fairly solid trigger pull for a basic trigger.

Price: $49

Trigger pull weight: 6.5lbs

Link to buy: https://www.provenoutfitters.com/quality-mil-spec-qms-trigger

AR Gold Adjustable Trigger (curved or flat)

AR Gold is an adjustable trigger, both the curved and flat, coming in at .375 lbs. and only a 3.5 trigger pull weight. The trigger is also a drop in module, making it an easy installation. The AR Gold was intended to work as a military, LE, competition and hunting trigger according to American Trigger. Their triggers are also made in the USA, which you know we like.

Price: $279

Trigger pull weight: 3.5 lbs

Trigger weight: .375 lbs.

Link to buy: https://americantrigger.com/shop/ar-platform-triggers/ar-gold-trigger/

FailZero Mil-Spec Single Stage EXO

FailZero has made a trigger intended to replace that stock mil –spec triggers that came in your AR. Assembled according to AS9100 aerospace standards, this trigger is meant to be reliable, in some of the harshest environments. This is a single-stage trigger with a short reset and a trigger pull of only 3. 5 lbs. However, while it fits most AR-style platforms, it is not intended for use in a Sig MPX.

Price: $169.97-$184.99

Trigger weight: 2.6 oz.

Link to buy: http://www.failzero.com/products/bolt-carrier-groups/triggergrpflat-detail.html

Best 1 Stage Triggers

Hiperfire Hipertouch® Reflex

Intended for the everyman (or woman) shooter, this trigger is adjustable from 2.5-3.5 lbs. Of course, made in the USA, this trigger has a positive reset you can both feel and hear. It also has a crisp and clean trigger break per HiperFire and was created with a Cam-Over Toggle Engine™.

Price: $225

Trigger pull weight: 2.5-3.5 lbs

Link to buy: https://www.hiperfire.com/product/hipertouch-reflex/

Lantac CMC E-CT1

Built on the original Super Match concept, this drop-in trigger group was made for control and accuracy—keep in mind, a good trigger won’t fix bad shooting habits—it was also intended to stand up to the rugged shooting life and reliability you’d expect in a quality trigger. This trigger comes at a pre-set of 3 to 3.5 lbs of trigger pull weight. Also, it’s made in the USA.

Price: $210

Trigger pull weight: 3-3.5 lbs

Link to buy: https://www.cabelas.com/product/LANTAC-CMC-E-CT-Triggers/2362524.uts

Rise Armament Super Sporting

Yet another trigger intended to replace your factory mil-spec, this trigger comes with a 3.5 lb. trigger pull. This trigger is made from high quality, heat-treated tool steel and aluminum per the company and is a precision CNC machined drop in trigger.

Price: $129

Trigger weight: 2.6 oz

Link to buy: https://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/triggers-parts/triggers/ar-15-super-sport-trigger-prod109431.aspx

Best 2 Stage Triggers

LMT Defense 2 Stage Trigger

If you’re looking for a two-stage trigger, this one has been in development for over 20 years. Each of the triggers is individually tested before they make it to your front steps. They are tested at the 2lb first stage and 5 lb. second stage.

Price: $129

Trigger pull weight: 7 lbs.

Link to buy: https://lmtdefense.com/parts/lmp2400c

CMC AR-15 2-Stage Trigger Curved

A little pricier than some triggers out there—you can find it on various sites for cheaper—but still a quality trigger. This trigger comes with an initial pull weight of 1 lb, followed by a second pull weight of 3 lbs., for a total pull weight of 4 lbs. It’s also in accordance with mil-spec and comes as a drop-in for easy installation.

Price: $180-$225

Trigger pull weight: 4 lbs.

Link to buy: https://www.primaryarms.com/cmc-ar-15-ar-10-drop-in-two-stage-4lb-curved-trigger-mil-spec-.154in

LaRu Tactical MBT-2S Trigger

On the much cheaper end, but not in terms of quality is the LaRu Tactical MBT-2S Trigger. This trigger is made out of solid S7 tool steel plate. It has a 4.5 lb. trigger pull with 2.5 lbs. in the first stage and 2 lbs. in the second stage. You also have the option of increasing your pull weight to 6 lbs. with an additional (included if purchased through LaRu) trigger spring.

Price: $87

Trigger pull weight: 4.5 lbs.

Link to buy: https://www.larue.com/products/larue-tactical-mbt-2s-trigger/

Best Drop-In Triggers

Elftmann ELF-SE

This trigger is non-adjustable, but it is made of an ultra-light housing unit, coming in at only 2.3 oz. It was created to be drop safe with a double double wound hammer spring. The trigger is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and hardened steel. And, it’s made completely in America with a lifetime guarantee when you purchase it through Elftmann.

Price: $153-$169

Trigger Pull weight: 3.5 lbs.

Trigger weight: 2.30 oz.

Link to buy: https://www.elftactical.com/elftmann-elf-se-drop-in-trigger

Timney Solid Shoe

Made with an aluminum alloy housing and intended to be used in a small-pin AR, this single stage trigger requires nothing more than a simple drop-in install. You can choose between a 3, 4 and 4.5 lb. trigger pull weight without compromising reliability. Made in the USA.

Price: $203.99

Trigger pull weight:  3-4.5 lbs.

Link to buy: https://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/triggers-parts/triggers/ar-15-small-pin-trigger-module-3-lbs-solid-shoe-sku883000024-40120-62700.aspx?sku=883-000-024

KE Arms SLT-1

This single stage drop-in trigger that’s intended to improve safety and reliability was created to stand the test of time. The makers claim an ultra-crisp break, an improved tactile reset, reduced split times and of course an easy install. This trigger is not compatible with the Combloc 7.62x39mm Ammo, Sig Sauer MCX with Firing Pin Safety Features, and some .22 Rimfire AR15s and conversions.

Price: $199.95

Trigger pull weight: 4.5 lbs.

Link to buy: http://www.kearms.com/slt-1-sear-link-technology-trigger.aspx

Best Competition Triggers

Triggertech Competitive AR Primary Trigger

This particular trigger is non-adjustable, can be purchased as a curved or straight trigger and comes as a short two-stage action. It is intended to stand up to the harsh environments of 3 Gun, competition, high-speed shooting, long range hunting, precision shooting, target shooting, and varmint hunting.

Price: $214.99-$224.99

Trigger pull weight: 3.5 lbs.

Link to buy: https://triggertech.com/products/copy-of-competitive-ar-primary-trigge

CMC Triggers-Competition Trigger

CMC triggers, created by a competitive shooter for competitive shooters. These triggers are intended to maintain a consistent trigger pull weight. You’ll find the triggers come with oversized center pins. This will help prevent wear, reduce friction and prevent trigger wobble.

Price: $195.99

Trigger pull weight: 2.5 lbs

Link to buy: https://www.cmctriggers.com/cmc-ar-15-ar-10-single-stage-drop-in-competition-trigger-2-5lb-pull/

Elfman 3-Gun

This particular trigger was made not only to be easily installed as a drop-in unit but also to be easily adjusted. You can adjust it from a 4 lb. trigger pull to 2.75 lbs. without removing it from your lower receiver. Made with aircraft-grade aluminum and hardened steel, this 2 oz. trigger is built with a full power hammer spring and double double wound hammer spring.

Price: $269-$279

Trigger pull weight: 2.75-4 lbs.

Trigger weight: 2 oz.

Link to buy: https://www.elftactical.com/elf-3-gun-ar-15-drop-in-trigger

Best AR-15 Trigger for the Money

The best AR-15 trigger for your money will depend on what you’re looking for. If you’re competing, the Triggertech is great in the long run, and the material is meant to last against wear. If you’re planning on going into combat, the ALG Defense Quality Mil-Spec (QMS) Trigger for only $49 would be a good choice. Keep in mind, the amount you spend doesn’t always equal quality of the product. Sometimes you’re paying for the name. So, when you’re looking to upgrade your trigger, first decide how you plan to use your weapon, how often you’ll be using it and if you have a preference in one or two-stage triggers. You want a trigger that not only does its job, but one that won’t fall apart or break after a few hundred pulls.

How an AR-15 Trigger Works

AR-15 triggers come in a variety of options. Single-stage or two-stage, curved or flat—also known as straight—drop-in or assembly required. How you select the trigger for you will depend on the intended use. For instance, if you’re planning to compete in long range, you might select a flat, two-stage trigger with a light trigger pull weight. Or if you were competing for time, a single-stage trigger might work best.

However, no matter which option you select, they all pretty much work the same way. The biggest difference is how much trigger pull is needed and if there will be any resistance in your pull. When you pull the trigger, the hammer is released, it then strikes the firing pin, which strikes the primer. The type of trigger you select will determine how much effort you have to put into pulling the trigger, which puts into motion the movement of your round. If you select one needing more trigger pull, you’ll need to place more weight on the trigger before your rifle goes off. If you select a dual-stage trigger, you’ll have some resistance before you hit the second stage and your rifle goes off.

Single-Stage vs Dual-Stage Triggers

The stage of your trigger refers to the resistance between trigger weight. If your trigger is a single-stage, there is no resistance, you simply pull the trigger and it will smoothy pull to the rear. However, if you have a dual-stage, also known as a two-stage trigger, there will be some resistance in your pull. For example, the first stage may take 2 lbs. of trigger pull weight, then you’ll feel a slight resistance, followed by a second stage, which might be 2.5 lbs of trigger pull weight.

Want to improve your marksmanship with your new trigger? Check out our blog, 5 Gun Targets to Increase your Marksmanship

The Best AR-15 Trigger for YOU

Something to keep in mind, while there are triggers out there made of better quality, better price, better anything, what makes it best is how you work with it. Everyone will have a “best for me” trigger. So, while the above is our list, know that it will vary from person to person. Make sure you test some of these—in the field—if possible before you buy. Some triggers are better for combat, some competition, and others just everyday use. So, select a trigger that works best for your weapon’s use and how well you can work with the tool given.

USCCA Insurance

You asked, and we delivered. Here’s an entire article dedicated to everything USCCA; a concealed carry insurance, also commonly shortened to CCW insurance, to make sure you’re covered in the case of a lawsuit after using your firearm. USCCA stands for United States Concealed Carry Association. An association not only dedicated to protecting its members but also educating anyone who will listen on how to properly carry and conceal their weapons. This article was specifically created to point out what USCCA has to offer its members, potential members, and other resources they have available to non-members. So, member or not here’s a full review of USCCA, a CCW insurance provider.

USCCA Membership

USCCA offers three different membership levels, gold, platinum, and elite. All of them come with the Concealed Carry magazine, educational resources, training, and legal protection. However, how much you get of each of those will depend on which membership you select.

USCCA Gold Membership

Gold membership is your cheapest option at $22/month or $247/year. It includes a year subscription to online back issues to the Concealed Carry magazine and a print and digital subscription—because not all of us are on board with digital books and magazines just yet.

Concealed Carry Magazine

  • Complete Print + Digital Subscription (8 issues per Year)
  • Complete Online Access To 1 Year of Back Issues

Education

  • CCW Reciprocity Map With Permit Expiration Reminders
  • Member-Only USCCA App Features
    • CCW Alerts When Crossing State Lines
    • Attorney Locator
    • Quick Access To Attorney Contact Info
  • Weekly updates on news, changing laws, and gear reviews
  • 10 Lifesaving Checklists
  • Digital Access to 15 Lifesaving Guides & eBooks

Training

  • Weekly Training Drills
  • Live Training Broadcasts With Industry Experts (3 Times per Year)
  • Access to Nationwide USCCA Certified Instructor Network
  • Member-Only Online Video Library
    • Proving Ground Scenario-Based Training Series (Over 30 Videos)

Legal Protection

  • $500,000 in Self-Defense SHIELD Protection For Civil Defense & Damages
  • $100,000 in Self-Defense SHIELD Protection For Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding & Attorney Retainer
  • 24/7/365 Critical Response Team
  • Your Choice of Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Up-Front Funding For Criminal Defense & Bail Bonds
  • Protection For Use Of ALL Legal Weapons

USCCA Community

  • USCCA Community Giving Program – Provides Free Training and Resources To Your Community
  • 24/7 Access to Expert Member Services Team
  • Free Daily Entry to Annual USCCA Concealed Carry Expo

Member Perks

  • Exclusive Discount on Gold Spouse Membership
  • Carry Confidence™ Kit Mailed Within 1 Business Day
  • Member-Only Discounts on USCCA Training & Gear
  • Early Bird Access to Newly Released Training & Gear
  • Huge Discounts from Trusted Industry Partners

USCCA Platinum Membership

Platinum membership is your middle of the road option. It will cost you either $30/month or $347/annually. The differences between this membership and gold is, you get access to the interactive “ask an attorney” monthly webinar, access to situational awareness videos, more money for legal protection, and advanced show entry into the USCCA Concealed Carry Expo.

Concealed Carry Magazine

  • Complete Print + Digital Subscription (8 issues per Year)
  • Complete Online Access To 5 Years of Back Issues 

Education

  • CCW Reciprocity Map With Permit Expiration Reminders
  • Member-Only USCCA App Features
    • CCW Alerts When Crossing State Lines
    • Attorney Locator
    • Quick Access To Attorney Contact Info
  • Weekly updates on news, changing laws, and gear reviews
  • 10 Lifesaving Checklists
  • Digital Access to 30 Lifesaving Guides & eBooks
  • Interactive “Ask An Attorney” Monthly Webinar 

Training

  • Weekly Training Drills
  • Live Training Broadcasts With Industry Experts (3 Times per Year)
  • Access to Nationwide USCCA Certified Instructor Network
  • Member-Only Online Video Library
    • Proving Ground Scenario-Based Training Series (Over 30 Videos)
    • Situational Awareness Video 

Legal Protection

  • $1,000,000 in Self-Defense SHIELD Protection For Civil Defense & Damages
  • $150,000 in Self-Defense SHIELD Protection For Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding & Attorney Retainer
  • 24/7/365 Critical Response Team
  • Your Choice of Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Up-Front Funding For Criminal Defense & Bail Bonds
  • Protection For Use Of ALL Legal Weapons

USCCA Community

  • USCCA Community Giving Program – Provides Free Training and Resources To Your Community
  • 24/7 Access to Expert Member Services Team
  • Free Daily Entry to Annual USCCA Concealed Carry Expo
    • Advanced Show Entry

Member Perks

  • Exclusive Discount on Platinum Spouse Membership
  • Carry Confidence™ Kit Mailed Within 1 Business Day
  • Member-Only Discounts on USCCA Training & Gear
  • Early Bird Access to Newly Released Training & Gear
  • Huge Discounts from Trusted Industry Partners

USCCA Elite Membership

Elite membership is your most expensive option. You’ll pay $47/month or $497 annually. The difference between the elite and platinum membership is your lifetime access to the Concealed Carry magazine’s back issues, an archive to the interactive “ask an attorney” webinar, more training videos, more money for legal protection, an elite VIP experience for the Concealed Carry Expo, and access to the elite concierge line.

Concealed Carry Magazine

  • Complete Print + Digital Subscription (8 issues per Year)
  • Complete Online Access To Lifetime Archive of Back Issues

Education

  • CCW Reciprocity Map With Permit Expiration Reminders
  • Member-Only USCCA App Features
    • CCW Alerts When Crossing State Lines
    • Attorney Locator
    • Quick Access To Attorney Contact Info
  • Weekly updates on news, changing laws, and gear reviews
  • 10 Lifesaving Checklists
  • Digital Access to 70+ Lifesaving Guides & eBooks
  • Interactive “Ask An Attorney” Monthly Webinar + Complete Archive

Training

  • Weekly Training Drills
  • Live Training Broadcasts With Industry Experts (3 Times per Year)
  • Access to Nationwide USCCA Certified Instructor Network
  • Member-Only Online Video Library
    • Proving Ground Scenario-Based Training Series (Over 30 Videos)
    • Situational Awareness Video
    • When To Use Deadly Force Video
  • 10+ Hours in eLearning Training Systems ($344 Value)
    • Concealed Carry & Home Defense Fundamentals
    • Emergency First Aid Fundamentals 

Legal Protection

  • $2,000,000 in Self-Defense SHIELD Protection For Civil Defense & Damages
  • $250,000 in Self-Defense SHIELD Protection For Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding & Attorney Retainer
  • 24/7/365 Critical Response Team
  • Your Choice of Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Up-Front Funding For Criminal Defense & Bail Bonds
  • Protection For Use Of ALL Legal Weapons

USCCA Community

  • USCCA Community Giving Program – Provides Free Training and Resources To Your Community
  • 24/7 Access to Expert Member Services Team
  • Free Daily Entry to Annual USCCA Concealed Carry Expo
    • Advanced Show Entry
    • Elite VIP Experience

Member Perks

  • Exclusive Discount on Elite Spouse Membership
  • Carry Confidence™ Kit Mailed Within 1 Business Day
  • Member-Only Discounts on USCCA Training & Gear
  • Early Bird Access to Newly Released Training & Gear
  • Huge Discounts from Trusted Industry Partners
  • Elite Concierge Line (Priority Non-Emergency Phone Service)

Join USCCA

If you’re interested in joining USCCA, it’s not difficult, and you’ll have same-day protection. Simply decide which membership option you want and select the “Join Now” button under your plan. Type in your email and then fill out some basic shipping, billing, and payment information, and you’ll be good to go. Once you join, you can take advantage of more than just legal protection. Below are some of the resources you can take advantage of.

Concealed Carry Magazine

As a member of USCCA, you’ll get 8 copies of the Concealed Carry magazine. That also includes a year of digital access, for those who’d rather read it on a screen. Magazines include things like drills and training scenarios, as well as gun and gear reviews—like any good gun magazine.

Education

USCCA offers a ton of educational resources. Whether you’re looking to improve your shooting technique or improve your confidence, USCCA has something for you. You can take advantage of more with an upgraded membership.

Membership Training

If you’re interested in becoming an instructor for USCCA, you most certainly can. This might be something you don’t see on the main page of other CCW insurance sites. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not out there. You can become a certified instructor or training counselor—we’ll elaborate on those further down the article.

Legal Protection

Legal protection includes self-defense shield, which is civil and criminal defense, damage protection, bail bond funding, and attorney retainer. You will also get a 24/7 critical response team, which works 365 days a year, your choice of a criminal defense attorney—most CCW insurers make you use theirs—upfront funding for criminal defense and bail bonds, and of course protection for use of all legal weapons.

USCCA Community

Under USCCA Community, you’ll see a giving program, 24/7 access to expert member services, and free daily entry to USCCA Concealed Carry Expo. However, when it comes to your show entry, only platinum and elite members get advanced show entry, and only elite members get the elite VIP experience.

Member Perks

Membership perks include a discount membership for your spouse, a Carry Confidence kit, member-only discounts on USCCA Training and gear they sell, early-bird access to new training and gear being offered, and according to them, huge discounts from industry partners. Each of these are available at every membership level. However, the elite concierge line is only available to elite members.

USCCA Training

USCCA offers class all over the US. Whether you’re looking to take a concealed carry class or become a trained instructor, USCCA has a class. They offer classes from training teachers how to deal with mass shooter threats to defensive shooting and emergency and first aid classes. They also offer a women’s only handgun and self-defense fundamentals class.

Certified Instructor

If you’re interested in becoming a certified instructor, USCCA will provide you materials and an endorsement through them. It will cost you $250 and they’ll send you your eLearning and instructor toolkit. If you want to sign-up for this course, you’ll have to physically call them—sorry, no online sign-up. Simply call 877-577-4800.

After you’ve completed the course and training, you’ll need an actual class with a USCCA training counselor. This will cost you $347 but is paid directory to your counselor. And that’s it. After, you’ll receive your credentials in the mail with a toolkit to use in your classes.

Training counselor

If you’re interested in more of a “train the trainer” type of environment, becoming a training counselor might be right for you. You can become a USCCA training counselor by first being a USCCA certified instructor. After that is done and you’ve signed up for a counselor’s course, you’ll find yourself in West Bend, WI, where you’ll do a little role-playing in the classroom and range environment.

Sometime this year, USCCA is expected to extend their classes out to a nationwide program, but for now, you’re going to WI. But, after that, you’re done. Unlike becoming a certified instructor, you may apply for this position online. Just be prepared to answer a few questions about your strengths and goals for growth as an instructor.

USCCA Resources

One thing USCCA doesn’t do is slack on resources. Considering you’re paying a pretty penny for coverage, you’d probably hope to get something else out of your membership. Because let’s face it, we all know the likelihood of needing to use them. It’s more of a safety net. In fact, you’re more likely to need your life insurance, car insurance, your home insurance, and pretty much any other form of insurance you pay for before needing to utilize CCW insurance. With that being the case, USCCA does a good job of providing a lot of extras.

You might think, all these extras are what make the prices so high. Maybe. But, the companies that provide only coverage are basically only taking your money for nothing. Instead, you’ll keep paying until you die, and you’ll probably never even pull your weapon.

With that being said, resources outside of legal defense include plenty of video training, lots of eLearning tools, a concealed carry expo, a terminology guide, federal gun law references, and plenty of advice on traveling with a firearm. Because we all know the first time you decide to fly with a firearm, the anxiety kicks in on what to do, how to do it, and how not to get in trouble doing it. The last thing any of us want is to have our weaponry confiscated, get the overly intrusive pat down, and miss our flight.

CCW Reciprocity & Gun Laws

If you’re going to carry a weapon, you should know the laws. It’s never wise to just carry and hope the 2nd amendment has you covered. Every state and even big cities within states have their own regulations. USCCA has an interactive map you can use to find out the concealed carry laws for your area. They also list any updates they make to the states, what they are, and when they made them under the map, so you can know how updated the information is.

We still advise you look at the actual regulation for your state, but this is a good place to start—especially if you’re traveling outside of your area of expertise.

Concealed Carry Expo

The Concealed Carry Expo is yet another educational resource provided by USCCA. If you’re a member, you get in at a discounted rate, you also get discounts on some of the extra priced seminars—don’t worry, there’s a lot of free ones too. And it lasts an entire weekend. If you’re reading this now, it’s probably too late for most of you to sign-up for this year’s expo, but there’s always next year—unless of course, you live in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, though, some of the classes are already sold-out at May’s expo.

USCCA Blog

USCCA’s blog is a great place to add a little more education to your arsenal. And you don’t even have to be a member to access it. The following are some of the categories you can find in their blog.

  • Self-Defense & Home Defense
  • Women & Guns
  • Guns & Gear
  • True Stories
  • Legal & Second Amendment
  • News & Current Events

Shop USCCA

USCCA, of course, also has its own product shop. You can pick from a variety of categories. Add more training materials, gifts, and apparel—you know, so everyone knows you’re a USCCA supporter—What kind of CCW insurer would they be if you couldn’t buy a hat with their logo on it?

Products include:

  • Books & DVDs
  • Digital Products
  • Range Accessories
  • Training Products
  • Home Safety
  • Gifts and Novelty

Interested in other CCW insurers? Read our blog, U.S. Law Shield Review

Why do I need CCW insurance?

You might be asking yourself, why do I need a CCW insurance if the likelihood of me using it is so slim? This is a valid question, and we aren’t attempting to shame anyone into going out and getting coverage. However, there are advantages, if you select the right provider.

Sadly, active shooters are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society, and so is your chance of needing to be that Good Samaritan. It’s not just about carrying or even carrying wisely. It’s about having someone to help represent you without paying the ridiculous fees after someone sued you for protecting their son. Yes, we know, the price of a lawyer will vary based on where you live and the actual circumstance itself. That’s why it’s wise to weigh the cost of CCW insurance and how much it would cost if you needed but didn’t have any coverage.

It’s also important to keep in mind, the more you carry, the greater your odds of having to use the weapon on your person. We, of course, hope that no one actually gets put in a position of self-defense. But, if you are placed in that type of scenario, it’s the aftermath you have to worry about.

Again, we’re not telling you to run out and get CCW insurance. What we’re saying is be smart. Do your research. Just because a company says they’ll support you doesn’t mean they will. Read the fine print in their policies. Look for reviews of people who’ve actually had to use the company their insured under, not the, “I’m so glad I got CCW insurance after I saw what my neighbor went through!” You want real-life stories of people who’ve utilized their CCW insurance to the fullest extent.

Some companies are just out there to make money. Find someone who will let you pick your own defense attorney too. And remember, you’re getting what you pay for. So, while there’s plenty of really cheap service out there not providing all the bells and whistles like USCCA, there might be a lot of necessities they’re leaving out too. Simply put, do a lot of research on the company you’re interested in.

U.S. Law Shield Review

If you’re going to conceal carry, you should do it properly. Most do it with the intent of knowing if they had to defend themselves or someone else, they could. However, just because you’re acting in defense doesn’t mean you won’t get sued for your actions. This is why it’s a smart idea to have CCW insurance such as that of U.S. Law Shield—they’re actually more than that, but we’ll get to that soon enough.

This way, you have someone to defend you when everyone else is against you. You could save a small child from being murdered and we can promise you, someone out there will have something negative to say about you intervening and stopping the killer. That’s why you get CCW insurance. Because even when you’re doing the most good, some will think otherwise. And the next thing you know, you’re stuck in prison because you didn’t have the legal knowledge or support to defend your actions properly.

U.S. Law Shield is a legal defense for self-defense. Their services stretch out to the hunter’s environment as well. So, if something happens, but you’re carrying a legal shotgun, or maybe a rifle, they’ll be there to back you up. So, with all that being said, let’s get into our U.S. Law Shield review so you can make the best choice about your CCW insurance for you and your family.

About U.S. Law Shield

Most CCW insurers provide just that, but U.S. Law Shield is so much more. They’ll defend you in any case of self-defense, not just when you’re carrying concealed. If you’re using a firearm, so long as it’s a legal weapon, you’re covered. If you had to use a bat or shovel for self-defense, you’re covered then too. Their goal is to protect those in cases where they might not otherwise be able.

Let’s face it, the legal system is like trudging through mud. So, why not let the experts do the trudging for you. Better yet, win your case. Instead of risking the chance of conviction after legally defending yourself because you don’t know how to state your case, U.S. Law Shield will do it for you,

U.S. Law Shield Coverage

If you’re going for basic coverage, the below are included in your membership. There are additional services you can add to your membership for extra fees—we’ll talk about that shortly—but the following is available for every member in the states U.S. Law Shield services.

Single and Two-Adult Memberships 

  • 24/7/365 access to Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline
  • Member perks with special offers and discounts on LTC classes, firearms, optics, gunsmithing services, tactical training classes, range time, and more!
  • You pay zero attorneys’ fees for covered events
  • There are no caps, no hourly limits, and no deductibles
  • Legal representation for both Criminal and Civil proceedings
  • Member seminars with face-to-face time with experienced attorneys, instructors, and experts in self-defense law 

Coverage Options

One of the questions you might be asking prior to selecting coverage through U.S. Law Shield is whether or not they’ll represent you in a case where you don’t have a state-issued handgun carry permit. Again, coverage is available in any case where a legal firearm was used. Therefore, if you don’t have a carry permit, you’re still covered. And if you select their multi-state protection, you’ll have representation in all 50 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Legal Protection

If you need legal help, whether criminal or civil, you will be represented. If you’ve used a firearm that doesn’t belong to you, you’ll also have representation—so long as it was a legal weapon. This includes the use of any legal firearm to protect yourself, your family, your life, and even your property.

Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline

If you’re in an emergency situation and call the emergency hotline, you won’t be talking to a receptionist who refers you to an attorney who calls you back in 2-4 business days. Instead, you’ll call and the person on the other end will be an actual attorney. You can call this line 24/7, 365 days a year. Yes, even on Christmas you’ll talk to an attorney.

Independent Program Attorneys

If you don’t have a pressing issue, meaning it’s not an emergency, you can call a non-emergency line. That doesn’t mean you won’t talk to an attorney. You’ll still talk to one, they’ll be through a local independent program.

What’s not covered?

While U.S. Law Shield has amazing coverage, there are still things that aren’t included in your membership. For instance, unless you live in Oklahoma, Texas or Pennsylvania, expert witness fees and bail bonds aren’t included. Government fees, identity theft, stolen firearms, and investigation fees aren’t covered either.

Interested in other CCW insurance providers? Check out our blog, Best Concealed Carry Insurance

Optional Member Coverage

If the basic coverage through U.S. Law Shield isn’t enough, they have a few additional options, from hunter’s protection to including your children on your membership. They’ll even represent you in cases where your identity is stolen.

Gun Owner Identity Theft 

Theft of your legal weapon(s) or ID are not included in your membership cost. However, it is an optional addition. This means if someone were to steal your firearm and use it (or not), or your ID, you’ll have representation. The cost of this addition is either $6.95/month or $83.49 for the entire year.

Multi-State Protection

If you have basic membership, you are only covered in the state you sign-up under. However, with multi-state protection you receive criminal and civil defense in all 50 states, to include D.C. and Puerto Rico This will cost $2.95/month or $35.40/year for each member.

Minor Children

If you have a minor living at home and intentional or accidental use of a firearm occurs, U.S. Law Shield offers coverage. The child will receive the exact same representation as their parent(s). Keep in mind, this is only coverage for minors. If you have an adult child living at home, they will need their own adult membership or you will need to get the “two adults membership.” Minor coverage will cost you $2/month or $24/year.

HunterShield

Guns aren’t just used for home protection. A lot of us spend a considerable amount of time in the woods hunting. U.S. Law Shield will follow you there too because accidents and self-defense don’t just happen at home. If you shoot your hunting partner unintentionally—maybe you should practice better hunter’s safety—or you’ve violated game and fishing laws, you’ll be represented. The cost of this additional service is $2.95/month or $35.40/year.

*Bail Bond and Expert Witness

Unfortunately, this service is not available in every state. But, for those of you who qualify, it includes up to $25,000 and covers expert witness fees. This will cost you $2.95/month or $35.40/year.

*Only available in Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania

U.S. Law Shield Perks

Additional to your membership, a variety of perks will be available to you. Discounts from shooting ranges, tactical stores, and so much more. You’ll have over 100 perks to select from, which you can see after signing up.

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U.S. Law Shield Seminars

U.S. Law Shield offers more than legal defense for self-defense. They also offer plenty of seminars, located all over the good ol’ US of A. You can attend seminars such as, “Surviving a Shooting,” “Gun Law” seminars, and “First Aid for Gunshot Wounds.” They offer even more seminars than that, but the list is a bit too long to include here. You can check them all out on their seminar page.

Self-Defense Educational Resources

You can also find plenty of educational resources outside of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and seminars. There are book series, a video library, and even a newsletter you can take advantage of.

Self-Defense Law Forums

For those of you who have questions about the intricacies of self-defense laws, there’s also a self-defense law forum you can utilize. You can ask general firearms law questions, see what’s going on in the news as it pertains to firearms, you can ask a lawyer without actually calling them on the phone, and of course, you can discuss guns and gun accessories.

Membership Cost

Membership cost will depend on a few things. You get a small discount for signing two adults up for a year. Also, there are plenty of additional options you can select from. A standard membership for one adult is $10.95/month or $131.40/year. If you have two adults it will cost you $21.90/month or $240 for the entire year. There’s also a one-time start-up fee for each member, which is $19.95.

Law Enforcement Program

U.S. Law Shield also offers law enforcement representation. This service is extended out to both on and off duty cops who engage in use of force. Similar to the other services, there is 24/7 access to a real lawyer. Coverage includes all expenses, such as attorney travel, expert witness, officer’s share of arbitration expenses. The only fee you’ll pay up front is for your membership.

Your membership can include an optional spouse, minors, multistate coverage, employer/employee relations coverage. And no matter your status, active, reserve or retired, as a current or past officer of the law, you’ll get the representation you deserve.

6 Reasons to get Life Insurance

Maybe you’re thinking you don’t need life insurance. You haven’t exactly grown up talking about it. And it’s just another expense you don’t want to worry about, right? Wrong, not worrying about it now ensures your family will have to worry about it later. Of course, if you don’t love your family, feel free to leave them hanging—no, don’t do that. If you were the breadwinner, your passing will only be that much harder on them financially. If you care, get life insurance. If you don’t know why you should care, here are the top 6 reasons to get life insurance.

Top 6 Reasons to get Life Insurance

Life insurance is one of those things a lot of people don’t think about until it’s too late. You always hear those stories about the wealthy dying after taking out a life insurance policy, only because their spouse killed them for the benefits. Maybe that has you running away from ever considering life insurance. Fortunately, this isn’t something that happens all of the time, and when it’s done it’s typically after taking out a million dollar policy. Of course, you could do that too—the policy amount, not the killing, we advise against this.

Cover Burial Expenses

Whether you come to your untimely death as a result of a greedy spouse or natural causes, funerals cost a lot, and the life insurance policy you take out can cover it. You might not have to worry about it when you pass, heck you could be thrown in the lake for all you care. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. And unless you definitely want your spouse accused of murder, finding you washed up on a bank somewhere might not be the best idea.

Instead, get some life insurance, just to pay for that, unless you have money saved up and a will stating what the money should be used for. If you don’t need life insurance for anything else, paying for your funeral at a minimum might be worth it.

If you don’t have any outstanding debt and everyone is retired with no extra expenses, you might think you don’t need life insurance. If you have money saved up to cover funeral expenses and anything else, you might not need life insurance either. However, if you don’t have the money saved up, getting life insurance for the cost of your funeral might be a good idea.

Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo/st Lt. Daniel I Johnson

Pay off Debt

Debt happens. You will acquire debt for a number of reasons; because you just bought a new car, a house, student loans, credit cards, personal loans, you name it. If you pass, these things still need to be paid for. Unfortunately, your family might have a hard time getting out of the debt you created together, especially if you were the one making the most money or your family was getting by only because there were two incomes.

Estate Taxes

You’ve paid off your house, you don’t have a car payment, all your kids have grown and moved away, and student loans are a thing of the past. You’ve retired and have social security coming in every month for both you and your spouse. However, you pass away and one social security check isn’t going to pay for your property taxes. Fortunately, something called life insurance can help cover those costs. Only another reason life insurance might be a good idea.

We do however understand that not everyone has to worry about this. Maybe you have a hearty retirement check coming in every month or your spouse has 100% VA disability and everything can be paid for with that. Or maybe your family saved up enough that no one will ever have to worry. If this is you, then life insurance might not be right for you. But, if your passing will make it hard for something like property taxes to be paid, you might want to think twice about not having life insurance.

Replace Lost Income 

Unfortunately, you’ll never know when it’s your time. Sometimes it will be when you’ve lived a fulfilling life and made it to old age. Other times, it might be when you’re young. If you pass when you’re young this could leave a larger burden on your family. Especially if you were the only one making income or you were living on a dual income. Suddenly your spouse and kids go from living an easily affordable life, to budgeting how much gas you can use each week.

By electing to have life insurance while you’re young, you’ll most likely be in better health and your rates will be cheaper. And in the case that something does happen to you, life insurance can replace the income you were bringing into the household before your untimely death.

Build Cash Value

Building cash value is something you can do if you elect to have whole life insurance, also known as permanent life insurance. Unlike term life, which you will keep renewing, whole life could last anywhere up to 120 years of age, in many cases. There are some benefits to whole life over term, but in most cases, it’s advised you to stick with term life.

Typically, if you do choose whole over term life insurance, you might find yourself paying penalty fees if you needed to access that money. Also, you’ll be paying more for your insurance so you won’t be saving all that much.  You’ll pay an interest rate on anything you take out until you pay it back, if you become ill and need accelerated benefits, you’ll probably have to pay more fees then too.

To Cover Children’s Expenses

Children are expensive. And if you pass while your kids are still in the home, it could leave the spouse you left behind in a hard spot. But, if you have life insurance, the money can go toward school, clothes, food, medical care, etc., which will lift the financial stress off their shoulders.

Interested in life insurance? Check out our blog, What is VGLI: Life Insurance after the Military

Why get life insurance now?

Getting life insurance is optional. No one will force you to get it, though it may feel like it with the military’s SGLI—you can deny it, but we would never advise this. But, if you never served or you’re out of the military now, you might be thinking why is life insurance important—we covered that above. But, have you thought about why you should get it right now? Probably not, which is okay, because we’ve got your six. Below are only a few reasons why you should get life insurance right now. Again, life insurance is a personal choice. Only you know if you need it or not. Part of it will depend on bills you’ll leave behind and the people you were supporting before you pass.

You do some stupid stuff

Yes, you read that right. People are stupid. One day you decide it’s a bright idea to try and be Evil Knievel—you aren’t, but you try anyway—and you end up falling to your death. Now, we aren’t trying to scare you. But, life happens, people take chances, and sometimes those stupid chances catch up to you. So if you’re living life on the edge, always testing your limits, or maybe you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to safety, then you should consider taking out a life insurance policy. Don’t wait until it’s too late, because there’s literally no coming back from it.

Your loved ones still need to be provided for

Just because there’s one less mouth to feed—yours—doesn’t mean your family will be better off financially. You’ve left behind a family who relied on your share of finances to help pay for food, medical bills, clothes, schools, cars, mortgages, etc. If you pass away, your family will still be left paying those bills, and they might still need to be provided for. With life insurance, you can make sure that continues to happen even after you’re gone.

Need more information? Check out our blog: Top Life Insurance Companies for Veterans

You never know when your time is up

Unfortunately, the adage, “life is too short” is all too accurate. You never know when the worst might happen. And the worst typically happens when you least expect it. You might be sitting there reading this and thinking, “I’m only 24, why would I need life insurance? I’m not going anywhere.” But you don’t know that. Car accidents ending in death happen all of the time. People get diseases or sicknesses out of nowhere and the next thing you know, your best friend from high school actually died from the flu, she was only 32. You might not think these things could happen to you, or maybe you think you’re too young to die from something like the flu or pneumonia, but it’s not impossible.

Life insurance is cheaper when you’re young

The younger you are, the cheaper your life insurance is going to be. This is generally the case because younger people are healthier. If you wait until you’re 50 to get life insurance, chances are your health isn’t at its peak. And even if it is, the insurance company will hike up your rate because of your age.

Term life insurance is super cheap

Term life insurance isn’t very costly, especially if you’re young and in good health. If you don’t smoke, that’s even more money you can save. Term life insurance is also cheaper than whole life or permanent life insurance. So if you’re looking for life insurance, get it while you’re young so you can take advantage of the lower rates.

USAA Review: Some People Hate USAA, Here’s Why

Believe it or not, it’s true; there are people out there who really hate USAA. Hate may seem like a strong word, but if you were to talk to the individuals feeling this particular way, you might use the word too. At first, we thought, NO, there’s no way USAA has this many “haters,” but they really do.

Originally, this was going to be an article about how much people love USAA and how awesome they are. Because in an office full of individuals using their banking and insurance services, there wasn’t too much negativity in the room. However, a quick review outside of this office and we found out that people really do have a disdain for USAA, at least for their car insurance. We do have one individual who said they switched their car insurance to Progressive and saved a few hundred dollars.

So, with the sad news, we’d be doing you a disservice not to let you know what’s going on with USAA, because like any company, they do have their problems. Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t have good things going for them. But, you already know the good stuff, so this article is going to uncover the less popular opinions in a fully disclosed USAA review.

Top Reasons People Hate USAA

  • Car insurance is too expensive
  • Claims center doesn’t know what they’re doing
  • It takes too long to get through to a representative
  • You will get the runaround with your claim
  • Getting USAA to pay out is near impossible
  • Some discounts aren’t available in all states
  • USAA doesn’t call their customers back
  • Concerns go unanswered, and members don’t get updated
  • USAA has been known to close accounts and open old accounts without authorization
  • Customer service is rude
  • USAA doesn’t have answers for their mistakes
  • Unless you’re actively serving, you don’t get as many benefits

For those of you who really love USAA, don’t get too upset. We’ve written plenty of articles about all the good things USAA’s doing, which you can read about here.

Now the above list will be hit or miss with some people—thankfully this isn’t an issue everyone is facing. However, as of lately the complaints in these areas above have been skyrocketing. If you do a simple search online for USAA reviews, you might be surprised to see all the negativity, especially if you haven’t actually experienced it yourself.

USAA Complaints

Unfortunately, we can’t explain why some representatives know what’s going on and others don’t (maybe they’re new). But in regards to insurance costs, they do vary based on age, gender, driving record, and even credit score. Some companies will charge more for a bad driving record than others, while credit score could be the reason your premium is hiked with a different provider.  We’re not saying USAA is the cheapest, but depending on what your life looks like USAA could be the cheapest or most expensive option.

If for some reason your rate is high and you can’t figure out why; talk with your representative and ask what’s making your payments higher than others. Ask to see what record they’re looking at and then do some comparison-shopping based on your record. This might seem like a lot of work, but if you have something negative, such as a DUI you’re going to pay a lot more, and some insurance companies will charge more than others on this fault alone.

USAA Reviews

According to online reviews from fellow military members, veterans and their families, USAA has really gone downhill. And they’re getting a significant amount of complaints, very recent complaints that is. Complaints yesterday type recent. Pretty much if you have to deal with USAA’s claims department and you aren’t a USAA member, they will drag out the process, but some members also claim the same happens to them, and by some, we mean a LOT! Reports about them not returning phone calls, not answering emails, and even handwritten letters—yes, that’s still a thing—keep flowing in.

We’ve gone through thousands of reviews, ranging from 1 to 5 stars and we were a little surprised at how many 1 star reviews were out there. At first, you think, these people were probably just trying to play the system or something. But, honestly, there are too many negative reviews about the same things for that to be an accurate assumption.

USAA also lost to two lawsuits back in January—yes, only a few months ago! You can review them yourself on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Which by the way, in case you didn’t know, USAA is not accredited with the BBB, and they have a C+ rating with only 1.5 stars.

USAA: Military, Veterans and their Families

USAA used to be known for being the best option for military members, veterans and their families. Unfortunately, they seem to be lacking in the department of caring for this particular group of people. The complaints mostly used to be about the high loan rates, how hard it was to get a loan, and occasionally car insurance rates. However, over the past several years, USAA has had a decline in appreciation for their customer service.

There are reviews upon reviews about how customer service doesn’t call you back, they have an attitude problem, and they often don’t have answers for the mistakes the bank is making. Of course, this isn’t everyone’s experience, but the complaints are becoming more regular and for the same things. We can only hope they get their act together soon. Maybe that lawsuits will help them come to their senses, at least that’s what we’d hope. Unfortunately, that happened back in January, and as of May, the complaints about customer service are rolling in at an exceeding speed, with no mercy.

It’s honestly sad to see where USAA is going. Some say they should go back to their roots, and only work with officers because they’ve gotten too big to offer the quality service they used to. Others say officers should take the place over again because they will know how to run the joint. And some even say that USAA should be completely shut down because other companies can give you the same terrible service for a better price.

Now, no one here can personally attest to anything negative. But, honestly, the negative reviews outside of this office are too plentiful it’s nearly unbelievable. So, while the person writing the article hasn’t had a bad experience yet, we understand that it’s not impossible, that it could happen or happens to others out there. The point of this article is to bring awareness. We talk USAA up so much because they do offer a lot. But, you should be aware of what your fellow service members and veterans are saying about the company. Many have completely left, taking their banking with them along with things like renters and car insurance.

We just want to make sure you’re well aware or well informed before you make any choices about who you want to bank with, invest with, or be insured under.

USAA Departments Reviewed

Most recently, we’ve been hearing a lot of negative stuff about the actual banking side of USAA. Complaints such as not depositing checks, accepting checks and then denying them several days later with an added fee for the declined deposit, and so many more—all within the last 30 days.

Sadly, that’s not their only problem area. Below are some of the major concerns fellow service members and veterans are having with USAA.

USAA Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance is third-party through USAA. Really all that means is, you get an extra discount by going through USAA. But, who’s to say you can’t just tell the other company you’re military and still get the same thing? Also, USAA uses after-market parts, so if you’re looking for better quality replacement parts for your motorcycle or car, you might want to consider elsewhere.

USAA Car Insurance

The cost of car insurance is hit or miss. Depending on your driving record, how long you’ve been with USAA, and if you have any other products through them will alter your premium. Even your credit score could prevent you from getting a good deal—this is with most insurance providers. However, these things seem to hit a little harder when getting a good deal through USAA (in many cases, but not all). So, shop around before you make your choice.

USAA Roadside Assistance

Auto insurance policies also come with the option of adding on roadside assistance. But, beware, there isn’t much of a difference between getting it with USAA and just about anyone else. Some places like AAA offer other discounts with it and you might get significantly faster service as well. It really depends on where you live or breakdown.

USAA Home and Personal Loans

Loans are not the easiest thing to get through USAA. And if you get approved, their rates are typically higher than most banks. This is the case for home, car and personal loans. Even if you have a good credit score, you’re looking at some pretty high interest rates. Personally, they told me I couldn’t get a VA loan through them because my civilian job wasn’t related to what I did while I was in the military—first time I’ve heard that.

USAA Investments 

Investing your money is a smart move. You need to save up for retirement, emergencies, and just everyday life. But who you invest with, how you invest, and the rate at which you invest are all just as important. USAA does a good job of advising their members on how to do each of these. However, they do not always have the best return rates (not always the case, but just shows you should shop around before you invest).

USAA Banking

USAA does a great job of offering more than just a bank. They offer a lot of products that other banks don’t. What might be attractive with USAA is how much you can get in one place. It’s convenient to bank, invest, pay loans, and get insured all under the same company. But, that doesn’t mean it’s financially the best choice. If you’re looking to save money, it might be wise to get these products from different providers. Of course, in many cases, bundling with USAA does save you money. But, not always, so shop around.

USAA High Intrest Savings Account

We would like to address a rumor about USAA not offering a high-interest savings account. This might be making its rounds on the Internet because USAA calls it something different, “Performance First Savings Account.” This is typically for people who have $10,000 or more in savings. It simply means you have a higher return each month than you would in a normal savings account, if this is where you choose to place your hard earned money. There really isn’t much of a difference between USAA and other banks in this aspect. If you have more than $10,000 you typically don’t have any account fees, just like with USAA, but you might get better return rates elsewhere. Again, another reason to shop around first.

USAA Auto Insurance Policies

People seem to be pretty upset about USAA policy prices. If you’re only getting car insurance through USAA you will pay more. Your best option is to bundle, this is how you save.  Also, the longer you’re with USAA, the more you’ll save. Unfortunately, If you have a low credit score, you might end up paying more than a low credit score with other insurers.

USAA Discounts

Unfortunately, the best discounts are for the people still serving. Yes, it’s sad that veterans don’t get equally as good discounts since you’ve already served your time. However, the discounts you’re missing out on are things like, vehicle storage during a deployment, so don’t get too upset. If you’re a family member, your discounts won’t be as good either—sorry.

Overall, bundling is where you’re really going to save money. You have the option of bundling home insurance, renters insurance, car insurance, personal property insurance, and if you have a savings/checking account you might be able to save even more. Unlike other car insurance companies, USAA also offers a banking option. And since USAA can see that you’re making money, it makes you a better investment for them, which might lead to some further discounting opportunities other insurers just can’t give you.

USAA Student Loans

USAA used to get you a 25% discounted rate for getting your student loan with Wells Fargo through them. But, guess what, they don’t do it anymore. And it’s not just the discount, it’s the entire partnership. Of course, you can go with plenty of other student loan lenders out there, but the convenience of doing it through USAA plus the discount made it a nice option.

Recommendations to USAA

USAA needs a lot of work. It’s clear they are slowly declining. So, we decided to ask around about potential solutions to the problem. One recommendation we got was to start handing out gift cards to Chick-Fil-A. It was clearly a joke, but actually, that’s not a bad idea. USAA, if you’re listening, I’ll take a number 2 with a sweet tea, and maybe throw in one of those freshly baked cookies. It won’t fix anything, except maybe our hunger pains, but we’ll take it.

In all seriousness though, USAA was supposed to submit a plan of action by late March. Hopefully, they’ve actually done that and started implementing those plans by now. Which we’d like to think means, we’ll start seeing a drastic improvement in how they handle customer complaints. Unfortunately, that’s only a start to fixing the vast number of problems the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) found during their investigation. Again, we can only hope things will change for the better from here on out.

Unfortunately, no company is perfect, and this includes USAA. And the bigger a company gets, the further away from perfect they’ll go. In USAA’s case, this could be because they’ve started accepting family members of the military. There used to be a time when they only accepted officers, then enlisted, then veterans, and today family members too. This means USAA is getting big, maybe too big, and they’re falling short of the vision they originally had for the company.

USAA Summary

We really hate reporting facts like this, considering so many of us here use and loved being taken care of by USAA. But, we want to be transparent about everything here, so it’d be a shame to only list the good stuff.

If you’re looking for the good stuff about USAA, know that they aren’t a bad company and they do cater to military life. They offer military discounts, deployment discounts, bundling discounts, banking, insurances, financial advice, and investment opportunities. Yes, USAA needs to make a lot of major improvements, but so do a lot of other financial institutions.