Category: Insurance

Building a Nest Egg for a Happy Retirement

happy financial retirementWhen you are young and care-free, planning for a silver-haired future might feel weird. It’s difficult to image how next week is going to go, never mind figuring out how you are going to support yourself when you no longer want to work.

However odd it might be, planning for the future while you are young will give you the best chance of a happy retirement. It may be unpleasant to imagine a day when you will need full time care or perhaps can’t make decisions for yourself, but thinking about it now will certainly help.

Start Young

As soon as you start earning, you should be thinking about how you are going to save up and build your retirement nest egg. By starting young, you are giving yourself plenty of time to build up your financial portfolio and save without really feeling the loss. The older you are when you start, the more aggressive your saving plan will have to be.

Set out your financial goals early on and work steadily toward achieving them over a long period of time. This method will help you to budget properly without sacrificing all the good things you enjoy like meals out with friends or holidays.

Invest Smart

In order to accumulate, you must speculate. This means making smart investments in things such as stocks and shares or alternative opportunities like antiques or gold. In fact, a gold-backed IRA is an excellent supplement to your portfolio as it reacts slightly differently to the rest of the market. This is an advantage because it will help to smooth out any risks as the market naturally fluctuates.

If you aren’t too confident about what you should and shouldn’t be investing in, or how to balance risks, you must see an independent financial advisor before you part with any cash. They will be able to create a personalized financial plan for you and offer good advice to ensure you can save enough for your future.

Save, Save, Save!

If you have a budget, and stick to it as best you can, then saving a portion of your income each month should be fairly easy. In fact, if you get the balance right, you probably won’t even notice it’s happening.

Some of the best advice for building your nest egg is to put any windfalls into savings rather than splurge on things you don’t need. Find other ways to treat yourself without completely blowing your budget out of the water. This isn’t to say that you can’t treat yourself every now and again, but just to make sure that you adjust your budget accordingly.

With a sensible portfolio, your retirement plan should be easy to manage and your nest egg will gradually build up over the years. Try to keep this fund separate from your other savings to prevent you from being tempted to dip in for some extra cash. Keep a rainy day fund as well as a contingency fund and your nest egg will be safe for the future.

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The Golden Rules of Taking Out a Loan

loan timeIf the world was perfect for everyone, no one would ever need to borrow any money. Unfortunately, things just don’t work like that yet – and as long as we have a banking system, it’s unlikely to change. The reality is that we have to borrow money to lead the lives we want. However, there are limits, and many people are guilty of stepping over the mark.

The truth is there are good debts and bad debts, as you probably already know. And even if you are in good enough shape to take out the former, after a few missed payments or a challenging life event, it can quickly turn into the latter.

When it comes to personal loans, the temptation is strong enough to turn heads of even people with the strongest financial constitutions. Advertising is everywhere, and almost all speak to your aspirations and the life you could have – if only you would borrow a few thousand dollars or more.

To make sure you don’t fall into a trap, there are a few things you need to consider when taking out a loan. These golden rules should be set in stone, as when you step outside of them, it’s often the first step down a slippery slope to unaffordable, bad debts. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

Always shop around

It doesn’t matter whether you are borrowing money to buy a car, a home, or just pay for something quickly with cash loans, always shop around and look for the best deal possible. You should compare percentage rates for interest, but also check the length of the loan. Sometimes, cheaper interest rates over a longer time period will result in a higher overall cost.

Always check your credit score.

Another thing to consider before applying for a loan is your credit rating. When you make an application and get turned down, your credit score takes a hit. Not only that, however, but when you are attracted by a fantastic looking deal that you see in an advertisement, you have to remember that these deals are only offered to consumers with the best credit scores. If your rating is anything less than perfect, you won’t be offered it, and instead, have to put up with a much more expensive deal than you applied for in the first place. A lot of people fall for this, so ensure your credit rating is up to scratch before you apply.

Always read the small print.

The terms and conditions on loans are notoriously detailed, and the vast majority of borrowers never pay them a blind bit of notice. It’s no surprise – who has time to read the reams of paper that often come with your application form? However, you should make time. Banks and lenders of all varieties depend on your ignorance and lack of time, and will often include some pretty dire conditions that you need to meet to qualify for any of the supposed advantages. Another thing to watch out for is early repayment charges – you should always include them in the overall cost of the loan when you do your initial sums. Ideally, all loans would be free to pay off whenever you want, but the reality is somewhat different.

Consider insurance

Loan insurance gets a bad rep, because of a lot of malpractice in the past. However, it’s a valuable protection if you can find the right deal. For a few dollars a month you can protect yourself in the event you suffer an injury at work or get ill and can’t earn any money to pay the loan back. Again, shop around – there are varying rates from all kinds of lenders and insurance companies, and you will often find it is more expensive to buy insurance from the company offering the loan.

Compare with a credit card.

Another major misconception is that personal loans always have better deals than credit cards. To be fair, this used to be the case, back in the day when credit cards were only for the very wealthy, but times have changed. When you consider the long 0% deals you get on credit cards – some of which go for around 18 months at the moment – they often compare very favorably to a personal loan at, say, 6%. And if you can pay off the card before those 18 months are complete, it won’t actually cost you a penny.

Pro tip: borrow more money

As a rule, you should never borrow more than you can pay back. However, when you consider that banks and lenders will offer lower interest rates for higher loans, wouldn’t it make sense to get the better deal? In short, of course, it would, but you have to have a lot of self-discipline. You could borrow a larger amount of money, only spend what you need, and then pay it back over time using a combination of your personal repayments and the surplus. Over the course of a 4-5 year loan, this could actually save you a four-figure sum, so it’s well worth investigating – if you have the discipline, of course.

Be careful with secured loans.

Secured loans will always give you a fantastic sounding deal. But there is a reason – it’s because you have capital at stake. When a loan is secured against your possessions, lenders tend to sleep easily, content in the knowledge that if you fail to pay, they get your house, car, or treasured objects. Yes, the deals can be tempting. But unless you are 100% sure that you will be able to pay them back. Unsecured loans may attract higher interest charges, but ultimately if you have a problem paying them, there is little a lender can actually do.

Always stake the shortest path.

Finally, whenever you take out a loan, the cheapest option will always be to pay it back as quick as possible. It’s down to your personal circumstances, of course, but if your idea of the perfect loan is that it ends up costing you less, it’s the only way to go.

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The Risks Of Living Without Insurance

insurance to liveWhen you’re looking for ways to save money, it can be easy to make chops and changes to the things you need in life. There are a lot of expensive areas in life, and the ones at the forefront will usually take precedence over the less important. Of course, though, things like insurance are only less important until you need them. Living without cover for certain areas of your life can be very risky, and to help you understand, this post will be going through some of them. Along with this, it will also be helping you to save some money without cutting them out.

Health And Life

If you’ve ever been to a hospital before, you probably already understand the great costs which can come with it. Even an ambulance ride could set you back several thousand, and this is before you’ve been treated. You can’t avoid these costs, but, with health insurance, you can have someone else pay for it. Along with high hospital bills, a lot of people fail to consider the costs of their funeral and other arrangements when they pass on. To cover this, companies like lifeinsurancequote.co can be used to provide life insurance to those with dependents. It’s always best to start something like life insurance nice and early, as you usually have to save a certain amount before the company will pay anything to your loved ones.

Car

Next, you can start to consider the other important areas in your life. Most people can’t live without a tool like their car. You use it to get to work, and you probably use it for other important parts of life, too. But, if you were to have a crash or had your car stolen, you would be left without until buying a new one. Car insurance can protect you from these sorts of issues. In most places, this sort of cover will be a legal requirement, and you will get in trouble without it. You can use comparison sites to find the best value car insurance, but it’s also worth shopping around yourself, too.

Home And Possessions

With your car sorted out, you can start to think about the other possessions you own. To start with this, it’s best to think about the biggest item you own; your home. In the case of a catastrophic event, like a fire or a storm, you might not be able to afford to repair your home. Along with this, in cases of theft and burglaries, it can be almost impossible to get your hands on the items you’ve lost. Home and contents insurance can cover this sort of area for you, and websites like www.usa.gov can help you to find the best options. It’s important to do plenty of research when you’re choosing cover like this, as a lot of the options you have could be very confusing.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what can be done when you’re trying to assess the risks of living without insurance. In most cases, it’s best to make sure that you have as much as your life covered as you can. Of course, though, not everyone can afford this sort of expense. So, it could be worth thinking about the most important areas surrounding your life before you choose which options to go for.

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Business Senses

business health insuranceThere’s no doubt that the idea of adding to your business costs is rarely a popular idea. When you’re so focused on seeing through each month and generating a profit, it can feel like every debit you have to make to your business accounts is a huge drain. So being told that you need to think about employee healthcare coverage? That’s probably not the most welcome of statements.

The truth is, however, that the health of your employees is vitally important to your business. Without a healthy staff, you’re going to suffer from chronic problems and a huge loss of productivity caused by sick days and absences. Investing in how healthy your employees are is an investment in the future of your business – so if you try and think of it like that, it might be easier to handle the loss to your finances.

Should you make the decision to invest in healthcare coverage, this gives birth to many additional decisions you have to make. What type of coverage should you offer? What is important to prioritize in the coverages? What exclusions can you expect?

All important decisions that are worthy of your time, but for the moment, let’s focus on a more macro level. While general healthcare coverage is great, you’re also going to need to think about using business senses to give your employees the best healthcare they need. And that’s ‘business senses’ in a very literal way…

Sight

A general healthcare policy might not cover employee vision and sight health. Why do you need this area covered?

  • Poor eyesight can cause headaches and fatigue, meaning your employees won’t be at their best.
  • If someone is struggling to see properly, they are less likely to be able to spot errors in fine print – which could cost your business substantially.

So it’s always worthwhile to check out business vision insurance rates if your policy doesn’t cover eye and sight costs as standard.

Hearing

If you have an older workforce, then natural degeneration in hearing is an area you need to focus on. It’s also a priority if you work in an industry that involves employees being exposed to loud noises, such as construction.

  • If you don’t provide the correct sound-blocking technology for employees, then you could be vulnerable to a future lawsuit. Doing this and offering proper healthcare to ensure the measures you have taken are effective is a perfect way of covering yourself for the future.
  • Older employees have a lot to offer in terms of experience. Don’t allow them to be left behind by not being able to hear in meetings or struggling with phone calls.

Try and find a policy that covers not only regular hearing checks, but anything that offers assistance with the cost of a hearing aid.

Taste

If there is anything you can do to ensure your employees are eating a healthy diet, then it’s a great investment. Not only will they be healthier in general, but it also means fewer claims on your company policy.

By focus on the above areas, you can be confident of a comprehensive coverage for your employees health – benefiting your business in the long run as well!

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Health Consciousness and Insurance Rates

money invest for healthDid you know that being smarter about your health can directly affect your health care costs? It’s true! Lower health care literacy has been linked to unnecessary over treatment, fewer scheduled preventative services, and higher hospitalization rates, all of which increase your health care costs and put you at greater risk. In the following article, we review the types of behaviors associated with having a high health literacy and how these behaviors save people money on their insurance rates.

They Learn to Advocate for Themselves

Those of us who are health conscious are smart enough to know which treatments and medications we need and which ones are unnecessary. These unnecessary treatments, including over prescribed medications, fall under a term called “overutilization.” Overutilization occurs when health care is provided at a higher volume than necessary or at a higher cost than is appropriate to the treatment. In other words, if patients don’t have high health care literacy, they may not be able to advocate for themselves and refuse excessive or redundant tests or treatments.

In fact, overutilization is such a problem in health care that the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now known as the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), estimates that 30 percent of US health care expenditures are a waste of money. Of that percentage, the IOM estimates $210 billion stems from unnecessary health care services.

They Schedule Regular Doctors Visits and Use ER Sparingly

Those with high health literacies tend to go to the doctor regularly, which helps them understand their current health status better than those with lower health literacies. This helps them avoid the common traps of overutilization, which we see in doctors over-prescribing medications (such as antibiotics for upper respiratory infections), excessive imaging services, unnecessary surgeries, excessive stress tests, and emergency-room visits for symptoms normally seen at a person’s doctor’s office. Many of these instances of overutilization can be avoided if a patient fully understands his or her health status and the full range of treatment options available. For example, rather than visit the ER for suspected strep throat, a health-literate patient would hold off and schedule an appointment with his or her family doctor. Doing so not only helps you save money, but also reduces the overall costs of healthcare for everyone.

They Take Advantage of Preventative Services

Health conscious patients take their health seriously. They schedule physicals with their primary care provider annually, make other appointments when necessary, and live a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent health problems later in life. Unfortunately, even if you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, if you’re not keeping your annual doctor’s appointments, you may still be part of the problem that drives up health care costs.

The yearly physical is often included in insurance plans free of charge because it’s such an essential part of keeping insurance rates down. Preventative services like these can spot illnesses and risk factors early, long before they have a chance to develop into life-threatening concerns. Too often, we hear of cancer patients who didn’t know they were sick until they were diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, and while many cancers do indeed grow quickly, preventative services have a better chance of spotting them before it’s too late for treatment.

As a health-conscious consumer, you should adhere to your doctor’s recommended visits and consider other areas that positively impact your overall health, such as dental, vision, and physical therapy services. Staying on top of these areas of health ensures you save money on health care costs and don’t strain the system.

Keeping Your Insurance Rates Down

The reality is, many Americans don’t spend enough time researching health insurance benefits options before choosing their plan. Those with higher health literacy will compare their options, perform research beyond the packet their employer has provided for them, ask questions to get a clear picture of what’s included in each insurance plan, and get their questions answered by an expert in the field to make sure they are getting the right insurance plan for them. The same can be said for life insurance.

Health IQ celebrates health conscious consumers by extending special rates on life insurance to those who deserve it most. When you’ve spent a lifetime eating right, exercising, keeping up with your annual physicals, and doing your best to stay healthy, statistics say you should live longer than the average American. Naturally, this means enjoying special rates on term life insurance.

If you’re already a health conscious consumer, enlist the help of an expert to find the right insurance plan for you and your family. Our services are particularly beneficial to endurance athletes and strength trainers with low resting heart rates and muscular builds. Muscular builds can mean having an increased body mass index (BMI) that puts you over a weight limit for discounted health insurance rates, but we take these things into account at Health IQ. Simply verify your activity level to qualify.

Being health conscious has many benefits, so why not reap the rewards? Contact Health IQ to see how much you can save.

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