Month : June 2018

Insurance

5 Tips for Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare supplemental insurance is something that is often asked about by those who qualify for Medicare. Medicare, for those who do not know, is a national social insurance program that is handled by the U.S. federal government. It has been in place since the 1960’s and has been helping seniors ever since. Medicare offers those who enroll a defined benefit plan. This benefit plan covers them under a few different plans. The majority of those who enroll in Medicare have traditional Medicare plans. There are other plans though, such as Medicare Advantage, which packs in several added factors. One common thing that people often run into though is how they should add on to their Medicare plan with added supplemental insurance. We have put together some tips on Medicare supplemental insurance to help you understand what it is and how you can make the most use of it.

  1. If you are in the market for a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, the first thing you should do is to sign up for an original Medicare plan with supplemental insurance. If you are signed up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may end up with a plan that will simply not cover you in all of the areas that are needed. Government funding has been disappearing for Medicare Advantage program plans and many hospitals have stopped accepting them. A traditional Medicare plan with supplemental insurance is a safe bet for the future.
  2. You need to be on the lookout for the best coverage possible, you may want to consider something that is known as Medicare Supplement Plan F. Plan F is well-known as the most popular and most comprehensive plan that is available on the market. The idea with this plan is that it will cover pretty much everything after you spend money on the monthly premium. Out of pocket costs are kept at a minimum with Plan F, and that is a huge help to many seniors on a budget.
  3. Medicare Supplement Plan N is also an option when shopping for supplemental insurance. This is similar to Medicare Advantage Plans. What happens with this plan is that you pay a small annual deductible that goes along with co-payments when you visit a doctor or go to the Emergency Room. One of the great benefits here is that it is affordable.
  4. One thing that you need to take into account is that you need to get in touch with a specialist to get a Medicare Supplement quote that you can trust. You should contact a national Medicare Supplement insurance broker who knows all of the plans like the back of their hand. They can give you honest advice so that you can be informed.
  5. You also should get quotes from every single company that you can. Medicare Supplement Plans are consistent, meaning all insurance companies have the same plans available with the same benefits. However, not all insurance companies offer the same plans for the same amount of money. This means that it pretty much all comes down to monthly premium amounts and finding the best deal.

Utilizing the tips mentioned above it should be able to help you obtain the Medicare Supplemental insurance that you need to live happy and healthy lives. Shopping for Supplemental Medicare insurance can be quite confusing. When you take the time to gain the knowledge necessary about the plans though, you will benefit. The more knowledge you have the more power you will have in terms of consumer power. Knowledge is power and having the tips necessary at your disposal can ensure that you are ready to purchase the plan you need.

Author Bio: This article was written by Pete Higgans of MedicareSupplementalInsurance.net a company that provides great information about insurance related topics. 

Money Management

Should You Have An Automatic Bill Pay Setup

The easier you can make something, the more likely for you to do it. When it comes to savings the best thing to do is automatically have money transferred to savings. Well, it’s the same thing with bills.

I had a student of my free Jumpstart Your Financial Freedom eCourse ask me my thoughts on automating your monthly bills. I think it’s a great thing to do so that you don’t forget about your bills and get a late fee or possibly a utility cut off. Yea that’s an extreme but a late payment can happen. I’m not a fan of flushing money down the drain like a late fee, so I have a setup that I’ve been using successfully for the last year.

My Setup

I don’t have many bills that I pay directly due to having roommates. However, If I didn’t have roommates I’d just add those bills into the system. What I do is have a credit card, a secured card, as my exclusive bill card. I set up all of my reoccurring monthly bills to directly get paid with that card. This way I have one source to go through and can check all of the bills to see if any of them are out of the ordinary. If they are I check out the bill itself to see where I can cut down or to see if there’s a mistake I can get corrected.

Warning

I did mention that you should check your bills for a reason. This isn’t a set it and forget it type of system. This is a set it but keep an eye on it system. You don’t have to worry about paying them on time, but you do have to worry about if your bills are going up or not.

This set up helps me to keep organized as well as help build up my credit since the card stays active. Once I got all of my bills set up I be sure to stash the card away somewhere so I don’t carry it around with me. That makes sure I don’t use the card for other purposes.

What do you think about automatically paying your monthly bills?

Insurance

New Surgeries and Medical Treatments Can Save Your Pet’s Life — At a Price

Pets are members of the family. We want them to be happy and healthy. With new medical treatments and surgeries available, dogs and cats are beating cancer, overcoming genetic defects and improving heart conditions to live longer, higher quality lives. These new surgical techniques and medical advancements come at a hefty price, however. No one wants to have to euthanize a beloved pet because they can’t pay for treatment. There are cost-effective ways to keep pets healthy and give them the best veterinary care possible. Here are three tips to do just that.

  1. Purchase pet insurance:  A quick look at this infographic about pet insurance shows the average costs of a variety of veterinary procedures. For example, cancer treatments can cost over $5,000. Treating a pet with pneumonia can be as much as $8,300. Surgery to remove a foreign object can cost $3,000 or more. Even routine treatments, such as annual wellness exams, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries can wreak havoc on a budget. Pet insurance is affordable. Costs depend on the coverage you choose and specific factors about your pet. Shop around to find the best coverage at the best price. Pet insurance is an investment in your pet’s well-being as well as a smart way to pay a little and avoid unexpected high costs in the future.
  2. Feed your pet right: When you’re on a budget, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeding pets the least expensive food. The problem is that dog or cat food that does not meet the pet’s nutritional requirements can cause health issues that are expensive to manage. Cheap pet food is often full of “filler” ingredients that cause the pet to eat more and lead to obesity. Speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional requirements. By spending a little more for a higher quality food that meets your pet’s needs, you may avoid some of the illnesses related to poor diet later on.
  3. Pet-proof your home: Ingestion of foreign or poisonous objects is one of the most expensive and common reasons for emergency vet visits. A few precautions can save you from high veterinary bills and save your pet from suffering or even death. Lock cleaning supplies up. Keep human medications out of reach. Grapes, raisins, onions and other human foods are dangerous if ingested. Some plants are toxic. Electrical cords are attractive to some pets, particularly the young. Fix problems before something bad happens. Make sure your home is pet-safe.

The Humane Society of America offers this advice if you are having trouble affording veterinary care:

  • Prepare by purchasing pet insurance.
  • Negotiate with your vet. Ask for a payment plan.
  • Call different veterinarians around your region. Charges often vary substantially from one office to the next.
  • If you need help with vaccinations or spay/neuter surgeries, look for low-cost clinics or programs.
  • Look online for veterinary care assistance programs.
  • Contact local shelters and ask about low-cost services. Many have in-house clinics or work with veterinarians who are willing to reduce their rates in specific circumstances.

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Infographic from https://www.petinsuranceu.com/pet-insurance-infographic

Home Ownership

10 Steps to Take Before You Buy Your Home

Purchasing a home is a complicated and time-consuming process, and staying on track is important. Proper planning will make the process go more smoothly and ensure that you end up with the best house possible. Putting in some work before you make an offer can also save you some serious cash. Here are 10 of the most important steps to take before you purchase a new home.

1. Sell Your Current Home First

If you already own a house, consider selling it or renting it out before looking for a new one. Doing so will save you the trouble of making two complex transactions at once. Selling before you buy will also make it easier to determine an appropriate amount for your down payment. 

2. Find an Agent

Even experienced home buyers can benefit from the services of a professional real estate agent. Agents have access to information on neighborhoods and other industry buzz that can help you find the best home possible. They can also navigate the tricky negotiations process to get you a low price with plenty of perks.  A great agent has attended a reputable real estate school and understands the in’s and outs of most deals.

3. Decide What You Want in a Home

People purchase homes for a wide variety of reasons. Figuring out your family’s specific priorities will help you to narrow down your search by eliminating homes that fail to meet all of your requirements. 

4. Check Your Credit History

Obtain a copy of your credit history as soon as possible, especially if you plan on getting a mortgage. If there are any dings or errors in your credit report, try to clean it up as much as you can before you start the mortgage process. 

5. Find a Lender

When seeking a mortgage, compare the rates of different lenders and keep an eye out for programs that cater to your specific situation. Focus on finding a mortgage program with low interest rates and lender fees. 

6. Pre-Qualify for a Mortgage

To make an offer on a home, you will first need a pre-qualification letter from a lender proving that you can afford the mortgage. The pre-qualification process involves a cursory review of your financial situation. Pre-approval is much more extensive and provides a better estimate of your financial capabilities. Pre-approved buyers are generally preferred over pre-qualified buyers.

7. Save Money for a Down Payment

Although the Federal Housing Administration allows payments as low as 3.5 percent, try to make a down payment of at least 20 percent of a home’s contract sale price. A higher down payment will lead to lower mortgage payments and may also reduce your interest rates.

8. Start Researching Neighborhoods

Before you consider buying a house, make sure you know as much as possible about the surrounding area. Search online for information like crime statistics and transportation options. Even if you do not have children, look for an area with good school districts as this will boost the value of your property. 

9. Have the Home Inspected and Appraised

Hiring a professional home inspector is the best way to avoid costly repairs in the future. You will also need to determine the market value of the house and provide your lender with the information. Keep a copy of the appraisal for your records. 

10. Purchase Homeowner’s Insurance

Most lenders will only finance your real estate transaction once the property is fully insured. Homeowner’s insurance is often expensive, especially in areas that are prone to natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. Make sure you shop around to find a good deal, and see if your car insurance company will let you add a home insurance plan at a discounted rate.

Business

Steep Challenges Every Entrepreneur Has to Face and Overcome

One effective way to beat an obstacle is to understand the obstacle. If you plan on being a successful entrepreneur, then you need to understand the possible challenges that could stand in your way

The challenges each entrepreneur faces as he/she fights to win are often unique to each entrepreneur’s circumstance. But there are certain challenges that all entrepreneurs face regardless their location, skill, or ambitions.

Since you have no choice but to eventually face said challenges, identifying and understanding these challenges from the earliest possible onset is the most effective way to overcome them. Below are some of the most common challenges.

  1. Fear

Fear can stop you from taking a necessary leap that could turn you into a success. Fearing that your next action or inaction can lead to catastrophic failure is a fear that you will face every day as an entrepreneur and one that you most constantly slay without hesitation. If you let your fear win, you will be unable to make any headway as an entrepreneur. But while you should never let fear cripple you, you should also never completely ignore it because your fear might actually be justified. Thus, rationally evaluate the cause of your fear before taking a risk.

  1. Finances

As an entrepreneur, you need money to make money. After getting the finances to get your business off the ground, your next challenge will be having the finances to keep your business alive and thriving. One key way to ensure your business always stays afloat is proper management through lean spending. Trim off the fat by avoiding unnecessary expenses, and more cash will be available for projects that actually need it.

  1. Success

Success is the ultimate goal of every entrepreneur but success itself can eventually turn into an obstacle. This is apparent when initial success blinds an entrepreneur and he/she is unable to grow beyond that point. Success can also become a challenge by being overwhelming. When an entrepreneur is unprepared for the level of success they’ve attained, it can lead to them having trouble finding a steady work/life balance and this will ultimately affect productivity and further growth. Fortunately, there are recommended productivity resources available that can help effectively manage and balance your affairs.

  1. Ever changing world

Change is constant and it has been the cause of the downfall of many entrepreneurs. Change can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, but as an entrepreneur, you have to be flexible and proactive enough to respond to change by taking advantage of any opportunity it presents. Rather than view change as a risk, thriving entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity to conquer new horizons.

These four challenges are capable of either making or breaking an entrepreneur. If you don’t want to be broken by these challenges at any point in your career, you have to understand your business and have clearly defined business goals. Your business goals will help you effectively strategize and discover new and efficient ways to overcome the above challenges with fully satisfying results.