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Becker & Associates

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January 2016 mandates for Employer with 50 or more employees must comply with:

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Women need Life Insurance too!

Posted on September 4, 2015 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (296089)

According to LIMRA, only 52 % of women own life insurance, compared with 62% of men, and the dollar value of a woman's coverage was 31% less. This lack of life insurance among women puts families at risk of financial hardship. 

I'm sure we've all heard stories from others about losing a spouse and the hardship it leaves the surviving spouse with, especially if there are children involved, but really, REALLY..think about it!  Think about the worst happeing to YOU.  Whether a woman works in the home or has a job outside the home, her "worth" must be considered.

Close your eyes, think about the "what if" your spouse suddently was not here. 

  • Who would manage the children? 
  • What would the loss of her income mean to the familiy? 
  • Would you be able to keep your home or have to move to a less costly one?
  • Would you be able to continue the upkeep of your home?
  • How much is day care ....per child, in your neighborhood?
  • Would your child have a college fund?
  • How much is an in home nanny if you have infants and toddlers not old enough for day care?
  • If you have to go to work all day, are you prepared to come home and do everything..clean, cook, homework with your kids, etc?

Well, I do know somone in my own community who recently lost his spouse. A young man of only 34 years with three chldren; 1 in school and one in day care and he had no choice but to have a nanny in home for the baby.  It's a very good thing that he owns his business and doesn't have to ask an employer if he can leave to pick up his child from school, or relive the nanny if she can't make it,or stay home to take care of sick kids, etc. 

  • Would your employer allow for these kinds of "leaves"? 
  • If they did, would your pay be docked?
  • What if  it casued you to lose your job?
  • Are there enough hours in the day for one person to raise a family in the same manner as two?

The bottom line is there are solutions, inexpensive ones and solutions that can even help provide for tax-free dollars to be used for any purpose such as college tuition, retirement, Long TermCare, etc.

Please do not think a woman does not need life insurance, EVERYONE DOES!  Just as we all work hard to make life good and secure for our families while we're alive, we must think about the reality of the "what if's" that occur daily around the nation.  One day it could be YOU. Youare no different than anyone else when it comes to accidents and illnesses.

It is always best to buy Life Insurance when you are younger and healthier, but better late than never!

Contact me to discuss solutions for your families well being, no matter what life brings your way!

Are You Prepared to Handle the Loss of a Spouse/Partner?

Posted on August 12, 2015 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (71285)

It's Life Insurance Awareness Month! 

I hope everyone will devote a few minutes to just give thought to what you and your family  would do if one or both of the "Parents/Partners" of your family were suddently "gone".  It's a fact that most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck these days...a sudden loss could be devastating. 

How would you continue to provide for your family, pay the mortgage or rent? Pay for day to day needs of a family?  If you suddenly had to go get a job, who would be home to care for the kids? Google the cost of full time childcare in your area.

This won't happen to YOU?  Just listen to the news and read the local papers...or get out and talk to real people about real life instead of watching "reality"TV.  It happens to families around us every few minutes.

It is NOT too expensive to insure against this horrible catastrophe and I CAN PROVE IT.  I challenge everyone to keep a ledger for just ONE MONTH.  Write down every penny you spend especially including the impulse items, the candy bar at the gas station the magazine at the checkout stand, the junk your kids are bugging you for every time you go to the store but it's not their birthday yet.  Then at the end of one month, add up all the items you could live without and illuminate the amount of money you have just dicovered you have to put towards something useful like Life Insurance!

Take my challenge and then email me with the amount of money you now have monthly to put toward "something" of value and I will show you what your options are with no obligation whatsover!  Email me, be sure to put "Your blog" in the subject box so I know  what your email is about and don't delete it thinking it's spam.  I will let you know what your options are for FREE,  with no obigation whatsoever and no bothering you if you're not interested!...but I guarantee you will be interested if you open your mind and start planning for your future.

PS-I represent all admitted carriers in the States where you live, not just one company.  I work for my clients, not the carriers...I "represent" the carriers best for my clients.

Affordable Life Insurance for Older Folks Age 70 Plus

Posted on August 10, 2015 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (14930)

Older folks who want to purchase Life Insurance are often unable to find a term product longer than 15 years. For folks in their 70's, guaranteed coverage to age 90 seems to provide them with enough confidence that a death benefit will pay out to their beneficiaries – if only a 20 year term product were available…

Protective Life’s Custom Choice UL can be a solution. Below is an example for a 75 year old male, preferred non tobacco. When dialing out the guaranteed death benefit to age 95, not only can we provide you with coverage for 20 years, but also maintain term-like pricing. In fact, this product is so competitive that based on the profile mentioned, 20 years of coverage is lower in cost than the most competitive 15 year term product!  Look at these comparisons:

Male Age 75 Preferred Non-Tobacco (Term = Most competitive carrier/product based on premium)

Product                               Guarantee       Annual Premium      Death Benefit

15 Year Term                           15                     $ 8,093                    $250k

20 Year Term                           N/A                        N/A                       N/A

20 Year GUL (Protective)        20                      $7,835                     $250k

30 Year GUL (Protective)        30                      $9,680                      $250k


 

At 70 years old – the last age at which only a few carriers will still offer 20 year term, you should still consider this product. The table below shows that a 70 year old male, preferred non tobacco can save significant amounts of premium with 20 years of UL coverage in comparison to the most competitive 20 year term product. And if you would like coverage for 30 years to age 100 we can still provide the security you need while mirroring these term prices.

Male Age 70 Preferred Non-Tobacco (Term = Most competitive carrier/product based on premium)

Product                                Guarantee       Annual Premium      Death Benefit

15 Year Term                            15                      $3,705                     $250k

20 Year Term                            20                      $5,605                     $250k

20 Year GUL (Protective)         20                      $4,877                     $250k

30 Year GUL (Protective)         30                      $6,439                     $250k


Contact us for more on how the Protective Custom Choice UL can positively impact your Life insurance needs.

August is Life Insurance Awareness Month!

Posted on August 10, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (68864)

Life Insurance... Everyone knows somebody who has had a loved one die unexpectedly.  We all have many stories of famlies who've been forced to change their lifestyle dramatically because of the unexpected loss of a breadwinner or a homemaker spouse/partner. 

All one needs to do is to think about what YOUR family would do if you suddenly were not there.  If you were the breadwinner, how would your spouse/partner and children deal with the loss of your income on top of the loss of you?  If you are a homemaker or "Stay at Home Parent", how would your spouse/partner deal with the loss and replace all that you do?  Just google the average cost of full time childcare and housekeepers in your area...how much per year would it cost to replace YOU?  What about paying the mortgage or rent? What about all those plans you had for your children as they grow up?

Whether you're 25 years old and single or older with a family, there is a policy for you.  With the array of products available on the market today, there is no situation we cannot insure for, no budget we cannot work around.

Do this exercize; take a ledger and write down every nickle you spend throughout the month whether it's cash, credit or check and write down what you spent it on whether it's a soda and a candy bar when you stop for gas (shockingly, LOTS of people spend more than they know on items like this) or "impulse" items at the checkout stand at Target or the market.  Do this for one month then total things up.... turn the light on!, illuminate your spending habits and take measures to stop the things you see that are unnecessary.  I promise you, you'll see that you can afford to allocate something toward your retirement and your Life Insurance.....the two most important things you can save for starting ASAP!

By buying Life Insurance when you're young and healthy ensures you will be getting the best "rating" which leads to the least expensive premiums for the life of your policy.  It's amazing to see how much of an estate you can build using Life Insurance products.  There are products today that pay more interest than any bank with no downside market risk like the stock market has.  The Indexed Universal Life Products of today are paying a minimum "guaranteed" interest rate of 2% with no downside risk of loss of your principal and any interest earned should the stockmarket crash.  The historical data shows that over the decades, the "average" has resulted in overall earnings of approximately 9%!  Those that lost in the market is because of the risk inherant in the stockmarket.

Contact me for a quote or to discuss what may be the best way for you to move forward and get on track with Life Insurance!


What's Happening to SOCIAL SECURITY?

Posted on August 10, 2015 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (56829)

 

 

We all know by now that $720 BILLION was borrowed from our Social Security fund by the current administration to pay for it's new Government run HealthCare. We got exactly what a citizenry who was not paying attention or holding their congress accountable for things like actually READING the bill before even considering imposing it on Americans can expect to get.

Throughout its 75 year history, Social Security has provided critical economic security to millions of retirees, families, children and the disabled. Social Security is paid for by the dedicated contributions of workers and their employers, has administrative costs of less than one percent, and since it cannot borrow to fund its operations, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit. No wonder that Americans from all walks of life consistently and overwhelmingly support our nation's most successful social insurance program -- a level of support that is not achieved by other governmental programs.Social Security is self-financed, cannot borrow, spends less than one percent on its administrative costs.

The government borrows these Social Security funds to pay for other government spending -- but is obligated to pay interest on these borrowings -- and pay back the borrowed funds in full when they are needed by Social Security for benefit payments. WHY aren't they paying it back?

A look at the federal budget over the same time frame reveals a starkly different picture -- many years of deficits, with only a few years of surplus -- a surplus that disappeared during the G.W. Bush Administration. In 1993, a Democratic Congress and President Clinton, without a single Republican vote in either the House or Senate, enacted a budget plan that put it on a path to elimination of the deficits --and brought the budget into balance, and then later into surplus.

The taxpayers of America bailed out the banks -- wouldn't it be fair now to ask the banks to pay back what they have cost Social Security? A tax on financial transactions and a tax on Wall Street bonuses, with revenues dedicated to Social Security, would pay back to Social Security and its contributors what has been taken from them.

Pay Back Social Security! -- The Government Has Borrowed More from Social Security (easy pickens) than any Other Entity or Foreign Government.

Another argument made by Social Security opponents to raise fear about the national debt is how much our government has borrowed from China. They never mention how much our government has borrowed from Social Security. In fact, the government has borrowed more from the Social Security surplus than it has from any other source in the world, including China. As a result, Social Security now "owns" nearly 18 percent of the federal debt, making it the largest single holder of US debt. The government owes almost twice as much to Social Security as it does to China and Hong Kong. ...and most Americans have no idea about this debt it seems, and are doing nothing to demand that the Feds pay US back!

We elect people who take our Social Security fund to fund a Government run Health Plan and just sit and watch the carnage done to what we've worked and contributed to for our whole lives. This "taking", "stealing", "Borrowing" or whatever we call it...the pillaging of a fund that working folks paid for, taken in order to pay for programs that the government will pay for is nothing more than a move to control the largest segments of the American economy.

How many Americans over 50 do you think are ready for life with no Social Security? The answer is not many! Only about 10% have saved enough to live life without a dime from social security.

Get a "Two-for"- Life Insurance with Long Term Care

Posted on July 17, 2015 at 4:25 PM Delete

delete Overlays edit Comments comments (0)

Using your Life Insurance for Long Term Care Expense:

Life Insurance policies are ever changing to meet the needs of our ever changing society. All the buzz is now on Long Term Care coverage, but if you've ever gotten a quote you know it is not cheap! Also, what if you never need it? Once you've paid the premium to the carrier for a Long term Care policy, it's GONE and you have nothing to show for it. Though there are benefits to having a comprehensive LTC (Long Term Care) policy...you can spell out the benefits in a more precise way, add on riders for COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments), etc, but the fact remains that it's expensive and if you never use it, it's money down the drain.

Do not mistake my message to mean LTC is not important! It is VERY important...in fact more important than ever, there are just more creative ways of getting it these days.

Using a Life Insurance policy with a guaranteed Death benefit and adding a 4% LTC rider is a very interesting solution. Let's use this example: You are healthy enough to purchase a $500,000. face amount and you become ill enough or have an accident and meet the requirement to be able to tap into your policy for its LTC benefits (the requirement for ALL LTC policies is just about the same, whether a policy or a rider) is being unable to do at least 2 of the ADLs - Activities of Daily Living). Using a $500,000. Death Benefit policy with the LTC rider of 4% per month = $20,000. per month available to you.

Per the IRS, at this time the maximum amount you may receive from your policy on a tax free basis is $330 per day or $9.900. per month. This is because the LTC benefit is essentially considered getting your Death benefit early. Depending on your needs, whether it be paying for a facility, paying for homecare, paying a relative to take care of you, you may decide to take only the tax free portion from your policy, but the full 4% is still available.

Then let's say you get better and return to life as normal in 6 months, you have taken or "used" (at $9,900. mo.) $59,400.00 of your Death Benefit thus reducing your policy's Death benefit to $440,600. This amount will be passed on to your heirs tax free OR be available for another round of LTC usage.

If you are 70 1/2 years old and are receiving "RMD"s (Required Minimum Distributions) from retirement funds that you don't really need, you can turn taxable income into tax free money using this strategy!

In summary, you've used tax free death benefits to pay for your Long Term Care needs and the money you've invested in your Life insurance is still there!

Example - A $500,000. Policy would cover the IRS maximum monthly LTC payment of $9,900. for 4.2 YEARS!

Some Statistics for the USA: For someone with a 90-day Elimination Period, the lifetime chance of someone buying coverage at age 60 and using policy benefits was 35%. So, 35% will use their coverage and 65% will not. As you might assume, the decline is because during those first 90 days, some people will recover and some will die.

Here is some meaningful information on nursing home lengths of stays as published in the Association's 2008 LTCi Sourcebook. Remember, that most long-term care is actually received at home but there are still fewer statistics about home care utilization for "long-term care" needs. When we get relevant ones we will publish them for consumers to read. Notice that the length of time that anyone stays in a Nursing Home is well under five years! We must consider the time that most people need in home care too, please see "Long Term Care Info & Statistics" blog for more info.

Average Length of Stays (Nursing Homes)

5 years or more - 12.0%

3 to 5 years - 12.0%

1 to 3 years - 30.3%

6 to 12 months - 14.2%

3 to 6 months - 10.0%

Less than 3 months - 20.0%

Average Length of Stay in Years

Female - 2.6 years

Male - 2.3 years

Married - 1.6 years

Single / Never Married - 3.8 years

Widowed - 2.3 years

Divorced / Separated - 2.7 years

Categories

Health care Reform - How Politics affect you (4)

2016- Small Employer Groups of 2 to 100 Employees (2)

2016-Employers with 100 or more Employees (2)

Life,Death and Illness & Injuries Happen, Be Ready! (7)

Disability Income Products (1)

Life Insurance for YOUR Retirement! (3)

Over 50 or 70 1/2 and taking Retirment distributions? (2)

Life Insurance-Term Care included! Any Age (3)

Long Term Care, Expensive- there's a more affordable Way (3)

Toll free 866.277.5147

Taking Retirement Fund Distributions you don't really need?

Posted on August 10, 2015 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (13146)

 

 

 

Using your Life Insurance for Long Term Care Expense:

Life Insurance policies are ever changing to meet the needs of our ever changing society. All the buzz is now on Long Term Care coverage, but if you've ever gotten a quote you know it is not cheap! Also, what if you never need it? Once you've paid the premium to the carrier for a Long term Care policy, it's GONE and you have nothing to show for it. Though there are benefits to having a comprehensive LTC (Long Term Care) policy...you can spell out the benefits in a more precise way, add on riders for COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments), etc, but the fact remains that it's expensive and if you never use it, it's money down the drain.

Do not mistake my message to mean LTC is not important! It is VERY important...in fact more important than ever, there are just more creative ways of getting it these days.

Using a Life Insurance policy with a guaranteed Death benefit and adding a 4% LTC rider is a very interesting solution. Let's use this example: You are healthy enough to purchase a $500,000. face amount and you become ill enough or have an accident and meet the requirement to be able to tap into your policy for its LTC benefits (the requirement for ALL LTC policies is just about the same, whether a policy or a rider) is being unable to do at least 2 of the ADLs - Activities of Daily Living). Using a $500,000. Death Benefit policy with the LTC rider of 4% per month = $20,000. per month available to you.

Per the IRS, at this time the maximum amount you may receive from your policy on a tax free basis is $330 per day or $9.900. per month. This is because the LTC benefit is essentially considered getting your Death benefit early. Depending on your needs, whether it be paying for a facility, paying for homecare, paying a relative to take care of you, you may decide to take only the tax free portion from your policy, but the full 4% is still available.

Then let's say you get better and return to life as normal in 6 months, you have taken or "used" (at $9,900. mo.) $59,400.00 of your Death Benefit thus reducing your policy's Death benefit to $440,600. This amount will be passed on to your heirs tax free OR be available for another round of LTC usage.

If you are 70 1/2 years old and are receiving "RMD"s (Required Minimum Distributions) from retirement funds that you don't really need, you can turn taxable income into tax free money using this strategy!

In summary, you've used tax free death benefits to pay for your Long Term Care needs and the money you've invested in your Life insurance is still there!

Example - A $500,000. Policy would cover the IRS maximum monthly LTC payment of $9,900. for 4.2 YEARS!

Some Statistics for the USA: For someone with a 90-day Elimination Period, the lifetime chance of someone buying coverage at age 60 and using policy benefits was 35%. So, 35% will use their coverage and 65% will not. As you might assume, the decline is because during those first 90 days, some people will recover and some will die.

Here is some meaningful information on nursing home lengths of stays as published in the Association's 2008 LTCi Sourcebook. Remember, that most long-term care is actually received at home but there are still fewer statistics about home care utilization for "long-term care" needs. When we get relevant ones we will publish them for consumers to read. Notice that the length of time that anyone stays in a Nursing Home is well under five years! We must consider the time that most people need in home care too, please see "Long Term Care Info & Statistics" blog for more info.

Average Length of Stays (Nursing Homes)

5 years or more - 12.0%

3 to 5 years - 12.0%

1 to 3 years - 30.3%

6 to 12 months - 14.2%

3 to 6 months - 10.0%

Less than 3 months - 20.0%

Average Length of Stay in Years

Female - 2.6 years

Male - 2.3 years

Married - 1.6 years

Single / Never Married - 3.8 years

Widowed - 2.3 years

Divorced / Separated - 2.7 years

Categories

Health care Reform - How Politics affect you (4)

2016- Small Employer Groups of 2 to 100 Employees (2)

2016-Employers with 100 or more Employees (2)

Life,Death and Illness & Injuries Happen, Be Ready! (6)

Disability Income Products (1)

Life Insurance for YOUR Retirement! (2)

Over 50 or 70 1/2 and taking Retirment distributions? (2)

Life Insurance-Term Care included! Any Age (3)

Long Term Care, Expensive- there's a more affordable Way (2)

 

 

"The Cadilac Tax" scheduled for 2018! WAY after the 2016 elections

Posted on August 3, 2015 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (42820)

The 40% Excise Tax a.k.a. “Cadillac Tax”

The Cadillac Tax is a 40% excise tax scheduled to take effect in 2018 to reduce health care usage and costs by encouraging employers to offer cost-effective plans that engage employees in sharing in the cost of care. The tax impacts plans exceeding the following thresholds, which will be adjusted annually for inflation:

$10,200 annually or $850 per month for individual coverage

$27,500 annually or $2291.66 per month for family coverage


In simple terms, this means anyone who's health plan costs more than what the Federal Government says is reasonable, will have to pay 40% excise tax on the cost above the line.  Example: if your employer pays for let's say the silver plan, and you "buy up" to the platinum for your family and the total exceeds the government line, your Employer will be taxed at 40% for any amount over the line which will undoubtebly be passed right on down to YOU (this tax is NOT deductible either!) while congress, many unions and large chains are exempted, the middle class takes another sucker punch.


On July 30, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a second notice regarding the 40% Excise Tax a.k.a. the Cadillac Tax. The notice provides information on possible approaches that are being considered for administering the Cadillac Tax and continues the process of gathering input that will be used to develop regulations.

This is a follow-up to the notice issued on February 23, 2015, and comments may be submitted until October 1, 2015.

The notice addresses several issues, including:  Who pays the tax, How the tax will be determined, How the tax will be paid, Who Pays the Tax.

Each “coverage provider” must pay the tax on its share of the excess benefit. A coverage provider is:

The health insurer for insured coverage.

The employer for accounts such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to which the employer contributes.

The plan benefits administrator – the agencies are seeking comments on whether this should be the third-party administrator or the entity that has ultimate responsibility for plan administration, typically the employer.

How the Tax will be Determined

The notice seeks comments on how to calculate and administer the tax. The following are some of the proposed approaches.

Timing – Following the end of each calendar year, employers will need to determine whether and by how much the cost of coverage exceeded the allowed limit for each month. The employer must then notify the IRS and each coverage provider of their share of the excess benefit so the tax can be calculated and paid.

Cost – The cost of coverage may be determined in a manner similar to determining COBRA premiums.

Age and Gender Adjustments – The current thresholds for 2018 are $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. These amounts may be increased for some employers based on how the age and gender of their employee population compares to the national workforce. No downward adjustments will be made. The notice seeks input on how these adjustments should be determined.

Allocation of Accounts – The notice proposes that employer and employee contributions to accounts such as HSAs, Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) would be allocated equally to each month of the plan year, regardless of when the contributions were actually made. For FSAs, the agencies propose that the annual contribution amount be used, regardless of whether all funds were spent during the year or some funds were carried over to the next year.

Employer Aggregation – Related employers would be aggregated and treated as a single employer.

Taxation – No deduction is allowed for the payment of the tax.

How the Tax will be Paid

Each coverage provider will be responsible for paying the tax on its share of the excess benefit. IRS Form 720, the Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, may possibly be used to pay the tax. If so, a specific quarter of the calendar year would be designated for payment.

Proposed Regulations Still to Come

The agencies will review all comments and leverage the feedback to help draft regulations.


I had No Ins. Most of 2015, What is My Penalty?

Posted on July 30, 2015 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (37683)

No Insurance?  The penalty for 2015, 2016 and beyond...OUCH!

For those individuals who did not haveinsurance for any number of months during 2015, the penalty will be $325. per adult and $47.50 per child up to $285 for a family OR 2% of the family income, whichever is greater.

Next year it gets higher, for 2016 and beyond the penalty is $695. per adult and $347.50 per child up to $2085. per family OR 2.5% of the family income.  This penalty will increase each year with a "cost of Living" adjustment.

Long Term Care Needs-the Greatest Threat

Posted on July 29, 2015 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (13449)

One of the greatest threats to any client’s income or accumulation plan is an LTC event. With the cost of care ranging from $54K to $100K annually, a client could be forced to liquidate equities at depreciated values, tap into annuities that were earmarked for lifetime income, or destroy their legacy values.  Then there are Capital Gains taxes to worry about if you've sold off personal property to pay for your care.

If you've priced LTC policies, you know they don't come cheap.  Most folks don't know that today's Life Insurance Products have Long Term Care riders available to include right in your Interest Earning Life Insurance Policy!  How they work, in a nutshell (contact me for further info or a quote), is we add the rider to your Life Policy.  The rider specifies a percentage of your policy's Face Amount that would be payable should you be unable to do 2 of the six ADL's (Activities of Daily Living which are: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence). 

The usual  LTC benefit is 4% of the Face Amount per month, so let's say you have a $250K Face Amount policy, 4% per month would give you $10,000.00 per month to use for Long term Care expenses TAX FREE!  If you had a $500K Face Amount policy, 4% would give you $20,000. per month for your needs.  Right now per the IRS, the "tax free" threshold is $9600.00 mo, so you could consider taking less or just as much as you really need to be comfortable.   You would be diminishing the worth of your Life Insurance Policy by taking the money out if you did not put it back in, but in the meantime, you've provided for your Long term Care needs on a tax free basis.  After learning a bit about how this works, you may decide to buy more face amount or two different policies, one with the rider and one without.

Don't get me wrong, a good LTC policy is a great thing to have, but once you pay your premium for it, if you don't use it you get nothing back, it's water down the drain so to speak.  By having the LTC rider, you are accessing your "death benefit" which is why the benefit is tax free, but you are not risking the loss of all those premium dollars for a stand alone LTC policy.

Again, the best time to buy this is YESTERDAY! The younger you are and the best health you can be in will save you thousands of dollars in premiums in the long run and having the coverage you NEED and knowing your premiums will never go up, regardless of your health or age is priceless.


Why Should I buy Life Insurance?

Posted on July 29, 2015 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (15138)

The reasons you or ANYONE, single or married, young or middle aged..should buy Life Insurance are many!

If you're young, single and healthy - There is no better time to buy Life Insurance!  You will be getting the best rates (depending on the product, most will give you level premiums that will never go up during the entire lifetime of the policy) based on age.  Also, you are probably in the best health of your lifetime which also equates to getting the best rates and you can lock these rates in forever!  You can also add things like a Long Term Care rider which will give you the money you need if/when you should need it.  Go ahead, get a proposal for a stand alone Lont term Care policy.  Yes, the policy for Long Term Care will be more comprehensive, spelling out the exact amount per day you will be getting and for how long, etc.  However, once you pay the premium for LTC policy, if you do not ever use it you will not get a penny back...it's water under the bridge.  In an interest earning Life Insurance plicy, the cost of this rider can be helped along by the interst earned on your Life Policy.  Whatever you purchase should be for the long term.  There are riders that allow for purchasing more at a later date regardless of any health conditions that may arise during life, there are riders that can cover your Long term Care needs too!

If you are married or plan to be married and have kids one day, you NEED it!  Do just one thing....google around for the cost of a full time nanny in your area.  When considering "howmuch"life insurance you need, I always ask each partner to consider their partners "worth".  Not how much they have in assets,but how much would the loss of your partner impact your life?  How much would it cost to keep the household running smoothly without your partner?  How much income would be lost if that partner is working?  how much to replace their contribution to the home like taking care of the children, keeping the house clean, making the meals, doing the laundry, managing the pets, making sure the kids getto their activities, etc, etc.  There are TONS of reasons to have Life Insurance

We must also consider final expenses, debt, taxes.  Just close your eyes and imagine that your life partner is gone.  What is YOUR plan?

Many people think the partner or spouse who "stays home" has no "worth".  This is so wrong!  If you add up the cost of having paid help come in to do all the things your "homemaker" spouse/partner does, I bet it would take near or over $100K per year to replace!  The next thought is "How may years will I gone like this, alone and needing help?".  This answer may vary, but the minimum you should think about is the time  it would take to get your kids raised, educated and out of the house on their own.

What's happening to Social Security?

Posted on July 23, 2015 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (23166)

We all know by now that $720 BILLION was borrowed from our Social Security fund by the current administration to pay for it's new Government run HealthCare.  We got exactly what a citizenry who was not paying attention or holding their congress accountable for things like actually READING the bill before even considering imposing it on Americans can expect to get.

Throughout its 75 year history, Social Security has provided critical economic security to millions of retirees, families, children and the disabled. Social Security is paid for by the dedicated contributions of workers and their employers, has administrative costs of less than one percent, and since it cannot borrow to fund its operations, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit. No wonder that Americans from all walks of life consistently and overwhelmingly support our nation's most successful social insurance program -- a level of support that is not achieved by other governmental programs.Social Security is self-financed, cannot borrow, spends less than one percent on its administrative costs.

The government borrows these Social Security funds to pay for other government spending -- but is obligated to pay interest on these borrowings -- and pay back the borrowed funds in full when they are needed by Social Security for benefit payments.  WHY aren't they paying it back?

A look at the federal budget over the same time frame reveals a starkly different picture -- many years of deficits, with only a few years of surplus -- a surplus that disappeared during the G.W. Bush Administration. In 1993, a Democratic Congress and President Clinton, without a single Republican vote in either the House or Senate, enacted a budget plan that put it on a path to elimination of the deficits --and brought the budget into balance, and then later into surplus.

The taxpayers of America bailed out the banks -- wouldn't it be fair now to ask the banks to pay back what they have cost Social Security? A tax on financial transactions and a tax on Wall Street bonuses, with revenues dedicated to Social Security, would pay back to Social Security and its contributors what has been taken from them.

Pay Back Social Security! -- The Government Has Borrowed More from Social Security (easy pickens) than any Other Entity or Foreign Government.

Another argument made by Social Security opponents to raise fear about the national debt is how much our government has borrowed from China. They never mention how much our government has borrowed from Social Security. In fact, the government has borrowed more from the Social Security surplus than it has from any other source in the world, including China. As a result, Social Security now "owns" nearly 18 percent of the federal debt, making it the largest single holder of US debt. The government owes almost twice as much to Social Security as it does to China and Hong Kong. ...and most Americans have no idea about this debt it seems, and are doing nothing to demand that the Feds pay US back! 

We elect people who take our Social Security fund to fund a Government run Health Plan and just sit and watch the carnage done to what we've worked and contributed to for our whole lives.  This "taking", "stealing", "Borrowing" or whatever we call it...the pillaging of a fund that working folks paid for, taken in order to pay for programs that the government will pay for is nothing more than a move to control the largest segments of the American economy.

How many Americans over 50 do you think are ready for life with no Social Security?  The answer is not many! Only about 10% have saved enough to live life without a dime from social security.



Long Term Care Info/Statistics- 1 in 4 Americans Aged 45+ Are Not Prepared

Posted on July 17, 2015 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (25122)

One in four people age 45 and over are not at all prepared financially if they suddenly required long-term care for an indefinite period of time.


What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care coverage is needed when a chronic condition, accident, or illness limits one's ability to take care of themselves.  In industry speak, these tasks are called activities of daily living (ADLs), such as toileting, bathing, dressing or feeding).  Also considered are instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) such as household chores, meal preparation, or managing money).  Long-term care often involves the most intimate aspects of people’s lives—what and when they eat, personal hygiene, getting dressed, using the bathroom. Other less severe long-term care needs may involve household tasks such as preparing meals or using the telephone.

Long-term care differs from other types of health care in that the goal of long-term care is not to cure an illness, but to allow an individual to attain and maintain an optimal level of functioning when illness or injury prevents  it.

Long-term care encompasses a wide array of services needed by individuals who have lost some capacity for self-care because of a chronic illness or disabling condition.


Who Needs Long-Term Care?

Annually 8,357,100 people receive support from the 5 main long-term care service; home health agencies (4,742,500), nursing homes (1,383,700), hospices (1,244,500), residential care communities (713,300) and adult day service centers (273,200).1[Updated February 2015]

An estimated 12 million Americans needed long-term care in 2007.2 [Updated February 2015]

Most but not all persons in need of long-term care are elderly. Approximately 63% are persons aged 65 and older (6.3 million); the remaining 37% are 64 years of age and younger (3.7 million).

The lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older.

By 2050, the number of individuals using paid long-term care services in any setting (e.g., at home, residential care such as assisted living, or skilled nursing facilities) will likely double from the 13 million using services in 2000, to 27 million people. This estimate is influenced by growth in the population of older people in need of care.

Of the older population with long-term care needs in the community, about 30% (1.5 million persons) have substantial long-term care needs (three or more ADL limitations). Of these, about 25% are 85 and older and 70% report they are in fair to poor health.

Among the population aged 65+, 69% will develop disabilities before they die, and 35% will eventually enter a nursing home.

Nearly a fifth of older people will incur more than $25,000 in lifetime out-of-pocket long-term costs before they die.

The prevalence of cognitive impairment among the older population increased over the past decade, while the prevalence of physical impairment remains unchanged.

In 2002, the percentage of older persons with moderate or severe memory impairment ranged from about 5% among persons aged 65–69 to about 32% among persons aged 85 or older.

Individuals 85 years and older, the oldest old, are one of the fastest growing segments of the population. In 2012, there are an estimated 5.9 million people 85+ in the United States.  This figure is expected to increase to 19.4 million by 2050.  This means that there could be an increase from 1.6 million to 6.2 million people age 85 or over with severe or moderate memory impairment in 2050.


Where do People Receive Long-Term Care and from Whom?

Family and Informal Caregivers

Informal caregiver and family caregiver are terms used to refer to unpaid individuals such as family members, partners, friends and neighbors who provide care. These persons can be primary (i.e. the person who spends the most time helping) or secondary caregivers, full time or part time, and can live with the person being cared for or live separately. Formal caregivers are volunteers or paid care providers associated with a service system.

65.7 million informal and family caregivers provide care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged in the U.S.

52 million caregivers (or one out of every five households ) are involved in caregiving to persons aged 18 or over.

43.5 million caregivers provide care for someone aged 50+ and 14.9 million care for someone who has Alzheimer's or other Dementia.

27.3 million family caregivers provide personal assistance to adults (aged 15+) with a disability or chronic illness.

5.8 21 to 7 22 million people (family, friends and neighbors) provide care to a person (65+) who needs assistance with everyday activities.

8.9 million informal caregivers provide care to someone aged 50+ with dementia.

By the year 2007, the number of caregiving households in the U.S. for persons aged 50+ could reach 39 million.

Two out of three (66%) of older people with disabilities who receive LTSS at home get all their care exclusively from their family caregiver, mostly wives and daughters. Another quarter (26%) receives some combination of family care and paid help; only 9% receive paid help alone.

Even among the most severely disabled older persons living in the community, about two-thirds rely solely on family members and other informal help, often resulting in great strain for the family caregivers.

The use of informal care as the only type of assistance by older Americans aged 65 and over increased from 57% in 1994 to 66% in 1999. The growth in reliance upon informal care between 1994 and 1999 is accompanied by a decline in the use of a combination of informal and formal care from 36% in 1994 to 26% in 1999.

30% of persons caring for elderly long-term care users were themselves aged 65 or over; another 15% were between the age of 45–54.

Lost income and benefits over a caregiver's lifetime is estimated to range from a total of $283,716 for men to $324,044 for women, or an average of $303,880.

Home and Community-Based Care

The vast majority- 80%- of elderly people receiving assistance, including many with several functional limitations, live in private homes in the community, not in institutions.

Elderly people with limitations in three or more ADL's who live in the community receive an average of 9 hours of assistance per day (counting both formal and informal sources of care) and people age 85 or older with that degree of impairment typically receive about 11 hours of assistance per day.

The proportion of Americans aged 65 and over with disabilities who rely entirely on formal care for their personal assistance needs has increased to 9% in 1999 from 5% in 1984.34

Between 2000 and 2002, the number of licensed assisted living and board and care facilities increased from 32,886 to 36,399 nationally, reflecting the trend towards community-based care as opposed to nursing homes.35 Most assisted living facilities, however, are unlicensed.

Most assisted living facilities (ALFs) discharge residents whose cognitive impairments become moderate or severe or who need help with transfers (e.g. moving from a wheelchair to a bed.) This limits the ability of these populations to find appropriate services outside of nursing homes or other institutions.

Nursing Home Care

Institutionalization is much more common at older ages; in 2010, about one in eight people age 85 or older (13 percent) resided in institutions, compared with 1 percent of people ages 65 to 74.

In 2012, there were 1.4 million people in nursing homes nationally.

Between 2002 and 2012, private-pay prices for a private or semiprivate room in a nursing home grew by an average of 4.0 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, per year.

Of the population aged 65 and over in 1999, 52% of the nursing home population was aged 85 or older compared to 35% aged 75–84, and 13% aged 65–74.

Between 1985 and 1999 the number of adults 65 and older living in nursing homes increased from 1.3 million to 1.5 million. In 1999, almost three-quarters (1.1 million) of these older residents were women.

Long-Term Care Expenditures

In 2012, total spending (public, out-of-pocket and other private spending) for long-term care was $219.9 billion, or 9.3% of all U.S. personal health care spending. This is projected to increase to $346 billion in 2040.

In 2010, approximately 45% of Medicaid long-term care funding was spent on HCBS. About 55% was directed toward institutional long-term care, which includes nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities, and mental health facility services.

In 2002, 16.4 billion Medicaid dollars were spent for home and community-based services within long-term care. This figure has increased at a 25% rate annually since 1990.

Expenditures for skilled nursing facility (SNF) care are much greater than care provided in other settings. Average expenses per older adult in a skilled nursing facility can be four times greater than average expenditures for that individual receiving paid care in the community.

In 2003, Medicaid paid $83.8 billion dollars for long-term care services, roughly one-third of all Medicaid spending. 27.8 billion of these dollars were spent on community-based long-term care services. Home and community-based (HCBS) waivers accounted for roughly two-thirds of community-based long-term care expenditures.

In 2000, spending for older adults aged 65 or older accounted for 57% of Medicaid dollars, with the remaining 43% spent on those under age 65.

31.9% of the annual estimated home care expenditures were paid for by Medicare in 2003, a little over 18% were paid for out-of-pocket or by private insurance, and approximately 13% were covered by Medicaid.

Only 7% of residents receive Medicaid coverage for assisted living.

Over two-thirds of the current health care dollar goes to treating chronic illness; for older persons the proportion rises to almost 95%.56

The aging of the population, especially those 85+—the most in need of long-term care—is expected to result in a tripling of long-term care expenditures, projected to climb from $115 billion in 1997 to $346 billion (adjusted for inflation) annually in 2040.


 

Get a "Two-for"- Life Insurance with Long Term Care

Posted on July 17, 2015 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (10748)


Using your Life Insurance for Long Term Care Expense:

Life Insurance policies are ever changing to meet the needs of our ever changing society.  All the buzz is now on Long Term Care coverage, but if you've ever gotten a quote you know it is not cheap!  Also, what if you never need it?  Once you've paid the premium to the carrier for a Long term Care policy, it's GONE and you have nothing to show for it.  Though there are benefits to having a comprehensive LTC (Long Term Care) policy...you can spell out the benefits in a more precise way, add on riders for COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments), etc, but the fact remains that it's expensive and if you never use it, it's money down the drain. 

Do not mistake my message to mean LTC is not important!  It is VERY important...in fact more important than ever, there are just more creative ways of getting it these days. 

Using a Life Insurance policy with a guaranteed Death benefit and adding a 4% LTC rider is a very interesting solution.  Let's use this example:  You are healthy enough to purchase a $500,000. face amount and you become ill enough or have an accident and meet the requirement to be able to tap into your policy for its LTC benefits (the requirement for ALL LTC policies is just about the same, whether a policy or a rider) is being unable to do at least 2 of the ADLs - Activities of Daily Living).  Using a $500,000. Death Benefit policy with the LTC rider of 4% per month = $20,000. per month available to you.  

Per the IRS, at this time the maximum amount you may receive from your policy on a tax free basis is $330 per day or $9.900. per month.  This is because the LTC benefit is essentially considered getting your Death benefit early.  Depending on your needs, whether it be paying for a facility, paying for homecare, paying a relative to take care of you, you may decide to take only the tax free portion from your policy, but the full 4% is still available. 

Then let's say you get better and return to life as normal in 6 months, you have taken or "used" (at $9,900. mo.) $59,400.00 of your Death Benefit thus reducing your policy's Death benefit to $440,600.  This amount will be passed on to your heirs tax free OR be available for another round of LTC usage.

If you are 70 1/2 years old and are receiving "RMD"s (Required Minimum Distributions) from retirement funds that you don't really need, you can turn taxable income into tax free money using this strategy!

In summary, you've used tax free death benefits to pay for your Long Term Care needs and the money you've invested in your Life insurance is still there! 

Example - A $500,000. Policy would cover the IRS maximum monthly LTC payment of $9,900. for 4.2 YEARS!

Some Statistics for the USA:  For someone with a 90-day Elimination Period, the lifetime chance of someone buying coverage at age 60 and using policy benefits was 35%. So, 35% will use their coverage and 65% will not. As you might assume, the decline is because during those first 90 days, some people will recover and some will die.

Here is some meaningful information on nursing home lengths of stays as published in the Association's 2008 LTCi Sourcebook. Remember, that most long-term care is actually received at home but there are still fewer statistics about home care utilization for "long-term care" needs. When we get relevant ones we will publish them for consumers to read.  Notice that the length of time that anyone stays in a Nursing Home is well under five years!  We must consider the time that most people need in home care too, please see "Long Term Care Info & Statistics" blog for more info.

Average Length of Stays (Nursing Homes)

5 years or more - 12.0%

3 to 5 years - 12.0%

1 to 3 years - 30.3%

6 to 12 months - 14.2%

3 to 6 months - 10.0%

Less than 3 months  - 20.0%

Average Length of Stay in Years

Female - 2.6 years

Male - 2.3 years

Married - 1.6 years

Single / Never Married - 3.8 years

Widowed - 2.3 years

Divorced / Separated - 2.7 years


Smart Money Moves for Young Parents

Posted on July 15, 2015 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (11274)


Smart Money Moves for Young parents


 

As soon as most parents bring their first new baby home fromthe hospital, the realization of the newfound responsibility that a child brings kicks in.

Here is some advice to help you along your path to finacial security:

Create a will and contingent trust.  This is one of the most important first steps. Choosing a guardian for your children helps make sure they are raised by someone who you think will share the same values. A contingent trust helps ensure that the money your child receives from all of your hard work and planning is distributed according to your wishes instead of giving them complete control over everything the minute they turn 18.

Update beneficiary documents. Make sure you double check all of your retirement plans and insurance policies so something doesn’t fall through the cracks. Many accounts with beneficiary designations never pass through your will, so it is important that these are also updated.

Purchase life insurance.  Consult with an Insurance profefssional to determine what best fits your needs and your budget.  When deciding on life insurance, always consider how things can change in the future and never purchase more than you know you will be able to afford into the future.

Buy disability insurance. When you are young, the cost of coverage is less and your health may be at it's best.  Your future earning potential is your biggest asset. Get as much disability insurance coverage as you can to comfortably cover your income if you get sick or injured and can’t work. A disability lasting longer than three months is much more common than you think.

Consider a small whole life insurance policy on your child. This accumulates tax-free savings and has a guaranteed purchase option, which gives your child the option to purchase additional insurance when she is an adult, regardless of her health at that time.


These ideas are to help families preserve their wealth through generations.  If responsibly acted on, this advice will help you accomplish your goals.


11 WORST Money mistakes to make in your 30's

Posted on July 15, 2015 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (23180)


11 Worst Money Mistakes to Make in Your 30's!


1. Saving too much in the wrong places.

Investing is important, but don't put off saving for other big purchases coming along, especially if you're starting to have kids or looking to buy a house, that you want to have savings for.

Contribute money towards a retirement fund but don't forget to set aside money for other things, such as a house, car, vacation, or your children's education. This could mean setting up multiple savings accounts (which, right now, are not earning much in the way of interest) or the use of interest earning Life Insurance products....kind of like killing 2 birds with one stone by protecting against the loss of a spouse you can also save and earn interest that may be much higher than any bank is paying.

2. Prioritizing your kid's education over your own retirement.

While focusing too heavily on the 401(k) is a common mistake, not setting aside enough money for retirement also remains a big issue, especially when kids enter the picture.

Obviously, your child's education is important, but your number one priority in your 30s — even if you have a family — should be retirement.  Think long term; if you don't set aside enough money for your own retirement, your child may have to support you in the future, which could end up being more expensive in the long run than student loans would be, or worse, they will have not have the abililty to help or be interested in helping you and you'll be on your own.  Helping an aging parent/s can put a damper on your children's ability to save for their own retirement and their children's education, etc.

"Make sure you're on pace for a decent retirement before you start setting aside money for college. Once you're on pace for that, and you have extra funds that you can set aside for a goal like college, definitely do that. You can start a 529 savings plan or interest earning Life Insurance products when the time is right.

3. Neglecting insurance.

Insurance in general — health, life, home, and disability — often gets put on the back burner, for two main reasons: It's not something that's fun to talk about, so it often gets put off longer than it should be.  Many times, people don't get great insurance advice. I cannot stress enough the importance of purchasing Life Insurance when you are young!  Not only will your premiums be lower for the life of your plan, but you will most likely be in your best health in your 20's and 30's.

Until people have children, they just don't seem to consider the importance of Life Insurance, but the earlier you buy, the more you'll be able to afford due to age and your health status.  Even if you purchase an inexpensive "Term" plan that has a good conversion option, it's like getting your foot in the door and "saving your insurability".  When you choose to convert it will be based on your age at the time of conversion but the rating you were issued at to start with will remain the same regardless of any health changes, weight gain, etc. and will not change or effect your premium.

4. Not having long-term disability insurance.

One type of insurance that gets neglected more so than others is long-term disability insurance, but not having it can be extremely risky.  Disability insurance is meant to provide income should you be disabled and unable to work, which is more likely to happen that many of us may think. It's estimated by the Social Security Administration that over 25% of today's 20-year-olds will be disabled before retirement.

Many people will pick up group life insurance (which you lose if/when you lose that particular job), which is usually barely enough for final expenses and covers you only if you die, but they don't think about the disability — especially if it's not paid for by the company — and that's your bigger risk. You're not dead, but you can't work, so now you have to watch yourself go broke.

5. Not talking about money when you're planning to get married.

It's not a fun or easy conversation to have, but discussing your personal finances, spending patterns, and financial plan with your partner is crucial.  Many couples often have this conversation too late in the relationship (or not at all).  By the time they're finally sitting down to discuss it, there's already a big emotional investment in the relationship, which causes couples to overlook major financial differences.  Nothing can put stress on or even ruin a marriage like money problems!

The conversation must happen, and the earlier the better. First, you have to understand the financial background of your partner which allows you to understand how they make financial decisions. Next you can move into the conversation about whether or not you want to separate finances if you're both working; if you decide to combine them, you must agree on how to spend the joint money.

6. Spending too much money on the wedding.

 

Too many people are spending an absurd amount of money to have a huge wedding.  Today, the average wedding costs a whopping $26,000.

Host a smaller wedding, and use the extra money to put toward a down payment on a house. Pulling off a great wedding under $5,000 is possible if you plan on a budget.  It's a better idea to go small and save big!

It does come down to personal preference; if a big wedding is important to you, that's fine — just start saving for it early on.

7. Going all out on the first kid.

When the first kid comes along, what tends to happen is that new parents will overspend on top-of-the-line cribs, bottles, clothes, and nursery accessories. Spending issues that we tend to see in 20-somethings will level out until the kids come along, and then it explodes.

You want to raise your child in a comfortable environment, but check yourself before dropping a couple grand on that fancy stroller and draining your savings, as there are bound to be unexpected costs to arise.  Also, babies grow fast!  Why spend tons of money on things that you're only going to use for a few months or even a year or two?

The worst all parents are guilty of is buying every cute toy you see.  You reason that your child "needs" this to grow up with or learn on.  Many parents come home as many as 5 times per week with "something" for the baby.  Keeping a spreadsheet of your expenditures (even the small ones like the energy drink and the candy bar at the gas station stop)  will help you SEE what you are spending and where you can cut back. 

For the cost of a toy, most 30 year olds can buy a half million life insurance policy!  Cut out ALL impulse spending and see how much you can save or invest in your insurance needs!  Most babies are happier with some pots and pans or a can full of ping pong balls than the expensive toy anyway.


8. Overspending on cars.

Another area the experts see overspending is cars. "People get bored with cars quickly. They always want a new car and so they're always dealing with a car payment.  But it's a hugely depreciating asset. You don't want to be putting a lot of money into something that's going to be worth nothing after a certain number of years.

Egan says to space your cars 10 years apart. After buying a new one (Buying a used car with low mileage could be the best deal you can get, as soon as you drive a brand new car of the lot it's depreciated (check the Kelly Blue Book on this!), be sure to pay if off in five years max; that way, for the next five years, you can build up other savings. After 10 years, hit the dealerships again. If you took good care of your previous car, you may even be able to trade it in, which will help with the payment of your next one.

Another option is leasing a car.  The monthly payment is usually much less than if you "buy" the car because in a lease situation you're only "using" the car and there is no equity at all when leasing.  You'll have a monthly payment forever doing this, albeit a lower one, because each time you turn in your leased car for a new one, the new payments start right up.

9. Going to graduate school for the wrong reasons.

Graduate school comes with a hefty price tag, which is why you want to be positive you're going back to school for the right reasons, especially if you're paying for it out of your own pocket.

It should definitively aid your career track, but if you don't know what you're targeting to do after you get the MBA, that's not the right path. If getting your MBA will help you secure a position that you want for your long-term career, then it's a perfect solution.

10. Taking a job for the short-term money.

You're preparing to enter your peak earning years by your mid-30s, and it's important to prepare for this phase of your life.

You don't want to just be taking jobs for the money at this point.  You want to be taking the job that is going to prepare you to make a lot more money in your late 30s and early 40s.  Hone your skills and be ready to be the best at what you do.  This will ensure a higher chance of getting and keeping a job and of earning higher wages or salaries. 

Look at what you decide to do as a "career" and be the one that employers are looking for like never being late, looking neat and professional no matter what your position, don't take time off for non-emergency situations (this makes you unreliable!), Do the best work you can, by just putting in the minimal required effort for the task you're given says to your employer, you don't really care about your job.

11. Assuming you'll have more money in the future.

While optimism is a good quality to have, too much can be dangerous, especially when it comes to money.

People tend to assume they'll be making significantly more money in their 40s, he explains, which they use to justify overspending in the present moment. This is the number one mistake most young people make.

The rule of thumb should be to live below your means. If you can't afford to buy the new car, then buy certified pre-owned. Savings first should be your mentality: Save for retirement first, then prioritize other things you wish to save for or spend with whatever is left over. What people typically do is the opposite of that, thinking, I've got to buy this, this, and this, and whatever's left, I'll save.


Pay your future first, and make sure your present is secure.  Be in control of your future.  It's not as difficult as it seems if you make saving a LIFESTYLE!


 

 

 

Medicare...what will we do?

Posted on July 14, 2015 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (11483)

Per Forbes, about 10,000 people sign up for Medicare each day, and the trend is expected to continue through 2030 as baby boomers retire. If the low birth rate also continues, the percentage of Americans eligible for Medicare will climb from 13% today to about 20% 15 years from now, further straining the health care system.

I rememeber when folks on Medicare has 120 "Lifetime Reserve" days of hospital care (now it's only 60) ...this is the number of days you have to be in the hospital for the rest of your whole life once you're on Medicare at age 65!  I also remember when there was no Part "D" to help the elderly with prescription drugs.  Paring away at Medicare is tantamount to culling the herd.  Let's face it, if folks can't afford their medicine, or have to cut it half to make it last, or take something that doesn't work as well but is cheaper...we are going to see the mortality table change.

Our tax system is crazy. We have half the population paying nearly 50% of their income in taxes while the other half is getting earned income credits, child credits, refund checks, stimulus checks.  People who never paid a dime in taxes are receiving these items.  In any country, on any team, in business or any kind of organization, things run better when everyone has some "skin in the game".  This system is also swaying our political landscape.  Politicians now promise these things in order to get elected while those who want these things are voting to keep them coming. It cannot last forever...it just cannot.  Our entire system is a house of cards right now making the future an unknown for all.

It is more important then ever for folks to start saving for their own retirement and medical care.  It's best to start saving as soon as you can while you're young and healthy.  Life Happens and you never know when illness or injury will cause  someone to be "uninsurable" or even a few extra pounds causing a rated up policy.  The rates you get on whole and Universal Life policies can be level for he life of the plan so why take chance on waiting and having a a higher premium?  Each year that ticks by in a higher premium for the rest of your life for those who are waiting for the"right time"to buy Insurance products.


Obamacare, Under Estimate/Over Budget... of course

Posted on July 14, 2015 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (21225)

Adults eligible for Medicaid coverage under Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) were about 19% more costly to cover than adults who became eligible under pre-obamacare standards, according to the CMS Office of the Actuary. Prior estimates said that newly eligible beneficiaries would cost 1% less than previously eligible adults. We were also told familieswould see up to $2500 in premium savings each year too.  Who do we beleive, rely on to use our tax dollars in the most efficient way?  I don't know...but I do know who I DON'T beleive or care to rely on.

The Federal Government needs to use more accurate numbers when spending our money on their health care plan. 

What happens when the Insurance companies have to pay out more than they take in?  We all get less "resources", the premiums go up and then, that Insurance Company safety net nestled within the pages of the obamacare bill....the promise of a bailout by the Federal Governement if they fail.  Again, the taxpayers will get hit for the lack of accuracy and transparency by the Federal Government.



Minimum wage Increasing January 1st, 2016

Posted on July 10, 2015 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (17515)

As if Employers in California are not burdened enough already....the past 3 years has brought huge increases in healthcare costs for their employees, huge TAXES on healthcare costs for their employees....now the minimum wage is going to $10.00 per hour on January 1st, 2016.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for folks earning more money, but I beleive in making it the old fashioned way...making yourself presentable, have a great attitude with a smile on your face, honing your skills, being the best you can be to get a raise and make yourself indespensible and getting a good job that you DESERVE...leave the McDonalds to the highschool kids like it used to be. 

Today, all one needs to do is "show up" to get $10.00 per hour.

Of course, those getting the $10. hr. are happy about it...especialy from the rich guy who owns the business.  But he fact is,the cost and the regulations, etc. it takes to have a small business in California is at the breaking point!  Most business owners are not "rich" and are stuggling to make ends meet. This ONE DOLLAR is on top of increased insurance costs, increased taxes, increased workers comp, etc. This ONE DOLLAR...on top of everything else is another political move to spread the wealth, this administration's agenda from the beginning. The hard working are paying for the "hardly working".

In the end, we ALL pay that dollar...as we all know, it gets passed on into the cost of the goods and services we need. 



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