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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Why Buy a Policy from LTCI Providers?

Even though people have seen how LTCI has helped many Americans get over the expenses involved with long term care, many still ask, why should they get a policy from LTCI providers?

Here are answers why buying a policy from insurers makes sense:

1. Long term care is expensive
The rate of health care per month is around $3,000 to $4,500. Annually, that’s roughly around $55,000. That amount does not include other expenditures like medication and use of facilities.
Buying health insurance early can save you thirty percent from what you would be spending for health care.

That’s nearly forty percent savings which would leave you a total of $22,000 annually. Comparing the figures, it’s obvious that you’ll be saving more with LTCI.

2. A person who needs care can be a burden to the family
Getting LTCI, not only protects you from the high costs of care, it also keeps your family and friends lifted of the burden of having to shoulder the expenses.
Aside from being a financial burden, a person needing care can also be a burden to the family’s personal time.

3. Nearly everyone will need LTC in late adulthood
Almost 70% of people turning age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to
All of us might need long term care during our late adulthood and some people in that age find it difficult to admit that there are times they need help.

You can avoid certain financial errors in the future by investing in a LTCI policy. You need to consider that the costs of care today will double in 20 to 30 years. You may not be worried by the costs of care today, but you have to be prepared in your late adulthood, when you are most likely to need it.


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Friday, November 28, 2014

When Is The Time You Need to Talk To Your Parents About Their Finances?

It is about time to talk about your parent's retirement when they are close to or into their 60s or 70s. It may also be the time to plan about your retirement too!

You'll need to find the right time to bring up the issue. The discussion could be a downer for the holidays, but it's better to chat in person than over the phone. Let the family know in advance the topic might come up.

If they just shrugged it off, you may post pone the topic and talk about it next time, but be sure you don't drop the discussion.

Read the full article:
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

LGBT Baby Boomers May Face Tough Retirement

Same sex couples may have impaired earning power due to decadesof workplace discrimination.AIDS crisis caused a lasting impact, especially to gay men, on their financial and psychological damage. Gay boomers are left unequipped for retirement.

Gays and lesbians have faced higher unemployment, lower wages and a workplace where discrimination based upon sexual orientation was common. While many corporations have nondiscrimination policies now, it is still legal to fire someone for their sexual orientation in 21 states, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

As a result, gay men and women over 65 are more likely to end up in poverty. Lesbians, who face wage discrimination because of both their gender and sexual orientation, are even more vulnerable.

Read the full article:
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How It Feels Like To Have Dementia

Ever wondered how it feels like to have a dementia?

No one knows exactly how it would feel like, but there's a game that somehow could show you how it was like.

An international healthcare group based in UK created an online free to play game that let's you experience what it is like to have a dementia.

The game is focused on raising awareness of dementia and how difficult it can be for people who live and struggle with different types of dementia.

If you are curious and are willing to experience what it feels like, you may check the game here:

To read the full article:
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

7 Cardinal Rules To Retirement by Carl Edwards

"An onslaught of retiring baby boomers; the uncertain duration of Social Security funding; difficulty with workplace retirement accounts like 401(k)s—even if these factors were stronger than they are now, you’d still have a heavy burden in managing your finances during retirement", says financial planner Carl Edwards.

Edwards reviews seven essential points that everyone should know regarding retirement planning.

1. Avoid trying to time the market. Markets often move in cycles and some investors believe that they can boost their investment returns by buying at the bottom and selling at the top.

2. Use risk-appropriate financial vehicles. Retiring can be a risky business. The days of relying on employer-provided pension plans are largely over and retirees now have to deal with risks including investment, inflation, healthcare, longevity and others.

3. Invest in the most tax-efficient manner. Taxes can take a big bite out of investment returns, which is why we stress tax-efficient planning with our clients. 

4. Complete a cash flow analysis. Retirement will involve major changes to your finances. Sources and timing of income will change and financial priorities may shift as you start generating income from retirement savings. 

5. Guarantee your required income. 

6. Utilize longevity planning. Today’s retirees are living longer than ever and many worry about outliving their assets. 

7. Consider the effects of inflation. Inflation is one of the biggest issues facing retirees because they are disproportionately affected by rising prices. 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Retirement Saving Essential Tips

Everyone will face retirement at some of their life, either by choice or by necessity. Whatever age or life stages you are into, saving for retirement remains a wise financial strategy.

Here are eight essential tips for retirement savings that will put more money in your account.

1. Grab the 401(k) or 403(b) company match.
2. Claim little known retirement secret for legal double retirement plan contributions.
3. File for Uncle Sam’s middle- and lower-income taxpayer retirement savings credit.
4. Use the back door Roth IRA as a way to increase retirement savings.
5. Retire in Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Nevada, or Washington.
6. Self-employed? Make sure to take advantage of available retirement savings vehicles
7. Don’t overlook the Health Savings Account (HSA)
8. The benefits of getting older: If you’re over age 50, the tax system is your friend. Retirement plan contribution limits are raised, giving the older investor a chance to accelerate their retirement savings.

Automate your retirement savings and have the money transferred from your paycheck to the retirement account(s). The cash you can’t get your hands on is more money for your retirement nest egg.

Read the full article here:
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Year-End Retirement Planning Tips

With only few weeks left to make a 401(k) contribution, the deadline is rapidly approaching for retirees to take required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts.

Look at the retirement planning moves you need to make before the end of the year.

1. Make last-minute 401(k) contributions
2. Extra time for IRA contributions
3. Take your required minimum distributions
4. Get the saver’s credit.

Read the full article here:
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

How can I boost my social security benefits?

When dealing with Social Security, the deciding of retirees when to start collecting benefits is top priority.
According to a recent survey by BMO Retirement Institute, a financial research group, many adult Americans are unaware of how they can boost their Social Security benefits.
Jeremy Kisner, C.F.P., a financial planner and author of, "A Good Financial Adviser Will Tell You," says that about two-thirds of Americans file for Social Security at age 62. This is several years before the cut-off for receiving full benefits, called “full retirement age” (FRA).
Here are tips to boost your social security benefits:
1.       Delay Your Application
Waiting to file until retirement age may boost your lifetime Social Security benefit amount as much as $25,000, if you reach at least 85 years old, based on the BMO report. If you reach 90 or older, it increases up even higher to $61,000.

2.       Filing and Suspending
In a married couple, filing and then suspending the benefits of the highest earner can allow their partner to collect a “spousal benefit”.
This benefit can go up to 50 percent of a spouse’s monthly Social Security benefit, while the spouse with the higher income avoids collecting their benefit and it accumulates delayed retirement credits.
This strategy requires couples to have access to additional savings and investments to supplement their income.

3.       Restricted Application
For couples who need money, but don’t want to cash out both of their policies at the same time, one of them can file for full benefits, while the other uses their spousal benefit to piggyback off their partner’s income.

After that, once the couple who receives the reduced amount reaches 70, they can switch their spousal benefit to a full benefit based on their personal lifetime earnings.

Remember that this only works if the person applying for the spousal benefit has reached their FRA and can obtain a “free spousal” benefit, a circumstances in which a married person and some divorced persons can claim spousal benefits without also being forced by Social Security to claim their own retirement benefits, without impacting their own personal Social Security benefit.

These are common tactics used to enhance benefits however, one strategy doesn’t fit all situations or conditions. It’s a good idea to consult a professional to make sound fiscal choices that will save money in the long run.
Making the most out of Social Security will require an individual to read and understand a program’s specifications as well as their own individual situation before making major decisions.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What’s new with today's LTCI?

Long term care insurance is a continually evolving product, and new features improve today’s policies compared to those five or ten years ago.

There are several factors that changed LTCI over the years; one of which is the decrease for its demand which required it to adapt to the needs of the consumers.

Another factor is the number of carriers offering LTCi. Within the last decade, there were over 100 insurance companies offering this policy, but today, it’s down to around 20.

Here are practical changes applied to new LTCI policies:

1. Hybrid LTCI Policies
LTCI policies today are paired with benefits that are normally obtained from different types of insurance such as life insurance. Another form of this type of hybrid policy is life insurance with LTCI benefits.
Some of these hybrid policies are designed to provide coverage for the need which is at high priority at the moment or whichever is preferred by the policyholder.
These policies are also equipped with a transferrable benefit feature which passes the total remaining value into the life insurance benefit if the LTCI benefit was partially or never used.

2. Guaranteed Purchase Options
Old policies were written in a way that it would become absolute and cannot be adjusted anymore. It had high restrictions which became unattractive for consumers.
LTCI policies today have the feature ‘guaranteed purchase options’ which allow the policyholder to make future adjustments that can affect the coverage or premium.

3. Need-based Policies
LTCI policies in the past were sold with 100% of the estimated future care costs of the consumer.
Today, consumers are presented with the good/better/best options to suit their preference, minus the benefits that they won’t need and at a more reasonable rate.

Over the years, insurance companies have been applying changes to their LTCI policies, based on the consumers’ preference and needs. Most changes are influenced by economic pressures on both insurer and consumer. Other influences involved the most common need of consumers, namely, home health care.

One thing we can be sure of is that the LTCI policy our parents or grandparents own will not be the same with the current policies available today.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Become More Certain About the Future

I had a client last week who was uncertain about a career change that she wanted to make.
She had been fascinated by real estate for years and had earned her accreditation, but still wasn’t sure if it was the right decision.
She still had a few questions:
“What if I can’t do it?”
“What if I don’t like it?”
“What if no-one gives me a chance?”
She was unsure about the future and wanted certainty before she took the next step.
So I asked her to imagine a deep swimming pool.
She may be unsure about the temperature in the middle.
She may be unsure if she could swim.
She may be unsure if she would even enjoy swimming.
She could dip her toe in at the edge, but that alone won’t fully answer the questions that she has.
She needs to jump in.
She needs to immerse herself.
Then, and only then, will her questions be answered.
The only way to become certain about the future is to experience it.
In doing so, she may realise that she hates working in real estate.  At least she knows it and doesn’t have to wonder for the rest of her working life.
She may find it difficult to get her first opportunity, but by giving it a go, she has a chance to gain valuable feedback, learn from the experience, keep honing her skills and find out what she needs to do get a break in the industry.
Of course, she may become a great real estate agent and find that she absolutely loves it.  What a great outcome that would be!
But she won’t know until she tries.
If you’re uncertain about the next step of your life, you can ask a lot of questions and do a lot of research, but never be certain until you jump right in.

Original Post:
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Have a Richer Retirement

Good news - Americans are now living longer.
Not so good news - It means that their savings have to go the distance too.

Americans are now living longer, which means they have to plan their retirement early and ensure that they will have enough money to fund their remaining years.

Tips to help you start moving and saving now:

1. Expand your horizon.
2. Find the right pace.
3. Flex your spending.
4. Maintain your balance
5. Plan for an extra kick
6. Keep it simple

Read the full article:

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

What should I want in my LTCi policy?

Many of us will need long term care at some point in our lives and the best way to pay for it is with long term care insurance. However, those who are interested in buying this policy are confused with what an ideal LTCi policy should have.
Those who have recently decided to purchase long term care insurance are faced with many questions. By knowing the terms used in policies, it will be easier to understand how it works and determine what you should get.
Here are the components you should include in your LTCi policy:
1.       Variable Coverage
You will want your policy to have flexible coverage. It should be able to cover more than one form of care such as nursing home or in-home caregivers so it leaves you the option to decide where to receive care at your most convenient time.

2.       Inflation Protection
Although the inflation protection feature is common with today’s standards, you would rather be certain that it’s a part of your policy and that you understand how it works.
It will increase your long term care benefit amount automatically and will guarantee that you will be able to receive care without worrying about making payments.

3.       70% Minimum Daily Benefit
Your daily benefit dictates how much is allocated for your care expenses. You will not want to just choose the cheapest benefit amount but instead, find out how much the average daily cost of care in your area is and try to get at least 70% of that yearly.

4.       Independent Care Management
In making a claim, your insurance provider will send a representative to determine your benefits.
You will want to make sure that your policy lets you decide to have an independent licensed health care provider to handle your care instead of an employee of your insurer.
Remember to identify your future long term care needs with your doctor. These future needs will determine the services that your LTCi policy has to cover. Don’t forget to consider tax from the state you will receive care from.
When it comes to applying for an LTCi policy, you will want your policy to work for you, in terms of covering expenses, and be adjusted to your medical or non-medical needs.

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Make Better Retirement Plans

Everyone looks forward to a comfortable retirement, yet many do not take retirement planning seriously.

Build your nest egg as early as possible to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.

IRAs and 401(k) can ensure you will have funds in the future, but do you know that there are more ways or solutions to a variety of different needs to maximize your retirement comfort.

Financial/ retirement planning van be overwhelming and some may loose control of their finances or won't be able to handle it wisely, online resources as well as expert advice from professionals can be of great help.

Meet your retirement goals. Plan carefully.

Check out:

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The Unhappy Farmer – A Story About Contentment

Career expert, Dan Miller recently shared this story on his blog about a farmer who grew discontent with his farm.
The farmer complained about the lake on his property that always needed to have the fish thinned out.  The rolling hills made it more difficult for him to run the fence rows.  Sometimes he couldn’t even see his cows because they had so much territory to cover.  At night it was so dark it was hard to walk from the barn back to his house.
He decided to sell the place and move somewhere really nice.  He called a real estate agent and made plans to sell his property.
A few days later he picked up the local paper, looking for a new place to live.  His eye caught an ad for a lovely country home in an ideal location – quiet and peaceful.
It had soft rolling hills; a pristine lake stocked with bass, a classic barn surrounded by natural flowers and soft grass, and came complete with a wonderful herd of Black Angus cows.  It was just close enough to a small town to be convenient but far enough out to be uncluttered by city lights, traffic and noise.
He read the ad a second and then a third time before realising the real estate agent had given her description of the place he currently owned.  He called her and told her to cancel the ad.  He said, “I’ve changed my mind.  I’ve been looking for a place like that all my life.”
It’s easy to complain about your current situation, but how would your life look to an outsider?
Is your job really that bad?
Are your kids that annoying?
Is your financial situation as dire as you really think it is?
Sometimes, just like the farmer, we need a new perspective on our circumstances to understand that our lives aren’t as bad as we sometimes believe.


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Friday, November 7, 2014

Painless Ways to Boost 401(k) Balance in Year 2015

The IRS raised the 401(k) maximum contribution limit from $17,500 to $18,000 starting in 2015. Employees who are age 50 and older can contribute $6,000 extra to their 401(k) as catch up contributions. That’s also an increase of $500 from the current catch up contribution amount of $5,500.Good news for those who already maximized their 401(k) contributions already, but what about for those who are not?

It may seem hard to save for retirement early, because it is yet too far. But the more you save the more comfortable retirement you'll have. You don't want to live on social security benefit alone, because it might not give you enough comfort during retirement years. You need to contribute enough.

Here are some tips to help you increase your 401(k) contribution:

1. Split your raise
2.Track your expenses.
3. Automatic increase.
4. Do your own taxes.
5. Save more now.

Read the full in-depth article here:

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I am on path to enlightenment...

I am on path to enlightenment.
So, I will trip, I will stumble, but I will get back up and Rise...
With courage and strength.
Trip-ups do not define my character.
Get-ups and Get-goings do.
- Anna Pereira
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Scared to face old age without enough money?

People often say that they don't have no idea what they should do on their retirement, they have no idea about the possible expenses they need to take. According to Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation and senior vice president at Charles Schwab & Co. “Nearly half of Americans haven’t planned how much they will need, and it is scary to think about facing old age without enough money.”

There still a lot of people fear that they will outlive their savings, but the good news is they can conquer that fear and do something to plan for their retirement wisely.

Read the full article here:

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Choose To Be Happy

Choose to be happy.
Don't focus on what's wrong.
Find something positive in your life.
- Joel Osteen
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Things to consider before buying an Insurance Policy

One of the critical decision you have to make in your life, probably is getting a life insurance. Buying an insurance policy is not an overnight decision, but more often than not, people buy an insurance policy without getting into details and later on find themselves in the middle of uncertainty.

As like most of financial experts always say, the key to buying an insurance policy is understanding and evaluating the financial needs of your family.

Here are things that you should remember when buying an insurance policy:

1. Calculate the amount of insurance needed.
2. Type of product requirement.
3. Choose policy keeping premium in mind
4. Select policy term wisely
5. Number of policies you wish to buy

Read the full and in depth article here:

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The Retiring Carpenter – A Story About the Life We Build for Ourselves

An elderly carpenter was due to retire.
He told his employer of his plans to leave the business and start a life of leisure with his wife and extended family.
He would miss the money, but the time was right and he was ready to hang up his hammer.
His boss was disappointed as the carpenter had been a loyal and diligent worker for many years, so he was sad to see him go.
He asked for one last favour, requesting that the carpenter could build one last house before retiring.
The tradesman agreed, but it was soon clear that his heart wasn’t in it.
He took shortcuts, used inferior materials and put in a half-hearted effort.
In the end the final product was well short of his usual standards, a disappointing way to end his career.
When the job was finished, the employer came to inspect the work.  After taking a look around, he handed the keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your house, it’s my gift to you.”
The carpenter was shocked and embarrassed.
If only he had known, he would have made sure that everything was perfect.
If he had known the consequences, he would have demanded excellence from himself.
We’re not that different.
We go about our business, working as we see fit.
Some with passion, some without caring.
Some with excellence, some with low standards.
Some with diligence, some without effort.
We are all in the process of building our own lives.
If you’re not happy with what you see, perhaps it’s a direct consequence of what you’ve been building over the years.
Build wisely!
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Each Morning we are born again..

Each Morning we are born again..
What we do today is what matters most
- Buddha

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