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Income Protection Insurance | Help in Tough Times | John | Prepare Series | BT


Hear more from John. When John took out income insurance he didn’t imagine it would save his life. Listen to his moving story.

DISCLAIMER: This general information does not take into account your personal circumstances and needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this

Buying Disability Insurance

Although it is easy to get trapped into the mindset that bad things can never happen to you, it is impossible to predict the future. An accident that is out of your control could cause you to become disabled, and the medical costs that follow such a debilitating injury are expensive. To make matters worse, it is likely there will be a time period when you will be unable to work. Disability insurance helps safeguard you from these very possible situations, and it is an investment well worth considering.
A Must-Have for Sole Wage Earners
While a growing number of families have multiple people bringing in income to pay the bills, those who have a primary breadwinner have a number of reasons to invest in disability insurance. In the event the sole wage earner becomes severely injured or very sick, the entire family will suffer. Not only will they have the looming worry that the bills are not being paid, but they also will be worried with the health of their loved one coupled with the fact that medical bills are piling up.
Just as sole wage earners need to protect themselves, so do those who run their own business. Professionals often find themselves without coverage, which can be catastrophic for their families in the event of an accident. There are insurance carriers out there that specialize in options like physician’s disability insurance.
Social Security Benefits Take TimeWhile Social Security does offer disability benefits, it can take a lengthy amount of time to apply and receive them. Worse yet, you may go through the entire process only to find out that you don’t even qualify. The application process can be confusing, and it may even be necessary to hire legal assistance to find out if you can receive the help they may or may not be able to offer you. Rather than gambling, having a disability insurance plan in place if you ever find yourself in need is a sure-fire way to know for sure you will be protected.

Options to Meet Your Needs
Every person is different, and there are options when it comes to the selection of the disability insurance plan that will best meet your needs. If you want the peace of mind of protection but are on a strict budget, there are short term policies that will provide benefits for a specified amount of time following an injury or debilitating sickness. If you foresee a situation in which the maximum benefit period would not accommodate you, long-term plans are also an option.
Condition That Could Get Worse
There are a number of maladies that plague us. While these illnesses do not always immediately debilitate a person from working, there is always the chance the condition will get worse over time. Disability insurance keeps you protected in case this happens.
Worth the Investment
Life is full of the unexpected. Rather than gambling these elements, buying a disability insurance policy keeps you and your family safe and provides the peace of mind you deserve.

Term Life Insurance for Diabetics

Buying a term life insurance policy can be a good way to protect your loved ones in the event of your death. Unfortunately, many people who have been diagnosed with diabetes have discovered too late that it can be hard to find an affordable policy. The mandatory health screenings that many policies require readily reveal diabetes, meaning that many people with this disease are either automatically rejected or are forced to pay high premiums. Fortunately, even many of the best life insurance companies now offer ways for diabetics to get life insurance coverage.

If you have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic by a doctor or if you have a family history of the disease, buy a policy immediately. Few insurance companies will penalize people with a family history of Type II diabetes because in many cases it is possible to avoid the disease with lifestyle changes. People with a family history of Type I diabetes are usually not considered to be high risk if they have made it to adulthood without showing symptoms.

If you have already been diagnosed, however, look for policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. While it can be difficult to find a large policy like this, consider combining several smaller policies together. Policies that don’t require medical exams tend to cost more, however. Nonetheless, this can be a good option for people who need a small amount of coverage.

If you need more coverage, look for a conditional policy. These policies do require a health exam, but they are issued on the condition that you take steps to control your disease or the condition that it will not pay out if a medical examiner determines your cause of death to be directly related to diabetes. That makes these policies risky for people who cannot manage their condition, but a good option for those who can. To make sure you’re meeting the conditions of the policy, many insurance companies will require yearly doctor’s visits.

Finally, if you have a job with benefits, it might be time to explore your workplace based options. Many large and mid-size companies offer their employees term life insurance as part of the benefit package. Because these policies are written for all employees, there’s generally not a health exam unless you need to purchase additional coverage beyond what is offered. If you own a business, look into buying a corporate life insurance policy.


Is Burial Insurance Right for Me?

Burial insurance is a type of insurance intended to help a person to prepare for the payment of their final expenses. Burial insurance plans can be used in a number of ways to cover a variety of end of life costs such as embalming or cremation, funeral services and burial. The decision of whether or not to buy burial insurance is a personal one, but there are some times that making the purchase of burial insurance makes a lot of sense.

Estate Planning

Burial insurance can play a key role in the estate planning process. A person who has substantial physical assets to leave to his or her heirs can use burial insurance as means to protect their assets. For example, a person with a home or other real estate to leave to his or her heirs might not have the money on hand to pay for the funeral. This would mean that the heirs would have to pay out of pocket for the funeral or sell some of the deceased person’s assets to cover the costs.

Peace of Mind

funeral insuranceThe death of a loved one is always a stressful time and many people worry about placing undue stress upon their loved ones after their death. Burial insurance is one way to remove some stress from family members. A person can plan out his or her own funeral services and purchase burial insurance to cover the cost of the service. When the time comes for the funeral, all of the arrangements will be made and the money to cover the services will also be available.

Medical Problems

People with medical problems may not be unable to buy a traditional life insurance policy. In the event that they can find coverage, they may find that the cost for life insurance is very high. However, most people can qualify to purchase burial insurance regardless of their medical issues. This is due to most policies being guaranteed issue and requiring no medical examination. As most burial insurance polices have a smaller payout than traditional life insurance policies, the monthly premium costs are also much lower. For those who are unable to buy traditional life insurance, the purchase of a burial insurance policy may be a good investment.


Key Things to Know About Buying Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare Supplements FAQIndividuals who already have Medicare hospital insurance coverage, known as Part A, and Medicare medical insurance coverage, called Part B, can help to cover their out of pocket expenses not covered by these Medicare parts by purchasing Medicare Supplemental Insurance. Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap, are an insurance policy offered by certain private insurance companies in order to cover such expenses as co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance which are not paid by the individual’s original Medicare policy.

Qualifications

Individuals must be at least 65 years of age and already enrolled in both Parts A and B of Medicare in order to apply for Medicare Supplemental Insurance. No medical screening is required to obtain a Medigap policy if the individual applies for this type of coverage within 6 months of turning 65, a period of time known as the open enrollment period. Medigap policies are only issued to individuals, so each spouse must apply separately for this type of supplemental insurance. Applicants can enroll in a Medigap plan without a medical examination.

Benefits

No matter which private insurance company supplies a Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy, all policies are considered standardized. This means that whatever plan an individual purchases, identified by letters A through N, it offers the same benefits as the plan with the same letter identification offered by a different insurance company. Basic benefits include 365 days of hospitalization after Medicare Plan A coverage ends, medical expenses not covered by Part B of Medicare, three pints of blood annually, and some hospice care.

Additional benefits vary according to the plan selected. These benefits include a set amount of coverage for skilled nursing facility charges up to 100 days, and coverage of certain Medicare Part A deductible charges. Since 2006, Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans do not include prescription drug coverage as part of their benefits, and individuals requiring such coverage should investigate joining a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Individuals should also be aware that Medigap plans generally do not cover such costs as private-duty nurses, dental or eye care, eyeglasses, hearing aids or long-term nursing care costs. Consider switching over to a Medigap Advantage Plan if prescription drug coverage is required.

Medigap insurance plans are guaranteed to be renewable even if the policy holder has certain health issues. So long as a policy holder pays his monthly premium to keep the Medigap policy in force, the coverage cannot be cancelled by the insurance company.

Where to Purchase

Obtain Medicare Supplemental Insurance from one of the many reputable private insurance companies licensed in your state to sell this additional health coverage. Review each of the Medigap lettered insurance plans in order to determine which benefits best suit your needs. Just like any other insurance product, rates for Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans vary according to the provider, so it pays to comparison shop in order to find the right plan offering the best benefits at the price that best suits the policy holder’s budget.


Purchasing Life Insurance

Life insurance is a solution for consumers set in place by insurance companies to provide a financial safety net for the client’s family to get by after his/her death. Life insurance is useful to people that are the primary caregivers for their families, that want to pay off debts and other expenses after their deaths, and that want to leave behind peace of mind. This is your fully featured guide to shopping for life insurance and saving money while doing so.

Shopping for Life Insurance

One of the most vital things you should know about shopping for life insurance is that there are essentially two types. A consumer can either purchase term life insurance or whole life insurance. However, most customers are generally better off purchasing term life insurance due to its length, benefits, and cost.

Before signing a life insurance policy, you want to make absolutely sure that you’re dealing with a reputable company that has received a very high rating from either another another reputable company or an independent and unbiased rater.

Tips for Saving Money

As previously stated, it is often the better route for a client to purchase term life insurance rather than whole life insurance. Term life is great for situations in which a dependent of yours would be in trouble financially if you passed away over a set period of time. For example, if you had a child that was scheduled to graduate college within in 3 years time for now and they still needed $60,000 to pay for the rest of their tuition, you could take out a $60,000 term life insurance policy to ensure that the child can finish school either way. A term life policy even from one of the best insurance companies is still going to be cheaper than any whole life insurance policy.

Additionally, you will want to use insurance quote comparison tools online so that you can get a good look at several companies all at once. This is a great alternative to taking the time to slowly shop around. And it also decreases the window of risk for something to happen to your health before you sign on with an insurance company.

Overall, shop with common sense and a constant awareness of what you can and can’t afford. Life insurance providers are not all out to help you save money, and there are some that surprisingly want nothing more than to siphon whatever they can from your wallet. Therefore, shop using logic and always try to find ways to save money without cutting corners on your life insurance policy.


The Differences between Various California Medicare Plans

California Medicare plans are federally funded programs that offer insurance for all eligible participants that are 65 years and older. Medicare plans contain two parts that include hospital insurance (Part A) along with medical insurance (Part B). However, Medicare will not cover the individual for 100% of all of their medical or hospital costs. As a result, many individuals purchase Medicare supplemental insurance as a way to offset the portion of healthcare costs that are uncovered.

Medicare Part D

In addition, Medicare Part D is available as a prescription drug program designed for every Medicare beneficiary. This portion of California Medicare plans allows for prescription drugs that are sold by private companies to be paid through the voluntary program. However, the pharmaceuticals must be approved by Medicare.

Before buying any Part D California Medicare plans, it is important to make sure that the plan has been approved by Medicare. Drug plans for Medicare follow specific guidelines and rules concerning what prescription medications are covered in a variety of drug categories. Because of that, every policy holder needs to ensure that the plan they carry will cover brand-name drugs that they are currently taking and hope to continue to use in the future.

Purchasing Supplemental Insurance

The only way to purchase additional coverage through a medical supplemental insurance plan is to be currently enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Medicare. This supplemental “Medi-gap” insurance provides additional coverage for medical costs and other expenses that are not covered by standard Medicare. There are 12 different standardized plans referred to as “A – L” plans. Each one provides numerous benefits that are designed to offset traditional health care costs.

Finding the best rates is simple, and can be acquired through different multiple quotes from an agent specializing in California Medicare plans.


Prostate Cancer History and Life Insurance Rates

Many people have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at one point in their lives, and then gone through treatment, went into remission and are now leading full and happy lives. This is definitely a great sign for people who have just been diagnosed with prostate with prostate cancer as it offers hope for them, when they are probably feeling pretty pessimistic about their situation.

While it is definitely possible to make a full recovery from prostate cancer, life insurance with prostate cancer still remains to be a big problem for many people, although it doesn’t necessarily have to.

If you know anything about how insurance companies calculate your rates, you know it is all about the risk involved for them. When an insurance company takes a look at all your medical records, they calculate how big the risk is that they will have to make a payout in the event of your death. It is a morbid subject, but the lower your health, and the more likely you are to pass away before your life insurance term expires, and the higher your rates will be.

It probably comes as no surprise, that most insurance companies aren’t actively seeking out customers who have ever had cancer, because of the risk involved. The good thing for you though, is there are still many companies out there who are willing to work with you, because they have experience working with people who have or have had prostate cancer.

The first step of the process, is for the underwriters to assess your risk by looking at several different things. This includes the stage and grade of the cancer, what type of treatment has been used to treat it, the success of the treatment and how long it has been since the last treatment. All of that information will come together to give the insurance companies an idea of how much it should cost to insure you.

Keep in mind, if you have or have had prostate cancer, the process to obtaining life insurance could be lengthy. There are so many things the underwriters need to look into, so you need to give them ample time to do their job correctly. Your rates will almost always be higher than people who have never had cancer, but depending on the severity of your condition, you might just be surprised at how affordable it is.


The Benefits of Burial Insurance

There are only two things certain in life – death and taxes – I think that’s what they say. Everybody is going to die sometime so a little forward planning will certainly not be a waste of time. Knowing that you have adequate burial insurance can give you and your family a certain peace of mind.

Nobody wants to leave the burden of their funeral expenses to their families so the least you can do is to get burial insurance to be sure that they won’t have to worry about it.

Burial insurance is really a term life insurance policy which is designed to pay for all of your funeral expenses.  Death doesn’t come cheap you know, we’re all going to do it but it is often one of the most expensive things you’ll do in your lifetime after buying a house, getting married and raising children. Not a nice thought is it?  A burial insurance policy makes sure that it’s all taken care of by spreading the cost over affordable monthly repayments.

It is important that you have adequate burial insurance cover to pay for the type of send-off you have in mind. Cremations are significantly cheaper than burials but even so you are probably looking at thousands of dollars after everything has been taken into account.  The charges may include:

  • Funeral home fees
  • Transport to the crematorium or cemetery
  • Cemetery fees
  • Casket
  • Tombstone
  • Flowers
  • Legal fees

There might even be enough money left over to pay for the family gathering afterwards.

Some people have the foresight to take out more burial insurance than they’re actually going to need to pay for their funeral expenses so that there is money left over to sort out things like loan repayments, mortgages, car payments etc.

The bottom line – if you have sufficient burial insurance then your family don’t have to worry about finding a large sum of money when they are in an already emotional state. It’s one less thing that they’ll have to worry about.


Preparing For a Financial Shortfall

Really, it can happen to anyone. An unexpected emergency or misjudging when payments were due, and all of a sudden there is a pile of bills and not enough savings to cover them all. Here are a couple of tips for weathering money shortages in the future.

Short-Term Solutions

If you have debts piling up and not enough cash to cover them right now, you are going to need to look at these short-term fixes to handle the problem now, before setting yourself up more securely to handle them in the future.

  1. Adjust your spending now. Prepare a simple budget for the next month. Cut out entertainment and discretionary expenses like eating out, buying new clothes, cable television, that overly expensive cell phone plan, coffee from the local coffee shop each morning, getting your hair done. Anything that you absolutely do not need to live needs to be cut right now. Use the money that would normally go towards those things to pay your bills.
  2. Reach out to your creditors. In the case that you find yourself unable to meet your minimum payments, instead of waiting for them to call you, call your creditors and explain your situation. They often times will be willing to work with you to attempt to lower your payments. Some will even let you put off a payment for a month (although they will still accumulate interest). If you are a renter, talk to your landlord. Helping you out and keeping you as a tenant is a lot less costly than finding a new tenant.
  3. Make more money. If it is an option, request more hours at work or look for a part-time job. Hold a yard sale or utilize something like Craigslist to sell items online. Anyway to make a little extra money, can help get you out of the situation you are in.
  4. Borrow from your retirement. If you have a 401(k) at work, many of them allow you to borrow up to 50% of your vested balance. You can also take money out of an IRA account once each year as long, and as you redeposit the money within 60 days there are no penalties or taxes assessed to the funds. This should be your last resort though, as not paying back the funds can result in paying a lot of money out in fees and penalties.

Long-Term Planning

If you have put yourself in the situation where you faced a cash flow crunch before, you know it is not something you want to repeat. Your creditors also may be less willing to work with you again if they have already done so in the past. You need to do some planning to create a little financial security for yourself.

  1. Reduce expenses. Your previous financial shortfall hopefully taught you how to tighten your belt a little. Instead of loosening it, maintain those savings habits. Sure you can reward yourself a little bit, but do not fall back into the traps that got you into trouble in the first place.
  2. Make a budget. And stick to it! If you never sit down and add up your expenses, it is difficult to determine whether or not you are living within your means. List everything you buy for a month. Then sit down and take a look at it. Look for places where you can cut back. Also be sure to earmark a sizable amount of your income for savings (at least 10-20%).
  3. Build your emergency fund. If you are sticking to your new budget, you will hopefully have freed up some funds. Start putting that money into a separate account as an emergency savings fund. Your goal should be to save up 3-6 months of living expenses. If you can, use an account that you have limited access to. If the money is a little more inconvenient to get to, you are less likely to dip into it unless you really, really need. It.

Follow these tips and put yourself in position to weather the next windfall.


A Few Tips For Diving Back Into Real Estate

The real estate market is growing again, and with interest rates so low, many people are being tempted by the allure of investing in property. If you are one of those individuals, here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.

Real Estate Investing is All About Numbers

This is where many people who try to make a fortune in real estate fail. Buying a home for you and/or your family is an emotional experience. Investing is just the opposite. It is about just a couple of things and that is really it. How much can you buy the property for? What is it going to cost you to fix it up? How much will you realistically be able to sell or rent it for? If you can calculate those numbers fairly accurately, you can predict with quite a bit of certainty if the property is a good buy or not. Little else matters.

Have a Strategy

Determine if you want to specialize in rehabbing homes, if you want to buy-and-hold properties, or if you are going to be a wholesaler. Once you understand your goals, it is easier to know what to look for and target homes that fit your plan. That is key, so I am going to say it again. Target homes that fit your plan. Do not buy homes and then try to figure out what to do with them.

Avoid Overextending Yourself

Many would-be investors have run into problems by investing in too much right away, erroneously believing that they would recoup a profit out of each home right away. Instead, start small. Do not invest money that risks your other savings plans. Your real estate investing should start out as a supplement to your existing plans, not a replacement. Down the road, if things are going really well, you can adjust accordingly.

Build a Team

If you are going to be targeting just a single investment, most likely you will only need a realtor, lender, accountant, and lawyer. Do your research and find the best people. A good realtor who understands your goals, can be a huge ally. “So many people try to go this alone thinking they know everything they need to know, “ says Jim Kelly, and expert in Rehoboth Beach real estate. “Why not lean on someone who has worked in the market for 15, 20, 30 years? They can tell you about trends, neighborhoods you may not know about, properties to stay away from because they know something you don’t, etc.”

In my opinion, it is foolish not to utilize such an expert. If you are having trouble finding the necessary members to build your team, ask around for referrals.

Select Your Target Properties Carefully

Look for properties that are low maintenance and can provide an appeal for a wide market of prospective buyers or renters. This is not about personal taste. Stay away from properties with things like swimming pools and large gardens. They can turn off a lot of people who would otherwise love the property. Definitely avoid homes that have unique and rare features like really odd room layouts. You want to appeal to a broad base, not a niche market.

Keep these easy tips in mind as you start out on your journey into the real estate market.