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10 years ago · by · Comments Off on Your Benefits Package – Your Decisions

Your Benefits Package – Your Decisions

One of the benefits of being self-employed is that we are forced to think about our benefits package. Many employees will accept what they are offered at work without giving much thought to it. If you work for yourself and even if you don’t, you should make sure that you have the benefits package you need. Whether that means creating it from scratch or supplementing the employee benefit package your employer put together for you.

The key elements of a good benefit package includes a source of income when disabled, a source of money to take care of any dependants when you die, a source of income to take care of you when you retire, medical insurance and possibly dental insurance.

Disability Income Insurance

Long term and short disability insurance or some other source of income that doesn’t stop when you are unable to work is an important part of any financial plan. One year out of work can wipe out a lifetime of savings. You are far more likely to be disabled during your working years than you are to die during those years according to statistics. Disability insurance can mean a world of difference to you family. The impact of being unable to work can be tremendous even if it is a short term disability. Health insurance nor other kinds of insurance will pay you an income when you are sick or hurt and unable to work.

Life Insurance

The average price of life insurance has come down quite a bit over the last several decades. Most couples who are under 60 or so can purchase substantial protection for less the than cost of their cable TV service. Depending on their needs and health status, this may not be enough to meet all of their needs, but $40 to $80 a month will be more than enough for many, many couples to have good a term plan for both spouses. If you have children or other people who depend on your income, you should have life insurance.

Retirement Planning

There are few things that bother me more emotionally than seeing a person of retirement age who appears to be working out of necessity as opposed to choice. We should all have a plan that allows us to retire at a reasonable age whether we actually retire or not. A high interest annuity is only one of many choices that you have when it comes to saving for retirement. One essential component of a retirement plan is discipline. Hollywood actors and many other high income earners teach us that any income can be outspent. My parents’ generation, which grew up in the aftermath of the Great Depression, teaches us that you can also choose to save at almost any income level.

Long Term Care

Long term care insurance isn’t just for the senior market. This is not just because some younger people will find themselves in need of care in a nursing home from time to time. It is also because the best way to get a low rate on the policy is to purchase at a younger age. The cost of custodial and intermediate nursing home care is not typically covered by health insurance or Medicare. The cost of nursing home care averages over $1,000 a day in many parts of the country! The government may pay for much of it, but you may be forced to sell of many of your assets before the government steps in. This can ruin the retirement of your surviving spouse. This a little talked about, but important, coverage.

Health Insurance

Health and dental insurance are often the only types of coverage that people think about when they lose their benefits package. They are important coverages, but so are the others. Consider purchasing a lower cost high deductible plan to save money.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance, unfortunately, is often not available at a good price when you are not part of a big group. Many people are better off paying for dental care out their pockets or purchasing a dental discount plan when they become self-employed. Dental discount plans can sometimes be priced well, but consumers should be aware that they do not offer the same protection.

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10 years ago · by · Comments Off on Location Location Location

Location Location Location

Where you live can have a significant impact on the amount of your insurance bills. Factors such as the likelihood of your getting into an accident, the crime rate and the cost of medical care can have tremendous influence on what you are likely to be charged by your insurance provider. These issues all affect how much an insurance company is likely to pay in claims, so it impacts how much an insurance company is likely to charge.

Even the weather can have an impact on the cost and availability if insurance. Certain types of insurance will not be available in certain areas.

The lines of that are most affected by location include:

  • Car insurance
  • Home owners insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Medical Insurance

Car Insurance

The average cost of car insurance is much higher in more densely populated areas. Your car is more likely to hit or be hit by another car in an area where there are more cars per square mile. Also areas have worse crime statistics tend to be areas where auto insurance premiums are higher. This also impacts the cost of car insurance. Even the weather can have an impact. More snow or more rain can mean more accidents and more money for premiums.

Home Owners Insurance

The average cost of Home owners insurance is affected by crime statistics as well. A bigger factor, however, is the cost of construction in a given area. If labor or materials cost more or less in a particular area, this may have an impact on the average cost for a home owners insurance policy. Weather also impacts the costs of insuring your home. Damage from the wind and from the other elements is a major concern of house insurance carriers.

Frequent severe weather can even impact the availability of home owners insurance. Mobile homes can only be insured through plans that have stripped down benefits and high prices in some of the areas that were impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Renters Insurance

Renter’s insurance is impacted by the crime rate. Renters insurance may not be available in all areas because of this.

Medical Insurance

The average cost of private medical insurance in a zip code or city is impacted by the average salary of the physicians that serve that area.

There are a lot of factors that impact the cost of your insurance some are within your control, but many are not. Government mandates in certain states also add a lot to the cost of a policy. For example, in my state, the state of Connecticut, certain infertility treatment must be covered by health insurance. This adds to the cost of the coverage. In other states, insurance companies must provide coverage for those who are have pre-existing conditions when they apply. This also has an impact on the price of coverage.

Of course we don’t always have much choice regarding the state we live in. However, sometimes even the zip code matters. Get some premium estimates for insurance before you commit to moving to a particular area. Sometimes, moving to an adjacent town or even an adjacent zip code can help you keep more money in your pocket. Location matters.

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