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Posts made in January, 2016


Retirement by the Decade

Retirement by the Decade


Posted By on Jan 25, 2016

We all confront different financial decisions at various points in our lives. At some times we might be focused on solving certain problems, while at other times we set goals to attain. Whatever your short-term priorities are at any age, it is important to view your finances from a long-term perspective. In your 20s, it is normal to focus on very short-term goals. But don’t overlook the power of time! Investing even a little bit of money from each paycheck will pay off in a very big way at retirement, due to the time that money has to accrue interest. In your 30s, you might be feeling more comfortable with your income, and you might be hitting milestones such as home ownership. But just because you’re more comfortable now, don’t overlook your long-term plan. Savings should increase with your salary! You should also think about options like life insurance and saving for your children’s college expenses. Making more money shouldn’t simply translate into more vacations and nicer furniture. Most of you reading this article have said goodbye to your 20s and 30s, but the above lessons are good ones to teach to your children. If you’re looking back and realizing you didn’t plan as well as you should have, the good news is that you still have time to prepare for retirement. In your 40s and 50s, you will probably hit the peak of your career. Now your earnings are higher than ever, and you can make significant progress toward your retirement savings goal. Once you reach age 50, you can make additional catch-up contributions to your retirement plan, and reap all of the tax benefits of regular contributions. Now is the time to consider your retirement expenses, and adjust your savings goal (and perhaps even change your expected retirement date). Have you thought about the cost of health care in retirement? If you plan to retire before age 65 (the age of Medicare eligibility), how will you cover your medical bills? Once you are eligible for Medicare, how will you pay for out-of-pocket expenses (which rise a bit each year, due to the rising cost of health care)? What about the cost of long-term nursing care? As you evaluate your expected retirement budget, remember we offer different types of insurance to help you manage your expenses. In your 60s, you’re headed for the finish line. This is the time to make decisions like when to claim your Social Security benefits, and whether to change the way you invest your savings. Working with experienced professionals who can guide you through these decisions can make a big difference in your...

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The Affordable Care Act does not require small businesses to provide health benefits to their employees, but a quality health insurance plan can be an invaluable asset anyway. Current employees value the benefit and are more likely to stick around for the long haul, and prospective workers will give health insurance considerable weight when deciding between job offers. On top of helping your business attract and retain the best workers, health insurance keeps them healthier and improves workplace productivity. But of course, group health insurance comes at a cost. If you’re worried about the cost of premiums, you might be interested in learning some creative tactics to help you manage them. Combine a high-deductible policy with a health savings account (HSA). As with any type of insurance, a higher deductible translates into a lower premium for you. But of course, your employees might not be too happy about having to meet a high deductible before their health benefits kick in each year. First, remember that some plan features, like preventive care, might not be subject to the deductible. So your employees will still reap some value from their plan, regardless of whether they meet their deductible each year. But when you combine the plan with a health savings account, you help your employees manage their health care expenses by offering them a way to save pre-tax money for out-of-pocket costs. Keep premiums low by reducing payouts. When you provide employees with incentives to mange their own health, you can reduce payouts and keep insurance costs low for everyone. Many employers have begun offering wellness programs and free gym memberships to workers. Some even sponsor weight loss or smoking cessation “contests”, provide healthy options in the break room, and even reward employees who attend health information sessions. Show you care for your workers while also helping to manage your own overhead expenses. Use the SHOP Exchange. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) can help you locate lower-cost group health insurance plans, and also take advantage of tax credits that might be available to you. Compare the cost of providing group health insurance with the savings you receive through a tax credit, and you might be pleasantly surprised! These are just some of the ways you can provide valuable health care benefits to your employees, while saving money on premiums. For more help with your health insurance options, call our office to schedule a consultation. We specialize in helping small business owners locate the right insurance options at an affordable...

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Remember: Open Enrollment Ends Soon!

Remember: Open Enrollment Ends Soon!


Posted By on Jan 6, 2016

Covered California is now operating its annual Open Enrollment season, during which Californians can enroll in a health insurance plan, make changes to their current plan, or simply update their financial information within the system. If you haven’t taken action yet, remember to do that soon; Open Enrollment ends on January 31! If you don’t have health insurance, now is the time to act. You can prevent the Individual Mandate penalty from applying to you when you file your taxes next year, and you will be taking care of your health at the same time. Remember, under the new Affordable Care Act laws, you are entitled to the following services from your health care plan: cancer screenings vaccines annual check-ups well-woman visits some prescription drugs and more Many types of preventive care are free under all health insurance plans, helping you to stay healthy and ward off serious problems before they advance too far. And you can’t be denied from coverage just because you have a pre-existing condition! If you already have health insurance, you should still review your plan and decide whether it still works for you. Compare your options, because another plan might be a better fit for your needs and budget. If you like your current plan and want to keep it, you don’t need to do much. But before January 31, you should still update your financial information and family size with Covered California! This helps to ensure that you’re receiving the correct amount of subsidy to help with the cost of your premiums. Sound complicated? It can be. Give us a call, and we can help you decide what you need to do next. But remember, if you don’t take action by January 31, then in most cases you won’t be able to enroll in a health insurance plan or make changes to your current plan until Open Enrollment begins again in the...

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