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5 Questions to Ask To Determine Pros and Cons of Long Term Care Insurance

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Is long term care insurance a wise purchase? You’ll need to evaluate the pros and cons of long term care insurance to come up with your own answer. Here are five questions to ask to help you determine the pros and cons of long term care insurance.

    1. Do you lead a healthy lifestyle? Believe it or not, healthy may mean you are more likely to need care. The healthiest people are often the ones that end up needing long term care assistance later in life, whereas heart problems or cancer may take the unhealthy ones sooner. One of the pros of long term care insurance for a healthy person is it can allow you to stay in your home and maintain your independence longer. This is because most policies issued today cover the cost of in-home care, which can provide someone to help with many of the activities of daily living.
    1. What does your family‘s health history look like?What is longevity and health like for your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and siblings? Has anyone needed care later in life? Who was there to assist them? What if they had needed care? How would it have affected the family? A pro of long term care insurance is that it reduces the burden of care that may other wise fall on loved ones.
    1. Are you willing to spend your own assets down and then become a dependent of the state, or dependent on your family, should you need care?What if you break a hip later in life? What if your mind remains fully alert, but you need help cooking, cleaning and dressing, and you do not want to move in with a family member? Who would help and how would you pay for their help? Full time long term care assistance can run $6,000 – $10,000 a month or even more if medical care is needed. If you have sufficient assets to cover this cost, then you have no need for long term care insurance.
    1. Can you afford a premium that would provide you a reasonable amount of coverage?Long term care insurance has features that you can adjust. Like buying a car, you can get all the extras, and pay for them, or you can buy a base model that costs less but still provides decent transportation. The major con of long term care insurance is the same as any insurance: you may pay premiums for years and never use the coverage. You need to look at it the same way you look at any other type of insurance. After paying for homeowner’s insurance for years, are you upset that your home never burned down and that you never used your insurance?
  1. What do the long term care statistics say about how many people will need care, and how long they will need it for? According to long term care statistics “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.” It is good to look at the statistics, but your personal odds are either zero or 100%. You either will need care or you won’t.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Long Term Care Insurance

  • The pros of long term care insurance are that it allows you to maintain your independence and reduces the financial and psychological stress that a long term care need causes a family.
  • The cons are the cost of the premiums.

Whether you buy insurance or not, you’ll want to have a plan in place so you and your family know what to do if you need care. That plan involves talking to family and friends about their ability to help, if and when help is needed.

 

 

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What’s The Right Credit Card For My Business?

gty_credit_card_choice_kb_130405_wgA number of credit card providers have been really aiming at including small businesses in their product line. For new, small businesses this can work wonders as it is a lot easier to get a credit card than a loan from a bank.

Of course, there are dozens of choices available and this can often make it quite hard to choose a specific card. The best way to evaluate the sort of card that’s best for your business is to take a look at its spending habits. Different businesses have different spending habits, depending on the sort of business they have.

Balance

Consider if you plan on paying the balance over each month, or whether you will pay it off with time and want to pay the minimum payment. If you do decide to carry the balance then you will need to take a look at the annual percentage rate, as this can end up being quite costly for business if it goes wrong.

For those that wish to carry their balance and also have good credit, take a look to see if you can get a 0% credit card, as this will mean you pay nothing back for a set period. Fixed rates can be very attractive when interest rates are rising; however this is not the case currently.

For businesses that pay all of their balance each month, they should look for cards with rewards or longer periods of grace. These businesses can benefit greatly from paying back and the rewards for being disciplined are good. However, make sure you are disciplined as the costs for not being so are also high.

Charge Cards

A good alternative to the credit card is the charge card. This card differs as it allows businesses to have a short line of credit. The card will always be paid back in the full amount at the end of the month and there are harsh penalties. However, if you do pay back in full your business will receive a number of benefits for doing so. Charge cards often also charge an annual fee and there is a similar process to the credit card application online, when applying for one.

Though, if you do need flexibility, then a credit card is a better option – just be aware of the interest charges and when you need to pay the balance.

Rewards

We’ve mentioned rewards on a number of occasions and both credit card and charge card companies issue these. These often come in the shape of air miles, cash back and discounts at retailers, hotels or for services. Access to airport lounges and hotel upgrades are also part and parcel of these benefits and perks. The main thing here is to pay attention to the fine print if you choose a card with these perks, as the costs of not meeting the criteria are high.

So, in conclusion, the best way to choose a card is to look at your businesses situation and all the financial products out there and then take your ability to pay into account. By then choosing a card around your ability to pay, you can be sure that you will avoid steep charges and gain all the benefits you can.

Cormac Reynolds writes financial articles for a variety of businesses and blogs and has done so for many years.

 

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How To Make Sure Your Staff Are In It For The Long Haul

tug-of-warThe best businesses have loyal staff that have been there since day one. They know the company like the backs of their hands and no situation or problem is unfamiliar to them. The longer you have worked somewhere the better you know the role and the company and there for the better you do your job. Every employer would love to have staff stick around for years to come but people often become bored and move on. So how can you ensure your staff stick with you through thick and thin?

Set Out  A Clear Career Path

Many companies loose staff because of the lack of progression they offer.  People do become tired of doing the same thing over and over and if there is no opportunity to move forward they will seek opportunity elsewhere. As a business owner you should encourage your staff to apply for promotions and work their way up in the company. In order to keep staff happy and motivated you should set out a clear structure when it comes to moving up the ranks.

Offer Rewards

It can become very tiresome for staff if they work hard and that hard work constantly goes unrecognised. A simple thank you or well done is a good start and goes a long way, but a great way to really keep staff happy and motivated is to offer small rewards for good work.

Consider monthly awards in the form of a title and a small gesture such as a bottle of wine or vouchers, for example ‘employee of the month’. This means your staff will get the recognition they deserve and is an excuse for a fun monthly get together.

Consider Staff Quarterlies

A great way to say thanks is to host an evening of fun once every three months. It is something for staff to really look forward to and is a great way to encourage staff bonding. You don’t have to do anything huge, maybe just put some money behind a bar or book a meal. Tell everyone the date and time and see your staff let their hair down for a night of fun.

Offer Bonuses

At the end of the day your staff are there to earn money, and money does make people happy. A great way to encourage staff to go above and beyond at work is to offer bonuses measured by how well they are doing.

Staff really appreciate being paid on time and the right amount. Mistakes do happen but that can cause great problems when people are expecting money. Ensure these mistakes don’t occur by making use of payroll services to keep staff happy.

Eilidh MacRae works for Trace Payroll who offer payroll services.

 

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6 Businesses That Thrive In A Recession

gold-digger

Recessions mean everyone suffers? Well, not necessarily true at all and some businesses thrive during a recession and see the opportunities that it throws up really help them flourish. When most others who did well in the good times stall, these are the businesses that people should invest in.

Sin Industries

Where you would have once purchased a new TV, or taken a holiday to the wine region of France, people will scale down their luxuries in a recession. Fortunately for them most sin is cheap and though they may bypass the new electrical goods, it’s a good time to own an off-licence or sell cigarettes; all of which improve in sales during recession. Chocolate also becomes an alternative to a good night out and does well. The only morally dubious industry to suffer is gambling, which relies on extra cash to do well and takes advantage of the happy go lucky feeling of the good times. All that being said, mobile gambling is currently thriving during the recession.

 

The Constants

There are some businesses that just continue as usual and there is no boom or bust cycle. Pharmaceutical companies, grave diggers, waste disposal companies and healthcare companies are all constants that do well either way. People get sick, are taxed and die whether times are good or bad.

Discount Retailers

Those who can sell goods at a lower price will obviously do well when people are watching their pockets. Discount retailers benefit greatly during a recession as they allow people to save, something they may not care for significantly in the good times. People will purchase more expensive items when things are good, but may lower their quality when looking for goods in bad times.

These companies also benefit from economies of scale and so can offer cheap goods at great prices to consumers. Though people don’t shop there as an ideal, they still do so during recessions.

Freelancers and Freelance Service Providers

Instead of bringing someone in during a storm and paying them a full wage, business providers and freelancers are taken on as they cost less. These freelance providers don’t require health insurance, a roof, canteen facilities and all the extras that add up in business and so thrive during bad times.

Property Management

Letting agents and others in the property management game do well in recessions as people find it harder to get mortgages to purchase a house. These businesses do well from the increased rental market and so make plenty during recessions.

Debt Settlement

Anyone involved in the area of money collection does well during the bad times. As businesses close, people lose money and need to employ professional services to get their investment back. This means that they will employ people in this area including debt collection companies, legal representatives and others, who all do well when things are down.

These examples of companies, who do well during the bad times, show that there is opportunity in the bad times as well as the good ones.

Cormac Reynolds writes for http://snap-edition.co.uk/ and has written numerous articles on how businesses can succeed during recessions.

 

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Getting the Value From Your Umbrella Company

 

Let’s face it, no-one likes dealing with the Inland Revenue. It’s especially the case for  contractors and freelancers, who are also subject to the dreaded IR35 tax rules. You could always run your own limited company in order to get around it, but that’s a lot of hard work. Fortunately, there is actually a way around this, and it comes in the form of umbrella companies. You can sign up with an umbrella company and they will act as an intermediary, which means you still get your money but you’re no longer subject to IR35.

How it works

You sign up as an employee of the umbrella company, and they sign a contract on your behalf with the end client – after you’ve agreed to the terms of the contract. You then submit your expenses and time sheets to the umbrella company, who invoice the client. They’ll even sort out your tax and national insurance contributions. You pay only when you’re working and you can end the contract at any time with one week’s notice. When your contract with the end client ends, you can either continue with the umbrella company for free or they’ll send you your P45.

Benefits

As well as sorting out all your tax headaches, umbrella companies come with other benefits as well – in fact, most of the benefits of being someone else’s employee, while still working for yourself. They’ll do health insurance, income insurance, mortgages and even pensions. They’ll also cover various liabilities – which they won’t charge you for. Fantastic! I hear you cry. But what if I fall ill?

Sickness and holiday pay

Umbrella companies will retain a small percentage of your monthly pay to create a fund for holiday and sickness pay. And, if you don’t claim any of it, they’ll pay you the whole fund as a lump sum at the end of your contract.

Fees

Ah, but what are the start-up fees? Well, depending on the service you chose, there might not be any. Okay, you ask, but what about the umbrella company’s fees? Of course they have to make their money somehow. Does 3% sound good? I can still hear you hesitating. Fine. How about if the company capped their costs to you at £25 per payroll? Oh, and they have two payrolls a week, so if you miss one you can catch the other.

More reasons

Okay, you can submit all your expenses online, you get a Personal Account Manager to help with your queries, and they will answer all emails within four hours if sent between business hours. All invoices are sent to the end client by email to avoid delays. They will even provide reference letters for financial institutions for you.

Contracting in the UK is supposed to be about having the freedom to work for yourself, so why spend hours on tax that you could be spending working (or relaxing, for that matter…)? Why would you subject yourself to IR35 when you don’t have to? If you pick the right umbrella company, you can kill two birds with one stone and get a whole load of benefits to boot.

I don’t know why you’re still reading.

David webster is a trainee accountant who has been interested since he was bought some shares as a kid. He now follows all things financial and trades forex for fun.

 

 

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Top 5 Silliest Management Books of All Time

This post takes a satirical look at the business management book genre, specifically looking at five of the most ridiculous titles and how they often lead to bad management.

Reading Up

While the old cliché that “managers are not made, they are born” can in some degrees be argued to be true, it is also worthwhile acknowledging that you can often pick up a number of tips and ideas for your own leadership style from the vast plethora of management guide books available.

While there are undoubtedly some gems, some of them just give a ridiculous message, ridden with management speak that is often regurgitated verbatim by the reader when at work, under the misguided premise that they are now a great leader.

We looked at five of the most ridiculously titled management books there are.

1.Management in 10 Words

If it is possible to sum up management in 10 words, then why on Earth has this been extended out into a 320 page book? Surely each word does not require an average of 32 pages for an explanation of why it is such a great management tool. If management really can be defined in 10 words, then a piece of A4 paper should suffice just nicely.

2.Who Moved My Cheese?

There is also another similar book called “Why is my Iceberg Melting,” however the essential message is the same. How can you and your business survive and thrive in changing conditions in an evolving world? Well, the answer is somewhat obvious in that you too must also evolve to meet the demands of the world. There is really no need for a book that likens the business world to a mouse trying to survive by looking for cheese. The scariest thing about this book is that it is an all-time best seller. Is it any wonder the global economy is a mess?

3.Getting Things Done

There is a whole series of books carrying this title, with various sub-titles based around being productive and having a stress-free work life. However, the message after 250+ pages of reading is always the same. If you want to get things done, write it down and have a plan. Simple really.

4.The One Minute Manager

For me, personally, this was the first management book I ever read. Unfortunately, it had little bearing on me, as having read it I immediately realised that the manager who had borrowed it to me was the human manifestation of the book, a product of what he had read. Basically, the book is centred around managing everyone for a minute each day, based on the old business cliché that “my most valuable minute is the one spent with my people.”

5.How to Lead

If ever there was an expensive tick the box exercise, this is it. Although it does contain a lot of leadership advice, the main purpose of the book is to tick off everything that applies to you, then go away and get the skills needed to tick the rest. Perhaps if you spent the time leading rather than reading and ticking boxes you would acquire the skills easier.

Posterita is a revolutionary POS software, and its free point of sale software can show every aspect of that.

 

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Collecting on Overdue Accounts

Collecting on overdue accounts can be a frustrating experience for a small business owner, particularly during the start-up period when every dollar of revenue counts toward staying solvent and repaying debts. It’s not the most pleasant part of being an entrepreneur, but not handling them expeditiously will almost certainly endanger your business’s cash flow and long-term viability.

60 Seconds to establishing a sound and rational policy for collecting payments.

0:60 Do What You Can to Prevent Late Payments

Establish a standard policy for payment and make your customers aware of them before starting work. Some types of businesses may require all or a portion of the payment up front, while others allow terms such as payment within 30 days after receipt of invoice (i.e., Net 30). Your invoices should also clearly state any surcharges for late payments.

0:49 Be Careful with Credit

If you provide goods or services on credit, develop qualification standards that are specific, yet fair (e.g., a good credit history from a credit bureau or good bank references). Put your credit policy in writing and make sure all employees understand it. You should also have the policy posted in your store, or available as a handout.

0:36 Take the Right Attitude

Your collections policy will do no good unless you enforce it. Do not shy away from a potential confrontation, but avoid provoking it as well. If you’ve met your obligation and a customer has not, you’re entirely in the right.

0:29 Find Out Why

On the other hand, don’t assume the customer is entirely wrong. Contact the delinquent account and ask politely for an explanation. It may well be that the invoice has been lost or is awaiting approval. A customer with cash flow problems may request extra time. How you proceed may be very situational. Based on your experience with the customer, you may feel confident enough to allow extra time or installment payments. Make sure you and the customer clearly understand any compromise. Be flexible, but firm; and don’t hesitate to follow up.

0:15 Take Stronger Action

If your collection attempts fail, it may be time to turn to an attorney or collections firm. Terms for these services vary; they may require a fee and/or a percentage of the invoice amount, or a retainer. Again, your course of action will depend on the situation. You may decide the amount of the overdue account does not justify the cost and effort to collect. If so, write it off as a bad debt and move on.

0:09 Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice

Most everyone deserves a second chance. Should customers with poor payment histories approach you about working for them or restoring credit, don’t immediately refuse unless you are absolutely certain they remain bad risks. Ask them to explain how their situation has changed and decide whether it makes sense to restore the relationship. As a precaution, insist on stricter terms such as advance payment or cash-only.

0:03 Don’t Go it Alone

The small business experts at United Mediation Services can help you establish a payment and credit policy that makes sense for your business, as well as strategies for collecting on delinquent accounts. Contact United Mediation Services for business advice at www.unitedmediationservices.com or email jpillow@unitedmediationservices.com.

THEY WILL COLLECT THE FIRST TWO ACCOUNTS FOR FREE!

(must be B2B or B2C)

About United Mediation Services (www.unitedmediationservices.com)

United Mediation Services, headquarted in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex suburb of Plano,Texas is uniquely positioned to supply an improved level of in-demand debt collection services. UMS is a nationwide company that has been involved in the mediation collections of commercial debt for over 70 years. The company charges no up-front costs nor contracts and the UMS staff is thoroughly trained to ensure they are constantly maintaining their clients’ positive public image.

 

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