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Retirement Plans And Saving Made Simple

It can be a real hassle to manage a retirement fund. The stakes are quite high, because that fund represents someone’s life savings and is what they are expected to live off of for the rest of their life.

Getting to the point where someone has saved up enough money to retire is one thing. But that’s really only half the battle. Then comes the challenge of trying to make that money last enough years — and perhaps even do enough to where that nestegg actually grows, too. Read on for some quick tips on how to manage a retirement fund.

Save enough

One of the biggest tips that makes it much easier to manage a retirement fund is to retire with enough money in that fund. Now, that might seem like common sense but many people rush into retirement with too little saved and then are unable to make the money stretch out for the length of their retirement.

Work with a money manager to make sure that there is enough money in the retirement fund to last. People are living longer and longer these days — many into their 90s — which means the money has to stretch longer than ever, too. Get some help understanding exactly how much money is needed, and how to make it last.

Health insurance

To manage a retirement fund is to understand all of the expenses that come with retirement. One of the big expenses is health insurance, which becomes more and more important as people age and require medical care. Make sure that the expense of health insurance is factored into any plan.

While it might not seem like a big deal now, especially if an employer is paying for insurance, it will become much more pressing once retirement hits. Health insurance can be a challenge but it does not have to be a scary thing if it is prepared for.

Lump sum vs. payout

It might seem like a good idea to get a huge lump sum from a 401(k) plan, but it is actually one of the common pitfalls of retirement. While seeing that huge amount upfront can make someone feel pretty well off, it is actually often a better idea to get a yearly payout. This can help someone budget and it guarantees that they won’t spend it all too soon.

Where to seek advice

Remember, any time that a client has a specific question about their retirement plan, a financial expert should be asked for help. There are a lot of standard replies to questionst that do not consider the specifics of a plan, growth rates and more.

Seeking advice online may seem easier, but the answers that the web provides are not as assured as the answers that are offered by an expert that actually manages the account or accounts in question.

Robert Seitzinger is a copywriter for Majestic Eagle Insurance, a Portland insurance group that can help with retirement planning.

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Health Insurance Possibilities for the Newly Self-Employed

When you are starting a new business, you concentrate so very much on the details—location, organization, advertising and finance, to name a few—that your thoughts of health insurance might take a back seat. You know you should have it, but there are so many other things that you have to care of that it slips into a low-priority slot. When the dust settles, it’s time to revive it and take a good look at your options.

Your COBRA Option

COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 allows you to carry your previous insurance plan from your old employer for up to 18 months. You’ll notice a rather large increase in the premium price, however: You have to pay the full amount instead of sharing it with the employer. There is no change to the policy stipulations, though. It’s the same plan. The only thing that changes is who is ultimately responsible for payment.

Life Partner Option

Life Partner coverage is a second possibility. If you are covered under your partner’s health insurance policy, the basic coverage can be adjusted to include a family—you too—instead of just the partner. Premiums, deductible, co-pay and coinsurance amounts may change for family coverage, but you would have health insurance as well as your partner.

Individual Policy Option

An individual policy is also an option, but within that category there are two options for the self-employed. One option is a policy that is issued to individuals as individual entities: Your premiums, deductibles, coverage restrictions and limitations are based solely on your medical history and claim activity. Your financial risk is a burden carried only by you.

The second option can be described as a policy for a “group who are individuals.” This “individuals’ group” is constructed identically to the employer’s group policy. The members opt to share risk of others’ health claims, not just their own.

Every individual who purchases this group policy has the same group number, just like an employer’s plan, and has the same coverage and limitations as everyone else in that group. If the group experiences a lot of health claim submissions, the group could experience a rise in premiums. Your financial risk isn’t carried by you alone, but by others as well.

Association Policy Option

You might find a reasonably priced policy through an association, such as your local Chamber of Commerce or other professional organization. NAFE or the National Association of Female Executives might endorse a group plan for those who qualify. AARP is another possibility if you qualify.

The Small Business Service Bureau—not to be confused with the Small Business Administration—and the Freelancers Union both have health insurance options for the small business owner that are reasonably priced within the area of self-paid policies.

Guaranteed or High-Risk Insurance

First, guaranteed coverage is determined by individual states. Some require that insurance companies grant coverage to individuals who can pay the premiums, regardless of medical condition or history. Usually, premiums are expensive, and deductibles are high, but coverage is coverage, especially when you need it.

High-Risk pools are special group-type coverages where everyone with high-risk conditions share financial risk. Insurance companies that offer these policies are, in essence, segregating the financial drain from their other policy holders. The high-risk pool will cease to exist in 2014 under its conditional creation under the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. When it ends, those who were covered will transfer into the states’ health insurance system.

Summary

None of these options are as cheap as partial-premium payment through an employer for an individual plan, but they all offer the protection and peace of mind that comes with it.

This post was contributed by John Walker.  John runs a payday loans website and works as a financial analyst in London, UK.

 

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