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Budgeting for Life Insurance

Note: this is a post brought to you by Genworth Financial.

For most 20-somethings, buying life insurance probably ranks as high as retirement planning on your to-do list. It’s understandable that considering life insurance can make people uneasy because buying life insurance puts us all one uncomfortable step closer to accepting that we are human – that we won’t live forever.  Ironically, planning for the end can actually serve to ease some of that anxiety. It can even be empowering to know that you’ve taken steps to ensure your family’s security.

The cold hard fact of debt is that the obligation to pay it off lasts after a person is gone. A well-thought out life insurance policy means that both short-term expenses  (funerals, medical bills) as well as long-term expenses (mortgages, car payments, student loans) can be taken care of. Furthermore, life insurance doesn’t mean that you’re taking an enormous bite out of your income now to plan for some distant future.

You need to consider how much insurance you may actually need. You need to think about how you spend your money and where there are opportunities to save a couple of dollars every month. We often don’t realize how much the little things add up. Making one cup of coffee at home per week instead of buying that cappuccino could save up to $16.00 a month.  Making your own lunch once a week rather than eating out could save about $40.00 a month. That’s $56.00 a month that could go to life insurance coverage.

Play around with Genworth’sfree life insurance budget calculator to get a sense of how much you can save every month.  It’s shocking how those little expenses can take a bite out of your monthly income.

Long-term Care: Life-long Independence

Note: this is a post brought to you by Genworth Financial.

We are living longer lives. Life expectancy has risen almost ten years beyond what it was in 1960. So with the cost of living increasing beyond the rate of inflation, budgeting for life post-retirement is so important. To complicate matters further, at least 70% of people over age 65 will require some long-term care and 40% of people under age 65 already require long-term care. So we should also be factoring the cost of long-term care into our long-life plans.

But then long-term care becomes yet another expense that must be paid for.

There are four ways to pay for long-term care: Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance or out-of-pocket. Medicare is a federal program that requires co-payment and provides hospital and medical insurance to people 65 years or older and qualified ill or disabled persons. Because the requirements for Medicare are so rigid, it’s not a good bet if finances are a foreseeable factor. For example, Medicare pays full expenses only for the first 20 days and only if there has been a three-day hospital stay.

Medicaid is set-aside for the indigent. Unless out-of-pocket is a viable option, then long-term care insurance (LTCI) is going to be a vital factor in ensuring that you can continue to live life in comfort, knowing that the care you need will be there for you.

It’s important to look into LTCI early on, as cost of insurance is affected by age, health and other external factors. Also, it’s a common assumption that everyone is eligible for LTCI – an assumption that’s false if you have some common pre-existing medical conditions (stroke, certain neurological conditions). That’s not the kind of information you want to find out until after it’s too late.

Gain a thorough understanding of the cost of care you can expect in your area, so that you can look for plans that suit your needs. Here’s a link that helps calculate the cost of care by state. LTCI policies are varied based on location, facility chosen and more personal factors.For some helpful insights about paying for long-term care, Genworth Financial provides some free information.

A long life is worth living well!

Start saving for the future … today!

If you are wondering how you will afford all those things you want in the future – be it new cars, home improvements or holidays – it is hard to see how that will happen when every penny you earn is already accounted for. A debt management plan is usually used for people who are suffering severe debt problems but there is no reason why you cannot complete your own type of debt management plan by seeing advice from other people, and seeing where you can take positive action to avoid the worst case scenario of bankruptcy.

A debt management plan is the last course of action before an individual is forced to accept bankruptcy. By saving now, and saving regularly you can avoid that threat of bankruptcy by doing a little financial planning. This is your own debt management plan. A debt management plan scrutinises your income and essential expenditure and looks at what is left available to pay off debts. There is huge merit in looking at your finances in this way.

When you are struggling to pay for everyday expenses, saving for the future may seem way down on the list of priorities. However, if you can put a little aside each month, it will mean you can pay for those unexpected expenses down the road without having to borrow money. Once you begin the cycle of borrowing money from banks, loan companies or hire purchase agreements, it is extremely hard to break the cycle.

Where to put your savings is a big decision. To make the most of you savings it is advisable to compare accounts from all the major banks and building societies. It is vital that you consider what is right for you. If you are facing bankruptcy, having money tied up in an account you can’t access will not help you. The monies will be considered an asset in a bankruptcy process.

Saving money is a very personal issue. Only you know what you need to put money aside for, when you need to access it and how many accounts you need to keep you organized. Do your research carefully, consider what you are saving for, and and don’t be afraid to ask for some professional saving or debt advice to make the most out of your money.

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