Life Insurance for Smokers

Posted by Thomas on August 17, 2013
Insurance / No Comments
Those who have a pre-existing condition may find that it is hard to get health insurance. It can be very expensive to get this insurance, and those who are smokers may not be sure what they can do. There are some options to try to find affordable life insurance for smokers. The fact that smokers pay so much more for life insurance really isn’t surprising, as they generally have a higher mortality rate.

Remember that insurance companies don’t see a difference between pack a day smokers and those who only do so occasionally. So long as a person has used a product containing nicotine in the last year they will consider the person to be a smoker. This will mean that the person will end up paying higher rates. One of the best ways to start saving money on this will need to consider exactly how they are coverage they are going to need. Consider going with just the right amount, and shop around for several quotes.

Many will be surprised to learn just how much life insurance premiums for smokers are going to vary. Each company weighs this differently, and it can cost a lot. Always get quotes from a lot of companies, and see online what other smokers have been doing to cut down on costs. Many think that lying about being a smoker is a good way to save money, but it can be a serious danger. This is considered fraud, and if the insurance company finds out the person was a smoker they may not pay out.

Also, those very occasionally smoke a cigar may find that according to several insurance companies that they are not a smoker. Consider the rules of each company, and some may find that they are able to get a policy designed for non-smokers. Additionally, even those who just use a nicotine patch may find that they end up classified as a smoker. Consider choosing a more basic policy, and seeing how these prices differ between companies. A smoker is simply going to find that they are going to pay a bit more, and that they are going to have to do more research to find the best price.

Assurant Health Child Only Insurance

Posted by Thomas on July 11, 2013
Insurance / No Comments

Securing health insurance for your child is priority one, but it isn’t always as easy or affordable as it sounds. In fact, finding quality coverage can be complex, confusing and simply a hassle. Luckily, you can find top of the line coverage with assurant child only insurance that can protect your loved one the way they deserve to be protected. With benefits your child will actually use and flexible rates, assurant health is a smart solution and an affordable way to get the coverage you need.

Open Enrollment Starts October 1

For parents and caregivers looking to secure health insurance for a child only, Obamacare Open Enrollment begins October 1, 2013. This is the time when the new health insurance exchanges are due to open, giving people the opportunity to choose and secure the best health insurance solutions. During Open Enrollment, you will be able to buy and compare coverage from a variety of providers, helping you make the most informed decision and choose the coverage that’s right for your child.

Assurant Health Access Plans: Benefits You’ll Use

assurant child healthAssurant child only plans are convenient for many parents because they offer benefits your child will actually use. From doctor’s visits to hospitalization to prescription medication, assurant health is a top national provider that can offer you coverage that makes sense and nothing more. You can even add dental coverage for a low monthly rate to maximize your child’s health and wellness.

Flexible Rates and Flexible Options

When it comes to insuring your child, you don’t want to cut corners, but you don’t want to pay for benefits you won’t use either. With assurant health child only insurance, you have total flexibility to design your own plan to meet your needs and your budget. Assurant offers three levels of coverage, all affordable with varying levels of coverage options. With flexible benefits, competitive rates and no deductible, securing dependable medical coverage for your child has never been easier.

 

Is Burial Insurance A Good Idea?

Posted by Thomas on June 21, 2013
Insurance / No Comments

Many people avoid the entire thought of burial insurance. It is very common for many people to not want to think about their mortality, but this can impact your family, and you do not want to leave the expenses of burial to your family when you are gone. When you start to explore the benefits of burial insurance, you will find that this can be very easy to obtain. This can also be a policy that you can easily afford now, and in the future.

Anyone can obtain burial insurance. Many people think that they are too young for this type of insurance, but in reality anything can happen, at any time. Even those as young as 20 may want to consider having this policy in their life. In the same regard, it is never too late to purchase this type of policy. Even someone in their 80′s can be approved for burial insurance.

Life insurance policies can be harder to obtain the older a person gets. Burial insurance is something that is open to anyone. You will not have to go through a physical for this type of insurance. This means that someone in great health will have similar conditions as someone aging will also have. You can always check around and compare policies. This will help you to find the most affordable policies, with the right level of benefits.

Burial insurance does not interfere with other life insurance policies. A life insurance policy is often meant to be used to pay off expenses like a mortgage, or car. Burial insurance can be reserved to cover burial expenses solely. Life insurance can be used for other needs that can occur after a death. A life insurance will not have to be touched to pay for anything related to a burial, cremation, or any other final expense.

Understanding burial insurance can allow someone to fully understand how you can separate this policy from others in your life. Burial insurance can provide you with a policy that will not interfere with life insurance, and this can be used without touching a life insurance policy.

The Best Way to Shop for a Credit Card

Posted by Thomas on June 20, 2013
Money Management / No Comments

The Best Way to Shop for a Credit Card

/ By John Ulzheimer
The Best Way to Shop for a Credit Card :: Mint.com/blog

Credit cards are evil, credit cards entice you to get into debt, and credit cards are just plain bad news.

This is the message a small, but very vocal, minority of rabid consumer advocates would have you believe.

Thankfully they’re all wrong, as credit cards are a very safe and efficient way of transacting commerce while offering aggressive consumer fraud protections.

Can credit cards be abused? Of course they can be abused, just like so many other consumer vices that have nothing to do with financial services.

But, if we were to treat adults like adults, we’d all conclude that credit cards are only as bad as the user.

Point being, consumers are going to continue to use credit cards regardless of how some would demonize them and their issuers, so we might as well optimize our usage as best we can.

Many Shapes and Sizes

There are well over 10,000 credit card issuers in the United States and shopping for the best credit card can be cumbersome and overwhelming, let alone practically impossible.

Thankfully, there are a small handful of websites that act as quasi credit card strip malls and allow consumers to consider the attributes of many credit cards and then compare them in a side by side environment for the purposes of allowing the consumer to choose the one that best fits our wants, needs, and restrictions.

Mint, CreditCardInsider, CreditSesame, and Bankrate (which owns CreditCards.com) all allow consumers to browse credit card offerings, compare offers, and then pick and choose the ones they like the best.

Normally, interest rates reign supreme when it comes to credit card attributes, but that’s not the end of things as it pertains to plastic.

Credit cards come in so many shapes and sizes, and interest rates are but one of the many key decision metrics we must consider when looking for the best fit for our wallets.

Interest rates are pretty predictable. They’re based almost solely on our credit scores, so if we’ve got great credit then we’re going to get a great interest rate.

Conversely, if we’ve got lousy credit we’re going to get a lousy interest rate, if we’re lucky. We might end up finding ourselves shut out of the credit card environment altogether if our credit is too bad.

Credit Card Shopping Protocol

Shopping for a credit card is not easy. You cannot shop for a credit card like you’d shop for an auto loan or a mortgage. The protocol is different.

Credit card issuers don’t act as brokers, offering you the best deal available at the time.

Auto dealers and mortgage lenders do, on the other hand, act as brokers and can shop credit reports and scores on behalf of the consumer to various lenders in search of the best deals currently available.

If you were to apply with one credit card issuer you’d be marrying them, and only them.

So, the deal you get isn’t necessarily the best deal available, but instead it’s the best deal they have to offer at the time. You’d be better off shopping for a credit card deal before you actually apply for the card.

Protecting Your Credit During the Process

This method might seem cumbersome, but it’s 100% worth your time and effort. Credit card inquiries are among the most damaging to your credit scores, so you want to avoid them at all costs.

That means applying for 10 credit cards to find the best one isn’t a good idea.

The aforementioned credit card sites allow you to compare offerings before you actually apply, thus saving you the impact of the inquiry and the potential credit score damage.

The Best Deals

The best thing about credit card shopping is that it’s 100% free. Credit card issuers are competing with each other like no other time in recent credit history.

The zero interest and rewards deals are the best they’ve been in the history of history, if that makes any sense.

If you’ve got good credit, you’ll be able to easily find zero interest offers extending 6 to 15 months with no balance transfer fee, if that’s your strategy.

Point being, don’t settle for any credit card offer because there is a line of credit card issuers waiting to pitch you their best deals.

John Ulzheimer is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. The opinions expressed in his articles are his and not of Mint.com or Intuit. Follow John on Twitter.

Enrolling In Medicare Advantage Plans

Posted by Thomas on June 19, 2013
Insurance / No Comments

A Medicare Advantage Plan is a health insurance plan that is sponsored by Medicare. It is available for individuals that are age 65 and above who are enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B. The enrollee does not have to be in good health to qualify for the plan, as it is available for everyone, regardless of the state of health of the individual.

The individual still continues to maintain coverage with Original Medicare and continues to pay that premium. However the Medicare Advantage, or MA as it is called, covers over Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans operate much the same, as a group health insurance plan would work if the individual were to be working for a company who provided insurance. It will have deductibles and co-insurance and provides coverage for visits to doctors and hospitals. In most plans, coverage for prescription drugs is also included. Plans that do not include prescription drugs would require that the person buy a separate Part D prescription drug plan to cover their prescriptions.

The costs of the MA plans to the insured are the real draw to these plans. Some of the plans have a monthly cost of $0 to the consumer. The average cost will run between the $0 up to around $100 per month.

There are two distinct forms of MA plans. The first is an HMO plan that offers a lot of upfront costs. HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. The insured is assigned a primary care physician who has all of the insured’s care channeled through him. Any referrals to specialists and all tests have to be approved by this doctor. Coverage is restricted to a specific geographic area for all doctors and hospitals.

The second form of coverage is that of a PPO. This stands for Preferred Provider Organization. There is a network, similar to an HMO model, however it is much larger and there is no requirement for a primary care doctor. The insured can go to any doctor that he or she wants to, and is not restricted at all in that area.

Financial Tips from 5-Year Olds

Posted by Thomas on June 19, 2013
Savings / No Comments
/ By
Financial TIps from 5-Year Olds :: Mint.com/blog

Walter Mischel, a psychologist and professor at Stanford University, led an experiment in 1970 that offered a choice to small children: eat one marshmallow instantly or wait 15 minutes and receive another.

Follow-up studies of the same children after 15 years showed that 100% of those who could resist temptation were wholly more successful; they had stronger relationships, better grades and SAT scores, healthier habits and higher incomes.

So what, you ask?

This experiment has been widely dissected over the past few decades to extract lessons that can be taught, learned and applied to people of all ages facing situations that challenge self-discipline.

And because all monetary decisions require some temptation control, the marshmallow experiment will now be analyzed with you in mind: which habits can youcultivate to productively steer your financial endeavors?

Don’t Go at It Alone

The first suggested method is all about involving others.

Choose a co-pilot for your cash; think about somebody you know and trust with incredible will power. Appoint them as your accomplice to keep your money and/or hold you accountable.

You can send them money over time and agree only to take it back after achieving your goal of saving a pre-established amount.

If you don’t want to involve your money directly, ask somebody to check in on you instead.

Have a weekly phone call with a friend or routine lunch date with a parent. Request that they make a point of including finances in the conversation.

By forcing yourself to briefly report your recent earning, saving and spending activity, you’ll stay mindfully aware of your choices and consequently be kept on track.

Some variations of the marshmallow experiment were interested in swaying the results. One version of the experiment showed the subjects a video of children who could resist temptation, which caused the subjects to resist the temptation of eating the marshmallow.

This proves that when in doubt, some good ol’ peer pressure might do the trick. Employ the same method for yourself by seeking out people you know to be successful and disciplined.

Find out what they do and how they plan; the ideas don’t need to be your own in order to bring you success.

Get Distracted

Try out something called “strategic allocation of attention.” In other words, opt for the “out of sight, out of mind” coping mechanism when it comes to your money.

Specialists recommend utilizing a 401(k) or similar saving techniques to hold a cut of every paycheck.

Just like the kids who sang, danced, drew and paced around the marshmallow room to occupy their thoughts, forcing your money to be dealt with in a way that doesn’t require constant thought will make it easier to save.

Plan

Instead of spending however you feel like it as individual opportunities present themselves, create firm guidelines for the upcoming future.

Give yourself a specified amount to spend and save each week and make concrete goals rather than ballpark ranges or idealistic allocations.

It’s also handy to establish priorities; paying your bills on time is more time-sensitive than reducing debt, which is more relevant at the moment than funding retirement.

Act Now, Enjoy Later

The marshmallow experiment demonstrates how the core of success is establishing a personal promise created with the future in mind and formulated to achieve long-term goals.

Think stock market investments: temporary fluctuations shouldn’t distract you from overall rises.

The same can be said for retirement plans; roughly half of Americans tap into Social Security benefits at 62 when they could almost double their monthly income and increase expected lifetime payout by waiting 8 more years.

This is easier said than done, but the principle is one to consider.

Helping yourself takes knowing yourself. If you know you’re a marshmallow eater, find a technique that will have you waiting 15 minutes for the second one instead of succumbing to destructive habits and gobbling up the first.

“Financial Tips from 5-Year Olds” was provided by QuickenLoans.