The Useful Adviser – Inaugural Edition

Useful Information you can Count on:

As an Insurance Adviser, despite what can be imagined, my day is never dull. The phone often rings with all kind of different “911 Emergency” situations that demand immediate attention.

While the solution is usually simple, I can understand reasons for panic. It’s never fun to have your rates suddenly hiked up, or to realize your retirement plan has been losing money, or worse, realizing  you’re over 40 and don’t have a sound retirement plan!

But there’s still good news. All these challenges come with solutions! By publishing this article, I hope to provide basic, useful advice and information for your benefit.

For the topics covered, you’ll be getting facts without fluff. Information you can use!  If you know of a friend or someone else this can help, you’re welcome to pay it forward and pass it on.

Health Insurance -

As you may be aware, Open Enrollment (Nov 15th – Feb 15th) is over. Or is it? If you have coverage that you don’t like or for some reason your coverage has been cancelled (more on that in a bit) there is a good chance that at the time of this writing, you still can qualify.

The way things are set up does allow for opportunity to sign up or change plans, outside of open enrollment periods. Although that is subject to rapid change, it’s not too late to get coverage. You just have to know the rules and how to move around in the system.

What’s the deal with 1095(a,b,c) Forms?

Nothing to worry about. It’s proof that you had insurance. Those forms are filed with your taxes to let Uncle Sam you had coverage, and not to penalize you.

My coverage is costing an arm and a leg, Help!!!

Depending on who you speak with, the new laws are either a blessing or a curse. Without getting too specific, there are things people can do when they feel the crippling pressure of high cost.

Some people I’ve spoken with have taken a closer look and realize there are a lot of tax write offs they cold be taking advantage of. That alone, may help secure lower and more comfortable coverage costs. There are many things that can be written off that most people don’t know about.

Sadly, it’s a case of what you don’t know can hurt…

People I know have even formed corporations because of the various tax benefits they can take advantage of that helps to make life more affordable Knowing the right questions to ask and the right tax professional can make all the difference in the world!

Marketplace Letters:

Maybe you’ve received one in the mail. They can be scary, I know. I’ve received many calls from concerned policy owners when the letters of marketplace doom come in the mail.

Those letters can seem to ask for your life story! Bank statements, proof of income, citizenship and more. Then there’s a list the size of a phone book depicting various information they want from you, or …. Your coverage will be cancelled!

I don’t blame people for panicking when they get the marketplace letter. But really, it’s not that bad. For the most part, are only being ask for ONE of the items on the list, not everything.

So, if you’ve received a letter, pick one thing (preferably the easiest) and send it along. Chances are, you should be fine. Then there’s the cases where the marketplace sends enough letters to have you contemplate a restraining order.

If that’s happened to you, best bet is to call them directly and ask why you’re getting so many letters. Often, it’s a simple glitch in their system and solvable by one phone call!

The saga continues …

Unfortunate but true, for reasons I can only speculate, sometimes carriers have dropped paying customers from their coverage. There can potentially be many reasons for this ranging from billing to system malfunction. The bottom line, however, is that it’s easier to know if something’s wrong before you get dropped, rather than after the fact. Trust me.

The solution, call your carrier and do it now! Regardless of the reason, if there’s something wrong, the carrier will let you know. Fixing it now is much easier and less stressful than fixing it later. The number to your carrier is on your card. If this is you, I will accept a thank you later!

Some scary numbers:

But first a couple of questions. Taxes, we’ve got a lot of debt as a nation, yes? So if you were to take a guess, are taxes going to go up in the future?

If you were to get sick, would your 401k plan cover you without penalty, safely, without putting you in financial risk or leaving you with debt to repay?

Those are just a couple things to think about. So on to the numbers, and I pray these don’t apply to you.

– Do you know that 75% of of those nearing retirement age have less then 30k saved for the occasion?

– Did you know that up 70% (7 out of 10 Americans) by age 65 will suffer a critical illness one of the big 3- cancer, heart attack or stroke.

– There is currently 17 trillion in tax deferred accounts (retirement accounts) now. Most of that is subject to stock market risk (loss) and higher taxes in your golden years.

– Did you know, that doesn’t have to be you?

There are things you can do!

There are solutions, the first being awareness of your current situation. Next would be asking the right questions. The idea here is to create awareness and favorable circumstances, even when things don’t appear so great on the surface. Would you agree that with a bit of creativity and an open mind, just about anything is possible?

Paul

* Your questions and feedback are welcome. If you would like a call in return, just include you best phone number in the form below.