• Finance
    A Glance at 2018 Medicare Premiums

    Medicare is a program by the government which offers health care coverage for individuals who are above 65, or individuals who are under 65 but diagnosed with an end-stage renal disease, or individuals below the age of 65 getting Social Security Disability Insurance for a specific period of time.

    After you become eligible for Medicare, you need to enroll during the open enrollment period and choose to get the benefits from the Original Medicare. This is a fee-for-service program offered by the government. Alternatively, you may opt for the Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan is like a private insurance is offered by companies who have a contract with the government.

    The Original Medicare plan has four parts namely A, B, C, and D. The cost for every plan differs. You may compare the costs and learn about specific plans before you make a decision.

    Medicare premium costs
    Let’s look at the cost of premiums for each of the Medicare plans:

    • Medicare Part A
      A lot of people do not have to pay a premium for Part A. If you buy the plan, you will be required to pay an amount of $422 every month. In case you have paid your Medicare taxes for 30 to 39 quarters, the amount of premium payable by you will be $232. There is a hospital in-patient deductible as well as a coinsurance you pay for Part A. With regard to the deductible, you pay $1,340 for every benefit period and there is no coinsurance payment for the first 60 days in every benefit period. Beyond 60 days, you pay $335 every day during the benefit period and the same amount goes up to $670 after 90 days.
    • Medicare Part B
      The 2018 Medicare premium for Part B is $134. Depending on a person’s income, there are some people who pay a lower amount and there are many who pay a higher amount as well. The deductible amount for part B is $183 every year. Once this amount has been met, you pay about 20% of the approved amount for your medical services which include inpatient, outpatient, and medical equipment.
    • Medicare Part C and D
      The amount of premium payable under these plans will vary by the plan you choose.

    It is important to understand the 2018 Medicare premiums before you choose a plan. With regard to Part A and B, there is a clarity on the sum of deductibles and the premium. However, when it comes to Part C and D, you need to compare different plans to choose the one that fits your needs.

  • Finance
    Things You Need to Know about the Full Retirement Age Chart

    The full retirement age is the age when an individual becomes entitled to receive unreduced retirement benefits. It is also known as ‘normal retirement age’. No matter what the retirement age is, you can start receiving retirement benefits from the early age of 62, or even as late as 70.

    Ithe n case of early retirement
    It is possible for you to retire between age 62 and the full retirement age. If the benefits have started early, they will be decreased by a margin of a percent for every month before your full retirement age. To understand how it works, you need to take a look at the full retirement age chart. The chart shows the reduction amount assuming the monthly benefit of $1000 at full retirement age. Based on your year of birth, you can determine the benefit and the amount of reduction in case you retire between 62 and the full retirement age.

    You can use the full retirement age chart to make an informed decision. You need to consider the benefits that might be available to you if you retire at the age of 62 or later. Keeping the same in mind, you can make a decision on when you wish to stop working.

    Advantages and disadvantages of early retirement
    There are pros and cons of taking the benefits before the full retirement age. When you retire early, you get the benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage is that your benefit is reduced with passing time. However, with every individual, the situation varies.

    You should remember that if you avoid the benefits until you reach the full retirement age, you may be entitled to delayed retirement credits. This would increase the amount of monthly benefits you receive. There are multiple factors you need to consider when you make a decision about retirement and you need to keep all of them in mind and not just the benefit amount. You may choose to contact Social Security before you decide to retire or you could make use of the full retirement chart for the same.

    Retirement is an important decision and you need to keep your personal goals in mind. The decision should not be driven by the amount you will receive in the form of benefits. The decision should be based on numerous others factors, like your willingness or ability to work, other financial commitments, health-related issues, etc.

  • Finance
    All You Need to Know about Dental Insurance for Senior Citizens

    Your ‘Original Medicare’ does not cover for dental treatments and nor do the ‘Medigap supplement plans’ cover for the same. Getting a dental check-up or a treatment is expensive but it is equally essential for your wellbeing especially if you are a senior citizen.

    Getting dental insurance for seniors might seem like a difficult task but if you use Medicare, it should not be tedious. There are two options for you to choose from, which have been listed as follows.

    Medicare Advantage Plan
    The first option is for you to enroll in a ‘Medicare Advantage Plan.’ This plan includes the vision, prescription drug, and dental coverage. It is a basic coverage plan and the premium cost will be included in the advantage premium. The premium is very low thereby making this plan a good option. However, you need to keep in mind that the benefits will be limited to the cleaning, X-rays, and exams. If you want a comprehensive coverage, you will have to invest in a stand-alone dental plan. Once you enroll in this plan, it will automatically include the dental coverage.

    Stand-Alone Dental Plan
    While buying dental insurance for seniors, you should ideally go for a ‘Stand-Alone Dental Plan.’ This plan is sold by private insurance companies and you do not need to coordinate the same through a ‘Medicare Advantage Plan.’ There is a separate premium and the plan is considered affordable for the coverage. The cost of this plan will depend on the coverage you choose and usually, the premiums range anywhere between $19 to $39.

    The best dental insurance for seniors will cover a range of services. However, when buying a ‘Stand-Alone Dental Plan,’ you will have to take a good look at the coverage provided under the plan. The level of coverage varies from one plan to another and the benefits you choose. Most plans provide for cleanings, X-rays, check-ups, crowns, root canals, fillings, dentures, and extractions. If you want an additional coverage, you will have to pick a plan that offers the same and the premium for the same will be on a higher side.

    It is extremely important for you to invest in a quality dental insurance for seniors for your wellbeing. Dental hygiene is important and at an older age, there will be an additional requirement of cleaning and filling. The insurance cover will provide for the same at a reasonable cost.

  • Finance
    Understanding Medicare Part D

    The Medicare program is available in four parts which are A, B, C and D. Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage. More specifically, it will offer outpatient drug coverage and is provided by private insurance companies, which have a contract with the government. It is important to note that the plan is not provided by the government directly like the Original Medicare is offered.

    Individuals who are keen on the coverage need to enroll in a private drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage. There is no compulsion of enrollment, but it is advisable to enroll in the plan to avoid penalties in the future. You can enroll in the plan only during the approved enrollment period. It is best to sign up for Medicare Part D when you become eligible for Medicare.

    It totally depends on your circumstances whether you should sign up for the Medicare Plan D plan or not. If you have a drug coverage from the employer, you might not need this plan until you lose the coverage.

    What should you consider when you choose a plan?
    There are a number of factors you need to keep in mind when choosing a Medicare Part D plan. They are discussed below.

    • Cost
      The cost of the plan will vary according to the type of plan you choose. It includes premium, coinsurance, and copayments, as well as deductible expenses. Compare the plans and the cost associated with them to choose the one that is perfect for your needs.
    • Pharmacies
      There are some plans, which have preferred pharmacies, where you have to pay a lower cost sharing. If the pharmacy of your choice is not a part of the network of the plan, you might have to bear higher copayments in addition to coinsurance costs. You need to consider the preferred pharmacies and ensure that you are choosing a plan that includes your choice of pharmacy as well.
    • Travel
      If you are someone who spends a lot of time traveling or staying out of the state, you will have to inquire whether Medicare Part D coverage is offered in a different state or not. Sometimes, you might have to pay a higher cost-sharing amount if you need the drugs out of the network of the plan.

    There are numerous insurance providers you can choose from. Consider your requirements and pick a plan that fulfills all your Medicare needs.

  • Finance
    Smart Tips for Retirement Income Planning

    Planning for retirement is a crucial part for individuals of every age. If you are nearing retirement, you might assume that your life will slow down, and you will be able to make room for leisure. However, in order to maintain the lifestyle, you need to do effective retirement income planning so that you need not worry about the finances and the money. Here are a few essential tips for retirement planning.

    Pay off the outstanding debts
    If you have debts of any kind, it is important to ensure that you retire debt free. Do not carry on the burden of debt to your retirement years. Being debt-free should be your primary goal during retirement. You need to start early and target the consumer debt first. Consider the number of monthly payments you will have to make to go debt free and act upon it immediately.

    Select primary accounts
    If you have different bank accounts, you need to simplify them by choosing one or two accounts and moving all the balances there. You should limit the finances to a single checking and savings account. Liquidate the other accounts so that you do not have to maintain a minimum balance in the same. It will also make it easier for you to manage the funds at all times.

    Consider annuity
    Annuities are financial instruments that are perfect for retirement income planning. They offer fixed income to retired individuals and they come in a range of variations. You will receive a fixed income payment over the period and the payment will be stable. Hence, even if you think annuities are difficult to understand, they are worth the time and investment.

    Consolidate your investments
    Your investment account might have too many stocks or funds. It could become difficult to handle in the long term. Hence, if the funds overlap each other, you should not diversify the portfolio any further. Simplify your investments by consolidating the portfolio. You can achieve the right diversification in your investment portfolio with lower fees and fewer funds.

    Consider these tips for retirement income planning and start working on them as soon as you can. Always keep in mind that you need to have a stable source of income during your retirement, hence, consider investment products that offer fixed income and are low in risk. During retirement, it is all about simplifying your accounts and investments.

  • Finance
    An Overview of Installment Loans

    There are various types of loans available in the market. All the loans usually fall into two categories—one is an installment loan and the other is a revolving line of credit. Read on to know everything about installment loans.

    What is an installment loan?
    An installment loan is where you borrow a certain amount from the lender and you pay the amount and the interest over the tenure of the loan in the form of equal monthly payments. In order to determine whether you qualify for a loan, the lender will look at your credit score and your income to determine your ability to repay the loan. You might have to answer a few questions about your current employment status which will help the lender determine your financial health.

    How do you get an installment loan?
    The credit score is a crucial aspect for any loan application process. You need to keep a check on your credit score for a few months before you apply for an installment loan. You might have to take a few steps to improve the credit score if it is not up to the mark. Lenders will also take a look at the debt to income ratio you have. If you have a large amount of outstanding debt, you might want to pay it off before you apply for a fresh loan.

    Where can you apply for an installment loan?
    It is ideal to begin shopping for a loan at your local bank or at the credit union where you already have an account or an established relationship with the lender. If you have a saving or a checking account with a particular bank, you may apply for the installment loan at the same bank in order to make the most of the discounts offered by them.

    There are numerous online lenders who offer a loan, but it is important to be very careful when choosing a lender you want to borrow from. Compare the interest rates of different lenders and ensure that you get the best deal for your loan. Choose a reliable lender who has catered to a number of borrowers in the past and has a low rate of interest. Always read the fine print of the installment loan agreement carefully so that you are aware of the cost and the interest associated with the same. It is important to have all your questions answered by the lender before you sign on the agreement.

  • Finance
    All You Need to Know about Cash Loans

    There are numerous reasons why you might need financing. Whether it is for your personal needs or for business needs, financing options are always available for you. As you explore your options, you need to understand the features and the terms of the same. A cash loan is one such option that you should be aware of.

    What is a cash loan?
    Cash loan is a short-term loan, which is taken against the credit card line. It will allow you to use your credit card and get a loan. It is different from a cash withdrawal because a cash advance has to be paid back. Basically, you are using your credit card to buy cash instead of goods and services. It is a convenient form of borrowing money instantly.

    How can you get a cash loan?
    If you are someone who uses a credit card extensively, you might find it difficult to manage a “cash only” situation. In this case, a cash loan might help you. Many people apply for a loan against their credit card if they do not have enough money in their bank account. You can use the credit card PIN for the purpose of the loan or you can take your card to the bank, which offers advances on the payment network of the card. You will be required to show an ID for the same.

    You need to keep in mind that credit card companies will not allow you to take the entire credit in the form of a cash loan. Hence, you cannot rely on the credit card for all the funds that you might require in the case of an emergency. You will have to have a substantial balance in the account for the same.

    Things to remember
    You need to do proper planning if you seek a cash loan. Primarily, you need to have adequate balance in the credit card account and ensure that you make the repayment on time. For many borrowers, the loan has turned out to be expensive when compared to other loan options. You are only taking money against the card and you have to repay the same on time.

    Many salaried employees prefer the loans to make their payments by the end of the month and when they receive their salary, they repay the loan amount borrowed against the credit card. It is a quick method of raising funds for your needs.