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Showing posts from March, 2020

Protect Your Credit Scores During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Keeping track of your credit score is a task which should be undertaken even in the best of times. In the face of current economic uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, good credit may have even more impact on your financial health. It is important to have your score as healthy as possible in case you need to get a loan, a new or different car, or a credit card to get by. But for many facing layoffs or other income losses, the first step towards long-term healthy credit lies in figuring out how to stay afloat today.
What Is Important About My Credit Score? Two of the most influential factors that make up your FICO credit score are payment history and amounts owed as a percentage of total credit limit. On time payments and your balance of 30% or less gives you a healthier score. These factors help lenders determine whether you’re able to make payments on time and in full, and you haven’t overextended yourself by taking on large balances you’re unable to pay off. They are indi…

Your Health Insurance and the Coronavirus Pandemic

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The Coronavirus Pandemic is having an impact on every part of our lives.

According to Moody’s Analytics, nearly 80 million jobs in the US are currently at risk due to the coronavirus or COVID-19, more than half of the jobs in the US economy. Impacts are being felt throughout the retail, food, hospitality, service and entertainment industries with many businesses and productions completely shutting down.

If people continue to delay travel plans and cancel flights and hotel rooms, service-industry workers will likely be laid off, experts say. Health professionals advise people to only travel if necessary to lower their risk of catching the virus, but also to prevent the risk of spreading it. The virus has a median incubation rate of 5.1 days, a recent report found, which means people could travel without showing any symptoms at all.

Many corporations are not paying their workers, extending health insurance benefits, or offering severance in the case of layoffs or reduced schedules caused b…

Questions You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Ask About Term Life Insurance

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The only dumb question is the one you don't ask. 

You've heard that before. Having taught at local universities for more than 20 years, I don't like that statement and it's not so. There are no dumb questions! Period! If you feel the need to ask a question, about anything, the answer is important to you. That's all that matters.

You may have a reluctance to ask questions about life insurance coverage. You don't want to appear to be uninformed but having the answers, the right answers, makes you a smarter consumer and leads to a better choice about your coverage.

Here are a few questions you might have:

Don’t I have life insurance through my employer already?

You may have. Check with the benefits administrator. Even if your company offers the best plan ever, you’ll lose it once you stop working there. You may have the option to continue the coverage on your dime but is it affordable? That doesn’t mean you should forego life insurance offered by your job. Coverage is c…

Can A Debt Relief Program Help You?

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How do you stack up against these numbers?:

The average credit card balance per person in the United States was $6,194 in 2019—an increase of 3% compared to 2018, according to Experian's annual Consumer Credit Review. The 2018 average FICO score was 701 in 2018 and rose to 703 in 2019. And the average FICO score for people with credit cards in 2019 was 727—which is considered very good.
A number of factors have an impact on your credit score and unsecured debt balances bumping into your spending limit can drop your score drastically. A free service like Credit Karma can help you keep track of your scores and what changes are happening to those scores and why.
What can I do when I reach a credit crises?
Do nothing, or just make minimum payments - If you’re making your minimum payments, at the very least, you aren’t accruing late fees and will not be reported for delinquency to the credit bureaus. You will stay afloat but that debt will be with you a very long time and the interest you …

Purchasing Life Insurance in the Self-Checkout Lane

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Do you use self-checkout?

After being hesitant at first, I only use the self-checkout lane at retailers. No waiting in line, easy to use scanner, you bag your items with care, and ability to pay and move on to the next task. The "Do-It-Yourself" person enjoys being in control of the process and being able to complete a task themselves. It's an empowerment of the individual.

It's a trend in retail and there's no turning back.

It's also a trend in the life insurance industry. Research and the gathering of information about life insurance products and obtaining quotes online has been increasing for some time. Not only are more people doing research online about life insurance products, it's how people apply for life insurance.

There still is a human element.

Just as retailers keep store personnel in the self-checkout area, shopping and applying for life insurance also retains the human element. Glitches happen with a machine. Questions may go unanswered by an onl…

5 Good Reasons to Choose a Medicare Supplement Plan

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Celebrating Turning 65
Doug just had his 65th birthday. He's looking forward to retirement, which is coming up soon, from his career of more than 40 years. Doug has made great decisions regarding his retirement planning and now is deciding on a senior health plan.

Doug is in an Open Enrollment Period, which is a one time only 6-month time frame when federal law allows him to buy any Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy sold in his state. During this period, he can't be denied a Medigap policy or charged more due to past or present health problems.

Like the thousands of people who are turning 65 every day in the United States, Doug is being bombarded with calls, letters, and constant ads about health coverage. There's too much noise and he wants to cut through it and get the facts.

So much information about Medicare Supplements can be found online and Doug located a website which includes a quote finder for plans in his area. He also found on the same page a link to the officia…

Plan Your Final Wishes

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Smart Planning of Your Final Wishes

Robert had recently retired and his wife Ruth, still worked part time. They were empty-nesters with several children and grandchildren living nearby.
Even with retirement savings and other money put aside for rainy days, they were both concerned with the cost of a funeral. Robert no longer had the group insurance he had with his employer and each of them had a small whole life insurance policy which wouldn't be enough if something were to happen to either of them.
Another concern was not knowing the first thing about funeral planning, or pre-need planning. Fortunately, Robert and Ruth found a site online which helps people plan their final wishes, what to include with a plan, and how the plan should be used when the need arises. They even found answers to the cost of a funeral and a list of reputable local funeral homes.

They spoke with an independent insurance agent who first told them about the FTC Funeral Rule. The Funeral Rule, enforced by the F…

You Can Negotiate A Medical Bill. Here's How.

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You've read a story like this and just shake your head:

Alexa didn’t want her upcoming vacation trip ruined by strep throat. So, after it had lingered for more than a week, she decided to get it checked out and visited her primary care physician. The visit was quick. Alexa got her throat swabbed, gave a tube of blood and was sent out the door with a prescription for antibiotics. She soon felt better and the trip went off without a hitch. Then the bill came. Read the full story. Total Bill: $28,395.50 for an out-of-network throat swab. Her insurer cut a check for $25,865.24. $28,395.50! I hope you never have to deal with a situation like this one. It does happen and you should be prepared for the upcoming medical procedure you have scheduled or any emergency medical need you may have. There are several strategies both before and after receiving medical services to protect yourself from high medical bills. First and foremost, understand the health insurance and supplemental insurance plans…