Fast Payday Loans Fast Payday Loans

The President’s Gold

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Last week I attended the Annual Sales Exposition for NAIFA California which took place in Sacramento on May 18, 2010. NAIFA, by the way, is the largest insurance and financial services organization in the world, with almost 60,000 members. The California body consists of 26 local chapters.

Part of the event is the annual award for the best performing chapters. The Mt. Diablo chapter, of which I am President, won the President’s Gold for the Best Chapter. This is a great source of pride to our chapter, since we’ve won this for the first time in 13 years! It is truly a recognition of the immense hard work we have put in this year across membership growth, contributions and fund-raising, programs for continuing education, and for community outreach (This year, we held a fundraiser for Haiti).

While accepting the award and medal, I mentioned that I was there representing the hard work put in by the entire executive board of the chapter, especially the outstanding job done by our tireless executive director, Barbara Layson and the ombudsman role played by Nancy Hairsine, Chairperson of the Financial Planning Association of the East Bay.

As with all the milestones in my life, this would have been entirely impossible without my wife Anu’s support and presence.

A big thanks to the board and trustees at NAIFA California for an amazing Sales Expo. We’ve challenged ourselves to repeat our stellar performance next year so that we get that President’s Gold once again!

Why Do You Need a Cobra Cover?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Aside from one’s livelihood, a job provides people and their families a paramount security – Health Benefits & Coverage. However, circumstances through one’s career, brought about voluntarily or involuntarily, can have adverse effects on this Health Coverage. COBRA, which is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is a legislature that provides workers who lose their jobs the opportunity an option to extend their group health benefits.

You now have a chance to protect your family and yourself under COBRA, and some of the circumstances that entitle you to extended benefits are:

1. Termination of employment (voluntary or otherwise) for reasons not including gross misconduct
2. If an employee already enjoying Health Cover becomes entitled to Medicare
3. In case of Legal Separation or Divorce
4. Status change other than Dependent
5. Demise of employee
6. Reduction in Work Hours

As a rule under COBRA, employers with over twenty employees are mandated to offer a chance to temporarily extend health coverage in circumstances where health cover would otherwise be null & void. This is also known as Continuation Coverage.

The specific time-frame and conditions of Continuation Coverage varies on the basis of ‘reasons for job-loss’. For example, in the case of Termination or Reduced Work Hours, the employee, spouse and dependent child can qualify for an extension of 18 months. Similarly, if the employee becomes entitled to Medicare, or undergoes Divorce, or passes on; the spouse and dependent child are entitled to a 36 month extension on health cover.

While the COBRA presents many benefits, in order to fully utilize the Act; one must carefully plan its engagement. There are several stringent Notification Requirements that work both ways. There is certain information regarding COBRA that the health cover administrator must furnish to the employee. Likewise, the employee/beneficiary must keep the administrator updated of changing status (of employment and beneficiaries) – reduction in job hours, loss of job, legal separation etc.

One’s Continuation Coverage may be cut short in some cases for example reduction of your hours of employment or termination. Hence to avoid such a situation, and make the best of the COBRA; one has to tread cautiously and seek the help of a financial advisor to reap it’s deserved advantages. It is designed so that it can become a huge relief to your life and well- being; provided it is used justly.

Split Dollar Life Insurance – Benefits at Half the Cost

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Insurance. A reassuring word. Your fallback and your contingency plan in case of unforeseen risks. But of course you know that this assurance comes at a premium…quite literally.

The greater you want, your amount of compensation to be, the larger the premium amount. But if one can’t afford large sums to be paid out as insurance premiums, it doesn’t mean that they have to settle for a smaller insurance amount.

The solution here is to opt for a split dollar life insurance. In this kind of an insurance policy, both the premiums and proceeds of the policy are split between multiple people.

This can mean an employer and an employee, or even a parent and a child. This is a clever planning tool, especially for younger people just starting out their lives, since it enables you to obtain an insurance policy at a subsidized cost, since the policy premium can be divided with your employer or family member. It is a mutually beneficial agreement, wherein all benefits can also be shared.

There are two types of split dollar polices available:

* Endorsement: This policy is owned by the employer, and the insured person’s chooses his beneficiaries and terms of death benefits.
* Collateral: This policy is owned by the employee and the employer’s contributions towards premiums are considered as loan, to be paid off with the compensation from the policy proceeds.

What needs to be kept in mind is that the premium paid is not tax deductable for either party involved. Whoever, with the help of a good financial advisor, all concerned can reap full benefits of such a policy.

Disabling Long-Term Disability

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The likelihood of contracting a Long Term Disability always seems bleak. The truth however is quite different. In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, disability is imminent for one in five of us! Disability that could be induced by Cancer, or back, neck, joint & tendon related complications and any such ailment that renders us incapable of holding our jobs for periods ranging from 6 months to 3 years. To go that long without regular income is hard; and to ignore the possibility of disability in the first place; foolhardy.

While we can not always prevent Disability; we can guard against its outcome to a large extent by investment in a good Long Term Disability Insurance program. Experts contend that this is the most important insurance type one can purchase. Depending on the kind of insurance bought, one can be compensated to the tune of 60-70% of one’s salary. This payout can be increased to a healthy 80% if your employer allows you to purchase additional insurance.

There are some basics that one must take into account when deciding a fitting Long Term Disability Insurance. They are:

* Salary is set at the time of Policy Purchase. As your salary increases, increase the value of the plan
* Policy with or without mandatory Physical Examination
* Payout Periods vary. It might be better to opt for late payout (until age 65) as against 5-10 years
* Disability Definition differs between insurers. Take a studied and suitable plan
* Insurance Type varies. ‘Guaranteed Renewable’ ensures that the company can not drop the plan (unless premium payment is defaulted). ‘Non-Cancelable’ type prevents the insurer from raising Premium

These and many more factors need to be specifically scrutinized. Would it suit your needs better to have a ‘residual benefits’ policy (where insurer compensates for incremental difference between old & new remuneration), or buy a ‘cost of living’ policy (where insurer takes inflation into account).

There are many things to consider for a tailor-made insurance plan, best done by engaging a trusted financial advisor (or company). With the perfect Disability Insurance, you have the power to ‘disable’ many of the worst effects of ‘disability’.