When you’re staring down the barrel of high-interest loan debt, it can be difficult to imagine a financially healthy future for your business. The last thing you want is to continue adding to your existing debt, so the only thing you can do is face it head-on and figure out how to manage it. Once you do, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps in getting rid of it completely.

You can start by looking to the future, even as far ahead as retirement — let Dan Rhoads help. But of course, there are actions you can take as early as now, including the following:

 

Make More Money

We know, making more money is easier said than done. However, it’s a necessary step in paying down your debts faster. Find a way to boost your sales, whether it means raising your prices, offering discounts, adding new products or services, remarketing your products or services, and so on. You may also want to try strengthening your online presence by engaging with your target audience through social media channels and customer reviews.

 

Create a New Budget

The first place you want to look in terms of financial management for your business is your existing budget. If you’re in a lot of debt, you either don’t have a budget, or you’re doing a poor job of maintaining your current one.

Start by sifting through the past year’s financial statements, income sources, expenses, and so on. It’s a good idea, therefore, to use financial software to create balance sheets and generate financial reports that you can tailor-fit to your needs in real-time. This level of good recordkeeping lets you monitor and maintain your budget more efficiently. Further, this will give you insight into what’s working and what isn’t, so you can make better spending decisions moving forward.

 

Consolidate High-Interest Loans

If the biggest issue with your debt is having multiple high-interest loans that are sucking you dry, you may want to consider a debt consolidation program. If you get accepted into a consolidation program, you’ll get a new loan to cover all existing loans that apply, along with a new and usually more reasonable interest rate. This allows you to pay one lump sum each month with better terms.

 

“Stack” Your Loans

Alternatively, loan stacking is a method of prioritizing your loan payments by either the highest amount or the highest interest rate. Essentially, the loan that you give top priority to will receive the highest payment amount. The rest will receive their minimum payment requirements. Once the prioritized loan is fully paid off, you’ll apply the same payment amount to the next loan on the list. This process is repeated until all of the debt is paid off.

 

Cut Your Losses

Another way to alleviate debt pressure is by finding ways to reduce your expenses, which is really fundamental financial planning for anyone. While assessing your budget, identify the expenses that your business can live without. You can also try negotiating with vendors for better prices or inventory returns, selling equipment or office supplies, or, you can even downsize to a more affordable space.

Whatever you do, don’t let more debt accumulate — start minimizing it as much as possible by remaining in line with your new budget and ensuring that the money coming in is greater than the money owed.

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Having a baby has given you a new perspective on life — including your finances. Suddenly, you’re not just worried about making it until the next paycheck. Instead, you’re thinking about things like how you can set your child up for the brightest future possible and how to care for your family if something happens to you.

Revisiting your financial plan during major life changes is always a smart move, and there’s no doubt that starting a family is a big change. Instead of just worrying about your finances, take these actions to set your family’s future up for success.

 

For all your insurance needs, contact Rhoads Insurance. Visit our site for quotes!

 

Enroll Your Baby in Health Insurance

Signing your child up for health insurance is one of the first financial matters to take care of after having a baby. Depending on your insurance provider, you’ll have 30 to 60 days to enroll your child in health coverage. You can enroll your child in an existing policy, change policies, or enroll in CHIP or Medicaid if you qualify.

 

Buy a Life Insurance Policy

Health insurance isn’t the only policy you need. Life insurance becomes important after you have kids because most couples couldn’t cover the costs of living including childcare on a single income. Life insurance keeps your family afloat if the worst happens, and buying it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can compare quotes online before talking with an agent, and if you want, you can even get a policy that skips the medical exam; neither simplified issue nor guaranteed issue life insurance policies require medical exams. However, if you’re in good health, you’ll probably save money with a medically underwritten policy.

 

Update Your Beneficiaries

As you get life insurance in order, think about the other accounts and policies you have. Have you updated beneficiaries since starting a family, or do you still have exes or your parents named on accounts? Update retirement accounts, insurance policies, and wills so they name your spouse or a trust as the beneficiary.

 

Upsize Your Emergency Fund

Insurance protects against big emergencies, but what about the little mishaps that throw a wrench in your finances? Whether it’s a broken-down car or a sick child keeping you out of work, it’s important to have a financial cushion for weathering all of life’s little emergencies. If you normally keep a three-month emergency fund, bump it up to six months now that you have a family. And if you don’t have an emergency fund at all, now is the time to start one!

 

Start an Educational Savings Account

It may feel strange thinking about college when your child is still a newborn, but it’s never too soon to start saving for your child’s future. Plus, education savings accounts aren’t only for college expenses. Depending on the type of account, you can use your savings for education expenses spanning from elementary school through college.

 

Make Sure Your Business Stays in Order

New parents who also run a business need to make sure they keep a close eye on operations, as time marches on regardless. For example, if you haven’t yet registered your business as an LLC, take some time to do so, as this will help protect your personal finances from your business’s finances in the event that something goes wrong. You can simplify the registration process by using a formation service like Zenbusiness.

It’s also very important to make those quarterly tax payments on time; this can help you avoid trouble come tax time, as the last thing you want is to stare down a larger-than-expected tax bill. Last but not least, devote some time every day to your business’s finances, which will help keep you abreast of what’s happening and what needs to be addressed.

 

Bonus: Plan for Charitable Giving

It’s not in the budget for every family, but if it is for yours, consider making charitable giving part of your family’s financial plan. Charitable giving is a wonderful way to help less privileged families and sets a great example for your children as well. Whether you give money or give time, your contributions make a big impact on the missions you serve.

It takes more than money to raise great kids, but that doesn’t mean finances aren’t important when starting a family. The steps you take today will impact your family’s financial well-being for years to come, so make sure you’re putting financial security at the top of your to-do list. When you make these financial moves a priority, you create a bright future for your growing family.

 

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The first year of marriage is a time of bonding, getting on the same page, and discovering one another. It’s also a great time to start making baby steps toward planning your future. There is no better time to address financial health and establish a plan than in that first year, as newlyweds. If you make plans and changes early in your marriage, you will be grateful down the road. Here are some questions for you and your spouse to consider as you grow together.

 

Have You Combined Your Insurance?

As newlyweds, there are a lot of little things that need to be done, like getting a marriage license, changing your last name, sharing budgets, combining finances and switching bills. To add to the list, it’s important to switch over insurance as well — Rhoads Insurance Agency can help you explore your options. When it comes to auto insurance, you may find that you will get better auto rates with a multiple driver/car policy. If you don’t have one, now is a good time to purchase an umbrella policy to ensure that you and your spouse have adequate coverage.

Early in your newlyweds stage, you jointly should also make a decision on whether you want to go on the same health insurance policy or stay on different plans. If your employers offer you health benefits, it might be wise to take advantage of their investment in your plan. If you have a goal of starting a family down the road, then it’s a good time to look into short-term disability insurance, which can help offset time off for any unpaid maternity leave.

 

Is Home Buying in the Future?

Whether you want to buy a home immediately or down the road, there’s no time like the present to begin preparing. Setting the mutual goal early on in your marriage will give you both something to work towards and create a unified front in making it a reality. As soon as you get back from your honeymoon, it’s time to begin saving with the goal in mind of no longer paying rent, but rather having that rent payment go toward a mortgage and ownership in a home.

To get an idea of what home buying would look like and make the appropriate preparations, start researching mortgages as soon as possible. This research will show you various loan types, what your credit will need to look like, what your down payment should be, and potential interest rates you will be working with. You’ll discover things like how conventional mortgages will give you better interest rates — check PennyMac current rates to help you decide if a conventional loan is the best option for you. If you don’t have great credit or you don’t have a substantial down payment, then perhaps an FHA loan would work better.

 

Do You have a Plan for the Worst-Case Scenario?

The basic estate plan consists of four basic documents:

  1. Last Will and Testament
  2. Durable Power of Attorney
  3. Medical Power of Attorney
  4. Advanced Directives for a Natural Death

If you had these four documents created before you got married, it’s time to update them to factor in your spouse. If neither of you has these documents, then you should invest in professional attorney fees to have them drawn up.

This basic estate plan will do the following:

  • Ensure your assets go where you want at your death (each state has different laws if you die without a will, so don’t bank on the fact it will all go to your spouse).
  • Enable your spouse to make all the financial decisions in your stead in the event that you are unable to do so.
  • Assign an agent to make medical decisions if you are prevented from doing so.
  • Direct your medical team on your end-of-life choices (i.e., Do you want life support?)

Making financial decisions and plans early on as newlyweds will help establish a strong foundation in your marriage. Take the time to do the tedious housekeeping stuff now so that you don’t have to worry later on down the road. Make it a priority to work as a team in all aspects of your life; you will be grateful later that you put in the work.

 

Contact Rhoads Insurance Agency (484-509-1784) to go over your insurance options and get assistance with retirement planning and college funding.

What Insurance Is

What I’ve seen over and over is that most consumers don’t actually understand what Insurance is. They think you do it to get something. And that’s not completely true. You purchase Insurance in order to transfer risk.

Health Insurance, in particular, is confusing. Because there, you also want a program for non-emergency expenses. In order to (also) cover the risk on those more expected expenses, in addition to catastrophic losses, Health Insurance companies use Cost-Sharing mechanisms, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

Listen to my on the Struggling To Success Podcast for more!

Why I Love What I Do

I’m my own boss, I have control over my own agency, and have a chance to build relationships with wonderful clients.  And every day, I get to speak with a dozen or more individuals looking for health insurance and financial services.

I love what I do! It’s an honor and a privilege to help people with these challenges that are vital to our health and our wealth.

One of the things that the Rhoads Agency is best at is helping people to qualify for federal money (that tax credit subsidy). When you’re buying health insurance, that difference is dramatic.

How much subsidy you qualify for is derived from the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) chart. To qualify for a subsidy, your household’s income must be at least 100% or above the FPL, but not above 400% FPL. The two biggest factors for calculating where you fall on the FPL are your income, and your household size. Listen to Dan’s new podcast, Struggling to Success, here:

Financial planning for parents is essential at every level. If you want to ensure that you have things under control, Rhoads Insurance Agency advises that you take a look at your current situation and see what needs to be changed. This way, you’ll develop the financial security for which your future self will be thankful.

 

Make Sure Your Budget is Accurate

If you’re like some people, you may have a general monthly budget that you keep in your head or scribbled in a book somewhere. That’s a good start, but that’s not enough to maintain good financial footing.

According to Payoff, a successful budget starts with knowing your expenses down to the last cent. This should include not only recurring monthly payments but also sporadic ones, like car insurance payments and registration fees. Make sure you account for your savings and debt payoffs as well. It can be difficult to get everything to come together on paper if you have a lot of information to juggle. In that case, consider using top-notch budgeting software that will bring everything together for you. Some programs even offer tracking features so you can see how much you’re saving or how much of your debt you’ve repaid.

 

Plan for Emergencies

When you’re dealing with financial planning, you can’t neglect your emergency fund. Traditionally, it’s advised that you have between three and six times your monthly income set aside for emergencies. Since that may seem overwhelming at first, Better Money Habits suggests tackling manageable saving tasks instead of focusing on the grand total. Even if it’s a small amount, it’s important to start saving and it’s recommended that you use automatic transfers so you have no excuses.

If you’re looking for ways to save so you can build your cushion faster, consider using discounts when you’re shopping. It can also be helpful to buy things second-hand as long as it’s safe to do that, and focus on reusing items whenever you can. You can also look into getting a life insurance plan that has cash value accumulation, which can be used in emergencies and to help pay for your child’s college education.

 

Plan for the Future

As you’re putting your financial plan into action, make sure you’re thinking about your future as well. This is where estate planning comes into play. When you have a plan in place, it will ensure that your assets are handled as you wish and any children under 18 have an appointed guardian.

Another must-have is life insurance, as the funds from the policy will cover expenses generated by your passing or if you’re incapacitated. Term life insurance, in particular, can be very helpful as it guarantees a set death benefit after a certain amount of time. The good thing about these policies is that they tend to be fairly inexpensive, especially for those in good health. The funds from a term life policy can be used to cover things like unpaid bills, lost income, and funeral expenses. You may also consider looking into life insurance with living benefits, which means that you would receive the death benefit before your passing if you become chronically or critically ill.

 

Re-Invest In Your Future by Heading Back to School

Although the idea of going back to school might be scary, there are numerous benefits to seeking out higher education to establish a better future for your family. For example, an MBA can be an extremely useful tool to help you achieve that sort of stability that we all crave. Not only can you increase your earning potential with an MBA but you can also gain invaluable experience that will serve you throughout your life. This expanded skill set will have a direct impact on leadership ability and business knowledge that can lead to an increase in overall career prospects. Regardless of what degree you choose, know that there are numerous ways to advance your career through online programs that cater to working professionals.

 

Balance College and Retirement Savings

Everyone wonders if they have enough money saved for retirement, and as a parent, you also have to think about the cost of a college education. Based on recent estimates, a public college education can cost as much as $230,176 in 2035. It’s tough to definitively say what your retirement needs will be when you get to that age, but a cost of living calculator can give you an idea.

This means you need to find a way to balance saving for your kid’s college at the same time as your retirement. Depending on your personal circumstances, you can choose to stagger your savings or save for each at the same time. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do your research so you’ll end up with a strategy that works for you.

Financial planning for parents can be equally important and challenging. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. If you have an accurate budget and a detailed plan for the future, your ideal financial future will be within your grasp.

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When it comes to exploring your insurance and college funding options, turn to expert Dan Rhoads at Rhoads Insurance Agency. Reach out today for assistance.

Open Enrollment for 2021 is all over, folks!

That means that we’re no longer facing a crush of people needing help to enroll in health insurance.

 

What’s Next on the Calendar?

In the coming months, Dan Rhoads will be focusing on helping more people complete their health coverage with dental insurance. He’ll also be promoting Safeco, a Liberty Mutual Company, for their home & auto insurance. They’re a great company that deserves more recognition.

Those are two of the routine things that we’ll be focusing on in the coming months.

 

Retirement Readiness

The third and final area that Dan will be focusing on is Retirement Readiness. We have exceptional companies that we partner with for financial services, especially pertaining to protecting and growing your retirement savings. Dan is looking into getting full accredation as an Investment Advisor Representative, which would mean he could provide investment and asset management services. He would like to help individuals and families grow their savings during their entire careers, too.

 

Follow RhoadsLife and Dan on Instagram or Facebook to stay in touch.

 

Does the security of your retirement savings keep you up at night? Read on for 3 keys to a stress-free retirement.

Having your investments in a IRA or 401k may have made sense for you as you were growing your retirement fund. Now that you’re retiring, however, your priority is shifting towards protecting what you have.

 

Never Underestimate the Power of Zero

While yes, you can grow your money by investing it, you can also lose money. And now that you’re older, you don’t have an investment horizon that’s long enough to gain back the big losses that could come with a major economic recession. So for retirees looking for a stress-free retirement, the advice is simple. Take your money and reallocate it to a safe money place. When a recession hits us again, you’ll be guaranteed something that investors will wish they had, and that’s 0% minimum returns. When your neighbor looks 10% in a down year, you’ll be celebrating zero.

 

Participate in Market Gains

Many think that safety means sacrificing market growth. Wrong. There are a lot of financial products out there that are safe money places that do let you participate in market gains. It’s an excellent way to protect your assets and hedge against inflation, at the same time. Especially if you have an UNCAPPED strategy. That’s the path to a stress-free retirement.

 

Convert Your Savings to Retirement Income

You’ve saved your whole life, and want that stress-free retirement that I’m talking about. So convert your savings into a monthly payment to you that’s guaranteed for the rest of your lifetime. And the beauty of it is that you don’t even have to sacrifice either the Power of Zero or Market Gains.

 

If you want to read more, please call me at 484-509-1784, and I’ll send you a small book that will explain more. No obligation to buy.

 

Dan Rhoads is a licensed annuity broker and retirement planning advisor. Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. This book is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, it is not intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. You are encouraged to consult your personal tax advisor or attorney. Investment advisory and financial planning services offered through Simplicity Wealth, LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

 

Benefits for Major Services

We see it often. Someone contacts us looking for dental insurance that will cover a major service without a waiting period. They might need a root canal, a deep cleaning, a crown, or an implant. I am forced to tell those people that many dental insurance plans will not cover those major services for the first 12 months. That’s the waiting period.

There are some carriers who offer dental insruance without a waiting period, but those typically have very low coinsurance in the first year. For instance, a dental insurance without a waiting period may only cover 10% for those major services in the first year, rising to 50% after that.

 

The Best Dental Insurance Without A Waiting Period

The best solution for this is to find a dental insurance that will offer a higher coinsurance immediately. We do have one dental insurance carrier who will insure major services with the max 50% coinsurance, from day 1. But you have to provide proof that you had other dental insurance up until recently, in order to qualify for those benefits. That might not be an option for you.

The next best solution is Ameritas. Never heard of Ameritas? They specialize in dental insurance. And they offer 20% coinsurance for major services, from day 1. That’s the best option we have yet to come across, except for the situation described in the previous paragraph.

 

An Even Better Solution

An even better solution, of course, would be to get dental insurance *before* you need it. If you don’t have dental insurance, the smart thing to do would be to be going to your dentist for checkups and cleanings every six months. Make it convenient by having dental insurance then. And, when one day you develop a toothache, your dental insurance will take care of you.