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.

A United Healthcare company

We sell a lot of Golden Rule insurance policies here at the Rhoads Insurance Agency. And, we get a lot of questions about what this company is, since many consumers have never heard of it. Our usual response is that it is a United Healthcare company, or that it is a subsidiary of UHC. While that is correct, it would help to elaborate.

The Golden Rule Insurance Company was founded in 1940, and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. They were closely involved in the creation of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in the 1990s, and have for decades been a leader in health insurance for individuals and families. Their plans are medically underwritten. And today they are best known for their Short-Term Medical (STM) insurance plans, which consistently offer competitive rates over other STM providers. They also offer outstanding dental and vision insurance from United Healthcare, their parent company.

 

Golden Rule gets bought by United Healthcare

In 2003, United Healthcare bought Golden Rule and incorporated it into its corporate group. While United Healthcare offers health insurance products to over 28 million Americans, that is spread out over Medicare, group employer, and individual sectors. And Golden Rule accounts for the majority of its presence in the individual sector, and also uses the brand name United Health One.

 

Where our agency stands

We have been offering products through United Health One since 2018. Our clients have been very satisfied, on the whole. In fact, many clients have found us by searching for United Healthcare, because their STM coverages are the gold standard of the individual insurance sector. Their benefits are competitive, and their premiums are as affordable or better than any other individual insurance company.

 

Get Golden Rule Quotes with Us

If you’re interested in getting United Health One quotes, please CLICK HERE and use the request form.

Secondary Health Insurance

Medical costs can add up quickly. A secondary health insurance policy can pay cash benefits for hospital and doctor expenses.

Many Americans with employer benefits understand that having a second healthcare plan to assist with routine healthcare expenses is a smart decision. They know it as a Health Savings Accounts, or HSA. They make out-of-pocket expenses more managable and spending more predictible. And they are a smart way to deal with rising deductibles.

 

Personal Experience

This is Dan Rhoads here, your agent. I am a huge fan of supplementing a high deductible health plan with secondary coverage. As a strategy, it has worked for corporate employees and Medicare recipients for years. I believe that if more people took advantage of these options when they were young and still healthy, then there would be fewer Americans in dire healthcare situations.

That is why I am so passionate about secondary health insurance plans. I’m asking you to let me run comparisons for you. Let me compare a low deductible health plan, against a high deductible health plan and a secondary coverage option. I guarantee you’ll save money.

I have been offering this kind of combo plan for 2 years now. Click on the PDF image to see an example proposal.

UHC Combo Plan

 

Common benefits of Secondary Health Insurance

  • No network limitations.

You can go to any licensed doctor, hospital, or outpatient facility that works with your primary health insurance. In other words, it’s flexible. And, it goes where you go.

  • No deductible or waiting period.

Secondary coverage provides cash for medical expenses that are not paid by your primary coverage. And, isn’t that what we all want in this era of rising deductibles and healthcare costs.

  • No coordination of benefits.

Benefits will not be reduced, regardless of how much of the medical bill your primary plan pays. You will receive any excess benefits by check and can use that cash any way you want.

  • Renewable coverage until age 65.

These insurance plans are medically underwritten. So, you have to be relatively healthy to qualify for this class of insurance. But these secondary health insurance plans will not be cancellable due to any pre-existing condition, once you are subscribed.

 

A Smart Combination of Insurance Benefits

Consider combining this kind of plan with a high deductible health plan, just as you would for an HSA. Frequently, we see clients save a few hundred dollars a month by taking a high deductible health plan together with a secondary health insurance plan, when compared to a low deductible health plan.

 

Learn More

Please visit our Health Insurance page, or click here to get quotes to learn more.

 

That’s right, I felt that it was time to start doing a quarterly agency newsletter to stay abreast of changes going on with how I do business. And it being the end of the year, annual enrollment periods are upon us for making changes to health insurance and Medicare.

 

The Direction of RhoadsLife

Since going independent in 2018, I had a vision of serving clients as a one-stop-shop for all kinds of insurance and financial services. And I’ve come along way as an agent down that path. Most notably, I added homeowners and auto insurance to my portfolio in February, and college funding and financial aid in March. And currently, I am embarking on becoming securities-licensed, which will allow me to provide clients with Mutual Funds, IRA’s, 529 college plans, and variable annuities, as well as the fixed index financial products that are already available through my agency.

The majority of my clients find me when seeking out health and dental insurance. That isn’t changing. What is changing is where I can help clients from there. And that direction is towards supporting individuals and families who are seeking to build financially and/or protect their assets.

Check back in early January for developments…

 

Pressing Questions & Other Matters

Q: What is happening to Obamacare?

The Affordable Care Act does have its vocal critics, and over the last 4 years there have been reports that ACA plans are under attack. That may be, but I want to reassure those who depend upon their ACA plans to cover their pre-existing conditions or maternity care, that those protections will not be yanked away from them in an instant, no matter what happens politically. If you are one of the many Americans who depend on those protections, please do not panic: your ACA plans will be just fine through 2021 and the foreseeable future.

Q: What about those who want private insurance?

I can help out with that, too. More affordable private insurance is available for those who need it in the form of Short-Term Medical (STM) plans. STM’s serve their purpose well. The caveat is still the fact that these plans are not guaranteed renewable every year. So I recommend to those that want private insurance to talk to me about guaranteed renewable supplemental insurance that can be combined with a STM plan.

Q: Can you get Medicare plans with RhoadsLife?

Yes. Please submit a request for information on my MEDICARE page. Be prepared with your primary care physician’s name, your preferred pharmacy location, and a list of prescriptions you take including drug name, formulation, dosage, and frequency of use. I can compare all of the Medicare plans out there to offer you the best for your needs.

We shake our heads when we hear people say that Fixed Index Annuities aren’t a good path to accumulation for retirement.

Protection from Volatility, with Accumulation Potential

What’s the best way to tweak the accumulation potential in a top-performing fixed indexed annuity? Give it even more muscle. That’s exactly what is going on with Athene Performance Elite.

Starting yesterday, a new Strategy Charge option is available on all Performance Elite indexed crediting strategies. This option lets clients choose significantly higher crediting rates in exchange for a charge deducted monthly from the Strategy Value.

GET RATES & learn how we can help you accumulate for retirement

With interest rates low and market volatility high, additional accumulation potential can make all the difference. Now, you can crush it — with one of the leading accumulation solutions on the market.

Athene is a proven performer, now better than ever. Check out these new features:

  • Participation rates up to 195%*
  • 18 indexed crediting strategies, 9 with strategy charges

Get ready to CRUSH your accumulation story with Athene Performance Elite!

* Rates current as of 5/11/20 and subject to change at any time.

 

This product enhancement has affected rates and product availability in certain states. Please refer to our agent for details.

Guarantees based on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

New Annuity Crediting Trends — Fixed Index Annuities are constantly evolving. As we watch this industry change, we are also seeing it grow. Three out of the five newest indices being tracked at indexalyzer.com come with brand new annuity crediting methods.

INDEX: SG Columbia Adaptive Risk Allocation
NEW METHOD: Fusion
This method fuses together a Trigger method and a 5yr Point-To-Point method.

INDEX: SG Smart Passage
NEW METHOD: Sunrise
This method takes a new approach to Monthly Sum. It calculates the monthly gain and then omits the highest two months.

INDEX: Barclays Atlas 5
NEW METHOD: Boost
This method is a new spin on Spread. Instead of reducing the index return in a positive year by the declared rate, it increases it.

As you can see in the chart above, all three of these new methods are performing very well compared to one of the best performing S&P 500 options. These are important to us since retirement planning is an important part of our financial services.

On a few occasions, I’ve sought to help families try to manage the cost of senior care for elderly loved ones. It’s a big challenge because on the one hand senior care is very expensive. But on the other hand, families really want to do their best for their elderly parents or grandparents.

This is true for assisted living, in-home long-term care, and nursing homes.

The best solution is to buy a long-term care insurance or life insurance plan. But most seniors dismiss the idea of getting such coverage until they actually need it. What are the other options?

Caring.com has an informative article that explains a lot of what I would say about Assisted Living Costs and Ways to Pay.

The cost of assisted living can seem overwhelming at first glance. However, compared to the average cost of a nursing home ($5,000 to $10,000 per month) or in-home care (about $4,000 per month for 40 hours of care per week), it is often one of the more affordable and convenient options if your loved one doesn’t need close medical supervision.

Read on to learn more about the cost of assisted living and important steps you can take to make this type of care more affordable.

When you receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, many questions and concerns come to mind, not the least of which is covering the cost of care. However, now is a time to prioritize other things, like self-care, family, and friends. To make it easier to focus on those more important aspects of life, here’s what you need to know about your finances so you can spend time tending to yourself and less time worried about costs.

 

Get the Bigger Financial Picture

Care for Alzheimer’s isn’t cheap. In fact, NextAvenue indicates care costs most families in the neighborhood of $60,000 per year. If you should move to assisted living, you could expect to pay around $55,000 annually, while a year in a nursing home would cost $82,000 or more. 

Unfortunately, while Traditional Medicare will help with things like hospital stays, Medicare won’t pick up the tab for the type of daily care most people require, like help with dressing, grooming, and taking medications. You could hire unskilled in-home assistance for around $21 per hour, which obviously could add up fast. While these are daunting figures, don’t get discouraged—you do have options. 

 

Dip Into Insurances

If you have an existing long-term care insurance policy, that can help with the cost of daily care, but if you are older or have a pre-existing condition (like Alzheimer’s or dementia), you won’t be able to apply and qualify for coverage through a brand new policy. U.S.News notes you might be able to use HSA funds for long-term care, depending on the circumstances, but that can be tricky as those funds can only be applied to qualifying expenses.

Families are typically burdened with covering care as well as expenses both during and after your passing, which adds to the stress for everyone involved. The last thing you want is to leave behind a legacy of economic strife. While it’s wise to invest in insurance plans like burial insurance to help with the financial obligations you leave behind, like your funeral, medical expenses, and other debts, with expenses like that, it’s clear a more extensive financial plan is necessary. 

 

Adjust Your Insurance Coverage

Even though Medicare won’t pay for daily Alzheimer’s assistance, Medicare Advantage plans are improving coverage for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases. Non-medical in-home care, home modifications, adult daycare, and assisted living are all on the Medicare Advantage radar, so if you don’t currently have coverage, explore your options. Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15 and ends December 7 every year, and you can change plans without penalty during this time.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t currently require assistance, your needs are likely to change over time. An adjustment in coverage now ensures you’re ready for the coming year, come what may. 

 

Think Outside the Box

The natural inclination is to look to insurance first for help with health-related expenses, but there are other ways you can pay for your care as well. For instance, veterans are eligible for assistance through the VA and other military-oriented organizations. Similarly, Daily Caring points out that there are a number of programs that help with home accessibility modifications. You and your loved ones might also be able to qualify for grants designed specifically for those coping with Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

You also might have other untapped resources. For instance, homeowners can consider a reverse mortgage to help cover their care costs. Bear in mind these mortgages are best for those who do not have anyone else residing at the home because of how the loans are structured. Just like it sounds, lenders pay borrowers for the property and the debt increases over time. The loan is settled when the borrower moves out, sells the property, or passes away. While not perfect for everyone, in some circumstances, it’s an ideal solution.

While there are no simple fixes for covering the costs of Alzheimer’s, thankfully, there are several avenues to explore. Look into various insurance policies and get familiar with your other options. Once you have a financial plan configured, you can set that concern aside and focus on the more important things in life—like your loved ones and yourself.

 

Guest post by Karen Weeks: Karen created Elder Wellness as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well. 

Photo by JORGE LOPEZ on Unsplash

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, so it’s a great time to have a conversation with me about your health insurance. Did you know that cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of medical bankruptcy due to inadequate health insurance (reference)?

Help protect yourself and your family by contacting me about health insurance and critical illness insurance, so you’re covered.

Speak with your doctor about signs that lead to early detection, recognizing the symptoms, and getting regular screenings.

And, be heart healthy!