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!

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.

 

When you become eligible for Medicare, you’ll have to make some very important decisions. Taking the time to shop around for plans can save you a lot of money on prescription drugs and other healthcare expenses. However, it’s easy to get caught up in complicated terms, misconceptions, and marketing material. If all the complexities of Medicare have you scratching your head, don’t worry! Here are some quick tips to help you make the right choice.

 

Learn About Your Options

People signing up for Medicare have two basic options for coverage: Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. If you go with Original Medicare, you can add prescription drug coverage and/or supplement with a Medigap plan to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Alternatively, most Medicare Advantage plans include dental, vision, and hearing coverage and offer services not covered by Original Medicare.

There are several online resources that can help you understand Medicare a little better. For example, it’s a good idea to look for information on the sign-up process before enrolling, especially if you’re not very tech-savvy. Medicare.org details everything you need to know about signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan. As you navigate the maze of Medicare, use resources like these if you ever need help.

 

Be Aware of Medicare Myths

One of the most common myths surrounding Medicare is that the program is free. Original Medicare, the federal government program, is broken into Part A and Part B. It’s true that Part A is free for most Americans, but Part B requires a monthly premium. On top of this, you will face costs for deductibles and copayments with Original Medicare.

Many people also think that Medicare covers all areas of healthcare. While Original Medicare does cover many expenses, which you can read about here, it does not cover everything. For example, Medicare does not pay for hearing, dental, or vision care. You will also have to pay for an additional plan — called Medicare Part D — if you want prescription drug coverage.

 

 Make a List of Your Healthcare Criteria

Many seniors choose to supplement Medicare with a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan. Read this for help understanding the difference between the two. Original Medicare with a supplementary Medigap plan may give you more flexibility regarding which healthcare providers you can visit. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage plans usually include a wider range of benefits. Many Medicare Advantage plans cover preventive services and wellness programs. According to Forbes, this may encourage seniors to follow a healthier lifestyle.

Compare Medicare plans against a list of your personal criteria for help picking out a plan that’s well-suited to your needs. Note any specialists you visit, such as chiropractors, physical therapists, or acupuncturists. If you have preferred local doctors, pharmacists, or hospitals, include these on your list as well. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about any upcoming medical needs that you may need to have covered in the future. Also, you can use this guide from Kiplinger to find a Medicare drug plan that will cover your medications and dosages. As you’re comparing plans, don’t forget to look at the premiums and co-payments associated with each. Plans with lower premiums usually require higher co-payments and vice versa.

 

Be Cautious to Avoid Scams

As you shop around for coverage, be alert to common Medicare scams. In general, an unsolicited caller claiming to be an “official Medicare agent” is likely a scammer. These people may threaten seniors with penalties or offer deals to sign up for their special plan. Remember, the government will never call you about your healthcare coverage! While there are many reputable, licensed insurance agents selling Medicare plans, they cannot contact you in any way without your permission — this includes cold calling, leaving flyers, and visiting your home.

Choosing the right Medicare plan will lay the groundwork for your future health. Shop around, compare plans, and make an educated decision. A great plan that meets your personal criteria and covers valuable services will help you prevent health problems and maintain your general wellness as you embark into retirement.

 

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 via Unsplash

Does Medicare Cover Travel Abroad?

The Center for Medicare Services (CMS) has this to say about travel:

Medicare usually doesn’t cover health care while you’re traveling outside the u.s. There are some exceptions, including some cases where Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) may pay for services that you get on board a ship within the territorial waters adjoining the land areas of the U.S.

Medicare drug plans don’t cover prescription drugs you buy outside the U.S.

 

So where can I find travel insurance?

We at the Rhoads Agency don’t focus on international insurance plans, but we do offer them. They are so versatile and affordable, that we think that everyone should have one when abroad. We work with International Medical Group (IMG) plans, that cover evacuations and medical care. Their plans also help ease trip cancellations and lost luggage.

There are plans for business travelers, globe-trotting seniors, missionaries, marine crew, and exchange students, as well as foreign nationals visiting the U.S. And plans can be customized to last anywhere from 5 days to 2 years, depending on your plans.

If you’re a retiree looking to visit Europe, go on a cruise, or have other international plans, give us a call!