Premium changes to health insurance in 2018 – What are the driving factors?

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The filing process of the 2018 health insurance premium rate is underway. This is an issue which will outline the factors which underlie the setting of premium rates and highlights the main driving factors behind the reasons that the 2018 health insurance premiums are going to be different from that of the previous year, 2017. It concentrates mainly on the individual market but there are many factors which are also relevant to the smaller group markets too. Read on the concerns of this post to know more on this.

Health insurance premiums reflect different factors

The health insurance policy makers decide the premiums which are based on the projected medical claims and the administrative expenses for the individual pools or groups along with insurance. Which are the factors that have an impact on the proposed premiums?

  • Who is covered under the policy? What constitutes the risk pool?

Pooling risks let the costs of the less healthy to be reduced by the healthy. Generally, the riskier the pool is the more predictable and stable the premiums will be. However, the composition of the risk pool is vital. Though the ACA or the Affordable Care Act prevents insurers from charging disparate premiums from the clients based on the status of their health, yet the levels of premium will reflect the status of the health pool. When a risk pool disproportionately averts those which have got better expected claims, premiums will definitely be lower.

  • Predicted medical expenses

Majority of the premium dollars are utilized for paying medical supplies and services and this reflects unit costs, the intensity and mixture of services and plan design. Utilization and unit costs may vary due to the geographic location due to the usual practices of the region as per a health plan which depends on the ability of the insurance company to negotiate fees.

  • Other components of premiums

Premiums should cover all sorts of administrative costs which include those which are related to product development of insurance, enrollment and sales, claim processing, regulatory compliance and customer care service. They should also cover assessments, taxes and fees and also risk profit and other charges.

  • Legal rules and regulations

There are several laws and regulations which include the presence of programs which share risk and which can affect the composition of risk pools, predicted medical spending and the total amount of taxes, fees and assessments which require being included in the premiums.

  • Health insurer fee

The health insurance provider fee was something that was enacted after the Affordable Care Act. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 includes a moratorium on the fee collection in 2017. Insurance companies eliminated the fee from the premiums of 2017 which resulted in the reduction of premiums by around 1-3%, regarding the size of the insurance company and their profit/non-profit status.

Hence, as we see, the changes in premiums faced by the individual consumers will reflect increase in age, especially for children due to new and child age factors. Whatever it is, you will be notified by the insurers or by the states so that you can take required actions.

Will Zika Cripple Brazil’s Fiscal Growth?


According to the International Monetary Fund, Brazil’s economy took a hit by 3.8% in 2015 and thanks to the recent outbreak of the Zika virus (affecting more than 1.5 million people in the country so far), the country is in all likelihood to face another setback by shrinking further by 3.5%.

How has Zika Affected Brazil’s Economic Scenario?

Now, let us start off by saying that Zika, alone, cannot be blamed for the country’s abysmal economic scenario. Brazil, already, is grappling with a few needling issues including political uncertainty, low prices of commodities among others. It can well be said that Zika has only gone to add to the country’s misery. However, let us tell you that economists are still not sure about the exact figures that would help them quantify the impact of Zika on Brazil’s economy or for that matter, on World economy. The country’s tourism sector has already suffered a blow with scores of pregnant women already rescheduling their flights to Brazil.

Can Zika affect the country’s growth? Find out from this video!

However experts are still hopeful about the fact that the country necessarily does not have to go bankrupt owing to Zika fiasco. And, the prediction is straightaway attributable to the fact that Zika is not a transmissible disease – at least, it has not really proved so, yet. As such, its adverse effects on indoor entertainment, retail and workplace attendance is not really going to last for long. Plus, as winter ensues, the country will witness the slowing down of the disease.

How Zika has affected Brazil’s Tourism Sector? Is there a way out?

Quite unfortunately enough, the country’s tourism sector is most likely to take a long time to bounce back. The future of the upcoming 2016 Olympics Games is already shrouded in mystery. The country, as such, is staring not only at possible revenue losses but an erosion of reputation as well.

Though experts refuse to trust present health minister Marcelo Castro’s ability to helm Brazil’s response to Zika, it has been maintained that the country’s institutional capacity to control outbreaks is commendable. Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, notably, remains one of the credentialed institutions working on characterization of the disease. Keeping the conflicting opinions in view, it remains to be seen how the country responds to the present problem at hand, keeping its financial constraints in view

Reduce The Cost Of Employee Absence

As an employer, you are legally responsible for the health and safety of your employees. When your employee numbers run into the thousands, this means that your health and safety policies must be as robust as possible.

In 2010/11, workplace injury and ill health (not including cancer) cost society an estimated £13.8 billion. Around £5.7 billion of thiswas for financial costs, while the remaining £8 billion signifiesthe monetary value given to individuals’ ‘pain, grief and suffering’.

Practice Good Health And Safety

706 cases were prosecutedfor health and safety breachesacross Great Britain in 2012/13, leading to 672 convictions for at least one offence and total fines received of £15m.27 million working days were lost overall in 2011/12 due to work-related ill health or injury. The impact and cost of employee absence due to work related injury can bevast, so the need to identify risks and take precautions against them is clear.

Some industries have a higher rate of injury within the workplace than others, particularly transport and storage, construction and manufacturing, but every business poses its own unique risks to employee well-being.

8812012170_13604e9106_nYou must have a risk assessment policy which identifiesrisks and outlines actions that protect people from harm and injury. Large companies need to have their policy written down. As well as looking at hazards in the workplace and measures that can be taken to prevent workplace injury, you should analyse workstations and ensure they meet minimum requirements, and provide health and safety training and information for employees.

The needs of new starters should also be taken into consideration. Employers should consider engaging an occupational health service provider to help their businesses properly meet legal requirements, make any necessary adjustments and assess suitability. They can also monitor workers who are exposed to health risks which have been identified within the workplace and advise on any action needed. Getting expert advice on occupational health could reduce the cost of employee absence.

Investing in a business health insurance plan can provide extra support for employees when they are ill, allow them to access health services at a time and place that suits them, and get them back to health and the workplace, thereby reducing the impact that sickness has on a company. Health insurance can be tailored for large organisations, and should also help to improve productivity within the workplace.

Combat Stress

Your business has a legal duty to look after the mental welfare of your employees, as well as the physical welfare. While your HR department will have hired staff who were thought to be fit to cope with the daily pressures of their role, it’s important to prepare for time when stress affects their work.13.3 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2011, and it’s one of the most common reasons for employee absence.

Your employees should feel comfortable speaking to their line manager, a member of your HR team, or another person about stress at work. You should have a health policy in place ready to cope with occupational stress. This should look at whether the employee has an appropriate workload, if they are being bullied or harassed, if their role has changed without proper training, if they can expect reasonable adjustment, what a return to work policy will be, and what other support will give them. Consider investing in a service which provides counselling, so your employees can get the help they need.

If your business does not do enough to reduce employee stress, your employee may have the right to take legal action against you, which could result in paying compensation.

What do you consider to be the biggest threat to employee health in your workplace?


Most Common Types of Medical Negligence

medical negligenceIn very simple terms, medical negligence is the maltreatment of patient by a healthcare provider, doctor or medical practitioner. The word ‘maltreatment’ covers a very broad spectrum, so we will try to explain it in the context of medical negligence. Maltreatment occurs when the standard of medical care provided to the patient falls below the acceptable standard as specified by the concerned medical authority. Now this definition of maltreatment alone is insufficient. To further explain, we will discuss some common types of medical negligence.

Birth Injury

Unfortunately, there are times when a child can suffer an injury during and/or immediately after the birth. The cause might be some mistakes during or prior to the birth. For instance, the mother-to-be could be treated with the wrong drug before delivery causing a negative effect on the child or the delivery could be mishandled by those supposed to look after her. Sometimes, the post natal care provided to the child and mother may be insufficient or have undesirably low standard. If the mother or child sustains any injury due to the aforementioned reasons, this might warrant eligibility for monetary compensation on grounds of medical negligence.

Hospital Negligence

There are many areas which can be covered under hospital negligence – from unsanitary conditions to mistreatment at the hands of hospital staff – it confers a wide array of claim types.


Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of errors made be doctors. Failing to diagnose or diagnosing a totally wrong condition falls into this category. It can lead to the patient getting incorrect treatment, which can worsen the condition.

Un-required Surgery

Another common complaint by victims of medical negligence – this happens when patient is operated on unnecessarily and non-invasive techniques could have provided the solution.

Incorrect Medication

As the title suggests, you can make this claim if the medication provided to you was wrong and unneeded for the ailment you suffer from. Apart from not curing the problem, incorrect medication can have adverse effects on body. It may result in grievous and permanent damage.

Anesthesia Error

Administration of the wrong type or strength of anesthetic agent can have disastrous consequences. Under dosage can leave the patient awake during the operation and over dosage can have equally dire results.

Medical Devices and Products

These days, doctors rely heavily on medical equipment. Equipment can be an electronic device, like a dialysis machine or pacemaker, or plain old medical instruments like a stethoscope or a scalpel. So if a medical instrument or device turns out to be faulty, it is usually the manufacturer’s fault and the manufacturer may have to pay compensation.

Dental Negligence

All the aforementioned types of claims might be applicable to dental treatments as well. Some cosmetic procedures may not be covered, but it is best to discuss things with a medical solicitor before undergoing an unusual medical procedure or treatment.

It is important to remember that your claim may be rejected if it is found that you failed to follow doctor’s suggestions, prescriptions or adhere to the guidelines outlined by your healthcare provider.

Ali Asjad is a medical negligence solicitor’s assistant based in London. He writes about clinical negligence claims for medical and legal blogs.

Modern Families Financially Unprotected from Death and Illness

Modern Families Financially Unprotected from Death and Illness

New research conducted by Sainsbury’s Life Insurance has revealed that there has been a significant increase in the households that are comprised of unmarried couples, same sex couples and single parent families.

Nuclear Families More Likely to Take Out Cover

Sainsbury’s Life Insurance analysis or Government data has revealed that in the last 10 years, there has been a significant change in the way that households are comprised.

Unmarried couples with dependent children, single parent families and same sex cohabiting family units have all seen significant increases in the last decade (which can be seen in the table below).

The insurance company discovered that the aforementioned groups are much less likely to be protected by life or critical illness cover than those with a more ‘traditional’ family set-up.

Percentage of people who only have life insurance Perecentage of people who only have critical illness cover Percentage of people who have life insurance and/or critical illness cover Percentage of people who have both life insurance and critical illness cover
Households With Children
Married Couples living with children 37% 2% 58% 20%
Single parent families 32% 1% 42% 9%
Unmarried couples living with children 31% <0.5% 41% 10%
Households Without Children
Married couples living together with no children 34% 1% 43% 8%
Unmarried couples living together with no children 31% 4% 37% 2%
Households With or Without Children
All married couples 35% 1% 50% 14%
All unmarried couples 30% 2% 38%

(Source: Sainsbury’s Life Insurance)

“It’s Important to Ensure You Are Financially Protected”

Head of Sainsbury’s Life Insurance, Helen Williams, has said: “Worryingly, our research suggests modern family units are much less likely to protect their dependents with life insurance or critical illness cover than the traditional notion of a stereotypical family.

“Whatever the make-up of your family, it’s important to ensure you and your dependents are financially protected. Having life insurance and critical illness cover gives you peace of mind that if you or your partner dies or cannot work due to illness, you could have one less thing to worry about at a difficult time.”

In related news, another supermarket chain has announced that they are to put more focus onto financial products in their stores.

The supermarket chain Asda, have announced that they will launch Asda Money, in order to promote products such as currency exchange, insurance and credit cards.

However, unlike similar schemes currently run in Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores, Asda Money will only be able to promote products provided by specialist companies as they do not have their own banking licence.

Other products that will be available via Asda Money include; breakdown cover, as well as travel, home and car insurance. Information on all of their products will be available at checkouts and online.

What This Means to You

If you haven’t really thought about taking out life insurance or critical health cover, it may be time to do so. Just taking out this form of cover could end up saving you and your family hundreds should the worst happen.

This article was written on behalf of Table Top Fountains by Dan of To compare life insurance, health cover and many more financial products that can make your life a less stressful experience, look no further than this quick and easy service.

Annuity vs. Term Life Insurance – The Pros & Cons of Each

Annuity vs. Term Life Insurance – The Pros & Cons of Each

Protecting your future can encompass many strategies and avenues, some of them conflicting. Yet it remains undisputed that a blueprint of some kind is required to achieve our goals. In the case of planning for the unknown, two insurance instruments stand out as deserving scrutiny.

Planning how you or your family will weather the loss of a wage-earner is the earlier concern, and planning for life after wage-earning is over is the later concern. Both have programs available to deal with these situations, and both have their pros and cons. Term life insurance – for protection during peak earning years Term life insurance is a fixed length contract which provides life insurance during a specific time period of high concern. For many, this is the child-rearing years and for others it may be during a business start-up or while a higher level of debt is being paid down. Term life is typically offered for 10, 20 or 30 year durations. The premiums are based on this fixed length and take into account your age, gender, health and other factors specific to that term. If the policy owner lives beyond the end of the term, the policy simply ends. If the conditions that made you seek protection are still present, you can renegotiate an extension with an eye on your current life and health factors for the new term. The main benefit of this type of policy is that it is a less expensive way to protect against the loss of a significant income when it is being counted upon most.

It is frequently used when the policy holder is younger and healthier, so the premiums are lower than they would be in a whole life policy. On the other hand, it is generally not used as part of estate planning, since there is no residual value when the term ends. This leaves you with the need to re-analyze your family’s needs later in life. Annuities – for protection of income in post-earning years An annuity, by contrast, is protection against outliving your savings. The value of the annuity is accumulated by remitting premiums over time, and is then paid out through a systematic payment, often monthly, providing an income during retirement for the life of the policy holder, or “annuitant.” The annuity is beneficial in building an asset with tax-deferred earnings over many years. In addition, new legislation allows the cash value to be transferred tax-free into a long-term care insurance plan if needed.

Unlike 401(k) and IRA accounts, there is no limit to the amount that you can contribute. Some annuities are structured to provide a death benefit, particularly if the annuitant dies before payouts begin, allowing the annuity to represent a part of an estate planning strategy. As with other retirement instruments like the IRA and 401(k), the annuity allows you to directly name a beneficiary, enabling a payout without probate or estate taxes. The annuity does have some drawbacks, among them the possibility of poor performance and unfavorable tax treatment for shorter durations of ten years or less. You would also pay full income tax rates if you withdraw funds before the payout period begins. For either type of insurance strategy, it is important to check the current tax implications and investment projections. An estate planning attorney or a tax adviser can help to weigh the specifics of your situation and the current tax laws. Liza is a financial blogger with an interest in showing readers how to save money and find affordable life insurance.

Liza is a financial blogger with an interest in showing readers how to save money and find affordable life insurance.

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Insurance Plans you need to keep in mind

Insurance Plans you need to keep in mind

Most people who work in the United States plan to retire when they reach the appropriate age. They have savings accounts and plan to relax living out their dreams once work is no longer on the agenda, but many forget to account for insurance.

Some of the policies most carry while they work may not be necessary once retired, but others should be maintained even through retirement.

Policies you should plan to keep:

Automobile insurance

The chances that you will retire, immediately give up your driver’s license, and never get behind the wheel of a car again are slim to none. It is illegal to drive without being insured, so the car insurance has to stay. Consider upping your policy to full coverage; it would be much harder to afford a replacement vehicle if yours were to get wrecked without that steady paycheck.

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance

You will still have to live somewhere when you retire, and whether you own or rent, there’s a policy for that. You should always have a policy in place to protect your home and possessions from burglary, fire, and natural disasters, especially once you retire; since it would be very difficult to replace these things without a paycheck.

Health insurance

Most employers offer health coverage for their workers. Once those workers retire, the employer is required to continue providing this coverage for an additional 18 months. After that, it is your responsibility to find your own insurance. At age 65, Medicare becomes available to the retiree, but it won’t cover everything, so be sure to have a supplemental policy of some kind. Look into policies that cover long term care; in your old age you may need it, and it’s not cheap. Policies to cover long term care are expensive, but the younger you enroll, the less your premiums will be.

Renters Insurance

Renter Insurance as the name suggests is meant for landlords who have rented their apartments or home etc. So, it does not matter whether you live in individual flat or duplex you need to have renter’s insurance to protect your belongings and valuable items. The best part of renter’s insurance is that it is available at an affordable rate; you just need to research well. Renters generally need this insurance to protect the house structure or land where the apartment is situated. It provides you protection as and when you retire. Thus, this insurance makes you self sufficient in your unfavorable days.

MediCare Insurance

MediCare Insurance can act as supplemental insurance because when you reach at the age of 65 it becomes available but it is not the insurance plan to bank upon. They generally vary with regard to cost and structure.

Policies to cut back, or let go:

  • Life insurance

Life insurance policies are very important during the working years because that money is intended to help your family make ends meet holding their standard of living if you were gone. If a retirement plan has been built wisely, the loss of a spouse would not leave the remaining partner without a means to pay for their everyday living expenses. Consider cutting back your life insurance policy to an amount that will cover your final expenses with little excess to save money in retirement.

  • Disability insurance

Disability insurance is concurrent on becoming unable to work due to sickness or injury. Once you retire, you have no job income to protect; so it is unneeded unless you retire before age 62, when the government provided disability coverage kicks in. It covers all the possible risks which make working painful or uncomfortable.

Be sure to give insurance issues very careful thought when planning for your retirement. What you plan for and save for are all you have to live the rest of your life on once you retire, and adequate planning could be the difference between a state nursing home and a condo near the beach in your old age.

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The post is shared by George Martin. George is quite knowledgeable when it comes to retirement policies.

Critical Illness Cover – A Lifesaving Investment

Critical Illness Cover – A Lifesaving Investment

Most people who have traditional health insurance feel good about the coverage their policies provide. Unfortunately, many of these policyholders fail to realize that if they were to fall critically ill their policies may not be there for them when they need coverage the most.

Traditional health insurance policies usually have a payment amount cutoff and a limited number of days you may stay in a hospital during your policy term. This could prove detrimental to you if your doctor diagnoses you with an unexpected critical illness. That’s why adding a supplemental policy to your health insurance that has critical illness cover is so important – it may just save your life. Critical illness cover will not only cover your hospital costs, it will also pay out regular income to you when you are out of work due to your illness.

Critical Illness Cover: The Basics

Critical illness cover will not insure you for minor injuries. You will not be able to use it for emergencies such as broken bones. However, your plan will definitely cover you if you have a serious, life-threatening medical condition – the type of condition that could cause you to lose your job because it renders you too weak to work.

Illnesses that are generally covered include:
• Cancer
• Heart Attack
• Organ Transplant
• Stroke
• Alzheimer’s
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Severe Burns
• Blindness/Deafness

If you need to verify whether any of these critical illnesses are covered under your plan, check with your insurer. A complete list of serious conditions that are covered is typically included in your policy documentation. As with most health insurance policies, when applying for critical illness cover, you will be subject to a risk assessment. Your age, gender, current health, smoking, family history, and past medical history are all factors your insurance provider will consider when you apply, and the results of the assessment may affect the price of the premiums you will pay.

With critical illness coverage, there is an emphasis placed on family history, smoking, and body mass index because these are all major risk factors for a future serious illness. These factors may raise the costs of insurance, and you may also be excluded from coverage for certain serious illnesses due to your perceived risk.

This is precisely why you must read the fine print of each policy you consider. Make yourself fully aware of every clause in each policy so you’ll know what’s covered – and what’s not. Seek out the most comprehensive coverage you can find for your money and assess the restrictions that apply to each policy. Additionally, it’s a good idea to look for life insurance companies that are liberal on their risk assessment.

If you are young and healthy, it’s best to enroll in a critical illness cover plan now. Your premiums will be cheaper the younger you are. As you age, your risk for certain life-threatening conditions dramatically increases, and your premiums will rise in tandem.

The Importance of Critical Illness Coverage

Insurance companies provide critical illness cover with the intent of providing financial stability to people who have been diagnosed with a serious condition. The benefits of purchasing this type of policy are coverage for hospital costs incurred during your treatment, physical therapy after any operations, home healthcare assistance and hospice, and help for any lost income you may have suffered due to your illness.

Your medical costs may not be all your plan covers. Your insurance could also pay for your mortgage if you contract a serious illness or die. With critical illness cover, you may have the ability to manipulate your plan to pay a portion of your mortgage or pay your mortgage in full. Check with your provider to find out if this is a benefit of your plan.

Other Alternatives

Most critical illness cover plans are designed to pay you a lump sum of cash if you are diagnosed with a serious illness that is covered in your policy. Treatment for serious illnesses gets very expensive very quickly, and an alternative policy option may be direct payment to the hospital on your behalf for any costs that you incur during treatment. This helps you skip the long, frustrating process of reimbursement for payments you make, and depending on your plan, it may eliminate out of pocket expenses altogether.
Another alternative is to receive care from highly specialized hospitals located outside of the country. This type of coverage will pay for all travel expenses and accommodations for you and a companion, and will even provide translators if necessary. This is a highly specialized plan, so shop around for providers before deciding which company is for you.

Could Living a Long and Healthy Life Leave You Without Money in Retirement?

Could Living a Long and Healthy Life Leave You Without Money in Retirement?

retirement planWill I have a long retirement? Should I live longer than average will I have enough money to support myself in retirement? Am I saving enough for retirement? These questions are key when you’re deciding how much money to save for retirement in order to live comfortably and have enough money for your entire lifespan.

Obviously, no one knows how long their life will be, although it’s possible to make an educated guess. The most important thing about life expectancy is to save enough money before you retire so that you have enough money to support yourself for the entire time you’re retired. After all, it could be 30 or 40 years.

Retirement Plans

There are a variety of considerations when working at making a retirement plan, but life expectancy is an enormous factor. People used to think that they’d be lucky to live twenty years after retirement. Today, lots of people are living right into their nineties and some even live past 100! This higher lifespan is due to better lifestyles and advances in medicine.

Today one needs to assume that they’re going to need a lot of money when they retire. In fact, retirement can be so long that the average retiree should assume that he or she will need to live off the income from the principal in their savings account and never resort to using any of the principal.

Most of us prefer to think that we’ll live a long and healthy life, but a long time takes extra planning. Use a free retirement calculator that you can find online to help you figure out how much money you’ll need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for the remainder of your life.

There are ways to give yourself an idea of your own life expectancy. You don’t want to use the tables that are used by life insurance firms and financial advisors that work well when used for groups of people, although you can give yourself a general idea of the life expectancy of the group to which you would belong. Individual life expectancy cannot be calculated like the life expectancy of a group and using one of these tables can get you into hot water. This is because you may live a whole lot longer than the average life expectancy of someone your age. Nobody can make an accurate prediction as to how long they’ll live.

One thing that’s known is that life expectancy grew dramatically in the twentieth century. Early in the century life expectancy was about fifty years. By the end of the century it was about 80 years. Due to medical advances, it seems that life expectancy grows by leaps and bounds every year. That which was fatal last year may be survivable this year.

You can take a look at a life expectancy table and factor in your family history, your lifestyle, your personality type and whatever it is you do for a living, but you’re just making an educated guess. There are no absolutes when it comes to length of life.

Your Family History Can Give You Clues

It’s common and sensible to base how long you expect to live on how long your parents and grandparents lived. If your parents and grandparents all lived into their nineties, things are looking good for you to live into your nineties, too, right? If everyone died young, don’t make assumptions. You are probably living healthier than they did and will be able to take advantage of modern medical advances to boot.

Don’t ever underestimate your own life expectancy because doing this can cause you to seriously underestimate how much money you’re going to need to support yourself in retirement. You could easily run out of money right in the middle of your retirement.

Plan As If You Know That You Will Have a Long Retirement

Unless there’s some pressing reason for you to believe that you will live no more than 20 years post retirement, you need to assume that you’ll live 40 years and plan your retirement with that idea in mind. The very worst thing that could happen is that you’ll have lots of money at the end of your life to bequeath to your children. The best thing is that you’ll have plenty of money to live comfortably in retirement without ever worrying about it running out.

If you make the assumption that you’ll live 30 or 40 years after you retire it means that you’ll have to pledge that you won’t ever touch the principal of your savings. Forty years is a very long time to support yourself in retirement. You’ll have to live off the income from the money that you’ve saved. This concept is critical to a prosperous retirement.

A short retirement means that you can safely spend a little of the principal in your savings. But a long retirement of up to 40 years means that you will have to always take advantage of no more than the income of that principal.

You’ll also need to know the best ways to invest that principal so as to work around inflation and live the life you expect to live.

Pay Your House Off

A great way for retirees to insure that they’ll have enough money to retire is to pay off their mortgage while they’re still working. This will cut down on expenditures when you retire and it will also give you a very valuable asset.

You could budget your savings to make sure that they’ll last until a certain age, but should you live past that age, you can live on your biggest asset – your mortgage free home.

Enjoy Those Golden Years!

Having a longer life expectancy means you may live a long time to enjoy all the hard work that you did during your working years. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that you have enough savings to give you enough money to last your entire life. When formulating a retirement plan assume that you’ll live a good long time and enjoy every year of your well-deserved retirement!

About the Author:

Author Jason Munroe is extremely knowledgeable about one of his favorite subjects money! Living in Nevada with his wife and children, Jason loves to surf the Internet and considers travel to be a passion. When he’s not surfing or traveling, Jason enjoys teaching about wealth building and retirement issues.

Finding Fault – Insurance Premium Rises and Modern Day Myths

Finding Fault – Insurance Premium Rises and Modern Day Myths

Allegedly we are gradually falling into that most awful of social pits – a compensation culture.  With the justice minister Jonathon Djanogly announcing recently that the referral fees paid to insurance companies by solicitors will be banned.  Djanogly has stated that this compensation culture is responsible for driving up the costs of insurance premiums (last year it was the bad weather) and believes that it is time something should be done.  Having checked their income streams from the referral fees the insurance companies have decided, on balance, it might be worth agreeing.  To be fair, Djanogly has no reason to like the concept of compensation – along with many other MPs he agreed to repay some of his expenses claims in 2009, £25000 in his case.  Ouch; damn those, erm, “moat-cleaning-costs-chasing” civil servants.

Losing profits

In the ministerial sights are, of course, those terrible solicitors and law firms who actually try to encourage victims of accidents to seek compensation.  The argument runs that the cash strapped insurance companies have to push up everyone’s premiums to cover the cost of paying out on claims for personal injuries (and snow, and young drivers, and, well you get the picture).  The fact that one company admitted to £9 million in pre-tax profits made from referral fees to solicitors is largely ignored.  However, what the furore over referral fees and insurance premiums seems to largely ignore is the judicial system.  That would be those people in the funny wigs who ultimately decide where blame lies and who gets what in the compensation culture.

Judging matters

It’s true – some of the cases that make the headlines make you think the world has gone just a little (or a lot) mad.   However, headlines are one thing and court judgements are quite another.  One boy recently attempted to claim that a broken arm sustained while jumping off a swing was due to the negligence of a local council for not stopping him.  I’m not a great fan of local councils, but let’s face it you can’t be everywhere at once; nor can you stop every child in the district jumping off stuff that has an element of risk relating to its speed and height.  Thankfully, for common sense at least, the judge found in favour of the council.

While it’s easy to blame insurers and solicitors for this type of claim they usually do mention the phrase “have you had an accident that wasn’t your fault” in their advertising.  It’s not even in the small print and perhaps for the boy and his family the phrase “your fault” should have rung some alarm bells.   I jumped off more than one speeding object in my childhood and resulting grazes did not have me running for the law; quite the opposite on most occasions.  The very simple point being that ultimately these cases are subject to judicial decisions.  They’re not decided by solicitors, ambulance chasing or not, nor by insurance companies.  Despite what some people might think, judges often exhibit an incredible amount of common sense.

One other, far more tragic case, illustrates this point equally well.  In June 2007 a young boy was killed in Norfolk when a tree fell at a National Trust property.  The subsequent case claiming compensation for the victim and several others injured in the incident eventually found in favour of the National Trust – on the basis that there is “no such thing as a completely safe tree”.  The ruling perhaps underlines that sometimes a tragic accident is just an accident.

A new insurance model?

The banning of referral fees will probably have little effect on the number of claims made through the courts – figures suggest this number hasn’t risen while the ‘no win no fee’ system has been in place.  Judges will ultimately continue to make judgements based on ‘fault’ or lack of it.  Accidents will continue to happen and insurance premiums will continue to rise.  To make up for the loss of referral fees perhaps the insurance companies could introduce a new policy to insure against the cost of insurance premiums rising. Don’t hold your breath though, as claims on this type of policy would almost certainly hit their profits.

Despite rumours to the contrary we probably don’t live in a compensation culture. Ultimately the judicial system is responsible for determining where fault lies if at all. A personal injury solicitor Edinburgh can offer advice if you have had an accident that was not your fault.

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