Financial Planning and Advice Blog for Syracuse
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Budgeting for Your Health Plan
By November 10, 2017 No Comments
Whether it's insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, prescription medication, or a wide range of other out-of-pocket expenses, health care now costs your average family a significant part of their income. Budgeting for each health care cost can seem overwhelming, but with some planning and dedication, you can make sure you and your family have enough funds for care.
Budgeting for Routine ExpensesCreating a budget that includes your routine insurance costs and out-of-pocket expenses is just like budgeting for any other item. If you get health insurance through your employer, your premiums are likely paid directly out of your paycheck, so your budgeting is done automatically. If your employer doesn't automatically deduct premiums, you'll need to include this line item in your own plan. In both cases, you'll also need to include additional routine costs, including:
- Co-pays for prescriptions and doctor visits
- Dental and vision premiums
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Medical equipment
Unexpected ExpensesWhy do you need to budget for unexpected health expenses? Isn't the whole point of insurance to cover things like emergency visits and care for sudden illnesses? The unfortunate answer here is both yes and no. Health care plans vary widely in what they do and don't cover as well as what percentage of things they cover, so it's important for you to find out how comprehensive your plan is when creating your budget. If your plan looks like it has a lot of gaps, you might want to save up an emergency fund. This type of fund is commonly three to six months worth of living expenses or the maximum out-of-pocket payments for your health plan.
HSAs, HRAs, and FSAsHealth savings accounts allow you to put money away for health expenses tax free. There are three main types:
- Flexible spending accounts (FSA). Available only to people insured through their employer, this type of account helps you pay for health care expenses with pre-tax income and contributions are sometimes matched by employers.
- Health savings accounts (HSA). Used by people with high-deductible insurance plans, these accounts are funded with pre-tax income and can be rolled over from year to year.
- Health reimbursement arrangements (HRA). This is an employer benefit that provides funds for paying off deductibles and other out-of-pocket health expenses.
How to Retire on a Teacher’s Salary
By October 10, 2017 No Comments
Teaching is considered one of the most important professions in the country, so anyone that devotes their life to educating either children or adults deserves a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, teachers aren't given salaries that match their training, education, and dedication to improving society. Pensions still exist for some educators, but benefits in general seem to be going down, and yearly salaries don't always keep up with inflation. If you're a teacher, creating a future with a comfortable retirement takes a bit of extra planning.