Financial Planning and Advice Blog for Syracuse
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How to Budget for Your Health Plan
By highpointadvisors November 10, 2017 No Comments
Your family's health is your most important responsibility. With costs rising year after year, and insurance premiums becoming more and more expensive, paying for healthcare has become more difficult than ever for your average family. Even if you have a good insurance policy, you'll find that there's still a lot of healthcare related expenses that can eat it into your available income. That's why it's essential to budget your expenses as carefully as possible.
Health Insurance ExpensesDepending on the number of people in your family and the type of coverage your employer offers, your monthly insurance expenses can eat up a relatively small or large part of your budget. Insurance varies widely from plan to plan, so you'll need to figure out exactly what you're covered for before making a solid budget. Your budget will need to include payments for:
- Premiums. This is a relatively fixed cost and may even be paid by your employer. The higher your premium, the lower your other insurance related expenses may be.
- Co-pays. These are fixed costs you pay for routine doctor visits and prescriptions. These are costs are fairly predictable.
- Deductibles. The total yearly amount you'll need to pay for care before insurance starts paying. Plans with low premiums often have high deductibles. A very conservative budget may account for the entire deductible.
- Out-of-pocket max. In a worst-case scenario, you may need to pay up to a certain amount before insurance will cover 100% of expenses. Once you budget for the max one year, rolling it over can be relatively easy.
Emergency ServicesIf you have health insurance, your plan likely covers hospital and urgent care visits. What they may not cover, however, is recovery time away from work. If you have the appropriate sick days saved up, that's great, but it's recommended that most people have three to six months of expenses saved up in case of an emergency.
Healthcare Savings AccountsSpending and savings accounts are available for individuals and families who need help with high insurance premiums, deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses. An FSA, or flexible spending account, gives employees who get health care through their employer the opportunity to put pre-tax income aside for healthcare expenses. An HSA, or health savings account, is for people with high-deductible health plans who want to save money pre-tax for out-of-pocket expenses. These accounts rollover year after year, so you can safely budget these savings without worrying about losing them. When it comes to budgeting any type of expense, make sure you keep detailed track of your money through a personal accounting website, custom spreadsheet, or with help from your own accountant or adviser. Speak with a financial professional about budgeting for your health care expenses....
How to Retire on a Teacher’s Salary
By highpointadvisors 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.