The Blog Of TL Wall Accounting

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Archive for September, 2013

What’s Your Most Important Financial Consideration?

Like almost everything else in life, looking at one’s finances isn’t the same for every person; sometimes it’s not the same throughout one person’s life.

Truth be told, there’s more differences than just thinking about either worrying about debt or monetary growth. There are times when you need something immediately, need to think about different long term situations, need to balance between eating and living and tragedy. Life isn’t simple so why should finances be?

With that in mind, here are 5 ways to think about your financial considerations and what your present strategy should be. These strategies will always work, so probably at least once every 2 years, if not more often, you should look at them to see where you stand at that moment in time.

1. Your age. Age should be a major determinant in how you look at your finances. If you’re younger, starting some kind of savings plan and investing in insurance while you’re still young means you’ll pay lower premiums and be able to let your money work longer for you, even if you put away less than what’s often recommended. Unfortunately many people don’t start thinking about these things until they’re at least in their mid 40’s, where they end up scrambling or taking risks with their money that could fall back on them.

2. Your income. Income means the difference between being able to put away more or less money, what you can or shouldn’t spend your money on, and how you’ll either live or should live. With most people the more they make the more they spend, which explains why even rich people end up having financial problems.

3. Your health. When looking at health, you also need to look at your family history. Having good insurance is always a great option, but thinking early about plans like long term care or injury plans, or even putting extra money away for medications that, unfortunately, are probably coming to help you cover co-pays and the like is a smart investment in your future. We never think of these things until we start feeling bad or something happens to a family member; that’s a shame.

4. Your family. If you have kids or are thinking about it, you should start putting money away to build up and grow as they grow. College is getting more expensive every year and even if they don’t go to college, having some money to give them when they reach adulthood can give them a big boost, and of course save you from having to dip into your own finances to help them out. At the same time you might have to spend more of your money at the present time if your income isn’t enough to put much away for future use, which means you might have to think of ways to either bring in more money or do some creative saving.

5. What’s going on now. At different times in your life you’ll have to think about your living situation, your clothes, car, insurance, entertainment and lifestyle… some people like to live for now and some like to live for the future. No matter which way you decide to go there should be at least some consideration for the other, some kind of balance so that either way you’re not putting your trust in one thing only. You might be the lucky one who has everything turn out as you believe it should but reality favors those who plan.

By the way, did I mention that an accountant or financial counselor of some type could help? 🙂
 
 

5 Things You Should Know About Health Insurance

In a few months, it’s going to become mandatory for people who have no insurance coverage to either purchase something for themselves and their families or pay a penalty, what the federal government calls a surcharge and what the Supreme Court calls a tax. Either way, something’s coming, and I feel you should know some truths about it all. Here’s 5 things you should definitely know.

1. Yes, you will owe something to the federal government if you don’t buy health insurance, but just how much? It’s not as bad as you might believe. Confirmed with the office of Senator Charles Schumer on New York, if you’re single it will cost you around $90 a year. If you’re married or filing as a family the amount is less than $300. To put both of those in perspective, you’ll pay more in taxes because of your cellphone and cable TV.

2. A major benefit of the health care plan is that you can’t be turned down for pre-existing conditions anymore. This is probably the biggest benefit of the health care plan because it was prohibitive against pregnant women and anyone who might have even a relatively simple disease like diabetes from switching jobs because they might lose coverage for upwards of 6 to 12 months, or a horrible disease like cancer that a family member might have and automatically be disqualified if you changed jobs.

3. How it’s going to work is that insurance companies already in your area will put together plans based on federal guidelines that will give you basic coverage for emergency services and inpatient coverage. There will be multiple levels, anywhere from 2 to 5 different plans for most insurances, so you can somewhat tailor what you want.

4. There’s nothing saying you have to purchase a federally backed health plan. If you’re a small business you should look into coverage through a local chamber of commerce as they often can provide lower group rates and more covered services based on having multiple participants in the plan.

5. If you buy your own health insurance, you actually get to write it off your taxes. That and any other medical expenses, as long as you keep all of your receipts. That means you just lowered your out of pocket costs for what is a very important investment in yours and your family’s health protection.