Insurance

Insurance

Los latinos de la tercera edad representan un segmento importante de nuestra población. Lamentablemente están en una condición financiera muy precaria. Hace poco, el Economic Policy Institute publicó un estudio con unas cifras escalofriantes. Según dicho estudio, 20 millones de personas mayores de 65 años viven en pobreza. Esto representa un 48% de la población anciana. Pero aún se encuentran los ancianos latinos. Según el estudio, 7 de cada 10 viven en condiciones precarias. La gran mayoría de nuestros padres y abuelos no ganan lo suficiente para cumplir con sus necesidades básicas. Durante los próximos años, es probable que esta situación empeore. ¿Qué se puede hacer? No existe una varita mágica que pueda resolver los problemas financieros de los ancianos latinos, pero sí se pueden tomar medidas al respecto. Una —bien sencilla— es sacarle provecho a los programas de descuento para la tercera edad. Hay TANTOS programas que haría falta un libro para escribir acerca de todos ellos.

Sigue leyendo 

Insurance

El 23 de marzo de 2010, el proyecto de ley Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act entró en vigencia en el país como ley. Esta ley cambia sustancialmente el sistema de atención médica de los Estados Unidos, afectando a casi todas las 300 de millones de personas que viven aquí. Ciertas partes de la ley ya han entrado en vigencia durante los últimos 3 años pero es ahora —a partir de enero— que veremos los cambios fuertes. La ley es sumamente complicada y compleja y las agencias del gobierno encargadas de aplicarla aún no tienen claro cómo lo harán en su totalidad. Así que existen muchas interrogantes acerca de cuál será el verdadero impacto de la ley. Otros elementos importantes han sido pospuestos y no entrarán en vigencia hasta el 2014 o 2015 porque no han podido determinar cómo implementarlos exactamente.

Sigue leyendo

Insurance

El Instituto Nacional para un Retiro Seguro o NIRS por sus siglas en inglés, se dedica a estudiar el nivel de ahorros que los estadounidenses tienen para su jubilación. El NIRS tiene una labor importante porque nos ayuda a entender si se está ahorrando lo suficiente para tener un retiro digno. Según el último estudio del NIRS publicado hace unos días, está claro que estamos pasando por una crisis. El NIRS ha concluido que solo 1 de cada 3 adultos mayores de 55 años tiene suficiente dinero ahorrado para jubilarse. La mayoría tiene muy poco o, en muchos casos, ni un solo centavo ahorrado para el retiro. Pero, según el NIRS, no solo quienes están llegando a la edad de retiro se están quedando cortos, sino que el 45% de TODOS los trabajadores en el país ¡no tiene un solo centavo ahorrado para el retiro! La diferencia entre el monto que los trabajadores en los Estados Unidos tienen ahorrados para el retiro y lo que deben tener supera los $14 billones ($14,000,000,000,000). ¡Esto es casi 3 veces el valor de toda la economía latinoamericana!

Sigue leyendo

Insurance

La jubilación llega en menos tiempo de lo que uno espera. La vida pasa rápidamente y cuando menos lo esperas, ya tienes 65 años y te preguntas “¿cómo es que el tiempo pasó tan rápido?”. Sé que es difícil dar importancia a algo que no sucederá en años o décadas, cuando tienes que pagar el alquiler mañana o costearle ropa nueva a los niños la semana que viene. Pero invertir para tu retiro no es algo que puedes hacer de un día para otro. Toma una vida entera —haciéndolo poco a poco— para que puedas tener un dinero esperándote cuando ya no quieras o no puedas trabajar. Aunque no puedas ahorrar mucho, es mejor tener algo a no tener nada.

Sigue leyendo

Insurance

Las familias latinas viven con mucha presión económica. Hay que pagar el alquiler (o hipoteca), los servicios, la comida, las cuotas de las deudas, las actividades de los hijos, los gastos médicos, las remesas a nuestras familias y muchos gastos más. Se supone que entre todo esto debe sobrarnos dinero para ahorrar para la educación de nuestros hijos y también para nuestra jubilación. ¡Es una locura! Los sueldos no alcanzan para tanto y la realidad es que tenemos que tomar decisiones difíciles acerca de qué es realmente importante. Una de estas decisiones es la opción de designar los ahorros para la jubilación o para la educación de los hijos. Si no te alcanza el dinero para ambos, ¿para cuál debes ahorrar?

Sigue leyendo

Insurance

El Seguro Social es la pensión más grande del mundo y cubre a los jubilados y personas minusválidas en los Estados Unidos. Sesenta y dos millones de personas reciben un pago mensual del programa y más de 1 millón de personas adicionales comienzan a recibir beneficios cada año. En promedio, un trabajador jubilado que califica para recibir beneficios puede cobrar $1,229 cada mes por el resto de su vida. Los viudos, viudas y las personas minusválidas reciben menos. Tomando en cuenta el costo de vida en el 2013, es difícil pensar que uno pueda vivir bien con poco más de $1,200 mensuales. Pero, para la mayoría de latinos ancianos que no cuentan con ahorros ni inversiones, este es el único dinero que recibirán para vivir y tienen que ajustarse.

Sigue leyendo

Insurance

It’s hard to believe that 2013 is right around the corner! Before you open the champagne bottle to celebrate, it’s a good idea to take a few hours on a quiet afternoon and think about the kind of year you would like 2013 to be.

We all hope that in addition to health and happiness, the new year also brings financial peace of mind to our families. It’s very stressful to have to worry about money all the time, and avoiding or minimizing financial stress should be among everyone’s goals for 2013. Rather than allowing financial hardships to defeat us, we should rise to the challenge and say “I will be financially responsible and make 2013 better for me and my family!” To have a financially sound 2013, consider adopting the following New Year’s resolutions and sharing them with your family:

1. Each month -and for the entire year- I will spend less than I earn.

One of the biggest obstacles preventing Hispanics from improving an unfavorable financial situation is the lack of action. Just hoping the situation will get better won’t work. You have to take initiative and do something about it! Stop making your financial situation worse by overspending and then trying to plug the hole through high-interest, short-term loans, payday loans, loans from friends and other unattractive options. You, your spouse and anyone else living in the same household must work together to cut expenses until these are in line with your income.

2. I will make myself more attractive to employers.

If after the first few months of trying you still can’t lower your expenses enough to improve your financial standing, then you will have to find alternatives to generate additional income. To do this, you need to earn a raise at your current job, take on an additional job or qualify for a new job with higher pay. Achieving this goal will be much easier if you make yourself more attractive to current and potential employers. Consider studying for a certification or taking a continuing education class that will give you more marketable skills. Also, reach out to a more experienced coworker and ask for their advice on what you can do to improve your chances of obtaining a raise. Finally, you should find ways to meet and get to know people that have achieved what you would like to accomplish. These individuals can serve as valuable career resources that can open professional doors for you and help you avoid making important mistakes as you work towards your goal of increasing your income.

3. I will make sure that my family is protected with the appropriate amount of life insurance.

Having no life insurance or inadequate insurance are both very dangerous for the long-term financial health of your family. If the main earner in the family dies unexpectedly, this places a tremendous financial burden on the remaining members of the family. The medical bills and bills associated with funeral expenses could weigh heavily on them and leave them in a lot of debt. Should you unexpectedly die, this is not something you would want your family to have to deal with. It is a terrible burden that can easily be alleviated with the purchase of adequate life insurance. The life insurance policy will pay your family a designated sum of money – income tax free – if you die during the years when the policy is active. Visit www.lifehappens.org to learn more about your options, how to obtain coverage, and the right amount for your specific needs.

Three simple decisions that can transform your life

These three resolutions can completely transform your quality of life and give you tremendous peace of mind. These steps are within everybody’s financial reach. People make the decision to adopt these measures every single day of the year and are better off for it. What is stopping you from doing the same?

Insurance

For over 250 years, life insurance has been an important tool used by American families to protect their loved ones. Nevertheless, there are still millions of families, especially Hispanic families, that are still trying to determine if buying life insurance is worth it. The answer to that question is a resolute “yes.” Ask any family that has experienced the unexpected death of a loved one and you’ll find that none regret the fact that they had life insurance at that moment.

How life insurance works

Remember that life insurance is a special type of contract. It promises to pay money (called a death benefit) to one or more individuals if another person dies. The person receiving the money is called the beneficiary and the person covered in case of death is called the insured person. A beneficiary receives the death benefit, based on what’s outlined in the contract, if the insured person dies during the time the life insurance policy is active. Assuming there are no unusual circumstances and that the fees for the insurance policy (called premiums) are up to date, the money is usually paid quickly and in full to the beneficiaries. Unlike investment income, death benefits are 100 percent tax free.

Do I really need life insurance? If so, how much?

When the question of life insurance ownership comes up, many Hispanics ask themselves the questions below.  If you answer YES to at least one of the following questions then you need life insurance:

  • Do you have a spouse?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you have any debt?
  • Do you have grandparents, parents or siblings that you support financially?
  • Even if no one depends on you financially, do you want to leave money aside to cover your funeral expenses?
  • Do you want to leave money to your heirs or to your favorite charity, organization or school when you die?

It’s hard to find people that don’t answer yes to at least one of these questions! Once you determine that you need life insurance, the question that follows is how much do you really need? The amount depends on your income, incurred debt, your number of dependents, how long they will depend on you and the dollar amount you want to leave to your heirs.  A useful online source that can help you determine the right amount of coverage is www.lifehappens.org, where you will find clear, easy to use information and the Life Insurance Needs Calculator (www.lifehappens.org/howmuch) that can help determine about how much protection you should purchase. When selecting your life insurance policy, keep in mind to purchase the right amount. Avoid purchasing less than what you really need because it won’t offer enough protection to your beneficiaries. Likewise, avoid purchasing excessive coverage so you’re not unnecessarily paying a higher premium.

Can anyone be a beneficiary? Can anyone buy life insurance?

The good news is that anyone can be named a beneficiary regardless of where they live or their immigration status. If you are a U.S. resident or citizen and you want to buy an insurance policy that will pay your family in Mexico in case you die, there is absolutely no problem doing so. You have the right to name your beneficiaries.  But be sure to tell them!  If something does happen to you it could be difficult to locate your family if they are in a foreign country. Give your beneficiaries the name of the insurance company, the policy number and the contact information of the insurance company.

When it comes to insuring an undocumented person, that process isn’t so easy. If you tell the truth on the life insurance application form and indicate that you are in the United States illegally, then it is almost certain your application will be rejected. If you lie on your application form or use false information, then once it is discovered (as it likely will be) the insurance company can opt to not pay your beneficiaries.

Don’t delay this important decision

The purchase of life insurance is the first step that you should take towards protecting your family financially. It’s an accessible financial instrument that can be tailored to almost anyone’s needs.  Don’t delay and visit www.lifehappens.org today to learn more about life insurance and the role it should play in your – and your family’s financial future.

The other day I received an envelope from my health insurance provider in the mail. Typically these are either an Explanation of Benefit (EOB) form or a (large) invoice indicating my next premium payment is due. This time however, what I found inside nearly gave me palpitations; it was a check made out to me from the insurance company.

Continue reading.

Archives