Medicare Supplemental Insurance is a policy to cover those gaps in Medicare coverage so that you are protected from having to pay for care in certain instances where Medicare won’t cover you. Also known as MediGaps, these include copayments, coinsurance and various deductibles, depending on what medical needs you may have. However, there are a number of important things you should know about Medicare Supplemental Insurance before you set up a policy for yourself:
- You are still in the Medicare Program and you still receive the same rights and protections in the Medicare program as you did before you set up this Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policy.
- You can only join a plan at certain times during the year. This will vary from plan to plan so it is important to know exactly when you can join one and when you can’t.
- You can check with the plan before you get a particular service to see if it’s covered and what the costs may be if it is or isn’t. This is incredibly helpful for people who may have pre-existing conditions or have concerns about health problems they may have in the near future.
- Most plans will allow those with pre-existing conditions to sign up for their plans, with the exception of a few conditions, namely End-Stage Renal Disease.
- You must follow the specific rules of your medicare supplemental insurance plan, like getting referrals from specialists to avoid the added cost and using specialists within your plan’s network. Each plan is different so it’s important to check with the plan before each treatment or doctor’s visit. If you go to someone outside of network, there is a good chance you will not be covered at all.
- Out of pocket expenses are usually capped with a limit for how much each policy holder has to spend per year. Once this limit is reached, you will not have to pay anymore out of pocket for the rest of that year. However, these limits can often change at any time.
- These Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans can’t charge more than original Medicare would charge for services like chemotherapy, dialysis or skilled nursing facility care.
Companies with some of the best Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans.
Retirement is the big dream for most Americans. Putting down the ax and calling it quits from the grind stone is every hard-working persons’ ultimate goal, save those rare occasions when an individual would like to work until death. What are the actual numbers behind what make this dream a reality though? The answer is closely tied to how you want to spend your retirement. There are endless options ranging in price and depending on your wants and needs.
Retirement calculation will help you crunch these numbers, but ultimately, you must ask yourself what kind of life you want to live. For instance, some people’s ideal retirement is just to maintain mortgage, taxes, food, health care, and other essential living expenses, while saving for end of life costs such as hospice nursing and a decent funeral service. If you are the creator of a large or small family, you may also want to consider leaving your loved ones something behind. A retirement calculator can help put all these numbers into perspective by adding your expenses and subtracting them from your annual allowance or projected lump sum.
Still other people have more extravagant retirement plans which can still be surprisingly affordable: purchasing a small piece of land in a tropical paradise, selling the house to buy a dependable RV to travel away the rest of those days, or even relocating to Europe or some other country you have always admired.
You may want to think about budgeting carefully if you are a luxurious spender. Money goes so fast. Whatever budget you create, extravagant or frugal, just remember to stick to it, and also, plan to live until 100, better to over shoot than under estimate. If you are lucky enough to have a job with a retirement plan, it is highly recommended to NOT cash out early, no matter how appealing this option may seem. After all, that money is for the future! Be patient. Try to forget it exists.
Vanguard manages $3 trillion of assets and has traditionally been quite successful at managing other people’s money. In examining the nation’s top 101 most popular 401(k) plans, Vanguard 401k makes up 32 of them. What does this giant in retirement funds have to offer different investors?
A very popular investment is Target Retirement funds, which Vanguard is able to offer to 88% of its investors and 66% of different plan participants invest in those plans. Eight of the actively managed funds appear on the list of the 101 most popular, and actively managed funds have especially been a target for overcharging customers, Vanguard’s actively managed plans have a good reputation for controlling costs.
Most of Vanguard’s 401(k)’s have a good reputation for providing a solid mix of stocks and bonds, as well as providing a reasonable expense ratio.
Wellington: Vanguard’s Wellington invests 66% of its assets in stocks with 34% invested in bonds. This fund has $89 billion in assets and an expense ratio of .26%. The real question an investor has is the return on investment. The one-year return on Vanguard Wellington is 3.5%, the five-year return is 12.1%, and the 10-year return is 7.9%.
All is not perfect with Vanguard funds. Their International Growth plan has had three different managers since 2009, and that has affected its recent performance. International Growth fund has $23.1 billion in assets and an expense ratio of .47% which is still not astronomical. The one year return is -1.6%, the five-year return is 10.5, and the 10 year return is 7%. The discrepancy between the one and five and ten year returns indicates this plan bears watching. Perhaps with a consistent leadership, this plan will settle in and produce more consistent results.
Finally, consider the Vanguard Morgan Growth plan. This plan has $11.6 billion in assets, an expense ratio of .40%, and a one-year return of 12.6%, a five-year 17.7%, and a 10 year return of 8.6%. This fund invests in fast-growing firms that have smart boards and smart directors. If there is a concern about this fund it is that there are five firms involved in running it.
Vanguard has been around for a long time, and has been successful just as long making smart investments with their Vanguard IRA plans. Depending on how important large growth is there are many funds a future retiree can choose from.