How Stress Affects Your Wallet

Worry and anxiety are probably the most operative words usable as descriptive vocabularies of the term stress. Do you have fear or anxiety clouding in any sphere of your life? Do you have professional or job-related stress? Concerns about your retirement? Anxiety about whatever’s in store for the coming year? Or concerns about your personal relationships with your friends, fiancĂ©, or family members? All these worries and anxieties have a significant impact on your wallet. Stress can either bolster your financial wellbeing, or it can elicit an adverse outcome on your financial well-being depending on the context of the dilemma.

Positive impacts of stress on your financial wellbeing

An anxious mind tends to think about the possible solutions to the looming predicaments. Ergo, when you are stressed with bills in your house, the brain develops a scheme that will provide cheaper alternatives that are cost-cutting, hence more savings. The survival instincts that kick in when worry occupies can be very effective reality checks to your expenditure.
Stress gives you the motivation to work harder and earn more money. When you are concerned about your life after retirement, or about how you will provide for your children sufficiently, you become driven and strive to generate more income so as to be financially stable later on in life.

Negative impacts of stress on your financial wellbeing

Stress has a negative impact on your physical and mental well-being; the two key components of human productivity and hence ability to earn. The decreasing mental and physical health culminate to taking sick days off, lack of focus and hence reduced efficiency, quantity and quality of output, therefore, hurting your income.
Psychological conditions attributed to stress require either therapeutic intervention, or pharmacologic management, or both treatments. Treatment of these mental conditions is costly and can irreparably eat into your wallet.
Anxiety and other symptoms of depression also affect your level of productivity and ability to earn income. Depressive symptoms such as low self-esteem and poor grooming and hygiene reduce your confidence and interpersonal skills significantly leading to a reduction in your productivity and ability to achieve your full potential and earn income from the same.
Poor mental health impedes prudent decision making leading to impulsive expenditure and unsound financial management. These are detrimental to your overall financial being as they result in increased costs, missed opportunities for more income and wastage of dollars.
Stress can also lead to depressive tendencies, including self-deprecating behavior, especially overindulgence in addictive behaviours. Overindulgence entails high expenditure in unnecessary deeds, sometimes leading to addiction which attracts further costs.
Your concern over the prevailing conditions shows a lack of satisfaction hence the need for a better position or results. This stress emanates from the need to fit in, you may blow your hard earned money so as to appeal to a particular class and this can lead to accumulation of debts that are unhealthy. The desire to change the prevailing conditions can result in extravagant expenditures that are unsustainable at your level of income.

Chris Bouchard is a strategic consultant who works with non-profit leaders and social entrepreneurs to apply concepts and techniques to identify complex strategic issues, find practical solutions, and devise strategies to create and win a unique strategic position. He also offers project development, proposal writing, and project evaluation services.

Retirement Plan Needs to Address Financial Costs and Burdens of Aging

By the time you hit age 40 you should have saved some money for your future retirement. The problem is too many people forget to protect those retirement funds from the high costs of Long-Term Care. The US Department of Health and Human Services says if you the reach the age of 65 you will have a 70% chance of needing some type extended care service. Health insurance, Medicare and supplements will only pay for a small amount of skilled services and only for 100 days. They will pay nothing toward custodial services (help with activities-of-daily living) which most people will need as they age.

Often this means crisis management. Family members become caregivers. Caregiving is hard but when a family member must be a caregiver it adds more dimensions. This usually means the responsibility falls on the lap of a daughter or daughter-in-law. They generally have their own career and family responsibilities. Not to mention the emotional hardship that ties into a family member being a caregiver.

The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact your savings and your family. Affordable LTC insurance will safeguard your assets and ease the burden that is placed on family.

There are very few true specialists in long-term care insurance. This means you should seek the help of a true Long-Term Care Specialist. This person should have at least three years’ experience in Long-Term Care Insurance, represent the major insurance companies and have at least 150 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance.

Most financial advisors and general insurance agents do not have the skills required to design an affordable plan based on your specific needs. Plus, they usually do not understand underwriting requirements which each insurance company uses to determine if they will even offer a policy to you. They generally have never experienced a claim, so they don’t have a full understanding of how these policies actually get used at the time of claim.

This is why I assist consumers nationwide using my unique process where a client views my computer screen while we speak on the phone. A number of other top specialists will do the same thing. The key here is asking many detailed questions about your health, family history, retirement plans and concerns. Most financial advisors and general insurance agents may ask only a few questions. This means the recommendations they may give you are not appropriate and may even cost you more money than it should.

Since they don’t deal exclusively in Long-Term Care planning they usually don’t understand the products and the positive impacts they can have on your loved ones. They also tend to over-insure. A true Long-Term Care Specialist will make the appropriate recommendations and consumers discover that LTC insurance is very affordable and adds a tremendous amount of peace-of-mind as you plan for your future retirements.

If you are speaking to someone about Long-Term Care Insurance be sure to ask a few questions:

How long have you been working with Long-Term Care Insurance?

According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) no less than three years is acceptable.

How many clients do you have with LTC insurance?

No less than 100 is acceptable says the AALTCI.

How many companies do you represent?

The AALTCI says no less than three.

How many claims have you been involved with?

The more the better, keep in mind a person working three years may not have had any claims yet despite having more than 150 clients. Ideally you want a person who has experience 15+ claims.

What is your general philosophy when you design a Long-Term Care Insurance plan?

Listen to how they answer the question and make a judgement if it sounds like it is well thought out.

Here are a few warning signs you should be aware of:

1. The agent or advisor sends you quotes without asking many questions. A true Long-Term Care Specialist will spend a lot of time asking detailed health questions and family history, in addition to asking about your future (or current) retirement plans. If they only take five minutes or less you should run away.

2. The agent or advisor immediately starts talking about asset based or hybrid plans without asking you many questions. These are life insurance or annuities with riders for Long-Term Care. They can be an outstanding way to plan for some people but anyone who brings this type of solution to you without asking many questions should be avoided.

3. The agent or advisor doesn’t explain the Long-Term Care Partnership Program. Not all states have active partnership plans in place but most do. If they don’t mention it be sure to ask. If they can’t explain it move on.

4. The agent or advisor doesn’t have a website, or their website has very little information available, it is usually not a good sign. True LTC specialists will usually have a comprehensive website with many resources available for education.

5. The agent or advisor suggests you self-insure and put money in investments. For most people this places your money in too much risk, doesn’t provide tax benefits and doesn’t reduce the burden placed on family since most LTC policies have case management. It may make the advisor money but you should be more concerned how it will protect your money and reduce family burden. If they make this kind of recommendation ask them to put it in writing. Then ask how their plan would really benefit you and your family from the financial costs and burdens of aging.

Long-Term Care Insurance has become a key part of retirement planning. Seek out a specialist to help you add peace-of-mind to your plan. It is an easy and affordable way to help you have a successful future retirement.

Working with a Long-Term Care specialist will allow you to get the accurate information you seek. There are several reference websites for research:

Online Banking Has Changed the Way We Manage Our Day-To-Day Finances

Did you know it even gets national recognition? That’s right! National Online Banking Day is observed on the second Monday in October, which is also a traditional national bank holiday (Columbus Day).

Convenience is usually publicized as the major advantage, but it definitely isn’t the only benefit. It can save you money and can definitely be more environmentally friendly. Here are a few more reasons to enjoy the perks of online banking at your credit union.

Manage your own banking experience – Most credit unions that have embraced this online service give their members the opportunity to completely manage their own daily finances by paying bills online, transferring funds between accounts, depositing and ordering checks, and apply and make loan payments.

Mobility – It can be done from anywhere with an Internet connection. With this added flexibility you won’t have to worry about late payments or other time sensitive financial transactions.

Online Bill Pay – You can automate your monthly bills to pay automatically. By paying your bills automatically you will never miss a payment. Most importantly, not having to depend on the postal service to send your payments allows you to keep your money in your account for a little longer, earning a little more interest.

View your transaction online – Online banking allows you to access your transactions from anywhere, 24-7. You can check your account balance daily, keep track of pending transactions and catch any errors quickly for easy adjustment.

Transfer between accounts – Using it to transfer funds can save you a trip to the credit union. You can make transfers without leaving home, check on availability of funds before you spend the money. This service will make it easier to transfer money to make loan payments on time.

Security – Using online banking allows you to setup transaction alerts, travel notifications and report fraudulent activity. You can also change your password to keep your online accounts secure.

e-statements – Most statements are completed online, decreasing the amount of paper used and sent to members, making online banking a perfect environmental choice.

eAlerts & Text Alerts – You can manage and receive eAlerts regarding specific account activity.

Ease of use – Online accounts are simple to implement and require no more information that a regular bank account. You simply input your data online and if you run into a problem you simply contact your credit union directly for assistance.

Whether you’re working late at work, catching up with friends over dinner, or relaxing on the couch at home – your banking needs are always covered with online banking – the perfect combination of service and convenience.

Tap into the most convenient way to bank with Jazz Advanced Banking at allU.S. Credit Union. Jazz is the new and improved internet banking solution with a new design that includes features such as:
Account balances in English or Spanish,
View images of checks that have cleared your account,
Transfer money between accounts,
Make loan and credit card payments, and much more.