How to Purchase an Annuity - Vital Information Before Committing To Buy

Read this before purchasing an annuity.

Purchasing an annuity is a major financial commitment. When you sign the contract it is almost like buying a house. As long as you understand the details and the annuity is a good fit it can be one of the best decisions you could have possibly made! I am definitely pro annuities! Just be sure to understand what you are getting.

When you purchase an annuity there are certain considerations to keep in mind. Be sure to:

1. Understand the surrender charges. Surrender charges can extend for as long as 15 years in some cases and can be very expensive. Purchase an annuity that matches your schedule so that money will be free when you need it.

2. Know your time horizon for investing. When do you need money out of the annuity? How much will you need? Annuities that you purchase are meant for long term investing.

3. Check the rating of the insurance company before purchasing an annuity. If a higher rated company is offering an almost identical product then choose the company with the highest rating.

4. Understand why you are purchasing an annuity. Is it for safety? Is it for income? Is it for growth? Is it for security? Is it for tax deferral? Is it for a guaranteed income stream? Is it for other guarantees? And does it really fit into your investment plan? Are you using the annuity in place of fixed income investments or as a growth investment?

5. Understand the differences between a fixed and variable annuity. A fixed annuity cannot go down in value. A variable annuity can go down with the stock market. They can both have certain guarantees so be sure to understand what you are getting? Can it go down in value? Why do you need to purchase an annuity that can lose value?

6. Learn about how this annuity is going to affect your taxes when you take money out. Annuities are taxed a little differently than other investments. Is your annuity in an IRA? How does that affect your taxes? Also, if you are passing this annuity down to heirs then why are you purchasing an annuity? Is it for tax benefits or insurability problems?

If you are looking at purchasing a variable annuity:

1. Ask this question - Why are you purchasing a variable annuity that can go down in value? It is not about how great the past performance has been. The sub accounts/investment options rarely perform the same two years in a row. You need to have a reason to purchase an annuity.

2. Also before you purchase an annuity be sure that you can afford to have your investment down when you need the money. If not then do not purchase variable annuities.

If you are looking at purchasing a fixed annuity:

1. The surrender charges are usually higher on fixed annuities than other types. Be sure that if you need any of this money there will be enough, with no charges, available at the right time.

2. Fixed annuities have amazing guarantees. Before you purchase an annuity because of one of these guarantees just be sure to understand it completely. How you take money out is the main thing to look for at first. Then compare the guarantee with other annuities and their guarantees. Some are better than others and might fit your situation a little better.

One last absolutely vital thing to check is the dollar amount of your states guarantees. Run a Google search for (your state) insurance guarantee. Do not go over that amount with a single insurance company ever.

Before you purchase an annuity be sure to get all of these questions answered and the details clear in your mind. Most of all do not be rushed into making any decisions. There is no reason to rush through such a long term decision like purchasing an annuity.

Monitored or Unmonitored Alarm Systems - Which Is Best?

Monitored or Unmonitored security systems - Which one best suits you? There are huge advantages and a few disadvantages to both. Before deciding if you would rather have your home security system monitored or not, take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Advantages to Monitored Home Security Systems

(1) Home alarm monitoring companies are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. They have a special phone lines, staff and computers that watch over your home security system and call the appropriate authorities when detects an intruder. With an unmonitored system you are at the mercy of whoever is at home or nearby neighbors to call the police when and if they hear the alarm.

(2) Monitored systems allow you to not worry and enjoy yourself wherever you are. Whether you are traveling, at home or work, or own a vacation home that you leave vacant for a period of time, you can rest assured that your alarm system is in place and that the local police will be contacted if the system detects a break in.

(3) There is no time delay. When there is a break in and the alarm goes off, a monitored system contacts police and authorities right away. With the unmonitored system there is no guarantee that the police will ever be notified.

(4) Homeowner's insurance discounts. A homes with a monitored security systems are far less likely to be burglarized than a homes without. Insurance companies know this and most companies will reduce your insurance premiums if you have your system monitored. The savings can be 5%- 20% depending on the type of system installed. In some cases the amount you save on insurance premiums can be equal to the cost per month to have your home monitored.

(5) Your are not alone. When a break in takes place you give the decision making over to experienced and competent monitoring team and the police. It's their job to make security and safety decisions so you and your loved ones don't have to.

Advantages to Unmonitored Home Security Systems

(1) No costs or fees. Keep in mind that there is a monthly fee for monitoring services. You should expect to pay between $20-$50 a month for monitoring. If you choose to have your system unmonitored you can save thousands of dollars over the years.

(2) Monitored systems sometimes fail to work. If you choose the land line, the line can be cut by the intruder before they enter your home.

(3) No false alarms to the police and fire departments. Unfortunately, false alarms are all too common with monitored systems. Police departments are getting more and more frustrated and in some cases they will charge the home owner if they have to make an unnecessary trip to your home. Check with your local police about their false alarm policies before having your system monitored.

(4) No binding or costly long term contracts. If you choose to have your system monitored, keep in mind that most monitoring companies will require you sign a contract for several years. If for any reason you become unhappy with the company you may end up stuck in a contract because it can be difficult to get out of a contract which can be.

Deciding if you would like your security alarm system monitored or unmonitored is a big decision and we hope you have made the best decision for the safety of you and your family. There are many things to consider when choosing a monitoring company. Please visit our website for tips on choosing an alarm monitoring company.

Injury Claim Advice - 3 Instances When You Cannot Make A Claim

Injury claims are something that most people do not understand at all. Only a small percentage of claims ever end up in court and the ones that do end up in court are usually dealt with quite swiftly. Work accident claims are usually an insurance issue as most employers have insurance to protect them against claims for accidents at work. Compensation insurance is something that is actually prescribed by law for certain occupations and in certain states. Jobs that have a high risk of injury usually have insurance prescribed by statuary requirements.

When it comes to public claims like road accidents and claims that involve public road ways it becomes more complicated and getting a specialist's opinion is probably best. However, there are certain situations where you cannot make a claim. Lets quickly look at those:

- Negligence
If the accident was a result of your own personal negligence then you will probably not get away with a claim. A good example is when your accident is a result of you deliberately breaking company safety regulation. Although there are exceptions, as a rule of thumb you need to stick to company safety regulations.

- Time Frame
When you claim is a big deal. You cannot claim for something that happened 10 years ago - although there are exceptions for that as well. In the UK for instance you need to make your claim within 3 years of the accident.

- Multiple Claims
This has been an issue of much debate when the whole mesothelioma thing flared up. In general you cannot claim multiple times for the same injury. For this reason you need to make sure you get your claim right the first time and get the maximum claim in first time.

Healthcare Kiosk And Its Utility

Healthcare kiosks are extremely beneficial for patients and for the healthcare industry because of the automatic system and protection from identity thefts.

Healthcare kiosk has been an important addition to the healthcare industry. There are certain benefits that a healthcare kiosk provide and some of these benefits are:

- Increasing efficiency of staff
- Checking in patients
- Decreasing patient waiting

All of these are possible because these kiosks are custom fitted with automatic routine registration system which helps to minimize paperwork. Moreover, recently, clinical practices and some of the technologically savvy hospitals have found out that kiosks act as shield against rapidly increasing threat from medical identity theft.

A healthcare kiosk provides the facility of automatic confirmation by alerting a specific patients that he/she has an appointment with a particular physician at a particular time. Due to this automatic system the same job that used to be done by a person manually is greatly reduced, which directly saves valuable time. Earlier, the whole process involved lots of photocopies of driver's license, insurance card, etc. along with verification of the documents. A healthcare kiosk allows patients to do these types of tasks on their own with the help of the software that helps them to keep their information completely safe and secure. Moreover, these kiosks have HIPAA compliant screens that helps to protect the data of various users protected from others to see. To elaborate the facilities that a kiosk provides to a patient in terms of insurance coverage is, that it allows a patient to check whether his/her insurance has changed or not from the previous visit. They can also check whether they need to sign any new form or not. But, everything is taken care of in a kiosk because the documents can be signed electronically.

A healthcare kiosk also allows a patient to perform a real time eligibility and insurance benefit verification. Moreover, it also tells a patient about his/her co-pay and deductible pay are and also alerts them about any outstanding payment that they need to collect before stepping inside an examination room.

Orwell and Obamacare

"Besides, in those days they had been slaves and now they were free, and that made all the difference, as Squealer did not fail to point out." - George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 9

"But it also seems fair to interpret the vote as a ringing endorsement of Americans' inalienable right to avoid buying private health insurance and instead get medical care from public emergency rooms where the cost will be passed on to the taxpayers. Maybe it's time to rethink the single-payer plan now that we have evidence that 71 percent of Missourians support the concept of socialized medicine." - Gail Collins Editor New York Times

Animal Farm by George Orwell is an allegorical novella most of us read in high school. The gradual corruption of a farmyard revolution was used to demonstrate the failure of the Stalinist government. Most memorable to me was the ability of Squealer the Pig to twist words to eventually mean the exact opposite of their original intention. Much to my chagrin, Ms. Collins, and editor of the venerated New York Times, and supporter of Obamacare, has sunk to such a level.

Her editorial concerns the Missouri referendum in which voters overwhelmingly rejected the individual mandate, which I discussed in a previous blog. The crucial point is that the vote was not about the subtle Constitutional intricacies, as most people probably did not understand them. What the voters were doing was expressing their fears. Fears of a government takeover of medicine, fears of losing their doctors, fears of uncontrolled spending and taxes, and rejection of the Congressional malfeasance that passed this deeply flawed bill. Lacking any other outlet to express these fears, the voters did what they could, sending a message to whomever might listen that they opposed this bill.

Collins reaches Orwellian distortion levels by ignoring the will of the voters and focusing on a narrow legalistic interpretation. The voters in Missouri did indeed support the right not to buy insurance, but only as an expression of their opposition to all of the other tenets of Obamacacare, which the politicians didn't let us vote on.

Adding to her cynical misrepresentation of the vote is her factually incorrect statement about public Emergency rooms. Although some free care is paid for by public funds by taxpayer funded hospitals, the majority of free care is rendered by private hospitals and physicians, which is indirectly subsidized by private insurance and medicare. Ms. Collins final subterfuge of twisting the Missouri vote into an endorsement of Single-payer government insurance would leave Squealer the Pig smiling. I would wager that a single-payer initiative would fail by a similar 70-29 margin.

Such distortions make a difficult problem impossible to debate honestly. Such cynical, partisan and condescending statements place huge obstacles to solving the very real problems facing Americans and healthcare.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/opinion/05collins.html?_r=1&ref=gailcollins

5 Simple Tips To Reduce Your Dentist's Bill

Before you keep that appointment with your cosmetic dentist, you need to know a few very important things that would save you quite some on your bill. While it is true that any dentist would follow the general market trends while charging for their services, it is possible to enjoy considerable saving if you apply the tips given below.

1. Pay in cash and negotiate the bills - most medical practitioners would be happy to give you a discount when you are paying for the cosmetic procedure in cash. Negotiate before hand with the doctor and ensure that you are on the same page when you undergo the treatment.

2. Join a recommended group of medical practitioners - there are now mini-consortiums of doctors in various fields who offer membership to their patients and a hefty discount for the procedures they avail. This is something like an insurance payment; you pay a monthly or yearly fee for membership and when you need any medical treatment, the cost would be highly subsidized.

3. Insurance add-ons - there are many insurance policies that allow for add-on and riders regarding dental treatment. Take your insurance agent into confidence and let him/ her guide you to the best possible policy where dental treatment can be added at the least possible addition to the main premium. When you need to undergo the treatment such addition would come in very handy.

4. Medical vacationing - many people have discovered medical travel. In other words you plan a vacation to countries that offer high quality medical attention at lower costs such as in India, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. In this way, you enjoy your vacation and you also get your cosmetic dental intervention at a fraction of the cost.

5. Use latest technology - contrary to popular belief using latest technology does not increase the cost, but decreases it. There are many techniques today that have the time and effort required by less than half. Since they are fast and better, they do not require too much anesthetic either. This means you suffer least inconvenience, no pain and your bill is less than half.

All the above tips are superb. However, these will work best for you only when you understand and use them to the best of your advantage. Do not just rush in and apply these guidelines. Research on the Net, talk to various professionals, read feedback online and form a general idea of what is required for your specific dental intervention.

Once you have formed a good idea, look around your city and find a place that can offer you both quality and cost. Small towns usually offer superb prices, but if the doctor is not experienced the results might be compromised. Always ensure that you go to a highly experienced and qualified professional for compromising on this aspect would mean disaster in the long run.

Lastly, compare carefully the costs and do not hesitate to negotiate the price with the clinic or medical professional you choose. Sometimes, you can get some fabulous deals just for the asking.

Choosing A Car Shipping Company

Whether you are moving to a new location or you will just be visiting for an extend period of time, and you need your car shipped to you, there are many things to consider before you choose which car shipping company to use. Picking which company is much like picking out a new car; you'll want to shop around. A quick Internet search will yield several different results, but these companies aren't always the best way to go. Be sure to have answers to some of the following questions before deciding on which is best for you.

It is of the utmost importance to make sure that the service you choose and the driver that will be transporting your vehicle is insured. As far as your own vehicle is concerned, some car shipping companies will cover it within the price of shipping but with others you will have to pay extra for insurance. It is important to know before buying shipping insurance whether or not your own insurance policy covers the shipping of your vehicle.

Several companies offer door to door service, instead of delivering to a satellite company from which you will have to pick up your vehicle. This sounds like the optimal choice for convenience, however just because they claim the service to be door to door does not mean you will actually get your car picked up from your home and delivered to another. Most companies will ship your car with a large industrial vehicle. These vehicles are often times prohibited from entering certain cities and especially many residential neighborhoods. Check to see if this will be a problem in your area.

Lastly, you will need to make the decision whether or not you want your car to be covered when it ships. This is a service that usually always comes at an extra charge. It is well worth it if your car will be moved over long distances. Covers, or companies that ship your vehicle inside their trucks, will protect your vehicle from the elements, which can be extremely harmful to the vehicle's paint job. So, before you ship, be sure to educate yourself.