All Things Financial Planning Blog


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The 5 Biggest Changes in Personal Finance over the Last 20 Years


Personal-DebtMy son recently turned twenty and it inspired me to reflect on all of the changes in his life as well as in my professional life. My son’s progression has gone from being a baby, to a toddler, to a growing child, to a teenager, and finally to a young adult. He is now trying to figure out his professional place in life as he just finished his first year of college. During that same timeframe, I’ve seen personal-finance go through its own five stages of maturity. Twenty years ago it was more about buying a product, being transaction focused, little reliance on technology, running massive volume plans, and focusing just on the money aspects, not health and psychological aspects.

  1. Let’s face it, our culture must sell products and we’re pretty darn good at it. The problem is that the marketing and slick ads of all the things we buy in America today, don’t always match the quality and integrity. I think the biggest move that our industry has made in the last 20 years was to go from selling a product to following a process. The process includes a comprehensive financial plan. The financial plan not only talks about investments but also about understanding debt, figuring out a budget, understanding human capital (what we think of as our skills to make money for ourselves), reviewing your insurance for the major risks in life, and understanding that all of these things are linked together in order to get us all to the finish line.
  2. The transaction focus over the years has ebbed and flowed in terms of the hyperactivity in order to get better performance. Back in the olden days, it was about transactions because that’s how many advisers were paid. It was said that advisers are not in the storage business they’re in the moving business. Today the focus is on asset management for a fee, retainers, hourly fees, and project fees rather than commissions. Although I see a bit of a backlash happening in the last few years where it appears technology is getting ahead of the small investor. The advent of massive millisecond transactions have caused us to doubt the integrity of the system which the world of investments is built upon. We had multiple occasions like the “flash crash” and the search for algorithms giving institutions a major-league advantage over the average investor.
  3. For those who need help with their finances, the place to start your search is to ask a friend if they know somebody that’s good. Yet the next step is to get on the Internet and search for someone that appears to fit your standards. Even though it’s like trying to take a sip out of a fire hose every time you do a Google search people are finding most of their initial information on the internet. Today, I feel it’s much more of a collaborative effort between the adviser and the client. The adviser gathers the information needed to better help assist the client in making decisions. The best advisers these days are more of a librarian than a master of many disciplines.
  4. The financial plans that we put together over the years can be extremely comprehensive and lengthy. The problem with that is that planning by the pound doesn’t always get things done because most people are very busy these days and just want to get down to a summary version. I know that because I do a daily radio show commentary and 14 years ago I had 3 minutes to talk, today I have a minute and 10 seconds. A more modular approach works better because it talks about your specific problem at the moment and how you fix it. I feel that the best plan these days is to have one page versus 100.
  5. Probably the most important change that I’ve seen over the last 20 years is that financial planning has gotten much more holistic. It is about looking at the big picture and trying to incorporate wisdom, along with emotions, as we see the springing up of behavioral economics and why we do what we do. Reading a book like Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (he was the first psychologist to win a Nobel Economic prize) should be mandatory for anybody who’s going to invest or put together a financial plan. It’s really critical to try and take health, wellness, happiness, human capital, emotions, relations, and wealth together as they are all part of the playing field.

The world of financial planning and investment advisory has moved steadily in the right direction over the last 20 years and I hope that it will continue to do so. There is certainly a lot of room for improvement yet I feel that some of the breakthroughs that we’ve seen in healthcare and technology over the last two decades are going to find their way into a simpler, more comprehensive blend of our money and life connections. Robbers used to say, “Your money or your life.” The next phase of financial planning is going to be “Your money and your life!”

Dave Caruso, CFP®
Certified Financial Planner™
Coastal Capital Group
Danvers, MA


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Health Care Reform and You


Your Personal Declaration of IndependenceThe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, has many facets to it and its implementation will be done over several years. Provisions of the Act have ramifications for businesses and individuals so we will focus on the Health Care Reform Act and its impact on you as an individual. Since we are at about mid-year 2013 I wanted to focus on the Act for this year and next. To summarize 2013 and 2014, I offer the following …

In 2013,

  • Medicare Part A tax rate on wages goes up from 1.45% to 2.35% for certain individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.
  • ‘Investment Income’ will have an additional 3.8% tax imposed if you make more than the $200,000 or $250,000.
  • Your employer must provide employees with info on employer plans, health exchanges and subsidies.
  • Your flexible spending account ‘set-aside’ will be limited to $2,500 per individual.
  • Medical expense deductions will not be deductible until they exceed 10% of AGI rather than the current 7.5%.

Beginning in 2014,

  • Waiting periods before you can enroll in an employer sponsored plan cannot be more than 90 days.
  • Insurance carriers will be required to cover everyone, even those with preexisting medical conditions.
  • If you are not covered through an employer health plan and do not purchase minimum essential health coverage on your own, you will have to pay a yearly fine of $95 per person ($695 in 2016) or 1% of taxable income (2.5% in 2016), whichever is greater. Individuals who do not have affordable minimum essential coverage from their employer will be eligible for tax credit subsidies for their health insurance purchase on a state exchange if their income is below 400 percent of federal poverty level – about $46,000. Minimum essential coverage includes Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, individual insurance, grandfathered plans, and eligible employer-sponsored plans. Workers compensation and limited-scope dental or vision benefits are not considered minimum essential health coverage.
  • Group health plans, including grandfathered plans, may not impose cost-sharing amounts (i.e., copays or deductibles) that are more than the maximum allowed for high-deductible health plans (currently these limits are $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family coverage). After 2014, these amounts will be adjusted for health insurance premium inflation. Group health plans, including grandfathered plans, may no longer include more than restricted annual or any lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits for participants. Limits may exist in and after 2014 for non-essential benefits.
  • Each State must establish health insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses defined, federally, as employers with less than 100 employees

What will the health insurance exchanges and pricing look like?

Obviously, each State is different. Some States run their own exchanges others have opted to let the Federal government run their State programs. There has been a lot said and predicted about policy pricing given the mandates of coverage and benefits provided for in the Act.

In California, we got our first look at our health care plans to be offered on California’s exchange. Our State will have 19 rating regions which will have 13 health carriers offering four plan types to Californians – Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. California’s Silver Plan will have region costs that will vary for a 40-year-old from the low $200’s per month to the low $400’s per month depending on the region you live in. This is similar to our ‘zip-code-pricing’ currently used by companies in our State. The silver plan, which is expected to cover 70% of an individual’s health care expenses, has a $2,000 deductible, $45 copay for primary care visits, a $250 emergency room co-pay and a maximum annual out-of-pocket expense of $6,350.

According to Chad Terhune of the LA Times, for our 40-year old purchasing a Silver Plan and living in the Los Angeles County region they will be paying somewhere between $242 and $325 a month whereas a similarly designed plan today would cost $321 albeit with more comprehensive benefits. Statewide, considering all counties, the average premium in the State is $177. So the results thus far seem pleasing given the chatter about price increases.

In Ohio they have opted for the Federal government administered program to run the Ohio exchange. Fourteen carriers have submitted 214 different plans to the federal administered exchange. The price ranges for minimum essential health benefits through the federal administered exchanges range from $282 and $577. According to Ohio officials that will be an 88% increase in individual health policy costs for its citizens. . Other preliminary pricing for the 40-year old purchasing a Silver Plan has come in at a low of $205 in one region of Oregon to a high of $413 in a region in Vermont. The Congressional Budget Office had projected nationwide average monthly costs for the second lowest Silver Plan to average about $433. Results are still coming in so stay tuned.

One of the other provisions of PPACA is that health insurance companies must issue rebates to individuals and small businesses if the health insurance company does not spend at least 80% of their annual premiums on medical care. In recent filings with regulators, Blue Shield of California said it owed $24.5 million in rebates to thousands of small firms and similarly Blue Cross of California will be rebating $12 million.

Comments and Planning Implications.

So there is a lot to be played out yet with respect to the law and its implementation and pricing. Businesses have a lot of hoops to jump through with larger companies, publicly traded for example, probably less (a relative term, obviously) impacted than the smaller businesses especially those with more than 50 employees and less than 200. How the pricing and number of carriers willing to provide policies in your state will pan out between now and the end of the year is still a work in progress. For those who do not have insurance currently, or those who have policies that do not provide minimum essential coverage, consult with your advisor to see how the blend of tax subsidies, tax penalties and other issues of PPACA impact you, your family and your financial plans. To your healthy and successful financial future!

David Bergmann, CFP®, EA, CLU, ChFC
Managing Principal
The David Bergmann Group
Marina Del Ray, CA


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Before the Eulogy


The New Reality of RetirementI recently attended a funeral mass for the father of a client. It was a wonderful occasion to reflect on a well lived life of more than 90 years. Our client and his siblings were able to eulogize and honor their father beautifully in what was a touching ceremony all around.

I was especially happy for this client who, recognizing that his father’s health wasn’t always going to be a certainty, had spent the last year making some extra trips back home to spend time with his Dad. Having this time to share, visit, debate and enjoy each other’s company in the time leading up to his passing must have meant a great deal to both.

I recount all this as it dawned on me during the ceremony how often we miss an opportunity in waiting until someone is gone to really reflect on their role in our lives and how fortunate our client was to not have missed that opportunity. Eulogies serve a great purpose for loved ones to share and remember all the wonderful things about those that have passed, but the greater opportunity is to share those things with those we care about while they’re still with us.

This is certainly not a new concept, but one that often makes the ever growing list we all carry around that contains our “important, but not urgent” best intentions. We take for granted that others know how much we truly value them or, even if we do feel it needs to be said, are too embarrassed, proud or just don’t have the words to explain to another person what kind of impact they’ve had in our lives.

This blog has touched on many of the important issues surrounding proper estate planning, having one’s affairs in order and ensuring that everything that can be done to carry out our wishes is in place. That’s not a message we’re likely to stop delivering any time soon. It’s a crucial component to both our financial and emotional peace of mind. All I suggest is adding letting those we care about know what we value about them to that estate planning to-do list.

Adding to these kinds of lists typically increases the potential burden and reduces the likelihood that we will actually carry them out. My hope is that this particular suggestion will actually incent us to take action. Adding something that should be rewarding for both you and those you love will hopefully move your end of life plans up your to-do list.

So, while you’re deciding who should take care of your affairs after you’re gone, how to manage your estate for minor children, whether there is sufficient insurance in place to cover your income, or any of the other many questions surrounding your estate, be sure to share not only your plans, but what makes your loved ones such a special part of your life.

The result could mean a great deal to you and those you love both during and after all are here to enjoy.

Chip Workman, CFP®, MBA
Lead Advisor
The Asset Advisory Group
Cincinnati, OH


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Casualty Losses and Disaster Preparedness


For those living on the Eastern seaboard still cleaning up from Hurricane Sandy, we at the Financial Planning Association, wish you and yours well during this difficult rebuilding time. Although, thankfully, not a ‘hurricane’ magnitude like Katrina, Sandy demonstrated that we can never under estimate the power of Mother Nature to do damage! So we are always reminded to take appropriate safeguards before, during and after the casualty or disaster event.

Before
A good personal risk management regimen should always include an annual review of your personal and business insurance coverage to ensure that dollar amounts of coverage are sufficient for risks that you or your business might be exposed to. Not only do we want to know how much coverage we have, we also want to know what our deductibles and co-pays are so that we know what kind of a ‘hit’ our cash flow would take before coverage commences if we were to sustain some sort of loss. Property damage, liability insurance and personal content are standard provisions of auto and home policies but what about coverage for ‘collectibles’, ‘valuables’ or other special risk exposures to property or assets like flood, earthquake or other natural disaster(s)? Rather than writing an inventory of everything we have in our home, do we have a video of all those things in our home to help us with substantiating a loss should we incur one? Like with changing the batteries in your smoke detectors in the home annually, review your risk management needs to see if you have the right insurance coverage and if there might be cost savings to coordinating policies. Make sure what you want to be insured in fact is insured – that dirt bike you use off road on the weekends or those jet-skis the kids use on the lake.   As stated above, review deductibles and or cost sharing obligations of your coverage to ensure that (1) you are not buying too much first dollar of out of pocket coverage, weighed by (2) the ability of your cash flow and emergency funds to sustain a major disaster recovery hit.  If you live in low lying areas that could be subject to flooding (again, natural disasters), you will find that homeowner’s policies generally do cover flooding you should consider buying that coverage separately.  You may find that the sequence of the events that cause the destruction may cause difficulty in triggering coverage i.e. “did the fire cause the flooding to occur or did the flooding cause the fire to occur.”

During
As a survivor of ground zero during the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 at 04:31 am, yeah, you don’t forget stuff like this; I don’t think I can say much more than you already know for yourself — BE SAFE! Make sure your loved ones are ok, that gas lines have been shut down and look out for live electric wires, wavering or fallen objects, glass and sharp objects, etc. etc. Be glad that you have been prepared by sleeping with that flashlight and hard bottomed shoes next to your bed. Make sure your post-event energy supplies are protected so that in the event of power outages you will be able to have some power for essentials.

Make sure your emergency preparedness kit is with you and initiate your disaster plan as you had prepared it following contingency plans, if required. Having to endure a disaster might be out of our control but having had the opportunity to prepare for one, even an earthquake, is not.

After
Once the casualty event or disaster has passed and we ‘emerge’ from our ‘safe place’ we will want to secure property, if we are able, from sustaining any additional damage. Taking a post event video to compare with the pre event video mentioned above is a great tool for filing for losses. Most homeowner’s policies will have temporary, if needed, living expense provisions and every carrier will have claim adjustors and other representatives on site as quickly as possible to move your recovery along. You have rights to seek independent help with assessing your damages and valuing your claim but in most of my experiences, both personally and with what I have seen with clients, carriers have been, again for the most part, fair in their payouts. Look out for individuals or companies that come to take advantage of those in desperate need. Unlicensed contractors, price gougers and the like will be there to take advantage of that urgent nature of your need so please be careful and protect yourself from being taken advantage of!

If you are in need financially or otherwise, there are many disaster relief or aid organizations out there. FEMA is the major federal source of disaster relief but do not overlook other State or Local benefits that might be available, such as the County’s Housing Authority or similarly named Department. In Los Angeles the LA Housing Authority made funds available for post-earthquake repair to those who qualified. Additionally, the Employment Development Department extended unemployment benefits to those whose workplace needed to be rebuilt before the employees could return to work.

Casualty losses not covered by insurance might get you some tax relief by allowing you a Casualty Loss Deduction. The ‘tax mechanics’ of the deduction will differ depending on whether the ‘loss’ property was a business asset or a personal asset, but nonetheless, there may be some ‘tax benefit’ you will get.

Conclusions
In any case, the most important thing to remember about a casualty or disaster is that it is not our possessions and material holdings that matter the most but rather it is the wealth of love and life that we get from having family and friends around us that we care about and with whom we are comforted. Wishing you and those around you the very best – BE SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL !

David Bergmann, CFP®, EA, CLU, ChFC
Managing Principal
The David Bergmann Group
Marina Del Ray, CA


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We’re Married. Now What?


With six wedding ceremonies to attend this year, 2012 has been the year of marriage celebrations for me. It’s an exciting time in many of my friend’s lives and I couldn’t be happier for them! However, as the months after the ceremony roll on, questions have been popping up as to the best way to merge finances, what debt to pay down first, what steps to take to change names, and what else is out there that they haven’t even considered. In hopes of assisting my friends along with the many other newlywed couples out there, below are some items to consider in the days and weeks after your marriage:

Name Change: Post wedding, make sure you obtain at least 3 copies of your official marriage certificate from the county clerk, which is where your name change will be indicated. You’ll begin the name change process by first obtaining a new social security card (visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov for more information). From there, visit the DMV to update your driver’s license and then move on to your passport, employer, voter registration, bills, bank accounts, etc. It may be helpful to make a list of all the accounts you’ll need to update.

Taxes: You and your spouse may begin to file your taxes as “Married Filing Jointly” in the year that you are married. Be sure to check in with your accountant as to if that is the best route for you two and update your withholding elections through your Human Resources department if appropriate.

Money Mergers: Hopefully you and your spouse had more than just one conversation about money pre-nuptials. Some things to consider in the days ahead are whether or not to open a joint account. If you decide to go this route, also discuss if you will maintain separate accounts or if everything going forward will be deposited into your joint account. Work out a detailed spending and savings plan and ensure the two of you are on the same page with how your money is being managed and spent.

Assets & Liabilities: Create a list of all of your accounts, including Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, checking, savings, and any other personal cash or investment accounts. Decide if any accounts (aside from retirement) should be consolidated and if you’d like to add each other to titles of cars, property, or any other assets. In addition, review your investments and take some time to adjust your allocations so that it is appropriate based on your combined goals. Also create a list of any outstanding debts such as: credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and car loans. Prioritize your debt re-payment plan by focusing on those balances with the highest interest rates first – likely your credit cards.

Insurance Needs: For items like car and health insurance, evaluate each of your plans and pick the better of the two. Your car insurance should provide the best coverage for the most reasonable price. For health insurance, ensure that your current doctors are available under your spouse’s plan or that you’re okay with making a change if necessary. With life insurance, first determine the amount of coverage needed by considering outstanding debt and the loss of household income that would occur should something happen to either you or your spouse. For young couples just starting out, look into term coverage, which should provide coverage at the most reasonable rate.

Beneficiary Update: An item that is commonly overlooked by newlyweds is the updating of beneficiary information. If you and your spouse determine that you’d like to name each other as beneficiaries, be sure to contact your HR department at work and any companies that hold a life insurance policy or retirement account for you to make necessary updates.

Estate Planning: In the months ahead, consider establishing Durable Power of Attorneys for finances and health care and creating a Will that addresses your combined assets and wishes.

The list above won’t address all of your financial concerns as newlyweds, but by taking the time to go through each item together and consulting your accountant, financial planner, or attorney, you will start your new marriage on a financially healthy road to success.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP®, CDFA
Senior Financial Planner
HoyleCohen
San Diego, CA


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Considerations in Starting a Business


When considering starting a business there are a lot of factors you will need to look at. The considerations I am providing herein should not be considered as exhaustive and you should know that seeking good counsel on what is right for your specific endeavor and personal circumstances is extremely important. That being said, let’s look at some of the considerations.

TYPE OF BUSINESS AND LIABILITY CONSIDERATIONS.

In looking at your start up business you will want to consider what additional liabilities that operating that business might bring to your personal affairs and assets. Even if it is a simple web-design business that you operate out of your spare room you will want to know if your apartment or homeowner’s insurance will cover the value of all of your electronic gear or whether you need additional insurance or riders to cover those ‘business items’. If your business involves ‘client traffic’ like a retail store, or you provide professional services you will want to consider personal or professional liability coverage for your specific business activities. Needless to say, speak with your risk management professional to assess what is right for you now that you have a business activity.

To a degree there is said to be liability protection from entities that are operated as a Corporation, S-Corporation or LLC and LLP’s. Having said that you should be aware that legally ‘you can never create an entity to shield yourself from personal liability’. Additionally, there is a legal concept called ‘pierce the Corporate veil’ that can circumvent the liability protection you may have thought you had. Clearly you should seek legal counsel on what liability protection you will actually get from a specific entity choice for the type of business you would be operating, and the State(s) it would be operating in, before making a final entity choice decision.

TAX ISSUES AND CONSIDERATIONS.

The type of business you establish determines which tax forms you will need to file. The most common types of businesses are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation, and Limited Liability Company. The type of business you operate also determines what types of taxes you will pay and how you will pay them. The four general types of business taxes are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax. A business typically needs to get an Employer Identification Number to use as an identifier for tax purposes. Check with the IRS to find out whether you will need this number, and, if so, you can apply for an EIN online.

Every business taxpayer must figure taxable income on an annual basis called a tax year. Your tax year can be either a calendar year or a fiscal year but may be restricted by the entity choice you chose. Each taxpayer must also use a consistent accounting method, which is a set of rules for determining when to report income and expenses. The most commonly used accounting methods are the cash method and accrual method. Under the cash method, you generally report income in the tax year you receive it and deduct expenses in the tax year you pay them. Under an accrual method, you generally report income in the tax year you earn it and deduct expenses in the tax year you incur them. With respect to profits and losses, your entity choice will control how those profits and losses are reported and, maybe more importantly, when you might be able to take them to get ‘tax benefit’. For example, if you chose a “C” Corporation (separately taxed entity) in the first year and have losses, you will not get any tax benefit because there are no tax years to carry back that loss to. If you had a “S” Corp (a so-called flow-through, or conduit, entity), whose income is reported to you on a K-1 and then taken on your personal return, that loss could be taken against other income and/or it might be able to be ‘carried back’ to prior years so that you could get some immediate ‘tax benefit’ and some money back.

Good records will help you keep track of deductible expenses, prepare your tax returns and support items that you report on your tax returns. Good records will also help you monitor the progress of your business and prepare your financial statements. You may choose any recordkeeping system that clearly shows your income and expenses.

FRINGE BENEFITS.

Retirement plans and fringe benefits can be provided through the business on a more favorable tax basis than having to fund the costs of those benefits through personal deductions or saving for the future on an after tax basis. Some of the benefits may have to be limited because of your ‘day job’ if this business is moonlighting, so to speak. For example, you can’t have a full 401(k) plan employee contribution for your moonlighting consulting business and a full 401(k) contribution at your day job. You can’t decide that you don’t like the spousal coverage available at your wife’s workplace and then take a self-employed health insurance deduction for your self- employment activity. It won’t work, if you ‘could have been’ a participant in your spouse’s plan but opted out, you are considered an eligible active participant in that plan and cannot, therefore, take the self-employed health insurance deduction. Lots of details that come into play so get good employee plan benefit design advice. Your hard earned business dollars should be optimally deployed.

I hope this gives you some starting points to review before you launch your business. I know it’s hard to not want to jump right into something that is as exciting as starting your own business but please heed the warning to take a moment to make sure your launch sequence is well grounded not only from your management and operations perspective but with the considerations provided herein taken under advisement. It will be so much easier focusing on what counts, making your start up a business a success! Wishing you well with your endeavor!

David Bergmann, CFP®, EA, CLU, ChFC
Managing Principal
The David Bergmann Group
Marina Del Ray, CA


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The Affordable Care Act Upheld by the High Court


On June 28, 2012, by a Supreme Court vote of 5-to-4, President Obama’s much debated landmark health care bill signed into law on March 23, 2010, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was found constitutional. The majority opinion, including Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld the individual mandate, (the requirement for all Americans to purchase health insurance), under the provision of the government’s right to tax people who chose not to purchase insurance. What will this mean to you?

As a financial planner I know the financial risks associated with health care costs. Increasing health insurance premiums, lack of adequate insurance due to unaffordable premiums, and most critically – the inability to purchase any insurance at all due to a pre-existing medical condition have all led to financial strain or possibly bankruptcy for many American families and individuals. A 2009 Harvard study found that medical expenses contributed to over 60% of US bankruptcies. Within my practice I have personally counseled a client who was considering a possible bankruptcy due to medical expenses and felt frustration with another client in her early fifties who simply could not buy insurance after her deceased husband’s plan would no longer insure her. She remained uninsured for several years until she qualified for Medicare. Most financial planners are intensely aware of the need to consider substantial health care costs within a financial plan. Will the Affordable Care Act provide a level of financial security and medical coverage that so many currently do not have?

There are many provisions to the law as detailed at www.healthcare.gov. Several provisions that have been most popular have already been implemented such as…….

  • Young adults can stay insured on their parents’ health plan until the age of 26. It is estimated that this provision has insured approximately 3 million young adults.
  • Children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage.
  • Insurance companies cannot rescind your coverage due to an application error or other technical mistake.
  • Lifetime limits of coverage are eliminated. A family will not have to worry about exceeding their benefit limits in the case of a catastrophic or long-term illness.
  • Small business tax credits have been established to help employers provide insurance coverage for employees.
  • A menu of free preventative services is now available.
  • Prescription drug discounts for seniors.

Many additional consumer protections will be implemented over the next 18 months. The final provisions effective on January 1, 2014 will include prohibiting discrimination due to pre-existing conditions or gender and eliminating annual limits on insurance coverage. Learn more about the timeline of the Act’s provisions.

With the Supreme Court decision, Americans will be required to purchase health insurance or pay a tax for non-compliance. Individuals of limited means will receive assistance under the law. Some may call this personal responsibility; others may say this provision of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, – but no matter one’s opinion, it seems that the ACA is law.

As a financial planner, I am anxious to see how this law may impact the financial lives of my clients. Will health care become affordable and easily obtainable for American families – will insurance claims be paid when submitted – will buying health insurance really translate into “health care”? I am optimistic. Our current system has left many behind – I hope this new Act will actually provide “Affordable Care”.

Pamela SandyPamela Sandy, CFP®
Founder
CONFIANCE, LLC, Financial & Investment Advisors
Cleveland, OH