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PSA – Insurance

Today’s PSA is on Insurance.  Car, Life, and Medical.

Car Insurance

5 Years ago, my friend was in a very bad car accident. She was hit by a drunk driver.  I could go on and on about the issues from this accident, but I am only going to focus on one: Optional Bodily Injury Liability.  Prior to my friends accident, I had only the basic amount required 20k/50k.  However, because the person that hit my friend didn’t have insurance, or very much insurance, and my friend also had the very basic amount, she was limited in what she could receive for compensation.  At the suggestion of her sister, I looked into increasing the amount.  I was able to go up to 300K/500K for less than $100 a year!  What a huge difference for a small amount.  An added protection for you and your family.  Did you know that New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and California don’t require or have very limited requirements for car insurance? If you were in an accident with a person from one of those states, you could be fighting for compensation!

Life Insurance

My next topic is Life Insurance.  This is another very important insurance to have, ESPECIALLY if you have children!  Even if you are not married, you still want to have a basic amount to cover the costs of funeral expenses.

If you can get insurance through your work for no charge, then take that!  However, be sure that you get other insurance as well, because if you lose your job, you will lose that insurance as well.   It is important that Stay at Home Mom’s have life insurance as well.  If you were to die, then you husband will have to hire a housekeeper, cook, driver for the kids, babysitter, etc!  You are VERY valuable!  Be sure you are covered!  Husbands, if you were to die, then you want to be sure your family is provided for, and maybe even have enough if you can afford it so you wife will still be able to be a stay at home mom.

What kind of insurance?  LEVEL TERM is the way to go!  Do not go for any kind that has a “Cash Value” – that is just a bad investment!  Read this to find out more:
http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-truth-about-life-insurance/

We have used SLBI for our Insurance.  I found their rates to be very good, and the service was excellent.

Medical Insurance

As you know, we found out the hard way the importance of having medical insurance.  About 2 months before Alexander got sick, we had to adjust our medical insurance.  The premium was going to go up significantly for the plan we had.  The next plan down, was the same coverage, just higher co-pays.  We evaluated the difference, and decided to go down a step.

I am not going to get into a debate about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I am sure there are many flaws to the system, but there are many good things too.  Health Insurance should NOT be a privilege – everyone should be able to get the care they need without going broke!  If you are lucky, you will never need to go to the ER, spend a night in the hospital, or see the doctor for more than a yearly checkup.  But, if you are not so lucky, and are in an accident, have a chronic illness, or hear the words “I am sorry but…” then you will want to be taken care of without wondering how you will pay for it!

I do realize that health insurance can be very expensive. However, I beg of you to find a way to pay for it, even if it means getting a second job! (I have heard that Star Bucks gives Health Insurance if you work just 20 hours a week)  If you don’t have it and you need something, that will be even MORE expensive!!!!   I have heard about a program called MediShare.  I have not done a lot of research into it, but perhaps this is an alternative for some people.

Okay – that is it for today.  I am working on a Budgeting Blog Next!

 

 

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PSA for the day

I was visiting Alexander today with a friend and we got to talking about Wills.  She said that she did NOT have one.  I was not actually surprised, because I know many people that don’t have them. She also said that she has not formally named a guardian for her children.  That did surprise me!  These are two things that I think are VERY important to have in life!  EVERYONE needs to have a will – yes EVERYONE, I don’t just mean those that have money, kids, property.  Everyone should have a will – even just a basic one.  if you go through a lawyer, it can add up, but you can create a very simple on on your own.  Check this site for some help:

http://www.uslegalforms.com/dave/?auslf=daveramsey

Before I was married I had a will drawn up.  We adjusted it when we got married, and then again when Alexander was born.  When speaking about Alexander, the lawyer had us word it “Alexander and any other children”, that way, if we had another child, and something happened to us before we had a chance to update the will, that child would be provided for.

It is important to have a will so that your wishes will be known for what will be done with your assests – even if you don’t have a lot of them!  As for naming a guardian for your children, this is also very important!  Let’s say, you just assume your brother will take them.  Well, what if I was to come along and say “well, she and I were having coffee one day, and she said that I would be the one she would want to raise the children if she died”.  If it isn’t in writing and set up in a legal way, who is to say I am not telling the truth?

I did a search for information in Massachusetts, and this is what I found on one site: http://fieldsdennis.com/guardianship-law

Guardianship for Children: Massachusetts guardianship law allows a parent or parents to nominate a person to take care and custody of a child in the event of death or incapacity.  Under Massachusetts law, the courts give great consideration to a guardian nominated by a parent.   A nomination must be written and signed by the parent.  Generally, in Massachusetts, a nomination of a legal guardian is included in the provisions of a Last Will and Testament.

 When no nomination exists, a judge must decide who your children will go to.  Without any written nomination of a parent, the court will be left with little direct evidence of who the parent would have wanted to love, support, and raise the child.

 Massachusetts guardianships fall into two categories: person guardianship and estate guardianship.  A person guardianship allows a court-appointed guardian to make decisions on a minor’s behalf, just as a parent would.  In other words, a guardianship of the person gives a guardian general custody of a child and all the decisions that accompany such a position, except for any financial decisions.  Alternatively, a guardianship of the estate gives a court-appointed guardian the ability to make any financial decisions on behalf of the minor child, as well as manage any money the child may have in his or her name.

Do you really want this left up to a judge??  Wouldn’t you rather have that taken care of so your children will be with who YOU want!

I think you should also have a Living Will or some sort of advanced directive with information of your wishes should you be incapacitated in some way.  When I was working we would have patients fill out a form that would appoint someone to make medical decisions for them if need be.  I had a patient say to me once “oh, I will fill that out when I need it”.  Ummm…yeah, that is kind of the point, you won’t be ABLE to fill it out when you need it!  There are so many rules in the hospital these days about who can know what and who nurses/doctors can or can not talk to.  It is important to have things in place BEFORE you need them!

Okay – that is my rant for the day.  Next PSA will be on Insurance!

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Enjoying Julia

Hello everyone!!  We are enjoying our new beautiful daughter Julia very much!  She is a very happy baby!!!  She has started to give us little smiles, and I am sure a laugh isn’t far away.

Before we had her, Richard and I went and met with a therapist.  We wanted to “be prepared” for the emotions we were sure were going to come our way.  After I gave birth to Alexander, I didn’t THINK I had any kind of postpartum depression, but I think that I did have some.  People were always telling me “he is such a beautiful baby”, but I just couldn’t see that.  I would smile and say thank you, but I didn’t really understand why they were pointing it out to me (looking back now though at pictures I totally understand – he WAS a beautiful baby!!!)

Julia was due just after Alexander’s birthday, which was bringing up all sorts of emotions for me before she was born.  I was afraid she would be BORN on his birthday, and I really did not want that.  I didn’t want any of my kids to share a birthday, never mind one with an angel! (I even have a grand plan, that if I ever have twins, to have them born on different days – heck, I would go for December 31 and Jan 1 if I could!)   As I mentioned in a previous post, Julia arrived exactly one week BEFORE Alexander’s birthday. Her birth was filled with emotions for so many reasons, however having talked about it BEFORE it happened was very helpful to the both of us.

I have had some emotional days thinking about Alexander, but in general I have been very happy.   It is strange though now packing things up to go out for a visit or to the store.  With Alexander we always had to make sure we had his medications, his TPN machine, make plans to be home in time to take the TPN out to warm up.  We really couldn’t take him any place because of the fear of the germs and how sick he was.  On clinic days, there was always a bag in the car “just in case” we had to be admitted (okay, so it took me a bit to have that ready – just a little denial!)   With Julia however, we need the diapers, her bottles, formula, a change of clothes.  Normal baby things.  And, if something happened and we forgot something – or even the WHOLE BAG – while it would be a pain, we could deal with it. We could find a Target, Walmart, or even just a CVS and get anything that we would need – no big deal.  It is a very different experience.

Right now as Julia is growing, and doing baby things, I am trying to remember how Alexander was at that age.  We are looking at pictures and comparing things.  But, as she gets older, and gets to that 8 month mark, it will be so different for us.  Alexander wasn’t a “normal” baby after 8 months.  He had new goals and milestones, ones that the average child never has.  I am sure that when we get to that stage with Julia, we will be filled with a whole new set of emotions.  But for now, I am trying not to think about that point.  Rather I am just enjoying every moment with Julia – every smile, every cuddle!

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