Saving Money on Healthcare Costs in Retirement

Healthcare expenses in retirement is a growing concern for retirees. The increasing costs of healthcare and the inflation factor that goes along with it creates a growing need for advanced planning related to preparing for these costs. Currently Medicare Part B inflation is running around 8% and Part D around 7%.

Healthcare and Medicare expenses are one of the largest expenses – even larger than recreation and housing costs combined. Consumers are often confused when it comes to what is the proper amount to plan for on the “Medical Expenses” line item on their household budgets. Many do not realize that an individual’s Medicare premiums are affected by one’s annual income. Understanding one’s MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) and implementing strategies to plan around certain income thresholds can positively affect healthcare expenses in retirement.

Here’s an example – a married couple who moves their tax bracket one threshold lower can save $70,000 over their lifetime. How can planning make that happen?

Non-qualified annuities, Health Savings Accounts, Permanent Life Insurance, Reverse Mortgages, ROTH IRAs, are all ways to reduce one’s taxable income. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) occur when an IRA owner is forced to begin to take withdrawals from their IRAs in the year in which they turn 70 ½ years of age. Utilizing strategies to reduce IRA balances earlier in one’s retirement – such as ROTH Conversions, early withdrawals, and QLACs (Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts) are ways to reduce the amount of funds that must be taken from IRAs under the RMD rules – and thereby reduce taxable income.

Annuities that are in payout phase use a tax basis called “Exclusion Ratio” – this simply means that the payment that someone receives is treated as part “return of investment” and part “taxable interest”. Annuities can take lump sum deposits and create guaranteed lifetime income with potentially solid benefits from a tax planning standpoint. On the Permanent Life Insurance front – cash value in life insurance contracts can often be accessed tax free through a provision of policy loans. Finally – Reverse Mortgages create funds that are not subject to state and federal income taxes.

Health Savings Accounts are becoming a notable tax planning tool. They have “triple tax advantages” and if implemented early can create a tax free pool of funds that can be utilized to fund healthcare expenses later in life.

In closing – tax planning goes hand in hand with investment planning. Combining both tax and investment planning can create real savings into retirement years. Retirement is mainly about income more than growth. Controlling expenses – which taxes and healthcare are front and center – can put more spendable money into retirees pockets to help them enjoy their retirement years.

What To Do To Land Your Dream Job In Healthcare

One thing that can be said about the healthcare industry is that it is an industry that is tremendously growing across the globe. Improved quality of life is part of the increased as more people look for qualified professionals in the healthcare field. This means that you must be competitive enough if at all you are to land your dream job.

Get some experience

Hands-on experience can set you apart from other candidates in the industry in addition to your degree in a specialty such as nursing. To bolster your experience, consider taking up opportunities to work in hospitals or clinics as you continue with your studies. As a student, you will prove valuable to a registered nurse in a hospitable in handling duties such as medication administering, taking basic measurements and even handling equipment like respiratory and heart systems. Nursing colleges that partner with local hospitals will also make it very possible for you to get some experience that is important even before you finish your studies.

Broaden job search

Healthcare is broad and diverse and you should therefore not limit yourself to a certain job even though that is the area in which you hold your degree. You can for instance, choose to work with non-profit organizations offering medical care when you are a holder or radiology degree. Be open with the jobs that you apply and are ready to take up and you will increase your chances of landing a job and then making your way up to the level or dream job.

Consider signing up as a volunteer

Of course the majority of graduates in healthcare related degrees want to enjoy well-paying jobs as soon as they graduate. But volunteer work can be very effective in enhancing resume and preparing you for a better job in the industry. Volunteering for hospital jobs will gain you real-life experience that will be very valuable like when dealing with situations of an emergency nature. You will actually also gain by just watching the paramedics perform duties as an EMS student. It is important to remember that students who volunteer get healthcare jobs faster compared to those who do not opt to donate their time in the same. You are also likely to be considered in the clinic or hospital you volunteer in when a position is vacant.

Create a good resume

A good resume is one that highlights your qualifications and skills in the relevant area. If you are not very sure of how you can put together a good resume, you can use quality resume builders so that at the end of the day you have a resume that sells your best points and increases your chances of being considered for an open position. After creating the resume, you can then use it to apply for open health jobs you feel you can handle. You can find such openings on medical job boards online where you are free to apply for as many openings as you want.

5 Reasons It Makes Sense to Contract Out Your Health Care Advertising

The health care industry is changing incredibly fast and many businesses are having a difficult time keeping up with it all. Not only are the preferences of customers diversifying as new medical information is discovered, but the infrastructure continues to evolve as the market adapts due to policy making and various other factors. Navigating these unavoidable changes while maintaining a strong health care brand can be immensely challenging, but having professional input regarding your advertising can help tremendously. Here are 5 reasons it makes sense to contract out your health care advertising.

1. Customer connection

When sudden changes in the quality of customer care occur, or when newer medical procedures and products hit the market, it can cause a ripple effect in the perceptions of your existing customer base. Under these circumstances you may see customers questioning the quality of their own services and seeking out competitors’ services and products to meet their needs. Maintaining good communication with your customers through an advertising campaign can help even out the ups and downs of change and maintain a connection.

2. Consistent results

During fluctuations in sales and profitability, it may not seem like a good time to spend funds on advertising but these moments can be the best time to do so. When the market adapts and customer’s perceptions are changing, an advertising campaign can be its most useful for a few reasons. Customers need to stay aware of what they are being offered and want to see consistency in the healthcare brand they have grown comfortable with. Staying in touch with the customer base during this time can maintain the presence of a strong brand.

3. Maintain a strong brand

Branding can make all the difference when done correctly. A strong brand should have a specific message attached to it that customers can recognize and understand. Having customers know what the health care brand stands for with a good logo or tagline can be a very powerful asset that communicates the values of your services and the core message of the business all at once. A tailored advertising campaign can make sure your brand stays relevant and adapts seamlessly.

4. Increase positive perceptions

The health care industry is not known for having the most loyal customers. Who could blame them? The cost of health care has steadily increased and the newest treatments and medicines that customers require don’t always hit the market at an affordable price. Within this climate it is no wonder many people jump ship and choose whichever health care brand can offer them the services they need at the most affordable price. The consultants at a professional advertising firm know how to convey the value to your customers and can help increase positive perceptions even during financially strenuous times for the customer base.

5. Grow profits with data

Advertising consultants can not only boost customer perceptions, maintain and communicate the overall essence of branding, and maintain consistent marketing results, but they can do so all while providing the data to show the results. Data driven marketing can surgically target any health care branding issues and create customer outcomes in a way that saves money and avoids wasteful time and energy on ineffective advertising.

If your health care company is in need of a marketing overhaul, don’t be afraid to switch gears and make some important marketing and advertising decisions. A quality advertising campaign can make the difference between a floundering company and a successful one.

Impact of Communication Technology on Healthcare Systems

Explosion of technology and the information revolution has greatly impacted our healthcare system for the better. Not just at the level of treating diseases, but the fact that a greater number of people are now inside the healthcare network is a testament to the improved and increasing presence of technology.

In the not so distant past, people still had to physically be available for consulting a doctor but information technology and communication has now made remote patient consulting and tele-medicine common place. The barriers of time & distance are increasingly shrinking in our times and this means that more & more patients can have access to quality healthcare.

Communication technologies are also greatly improving patient experiences; besides improving hospital response times. Response time is critical for emergencies, someone in distress is least likely to be willing (or be happy) if he or she is made to wait endlessly. The role of technology is not just limited to reducing response times but also towards improving overall patient-care experience.

Some of the ways wherein patient-experiences can be improved with better communications & technology are outlined below:

Provide call handlers with complete patient information to help them better response or offer advise

Send or receive multimedia files such that it is easy for the patient to send investigative reports etc.

Call forwarding or remote calling facilities to enable the same consultant to be available for a patient irrespective of his or her location.

The advancements in communications have expanded the horizons of consumer expectations are it is imperative that healthcare providers are able to embrace these technologies to better serve their patients.

Real-time connect with the patients helps provide preventive services, consultation on prevalent health hazards and nutritional information. As healthcare providers work increasingly on the preventive model of healthcare dispensation it is imperative for them to seek real-time patient information. Patients, on the other hand, need to know that the healthcare provider will be available whenever required and that all emergency situations are well-catered to.

Technology also helps create convenience and comfort resulting in an overall better patient experience. With our worlds more interconnected today than they have been ever before there is a greater convergence of the different spheres of our lives. Being able to access medical information on the go, set up doctor appointments, order medicines and consult with doctors remotely are all various facets of the ever increasing patient demands – which healthcare providers can now cater to with advancements in communication technology!

What is the Nature of the Healthcare Industry?

The healthcare industry is composed of multiple segments pertaining to different practices in medicine that provide different services. These services deal with different procedures and methods that address a variety of medical needs.

The service may come in the form of a diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and other service. The services can be under the sector of pharmaceutical, dental, medical, nursing and many more. The services being offered are abundant that is why the amount of health care workers that are needed is so high. Millions of health workers are needed through out the world in different health institutions like hospitals and clinics.

Health services are offered at any time because different people may need them due to various or special reasons. Some health workers should always be available that is why they have people who are on call in hospitals and doctors offices. Health workers provide services on different people in different age brackets.

Why more health workers are needed around the world?

The average age for people in this world is getting higher all the time. It means that there are more people who are getting old while there are few who are born. The older people will out number the younger ones. This means that the availability of those who are qualified to care for the elderly is not nearly enough. This is critical since the older the people get, the more medical attention they need. Here is where the health care workers will enter, particularly the nurses and caregivers.

The technology now is capable of dealing with serious illnesses, injuries and accidents. When a patient undergoes some of these procedures, the patient will surely need some rehabilitation and therapy. Again, the need for nurses and therapists is present.

When researchers discover new ways of treating non-curable illnesses, they will surely need some medical practitioners to implement this. Facilities, equipment and hospitals are also needed to conduct the procedures. Since those materials and places will not operate on their own, manpower through health workers will be required.

What are the current trends in health care industry?

There are several innovations when it comes to procedures performed in surgery and in general medicine. Examples are in sophisticated surgical procedures, infection control for various diseases, gene therapy for cancer treatment, advances in reproductive technology and others. Gadgets in getting the patient’s data are also available now.

Examples are automatic blood pressure readings, automatic heartbeat counters and many more. Hospitals now days are also determined to secure their data in a more reliable and accurate way. This is through the use of a centralized database. The database will then serve to provide a patient’s records, bill and other medical data that may be needed by the doctor, accounting office or other authorized personnel.

Since the need for health workers worldwide is vastly increasing, there are plenty of programs that other countries implement to produce quality health care workers. These workers can then work in their own country or abroad.