Financial Independence Means Having a Plan for Retirement Income

Originally Posted by Jerry Golden on on Jul 10, 2017 

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Maintaining your financial independence throughout your life is dependent on the plans you make to create retirement income.

When you are working, you have to decide how much to put aside for your retirement savings account. You have to plan for your kids’ education, you plan for owning or renting your primary residence, and to take care of your insurance needs, plus a whole lot of other decisions.When you approach retirement, to maintain your financial independence you need to decide where and when to retire and whether to continue working part-time. Financially, should you collect Social Security payments as soon as you can or wait as long as possible until age 70? Roll-over your 401(k) or other qualified savings? Begin a withdrawal plan, elect to annuitize your savings or a combination?

Late in retirement, your decisions might concentrate on downsizing, simplifying your finances, and reducing financial risk. Unfortunately, maintaining financial independence during this stage may require making smart decisions in the earlier stages.

At each stage, the focus should be on ensuring you have enough dependable, spendable income – for life. (The key is to find income that is guaranteed for the rest of your life.)

Financial independence means having enough income to meet your basic expenses and income you can count on.

Creating financial independence from your savings

  • Your home can be an excellent source of tax-free income. Used in moderation, a reverse mortgage can provide both income early in retirement and liquidity later in retirement.
  • Your rollover IRA acts as a replacement for a traditional pension, which most of us don’t get any more, and you can create some of the same peace of mind by allocating a portion of your IRA savings to purchase income annuities. You can also take a portion of these savings and purchase a QLAC (see below).
  • Your deferred annuities have been compounding at tax-deferred rates of return for a number of years and building a nice nest egg. Like the rollover IRA, you can exchange all or a portion for income annuities to create both secure income as well as spread out any taxes that would be due if you merely withdraw the savings.
  • Your personal savings can be a source of secure income if you have sufficient assets to generate meaningful dividends or interest. If not, take a portion of your conservative fixed investments to purchase an income annuity, which will increase the cash flow from these savings.
  • Your Social Security is an important source of guaranteed income. If you can find income from other sources until you reach age 70, you may be able to delay taking Social Security payments to maximize the payout.

How to create dependable, spendable income

In addition to Social Security or a traditional pension, a product called an income annuity is the only other way to provide guaranteed lifetime income. In return for a one-time payment, an insurance company will send you a monthly check for the rest of your life. The income can start immediately or at a later date, and there are other provisions you can apply, such as continuation of payments to a spouse.

One form of deferred income annuity called a “QLAC” or “Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contract” is purchased with rollover IRA savings. It provides income in the second stage of retirement, when health expenses can be expected to increase. A QLAC starts paying out at an age you choose, usually 80 or 85. And the payouts are substantial. That’s around the age many retirees start to recognize that their savings, which seemed very large 20 years earlier, might not pay all the bills over another 5, 10 or 15 years.

Lifestyle decisions

If you decide upon retirement to move into a smaller house, you might also consider the community and services: Will you require a car? Is there a local bus or train service? Is the library or community center easy to get to?

For peace of mind, the simpler your finances are, the less likely you will need help keeping track of them. You know what to expect if your income is deposited monthly from Social Security and an income annuity. You can also set up automatic bill payments, too. That means you don’t have to rely on a financial advisor and your kids don’t have to worry, either.

When you visit Go2Income, you can research what type of annuity might best suit your needs. It will also let you determine how much income your savings can provide, based on facts, not guesses about the stock market’s future.

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Big Mistakes To Avoid Managing A Healthcare Business

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A successful business should be more than the gizmo or gadget it sells. Anyone can come up with new product ideas, after all. The reason why certain businesses succeed while many others fail is that they satisfy a need. In fact, that need is so persistent that customers can’t help but keep coming back. It’s because of this that the healthcare industry is so profitable. Whether you’re a medical professional, or merely interested in the sector, you might decide to start a healthcare business of your own. To make it a success, here are ten big mistakes to avoid. 

1. Missing Out On Planning

The decision to launch a business is certainly an exciting one, especially when your new venture intends to help many people. However, that doesn’t mean you should get ahead of yourself. Before you begin buying equipment or renting buildings, you must make a business plan. While this can be a tedious task, unless you have a plan to follow, you’ll be operating in the dark. All business plans are different, but every one must define the venture, as well as your goals for it.

2. Forgetting About The Money

As you write your business plan, you must consider the financial side of things. Many startups launch with very little capital, but that isn’t an option for healthcare businesses. After all, there are many high costs you have to cover before you get up and running. This means that you will likely have to apply for financing. To make a profit with your venture, you should plan how to spend every penny you borrow. Make sure you also protect your money by investing in insurance. 

3. Working On Your Own

Being an experienced business person doesn’t make you a healthcare professional, just like being a healthcare professional won’t make you a successful business person. Unless you’re an expert in both topics, you must have plenty of support from those that are. Often, this means finding yourself a business mentor. Being an entrepreneur is a time-consuming task, so you will need employees too. It also helps to outsource certain tasks, like accounting and marketing. 

4. Hiring Unfit Employees

While you will need plenty of help to make your business a success, you shouldn’t hire just anyone. Where healthcare ventures are concerned, it’s particularly important that you employ individuals that are qualified for the positions. You must also make sure that they have similar values to yourself and the rest of the team. Hiring people unsuitable for your business will put a strain on other employees. This will impact morale and productivity, which could affect patients.

5. Avoiding The Essential Purchases

Managing a healthcare business isn’t cheap. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid spending. There are many purchases you have to make for your venture to be a success, such as medications and medical fridges from Ethicheck Ltd. Avoiding buying these things will make it harder, if not impossible, for you to do your job. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t spend more than you have to, so make sure you shop around for great deals and haggle with suppliers for money off. 

6. Paying Yourself Too Little

Paying yourself a small salary is a mistake many new business owners make, particularly in the healthcare sector. The reason for this is that many entrepreneurs get into healthcare because they want to help others, rather than make money. As a result, they pay themselves less to compensate for the emotional rewards. However, even with the other benefits, you need a decent salary to live. Because of this, you should try taking home a percentage of the revenue.

7. Neglecting That Marketing Plan

Without marketing, no one will know that your healthcare venture exists. The same is true for any other business out there. This means that you won’t make money and will likely go under. Thankfully, there are many marketing tactics that you could try. If you’re working with a small budget, digital marketing strategies, like social media and content marketing, can be effective. This is a task you should definitely outsource if you don’t have the knowledge to do it yourself.

8. Being Inaccessible To Patients

The location of your healthcare business is key. Effective marketing won’t do you any good if your practice is located in an inaccessible area. Sick and injured people don’t want to travel far for treatment, so your premises must be easy to reach. It’s also important that the building has parking spaces and public transport routes nearby. This means that even those a little further away can become a patient at your practice. The premises should be big enough to grow too.

9. Ignoring Any Local Competition

What seems like a perfect location will be proven not to be if there is another practice nearby. Unlike retail stores, most people visit only one pharmacy or doctor surgery. If you were to open a healthcare business close to another one, you would probably struggle to find patients. Picking an area with no other practices nearby means that people are likely to come to you. When this isn’t possible, you must find ways to stand out, such as by offering treatments that others don’t.

10. Growing Way Too Quickly

Growth is a goal every business should have, regardless of industry. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t attempt to scale your healthcare venture too quickly. Even with money coming in, you must consult your budget before any big purchase. The last thing you want is to overspend and be left with too little to cover operating costs. Growth won’t happen by itself, but it should do so naturally. If you try to force your new business to grow, you’re likely to cause disastrous problems. 

Launching a healthcare business definitely isn’t easy. Even experts in healthcare, business, or both don’t know all there is to know about the topics. This can result in some very serious mistakes being made. Hopefully, with the advice above, you can avoid harming your venture and make it a success instead. 

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When IT Doesn’t Work

There is no business without IT, but more importantly, there is no sustainable business without reliable IT solutions. Indeed, IT is at the core of your everyday processes, helping you to organize your workload, manage customer demands, handle transactions, and maintain your communication activities. You wouldn’t picture an office without a computer or a laptop. But while we can’t imagine working without direct access to technology, we sometimes struggle to make the most of our IT solutions. Indeed, when IT doesn’t work, businesses are left without any further option to carry out with their day-to-day jobs. More to the point, poor IT system can have dramatic consequences on your company. Here’s why you don’t want bad IT: 

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It affects your business rep

Your IT is the bridge that connects you to your audience. In the age of DIY digital businesses, you can’t afford to neglect your IT solutions. Indeed, poor setup or lack of setup plans can not only cause delays, but it can also hinder your customer relationship. Your customers want to be able to visit your website and interact with your brand without hitting the unpleasant 404 or 500 error page, for instance. Additionally, another setup issue could occur for self-made sites when the contact form isn’t correctly linked to a mailbox. As a result, your business doesn’t appear professional. 

It slows you down

Things break. Even with the best of care, your IT system might fail to update properly or hit unexpected roadblocks. However, without dedicated IT consultancy services, you might find your team struggling to get past issues. Indeed, IT downtime is unpleasant. But with professional troubleshooting and monitoring, you can avoid issues – or get them fixed rapidly. Getting in touch with an IT specialist and making an emergency repair appointment could cost you precious time when you don’t have a dedicated team. 

It costs you money

How much does IT downtime cost you? According to Gartner, the average cost ranks at around $5,600 per minute. However, the majority of companies report that one hour of downtime can cost a whopping $100,000 or more. For global companies, however, the cost of one hour is measured in millions. Ultimately, downtime means failure to process transactions, inability to carry on projects and meet deadlines, and potential loss of customers who turned to a competitor for their needs. The real question is: how much money can you afford to lose? 

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It costs you your team

Finally, your team gets frustrated. Nobody wants to get ready for work just to be met with the blue screen of a failed update, or to be stuck offline all day. Gradually, the frustration can feed their job dissatisfaction. Indeed, your employees don’t want to feel stressed out to meet tight deadlines as a result of your IT problems. Additionally, they don’t want to waste their time trying to maneuver their tasks around IT obstacles. In the long term, if IT disrupts their work, they’re likely to look elsewhere for a new employer. 

IT breaks, and it’s unavoidable. Not everything works all the time. But being able to rely on a professional team for support can ensure that your downtime won’t have any lasting, negative effect on your company. 

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