4 Obamacare Essentials You NEED to Know


The provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — sometimes referred to as Obamacare — have been phasing in for a few years now.

The biggest provision affecting consumers, though, is the requirement to purchase individual health insurance.  That mandate doesn’t kick in until 2014.

But guess what?  2014 is just around the corner.

If you don’t have health insurance coverage in 2014, you will have to pay a fine, unless you qualify for an exception.  Before 2014 arrives, it’s a good idea to understand how all of this works.

Here are 4 essentials you need to know about Obamacare:

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Do You Need More Time Off? – Vacation Time in the U.S. Vs. Other Countries


Around the world, Americans are known for their solid work ethic.

Here in the United States, we place a premium on hard work.

However, that might actually be detrimental to us.

If you are looking for a good work/life balance, the fact that you leave an average of 11 vacation days on the table (according to CNN Money) could be a bad thing.

It might even reduce your productivity level.

vacation time for employees

How Does U.S. Vacation Time Stack Up against Other Countries

We take much less vacation than other countries.

In fact, many countries require companies to give a certain number of paid vacation days for employees with 10 years of services.  The United States isn’t one of those countries, but China is (10 paid vacation days).  Other countries include the United Kingdom, with 28, and Japan with 20.
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How an Emergency Fund Will Save Your A$$


You need an emergency fund.

This represents one of the basic pieces of personal finance advice.  Even so, many people don’t believe that an emergency savings are necessary.

If you want to improve your chances of achieving financial freedom, though, you need to change your mindset and acknowledge that an emergency fund is essential.

Here’s Why an Emergency Fund is Essential. Read These Now!

An emergency fund is essential.

To Deal with Unexpected Expenses

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Have You Thought about Renegotiating Your Life Insurance Premiums?

Handwritten Insurance Claim Form with pen and calculator

With life insurance, many of us just accept the fact that the premiums are set at the outset, and that once they are locked in, you are stuck.

The good news is that this isn’t always the case.

It’s actually possible for you to contact your insurance company when your risk profile changes and negotiate a better monthly premium.  This applies to term life insurance and permanent life insurance.

If you have been making positive changes in your life, consider asking for a reassessment to see if you are eligible for lower premiums.

When to Renegotiate Your Life Insurance

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Diplomatically Say No to Friends and Family That Want to Borrow Money – 6 Tips


One of the hardest things you will ever have to do in life is to look a friend or family member in the eye and say no.

It’s hard enough to do this when you’ve been asked to watch someone else’s kids, or attend some event.  It’s even more difficult to tell a loved one no when he or she is asking for money.

However, you might not want to lend money to family and friends since relationships can be ruined.  As awkward as it is to say no in these situations, the awkwardness can be even more intense when you have a loan (particularly an unpaid loan) between you.

If you don’t want to get involved with lending money to friends and family, here are 6 tips to help you say no:


1. Make it Your Policy

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What is Long Term Care Insurance, and Should I Buy It?

Handwritten Insurance Claim Form with pen and calculator

One of the biggest fears that many of us have is losing independence.

What happens when you can no longer keep up with your house?  Where will you go if you can’t stay in your home?  And how will you pay for it?

Long term care insurance (also known as LTC or LTCI) is supposed to answer some of these questions.

What is Long Term Care Insurance?

This type of insurance policy is supposed to help you pay for different types of long term care as you age.  Long term care insurance is designed to pay for services that might come in your own home, at an assisted living facility, at an adult daycare, or in a nursing home.

You are supposed to be able to buy a policy, make premium payments, and then, when you need help with care due to illness, old age, disability, or some other difficulty, the long term care insurance provides the means for you to pay for services that might include anything from helping you manage day-to-day to providing you with certain health care services.
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Buying Municipal Bonds: Do You Understand the Risk?


One of the more popular investment strategies during tough economic times is to turn to bonds.

Bonds are considered relatively safe, when you invest in entities that are highly rated and stable.  Since you are supposed to get your principal back (barring a default), plus a small amount of interest, many people like the idea of bonds.

A type of bond that has seen an increase in popularity recently is the municipal bond.

Municipal bonds are issued by localities.  They often come with higher yields than Treasury securities and even many corporate bonds.  On top of that, there are tax advantages to investing in municipal bonds.

But before you decide to take the plunge with municipal bonds, make sure that you understand how they work, and the types of risks involved.

How Do Municipal Bonds Work?

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