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Still need to make changes?

THERE IS STILL TIME TO MAKE CHANGES FOR 2020 Medicare Annual open enrollment is here, you have until Dec. 7th to review your current insurance coverage and healthcare needs and make changes that will serve you best during 2020. During open enrollment, you have the chance to change your Medicare plan to fit your needs. […]

ANNUAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR MEDICARE

Medicare Annual open enrollment is almost here, are you ready? Starting Oct. 15th through Dec. 7th, you have the opportunity to review your current insurance coverage and healthcare needs and make changes that will serve you best during 2020. During open enrollment, you have the chance to change your Medicare plan to fit your changing […]

Benefits for Medicare Advantage are Expanding in 2020

According to AARP: For the second year in a row, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will be able to increase their benefits, including home meal deliveries, transportation, and some housecleaning. Under the new policies, MA plans in 2020 can cover a broad range of supplemental benefits that aren’t typically considered health needs but, have a reasonable […]

You Have Options – Supplements Plan

As independent brokers, we compare premium rates with the other carriers to find you the lowest, most competitive rates. You will find a variety of plan options offered by a range of companies, which in turn, gives you choices. Supplemental Plans Vision, dental and other supplemental insurance is not part of your Medicare coverage. You will […]

Navigating the Medicare Maze

Confused and unsure about your Medicare benefits, how to use them or if you need supplemental insurance? MHIP is here to help! We know it’s confusing and we are here to be a resource for you.  Read More…

Wondering how an annuity works?

Think of an annuity as insurance to protect your retirement. When investing in an annuity, you work with MHIP to set the terms, including the contribution, number of years for accruing principal, and how you receive the payout of your investment (a lump-sum payment, installment plan etc.) Read More…

What Are Medicare Supplements?

Happy Holidays! We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to serving you in 2019! With a Medicare Supplement, Medicare is still your primary insurance, but the supplement plan fills in the gaps of Medicare by paying your deductibles and coinsurance so that you don’t have copays (except […]

Understanding Medicare

We are thankful this season for you! A big thanks to all of our clients in 2018. We appreciate you and the opportunity to serve your needs. Happy Thanksgiving! We talk more about Medicare and help you manage expectations. Read More…

Medicare Part D Enrollment for 2019 Will Be Here Soon!

Medicare Part D Enrollment for 2019 Will Be Here Soon! Begins October 15th and runs through December 7th Important for ALL enrollees to review their Part D plans every year Your health and medications may have changed during 2018, as well as the coverage which will be provided by your current plan for 2019 Look […]

3 Things You Need To Know About Your Medicare Card

Be on the lookout for your new Medicare card! It will be arriving in your mailboxes soon. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity. YOUR NEW CARD WILL LOOK LIKE THIS: More information on the new […]

New Medicare Cards Are Coming

Our monthly newsletter is here and we’re excited to share what’s new with MHIP, industry updates and keep you in the loop on enrollment periods and what’s available. As always, we look forward to serving you and let us know how we can help! Read More…

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for persons age 65 and older as well as certain disabled individuals. In 1965, Medicare was enacted to provide a “safety net” of health-care coverage for qualifying individuals. Medicare is packaged in two major parts. Part A is hospital insurance protection. It covers hospitalization, some hospice care, and […]

Am I Prepared for Long-Term Care Expenses?

In general, Americans are not sufficiently prepared to pay for long-term care. Many of them go through their lives simply hoping that they won’t ever need it. Unfortunately, in the event that you or a loved one does need long-term care, hope won’t be enough to protect you from potential financial ruin. SELF-INSURANCE AS AN […]

What Is Whole Life Insurance?

Most people are familiar with whole life insurance. For many years, whole life policies were the predominant type of life insurance sold in America. When you purchase a whole life policy, you traditionally pay a fixed premium for as long as you live or for as long as you keep the policy in force. In […]

Why Are Annuities Considered an Insurance Product?

Annuities are financial vehicles that can be sold only by insurance companies. Basically, an annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company, which promises to pay you a future income in exchange for the lump-sum payment or premiums that you pay. The payments specified in the annuity contract will be paid to you […]

Why Purchase Life Insurance?

We’ve all heard about the importance of having life insurance, but is it really necessary? Usually, the answer is “yes,” but it depends on your specific situation. If you have a family who relies on your income, then it is imperative to have life insurance protection. If you’re single and have no major assets to […]

How does inflation affect me?

Are you saving for retirement? For your children’s education? For any other long-term goal? If so, you’ll want to know how inflation can impact your savings. Inflation is the increase in the price of products over time. Inflation rates have fluctuated over the years. Sometimes inflation runs high, and other times it is hardly noticeable. […]

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

Many Americans facing retirement would love to increase their monthly income. Fortunately, there is a way that homeowners can use their homes to help finance their retirement — to turn the value of their property into usable cash without the emotional trauma of having to sell and move. A reverse mortgage turns the value of […]

Indexed Annuities

If you want to limit potential losses while participating in the potentially attractive returns of a market-driven investment but would also like a guaranteed return, an indexed annuity might be worth checking out. The performance of indexed annuities, also referred to as equity-indexed or fixed-indexed annuities, is tied to an index (for example, the Standard […]

Social Security Income

Estimating your future Social Security benefits used to be a difficult task, but not any longer. For an estimate of your projected benefits, go to www.ssa.gov/estimator. The retirement estimator gives estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record. The website form will ask you for a number of facts, including your name, Social Security […]

Will Social Security Retire Before You Do?

People have traditionally seen Social Security benefits as the foundation of their retirement planning programs. The Social Security contributions deducted from workers’ paychecks have, in effect, served as a government-enforced retirement savings plan. However, the Social Security system is under increasing strain. Better health care and longer life spans have resulted in an increasing number […]

Why Do People Buy Annuities?

Annuities are insurance-based financial vehicles that can provide many benefits sought by retirement-minded investors. There are a number of reasons why people buy annuities. Deferral of taxes is a big benefit, and so is the ability to put large sums of money into an annuity — more than is allowed annually in a 401(k) plan […]

What Are the Pitfalls of Probate?

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your estate after you die? How long will it take for your loved ones to receive the estate you’ve left them? Will each receive what you’d like them to have? If you’re like most people, your estate will go through a lengthy probate process. Probate consists of […]

What Is a Required Minimum Distribution?

A required minimum distribution (RMD) is the annual amount that must be withdrawn from a traditional IRA or a qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k), 403(b), and self-employed plans) after the account owner reaches the age of 70½. The last date allowed for the first withdrawal is April 1 following the year in which […]

Changing Market: Municipal Bonds After Tax Reform (NEWSLETTER)

January is typically a strong month for the municipal bond market, but 2018 began with the worst January performance since 1981, driven by rising interest rates and uncertainty over changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).1 The muni market stabilized through late April 2018, but uncertainty remains.2 The tax law changed the playing […]

A New Look at Old Retirement Savings Guidelines (NEWSLETTER)

Saving for retirement is complicated, so it’s not surprising that a few fundamental guidelines have become popular over the years to help simplify complex ideas. Here are four that you might have come across in reading, researching, or just talking with friends. Like most guidelines, they offer helpful starting points but need to be examined […]

Where There’s a Will…(NEWSLETTER)

A 2017 survey found that only 42% of U.S. adults — and only 36% of those with children under age 18 — had a will or a living trust.1 (A living trust can serve some but not all functions of a will; you should have a will even if you have a trust.) The most […]

The Cost of Caregiving(NEWSLETTER)

About 40 million family caregivers in the United States provide unpaid care to another adult.1 Caregiving for a loved one is a noble endeavor, and considering the high cost of professional long-term care, it may be the only alternative for some families. But “free” caregiving often comes with financial, physical, and emotional costs. If you […]

A Steady Strategy (NEWSLETTER)

One of the most fundamental truths of investing is that you can’t time the market. Even so, it’s natural to wince a little when you buy an investment only to see the price drop, or sell only to see the price rise. One approach that might help alleviate some of your concerns is dollar-cost averaging. […]

Time to Hire? Consider the Pros and Costs (NEWSLETTER)

It’s exciting to discover an opportunity to expand the size or scope of your business, and sometimes more workers are needed to make that happen. In the fourth quarter of 2017, 32% of small-business owners said they intend to increase the number of jobs in their companies over the next 12 months.1 How do you […]

Options for Inherited IRAs (NEWSLETTER)

IRS rules for inheriting retirement accounts are complex, and an uninformed decision could result in unexpected taxes and penalties. Your options depend on your relationship to the original owner and the owner’s age at the time of death. Beneficiaries of both traditional and Roth IRAs must take required minimum distributions (RMDs), with one exception for […]

How Long Should You Keep Financial Records? (NEWSLETTER)

The beginning of the year is also the start of tax filing season, so it’s a great time to organize your records. As you do so, you may want to discard old records to make room for new ones. (Use a shredder to discard records containing confidential information such as Social Security and financial account […]

Why Hold Money Market Mutual Funds? (NEWSLETTER)

After six years of near-zero returns, the yield on money market mutual funds began to edge upward in 2016, with 30-day taxable funds returning 0.13% for the year. This may not sound like much, but it’s a big jump from the 0.01% to 0.03% yield during the 2010 to 2015 period. The uptick continued in […]

Settling an Estate (NEWSLETTER)

Being named as the executor of a family member’s estate is generally an honor. It means that person has been chosen to handle the financial affairs of the deceased individual and is trusted to help carry out his or her wishes. Settling an estate, however, can be a difficult and time-consuming job that could take […]

Disaster Insurance Can Help Your Company Stay Afloat (NEWSLETTER)

Hurricane Harvey deluged southeast Texas and Louisiana with 27 trillion gallons of water in August 2017. By one estimate, economic losses could total $81 billion to $108 billion, a range that would surpass Hurricane Katrina (2005) and make Harvey the second most expensive storm since 1980.1 Small businesses tend to operate on tight margins, so […]

Business Tax Breaks: Impact on Earnings and the Economy (NEWSLETTER)

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a $1.5 trillion tax cut package, was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The following changes are intended to put the tax treatment of U.S. businesses on more equal footing with their global competitors and to spur business investment in the United States that could drive up economic […]

International Investing: Opportunities Overseas? (NEWSLETTER)

In late June 2017, a time when U.S. market indexes were at near-record highs, 65% of investment managers thought the U.S. stock market was overvalued. By contrast, 86% thought European stocks were undervalued, and 88% thought stocks in emerging markets were undervalued.1 At the same time, a majority of investment managers felt that U.S. corporate […]

An Introduction to Trusts (NEWSLETTER)

You may think trusts are only for wealthy people, but that’s not necessarily the case. A properly constructed trust can serve many purposes for families of more modest means. A trust might help avoid the time-consuming and costly probate process, maintain control of a legacy for your heirs, provide for a dependent with special needs, […]

Keeping Savings on Track with a Spousal IRA (NEWSLETTER)

Being a stay-at-home mom or dad, or working part-time to help take care of the children, can make a big contribution to the balance and well-being of a family. Unfortunately, time out of the workforce could put the caregiving spouse at a disadvantage when it comes to retirement savings. A spousal IRA — funded for […]

Illinois Highlights Credit Risk (NEWSLETTER)

State and local governments sell bonds to help fund ongoing expenses and finance public projects such as roads, sewers, schools, and stadiums. Because government entities have the power to raise taxes and fees as needed to pay the interest, municipal bonds are generally considered to be less risky than corporate bonds, so they typically offer […]

No Shortage of Liability Risks (NEWSLETTER)

Accidents and mistakes happen no matter how well a business is run, and the expenses involved in defending a lawsuit could be devastating, whether the owner is found to be at fault or not. Fortunately, liability insurance can help offset unforeseen legal costs (up to the policy limits) that could consume your business’s profits or […]

Tax Reform: How Will You Be Affected? (HOT TOPIC NEWSLETTER)

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax-cut package that fundamentally changes the individual and business tax landscape. The centerpiece of the legislation is a permanent reduction of the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. Among other business provisions are a shift to a territorial tax system (in which […]

Market Measures: Beyond the Dow (NEWSLETTER)

When you hear that the market is up or down — on the car radio or around the water cooler — what does that really mean? More often than not, it reflects movement in the two most well-known stock market indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500, which tend to […]

How a Pension Could Affect Social Security Benefits (NEWSLETTER)

If you earned a pension while working in private industry, you probably also paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. If that’s the case, the two retirement income streams are independent of each other, and you can enjoy the full benefits of both. However, if you earned a pension while NOT paying into Social Security […]

Two Tax-Friendly Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed (NEWSLETTER)

Like most business owners, you may devote most of your time, energy, and profits to running and growing your company. But keep in mind that you are likely on your own when it comes to saving money for retirement. This is not the only reason it may be worth the effort to divert a sizable […]

Consider a Roth for Tax-Free Retirement Income (NEWSLETTER)

Contributing to a traditional IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan may offer a current-year tax benefit by reducing taxable income. However, distributions — including any earnings — are taxed as ordinary income. By contrast, contributions to a Roth IRA or a designated Roth account in an employer retirement plan do not reduce current income, but […]

Better Late Than Never (NEWSLETTER)

Federal estate and gift taxes affect only relatively large estates. That’s because individuals can exclude a very high amount of assets from federal estate and gift tax liability. The lifetime exclusion amount for individuals is $5.49 million in 2017 and indexed annually for inflation. Assets left to a surviving spouse, which aren’t subject to federal […]

PPO or HDHP? Making Health Insurance Choices (NEWSLETTER)

More than half of large U.S. companies offer employees a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).1 When an HDHP is offered, employees often have a choice between the HDHP and a traditional preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. People who buy coverage outside the workplace may face a similar choice. Premiums are generally lower for an HDHP than […]

FAFSA in the Fall for Lower Stress (NEWSLETTER)

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) used to be a family “stressfest” right after the winter holidays. Parents and students scrambled to estimate their prior-year tax information after the FAFSA became available on January 1, and then had to update the information when they finalized their returns. The situation improved in […]

Medicare Open Enrollment (NEWSLETTER)

Each year between October 15 and December 7, Medicare offers an open enrollment period during which beneficiaries can make changes among several coverage options: Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance, referred to as Original Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage, which replaces Original Medicare and often includes prescription drug coverage and other […]

Required Minimum Distribution Rules (NEWSLETTER)

Many people wait as long as possible to withdraw funds from tax-deferred retirement plans such as IRAs and 401(k)s in order to give their investments more time to grow. But the IRS won’t let you postpone the income taxes indefinitely. Once you reach age 70½, you generally must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from […]

Stacking Up Tax Breaks for Business Investments (NEWSLETTER)

There are times in the lifecycle of a small business when spending money now could really pay off later. New equipment or technology might help streamline operations or improve employee productivity. Maybe a larger facility is needed or there’s an attractive opportunity to expand into a new market. The U.S. tax code generally encourages investments […]

Trade Tactics: New Metals Tariffs Reflect U.S. Policy Shift (NEWSLETTER)

On March 8, 2018, President Trump imposed a global tariff of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports.1 A tariff is a tax on a particular class of imported goods or services that is designed to help protect domestic industries from foreign competition. The metals tariffs have not been well received by U.S. […]

Dividend Investing: Small Payments Can Boost Returns (NEWSLETTER)

Owning shares of stock or stock funds might increase the value of your portfolio in one of two fundamental ways: capital appreciation (i.e., price increases) and dividend payments. Of the two, capital appreciation carries the greatest potential for return, but it also carries the greatest potential for loss. And any gains or losses are only […]

Pick Your Plastic: Debit or Credit? (NEWSLETTER)

According to a Federal Reserve study, Americans use debit cards more often than credit cards, but the total value and the average value of credit card transactions are higher than those of debit card transactions (see chart). This reflects fundamental differences. A debit card acts like a plastic check and draws directly from your checking […]

Income for the Long Run (NEWSLETTER)

In a recent survey of 3,000 Americans ranging in age from 20 to 70, almost two-thirds of the respondents said they feared running out of money in retirement more than they feared death.1 Fear may not be a helpful response, but this concern is not surprising considering changes in the American retirement landscape. People are […]

Monetary Policy Update (NEWSLETTER)

The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It includes a network of 12 Federal Reserve Banks and 24 branches around the nation. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is responsible for setting monetary policies in accordance with the Fed’s dual mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability. Seven members […]

Guard Against Growing Cybersecurity Threats (NEWSLETTER)

Hackers are continuing to target small businesses at an alarming rate. In one 2017 survey, 53% of executives said their businesses had experienced a cyber attack in the previous year.1 When a data breach occurs, outsiders gain access to the personally identifiable information of customers or other individuals, opening the door for identity theft and […]

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