How To Save on Health Insurance

With health care costs soaring through the roof, the cost of health insurance premiums are increasing as well. Health insurance is a necessity, however, when you consider the costs of one visit to the emergency room, surgery to set a broken bone, scans, lab and other costs. When your budget is limited, how can you keep the costs of your health insurance premiums down? There are several steps you can take to reduce your health insurance costs and still maintain adequate medical coverage when you need it.

First step is to consider what health insurance options you have. Does your employer offer a group medical benefit? Many employers (and/or labor unions) offer health benefits to full-time employees. Group health insurance is usually the cheapest way to get medical coverage; an employer can negotiate with health insurance companies to get a group health plan at cheaper rates. In addition, many employers will pay part of the premium, reducing your health insurance cost even further. Another consideration is whether your spouse has health coverage available through their employer? If so, compare your health benefits plan to that of your spouse, and decide which health plan is the better buy. It may be possible to have one spouse carry family health insurance coverage and the other drop their health benefits. Many employers have multiple health insurance options, so review these plans as well. Choose the health plan that best meets your needs at the cheapest rate.

If no health insurance coverage is available through your employer, there are other ways to obtain health insurance coverage. Individual and family private health insurance policies are available. Shop and compare benefits and premiums from each health insurance plan. If you and your family are generally healthy, the new Health Savings Account (HSA) may be worth consideration. The HSA is an account that allows you to save tax-free dollars for your medical/health expenses. Similar to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you are limited in the amount that you are allowed to contribute each year; however, with the HSA, withdrawals for health expenses are not penalized, and no tax is paid on the withdrawal. When paired with a health insurance policy that has high deductibles and low rates, the HSA may be ideal for you. Save money in the HSA for deductibles and co-pays, and you’re set.

For those over 65 or permanently disabled, Medicare is available through the federal government. The original Medicare is an 80/20 plan (they pay 80% of eligible expenses and the insured pays 20%) with an annual deductible and a monthly premium. Supplemental health plans are available to cover this deductible and co-pay. These supplemental health plans are usually private and the insured pays a premium. In addition to the original Medicare plan, there are Medicare HMOs. In these Medicare HMO health plans, the Medicare premium is paid to an HMO to provide benefits to the insured. HMO plans are more restrictive in that patients must get care through a network provider, but often these plans cover more prescription drugs and preventive care than original Medicare does.

Recently some employers have offered lower premiums to employees who do not smoke cigarettes. This is currently a controversial topic for some, but it certainly may begin a trend. In the future, employers and their health insurance providers could offer reduced premiums for employees who maintain normal weight, exercise regularly, and receive certain wellness benefits. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle lowers the risk to the health insurance company that they will be paying big bucks in health care down the road. And health insurance, as any other insurance, is all about risk.

Bottom line: going without health insurance coverage is a big risk for you. Find health coverage that you can afford just in case Murphy comes knocking at your door!

Business Online – Find What You Are Looking For With Laser-Beam Focus

The idea of starting an internet business really appeals to people. The opportunity to make a mark as well as extra income is a strong pull that offers the kind of buzz that most ‘normal’ jobs don’t. The difficulty is that most people rarely have an idea of what that business looks like. They don’t have a clue as to what they are looking for. If you want a business online, here’s how to find what you are looking for with laser-beam focus.

Hunting for a business online using laser-beam focus gets rid of the “looking for a needle in a haystack” approach. It helps you find the answer to your query without needing to guess and makes the whole process much easier and simpler. It also helps to unscramble the desires lurking within, so go make yourself a coffee, take some time out and answer the following questions:

1) “Do I want to work for myself or other people?” Do I already have a product or service in mind that is totally original that I can run with, or am I looking for something that can help get me established?

Answering these questions will help you identify a business that either depends on your abilities right now, or offers you a framework to work in. An example of this would be a writer who sets up a business writing ebooks, (working for himself) or one who finds an agency and becomes a ghostwriter (working for someone else).

2) “Do I want to take responsibility for the business myself?” Have I enough knowledge to dive straight in and know what I am doing? Do I have enough confidence and belief in myself to work out each step out as I go along?

Answering these questions will help you identify businesses that act as a conduit and those that require you to support yourself. An example of this would be making iPhone Apps. You already have the ideas to create the Apps, but now you need an online business to provide a platform to equip you to make Apps using software yourself, or you need to use an established programmer to do it for you.

3) “How much help do I need?” Do I want a business that will take me by the hand and show me step-by-step exactly what I need to do? Do I want mentoring and training to provide on-going support? Or do I already have the right knowledge and just need some simple training to show me how to get going?

Answering these questions will help you identify the businesses online that offer training and support “as you go”, from the those that require previous background knowledge. An example of this would be an internet centre that offers training and mentoring to both beginners and seasoned pros. via online training theatres, or simply learning how to build a Squidoo lens to market a product straight off.

As you can see, just asking a few simple questions really will help find what you are looking for with laser beam focus, so what will you do next? The most successful businesses online know how to utilize the internet for profit and increase their online skill base. For your next step, check out how one internet centre trains total newbies to make money online and earn their own wealth. I hope you have found ‘business online – find what you are looking for with laser beam focus’ helpful.

Consider the FOREX Market

We’ve all been living in a period of economic uncertainty for far too long. People everywhere are searching for profitable investment alternatives to the stock market and many are currently taking advantage of the recent condition of the national Real Estate market, while others have turned toward commodities. But tens of thousands of investors around the world have found the Foreign Exchange market, the (spot) FOREX market. It’s a solid investment alternative and, with the proper education, it can help you restore your personal financial well-being. That’s why the (spot) FOREX market is traded by people in almost every country on the face of the planet.

Startup costs are low when you compare the initial costs of getting into the stock market.  Plus, by comparison, the FOREX market dwarfs equities on a global basis so there is absolutely no chance of anyone controlling the foreign exchange market. The daily volume of the FOREX market in North America back in October 2005 was about $440 billion but it has now grown to a volume of four to six trillion dollars a day!   That’s more than all the world’s stock markets combined.

When you are searching for that “perfect” investment opportunity in the stock market you are forced to filter through more than 40 thousand stocks which can be confusing and extremely time consuming.  Not so in the FOREX!  You can literally trade just six major currency pairs tied to the U.S. dollar.  That’s it!  Or you might just select one or two currency pairs to watch on a daily basis.  I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a much easier plan.  And, you can make money when the market is going up or going down plus there’s no reason to wait for an opening bell to sound since the FOREX trades 24 hours a day, six days a week.

By the way, if you are a stock trader and accustomed to technical analysis and charting techniques, I believe you’ll find that a shift to FOREX will be seamless since it moves in very identifiable patterns. The FOREX market is the most liquid in the world today; investors and traders can almost always open and/or close a particular position at a fair price.

Accessibility is another strong point for FOREX traders.  With access to an Internet connection, you can trade from anywhere on the planet and actually make money trading only a few hours a day or week (by the way, these are hours that you choose…hours that fit your personal schedule) right from your personal computer.  Allow me to mention a single word that is perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the FOREX market – leverage.  FOREX offers up to 100:1 leverage!  You won’t find that kind of power in other, more traditional, investment opportunities.

And here’s another advantage to trading the (spot) FOREX. No matter which trading platform you decide to use, you can begin trading currencies without risk by using a “demo” account. Just set up a hypothetical account and practice before actually using “real” money.  Set up your demo account anyway you’d like but I highly recommend you create an account that realistically simulates the dollar value/amount of the “real” account you will eventually set up.  Then practice until you feel comfortable with your FOREX trading strategy.

You will no doubt want to expand your FOREX trading horizons very quickly but make sure you receive the education you need before leaving your “paper trading” account behind and taking your account to the next level – using your own money.  Just like anything else, there is a learning curve involved in becoming a competent currency trader.  Hey, when you learned to drive you had to practice a little before actually going out on an active, busy highway. So make sure you get a solid educational background and demo trade an account to understand the intricacies of trading the FOREX before you invest your own “real” money.

I also invite you to sign up on my JDfn social networking website. You’ll be able to learn the strategies and latest events occurring around the (spot) FOREX market from professional traders and other FOREX traders, just like you, around the country.  Just visit JDFN on the Internet and sign up today….it doesn’t cost you a thing but I’m certain you’ll find the information on the site extremely helpful. 

It’s always more fun to trade with someone – whether it’s with your spouse, a neighbor, a relative or someone from work. Consider starting a trading group in your area so you can help each other become more successful and profitable by trading the FOREX.  Trading is fun and can be financially beneficial! If you haven’t done so already, consider the (spot) FOREX market. It’s an exciting and potentially profitable trading alternative and a great way of diversifying your individual financial portfolio.

Forex Education- You’ll Be Sorry If You Don’t

Forex educating is not something that anyone is smart enough to do without. Forex education, whether you are brand new to the currency markets or have been trading for years, should be ongoing. You’ll simply never know enough to stay ahead of the game, and should accept before you start that you’ll have to keep learning as long as you keep trading. It’s a small price to pay, after all, for the potential returns that the Forex market offers to its savvy players.

And the advent of both electronic trading and the Internet have taken Forex education out of the hands of the financial movers and shakers, and made digital stock and currency trading as accessible to the masses as online banking. Anyone with a personal computer, Internet access, and the ability to read can get a sound Forex education.

A Look Back

A hundred years ago, even though the currency trading market was far from new, it was stable. Speculation in currencies was unheard of, and news traveled slowly. Deteriorating economic conditions in one part of the globe did not have nearly the same catastrophic effect on worldwide markets as they sometimes have today, and the relative value of international currencies simply did not fluctuate on a daily basis.

The Forex Today

But with the introduction of the Euro, and its relationship to the US dollar, the Forex market saw explosive growth. As more and more people turned to currency trading as a part of their investment portfolios, Forex education became more and more essential.

Anyone who decides to begin trading currency without spending some time on Forex education is almost guaranteed a quick and bloody exit. There are so many aspects of Forex trading which should be at least understood, if not mastered, before an investor begins trading that those who fail to study them will soon be lunch for those who know what they are doing.

Learning to read currency charts and technical analysis, at the very least, will provide minimal Forex education, but very minimal. Getting into Forex trading without Forex education is akin to deciding to take a raft trip down the Amazon without a map of South America, and a compass. It’s a jungle out there.


Both the enormous size and liquidity of the Forex market have attracted millions of players who think they can bet the trends, which are usually pronounced. Another almost irresistible enticement which the Forex trading [] offers is its huge leverage ratios; Forex brokers will allow their clients to be leveraged by as much a 100:1.

And with that enormous leverage ratio, or course, comes enormous risk. For those who have not taken the time to work on their Forex education and understand what risk management is all about, being so highly leveraged will find them on a roller coaster of profits and losses. By treating themselves to some Forex education, they would realize that even the best, most seasoned Forex traders take it on the chin from time to time.

The most important lesson in Forex education? Never play the Forex market with money that is not risk capital. That way, if you lose, you’ll live to fight another day.

Major Forex Currency Pairs

Forex currencies are always traded in pairs. For example, EUR/USD, which means Euro over US dollars, would be a typical pair. In this case, the Euro, being the first currency can be called the base currency. The second currency, by default USD, is called the counter or quote currency. As mentioned, the first currency is the base, therefore in a pair you can refer the amount of that currency as being the amount required to purchase one unit of the second currency. So, if you want to buy the currency pair, you have to buy the EURO and sell the USD simultaneously. On the other hand, if you are looking to sell the currency pair, you have to sell the EURO and buy the USD. As a part of forex trading strategies the most important thing is to understand the currency pairs, or more precisely in a Forex transaction, what currency you will be selling or buying. Having good knowledge of major currencies of the world is important while learning forex trading.

Major currencies US Dollar – The United States dollar is the world’s main currency – a universal measure to evaluate any other currency traded on Forex. All currencies are generally quoted in US dollar terms. Under conditions of international economic and political unrest, the US dollar is the main secure currency, which was proven particularly well throughout the past Southeast Asian crisis. As it was indicated, the US dollar became the leading currency toward the end of the World War II, as the other currencies were almost pegged against it.

Euro – The Euro was designed to become the premier currency in forex trading by simply being quoted in American terms. Like the US dollar, the Euro has a strong international presence stemming from members of the European Monetary Union. The currency stays plagued by inadequate growth, high unemployment, and government resistance to structural changes. The pair was also weighed in 1999 and 2000 by outflows from foreign investors, particularly Japanese, who were forced to liquidate their losing investments in euro-denominated assets.

Japanese Yen – The Japanese Yen is the third most traded currency in the world; it has a much smaller international presence than the US dollar or the Euro. The Yen is very liquid around the world.

British Pound – Until the end of the Second World War, the Pound was the currency of reference. The currency is heavily traded against the Euro and the US dollar, but has a spotty presence against the other currencies.

Swiss Franc – The Swiss Franc is the currency of a major European country that belongs neither to the European Monetary Union nor the G-7 countries. Although the Swiss economy is relatively small, the Swiss Franc is one of the four major currencies, closely resembling the strength and quality of the Swiss economy and finance. Typically, it is believed that the Swiss Franc is a stable currency.

Canadian Dollar – Canada decided to use the dollar instead of a Pound Sterling system because of the ubiquity of Spanish dollars in North America in the 18th century and early 19th century and because of the standardization of the American dollar. The Province of Canada declared that all accounts would be kept in dollars as of January 1, 1858, and ordered the issue of the first official Canadian dollars in the same year.

Australian Dollar – The Australian Dollar was introduced in February 14, 1966, not only replacing the Australian Pound but also introducing a decimal system. Following the introduction of the Australian Dollar in 1966, the value of the national currency continued to be managed in accord with the Bretton Woods gold standard as it had been since 1954. Essentially the value of the Australian Dollar was dealt with reference to gold, although in practice the US dollar was used.