For many young adults, insurance is an intimidating and daunting topic. Well, this isn’t necessarily true. Insurance is something that all young adults should know about, because for many purchasing it is just around the corner. Many young adults are already paying their car insurance. Soon, health, homeowners, and life insurance will be added on as well.
Here are some tips for purchasing insurance without spending a ton.
- Check if your employer offers insurance-Many employers offer health insurance, but you may not be aware of it. Ask your employer if they offer any insurance options and be sure to take advantage of it because this coverage will usually be cheaper than purchasing insurance on your own.
- Ask a few insurance agencies before deciding on one-You’ll be surprised about the different price options there are for the same coverage. You could potentially save hundreds of dollars just by shopping around.
- Find out what discounts your insurance agency offers-Many insurance agencies offer discounts for things such as being a good driver or a good student. Be sure to ask about these discounts, because they could help save you a bundle.
- Research the different kinds of health insurance offered to you-As we discussed in a previous blog, the Affordable Care Act has changed a few things in regards to health insurance for young adults. Generally, young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance policy until the age of 26, which could save you money. Also, many schools and employers offer health insurance that will probably be more affordable than purchasing it on your own. If none of these are feasible for you, look into your states Medicaid options. Many states expanded their Medicaid coverage with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act. Just make sure that you’re covered with health insurance one way or another.
- Keep your deductible as high as possible-By paying a higher deductible (ie, the amount you spend out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in), you’re premiums will be lower. But, don’t make your deductible higher than you can afford, keep it at a reasonable price.
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President Obama signed an executive order on Monday to help ease the growing student loan problem. In signing the order, the president expanded the 2010 “Pay as You Earn” (PAYE) program that caps some graduates’ student loan payments at 10 percent of their monthly discretionary income.
The order also increases eligibility of the program to include students who took out federal student loans before October 2007 or stopped borrowing by October 2011. Allowing these newly eligible young adults to become part of the plan means that relief will be extended to almost five million people.
Discretionary income is determined by subtracting 150% of the federal poverty level ($17,505 for an individual) from an individual’s total income. The amount of money this will save borrowers depends on his/her situation. For example, a 2009 graduate earning $39,000/year will have a monthly discretionary income of $1791.25, which means that his/her student loan payment cannot exceed $179.13.
Standard repayment plans predetermine a payment program for a monthly set amount over $50 during a set number of years. Under a standard plan, the monthly payments tend to be higher than other plans, but the overall time spent repaying the loans is generally shorter.
The changes signed by the president will take effect in 2015.
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While we have stressed the importance of beginning to save money early for your future, you probably already realize that you need a job to begin saving money. If you’re a high school student, it can be hard to find a job because you don’t really have experience, and you may not even know where to begin.
Here are some tips to help you find a summer/part-time gig:
- Ask around-Your friends or family members may know of a job opening. I have found several jobs simply by asking my friends if the place they work has an opening. This is also beneficial, because then you have a reference who can attest to your work ability and responsibility.
- Check with your school-Many high schools have a list of job openings in the area. This can be an easy way to find out who is hiring. Ask your guidance counselor or the office if they have a list you to review.
- Go door-to-door to pick up applications-Dress professionally, and go into each place you want to apply. Ask to speak to the manager, see if they are hiring, and ask for an application. This allows you to meet the manager face to face, and make a good first impression. It also shows that you really want the job. I believe that when you apply online, it’s very easy for your application to get overlooked.
- Dress professionally-For the interview, and when you go in to ask for an application. I can’t tell you how many times people came in to the store I worked at in pajamas to ask for an application. It looks SO bad. The same goes for once you get an interview. Dress professionally; even if you know it is a casual place, it will make a good impression.
- Don’t’ forget to follow up-About a week after you turn in the application and/or after your interview. Just call and say, “Hi, I have recently turned in an application, and am wondering if you have had a chance to review it. I am very interested in the position, and would enjoy speaking with you more about it.” This shows that you want the job, and are willing to work hard to get it. You can also follow up a week or so after an interview, to inquire if they have filled the position, and let them know you are still interested.
- Keep your availability open-As a high school student, you already have limited availability. If you are in a sport or other activity, this makes your availability practically nothing. Wait until the off season to begin applying, because people are much more willing to hire someone with an open, flexible schedule.
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