In June of 2010, my husband and I made a major life decision. With the kids grown and gone,we were ready to begin a new chapter in our lives. But we really weren’t sure what that change would be. Both of us have jobs in the city. I’m an Executive Assistant in a huge corporation, and my husband is a Fleet Manager in another large company. Both of us were tired of the major commute (an hour and a half each way). Both of us were tired of our jobs; tired of city life; tired of the crowds. Let’s face it, we were just plain tired. We needed to come up with a new plan.
I had just created Suzy’s Sitcom at that time. A new blogger, I really didn’t realize the potential of a website with creative content. But I tackled a blog like I tackle most things; head on and running. My father always said that I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to. If I truly believed that something would be a success, then it would be.
It was also at that time that my husband and I watched a television show that ultimately pointed us in the direction we wanted to go. It was a documentary about a couple who bought a RV, sold their house and everything they owned and set out on the road to travel, document their journey and live full time on the road.
Our five year plan was set in motion. We would be doing the same. We just needed to follow the plan. After all, anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
So here we are four and a half years later. The Sitcom is a successful website, generating enough income for us to begin to make the big moves. We have already purchased the RV, and we are preparing the house for sale. I will be starting a new series here on the Sitcom showing the progress we are making in getting the house ready and how we are gradually getting rid of our furniture and unnecessary possessions. We are aiming for that June 2015 date.
Our budget is incredibly important, especially considering the fact that we both plan on quitting our jobs. Which brings me to the point of this post. With the current state of medical insurance as it is, it is apparent that this will be one of our biggest expenses once we hit the road. We will no longer have corporations helping out with the large premiums that medical insurance is now requiring. We are on our own.
We are now shopping for insurance and getting things set in place. So it is even more important to look very closely at our policies in order to avoid costly mistakes. Up until now, we have had a tendency to elect the same benefit options year after year. Did you know that according to a 2014 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey, 41% of employees spend only 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options? The average employee pays over $4,500 a year in premiums. Not taking the time to research your options can result in wasting money that you could have had for other things.
So what to do? We have enrollment season upon us and we all have to make some major decisions in the next few months.
Take the time to research your policy
Carefully review and compare all available benefits information. Take time to look up terms you don’t understand such as voluntary insurance, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses and others. If your employer offers on-site seminars or webinars; take advantage of that!
Know what your family needs
Consider your options and keep in mind what specifically meets your family’s needs. Underestimating what your family needs can result in financial hard times especially in cases of medical emergencies.
Consider your budget
Understand the financial implications your choices have on your budget. In addition to monthly premiums, make sure you can afford the yearly deductible costs. If a high deductible looks like it may be a burden, choose a plan with a slightly higher monthly premium and a lower deductible that may be easier to manage.
With a higher deductible, consider voluntary insurance policies like those offered by Aflac which are designed to supplement major medical plans, pay policyholders directly for unexpected costs associated with a covered serious illness, injury or loss. In addition, the cash benefits can be used to help pay rent, gas, groceries, child care or any other out-of-pocket expenses a worker may have.
Aflac offers accident, dental, life, vision, cancer, hospital intensive care and more voluntary insurance policies. Check out the Aflac WorkForces Report website for more information on open enrollment.
We are doing our research now. We need a major policy that allows us to travel. And then we will be considering supplemental insurance to help us along the way. Seems that everything at this point is new and challenging. But a challenge is just another hurdle to leap in our five year plan.
After all, you can do anything you set your mind to. Right?
Stay tuned to the Sitcom and follow along. The next few months are going to be very exciting!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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