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Emergency Money – What is this?

Most of us know the rules of financial management and try our best to live by them. However, are we ready for a real emergency? What if someone in your family has an accident? What if you discover someone has cancer or an equally horrible disease, which requires an expensive treatment? What if the main income earning family member suddenly died? Are you ready for an emergency? Do not worry. Most people answer NO to this question.

However, just as you read the above questions realize how important it is that you and your family members be ready for any emergency. The next question should be, ‘How?’ Here are 5 steps that will help you navigate through an emergency.

1. Set-up a special saving account for emergencies. Do not mix your regular savings – say for your retirement or children’s education
– with the emergency fund. This should be a completely separate and thus untouchable account until an emergency occurs in your family. Aim at putting together 6-8 months’ income into this fund. The more the better, but it should be a minimum of 6-8 months your income.

1. Buy life insurance. Insure the life of the earning member. Bad things happen all the time and if death should come unexpectedly, your family should not find themselves helpless. The life insurance should be enough to help your family bridge over to financial self-sufficiency.
2. Buy adequate medical insurance. This is not where you want to cut corners. Medical insurance is often ignored only to realize later how essential it is. Have a comprehensive medical insurance plan that covers your entire family including yourself.

3. Invest the emergency fund money. Consult a financial professional and find out how you could invest your money to have maximum returns and liquidity. With the right advice, you could make your money work for you, doubling and even tripling your money over the years. However, do not tie your emergency funds into plans that have high penalties if withdrawn early, in case of an emergency.

4. Keep debts at minimum. In the event of disability, death or even job layoff, debts could become crippling liabilities. Learn to keep your debts at the minimum possible. For mortgages and other major unavoidable loans, try to find insurance that would take care of the debts in case of any mishap.

5. Use your time productively. Dedicate a few hours every week for pursuing productive activities that are done from home. Set up a home business based on the talents and hobbies of your family members. This would not only add to your savings, but also ensure that there is always an alternative financial resource to fall back upon in case of trouble with the major channel of income.

6. Instill in your family the habit of frugality. Thriftiness does not mean lack of fun or dull living. Teach your family to watch out for value for money when they spend and you will give them (and yourself) the power of saving. A huge amount of money is unnecessarily spent just because you never stop to think – ‘Do I really need this?’ or ‘Am I getting the best value for my money?’

A little bit of planning can go a long way!

Medical Tourism – A Great To Cut Into Medical Expenses

There is a new way to cut into medical expenses; and this trend is quickly catching across the globe. Medical tourism is a relatively new phenomenon whereby people from Western countries travel to Asian countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore among others for medical treatment. What are the advantages of such travel? Is this really worth the trouble?

1. It is affordable. The first and foremost consideration is about the money involved. In the majority of cases, the cost of the medical intervention is less than half of what you would spend in the USA. When the treatment involves procedures that are not covered by medical insurance, this becomes a very attractive option.
For example, the New England Journal of Medicine quoted a case study where a carpenter needed urgent surgery on account of a case of mitral-valve-prolapse. The nearest hospital quoted $200,000 for the surgery. Shocked by the news he researched on the Net to find another hospital in Texas that offered the same procedure for $40,000. However, before he could decide, someone advised him to check out India. He researched and found that the best hospital in India offered the surgery for $7,000. He went to India, underwent the surgery and returned a happy man.

2. Huge alternatives and options. Many medical interventions are not yet legal in the USA or UK, but are successfully practiced throughout the world. Take for example hip resurfacing, which has been approved only recently in the USA – but was practiced with a high success rate in many parts of the world for some time.

3. Less waiting times. Another very important factor is the waiting time. In most cases, the waiting time in the USA is agonizing to say the least. The medical facilities from Eastern countries are happy with the Western patients as this brings in additional revenue. Therefore, they ensure that they eliminate the waiting time as much as possible.

4. Superb medical attention. All the medical facilities abroad offer world-class facilities and infrastructure. The medical personnel are highly qualified and experienced. You may find that many have studied in the USA. The surgery/ medical intervention therefore are comparable with the best in the world. At the same time, the price is often less than one third of what is charged in the USA.

5. Exceptional convalescence environment. A huge added advantage is the beauty of the host countries. You can enjoy a superb vacation post your surgery/ medical intervention, which can help the healing process and give you enough time to rest.

As you can see, the key and leading motivating factor for surgical procedures abroad is still the cost. There are additional advantages that make medical tourism a great alternative to local treatment. Facilities abroad offer huge lists of treatments for lower cost and it is a great way to sneak in a vacation. Now is the time to discover medical tourism.

Resources

The Credit Repair Organizations Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Consumer Credit Protection Act
The Fair Credit Billing Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

 

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