Take Control of Your Finances with a Financial Plan

Imagine the structure of your house: there’s a foundation, a frame, a roof and the siding. What would happen to your home if one of those major pieces was missing? Now imagine your financial situation as also being comprised of equally important parts. These parts can be more generally broken down into your assets and liabilities, your protection from risk, your investments, and your tax situation.

Together, these parts reinforce your financial foundation so that you can be more prepared to protect and preserve your wealth in tough economies and volatile market conditions. But, without one of these important parts, your financial foundation is less stable and could be exposed to challenges that may arise in the future. These vulnerabilities in your financial situation can wreak havoc on your long-term objectives, your family, and your lifestyle.

By taking into account your current financial situation including your assets and liabilities, your protection needs, your investments, and your tax situation, while exploring options on solidifying your financial core, you can protect yourself from setbacks along the way and pursue your future goals more confidently.

Let’s start with the basics – assets and liabilities

Your income is central to pursuing all your goals. Basic financial principles dictate that what you bring in must exceed what you send out. All the excess income should be applied toward your investment goals and simultaneously to build and emergency cash reserve, and pay down debt such as your mortgage and credit cards.

Build your cash reserve You must have cash available when you need it for emergency situations. So when something unexpected happens such as a job loss, you can pay your day-to-day expenses without tapping into your assets that are set aside for your long-term financial goals. That’s why it is critical to have a systematic savings strategy to build an emergency cash fund of at least 6 months. This way you will be able to cover short- and long-term emergencies.

Your short-term reserve will cover frequent minor emergencies such as a leaky roof or car repairs. Your long-term cash reserve is for more significant changes such as a job loss or a disability. A short-term cash reserve typically consists of short-term liquid investments such as savings accounts, money market accounts, whereas a long-term reserve investments offer lower liquidity but higher rates of return such as certificates, Treasury notes, and CDs.

An added layer of protection may include establishing a home equity line of credit as part of your emergency fund. Keep in mind, it’s much easier to qualify for a home equity line when you are employed.

Without a sufficient cash reserve as a safety precaution, difficult financial times can lead to worse times especially if those times include you withdrawing cash from your long-term investments to get by, which can worsen not only your current tax situation but also your future standard of living.

How To Get Medical Insurance For A Surrogate Mother

Getting surrogate insurance coverage, that is, medical insurance to cover the surrogate pregnancy, can be tricky. There are a few different options for obtaining practical surrogacy insurance, depending on the situation of the surrogate mother and intended parents.

First, if at all possible, plan to use the surrogate mother’s existing health insurance policy, probably thorough her employer or her husband’s. Most health insurance policies will cover a surrogate mother, as their own insured, while she is pregnant. It is frankly none of the insurance company’s business how she got pregnant!

But some insurance companies are going out of their way to prevent surrogate motherhood. Take a copy of the surrogate’s insurance benefits booklet to your surrogacy attorney to verify if you can use this policy.

If that doesn’t work, there are a few more ways to obtain surrogate insurance coverage. The easiest, and least expensive at this point is to purchase a regular individual plan from a local insurance agency. Watch, again, for exclusions with surrogate motherhood. Also, sometimes these plans come with a 6-12 month waiting period before they will pay for pregnancy.

It probably should be mentioned that the insurance policy an intended parent carries, most likely through their employment, will not cover the pregnancy of the surrogate mother, regardless of the fact that it is their biological child. The surrogate mother is not the insured party.

There are some surrogacy insurance policies specifically designed for surrogate mothers. These policies really only insure a worst case scenario event, cost thousands to purchase, and come with deductibles in the $5,000-10,000 range. Some intended parents choose to add this sort of policy onto an existing surrogate insurance coverage.

But what happens when a surrogate mother and her intended parents believe that they are covered, get pregnant, and then find out there was an error and her insurance company refuses to cover the pregnancy? Or what if she loses the coverage halfway through the surrogate pregnancy?

There are not too many private insurance companies out there willing to insure a preexisting condition, such as an already pregnant woman. (And if you find one, please let me know!) The options are few in this situation. The intended parents can either pay for the rest of the medical bills in cash, hopefully negotiating a better rate directly with hospitals and doctor’s offices, or they can purchase a discount medical card.

A discount medical card will save the intended parents some considerable money, but it is not the same as having actual surrogate insurance coverage. Still, it’s a terrific option for those in this sort of sticky situation, and can be obtained after the surrogate mother is already pregnant.