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Our founder, Bernie Dancel, has been where you are. He was in debt and got a lot of bad advice which motivated him to create CareOne Services, Inc. Watch his short story here.

Today's Featured Blog

  • Why Your Disability Insurance Plan Might Suck

    Published Sunday, April 20, 2014 8:00:00 AM by NoraDunn

    If you're a dentist and your hand is injured, you could be disabled. If you have fingers amputated, you have a lifetime disability. What to do?

    Hopefully, you have disability insurance, either through a group/employer, or individually. Let's explore the basics of disability insurance, including a few things to beware of.

    DISABILITY INSURANCE BASICS

    Disability Insurance pays a monthly stipend replacing about 70% of your income for the duration of your disability (or terms of the policy) due to illness or injury. Multiple factors affect your payout, which we'll explore below.

    Potential Payout for Disability Insurance

    Your greatest asset is your ability to earn income. And your greatest financial risk is a disability. For example, if you make $30,000/year at age 25 with 2.5% increases annually, by the time you reach age 65 you'll have earned over $2 million dollars.

    Your risk of getting a disability versus dying is 10-1 at age 35.

    What You'll Need the Money For

    Disability Insurance is an income replacement tool. Not only will it help with living expenses, but you might also have additional medical expenses not covered under your health plan.

    Bob gets a heart attack, and has open heart surgery. He's away from work for six months, but has a relapse requiring more surgery with complications. Bob could be off work for a long time - in fact he may never be able to return to work, nor can he work at most other jobs. With a family to support and a mortgage to pay, you can imagine the havoc this wreaks on finances.

    STRUCTURING YOUR POLICY AND APPLYING

    There's a lot of flexibility in the structure of your disability insurance policy. Your monthly benefit can start from immediately to two years after diagnosis (the longer the waiting period the cheaper your premiums), and the monthly benefit amount can last from two years to age 65 - or until you're able to work again, whichever happens first (the longer the benefit period applied for, the more expensive your premiums). Your ability to apply - and the premiums you pay - are dependent on your job, state of health at application, and income.

    Three Definitions of Occupation

    This is where disability insurance gets sticky with terminology. There are three definitions of occupation that can make - or break - your policy:

    Any Occupation - This is the least expensive (and most dangerous) option. If this definition is in your policy, the insurance company will only pay disability insurance benefits if you're incapable of performing "ANY occupation" for which you have the skills, training, or capability of being trained for. To take this to extremes, you could be paralyzed from the neck down, but if the insurance company deems you capable of selling widgets over the phone, you won't receive disability benefits.

    Regular Occupation - This is the most common policy type; the insurance company pays if you can't perform the duties of your "regular occupation". So if you can't work at your job (or one similar to it, in the same industry) you'll receive disability payments.

    Own Occupation - This is the most expensive, usually purchased by people in highly specialized (or high-income) careers. If you can't perform your job in your specific occupation, the insurance company pays out. For example as a specialized dentist, if you can't attend to your patients in your clinic, you'll receive benefits - even if you could potentially perform another form of dentistry in another setting or area of specialty.

    Short-Term vs Long-Term Disability Insurance

    Short-term disability insurance (STD) kicks in immediately after your disability, and usually pays out for three to six months. It's generally very expensive for individuals (although it may be part of your group insurance plan through work). It can usually be circumvented with emergency fund planning.

    Long-Term disability insurance (LTD) is more common, with payments starting on average 90 days after your disability begins, paying out anywhere from two years or up to age 65. If you have both STD and LTD, the LTD will be designed to start when the STD ends.

    Group Insurance Pitfalls

    Many people have disability insurance through work. However beware: if your group policy is only LTD, has a waiting period of six months before payments begin, a payout period of two years, and "any occupation" as the definition of occupation, then the policy might not be very useful.

    Also, if your employer pays the premiums and deducts them from their taxes, then your disability benefit (a maximum of 70% of your income to begin with) will be taxed. It's better to pay the premiums yourself with after-tax dollars, so the benefit paid out is tax-free.

    Check out the fine print of your disability insurance policy; does it suck?

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     Nora Dunn, travel and lifestyle expert guest blogger for leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Nora Dunn

    Nora Dunn is The Professional Hobo: a full-time traveler and freelance writer. Having sold her business and belongings to travel, she has been on the road since 2007. She travels in a financially sustainable manner, specializing in creative travel strategies like getting free accommodation and flying in business class for less than economy prices; all the while earning income with her location independent career.

    As a former Certified Financial Planner, she is financially responsible for her actions along the way. She believes there is a fine balance between planning for tomorrow, and living for today.

    She has penned the book How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World, is contributing author to the book 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, and a regular columnist for Wise BreadTransitions Abroad, Flight Network, and many other publications.

    Please enjoy her articles on the topics of travel, personal finance, and lifestyle design.

    You can also connect with Nora on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + Nora Dunn

    Read Full Post

Customer Video Testimonial

Travis, a CareOne Debt Management Plan customer and active community blogger talks about what CareOne has meant to him.
- Compensated CareOne Blogger

All About Your Debt Consolidation Options

  • What are my choices?

    The providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services know what you're going through and understand how important it is to be able to select a debt relief solution that is right for you. Because of that, our mission is to help you get back on track by offering multiple debt consolidation and debt reduction options. Our Certified Credit Counselors will work with you to create a personalized solution based on your situation, and will carefully explain your options, including a Debt Management Plan and settlement. Because many of us have battled debt ourselves, and some have even completed a CareOne debt relief plan, you never have to worry about being forced into a solution that doesn't work for you. Please check out our Guide to Choosing a Debt Relief Plan to learn even more about your options.

  • What is a Debt Management Plan (DMP)?

    A DMP can offer significant interest and time savings, and can provide you with a plan to repay your debts in five years or less. With a DMP, we'll help you consolidate your unsecured debt into one monthly payment that you can afford. A CareOne DMP is not a debt consolidation loan, where the equity in your home is used to pay down your debt, nor is it bankruptcy.

  • What is Debt Settlement?

    Debt Settlement is a negotiation, by a settlement service provider or lawyer, with your creditors to pay back a portion of your unsecured debt. With settlement, you do not make monthly payments to your creditors. Instead, you make monthly deposits into a debt settlement account in an amount that you can afford. When settlements are reached with your creditors, settlement payments are paid from the debt settlement account. While settlement can be a better alternative than bankruptcy, it can have a negative impact on your credit.

  • Why should I choose a CareOne provider to answer my questions about debt consolidation?

    CareOne Debt Relief Services is the nation's largest brand of debt relief solutions, and all of our providers are Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited organizations. We are proud to have helped over 5 million people, just like you, find a better way out of debt. We know what it's like to be in your shoes, and will work with you to find a solution that's right for you.

  • Who makes up the 5 million-plus people that CareOne providers have helped?

    CareOne providers have helped over 5 million people all over the country. Assisting this many people has provided us with insight into the unique economic factors facing residents living in different states. For instance, many residents are looking for debt consolidation in Pennsylvania and in Texas because they are carrying significant amounts of student loan debt. And, the majority of residents inquiring about debt consolidation in Tennessee are women. Many people may be contacting CareOne in North Carolina because, since 2011, the unemployment rate has been well above the national average. While in California, debt consolidation help may be needed because of the high foreclosure rate. People may be contacting the providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services in Arizona for debt relief, since the amount of debt owed in Arizona was higher than the national average. We've compiled meaningful statistics like these for all 50 states, as well as the most populous US cities.

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The CareOne Difference

CareOne providers offer clear benefits and honest advice, so you can:

  • Pay significantly less
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  • Make one affordable monthly payment
  • Build strong money management skills

You can save money and get out of debt with debt consolidation.

It's not a loan. In order to qualify, you must meet these simple requirements:

  • $2,500 or more in unsecured debt
  • Two or more accounts
  • A source of income

The CareOne Service

Providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services are industry leaders committed to offering the best debt management programs available. We have met the highest quality standards and are committed to helping you get your finances back on track through counseling and education. Many of us have been where you are today, and understand the emotional burden that debt can place on a person. Please contact us so that together, we can find a better way out of debt.

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