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4 Tips for Getting a Loan for Dental Work

4 Tips for Getting a Loan for Dental Work

Unfortunately, dental work can be quite expensive, and if you don’t have dental insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover your procedure, you can be put in a pretty difficult situation. And if you’re in pain, you might not have a lot of time to wait to figure out where you’re going to get the money. Thankfully, there are a few techniques to make paying for these expensive procedures a little easier. If you’re considering take out a loan to pay for your dental work, save your wallet and make use of these tips.

Look at Your Budget and Make Sure You Can’t Afford It

Before you apply for a loan, it’s worth checking to see if you’re absolutely sure you can’t afford it otherwise. You may have already gone through all your checkbooks and tallied up all your budgets, but if you haven’t done this yet, it’s worth seeing if there’s anywhere you can tighten your pocketbook.

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If you can, categorize your expenses into wants and needs. Using a budgeting tool such as Mint or You Need a Budget can be helpful if you feel overwhelmed going through your expenses by yourself. Then, it’s as simple as eliminating the non-necessities from your budget. For instance, could you cut out all your entertainment costs for the month to help pay for your dental care? Even if you aren’t able to cover the entire cost of the procedure, you can at least limit the amount of money you need to borrow.

Check if Your Clinic Offers Repayment Plans

Your dental clinic might not expect you to pay the entire lump sum for your procedure right out of pocket. You should check with your dentist to see if there might be a repayment plan that would make paying for your procedure a lot easier. In addition, many dental practices accept government-based aid programs such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program; if you haven’t looked into these programs already, see if you are eligible. It’s worth noting that a repayment plan set up through your clinic probably won’t be reported to a credit union, so while you should make every effort to pay on time each month, you might get a little more leeway than financing through a loan or credit card.

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Even if you are eligible for aid and you’re able to work out a repayment plan with your dental clinic, there might still be some expenses that aren’t covered. While you might need to take out a loan to cover the rest of the costs, at least they will be made a little manageable when spaced out on a monthly basis. In addition, if you share your financial limitations with your clinic, they may be able to suggest lower-cost procedures or prescribe you less expensive medications. In cases such as these, every penny counts, and getting put on a cheaper prescription will help in the long run.

Finance With Your Credit Card or Dental Financing

If you have a credit card, you might be able to get away with putting your dental procedure on the card. Keep in mind that every credit card is different, so you should check your card’s terms and conditions to make sure this is possible, and if so, what the repayment stipulations are. In many cases, credit card companies will offer a 0% APR for the first year or so after signing up for a new card. As long as you’re able to pay off the balance within this time frame, you won’t have to worry about interest, but once you do slip out of this period, you can expect interest rates as high as 20% – or worse.

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If you don’t plan on using a credit card outside of financing your dental work, or you don’t want to get a credit card regardless, there are similar financing options that cater to helping patients pay for their health care. CareCredit is one such financing service, and they offer multiple repayment plans over different time frames. Of course, there are other similar financing service options out there, but if you’re having trouble finding the right one for your needs, talk with your clinic to see if they have partnered with any of these services.

Apply for a Payday Loan

If money is tight and you’re out of time, you can usually turn to a payday loan company for help. Nowadays, you don’t even need to leave your home to get one, as there are many online payday loans you can apply for. The appeal of this option is that it can be one of the quickest ways to get a loan with the fewest hoops you must jump through. Oftentimes, these companies require you to be over the age of 18 and working at a job earning at least $1000 every month. Once you can prove that, you’ll be in the clear for a loan.

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Many payday loans require no credit checks, meaning that you can rest assured that you’ll be able to pay off your expenses no matter where you are financially. Remember, though, that if you can’t afford to pay back the loan, you’ll rack up huge bills of interest and your credit score will be damaged. That said, if you’re confident that you’ll be able to afford the repayments of a payday loan, it might be the option for you. When it comes to health, you don’t want to leave things any later than need be.

Featured photo credit: 6 Ways to Make Sure You Get the Loan You Need via lifehack.org

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

Reference

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