How Will You Maintain Your Business If You Can’t Work Due to A Serious Injury or Illness?

The vast majority of people grossly under-estimate the likelihood they will suffer a significant disability that prevents them from working. In fact, the probability that a person will become disabled for three months or longer is a little over 25%. These probabilities increase significantly if a person is overweight, smokes, or has extant chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or heart disease. It also depends on occupation: typically, physically demanding jobs present a higher risk than sedentary ones. However, disability due to illness is generally not career sensitive: for example, cancer does not care if you sit behind a desk of work in construction.

Fortunately, many people have disability insurance through their employer, so if they were unable to work for an extended period, a portion of their income would be covered, although there are often gaps in this coverage and will be covered in another article. But self-employed business people, especially those who’s expertise is the financial lifeblood of their organization, such as physicians, dentists, attorneys, consultants, have two problems if they are disabled: one, replacing their lost income while they cannot work, and second, keeping their business viable during their recovery. It is this second issue that I will cover in this article, since financials advisors and insurance agents rarely address it. The type of insurance that helps maintain a business while the primary revenue generator is convalescing is called Business Overhead Expense (BOE) Disability Insurance (DI), or Business Expense Insurance (BEI). For the sake of brevity, I will use BOE, as this is the most common initialism in the industry.

Sole proprietors and small groups of professionals are especially susceptible to complete or partial revenue loss when the primary revenue generator cannot work for an extended period. For example, a physician or dentist who is a sole practitioner has a huge financial exposure in the event he or she is disabled for an extended period, as that single person generates the entire practice’s revenue. In engineering parlance, the sole practitioner is a single point of failure in the business. If the likelihood of an extended disability is one chance in four, then the financial risk to the practice is the same. A business owner in this situation has to ask, “Is this financial exposure something I am willing to assume without a risk mitigation plan in place?” Let’s look at this another way. Would you assume a huge financial risk if you had a 25% probability of losing everything?

BOE typically covers the recurring expenses from your business or practice. These are the expenses that keep your business going even if you are disabled and cannot produce a revenue stream. Typically, BOE insurance covers a maximum of two years of disability, and can have elimination periods of 30 60, or 90 days, depending on how much reserve the business owner has and the premium he or she can afford.

BOE covers many of the expenses normally incurred by businesses, but only pays actual expenses, up to the maximum amount of the policy’s monthly benefit. The expenses typically covered by BOE include:

  • Rent
  • Interest payments on some business debts
  • Utilities
  • Employees’ salaries and payroll taxes
  • Postage and stationery
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Rental, lease, or depreciation of office equipment
  • Taxes on the business property location
  • Insurance premiums for Workers’ Compensation, employee medical, and liability
  • Accounting fees
  • Professional memberships and subscriptions.

As important as all of these are, I contend the ability to pay salary and benefits to your employees is a business owner’s priority. The inability to pay salaries leaves your staff-whether one or several people-with no way to cover their own expenses and forces them to seek new employment. And when the business owner returns from their convalescence, they are now faced with additional burden of hiring and training a new staff. This alone adds to expense and can result in decreased revenue during the ramp-up time. Additionally, business owners feel a sense of obligation to protect their employees from unforeseen circumstances: if they can’t, they feel they have not fulfilled an implicit moral agreement with them.

The tax consequences of BOE are also quite interesting. The premiums are generally considered a tax-deductible business expense, with any benefits treated as taxable income. However, because the covered business expenses are typically tax deductible, they can be subtracted from the benefits that are paid out when filing. Since the benefit only covers actual expenses, the business expense deductions should result in a zero net income to the business during this time, with no taxes owed. An accountant should be consulted for more details pertaining to this issue.

Premiums for BOE are calculated based on the same underwriting criteria as any disability policy: the age of the insured, occupation, and health. Bear in mind, there are situations where an insurance company cannot underwrite a BOE policy due to unfavorable ratings resulting from any one or combination of these factors, so there is no guaranty that a policy can be issued. Many insurance agents write policies with multiple companies, so they should be able to shop for the best alternative for their client.

There is one more important point to consider. If a business is a small partnership, it important to consider writing BOE policies on all of the partners, since the loss of any one of them will have a dramatic impact on the organization’s revenue stream during their absence. The policy benefits can be adjusted to reflect the impact of the loss of one partner or the simultaneous disability of multiple partners.

BOE is an extremely important part of a business’ contingency planning. It helps mitigate the high risk that business income will be disrupted due to the incapacity of the owner or owners, and allows the business’s expenses to be paid during the this time. It also protects the interest of employees by providing the ability to pay their salary and benefits if there is no business revenue. Finally, the premiums are tax-deductible, which can lower the business’ tax liability. Most importantly, BOE provides an a tremendous level of emotional security to business owners who are often only a few weeks away from not having the money to continue their business in the event a disability occurs.

Forex Education Tips – 5 Steps to Successful Forex Trading

Close to 95% of all Forex traders will lose money. We’re not just talking about novices, either. Whether you trade Forex for a living, as a hobby or just for fun, odds are against your success. That’s a simply astonishing fact. However, the remaining 5% of Forex traders somehow manage to break even and there are those lucky few that actually make money in the currency market – consistently!Like the TV show says … “How’d they do that, anyway?”That’s the million dollar questions, isn’t it? Countless books, seminars and expos have been hosted to answer this very question. That sad fact is that thousands of books have been written and countless seminars and interviews have been conducted in an attempt to answer the magic questions. The reality of the situation is that there is no magic formula; no one single Holy Grail of Forex trading.So what do the successful traders do that the rest of us have simple not comprehended. They have mastered a process of winning where they combine and customize several factor to produce consistent results. They have mastered the Process of Trading.The Process of Trading is:Strategy > Money Management > Self-MasteryHere are some simple Forex Education tips to help you master the process of forex trading:Success Tip #1 – You’ve Got To Have a PlanYou must have a written business plan that will detail all aspects of your trading. When are you going to trade, how much to risk, strategies for entries and exits are just o name a few. To become a consistent (profitable) Forex trader you have to plan your trade sand trade your plan.

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Simplicity rules! Don’t make this plan too complicated. One sheet of paper for you mission statement and another for your trading plan should suffice. Anything more is probably too complicated.Success Tip #2 – Focus on Your Personal PsychologyKnowing yourself will allow you to master the discipline necessary to execute high quality trades with solid money management techniques. Lack of discipline is fatal in Forex trading. Go on a personal journey to identify you attitudes towards risk and money. Get intimate with your strengths and weaknesses as a trader and build in to your trading plan strategies to minimize those weaknesses and maximize your strengths.Different personalities lend to different trading styles. Get familiar with all the different styles and over time you will begin to gravitate towards one particular style. Don’t fight the urge like I did. I insisted I was a day trader, but had only limited results. I found my winning percentages were much higher when I entered swing trades. Guess what’s my bread and butter strategy now!Success Tip #3 – Be Realistic About Your ExpectationsThis is a hard one, I know! I am on the internet every day and the amount of advertising is staggering. Brokers are offering free education (fox in the hen house if you ask me), forums of all different trading styles and points of view. Gurus pushing their system as “the one” that will make you the big bucks. How do you get through all that noise?Let me tell you loud and clear right now – everyone is right and everyone is wrong. You have to make a personal commitment to become a successful trader, find a trading style that works for you and expect a slow and steady approach to wealth building through Forex.What works for me may not work for you. Expect to go through an exploratory period where you are learning and at the same time exploring yourself as a trader. Keep an open mind and don’t pay attention to all the noise out there.Success Tip #4 – Exercise PatienceRome was not built in a day and neither will your trading account. In fact, I tell all of my students that while they are studying to become successful Forex traders they should not look solely at their account balance as an indication of success or failure.By tracking and increasing your percentage of high quality trades you execute is a far better barometer of your progress than your account balance. Cause and effect rule here. Over time when you increase your probabilities through the execution of high quality trades your account balance will respond accordingly.Keep the focus on the process and with time your results will blow your mind.Success Tip #5 – Money Management Is Top PriorityI would rather have a shaky strategy and excellent money management techniques than the other way around. This topic warrants its own blog post to do it justice. Limited your exposure (read “risk”) allows for you to stay in the game and allow the laws of probability to work.

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Let’s take a casino for example. They need gamblers to frequent their slot machines to make money. Why? They have a game that has a greater than 50% chance of making money for the house. The more people that play the slots, the greater the casino’s profits.The casino controls risk by payout tables (always favoring the house!) and increases their probabilities by keeping gamblers at the slot machines (read “free drinks”). As a trader you must limit your risk by committing only 1% – 3% of available capital to a single trade. When you execute enough trades with a high probability strategy you too can clean up like the casinos – but only by staying in the game long term.In conclusion, Forex trading is not easy. It’s hard work and will test the limits of your patience and perseverance. If anyone tells you otherwise .., buyers beware! It can be a very rewarding and profitable venture if done correctly. In the end it is a profession that requires a learning curve and practical experience, no different than an airline pilot or engineer. Understanding how to approach and learn this game will allow you to reap all the benefits advertised. It is your Forex Education that you will master the Process of Forex Trading.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!