Member Advantage Articles

Is Gold Worth Its Weight in a Portfolio?

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During a weak global economy and uncertain financial markets, many investors tout the benefits of holding gold. Some proponents claim that gold deserves a significant weighting in most investors’ portfolios. Gold’s often-cited portfolio benefits include a strong long-term return, a hedge against inflation, and safe haven during turbulent times. But does the evidence build a case for holding gold as a separate asset class? Let’s look at historical returns for the answers. Gold’s Long-Term Performance Investors who think of gold as having strong long-term returns base their belief on two…

Changes to the Rules for Flexible Spending Accounts Truly Make it a WIN-WIN!!!

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Offering a Flexible Spending Account can be a vital component of any company’s business plan. And, recent changes to the FSA rules make offering one an even better option now for employers and employees! First off, there are three key benefits to employers: 1. Significant savings on FICA taxes. 2. Offering a more comprehensive and competitive employee benefits program. 3. Hassle free administration And… the employees win the most by allowing them to use pre-tax money for eligible health care expenses. Imagine your employees saving an average of 30% on…

6 Things Every Physician Should Know About Retirement Investing

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Doctors face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Relaxation, recreation, and leisure: After a lifetime of working hard to care for other people, doctors deserve to enjoy their retirement to the fullest. A 2013 survey conducted by AMA Insurance revealed that only 6% of U.S. physicians consider themselves ahead of schedule when it comes to retirement preparedness while about 48% feel that they are behind. The survey also found that the primary difference between the 6% and the 48% was that the more prepared physicians possess a deeper knowledge level…

Alarming Facts About America’s Retirement Crisis

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According to recent data from Fidelity Investments, it’s unlikely that many Americans are saving enough to live comfortably in retirement. As of March 31st, Fidelity reported that the median size of a 401(k) is only $24,400, with people over age 55 having saved an average of just $65,300. Part of the problem is simply that many Americans are not investing enough. In one poll, 68% reported not being able to reach their monthly retirement goals due to other financial responsibilities. But other factors add to this ever-widening retirement gap. One…

What is Long-Term Care?

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By Carolyn K. Schultz, CLTC When people consider the subject of long-term care, they often think about nursing homes. In fact long-term care has little to do with nursing homes. Understanding the difference can help you protect your family and finances. The Consequences of Living Longer Long-term care is a continuum of care services and housing you will need when you live a long life. Think you won’t live a long life? Think back 25 years ago. If you had cancer or a stroke, you simply died. Few ever heard…

Thinking About Retiring Soon?

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We know you have questions. Let UPAL help. Nearing retirement and not sure if you are invested to meet your goals? Think you only have until your retirement date to build your portfolio? Many physicians who are just a few years from retiring may not realize that they must continue to re-shape their retirement planning, even in retirement. And you don’t have to hire an expensive advisor to help you determine if your current investment selection is the correct one. We know you have questions. Let UPAL help. Work with…

End of Life for Windows XP: What This Means for Medical Practices

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Last month Microsoft ended its support of the Windows XP operating system, meaning there will be no more security updates, software updates, or technical support. If you continue using XP, there’s a good chance that hacking attacks could increase significantly without the regular security patches to protect your machines. Simply keeping antivirus software up-to-date won’t be enough, unfortunately. But there’s another scary reality awaiting healthcare providers with an outdated operating system. If you are a covered entity under HIPAA, this could place your systems out of compliance and could even…

The Impact of Another ICD-10 Delay

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We recently asked UPAL members and practice administrators to weigh in on how the ICD-10 implementation delay will affect their practice. We got a lot of really interesting feedback that shed some light on how healthcare providers feel about another postponement (one of many, and who knows how many more to come). If you haven’t provided your point of view yet, it’s not too late. Take our quick, confidential survey here to share your thoughts and concerns. We are interested to know how this impacts all of our members. To…

One Means One for IRA Investors: One-Rollover-Per-Year-Rule Reinterpreted by Tax Court

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IRA “One-Rollover-Per-Year-Rule” Reinterpreted by Tax Court Until a recent ruling made by the Tax Court, it was understood by advisers and retirement experts that IRA holders could receive one yearly nontaxable rollover distribution from each IRA. (This applies only to distributions that are reinvested in an IRA within 60 days in accordance with rollover rules. It does not refer to direct transfers from one IRA to another.) IRS Publication 590, states that: “Generally, if you make a tax-free rollover of any part of a distribution from a traditional IRA, you…

Next to Last Word (Maybe) Regarding SGR and ICD-10 Extensions

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ICD-10 Implementation Delayed…Again? Click here to take our brief, confidential survey and share with us how you think your practice or organization might be impacted by this postponement of ICD-10. Approved by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Obama, the HR 4302 Bill – Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, will implement another temporary one-year fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) for Medicare payments. This Medicare payment band-aid, or “doc fix” as it’s commonly referred to, has been applied 17 times in the past 11 years to…