How Do I Handle Holiday Hosting?


What's up Internet? Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today's video, well...winter is coming and so are the holidays. This month we are going to be kicking off a series of videos that's going to be focused on getting you through the holidays alive and financially safe. The first part to this is talking a little bit about what happens if you have to host a holiday party, so let's get started.

As a host, remember this is your kingdom. You are the king or the queen of this castle. If somebody says something that really doesn't sit well with you, don't worry about it, they can't hurt you here. This is your place. That being said, as a host, there are some certain expectations of you. Let's go through the three big things that you'll want to take care of.

First, you'll want to make sure the place looks nice. A good kingdom is clean and well taken care of. It doesn't take a lot, but just go around and tidy up. Vacuum, dust, or whatever before you receive your guests. While you may not notice it during your day-to-day life, the little bit of lack of cleanliness that you may have in your house is frankly more noticeable to other people when they enter your home. It's just the way it is.

The second thing you want to make sure to do is procure some entertainment. For other nerds it may be sufficient just to hook up Super Smash Bros to the TV or in some cases just put out a board game that's nice and complex and hand them the rulebook while you go off to cook. That's easy. However, with family members it can get a little more complex. I suggest finding a pretty neutral game that family members can play or some puzzles that they can do, as well as throwing a sports game on the TV if that's the kind of person that they are. Neutral games that are a good fit are Scrabble and Bananagrams or some other similar puzzle-solving games such as Sorry or Trivial Pursuit. These are very very simple games that everybody can play and all ages can participate in. It'll keep them entertained for you.

Finally, some refreshments are a must. Refreshments are a very very big deal when it comes to entertaining. Frankly, if you don't have something to sip on or something to snack on you notice. In general, just make sure to have some stuff on hand. Whether you make it a BYOB situation, so that people can make sure to bring stuff that they prefer or whether you have stuff on hand, just make sure that it's there. Keep in mind of course that you are the host and you're providing the space, so guests can contribute or you can choose a budget limit that you're willing to spend on your guests ahead of time. Do some careful planning.

So wrapping up, careful planning or a little bit of forethought around all of these three subjects - the cleanliness, the entertainment, and finally, the refreshments that you have on hand - will make hosting a breeze. Trust me, it's a lot of fun to do but if you don't take some time to plan for this event it can get a little bit stressful. Thanks so much for watching this video, I hope you enjoyed it. If you did please make sure to like, comment, subscribe, interact with the video in any way that you want and then make sure to find your way over to our website at openworldfp.com. There you can find the blog, which much like this youtube channel features all the videos that I've produced. But, it also has a transcript of all those videos if you're just looking to find some key highlights. Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

3 Things About Employer-Sponsored Life Insurance

What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd! In today's episode, I am going to be talking with you about life insurance. Which is not thrilling so if you are trying to understand the three core types of life insurance please go-ahead and watch another video that I put on this channel that compares the type of life insurance to different starter Pokemon. I think that's a pretty interesting take and foundational knowledge of life insurance would be helpful if you're going to watch this video.

Let's start talking about employer-sponsored life insurance. Most employers include some amount of life insurance benefit regardless of whether you pay for it. So, you may have one or two times your salary in life insurance benefits. Hypothetically, let's say your salary is $50,000, well you may have a $50,000 or $100,000 life insurance benefit that the employer pays for. It's important to know what this is, but it's also important to recognize that 50 or $100,000 isn't going to go very far if the household is used to your income. If you're married, and especially if you're married with children, this maybe time to consider some more.

For instance, if my wife were to pass away I would want way more than $50,000 to continue my Magic: The Gathering habits. All jokes aside, when somebody passes away, the last thing you want to be worried about is finances. Just recognize that employer-sponsored life insurance is usually not all that you need.

The second thing to know about employer-sponsored life insurance is that it doesn't come with you. It's more like an obelisk than it is portable. So, that means that when you leave your employer, if you have additional life insurance especially beyond the base that they give you, it is not necessarily going to come with you. You may want to consider if you're going to purchase additional life insurance to purchase it outside your employer, because having it at your employer may seem inexpensive at first, but if you're in pretty decent health and you apply outside you can usually get some policies that are cheaper - with more flexible benefits - and that have a guaranteed period of time that they will be active for. Whereas your employer sponsored policies are good simply for as long as you work at that employer.

Finally, and wrapping this all up, almost all though not all of employer-sponsored life insurance benefits are term insurance benefits. This means that they are temporary in nature. So, if you're out there looking for a permanent life insurance policy (though I don't usually implement those with my clients) permanent life insurance policies can usually be found out in the private market, but not within your employer-sponsored plans.

If you have questions about how much life insurance you should have, or if all this stuff just seems like a lot to you, don't hesitate to reach out. I'd be happy to have a conversation around your life insurance benefits. In any case, I hope that this video wasn't too terribly boring for you and I hope you have a wonderful day!

What Are Ancillary Benefits?


What's up Internet? My name's Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today's episode, we are going to be doing our final open enrollment video of this month. The reason I think that's important is that if you are watching this video, but you haven't watched the previous three just know that you'll get a lot more out of anything if you watch the prequels. This video is going to be addressing a couple of ancillary benefits, or extra benefits, that I see available for purchase at employers.

The first benefit that I'm going to address is critical care, or medical benefit, insurance that is not health insurance. These ancillary policies are usually an indemnity policy, which means that they pay out if the policy is ever triggered, regardless whether you need the money or not. They usually come associated with a duck.

So, the reason I'm not a huge fan of these policies is that I kinda view them as "dragon-burning-down-your-house" insurance. They are super, super-specific and they are really good for that specific group of people. If you live in Helgen and you have already had a dragon burn down your house once I could totally see why you would want "dragon-burning-down-your-house" insurance, right? But, if you are not one fo those people, who lives in the mythical town of Helgen, then I'm not really sure why you would want this policy because we really don't have dragons burning down our house in America...yet. Given that, I'm not really a huge fan of critical care policies. They don't trigger as often as you would want, so for a lot of people they are just extra dollars tacked onto their paycheck expenses.

The second benefit that I'm going to address on this video is legal insurance. Legal insurance I'm a little bit bigger of a fan of. Usually, this is a benefit where you can pay $10 or $20 a month for access to a network of attorneys that will do certain actions for you (included in that fee.) They will do some other actions at a discounted rate.

What I mean by this is, if you get a speeding ticket or you need to get your wills done, those sorts of things are usually covered by this legal insurance. On the flip side, if you get sued in a very complicated lawsuit involving a "dragon-burning-down-your-house", well suing a dragon is usually not covered.

The reason that I'm a fan of these benefits is typically you can utilize them to your advantage with a little bit of careful planning. Do you need to get your estate planning done or updated? Well, this is a really good purchase for that year because that package of representation usually costs $1,000 or $2,000. So why not have this sort of insurance?

Finally, the last benefit that I'm going to address as an ancillary benefit (though you usually cannot make any changes to it) is the parental leave policy. The reason I thought taking a moment to talk about this would be worthwhile is that the landscape of parental leave is changing drastically. A lot of the modern tech companies are super interested in looking good an providing great leave to parents. And thankfully, that is changing in our communities.

Evaluating this before or after you join the company is important because if you're going to go through having a child any time soon you want to know what the financial landscape of that looks like. How much time can you spend with the child? So keep in mind that being aware of this policy, even though you may not be able to make any changes to it during open enrollment, is super important.

I hope this video was helpful to you. It was just discussing a couple of the benefits that I see as worth discussing, since they come up pretty often. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Have a wonderful day!

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