The following is a sponsored partnership with SafetyWing travel medical insurance. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have been traveling full-time for several years now.
While before it was mainly in the US by RV, and due to laziness, I had never looked into travel medical insurance.
I just always thought that I was fine.
Almost invincible – like nothing bad would happen to me while traveling!
However, lately, I have been hearing horror stories from friends, of those who travel and have had accidents and/or medical emergencies while traveling. Due to that, I recently started looking into the best travel medical insurance.
We are about to leave the U.S. on our sailboat, and travel health insurance is something that we desperately need.
I realize that we have been lucky in the past that nothing medical-wise has popped up for us. Due to that, I don’t want to wait any longer and finally get something to help protect us in case a medical emergency does arise.
Many people simply skip over travel medical insurance. You may have simply thought that you did not need it, or you may not even realize that it exists. Or, you may believe that your current health insurance will cover you while traveling.
You may not have even ever thought about getting travel medical insurance before.
If you’ve bought a flight in the past online, you may have noticed an option to purchase trip insurance at the same checkout time. However, you may have not encountered travel medical insurance before. These are two completely different types of coverage, so please continue to read.
Trip insurance, such as what is offered when you buy an airline ticket may cover what happens during your actual transport, such as flight changes or cancellations, losing your suitcase, and so on. But, travel medical insurance is for any medical situations that you may find yourself in while you are traveling.
So, if you’re a digital nomad, travel full-time, travel long-term, or if you simply travel at all, then travel insurance is definitely something that you should be looking further into.
What’s a good travel medical insurance company?
Now, you are probably wondering where you can find good travel insurance.
If you are looking for travel medical insurance, then I recommend looking into SafetyWing.
SafetyWing is travel medical insurance for those who travel long-term.
So, if you RV, van, boat, fly, backpack, etc. then you may find this extremely helpful and beneficial for you and your situation.
Before you click out of this, it is actually quite affordable too! I was super surprised when I saw the pricing of their travel medical insurance, along with everything that it includes.
At only $37 per four weeks for those between the ages of 18 to 39, you can receive worldwide travel medical coverage from SafetyWing, for a $250,000 maximum limit. There are other age groups allowed too, of course, for a slightly higher rate.
How does this pricing compare to other travel medical insurance companies? This price is about one-third of the price compared to other companies who offer similar coverage.
You can also purchase their travel medical insurance when in 180 different countries. Many travel insurance companies require you to purchase their insurance before you leave your home country, but with SafetyWing, you can purchase it when you are already traveling, almost in anywhere in the world (exclusions include Cuba and North Korea).
You can also choose your start date for your insurance, and it will automatically extend until you cancel, or you can choose an end-date as well. There is also no cap on how long you can travel and be insured. This is super useful if you travel long-term! When I was looking for travel medical insurance, it was difficult to find one that covered me as a full-time traveler. There were many clauses that excluded people like me!
As you can see, SafetyWing insurance was created to meet the needs of business owners and remote workers who are traveling and/or living abroad around the world. They include both trip and travel medical insurance in one, which is great.
SafetyWing insurance includes:
- Travel medical insurance – You can access a qualified global network of hospitals and doctors for unexpected medical problems and accidents. This includes coverage for: doctors, hospitals, and emergency medical evacuation.
- Trip insurance – This includes coverage for: travel delay, lost checked luggage, emergency response & natural disasters, and personal liability.
To add to the value even more, if you are a traveling with children, then one young child per adult (up to two per family) between 14 days old and 10 years old can be included on your SafetyWing insurance plan without paying anything extra. I know there are plenty of families who travel long-term, so this is a nice added extra to help you save more money.
So, what does SafetyWing cover when it comes to travel or medical expenses?
You can see examples below of what is covered through SafetyWing insurance (screenshots taken from their website):
Note: I do want to note that of the notable exclusions above, high-risk sports is truly high-risk ones. For example, sports that are included under SafetyWing include biking, bungee jumping, camping, hiking, sailing, wakeboarding, and more. High-risk sports activities that are excluded from SafetyWing’s insurance are those such as base jumping, heli-skiing, and running with the bulls. Other notes include that SafetyWing’s insurance provides this coverage for those traveling outside their home country, while it will cover those traveling inside the U.S. but only for a limited amount of days. It does not cover routine checkups and preventative care.
SafetyWing is reliable too – the policy is administered by Tokio Marine which is one of the largest insurance companies in the world. The policy is underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyds. Claims are handled by Tokio Marine directly, who offer 24/7 support when a person is in need. This is especially important when you are talking about travel medical insurance, as accidents can happen at anytime and timezones are different all over the world.
As you can see, SafetyWing’s insurance is super valuable, and at an affordable price point. If you do not have travel medical insurance yet, there is really no reason not to.
At just $37 a month, SafetyWing is a no-brainer for those who travel long-term.
SafetyWing affiliate program
Also, I do want to mention that SafetyWing has an affiliate program. So, if you have a social media, email, or blog presence, then you may want to look into promoting them as well.
Many people travel without any sort of medical insurance that will cover them outside of their area. So, the more people that can hear about travel medical insurance, the better that everyone can be prepared.
And, if you travel long-term, I’m sure someone has asked you “What are you doing for insurance?” at least one time. If that’s the case, then you can finally refer them to something helpful!
I get asked this at least a few times a week, and before I would usually just brush off the question because it was not something that I had looked into or thought that applied to me.
After researching SafetyWing and travel medical insurance, I became an affiliate, and that is why I’m publishing this review.
It’s super easy to become an affiliate for SafetyWing. Here are the steps:
- Click this link to apply to become an affiliate: https://safetywing.com/user/affiliate-signup/
- You will be asked to create a user account
- You are then taken through the affiliate activation process, which includes giving your PayPal email address for payments and signing SafetyWing’s official agreement.
- You will then end up in your affiliate dashboard, where you can see your affiliate marketing platform analytics.
Do you have travel medical insurance? Why or why not?
The post Do you need travel medical insurance if you travel long-term? appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.
The Best Portfolio Analysis Tools For 2020
Tracking and analyzing your investments can be a complicated and time-consuming task. Between expense ratios, dividend yields, management fees, tax planning, and asset allocation, there can be a lot of moving parts to keep track of.
But thankfully there are now many powerful portfolio analysis tools that can save you time and headache. Some tools are free, while others cost money. Some offer deep insights while others keep the analysis at a higher level.
While it’s great that there are now many options available for investors who want to evaluate their portfolios, it can be difficult to tell which ones are the best. Don’t worry. We’ve done the homework for you. Keep reading to see which companies made our short list of the best portfolio analysis tools available today.
Top 3 Picks For Portfolio Analyzer Tools
Here’s our top 3 picks for portfolio analyzer tools. If you’re not using one of these analyzers, we strongly encourage you to check them out for your portfolio planning needs.
Best High-Level Visualizations: Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a free portfolio analysis tool that gives a “mosaic” plot chart to help you visualize the composition of your portfolio. It breaks down your portfolio into stocks, bonds, international, domestic, and other important categories.
Personal Capital made our list of the best portfolio analysis tools primarily because of the huge variety of calculators and charts that it offer. In addition to the mosaic chart, Personal Capital can track your net worth, cash flow, and will provide personalized investing recommendations and insights.
Although Personal Capital is a free tool, there are a few strings attached. It serves as an advertising platform for Personal Capital’s advisory services. When you first sign up, you may receive a few calls from financial advisors looking for your business.
- Free: A great tool comes at the best possible price.
- Excellent visualizations: While I’m not a huge fan of Personal Capital’s pie charts, the majority of their charts and graphs are helpful for investors trying to make sense of their portfolio.
- Helpful recommendations for the average investor: The app makes high-level recommendations about where your asset allocation should be given your risk tolerance and your age. Their recommendations aren’t always a perfect fit for everyone, but can be a great starting place for beginner investors.
- May receive phone calls from Personal Capital: If you’ve got a six-figure portfolio, expect a few calls from Personal Capital representatives. It may be annoying at first. But after a few calls, you’ll be able to use the tool for free without being hassled.
- Minimal insight into volatility: Personal Capital doesn’t give much insight into expected volatility unless you dig deep into the recommendations section.
Best Probability-Based Tool: Portfolio Visualizer
Portfolio Visualizer is one of the most robust portfolio analysis tools on the market. It specializes in Monte Carlo simulations (which give the probability of a portfolio lasting a specified period of time), backtesting, and various forms of asset allocation analysis. The tool also provides some insights into timing strategies.
Portfolio Visualizer is ideal for investors who enjoy tinkering with their portfolio. But you’ll also want to be someone who’s committed enough to your basic investing strategy that you won’t be tempted to dump it every time you come across a new tool in Portfolio Visualizer.
- Monte Carlo and Backtesting: Probability-based portfolio analysis is key for people trying to do DIY retirement or college planning. Portfolio Visualizer provides easy to use and easy to understand options for both of these.
- Robust free plan: The free version of Portfolio Visualizer provides all the major functionality except exports to Excel or CSV files and the ability to import portfolios. But if you simply want to understand the tool, the free plan is excellent.
- Must pay to import portfolios: It costs $19 per month for a “basic” subscription to the tool. This includes importing and saving portfolios and exports to CSV or Excel files. Investors who own lots of individual stocks will probably need to upgrade to this option.
- Expansive set of tools can be overwhelming: With great power comes great responsibility. In spite of the educational materials on the site, Portfolio Visualizer can be overwhelming especially for people just getting started. I recommend familiarizing yourself with basic investing concepts using Personal Capital or Morningstar Portfolio Manager before digging into this advanced tool.
Best For Mutual Fund And ETF Investors: Morningstar Portfolio Manager
Morningstar is one of the premier portfolio analysis tools for everyday investors looking to understand more about their investment portfolio. Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager is a free tool that gives details on stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.
The X-Ray tool also gives a deep dive into each mutual fund or ETF to give details that other analysis tools might miss. For example, it uncovers hidden fees and shows whether you may be accidentally over-invested in a single stock due to a fund’s allocation.
- Easy to understand: The charts and statistics that morningstar provide are easy to understand, even for people who don’t have a lot of background in investing.
- Focused on the right details: Most investors need to understand their asset allocation and the fees they are paying.The Morningstar tool provides details on these but doesn’t overwhelm with too much information.
- Have to manually enter portfolios: Unlike many portfolio analysis tools, Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager cannot connect to your brokerage account. You must manually enter all your portfolio positions.
- Accessing the best tools requires a paid subscription: While Morningstar Portfolio Manager is completely free, X-Ray is part of the Morningstar Premium service which costs $199 per year. However, you can try a 14-day trial for free.
The portfolio analysis tools outlined above are excellent. But as robust as they are, they won’t meet every need. A lot of times, the best tools for improving your finances are tools that help you manage your cash flow. For this type of need, a free app like Mint, Clarity Money or Emma may make more sense.
For the spreadsheet inclined, Tiller Money can help with net worth tracking and cash flow management. Or if you wanting to see how your investing portfolio fits into your overall financial plan, tools like Savology or NewRetirement could be better options.
Introducing Coverage Critic: Time to Kill the $80 Mobile Phone Bill Forever
A Quick Foreword: Although the world is still in Pandemic mode, we are shifting gears back to personal finance mode here at MMM. Partly because we could all use a distraction right now, and even more important because forced time off like this is the ideal time to re-invest in optimizing parts of your life such as your fitness, food and finances.
Canadian Readers – we have also collected some recommendations for you at a new Canadian Mobile Phone recommendations page.
Every now and then, I learn to my horror that some people are still paying preposterous amounts for mobile phone service, so I write another article about it.
If we are lucky, a solid number of people make the switch and enjoy increased prosperity, but everyone who didn’t happen to read that article goes on paying and paying, and I see it in the case studies that people email me when looking for advice. Lines like this in their budget:
- mobile phone service (2 people): $160
… is all I can say, when I see such unnecessary expenditure. These days, a great nationwide phone service plan costs between and $10-40 per month, depending on how many frills you need.
Why is this a big deal? Just because of this simple fact:
- Cutting $100 per month from your budget becomes a $17,000 boost to your wealth every ten years.
And today’s $10-40 phone plans are just great. Anything more than that is just a plain old ripoff, end of story. Just as any phone more expensive than $200* (yes, that includes all new iPhones), is probably a waste of money too.
So today, we are going to take the next step: assigning a permanent inner-circle Mustachian expert to monitor the ever-improving cell phone market, and dispense the latest advice as appropriate. And I happen to know just the guy:
My first contact with Chris was in 2016 when he was working with GiveWell, a super-efficient charitable organization that often tops the list for people looking to maximize the impact of their giving.
But much to my surprise, he showed up in my own HQ coworking space in 2018, and I noticed he was a bit of a mobile phone research addict. He had started an intriguing website called Coverage Critic, and started methodically reviewing every phone plan (and even many handsets) he could get his hands on, and I liked the thorough and open way in which he did it.
This was ideal for me, because frankly I don’t have time to keep pace with ongoing changes in the marketplace. I may be an expert on construction and energy consumption, but I defer to my friend Ben when I have questions about fixing cars, Brandon when I need advice on credit cards, HQ member Dr. D for insider perspectives on the life of a doctor and the medical industry, and now Chris can take on the mobile phone world.
So we decided to team up: Chris will maintain his own list of the best cheap mobile phone plans on a new Coverage Critic page here on MMM. He gets the benefit of more people enjoying his work, and I get the benefit of more useful information on my site. And if it goes well, it will generate savings for you and eventual referral income for us (more on that at the bottom of this article).
So to complete this introduction, I will hand the keyboard over to the man himself.
Meet The Coverage Critic
I started my professional life working on cost-effectiveness models for the charity evaluator GiveWell. (The organization is awesome; see MMM’s earlier post.) When I was ready for a career change, I figured I’d like to combine my analytical nature with my knack for cutting through bullshit. That quickly led me to the cell phone industry.
So about a year ago, I created a site called Coverage Critic in the hopes of meeting a need that was being overlooked: detailed mobile phone service reviews, without the common problem of bias due to undisclosed financial arrangements between the phone company and the reviewer.
What’s the Problem with the Cell Phone Industry?
Somehow, every mobile phone network in the U.S. claims to offer the best service. And each network can back up its claims by referencing third-party evaluations.
How is that possible? Bad financial incentives.
Each network wants to claim it is great. Network operators are willing to pay to license reviewers’ “awards”. Consequently, money-hungry reviewers give awards to undeserving, mediocre networks.
On top of this, many phone companies have whipped up combinations of confusing plans, convoluted prices, and misleading claims. Just a few examples:
- Coverage maps continue to be wildly inaccurate.
- Many carriers offer “unlimited” plans that have limits.
- All of the major U.S. network operators are overhyping next-generation, 5G technologies. AT&T has even started tricking its subscribers by renaming some of its 4G service “5GE.”
However, with enough research and shoveling, I believe it becomes clear which phone companies and plans offer the best bang for the buck. So going forward, MMM and I will be collaborating to share recommended phone plans right here on his website, and adding an automated plan finder tool soon afterwards. I think you’ll find that there are a lot of great, budget-friendly options on the market.
A Few Quick Examples:
T-Mobile Connect: unlimited minutes and texts with 2GB of data for $15 per month.
Xfinity Mobile: 5 lines with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 10GB of shared data over Verizon’s network for about $12 per line each month (heads up: only Xfinity Internet customers are eligible, and the bring-your-own-device program is somewhat restrictive).
Total Wireless: 4 lines in a combined family plan with unlimited calling, texting, and 100GB of shared data(!) for $100 per month (runs on Verizon’s extensive network).
Ting: Limited use family plans for under $15 per line each month.
[MMM note – even as a frequent traveler, serious techie and a “professional blogger”, I rarely use more than 1GB each month on my own Google Fi plan ($20 base cost plus data, then $15 for each additional family member). So some of these are indeed generous plans]
Okay, What About Phones?
With the above carriers, you may be able to bring your existing phone. But if you need a new one, there are some damn good, low-cost options these days. The Moto G7 Play is only $130 and offers outstanding performance despite the low price point. I use it as my personal phone and love it.
Mobile Phone Service 101
If you’re looking to save on cell phone service, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the industry. For the sake of brevity, I’m going to skip over a lot of nuances in the rest of this post. If you’re a nerd like me and want more technical details, check out my longer, drier article that goes into more depth.
The Wireless Market
There are only four nationwide networks in the U.S. (soon to be three thanks to a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint). They vary in the extent of their coverage:
- Verizon (most coverage)
- AT&T (2nd best coverage)
- T-Mobile (3rd best coverage)
- Sprint (worst coverage)
Not everyone needs the most coverage. All four nationwide networks typically offer solid coverage in densely populated areas. Coverage should be a bigger concern for people who regularly find themselves deep in the mountains or cornfields.
While there are only four nationwide networks, there are dozens of carriers offering cell phone service to consumers – offering vastly different pricing and customer service experiences.
Expensive services running over a given network will tend to offer better customer service, more roaming coverage, and better priority during periods of congestion than low-cost carriers using the same network. That said, many people won’t even notice a difference between low-cost and high-cost carriers using the same network.
For most people, the easiest way to figure out whether a low-cost carrier will provide a good experience is to just try one. You can typically sign up for these services without a long-term commitment. If you have a good initial experience with a budget-friendly carrier, you can stick with it and save substantially month after month.
With a good carrier, a budget-friendly phone, and a bit of effort to limit data use, most people can have a great cellular experience while saving a bunch of money.
From now on, you can check in on the Coverage Critic’s recommendations at mrmoneymustache.com/coveragecritic, and he will also be issuing occasional clever or wry commentary on Twitter at @Coverage_Critic.
Thanks for joining the team, Chris!
*okay, special exception if you use it for work in video or photography. I paid $299 a year ago for my stupendously fancy Google Pixel 3a phone.. but only because I run this blog and the extra spending is justified by the better camera.
The Full Disclosure: whenever possible, we have signed this blog up for referral programs with any recommended companies that offer them, so we may receive a commission if you sign up for a plan using our research. We aim to avoid letting income (or lack thereof) affect our recommendations, but we still want to be upfront about everything so you can judge for yourself. Specific details about these referral programs is shared on the CC transparency page. MMM explains more about how he handles affiliate arrangements here.
8 Best Budgeting and Personal Finance Tools
Taking control of your personal finances is simple in theory. But if you’re struggling with budgeting, saving, or investing, trying a new tool may be the ticket to making better decisions and improving your success.
Here are eight of the best personal finance tools to make sense of your money, stay organized, and achieve your financial goals.
8 Best Budgeting and Personal Finance Tools
Keep reading to learn more about each of these budgeting and personal finance tools.
Quicken has been around a long time and is considered the gold standard in personal finance software. They have a suite of products that connect to multiple types of accounts, such as banks, credit cards, lenders, and investments, to aggregate your transactions.
Like many companies, they’ve moved to a subscription model where you pay an annual fee and get automatic updates for new features and services.
The Starter version gives you a lot, including automatic expense categorization, limited budget tracking, and a bill dashboard, for $35 per year. Upgrading to Deluxe ($50) or Premier ($75) gives you the Starter features plus customizable budgeting, loan tracking, investment tracking and analysis, bill pay, and online backup.
Quicken has far more features than I’ll ever use, but it’s my favorite way to manage money.
You can use Quicken on your PC or Mac, but PC users can also get a Home & Business version for $100 per year. It helps you manage a small business or freelance work by separating personal and business expenses, emailing custom invoices with payment links, and tracking business tax deductions.
You can enter transactions manually into Quicken if you don’t want to connect to your financial accounts online. And there are Quicken mobile apps to sync up with your desktop version, although you can’t see all your data.
Quicken has far more features than I’ll ever use, but it’s my favorite way to manage money. Every week I import new transactions and make sure they’re categorized correctly, especially those related to taxes, so I can easily create reports at tax time.
Mint is one of the original web-based personal finance management programs. It’s free to sign up and connect your financial accounts, such as a bank, credit card, loans, and investments through an easy-to-use dashboard.
The Mint mobile app has a lot of functionality, allowing you to check account balances and monthly budgets.
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