Finance for Seniors

The sandwich generation is a group of Americans who are stuck between caring for both their young adult children and their aging parents. This can be an exhausting time of life under the best of circumstances. As your parents continue to age, they’ll likely require increasingly complex medical and financial assistance. Often, as memory slowly fades and the effects of getting older take their toll, they may be unable to navigate the maze of health care and financial planning alone. 

One of the primary stressors that come with caring for aging parents is that it can be challenging to divide up the tasks required in their care. Let’s walk through how to start the conversation with siblings (or other family members), and keep your parents’ quality of life as your primary goal.

Caring for your aging parents can often feel like a minefield of possible mistakes. You want to help them, especially if their current condition has made it challenging for them to physically care for themselves and perform daily life activities. You also want to ensure their interests are taken care of, all while helping to preserve their sense of dignity and self-respect.

If you’ve been planning for retirement, you might be wondering how you’ll cover your medical expenses. As you age, your medical expenses inevitably start to rise. In fact, a healthy, 65-year old couple can expect to spend close to $390,000 over the course of their retirement for healthcare expenses and Medicare premiums. Although health costs can be calculated as part of the distributions you take from various workplace retirement accounts, you can also plan for medical expenses by using a Health Savings Account (HSA). 

Many pre-retirees look at downsizing as a kind of miracle solution to their financial and lifestyle woes. In some ways, choosing to downsize your living space before you retire can be a positive change of pace - financially and personally. However, depending on your situation, downsizing can come with some drawbacks. It isn’t always the solution for everyone - and you may be asking yourself: If downsizing isn’t the answer I’m looking for, how can I cut costs in retirement?

When you worked full time, summer may have been full of week-long vacations or long weekend trips. Now that you’re retired, you have the opportunity to “vacation” any time that you like. So, how do you plan for the summer as a full-time retiree? There are several activities you might want to consider during this new season of life.

For many people, retirement isn’t an easy transition. Aging can be a challenge, and the financial burdens that come with it can weigh down even the healthiest of people. In many cases, retirees have family members who help them through the aging process. There’s a support system in place for when you need medical assistance or can’t live on your own anymore.

Solo agers, however, don’t have the same family ties that many retirees do. Traditional family life isn’t always for everyone, and that’s okay! It just means that, if you’re a solo ager, you have to think ahead and do some more planning for your own retirement.

The American workplace is changing. In today’s world, more and more people are turning to less traditional work schedules, and even working remotely for their employers. Part of this shifting landscape is the rise of the gig economy. Right now, 36% of Americans participate in the gig economy either through a primary or secondary job - and those numbers are growing each year.

Have you considered working during retirement? For many retirees, working full or part-time for a portion of their retirement years can have financial and emotional benefits. Let’s take a closer look at how working during retirement could positively impact you, and how to determine whether it’s a good fit for your lifestyle.

Raindrops

The last thing we want to think about after a loved one passes away is identity theft. No - I’m not talking about someone stealing your identity. I’m talking about someone stealing the identity of your recently deceased loved one.

It’s upsetting to think that someone out there would actively be taking advantage of vulnerable families who have just lost a spouse, a parent, or child. Unfortunately, it happens to approximately 800,000 people each year. Identity thieves troll through obituaries and Facebook notifications and strike quickly while grieving family members are still getting the deceased’s estate in order.

If an elderly family member was experiencing financial abuse, would you know it? In 2016, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America completed a Safeguarding Our Seniors Study and found that 40 percent of seniors experience financial abuse more than once. Victims of elder financial abuse lose on average $36,000. Consumer Reports estimates that Americans lose up to $30 billion a year to elder financial abuse. Many of these crimes go unreported, because victims are ashamed or unable to speak up for themselves.

Purchasing a new home at any stage in life brings up various financial considerations and opportunities, but for retirees considering buying a home, there are some extra things to think about.

Many older adults will require long-term care at some point during their lives. Long-term care is defined as requiring assistance with at least two “activities of daily living” (eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, continence or transferring from a bed to a chair) that lasts at least 90 days, or a need for substantial assistance due to severe cognitive impairment. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “more than 6 million older Americans are thought to have a high need for long-term care. Yet fewer than 10 percent of older adults have purchased long-term care insurance because it’s expensive.” So how do you get long-term care without breaking the bank?

Are you debating whether or not you should add Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage into your traditional Medicare coverage? Traditional Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers many healthcare expenses. However, it doesn’t cover everything, like vision, dental, prescription drugs and overseas emergency health coverage. Even the services Medicare does cover can add up in out-of-pocket expenses due to copayments and deductible fees. Because of this, many Medicare recipients enroll in Medicare plans to cover the gap in coverage.  

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