Posted by Ernest P. Valliere
Seniors are living longer and more active lives today. Life expectancy tables indicate that a couple, both age 65, have a “last to die” life expectancy of 27 years. In other words, on average, one of them will live to age 92. As a result, careful financial planning is more important than ever.
Social security increases never quite seem to keep pace with inflation, and if you have a pension plan that is adjusted for inflation from time to time (at the discretion of the pension administrator), you might worry that that these adjustments will be curtailed if governments and businesses look for ways to reduce spending.
Here are some strategies that can help you stay financially secure and worry-free in your retirement.
- Consider Working Part Time
If you are feeling squeezed, your situation isn’t too different from that of many Americans. Plan for the difficult times the same way working-age people should: try to reduce your expenses where possible, but also consider ways to increase your income. There are many part-time work opportunities available for retirees. Consult your local or state council on aging or elder affairs department for guidance. AARP may also be able to help.
- Maintain Your Insurance
If you begin to feel a financial pinch, you may be tempted to save money by dropping some of your insurance coverage, but this is never a smart move. Always maintain your insurance coverage, particularly health insurance. For those 65 and over, this usually means keeping a Medigap insurance policy in force, which will protect you against incurring many large health-care bills. It is essential that you keep this coverage. Also, most retirees will benefit from Medicare Part D drug coverage. If you have a long-term care insurance policy, do your utmost to keep the coverage, even if the premiums increase.
- Beware of Scam Artists
Seniors are all too often the victim of scam artists who will try to sell any number of services or investments to them. There are two ways to avoid being taken. First, ask the salesperson to put whatever he is suggesting in writing. Second, mention that you need to check with a family member before making the purchase. Just telling the salesperson that you have to check with a relative before making a decision is enough to send most scam artists running.
- Make Use of the Many Programs for Senior Citizens
Be sure to take advantage of any money-saving opportunities available to senior citizens in your local community and elsewhere. A variety of organizations that represent retirees, including your local or state council on aging and the AARP, will be able to direct you to discounts.
- Don’t Hesitate to Seek Advice
If you become very troubled about your financial future, or if you are already experiencing financial problems, seek out the advice of qualified professionals or family members. They may be able to help allay your fears, provide a plan that will help you cope with your financial problems, or offer other needed guidance.
Ask your acquaintances or family lawyer for a recommendation for an experienced and trustworthy advisor. Word-of-mouth referral is the best way to assure that you get the high-quality advice that you deserve.
- Consider Whole Life Insurance and Annuities
Depending on your age, either or both of these vehicles may be appropriate. Both whole life insurance and annuities have the potential to provide income in your retirement. To learn more about these options, call SBLI at 1-800-438-7254.