INSURANCE INSIGHTS FOR SENIORS
After working hard and raising a family, you may now be thinking about retiring or have already retired. Insurance plays a major role in your financial security. Review what you have and consider potential changes in your insurance needs, in areas such as:
- Health Insurance: When you retire, health insurance coverage you obtained through an employer will likely go away. Then you may need to buy private health insurance, which can be very expensive. You may consider insurance on the exchange created by the Affordable Care Act or you may look at what options are available on the private market.
- Medicare Supplement: At age 65, you likely will be eligible for Medicare, which covers much, but not all, of your doctor and hospital costs. Medicare supplement insurance covers expenses not covered by Medicare. Different plans are available, so do research to find out if one is right for you.
- Life Insurance: Life insurance is, for many families, income replacement if something happens to the bread winners. If the kids are gone, and your income is from investments, pensions, and Social Security, do you need as much life insurance as you did before? What about funeral and burial expenses?
- Annuities: Annuities are insurance products that are often touted as providing income for life. These can be valuable income-producing assets, but they aren’t right for everyone, and there are many different types of annuities. It’s important to make informed decisions on what is best for you.
- Home, Auto, and Travel Insurance: You always want to protect your castle, but how much home insurance do you need now? If you’re traveling more in retirement, you may need to think about travel insurance. Driver improvement courses will keep you safer on the road, and entitle you to a mandatory five percent auto insurance premium reduction if you’re 55 or older.
- Long-Term and Continuing Care: The federal government says about two-thirds of Americans will need long-term care at some point. Whether to buy long-term care insurance is a tough question, as this coverage can be expensive, and it’s not appropriate for everyone. Something else to consider is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). These offer a range of care including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care on one campus. Deciding if a CCRC is right for you takes research.
- Financial Strength of Insurance Companies: The financial strength of an insurance company is critical to ensure the company is able to pay claims long term. A.M. Best, Standard and Poor’s, and Moody’s Investor Services are three companies that provide independent information on insurers’ financial health.
Our insurance needs change as we go through life. Make sure you have what you need to protect yourself and your loved ones, but don’t pay for things you may no longer need, and be careful of ideas that sound too good to be true. A trusted financial adviser or insurance professional can be very valuable.
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