NOTE: The following is a guest article from Michael Longsdon at ElderFreedom.net and a timely reminder for those of us who have aging parents or are considering retirement.
Taking control of your finances in retirement shouldn’t take a lot of stress or complicated measures. In fact, there are some simple ways for older adults to better understand their finances and secure their financial future. Here are five of the easiest ways you can get control of your wealth during retirement:
1. Understand Your Health Coverage
As we age, the costs associated with our health care tend to go up. While Medicare can be a great benefit for seniors, you should know that there are gaps in your coverage. To help fill in those gaps and give you more health care coverage to fit your needs, you can opt for the Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage Plans offered by Humana provide additional coverage for dental, vision and prescription expenses that Medicare will not cover. Without extra coverage, you could end up paying out of pocket, so this is a choice many retirees make to protect their health care costs. If you are eligible or nearing the age of 65, take time to review information about open enrollment dates and coverage.
2. Know the Value of Your Home
Your home can be a major asset to you in any stage in your life. Aside from providing a comfortable space for you to age in place, your home can also provide more financial options. If you, or your spouse, should need long-term care or if any other expenses come up in retirement, knowing the value of your home can help you secure the best funding. You may also decide to sell your home, move to a sunnier location or downsize to make life easier. Knob and Key Realty, a boutique real estate firm in North Texas, can help you assess the resale value of your home; give them a call at (214) 534-7696 or visit them online at www.knobandkeyrealty.com.
3. Carefully Monitor Your Credit Report
Credit is another major asset when it comes to your finances. Your credit score can determine rates for loans, monthly payments and even your approval odds for new credit offers. But identity theft is a growing problem in America, especially for seniors. That’s why you have to stay vigilant when it comes to your credit report. You can request free copies of your reports from the major credit bureaus, so you can look for mistakes and possible signs of fraud. To protect yourself in the future, you may even think about signing up for a credit monitoring service to give you peace of mind.
4. Work with a Financial Advisor
Unless you have a lot of wealth or investments, you typically do not need constant financial advice. But experts agree that retirement is one time in your life when consulting a financial advisor makes sense. A trusted professional can help you figure out a stable savings plan, how you should invest your money and what payout options work for your needs. Financial advisors can also show you ways to keep growing your money, even after you stop working. To choose a financial advisor that works for you, you need to look for a certified financial planner who has experience working with retirement plans. Mastering personal finances can take years of careful research and planning, but a planner can help make that work easier for you.
5. Get Your Estate in Order
No one likes to think about the end of their life. But adults of any age can benefit greatly from spending time organizing their estates. You should work with an attorney to draft a will that carefully lays out your financial wishes. Parvin Law Group, for example, is a great resource for creating an estate plan. You can leave money to charity or split your home among family members in your will. But having your finances in order can relieve your family of a great deal of burden if something should happen to you. Investing in life insurance is also a good way to give your family, and yourself, some peace of mind in retirement. Aside from covering final costs, life insurance can also offer benefits in life, too. You can sell your life insurance to free up cash for medical expenses, accessibility upgrades or any other need.
Understanding finances doesn’t have to be hard. With some good advice and a little planning, you can take the steps you need to enjoy your retirement and take care of your financial future.
Michael Longsdon is the creator of ElderFreedom.net, which advocates for the rights and support of seniors.
Have questions about retirement, estate planning, and protecting your legacy and future? Give us a call at (214) 974-8940 or fill out the contact form to the right of this article.