If you are nearing retirement age or planning for retirement is on the horizon, you might be wondering about how Social Security fits into your future. For the majority of Americans, Social Security is a major source of income in their golden years. But even if it will only account for a small part of your overall retirement income, Social Security is a benefit you’ve earned, one you are entitled to collect, and it will factor into important decisions you make about your senior lifestyle.
Most people know someone who is affected by dementia, either directly or indirectly. With over 5 million active cases of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the United States, this progressive brain disorder is a common challenge for its sufferers and their families and the problem is growing at an alarming rate. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, researchers expect the number of people living with the condition to double by 2060, and that estimate includes up to 3.3 percent of the U.S. population. Because of dementia’s growing prevalence, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of dementia and know what it takes to care for someone who has it.
It’s certainly no secret that healthcare costs have escalated in recent years, and there’s no reason to believe that the end is in sight. But whether you have a comprehensive health insurance policy or have purchased a catastrophic policy, there are ways to save on healthcare costs.
Here are just a few:
1. Stop going to the emergency room for minor illnesses. There are many reasons why going to the emergency room is a good idea. A cold or the flu is not one of them. Urgent care centers are designed to handle non-emergency medical situations from coughs, colds, the flu, to minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises. If you have a comprehensive insurance plan, your co-payment for urgent care will likely be half of what the emergency room co-payment would be. And if you’re paying out of pocket, an urgent care bill will likely amount to about one-tenth of what an emergency room bill would be. Save the emergency room for emergencies, and go to the urgent care route instead.
If you’ve spent more than five minutes on a kid’s television network, you’ve seen just how inundated young kids are with commercials for everything from the latest gadget, to some dreadful snack that features something gooey and/or messy. It’s also safe to bet that many of these kids run to their parents, wanting to buy some or all of these items.
It’s difficult, if not impossible for younger kids in particular to understand the dynamics of finances. But instead of cursing those television networks, use them as a way to teach your kids some elementary money management principles.
We all have certain causes that we choose to support monetarily. In fact, in 2017, Americans gave more than $410 billion to charities, breaking the $400 billion mark for the first time in history.
But anytime that we give our money to an organization, it’s important to do our due diligence, ensuring that the funds that we give will be used effectively.
There are several ways you can do this, starting with using the resources provided from websites such as GuideStar.org and CharityNavigator.org. Both of these sites offer a tremendous amount of information on all registered charities, along with quick access to the organization’s 990 as well. And if you don’t have a charity picked out, but have a cause you want to support, you can search available giving options as well. Here are a few things you want to consider when deciding whether to support a charity:
Time certainly goes by fast. One day you’re interviewing for your first job and the next thing you know you’re a few short years from applying for Social Security.
If you’ve planned for your retirement, you’ll likely have a good stash of funds saved. But the unfortunate news is that according to the Insured Retirement Institute, 42 percent of baby boomers have nothing saved for retirement, and even those that have saved don’t have nearly enough to survive on.
Other than panicking, there are many things that you can start doing today to help increase your retirement savings; Here are just a few:
How to Avoid Retirement Woes
According to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the top concern of retirees is running out of money. While it’s a known fact that many of us don’t begin to save for retirement when we should, it appears that nearly half of all current retirees are concerned about outliving their retirement funds. However, there are some things you can do now to help mitigate the very real risk of outliving your retirement funds. These include the following:
In recent years, reverse mortgages have been enthusiastically marketed to homeowners ages 62 and over. Optimally designed for homeowners with at least 50 percent equity in their home, reverse mortgages allow homeowners to tap into that equity, providing them with a regular monthly payment – the complete opposite of a standard mortgage. Any income a homeowner receives from a reverse mortgage is typically tax-free, with payments continuing as long as the borrower remains in their home. However, if the homeowner moves or the home is sold, the loan becomes due and payable. If the borrower dies, the loan is usually paid back through the deceased homeowner’s estate.
There are many ways that we support our favorite charitable causes. However, one of the most beneficial ways to support a favorite charity now and into perpetuity is through planned giving. While almost any larger nonprofit organization has an active planned giving program, it may come as a surprise that many smaller nonprofits are also eager to work with their donors on planned giving options. Before you make a commitment, be sure to check with the organization that you are interested in supporting to ensure that they can handle the type of planned giving option you are most interested in.
Before giving a gift, take some time to familiarize yourself with the different giving options available. If you do have significant assets you wish to give, it’s always best to consult with your accountant or financial planner prior to making a final decision.
Estate planning is something many people tend to put off as long as possible because most of us consider discussing “the end” an uncomfortable topic. Yet if you reach the end of your life without getting your financial affairs in good order, you’ll risk leaving your heirs with problems that could’ve been avoided, causing them unnecessary stress and uncertainty during a time of grief.
You don’t have to be wealthy to leave behind assets worthy of careful estate planning. You may not be a multimillionaire yet, but your circumstances likely include some complexity that warrants putting a solid plan in place.