According to statistics, the three top concerns of seniors are:
Sufficient health insurance.
Sufficient provisions for final expense and final provisions for survivors
Adequete retirement funds
How do you stack up? Let’s look at each of these three senior benefits in s a littlme more depth.
Health Insurance Benefit
It may seem strange that this is ranked the number one concern as nearly every senior has or is entitled to Medicare. At least the basics can be taken care of.. but no so fast. The concern is “what kind of care will I get if I have to go to the hospital and cant afford the $1184 deductible. Will I even be seen? Well, if you have to go an an ER, chances are they will treat you first, or at least stablilze you, then ask for payment. Or maybe they will ask “who will be responsible for the bill?”
and you don’t have anyone to sign for you, or you just don’t want to burden family for this? But the majority of concerns are for the doctor visits and tests. First there is the part B deductible of $147, and then the 20% of everything after this… and some tests such as full blood panels, or an MRI on an outpatient basis (remember, even if you had it done at the hospital and were not admitted, it’s an outpatient procedure)… this could run into several hundred dollars. Do you have a cash reserve set aside to self insure yourself? If not, then one of the forms of health insurance ia a must for you. Your concern then is “which one” and how do I make sense out of all these choices? This is when you need to call us.
Final Expense Coverage.. The Number 2 Concern
Many people we talk with say, “but I have life insurance” and work under the assumption it will cover everything. Maybe it will, but what if you had term life insurance and the term had expired which happens with many seniors? There’s so much more than just final expense coverage that does, or should, concern you. Final planning is something that is neglected by over half of the senior population, and there’s so much more in “planning” than the average person suspects. Let’s face it: some day we are all going to die, and on that day, at least two things are going to happen. The legal system kicks in and suddenly SOMEONE has to answer a whole lot of questions about you. Many have concern benefit entitlements, particularly if you are a veteran. There’s mandatory information for your death certificate. Do you have this all written down where someone can find it? Does that “survivor” know where it is? If not , you need to to this and providing you a tool for this is one of the most valuable benefits your “final expense adviser” or “final events adviser” can help. He or she wants to do more than just sell you a policy.
The other thing that most people do don’t is that some one or some business… usually a funeral director needs to pick up your body, and they want money up front before they do this. One alternative they MAY accept, if planned for in advance, is the assignment of a benefit from a designated final expense policy, but this is NOT always the case. So, while we don’t want to think about this, it’s important that if you want any control and your body not to sit in a freezer somewhere, that you make some pre arrangements. Are you going to have some type of a standard funeral and burial? Embalming is a must. Or are you going to be immediately cremated? Who knows your decision? Is it current? This is hard reading, but it has to be dealt with sooner or later. Death can not be indefinitely postponed. So this does become a concern, and many of your family members who may be more impacted once you are gone are concerned today. Call us for an appointment and planning book.
Retirement and Lifestyle: The #3 concern
The first concern is “will I be able to retire?” and that term means many different things to different people. I guess to an extent, we all ask that question, so it’s time to maybe “flesh it out” a little. Maybe we can differentiate between “partial retirement” and “full retirement”. Do you have stages and some options. A “partial retirement” might be when you are still working. Not too difficult for many self employed people, but does your line of work allow for essentially “part time”? Would you want to do this? Many don’t have a choice.
For the others, “retirement” essentially translates into the loss of regular employment income. That’s where the definition of retirement starts.
After that, the concern all comes down to money. And then there’s two kinds of money: The money we start out with in retirement and the money we continue to have and have access to. Again, it’s simple. We start out with a certain pile. That pile can either grow or shrink. If we take money out of the pile to live on, however we define our post retirement life style, which for some amounts only to surviorship or being in the holding pattern until death; and for others it means the ability to travel, engage in things we did not have time for when working.. Either way, the pile is going to shrink.. and this is even without inflation.
But the pile does not have to shrink… at least rapidly. You can protect some of that shrinkage, and this is a concern. The average person, or maybe better to say, half of the people we consult with have no idea about this. They have never purchased something like an annuity on their own (they may have had one as part of a company retirement plan)… but there’s fear and concern for many people about even sitting down with a financial helper. Will this cost me a ton of money? Will I get scammed because I’ve heard of so many things like Ponzi Schemes. This blog is for local senior benefits in Palm Beach County and who has not heard of the bilking for retirement money in Palm Beach a few years ago… possibly by intelligent investors? You fear and concern is understandable, but ignoring the problem of the cash pile that is going to go down does not solve a thing. In short, you have a valid retirement financial concern, but the only way to eliminate it is to start with some action. Call us, let’s talk. I think we can make some sense out of this concern for you.
Long Term Care Concerns… might be ranked #4
Most of the surveys we have studied in preparation for this blog publishing seem to have the propensity to group things in groups of 3. Seems like this is a habit many have, and if the numbers are not sufficient, then other concerns that are noted don’t get categorized. But in our discussions with seniors in their homes, we very often hear “what happens to me or my spouse.if I just can’t manage any more. I’m / he /she is not ill enough to be in a hospital, but care is needed, and for the long term. It’s not that the final days or weeks of transition to death is the main concern because there’s hospice for that, but how about this very common one, other than having some basic care needs like cooking and laundry: demenita or Alzhemiers. This is a situation calling for being in a long term care facility.
There’s two general categories of those facilities: One category is essentially charity run or govt run. In short, in most of them, life style sucks, but go visit one. The other category is generally privately run and privately funded. In other words, you pay. These homes come in all sizes and prices and as a blog writer, we can’t make any guarantee statements because like every other thing in life, there are exceptions. BUT.. and this is a BIG BUTT… wouldn’t you want to have some control and choice if YOU or your loved one had to enter into a long term care facility?
Having a fund for this makes the difference and believe me, many many many of us have this concern. I’d frankly rate it in the top 3 some how, but it’s an animal all of it’s own. Believe it or not, it’s not as costly as one might think and the reason is this: Not every one of us Palm Beach county seniors is going to exit our lives with the need for a long term care facility need. So we share the risk across a large pool You may pay for something you never need or use, but don’t you do that with things like automobile insurance? Some medical insurance? Why would this be different. Think about it. As to being “scammed”, the selling of long term care insurance products is strictly regulated and agents must have special training and certification. And when you deal with a senior specialist such as we are, you can have comfort in that fact.
We’ve gone over the top four. Your concern might be ranked differently, or maybe until you read this, you did not even feel you had a concern. But now that you are at the bottom of this page, you must recognize that none of these concerns are solved by ignoring them. The first step is to get facts and information and have a discussion with a professional qualified to help. That’s all we ask.
Call us today and say “I’d like to discuss my concerns that you talked about in your Local Senior Benefits Blog”. No pressure, lots of understanding. As a senior counsellor myself at age 74+, we will be on your side.