Products & Services for Seniors
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Whether entering into your golden years or helping family members or loved ones make the transition, there are a few things everyone should know and prepare for unique to this stage of life. Learn about these important concepts and take advantage of special unique opportunities available only to seniors.
At the age of 65, American citizens gain access to Medicare; however, it has become increasingly common for senior citizens to want or need additional medical insurance. While Medicare can cover serious medical procedures and conditions, it does not cover all annual checkups and some routine expenses. Seniors should decide whether or not these expenses warrant purchasing additional medical insurance.
Additional insurance to consider is life insurance, whether that be term, universal, whole life, or endowment life insurance. Choosing the right life insurance policy may help loved ones in the future and protect against the unexpected.
Reverse mortgages are available to those 62 years and older and present an option to receive an additional line of credit for late life expenses. While each mortgage has different terms and rates, reverse mortgages allow homeowners to draw the principal of the mortgage in a lump sum over a set period of time. Homeowners keep the property in their name, and the loan comes due only when the borrower dies, leaves the house for more than 12 consecutive months, or sells the property. Those interested in taking out a reverse mortgage should contact their lender and schedule a meeting.
Moving & Downsizing
For seniors moving to a new home or downsizing to a space more easily manageable, they should take particular note of which possessions to sell and which to get rid of. Before moving or downsizing, it is important to understand how much space will be available in the new residence. If you find that you have too much stuff for your new living situation, check with family members to see if there are any possessions they would like to keep, sell extra items, or donate them to charity.
During the actual moving process, seniors should understand their limits in moving heavy boxes and bulky furniture. Hiring a moving company or asking family and friends to help make the move might be necessary, so be sure to make the proper arrangements in advance.
For those moving and needing to get rid of most of their possessions, or for families that have just experienced a loss of a loved one, an estate sale can help cover expenses or offer access to short term revenue. Typically run by a private auctioneer or professional estate sale agent, estate sales should be publicized, have a documented inventory, present reasonable pricing on items, and offer some security to prevent theft. If you do decide to hire a company to run the estate sale, they will usually have a fee of 25-35% on items sold. Take care to research the company and ensure that they are reputable.
Any adult should have a last will and testament just in case the unexpected occurs, but it is particularly important to have these official documents in place with seniors. Setting up many of these documents may take some time, but these legal instructions are vital to determine the fate of your estate, special requests, and other important matters.
Elderly citizens also should consider legal services in cases of age discrimination, abuse, health insurance matters, debt collection defense, patient rights, and guardianship. If any of these legal issues occur, look into hiring a lawyer—particularly one that specializes in elder law. Increasingly common, Certified Elder Law Attorneys have received special training in legal matters that directly concern the elderly.
Referral or placement agents help you find a community that fits your needs. Most with local representatives take you to visit the communities that should work for you and help you in choosing a provider. The service is normally free to you, the end user, as they are paid by the communities for the placement. If you need extra help, these agents are usually very familiar with local offerings, cost and services.
As you or your loved ones get older, be sure to educate yourself on these and other senior related issues and benefits.
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