4 Fundamental Finance Moves All Seniors Should Make

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Are you a senior who is getting ready for retirement? If so, you may be taking a harder look at your finances, and if you are like many seniors, you may feel a little confused. Money matters can be confusing to anyone, but here are a few key financial steps every senior should be thinking about when it’s finally time to retire.

Be Prepared to Budget Carefully in Retirement

To make your money last through retirement, you need to carefully prepare a budget. If you’ve been living off of a family budget for years, you already have a big head start. If you’re new to budgets, you may need some help setting up your retirement budget. Start by gathering bank statements for the past six to 12 months and taking a good look at your spending and income. Use highlighters to go through paper copies and write out your new budget based on your expenses and expected income. If you have a smartphone, you can also download budget apps to help you create your financial roadmap and keep you on track during retirement. You can also think about working with a budget coach to help you get off to the right start.

Set Aside Enough Funds for Healthcare Costs

Your income tends to decrease when you retire, but your healthcare costs are likely to keep going up. Recent reports estimate that seniors can expect to pay at least $280,000 for healthcare during retirement, at the very least. Medicare can definitely assist with the costs of care, but coverage is often limited and does not include long-term care. To better plan for your wellness, you should look into enrolling in supplemental plans that can offer more healthcare savings. Medicare Advantage Plans typically include the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B with even more coverage when it comes to dental, vision care, and prescription drugs. Some plans even offer health and wellness plans that can help fend off health issues by keeping you fit and eating well. Get more information on enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans and see how a little extra coverage can equal a lot in savings.

Keep an Eye Out for Fraud and Identity Theft

Identity theft is a threat to all adults. However, seniors are more vulnerable to financial fraud and identity theft schemes. Criminals tend to prey on older adults, especially those over 60, but you can protect yourself by being aware of these potential issues. If someone asks for personal information over the phone or via email, do not give it to them. Finally, make it a habit to check your credit card bills, bank statements, and credit reports. Pull up statement each month, or more often, and look for any suspicious or unusual charges. Even smaller charges can be suspicious since scammers often start with lower amounts to see if you are paying attention. You can also download free copies of your credit report to check for signs of identity theft.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help with Your Finances

Keeping up with finances and bills can be a challenge, especially as you get older. If you are having trouble remembering to pay bills or creating a solid retirement budget, it may be worth it to reach out for help. You can work with a financial advisor to get a better handle on your finances and put together a financial plan that will carry you through retirement. For seniors who need more basic help, like keeping up with bills and making important financial decisions, you can ask adult children or grandchildren for assistance. A financial power of attorney can be helpful for seniors who are unable to make financial decisions on their own anymore.

For some senior adults, they struggle to implement what they learn while being consulted by a financial advisor. They struggle to implement the plan that is created for them. If this is you, there is help. Turning Point Stewardship is a service that creates a budget with you and then implements this budget for you. They will pay your bills, make sure your savings is growing as you have planned and to make sure you get out of debt with a specific get out of debt plan.

If you are an older adult, understanding your finances doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few basic steps, you can get a good start on your financial future. You can easily prepare a budget, keep an eye out for fraud, and prepare for healthcare costs, but don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. So, take control of your finances and take more control over your life.

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June Duncan 💚 june@riseupforcaregivers.org

Rise Up for Caregivers

Long-Term Care in Old Age: Are You Prepared?

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As our age goes up, so do our healthcare needs. And as our needs grow, so do the costs. However, medical care and prescriptions aren't the only health expenses aging adults must worry about. Long-term care spending rivals healthcare spending for seniors today.

It's estimated that today's seniors will spend an average of $69,500 on long-term care services, Forbes reports. Because women live longer than men, they can expect to spend twice as much on care as their male counterparts.

Many people believe Medicare will pay for any long-term care needed after the age of 65. However, while Medicare pays for many health care needs — and supplemental Medicare plans extend that coverage even further — long-term care services aren't covered. For that reason, individuals must make other arrangements to pay for long-term care. But how do you know if you'll need long-term care, how much money to put aside and where to find the funds?

Here's what you need to know.

Assessing Long-Term Care Needs

It's impossible to fully predict whether you'll need long-term care. Even if you're the picture of health today, it only takes a moment for an accident or illness to change your health outlook. However, there's certain information you can use to assess the likelihood that you'll need long-term care.

Start by assessing your current health status. If you have a chronic illness, disability or are generally in poor physical health, it's probable that you'll need care in the future. Even if you're healthy now, consider whether your lifestyle increases your risk of developing a chronic disease. Adults with poor diet and exercise habits are susceptible to developing a litany of disabling health conditions, as are those who live a high-stress lifestyle. If your lifestyle puts you at risk for chronic health problems, know it's never too late to benefit from lifestyle changes surrounding physical, emotional and social health.

Consider family history as well. Genetics and family history influence your likelihood of developing various health conditions. It also affects your lifespan: If your parents and grandparents have lived into their 80s and 90s, there's a good chance you will, too. And the longer you live, the more likely you are to need support for the activities of daily living.

Finally, consider your home and whether it's a safe environment for aging in place. If you suffer a disabling injury and your home isn't safe to return to, you may have no choice but to move into a care facility. By modifying your home for aging in place or purchasing a new, safer home, you can eliminate fall risks that threaten your health and safety.

Planning for Long-Term Care Expenses

Whether you receive care in a nursing home, assisted living facility or your own home, the price tag is high. According to Genworth, these are the annual median costs of long-term care services in 2017:

●     Nursing home (private room): $97,455

●     Nursing home (semi-private room): $85,775

●     Assisted living: $45,000

●     Home health care: $49,192

●     Adult day care: $18,200

These costs are high and rising 3 to 4 percent every year. If you're a decade or two away from seniorhood, expect significantly higher costs for care services. But because Medicare won't pay, you must make other plans to finance long-term care, such as:

●     Purchasing long-term care insurance.

●     Attaching a long-term care rider to a life insurance policy.

●     Cashing out investments and retirement accounts.

●     Tapping into HSA funds.

●     Selling a home or applying for a reverse mortgage.

●     Asking family for financial support.

●     Spending down to qualify for Medicaid.

No one wants to imagine becoming frail or ill with age, but longer lifespans mean an increasing number of adults will need support in their final years. Paying for that support can be just another piece of your retirement planning or a life-changing financial decision. The difference is all in how you prepare for long-term care expenses. If you want a high-quality of life until the end, start putting your plans in place today.

Author

June is the co-creator of Rise Up for Caregivers, which offers support for family members and friends who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their loved ones. She is author of the upcoming book, The Complete Guide to Caregiving: A Daily Companion for New Senior Caregivers.

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Struggling with getting bills paid on time or just don't have the time or desire, consider Turning Point Stewardship's Bill Pay Program.

How to Help Senior Widows and Widowers Make Financial Decisions

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Losing a spouse is one of the most stressful things a person can experience. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that mortality rates in the bereaved can be up to 150 percent higher than in the general population due to stress. Unfortunately, financial problems start to pile up at a rapid pace during this time, which is the last thing your loved one needs. Naturally, you want to help out, but you may not know where to start -- here are a few things you can do.

Don’t Rush into It

Encourage your loved one not to make any major financial decisions in the early stages. Grief can cloud your thinking, so start with just the basics -- firstly, can you get enough cash together to pay for the funeral expenses? This can be tricky, because power of attorney rights are nullified upon death, meaning survivors are sometimes not able to access money held in their partner’s name. US News has some good advice here on how to pay for a funeral when the cash flow is limited. Next, get the death certificate, because you will need this for several processes in the future, such as when making a claim on life insurance.

Get a Basic Overview

One of the major causes of stress regarding finances during bereavement is uncertainty. Because of the complexity of many people’s financial affairs, it can be tricky to know where you stand. Getting a basic overview can help. Start by making a simple balance sheet -- put assets like house value, bank account balances, and investment valuations in one column, and debts like your loans and mortgages in another. Sum both columns and subtract your debts from your assets -- you now know roughly what you have available. It can also be useful to write down how accessible each of your assets is right now -- in other words, how liquid you are. This will help you determine how well you’ll be able to meet immediate expenses.

Get an Advisor

The immediate grieving period is naturally the worst, and the stress can seriously knock a person’s self-confidence. According to a survey published in the Journal of Financial Service Professionals, this can carry across to financial matters, particularly in women. Sorting out these financial affairs can be a mess when you factor in Social Security payments, insurance, power of attorney, obtaining the death certificate, and a host of other matters. If you’re not confident in dealing with all this, it might be wise to seek out a certified, reputable financial advisor. That same study found that widows who did so saw a significant boost in their confidence regarding their financial situation.

Consider Downsizing

After a little time, discuss with your loved one their potential need to downsize. Moving to a smaller place can free up a lot of money, which might be necessary to pay for medical costs, clear some debt, or cover other expenses. It might also be harder to manage the day-to-day chores in their current place, which were previously shared by two people. On the other hand, moving can break social ties, and social support can be very important in helping people adjust to a loss. If you are considering downsizing, look up house prices in your area, and try to find homes close by which are comparable in size. This will give you an idea of what your home is worth right now -- but if you can’t find a good comparison house, ask a realtor for more advice.

It’s a sad irony that these financial matters pile up right when we’re least able to deal with them. A little extra support from you in this area will likely be very much appreciated by your loved one. Just take your time, plan ahead, and don’t be afraid to seek help yourself if you are struggling.

by Lucille Rosetti

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Struggling with getting bills paid on time or just don't have the time or desire, consider Turning Point Stewardship's Bill Pay Program.

Get Your Budget Under Control With A Budget Coaching Class In California

Car insurance, property taxes, rent, utility bills, cell phone and auto insurance expenses, you are likely to have more monthly bills than you care to think about, but regardless, you need to make sure they get paid.

Whatever you’re earning, and even if you’ve cultivated a saving habit, expenses have a way of creeping in and distorting your budget choices. A survey from BlackRock states that 48% view high cost of living as a major deterrent to their financial future which consequently ranks them behind the mortgage as a roadblock to their retirement savings.

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The bottom-line here is that by creating a simple yet comprehensive budget you can make better choices of where and when to spend your money. With our proprietary Cash Management Plan you’ll know exactly where you stand with your money each and every month. No more surprises. No more arguments.

Benefits of Cash Management Plan

  • Creating a positive cash flow
  • Knowing exactly where your money is going each and every month
  • No more “financial infidelity”
  • Restoring fairness in your relationship regarding your finances
  • No more financial surprises
  • No more late fees
  • Having a solid plan to eliminate your debt
  • Reaching your financial goals

Hence, attending budget coaching class in California and Fullerton will help you create a personalized cash management plan which in turn will help you take control of all your monetary expenses. And finally really be in control of your finances.

A Financial Assistant Can Help You Solve Your Financial Issues Easily

If you, as a couple, happen to manage your money issues, it’s quite an undertaking. More often than not, couples struggle keeping track of where their money is going and eventually, end up making a fuss about it. And when you are extremely distressed about money, you just can’t stop pondering over it time and again which makes it even harder for you to suppress your frustration and anger. In some cases, the fights related to household finances lead to the downfall of the relationships. Mind you, the financial issues can’t be quantified as a small problem because they do take a toll on your lives, especially when it’s the two of you tackling them.

Sometimes, sitting with your partner and exchanging the viewpoints are of no help because you seem to have gone too far with the everyday monetary fights. This is the main reason why the successful couples opt for financial assistance. Having a financial advisor by your side, can help solve your money problems, manage your utility bills, cash, and teach you to design the right budget for your family.

The financial assessment sessions in California offered by Turning Point Stewardship makes you discover a whole new way to manage your money. Here, the psychologist becomes your financial advisor to counsel you and develop the right money management skills in you just so you are able to experience financial peace.

Should you be going through a lot, enrol with us today!

Don’t Let Money And Debt Ruin Your Relationship

During his time, John D. Rockefeller was one of the richest men in the world. For all practical purposes, his money was virtually limitless. Once an interviewer asked him, “How much money is enough?” Rockefeller replied, “Just a little bit more!”

As bizarre as it sounds, haven’t we all been there? Whatever is our income level, we think to ourselves, if only I had a just a little bit more then, at least, our budget would have some breathing room and we will be satisfied with our finances.

But, unfortunately, the truth is control over money has less to do with how much we make, and a lot more with how we manage what we have. Financial health is important not only to our bank balance but also to the atmosphere in our home. More marriages have fallen apart over financial issues than almost any other factor.

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Money is one of the most profound conflicts for people in relationships to resolve. There is little instruction on how to manage our finances with a spouse or partner. And if you do it wrong, it can mess everything up. So, why seek out someone who can pay your bills and manage your cash?

Turning Point Stewardship and its representatives are properly licensed to do just that. We are sure that by joining our program you can become debt free and know where your money is going while ending the endless arguments about money!

Have Enough For The Present, Save Enough For The Future With Budget Coaching

Do you earn enough to provide for the needs of everyone in the family and still find your funds running short as the month approaches its end? Well, this is the problem with most of us. We all make enough money, but our management of what we earn leaves a lot to be desired. And it is only when we find ourselves in a crisis, of a financial nature of course, do we realize the importance of budgeting. Have you ever thought about what you can do to avoid a similar situation in your life again? Budget coaching could be the answer.

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A coach who is an expert in financial stewardship and has seen it all, done it all, coached it all is the person to look for when it comes to effective money management. Does he have any experience in helping people out of such situations? A positive answer to this question would take you to the right door. A coach who knows the modern lifestyle and how people spend money, sometimes unnecessarily, would understand your needs - expenses, savings, and getting out of debt. A plan that specifically marks your expenditures and the opportunities of savings will be designed taking your valuable inputs. However, the plan would work as long as you are willing to make it work. If you want to make sure that you have enough money to spend on your present needs and enough savings for future, there is no way you will divert from the plan.

So go ahead and get help from budget coaching to enjoy your present as well as future.

Know The Best Ways To Manage Money In California And Become Debt Free

The fact that most of us are deprived of any initial financial education at young age affects our adult life badly when we have to shoulder major financial responsibilities all at once. As a result, there comes a time when our financial system seems to fall apart and we feel utterly helpless. Due to poor money management, sometimes we also come under the burden of multiple debts and have to go through a hard time getting rid of them. However, it’s still not too late as you can shake hands with us for an efficient and optimal management of your financial system.

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We at Turning Point Stewardship offer versatile management programs that help you in setting an equilibrium between your income and expenditure. We devise custom plans to come up with best ways to manage money in California. You can also approach us for consultation when you are struggling with debts and cannot find a way out. We will set a definite time period to help you pay off all your debts and also liaise with your lenders to negotiate on the interest rates if the need be. Go through our bill and cash management programs that we offer in California on our interactive website and feel free to inquire about our services.