For most seniors, a dried-up retirement fund is more frightening than dying. The average retiree has less than $100,000 in their 401K(k) plans. With life expectancy getting higher and medical costs rising — their fear is rightly justified. Take measures to fortify your finances and allay your fear of ending up broke.
1. Don’t Just Rely on Medicare
The government covers your healthcare once you reach 65 — but a lot of things aren’t covered by Medicare. Social Security automatically qualifies you with Medicare A and B — unfortunately, that doesn’t cover the cost of prescription drugs. Your stay at a hospital is also not covered by Medicare. As you grow older, you’ll be needing more medicine and hospital visits will be longer. Contact a Medicare FMO to get additional coverage. The earlier you supplement your Medicare — the longer your money lasts.
2. Make your Bathroom Safer
Accidents lead to expensive hospital visits and 80 percent of accidents in senior homes occur in the bathroom. 1-in-3 seniors will suffer a slip or fall — requiring hospitalization — each year. Most of these accidents will require extended stays at the hospital, costing thousands of dollars. Invest in a few support rails — especially around the toilet. Your knees will thank you and you won’t suffer the agony and embarrassment of falling in the bathroom.
3. Lose Weight
Obesity is one of the leading factors in increasing healthcare costs. Being obese will cost you an additional $3,000 a year for men and $3,000 a year for women. Costs drop to $500 and $400 for men and women if they are just overweight. The added costs include more stays at the hospital, additional heart medication, diabetes prescriptions (including insulin), among many others. A proper diet and a few minutes of exercise a day can bring your weight down to more manageable levels. As your weight drops — so will “>your medical costs.
4. Move to a Retiree-Friendly State
Keep your limited finances intact by moving to tax-havens. That doesn’t mean leaving the country for the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands — you can find the same tax-havens in the US. States like Florida, Nevada, Alabama, or Pennsylvania will not dip their hands into your retirement funds — allowing you full use of your hard-earned money. Try to avoid the cities and move to a more rural location for lower cost of living expenses.
5. Keep Working
If you’re still fit to work and your company will allow it — a few extra years of working can improve your financial future. A year working is a year earning money instead of using it up. Even if your company can’t afford to keep you on board, replacement levels are at an all-time low so you shouldn’t have problems finding work if you try. Most states will have employment programs for seniors and certain establishments are open to employing seniors. Working also keeps your mobile — providing a bit of exercise and keeping you active.
Relying solely on your retirement fund can be scary and the prospect of it drying up can be mortifying. Fortify your finances, make use of the money you have, and take steps to limit your future spending.