4 Ways to Financially Prepare Yourself for New Medical Challenges
Updated on Mar 07 2019
Growing older comes with benefits such as retirement and getting to enjoy the golden years, but if you aren’t financially prepared — especially for unexpected healthcare expenses — those years could become stressful. Here are tips to help you enjoy retirement with financial peace of mind.
Many Americans have not been proactive about retirement planning during their working years and are not prepared for the last third of their life. It’s important to be mindful of your finances in order to enjoy being a senior, so here are a few ways to prepare for whatever comes your way, according to Mica Phillips, Director of Urology at Aeroflow Healthcare.
1. Budget for Savings
After age 55 and especially once you retire, your income tends to decrease and it’s important to examine your budget. This is a crucial time to cut back on spending and living expenses in order to create extra savings in case of an emergency. If you burn through your savings too quickly, you could find yourself in major trouble. Reducing your spending on food, utilities, subscriptions and memberships can all help increase your savings each month.
2. Recruit Professional Advisor Help
Sometimes aging comes with cognitive decline and it can become more difficult to manage money when it comes to bills, calculating change and tips, signing up for new programs and more.
It’s important to protect yourself from fraud and to recognize scams. Either consult with your bank, a financial planner or your children to assist you in identifying red flags before they turn into larger financial issues.
Share account information with your children and talk with them about your financial plans and wishes so they can assist you with managing your finances. For example, they can help set up automatic payments to avoid missing bills or arrange weekly allowances.
3. Evaluate Your Assets
Some of the most common steps people take to maximize their savings include downsizing to smaller homes, selling their cars and receiving rides from friends or family when driving becomes difficult, organizing their legal documents and selling excess items, as well as speaking with their children to organize their finances - especially medical expenses.
Bringing up finances and your health to your child may seem a bit awkward at first, but they may be crucial for assisting you with your health and finances as you age. As you age, your roles will change and the children you raised may become your caregivers. However, this conversation doesn’t have to be difficult.
Think about or write down what you want to say ahead of time, and practice with your partner to ease your nerves. While no parent “has favorites,” have this conversation with the child that you have the most open relationship with, so you’ll feel more comfortable bringing up difficult topics and sharing emotions.
Don’t assume anything - Sometimes it can be easy to jump to conclusions and assume that your children just want your money instead of what’s best for your health. Take your time and listen to your child, and be prepared to answer any questions they may have.
Most importantly, be honest. You don’t have to share everything about your finances, but be open with your child so you can best determine how they can assist you.
4. Know Your Benefits and Where to Use Them
Understand your medical benefits and what your insurance may cover. Your medical devices, supplies, and services could be covered and a durable medical equipment provider (DME) can help you navigate your coverage and determine your options. It’s worth it to check your insurance coverage and research a DME that works best for you.
Here’s how this can help you with specific medical needs:
- You can easily qualify online or over the phone for an item.
- Representatives can help answer questions, teach you how to use the product, get you the supplies/devices you need, and make changes to your monthly supplies.
- You can get your needed medical supplies and devices shipped to your front door in discreet packaging.
- Your DME representative will contact your insurance provider and doctor to submit all of the necessary paperwork needed to ship you medical necessities at little to no cost, leaving you with more time to enjoy your golden years.
As you age, your finances and your health can change very quickly but by organizing the former and with help from those around you, you can better position yourselves for any sudden changes to the latter.
Being prepared financially will not only enable you a better retirement lifestyle, it will also give you more peace of mind. Connect with an expert fiduciary financial advisor to get the information and help you need to get your retirement planning on track.
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