Care Costs in Retirement – Controlling Your Health

It’s no secret that health care becomes a bigger concern for most of us as we grow older. More ailments are likely to develop, which means more money spent to visit health professionals and buy medication. Even if you remain healthy through your later years, the costs of preventative care and preparing for potential unexpected health situations are rising.

Health-related expenses will likely be one of the biggest components of your retirement budget. You need to be prepared to pay for comprehensive insurance coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs for care. Here are three strategies to help you manage this critical expense in retirement.

Understand how Medicare works

The good news for Americans age 65 and older is that you qualify for Medicare. That makes increased dependence on health care services more affordable. At age 65, most people automatically qualify for Medicare Part A at no cost, which primarily provides coverage for hospital stays and skilled nursing care. Medicare Part B must be purchased (approximately $109 per month in 2017 for most retirees). Part B covers the costs of visiting a physician, but with some deductibles. Many people purchase additional coverage to use for out-of-pocket expenses, such as a Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Supplement policy.

With Medicare, timing is important. Signing up when you first qualify for coverage will keep costs at the lowest level. If you maintain insurance through your employer after turning 65, you can delay Medicare enrollment without risking late penalties.

If you retire prior to age 65, you will need to purchase insurance on the open market to cover health-related expenses until you become eligible for Medicare. Individual coverage tends to get more expensive as you grow older, so work the cost into your retirement budget. Some employers offer retiree health insurance as a benefit. Check with your human resources department to see if this option is available to you.

Allocate sufficient funds for health care costs

As you develop your retirement income strategy, make sure you have money set aside for health expenses that will be your responsibility. By one estimate, the average 66-year-old couple will need to tap more than half of their lifetime pre-tax Social Security benefits to pay for health care expenses throughout retirement. Most people will likely have to rely, in part, on their own savings to help offset some medical expenses.

Along with other retirement savings, you may want to establish a health savings account (HSA) during your working years. HSAs are designed to help build tax-advantaged savings to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses you incur during your working years. However, any leftover funds can be applied to health expenses later in life, including premiums for Medicare and long-term care insurance. Keep in mind that you must be enrolled in a high deductible health plan to open an HSA.

Focus on your own health

One way to potentially keep health care costs under control in retirement is to create or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Small changes you make today, such as eating right or prioritizing sleep, could reduce the likelihood that medical issues will impact you later in life. Being physically active may also benefit your finances in retirement – according to the American Heart Association, it could potentially help you save $500 a year today on health-related expenses.

Having a plan doesn’t guarantee that you will avoid heath issues, but you may find comfort in knowing how you can tackle health care costs in retirement.

Get Your Car Ready To Sell

If you are looking to offload a vehicle that you no longer want, need or have room for, it is important to make sure that the car is in excellent condition. Not only will this help you fetch a reasonable sales price, but it will additionally help you avoid a number of problems with future owners. Following are several steps that you should take before officially offering your auto on the market.

Take Your Car In For A Tune-Up

If you have been diligent about maintaining a vehicle throughout the years, you probably have regularly scheduled tune-ups according to the recommendations of a trusted mechanic. If you haven’t, now is definitely the time to get one. You don’t want developing problems or unexpected ones to rear their heads when prospective buyers are inspecting the merchandise. During a tune-up your mechanic will:

– Search for and replaced worn or damaged hoses and other connections

– Change all fluids

– Inspect your brakes, brake pads and tyres

– Inspect all systems and their components for signs of breakage or other problems

– Make sure that your care is capable of meeting emissions standards as per your area

These inspections and repairs are critical for keeping cars working like they should. They also give professionals a chance to spot minor issues and resolve them, before these problems start to spiral out of control. Many buyers will pay good money for cars that have received regularly scheduled tune-ups. Having these services performed in advance of a sale will usually increase the overall marketability of cars.

Depersonalise The Vehicle

The next step in this process is to depersonalise the auto. This is especially important to do if you have added a lot of custom parts and accessories. Your car will be a lot easier to offload if it has a basic look that people can alter to suit their own personalities, preferences and needs. If you have added on aftermarket parts, make sure that the price of the auto reflects these. You also have the option of removing these additions and selling them separately.

When taking miscellaneous, personal items out, make sure to check under the seats and in any cracks or gaps that exist. Take out car seats and check between seat cushions. You may be surprised at what you find hidden in hard-to-reach spaces when you take the time to look.

Collect All Maintenance Documents

Let prospective buyers know just how carefully you have maintained your vehicle. Make a folder that contains all of the receipts or invoices that you have collected during your time as owner that show the different mechanical services that have been performed. Not only can you share these with prospective buyers as evidence of your diligence, but new owners can use these documents to access any warranties that still exist on the related parts and labor.

Check The Tyres

Tyres are a relatively inexpensive automotive component to upgrade and fix. Despite this fact, they are one aspect of autos that nearly all buyers take the time to inspect. If these look good, the overall opinion of the vehicle will be good as well. Thus, before meeting with interested investors, be sure to take advantage of tyre replacement services as well.

The Best Locations for Healthy Foods Finding

Eating right is an important part of a lifestyle that encourages overall benefits. It can help you to look and feel your best. It can provide your body with the energy it needs and assist with weight management. It also reduces the risk of serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Making positive changes can start with a plan of action and health food stores.

Selection

Eating better doesn’t mean you are limited to just a few food items that you will quickly become bored with. It doesn’t mean you can’t have any of the items you love – but you need to consume those in moderation. Selection is important for you to gain from health food stores. This allows you to try new foods, to create new meal ideas, and to avoid feeling limited.

Most health food stores strive to offer plenty of great products all the time. Some of the items they offer such as fresh fruits and vegetables may rotate due to the season. Some of them are grown all year long and others are only available during certain times of the year. They make sure you have access to what you need to eat better than before.

Look for a provider offering brands of healthy food items that have a great reputation. The best results come from foods you prepare from a raw state. However, that isn’t always practical or possible. There are times when you need packaged food items, but they can still be a healthy choice. Take the time to read labels and find out what the ingredients are before you buy.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you eat food that is tasteless or that doesn’t taste good. Instead, you should be excited about what you are going to consume. Select food items that are full of good nutrients but also pleasing to your taste buds. Be creative, experiment with new foods to see what you like, and find recipe books that give you some great ideas.

Convenience

One of the reasons people don’t eat well is they are in a hurry. There are fast food joints everywhere you turn where you can get greasy fries and burgers. Thankfully, there are more health food stores than before. Thanks to the demand for them by consumers, they are becoming more common. Find those conveniently located close to where you live and work.

If you travel often for work or for fun, use your smart phone or computer to find out where health food stores are located. Stocking up on food items from such a location rather than dining out will save you money. It will also help you to stay on track with your eating habits and goals. Find a hotel offering a kitchenette and refrigerator if you would like to prepare some meals.

Affordable

Not all health food stores charge you a fortune to eat better. In fact, many of them strive to keep the prices affordable so you can budget for them. Comparison shop so you can get an idea of the prices and where you find the best deals. You can also save money by planning meals based on what is in season or what is on sale at that point in time.

You can’t put a price tag though on feeling better physically and mentally. Eating foods that reduce fat intake and reducing the amount of unhealthy carbs you consume all adds up. It can be hard at first to make those changes but planning meals, planning snacks, and staying focused can help you make it a lifestyle change and ongoing habit.

Find the Best Advertising Space for Your Business

Advertising in the right place is just as important as what you have to say in your ads. You probably spend a lot of time finessing your marketing material to convey just the right message, but how much time have you spent analyzing where to broaden the reach of your marketing efforts?

Ask the Right Questions
To find the best space for your marketing message, think about where your customers are:

What do your customers do for a living?
What do your customers do for fun?
What TV shows do your customers watch?
What radio stations do your customers listen to?
Do your customers read news in a paper or online?
What websites do your customers frequently visit?
What kind of giveaway would your customer remember you by?

In selecting advertising space, it’s important to get your message to the places where your potential customers are likely to be. Ever blasted your marketing out to the world only to receive nothing in return? It’s equivalent to a fisherman randomly going out into the ocean and casting his net without a clue as to whether there are actual catches to be had. Make sure you know where your fish hang out before casting your net.

Think Beyond Normal
Sometimes this requires thinking outside the box.

Traditionally, marketing efforts focus on the same old marketing channels, such as TV, radio, and print. To keep up with modern marketing trends, you have to think beyond what’s worked in the past, and look for new ways to get your message broadcast to the most potential customers.

Hence the internet. It is safe to say that where traditional channels dominated for decades and decades, the age of the internet has taken over. Companies like Apple, Google, Olark, Twitter, and LinkedIn have literally made billions by either being the first to optimize or get in front of the internet craze. Startups have since made millions by approaching the masses online in a new way, like Imgur, who saw a need online, started an app, and proceeded to become a stable in millions of people lives.

All that to say, your target market is online and taking advantage of the internet every single day. Companies have proven that if you can get in front of your market online you can generate viral amounts of traffic for cheap or free. Take advantage of the new markets before they become the old markets.

In the same vein, find products that think outside the box, maybe tapping a new marketing space like screen cleaner stickers that are customized with your logo and info but sit on the backs of phones or tablets. These products are innovative and take up some primetime space.

At Pristine Screens, we help businesses get their message out to the widest audience possible through custom sticky screen cleaners.