Financially surviving the golden years
offers tips to maximize money for an aging population
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Americans are living longer
these days, from an average 47 years in 1900 to more than 78 years
as of 2010. We are also experiencing a deluge of adults reaching
retirement age now, with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day.
By 2030, when the last of the baby boomers have turned 65, nearly 1
in 5 Americans will be retirement age, according to the Pew Research
Center's population projections. Money will be a big problem for
many of them, especially if boomers develop health problems that
affect their ability to live independently, says Chris Orestis, an
insurance expert and CEO of Life Care Funding.
"Life Care Funding
created a financial solution for seniors that own a life insurance
policy that converts the policy into a long-term care benefit plan.
This gives the policy owner the option to use their policy while
still alive to help pay for their choice of any form of senior care
services," says Orestis, a former insurance industry lobbyist who
recently contributed to the federal Commission on Long-Term Care's
"With 30 percent of the Medicaid population consuming 87 percent
of Medicaid dollars on long-term care services, we can see that's
not going to be sustainable," Orestis says. "More individuals will
be forced to find their own resources to pay for those needs. That's
why states such as California, Florida, New York and Texas are
embracing legislation requiring seniors to be notified that they can
convert their life insurance policy for 30 to 60 percent of its
death benefit value. The money can be put into an irrevocable fund
designated specifically for any form of care they choose."
Orestis details more ways in which seniors might handle long-term
care and other budgetary issues:
Here's a list of establishments to check out:
supermarkets, department stores, travel deals and other
merchants give various senior discounts, with minimum age
requirements ranging from 55 to 62. Some of these places are
worth making habits, with 15 percent off the bill at Applebee's,
30 percent off at Banana Republic and 60 percent off at Food
Lion on Mondays. Don't forget your free cup of coffee at Dunkin'
Donuts if you're 55 or older, and don't be shy -- at many of
these places you'll have to ask for the discount.
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is a matter of survival, so use your best options. The
practice of converting a life insurance policy into a life care
benefit has been an accepted method of payment for private-duty
in-home care, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and
hospice care for years. Instead of abandoning a policy when they
can no longer afford the premiums, policy owners have the option
to take the present-day value of the policy while they are still
alive and convert it into a long-term care benefit plan. By
converting the policy, a senior will remain in private pay
longer and be able to choose the form of care that they want,
but will be Medicaid-eligible when the benefit is spent down.
It makes sense to
finally enjoy your money after a lifetime of savings, but be
smart about it. Take time to organize your paperwork and create
a master file that holds things such as insurance policies,
investments, property, wills and trusts so you have your
financial picture in one place. Also, live smart today and hold
off on that new car if you don't need a new one. If your current
car is paid off and you sit tight for an additional two years,
you'll save $7,200 on a new car with $300 monthly payments.
Refinancing your home may also be a very good idea, since rates
are still hovering around their all-time lows. Get at least
three quotes and compare rates, terms and potential penalties to
make sure you're getting the best deal. Also, live healthy and
buy more fruits and vegetables and less junk food to lessen the
chance you'll need long-term care in the future.
Your "last act"
may be decades away, so plan accordingly.
Chris Orestis, nationally known senior health-care advocate and
expert is CEO of Life Care Funding, which created the model for
converting life insurance policies into protected long-term care
benefit funds. His company has been providing care benefits to
policyholders since 2007. A former life insurance industry lobbyist
with a background in long-term care issues, he created the model to
provide an option for middle-class people who are not wealthy enough
to pay for long-term care and not poor enough to qualify for
[Text from file received from
News and Experts]