The biggest issue most seniors face as years advance is lack of planning beforehand. Your best chances of aging gracefully come when you have a plan in place designed to carry you through your twilight years. Life, circumstance, and human imperfection often prevent this from happening. If you can plan ahead, do so. If you can’t, then at the very least exercise financially sound practices going forward to ease the burden.
For starters, consider your healthcare. The older you get, the more you’re going to need. Health insurance can be expensive, and even government options often includes facets of attaining medical help which require you to pay out-of-pocket fees. Look into what options you can afford, and what you qualify for. You may be more qualified than you realize.
Make sure you understand and are fully utilizing Medicare part A, B, C, and D; according to HealthMarkets.com, “Medicare coverage is broken into specific parts…A, B, C, and D. Each part provides its own unique coverage, and depending on which part you chose, the enrollment options will also vary.”
Insurance solutions pertaining to your health can be complicated, but you’re very likely to find such costs defining your later years. Medical issues compound with age, there’s no way around it. If you were planning ahead, you were eating right and exercising perpetually. Doing so now can help, though doing so in youth is the best option. Still, there are solutions, programs, and means of support; you may just have to research a bit.
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One thing you’ll want to do is maximize your existing assets. You may not think you have much, but then again you could have more than you realize. Take stock of what you have now, what value is associated with it, and what you can do with it. If you own your own property, a few clever real estate deals could help you comfortably retire.
If you own a home worth $250k to $300k in the Midwest, you may be able to sell that and put the money immediately into another property through a trade arrangement which allows you to avoid associated taxation. This is called a 1031 exchange. Turn that into a duplex of lesser value, pocket the difference, and you’ve got a PIG, or Passive Income Generator, on your hand.
You’ll have tax credits available through owning and operating a duplex. You live in one side, renters live in the other. If you’ve got social security and/or a pension, or other senior living solution, you’re in a good position. Provided you’ve got relatives to help manage the property, you’re in really good shape. Some may even come to live there.
Debts And Solutions
If you’re not so well set, or are in a debt situation, you’ve got to be careful. In modern society, debt can be transferred to next-of-kin; and IRS courts don’t necessarily factor in age when meting out sentences. You also need to employ responsible, effective methods of paying off debts. You don’t want to make a mistake like using one credit card to pay off another; that’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul.
If you’ve got debts, consolidate them. If you can leverage assets against them, do so and use the remainder to acquire a better living situation. Debt in old age can put you in a very difficult situation; especially if you do have close relatives to consider. This needs to be overcome somehow, if at all possible. There are forgiveness options out there as well.
Everyone ages, there’s no way around it. But you can age with grace, or you can age with difficulty. Planning ahead is the best way to avoid difficulties, but it isn’t always possible. Still, you’ve likely got more options than you realize. Keep your eyes open, and look around. Solutions are out there.