Have New Grandchildren, Want to Retire, Health Care Conundrum

Q&A with a Reader

Hey guys,

Really appreciate the newsletter and am looking forward to sharing with some of my clients.

I do have a question.

My wife and I are mid 50’s. We would love to hang up the cleats right now but we have this huge barrier here in American called “health Insurance”. It will be a few years before we can access medicare. We have no debt and 7 figures put away however have not found a solution for the health care situation. It would probably cost us 24k a year and that would not allow us to just live on investments.

We have new grandchildren so moving to another country is out of the question …. No way the wife would agree with that. Have you heard of any solutions for people in the US?

Thank you and cheers!!

Hi Scott!

Thanks for taking the time to write and for your kind comments on our newsletter. We appreciate it.

Your situation regarding early retirement and access to health care is a common one for everyone. No matter where one lives, it seems the issue of access to “health care” can be a stumbling block. Add to that the addition of grandchildren, and in some cases, forward movement towards early retirement can die on the vine.

However, let me say a few words about this, and possibly ask you a question or two, since there is no silver bullet that will satisfy everyone.

Do your children/grandchildren live close to you (same city or state, within convenient driving distance now). How stable are the careers of the parents? (meaning will there be a possible transfer, move, promotion to a new location in the mix?) Are your grandchildren in a good school district now (and is the intention for the family to stay pretty much where they live indefinitely)?

Life is full of change, some of it we plan for, some of it is thrust upon us without our consent or through an opportunity we cannot resist.

Retirement is a huge change as well. Will you be staying in the home you are living in now? Or do you plan to downsize?

The reasons I am asking these questions, is, that “right at this moment” Grandparents, parents and grandchildren are in a certain (convenient?) location… but that might not stay the same. Will that change in 3 years? 7 years? What’s the likelihood of that situation changing? With our mobile society, the chances are pretty good.

I cannot tell you how many grandparents we know who have moved to the location of the grandchildren (or didn’t move to the location of their choice due to the grandchildren) … and then the parents of those children were transferred, got a promotion (or a divorce) or simply moved to a better area for work, better schools, better cost of living, and so on, thus throwing a wrench into the Grandparents’ plans for being close to the grandchildren growing up.

Sometimes the grandparents moved again to be close to the children, only to have the parents get another promotion or opportunity and take the kids with them.

We even know of some personal friends of ours whose children moved to Texas (after living in Oklahoma close to the Grandparents) and brought the children with them. Then our friends put money into their “forever home” and build a “Granny unit” in Texas, moved there, furnished it, bought a car, and so on… only to have the Son-in-law get offered a promotion to another state. They ended up selling all their stuff again and their forever home, which has been very stressful on the whole family.

My point is… the future is not written in stone.

For instance, if you plan to downsize in retirement, that downsizing can save you considerable amounts of money annually on housing costs. That extra savings can be placed towards visiting the grandchildren or purchasing travel tickets for them to visit you.

You might consider snowbirding and traveling in your retirement – or you might choose to go to a state where costs of living (and health care) are cheaper, also utilizing these savings for family visits.

You might choose to utilize medical tourism or purchase a concierge plan with a doctor (who – for an annual fixed price – offers you so many doctor visits, so many x-rays, etc.) which then also keeps your health costs down.

You might want start your own Health Savings Account where you place $10,000 (or more) each into an account yearly that you don’t touch except for health costs. In 5 years you would have $100,000 saved for medical expenses. In 10 years, you’d have $200,000 (and so on.) That’s a lot of medical care out of country for Medical Tourism.

Basically, you’d only need to get to the age where you could receive Medicare and go from there.

Even Canadians who have moved overseas or who snowbird have to return to their home country after 6 months in order to keep their health care plans active. Or they could let their country’s health care plan go, and purchase something locally in their new country..

Again, my point is… there are options. Nothing is frozen or unmovable. Chances are, things are going to change in a few years regardless.

When did you think of retiring? 1 year? 5 years? – If it’s 5 years, this gives you plenty of time to activate your personal HSA, the children will be older, and you could continue to research your options.

What do you plan to do with your time away from your normal work/job/career? – If you plan to keep your same home, don’t like to travel or don’t like the idea of snowbirding, you might want to golf, play tennis and bridge, work in the garage on a hobby (building sailboats, wordworking, doing sculptures, etc.) or volunteer in your community.

What kind of retirement are you thinking about?

These, actually, are the questions you need to think about and discuss together. Because the style of retirement will dictate many things financially, including going to see the kids if the parents take a promotion out of state or country. (Our good friend’s daughters both moved. One took the husband and kids and moved to Colorado, the other moved with her husband to Asia. Both of them did this for work opportunities.)

Below are some articles on this whole topic which might give you some insight, or which might move the sides of the box you have placed the description of your retirement into.

Everyone is different, there is no “one right answer.” I would suggest dreaming a bit about what retirement means to the both of you. It’s “easy” to say “We can’t do “X” because of 1) the grandkids 2) costs of health care 3) I don’t know what I’d do with my time 4) I can’t imagine leaving my beloved home 5) we have pets 6) I don’t want to make new friends 7) something else.

We can always find a block if we want to. It’s scary to move out of a comfortable routine, no doubt. And maybe you don’t want to move out of a comfortable routine. That’s ok too!

I hope these questions and different perspectives help you to shake things up and be able to move some mental furniture around.

You absolutely can find a workable, satisfying solution for yourselves, and still retire early, if that is what you want to do.

Wishing you both all the best.

Thanks again for writing.

Articles are below.

Akaisha

How to Fail at Early Retirement

Worry Free Housing

Why your house is a terrible investment

Going Naked

Comments on Going Naked

Top 10 Q&A on Medical Tourism

Cancer Treatment in Guatemala

Buying Medical Care vs Buying Medical Insurance

Stem Cell Therapy

Orthopedic Care in Guatemala

Medical Insurance and Health Insurance Options

Medical Tourism

Relocation

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Should You Go for Alternative or Complementary Therapy for Cancer Treatment?

About the Author

Lauren Cole is the Content Marketing Strategist of Dayspring Cancer Clinic, an alternative cancer treatment center located in Scottsdale, Arizona. When not working and writing content, she enjoys gardening and reading books.

Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are conventional cancer treatment methods. Cancer patients, however, have the option to undergo therapies and use medical products that don’t fall within the scope of standard cancer treatments. These treatments are categorized as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), and they are proving to be in wide use among cancer patients.

The question is, is going for complementary and alternative cancer treatments the right decision for cancer patients?

Complementary and Alternative Therapy Are Not The Same Thing

It’s easy to lump alternative and complementary therapies together since they’re not standard cancer treatments. However, alternative therapies are quite different from complementary ones.

When a specific cancer therapy is labeled as “alternative,” it means it’s being used as a substitute for chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and other conventional approaches to cancer treatment. Eschewing FDA-approved anticancer drugs for a special diet or some type of herbal medication is a primary example of alternative cancer treatment.

On the other hand, complementary cancer therapies are precisely what the phrase denotes: they complement standard cancer treatments. Complementary therapy is often used not only to manage the symptoms that cancer patients experience, but to improve their quality of life as well.

There are times when an oncologist recommends a specific complementary therapy to go with a patient’s conventional cancer treatments. It’s called integrative treatment, which, as the name implies, integrates safe and effective CAM treatments with standard cancer therapies.

Examples of CAM Treatments

Cancer patients who decide to undergo CAM therapies may be asked to take dietary supplements, herbal medicine, and other non-standard medicinal products. It’s also common for them to undergo such treatments as acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage therapy, and even music therapy. Activities like yoga and visualization are also encouraged.

Reasons Cancer Patients Opt For CAM Treatments

The number of cancer patients opting for CAM therapies has been steadily increasing over the years. According to one study, 85% of cancer patients in the United States admit to CAM use.

Cancer patients use complementary and alternative therapies for a variety of reasons.

Many CAM therapies are purported to help patients deal not only with the symptoms of cancer but the side effects of standard treatments like chemotherapy as well.

Some cancer patients believe that since most complementary and alternative therapies are “natural,” they’re less toxic than conventional therapies. There’s also the immune boost that some CAM practices claim to provide.

Having cancer can be quite stressful, and the focus that many CAM treatments have on helping patients calm down and relax is perceived to be key in relieving themselves of stress.

In many cases, CAM therapies are often used to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. As mentioned above, cancer patients have to endure the symptoms of their disease and the aftermath of chemotherapy, radiation, and other conventional treatments. Proponents of CAM treatments claim they can alleviate the suffering of cancer patients and help give them a better quality of life, even when the battle is nearing the end of the line.

Is CAM Therapy The Right Decision?

Let’s face it: there is no cure for cancer just yet. Even conventional cancer treatments do not guarantee that they can defeat cancer all the time. However, many patients have seen their cancer go into remission after standard treatments, which attest to their efficacy.

Many CAM therapies, on the other hand, are deemed to be generally safe after careful evaluation. Still, more studies and medical trials are needed before they can be definitively regarded as highly-effective cancer treatments.

Then again, if you’re a cancer patient and you’re considering undergoing CAM therapies for any of the reasons mentioned above, then go for it, by all means. After all, whether to go for conventional treatments or CAM therapies is a personal decision that only you have every right to make.

Just keep in mind that if you choose the CAM route, it’s still best to consult your oncologist or your personal physician about it. While doctors can only make recommendations, they can at least educate you about possible contraindications of CAM treatments to your standard medical care. It’s also possible that your doctor might help you find a reliable CAM practitioner for your cancer treatment needs.

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Germ-free kitchen: 4 ways to help you get there

John Liverstone

It would be fair to say that cleanliness is even more relevant in the current times we are living in. The recent outbreak of coronavirus means that we are all more conscious than ever of staying hygienic and ultimately, reducing the chance of bugs, viruses and harmful bacteria making their way into our system.

There’s no doubt that the kitchen plays a huge part in this. It’s the place where all sorts of harmful germs can accumulate and if you don’t tackle them appropriately, you are left with some major health and safety issues.

Unfortunately, the sheer scale of this room means that we can’t dissect each and every threat, but by the end of today’s guide you will hopefully be armed with enough information to make your kitchen a much healthier place to live in.

Start with your lighting

We’re talking about germs, so there might be a few raised eyebrows with this first suggestion. After all, unless we are talking about a super hi-tech piece of lighting equipment, this isn’t going to directly help in our battle to clear our kitchen of harmful bacteria.

However, it can at least point you in the right direction. A lot of kitchens are dimly lit, meaning that we just don’t see where all the stains and general bacteria are. It means that things get left for weeks and weeks and in short, the damage has probably already been done by then.

Clear the clutter

This next point follows a similar path to the previous one. Clutter isn’t directly going to result in germs coming to your kitchen, but it can prevent you from clearing them up.

If your counters are full of clutter, the chances of you being able to give them a proper clean are exceptionally slim. As such, clear the clutter, and work with completely empty surfaces. You’ll spot all sorts of dirt that would have previously gone unnoticed.

How your oven can be the silent contributor to germs

So far, a lot of today’s article has spoken about the dirt and residue that is found on countertops. This next point goes a little more granular and just focusses on your oven.

This is one area of the kitchen where many of us forget about. We think that due to the high temperatures in there, we don’t really have to give it a proper clean.

As it turns out, there are all sorts of health threats that can emerge in the oven. Many of these can be easily prevented, so we would really urge that you don’t forget to clean your oven on a regular basis.

Be wary of your dishtowels

Another area that few of us think about are the dishtowels. These are one of the easiest ways for harmful bacteria to be passed around from location to location around the kitchen, and again have a really simple course of action associated with them. Put simply, they need to be changed regularly – sometimes every day. Have separate towels for separate duties; the best approach is to have one towel for dishes and another for hands.

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Tips For Designing The Perfect Home In Early Retirement

Karoline Gore

The AARP survey shows that 76% of Americans, aged 50 and above, want to stay in their homes, and 77% hope to remain in their current neighborhoods, according to Kiplinger. Aging in place is a common trend among seniors, as it allows them to live independently, comfortably, and safely. Nonetheless, you can still age in place after leaving the workforce earlier.

In fact, early retirement gives you endless opportunities for creating a lifestyle of meaning. This includes designing a living space that fits your lifestyle now and in the future. Check out these tips for designing the perfect home in early retirement.

Choose Ideal Interior Design Elements

As an early retiree, you want your space to stay functional and beautiful for the years to come. So, when looking at aging in place home designs, determine your dream features and pick suitable interior decor that fits your style. For example, in addition to lowering counters to create a spacious and wheelchair-friendly kitchen, consider fitting marble or granite countertops for long-term care.

Alternatively, create a gourmet kitchen with a large but stylish island. Also, instead of installing the typical chrome grab bars in the bathroom, opt for ones customized to match your interior décor.

Hire Expert Custom Home Builders

Whether you’re looking to remodel your existing house or build a custom home, make sure to work with expert builders. A professional contractor understands your vision of living in a perfect home after retiring. Because of their expertise and reputation, they will focus on quality and even go the extra mile to find the right neighborhood for your dream home.

According to Paradisa Homes, you deserve a space with thoughtful designs, high-quality materials, and masterful construction. Expert builders will give you a clear perspective on creating the ideal infrastructure and design, based on your present and future needs. By hiring building experts, you can achieve the perfect house that is visually striking and appealing for aging in place.

Pick the Right Floor Plan

As you grow older, staying in the home where you have grown comfortable and created long-lasting memories sounds ideal. However, you need to create safe and accessible spaces. Your home should have an open floor design with few obstructions. Keep in mind, climbing up and down the stairs might be a simple activity now, but as you age, it becomes challenging. Thus, think of designing a stair-free entrance, open kitchen, and bedroom on the first floor.

With the help of an expert designer, you can build an exterior door and accessible ramp as part of the architectural design of the house. You will also want wider doors, lever-style door handles, and non-slippery floors. Having an open floor layout allows you to build a comfortable space without the worries of accessible issues in the future. Consider placing your bedroom on the first floor and install large windows to maximize the flow of natural light.

Your daily lifestyle matters when enhancing your retirement home. For instance, if you enjoy golfing, fishing, and other outdoor activities, find a retirement spot that allows you to engage in your hobbies with minimal setbacks and limitations.

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Downsizing During Retirement

Jane Brown

Retirement often comes with innumerable changes in a person’s lifestyle. It is an exciting phase of life associated with financial freedom and big plans, such as downsizing a home. Typically, This involves purchasing a smaller house than the current one. Downsizing is a real opportunity to save and enjoy equity from the home sale. As a retiree, this means less upkeep, low bills, and more time doing things you love doing. However, to see through this process, it involves researching the best states to settle and considering various aspects such as taxes, health care, and the cost of living.

According to real estate experts, the majority of retirees opt to downsize their homes owing to a variety of reasons as discussed below:

High Home Maintenance Cost

Age comes with a decline in health and the ability to perform demanding household chores. Therefore, a larger home is a burden to retirees when it comes to attending to daily house tasks. Downsizing gives them an option to move into a smaller home near their family where they can get help with home maintenance. Living closer to loved ones allows them to focus on their healthy life. However, if the family is distant, you can opt for moving to stratified communities that offer critical amenities without moving far distances.

Smaller houses with excellent features fit aging individuals in leveraging the amount of upkeep at an older age. They can still have some style in their smaller home by adding a custom sliding barn door. These trendy doors are easy to slide open or shut and gives them the ease of being able to divide a room, if necessary.

Living in a Larger Home Alone

Having your kids leave home is a significant change in terms of company and socialization. It can cause loneliness since the ones you love the most are now gone to cater to their life responsibilities. At some point, this may affect your daily motivation and routine. The space children used to fill in the house becomes more extensive for your needs. Such unused rooms will elevate the cost of upkeep and property taxes, yet they are not used. Downsizing to a home that suits your lifestyle the best will help in eradicating such expenses and increase your retirement workflows. This can enhance you to make investments that generate cash flow and create a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages allow individuals to stay in their homes and convert them into a lifetime income stream.

Increment of Home Value

If you have been living in a home for quite some time, chances are its value has appreciated. This is if it has been well maintained. Many homebuyers will want to purchase it. All you need is to be assertive on the real estate market to get maximum profit from the house. Such investment can lighten your financial load by extending your savings for retirement. This allows you to have flexibility in your retirement based on the amount of money that you have saved.

Increased Monthly Housing Expenses

While working, housing costs may fit comfortably within your budget. Retiring can unexpectedly push your expenses to over thirty percent of your regular payments. The National Housing Act recommends standard housing affordability of thirty percent. Therefore, any individual paying over thirty percent of their pay is considered financially troubled. Despite the moving expenses associated with downsizing, living in a smaller space reduces the cost of utilities, property taxes, and maintenance. This reduces monthly debt and increases the monthly cash flow.

Housing Features No Longer Fit Your Lifestyle

There may be many features you might be passionate about in your home while working. However, as time moves on, you develop disinterest in them. For example, you might have loved your home’s closeness to a nearby elementary school because of your kids. But after your kids grow and move out, you now find noise irritation from the school. Furthermore, features such as staircases or a steep driveway may take a physical toll as you grow older. Weather can also be a consideration since shoveling snow becomes more difficult with each passing year. Besides, since you’re only using a few rooms, it makes no sense to pay for heating, cooling, and lighting rooms that you don’t use.

There are many things to think about when retiring. Using good common sense will get you where you need to be to enjoy those retirement years. You deserve it.

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Amazing Things That You Can Undertake After Retirement

Jane Brown

Retirement is very thrilling, especially since you have spent the better part of your life working hard to take care of your family. As exciting as it might sound, retirement may turn out to be challenging and you may even lack enough things to do.

Retirement is that period of time where the only thing you think about is how you are going to rest and relax. If you like sleeping, then the size of a queen bed offers the greatest comfort. The queen size is a popular mattress that can meet your need for a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.

It is very essential to start planning for retirement way before you are out of work to ensure that you have abundant things to do. This will purely depend on your budget. For instance, if your budget is scarce, look for activities that are inexpensive as long as it improves your well-being. On the other hand, if you like playing expensive sports, such as golf, you have to save in order to meet your expenses.

Here are incredible activities that you can try during your retirement period:

  • Travel the world

Traveling is usually luxurious and time-consuming but it is definitely worth trying during retirement because you have all the time in the world to yourself. Plan a trip to that city that you have always wanted to visit whether by air, train, or ship. The experience will be thrilling.

It is not necessarily a must that you travel to other countries. You can even consider exploring numerous places within your own state that you never visited. The experience is still mind-blowing. If you are straining to meet your budget, there are travel options that you can turn to such us the RV lifestyle which makes traveling more affordable.

  • Engage in a new hobby

You may have had hobbies in the past that you wanted to start but perhaps you were too busy with work and had no time. Well, the retirement period is the best time to work on your new hobbies. Take that cooking class that you have always wanted, engage in gardening if it makes you happy, join a knitting class or music classes to keep yourself busy and happy at the same time.

Trying new hobbies will help you interact with other people and learn a thing or two about them.

  • Spend time with your family

The retirement period is a fantastic time to connect with both your nuclear and extended families. Take your grandchildren to special places like museums and zoos and learn new things. Share your time with them and learn a few things that are vital to them too.

  • Volunteer in activities that are critical to you

Most people who retire feel the desire to give back to society and they tend to join volunteering groups or organizations. Through these groups, you are able to partake in activities that are vital to you; for example, feeding the orphans, teaching in a local school, or use your expertise to help new business owners.

  • Access health care

At your older age, you are prone to quite a number of health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attack, among others. You, therefore, need to access health care services at your home after retirement. You may look for quality healthcare providers within your area by asking for referrals from friends and family as well. You also need to ensure that you access healthcare services that you can afford.

  • Resting and relaxation

Once you retire, you will no longer have so many duties to carry out on a daily schedule. It is time to relax and enjoy your retirement. Get the best sleep you have always missed on your big bed during your working days. Maximum relaxation is ideal in keeping you healthy after your retirement. Stay home and interact with your loved ones. You could also take a walk around your neighborhood and see the sights you missed when you were so busy.

Retirement comes with vast opportunities and sufficient time to try everything that you have always wanted. Whether you want to explore the world, start new hobbies, or even interact more with your loved ones, this is the time to try out your options.

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Conquering Corona: How Seniors Can Respond to the Outbreak

Sam Bowman

You’ve faced a lot of obstacles in your life and have conquered them all, but the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Our economy has ground to a halt. Our schools and business are shuttered. Our towns and cities are on lockdown. Religious services are being held online. Holidays are celebrated by computer.

All of this is being done, or so it is said, to protect people like you: senior populations and those who are sick or immunocompromised. But you are not, and have never been, a victim, and you are far from helpless. Your independent spirit and fighting heart are needed now more than ever as you prepare to survive a threat that you cannot see. This article discusses the best tips and tricks you can use today to ride out the pandemic with your health, your sanity, and your finances intact.

First Things First

When it comes to preparing for and responding to the coronavirus, the first order of business is to safeguard your health. That means practicing rigorous hygiene, wearing a face mask, and maintaining social distancing until the crisis passes in your particular area. The days of handshakes and hugs may be gone, at least for a while. Additionally, taking advantage of curbside pickup, food and pharmacy delivery, and store hours reserved for vulnerable populations is probably a good idea right now.

It also means doing your best to shore up your immune system to help you prevent infection or fight it off more effectively, especially if there is community spread in your area. This includes getting sufficient sleep and eating a well-balanced diet packed with essential nutrients. You’ll want to infuse your system with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to make it an inhospitable environment for any bug that would dare try to invade.

These are measures that won’t just protect you but will also protect those around you. Our already overburdened healthcare system, long beset by a shortage of doctors and nurses, now teeters on the verge of collapse. We need to collectively confront the surge. Anything you can do to relieve the burden on healthcare workers will benefit your community and its sickest patients.

Protecting Your Financial Health

Once your physical health is safeguarded, turn your attention to your financial health. Whether you’re already retired or preparing for retirement, the pandemic can pose a serious threat to your finances. After all, we’ve gone from a record-breaking economy to record-breaking unemployment in fewer than four weeks.

Now is not just a good time to take stock of your finances; it’s essential. An assessment of the state of your finances today can help you better predict the state of your finances tomorrow, no matter what may come to pass in these uncertain times.

Calculating your long-term debt to assets ratio, for instance, will help to ensure you have enough assets on hand to not be overwhelmed by your liabilities, even if these hard economic times should last for a while. You can also take advantage of the array of financial calculators, retirement and post-retirement planning guides, and mentoring resources available online.

It’s also important at this time to resist the urge to overspend, especially if you’re shopping online. You may be feeling bored, anxious, or worried, and that’s just when the temptation to “treat yourself” may be greatest. Right now, it can feel like a package coming to the door is the only thing to look forward to right now, but you don’t want a moment of indulgence and self-comfort to rob you of the future you deserve once this lockdown is over!

Fear Itself

Studies show that the greatest fear many retirees face is the fear that health challenges will derail their retirement dreams. For many seniors inundated with a daily barrage of bad news about the pandemic, it probably feels like those fears are coming true, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you are living alone, with your spouse or children, or in a retirement community, you may be struggling with the anxiety and loneliness of social isolation.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to pay as much attention to your mental and emotional well-being as much as you do your physical and financial health. Make certain that you are reaching out to friends, family, and your healthcare providers for support, and don’t forget the wide array of mental health services available online, many at low or no cost!

This is also the perfect time to integrate gentle exercise and other stress-relieving, mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Consider journaling or meditation or taking a long walk around the neighborhood (properly distanced, of course) at the end of each day.

Above all, limit your intake of the news. Right now, it can be all too easy to get sucked into and consumed by the constant stream of updates, commentary, and health briefings which can make the personal threat seem larger and more immediate than it is right now. Limiting your daily dose of the news can help keep you properly informed while helping you maintain the perspective you need.

The Takeaway

As we contend with this “new normal,” it’s crucial that you take steps to protect yourself, physically, financially, and emotionally, from the particular threat this invisible enemy poses to seniors. Protecting your physical health means taking good care of yourself by getting good sleep and healthy exercise and by eating a nutritious diet. It also means practicing social distancing, wearing face masks when you’re in public, and being meticulous about your hygiene.

Now is also the time to protect your well-being in ways beyond the physical as well. Tabulating your long-term debt to assets ratio, for instance, can help ensure you’ll remain in good financial shape for the future, no matter what the pandemic might bring. However, your financial health won’t mean much if you’re in a constant battle with fear, anxiety, and loneliness. To protect your heart and mind, as well as your body, seek the support of friends, family, and mental healthcare providers to see you through these troubled times.

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How to Survive Financially after Retiring from the Military

Karoline Gore

Out of 630,000 homeless people in the United States, approximately 67,495 are veterans and 30.2% of veterans are unemployed, according to the Military Wallet. After serving the military, life should be fun and fulfilling. But that’s not always the case for service members who are forced into early retirement due to lifelong injuries.

They may experience challenges such as poverty, lengthy periods of unemployment, disabilities, mental health issues, and home foreclosure. Fortunately, having flexibility in your retirement is still possible after leaving active duty earlier than planned.

Cut Fixed Expenses

Cutting down the cost of fixed expenses like food, clothing, transportation, insurance, and shelter is great for ensuring your funds last longer. For example, you can move to a smaller house to cut the cost of utilities, insurance, and tax. Also, consider moving to an affordable location.

Other ways you can cut expenses is by limiting to one car or use public transportation. Also, opt for less expensive life insurance cover, and commit to eating at home often.

Consolidate Debts with Personal Loans

Paying off debts and avoiding loans is one of the best tactics to attain financial independence after retirement. Unfortunately, you are likely to take loans to settle medical bills, mortgage, and buy food. Although loans offer some financial aid, the interest rates can be high. If you have bad credit, access to financing can be challenging. For these reasons, you may want to choose personal loans for veterans.

Despite having a bad credit score, personal loans for retired military personnel are easy to access. They also have flexible terms; for example, APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99% and a repayment term of 3-60 months based on the loan amount. The flexibility of these personal loans allows you to pay off old debts. That way, you can focus on repaying your loans at a lower interest rate.

Have a Travel Plan

Traveling during your early retirement for relaxation and sightseeing is therapeutic. However, aim for budget-friendly travel that will push your money farther. Whether you are going on vacation abroad or within the region, pick travel dates during off-peak seasons.

Find Streams of Income

While most veterans with injuries qualify for disability benefits, the payouts are not always sufficient for housing and other basic needs. As a result, they end up with accumulated debts. There are various part-time job opportunities for veterans looking for jobs to stay busy during retirement. It is also wise to invest in passive income. Renting out your home, blogging, and photography, for example, can help you bring in a passive income while you travel.

Creating a retirement budget that covers the cost of food, utility bills, transport, insurance, and shelter is essential. A financial plan prevents you from overspending your monthly income and retirement benefits. Hire a financial adviser that will help you choose the right savings and investment plans to support your monetary goals.

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Tips on How to Purchase a Home in an Active Adult Community

Q&A with a Reader

Been wanting to ask you for years……

I believe you have a “permanent residence” in Arizona.

Knowing how money conscious you are ( I am the queen of frugal ) do you have to pay steep HOAs on your modular home residence?

I had a serious health issue two years ago “Livin’ the dream” now but this has made my hubbie and I seriously look at how we can spend more time together.

While cutbacks in spending are a huge part of this equation, so is trimming down housing costs.

We have so learned this from being an avid reader (and fan!) of you both!

Keep rockin’ it. In spite of COVID you have done us all a great service!

Pam

Hi Pam,

Thank you so much for your kind words about our website! We appreciate it.

Our place is in an active adult community in the foothills of Arizona. Let me just say that there are literally dozens and dozens and dozens of these communities in the surrounding area and you probably will not have a problem finding a community that will suit you. You could even try New Mexico, Texas, or Florida.

Ours is small (350 sites?) and we chose this place years ago because it had a tennis instructor and we wanted to learn the game properly. We were blessed with this greatest guy to teach us…

But there are also communities that have 1,000 spots – some more and some less. The bigger the community, the more pools, community areas, and activities you will have. And I would imagine, the higher the HOA or “Lifestyle Fees” would be. But you also have a choice to purchase the land in some of these places (that means higher property taxes and insurance) or lease the land (which is what we do) and this gives us lower insurance rates and our property tax is based on our place being a vehicle, instead of a brick and mortar home — savings of thousands of dollars a year.

I would recommend going online, “virtually viewing” a few of these locations, and then go out there in person to see them. Then… when you have a location narrowed down, rent for a season to see if you like the community, the activities, where you are in relationship to shopping, theaters, professional ball games or what-have-you.

Then…

When you are ready to purchase, we would recommend that you purchase from an owner instead of through an agent. (This will also save you thousands of dollars).

If you go at the time the yearly “rent” or “Lifestyle Fees” are due, there will be units for sale by owners who might choose not to return to the area for any of a number of reasons. It might be they can’t afford it, it might be they are Canadian and have decided to spend their lives in Canada (for the healthcare), it might be because a spouse has died or is ill, and they cannot return to their place in AZ.

You can get a good price for their unit, because they would rather sell it than spend the $1,000s of dollars for the yearly fee if they are not returning.

Yes, it will be used, and yes, you might not be “in love” with their decor, but you will have saved so much money by

1) not purchasing the land

2) not going through an agent, and

3) buying at the time when rent is due

Then you can realistically purchase whatever bed, couch or curtains you want to make the place yours.

Another benefit to having the place used, is that it will be completely furnished. Our used unit came with EVERYTHING including pots, pans, glassware, hammers, nails, light bulbs, sheets, towels, mops, brooms, bleach, laundry detergent, TV, stereo, … you name it. Again, it might not be your perfect style, but you will have saved a lot of money by not having to furnish the place completely from scratch. If you have doubles of things, just give them away to a senior home, church, orphanage, school or a charity.

Take a look at this piece, Worry Free Housing if you haven’t already.

Please feel free to ask us any other questions. We hope you find this information to be useful.

Again, thank you for your very kind words about our website.

We are thrilled that you have overcome your health issue and that you have many years ahead of you to enjoy your life with your husband and family.

Sending you our very, very best.

Akaisha and Billy

Posted in About us, All Things Financial, Heart Song, Housing, Legal Matters, Q & A From our Readers, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Improving Life as You Age

Jane Brown

As we all age, we find that life can become a little bit harder. The things that we once used to take for granted are now something to be appreciated. As seniors age, they may have a harder time doing the things that they once did with ease. While many seniors may never admit that they need help, there are many things that we can do to help our loved ones.

When the ones we love age, they start to have a harder time getting around. Their mobility may start to decrease and their manual dexterity may also decline. Our loved ones may also experience more trips and falls which can cause us to worry a lot about their safety and security. They may also experience forgetfulness and memory loss. While these things are a common part of aging, we can help reduce the appearance of these things and make life easier. Here are some things that can benefit seniors as they age.

#1) Senior Living

One of the best ways for seniors to improve their quality of life and have more fun as they age is to enter a senior living community. Select Senior Communities can help find independent care, assisted living, or memory care for your loved one. These communities can give a senior just what they need. They also offer social gatherings and trips that allow them to engage their minds and stay active.

#2) Power Wheelchairs

As the ability to walk and move around gets harder with age, many people may find themselves staying home. Staying home and isolated from the ones you love is not a good idea because that can lead to dangerous health problems like dementia or memory loss. Staying active and getting out, even if you need a wheelchair, is best for your health. If your loved one does not want to feel dependent on others, you can get them a power wheelchair so that they can move freely wherever they want.

#3) Hearing Aids

Another necessary item a senior might need is a hearing aid. As we age, our ears do not work as efficiently as they did in the past. It can be embarrassing when you cannot hear what people are saying to you. To help keep the ones you love confident and happy, you can get them a pair of hearing aids to help them hear everything that is going on around them.

Health.com reviewed hearing aid brands and models of 2020, ultimately selecting a list of the five best hearing aids on the market. Check out the helpful resource so you can make an informed decision.

#4) Personal Alarms

One of the best tools that you can get your loved ones is a personal alarm or a medical alert button. These alarms can stay on your loved one all hours of the day and they can facilitate getting immediate help. They often have a small monitoring fee, but it gives them direct communication with emergency responders if they do need help. This can provide your loved one and you with peace of mind.

#5) Gym Memberships

While this may seem like a strange gift to get a senior, it is ideal for many of them. Find a gym that offers senior classes or low impact exercise opportunities such as water aerobics. This class will not only get your senior exercising, but it will also give them an opportunity to bond and make friends with others.

#6) Food Delivery

Cooking your own food and driving to the store to get your own food can be a challenge, especially as you age. Getting the ones you love a food delivery plan can help them eat healthily and worry less about their plans on how to get food. It can provide them with healthy dishes that they can enjoy without all the work.

#7) Vacation

One of the best things you can do for seniors is to give them a vacation. All seniors want to feel young again, and, if they are able, you should give them a vacation that they can enjoy. Depending on the person, you can let them join in on a family vacation or get them their own trip with other seniors. This will improve their happiness and overall view of the world.

These things can all help the ones we love age much more gracefully. As their lives become more difficult, these small tools and ideas can help brighten their day.

Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Health, Housing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment