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.

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Make Money Traveling

Our world has so many travel destinations and sightseeing delights.

Every country has its own special culture, scenic beauties and regional foods that gives you a new way to get in touch with all your senses.

The travel lifestyle will give you a wonderful insight about a place, the people and culture in all its variety and vitality.

And, there is a special magic about what it actually feels like to be there.

You can live like a local in a favorite overseas destination, enjoy its regional cuisine, attend local festivals and watch the changing of the seasons in a different environment.

Spend a month in Paris, explore the English countryside, taste authentic pasta and pizza in Italy, go cycling in Amsterdam, skiing in Switzerland, cruise the Greek Islands or visit the historic coffeehouses of Europe.

Visit the popular, the historical, the traditional or the unusual. There are natural wonders to discover or you can take a journey “off the beaten path” that will stir your imagination.

The keen traveler can divide their time between home and a favorite travel destination for three months, six months or a year and enjoy the best of both worlds.

The travel lifestyle will take you away from the daily routine and set you on the path to life-changing experiences.

Diversify Your Income

Your income is your greatest financial asset.

Alternative income streams can free you from a 9-to-5 job and set you on the path to live the travel lifestyle.

Passive and residual income streams from an online business can increase your earning power with little effort required to maintain once the initial work has been done.

Online Business Opportunities

If you yearn to break away from the routine 9-5 life where there is no boss, no office or factory to go to then, take advantage of opportunity by applying your ideas, your experience, knowledge, skills or your passion into an online business to create multiple income streams.

A Profitable Website=Income+Freedom

A website based on a profitable niche is an income-producing asset that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round.

It can “finance” your keen traveler lifestyle.

Just one good idea based on a passion, skill or knowledge can change your life.

Consider these factors:

*a website is not restricted by geographical boundaries.

*you have the flexibility to work to your schedule

*it can generate multiple income streams

*requires only minimal investment

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Affiliate Marketing

There is a vast array of affiliate programs in an unlimited number of niches.

Joining an affiliate programs is fast, cost-free, and, risk-free.

It’s the easiest way to make money online.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

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*Work from home

*Worldwide market

*No production costs

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Get Paid For Having a Link on Your Website.

A link from your website to the merchant’s site and you can create an online, affiliate business. Those who click on the affiliate sites and make purchases will make you money.

Taking Action

Think about where you want to be and what you need to do to get there.

Establish goals and make plans then, set out to achieve them through commitment and effort.

The choices you make sets the direction.

What happens next and how it will manifest is about what you do today.

Today, can be the beginning of the first day of the rest of your life.

The money will follow.

Freedom of Choice

Achieving freedom of choice will let you get away from the routine of everyday life.

Freedom of Choice will let your imagination come to life and to follow your dreams.

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