October 26, 2013
Since ancient times, alchemists have attempted to convert lead into gold; however, none were successful. Now, with our tough economic times, many seniors have seen their golden years turn into lead. The senior population is soaring, due to the influx of baby boomers. Beyond physical health is financial health. Finances will be a major problem for many of them, especially if boomers develop health problems that affect their ability to live independently, notes insurance expert and CEO of Life Care Funding Chris Orestis. He offers suggestions for financial survival via prudent planning and also recommends that the savvy senior be on the lookout for the multitude of merchant discounts that are presently available.
Many seniors will ultimately be faced with some degree of assisted living. For most, the better option would be in-home care rather than a nursing facility. Orestis notes that a life insurance policy can be converted into a Life Care Benefit; this conversion is an accepted method of payment for private duty in-home care, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, and hospice care. Financial concerns can cause a senior to cash out their life insurance to avoid saving the premiums. Orestis notes that a better option is to take the present-day value of the policy while they are still alive and convert it into a Long Term Care Benefit Plan. In so doing, seniors will remain in private pay longer and be able to choose the form of care that they prefer as well as be Medicaid-eligible when the benefit is spent down. He also recommends organizing your paperwork and creating a master file that holds documents such as insurance policies, investments, property, wills, and trusts; thus, you will have all your complete financial portfolio in one location. In car-centric Los Angeles, many of us drool over the latest model with alluring features; Orestis recommends that if your present chariot is paid off, hang on to it for another two years. This move will save $7,200 on a new car with $300 monthly payments. Another financial move worth considering is to refinance your home because rates are still hovering around their all-time lows. He recommends that you obtain at least three quotes, compare rates, terms and potential penalties to make sure you’re getting the best deal. In addition, lead a healthy lifestyle with an exercise program and a healthy diet. Those with a healthy lifestyle can maintain independent living for more years.
Orestis offers some valuable tips on ways that seniors can keep the gold in their golden years by taking advantage of senior discounts. Restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, and other merchants give various senior discounts with minimum age requirements ranging from 55 to 62. Some examples are: 15% off the bill at Applebee’s, 30% off at Banana Republic, and 60% off at Food Lion on Mondays. The days of a ten cent cup of coffee are long gone; however, if you are 55 or older, you can get a free cup at Dunkin’ Donuts. Many more senior deals are available at this link.
Senior healthcare advocate Chris Orestis 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 policy holders 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 Medicaid.