The golden years should be a time to reap the rewards of working hard during the years leading up to retirement. However, older adults aren’t immune to financial challenges. For this reason, you’ll find the top six financial issues seniors often face discussed below.
1. Prescription Drug Costs
According to stats cited by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average per-person cost for prescriptions is $1,200 in the U.S. For seniors, these costs can be even higher since adults 65 and older, on average, take more than five prescription drugs on a regular basis, according to MD Magazine. Seniors may be able to safely reduce costs associated with prescriptions by:
• Asking their doctor about generic options, which may cost as much as 80 percent less than brand name drugs
• Considering mail-order pharmacy delivery, which is often cheaper than standard pharmacies
• Finding a Medicare drug plan with lower out-of-pocket costs
For many older adults, finding transportation to pick up prescriptions can also be a challenge. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Bethlehem families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Our caregivers can also provide transportation to pick up prescriptions and attend medical appointments.
2. Credit Card Debt
U.S. News & World Report notes that the average credit card debt for households headed by an adult aged 65 to 74 ranges from nearly $1,200 to more than $2,000. Older adults may be able to reduce this type of debt by taking the following steps:
• Opting for reasonable loans for larger expenses instead of using credit cards
• Switching to cards that offer lower interest rates
• Considering debt consolidation
3. Long-Term Care Expenses
USA Today cites statistics suggesting approximately 70 percent of all seniors will need long-term care (LTC) at some point. The potential financial problem here is finding a way to pay for such care if it’s needed. Possible solutions include:
• Finding reasonable LTC insurance
• Adding an LTC rider to an existing life insurance policy
• Opening a health savings account
• Taking advantage of available veteran benefits, if eligible to receive them
Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide in-home care, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.
4. Managing Retirement Savings
Many older adults are worried about the possibility of outliving their retirement savings. Ideally, retirement planning should begin long before the golden years are reached. However, seniors can still be smart about boosting their retirement savings by:
• Regularly meeting with a financial adviser to set clear goals and make appropriate retirement portfolio adjustments
• Considering possible sources of supplemental retirement income, such as renting out an unused second home
• Pushing back the time when starting to collect social security to increase monthly payouts
5. Losses Related to Financial Scams
Seniors are often ideal targets for scammers looking to take advantage of older adults. This risk is even greater for seniors with ongoing health issues or some degree of cognitive impairment. According to Consumer Reports, seniors may be able to avoid financial losses related to scams by:
• Frequently checking credit reports
• Opting out of commercial mail solicitations and getting put on “do not call” lists
• Arranging for alerts to be sent if suspicious bank or financial account activity is detected
6. Reverse Mortgage Issues
When used wisely, reverse mortgages can be a smart way for seniors to use their home’s equity for other expenses. However, older homeowners considering this step need to be sure they’re up to date with their property tax and homeowners insurance payments. If they aren’t, the lender may initiate foreclosure steps. Issues like this may be mitigated if seniors with outstanding tax or insurance debt related to their home make reasonable repayment arrangements.
Helping seniors manage their finances can make it difficult for family caregivers to find the time to focus on other important tasks. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Bethlehem, PA, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To learn more, call us today at 484-350-3874.