How Should You Stay Healthy?

If you’re independent, it’s hard to admit that you need help every once in a while. And unfortunately, as you get older, it gradually gets harder to remain completely self-sufficient. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to continue to be able to do things for yourself. Surely there has to be a way to slow down the aging process, right? Absolutely! A way to ensure you can still be active and take care of yourself is to adopt a healthier lifestyle, which is something that everyone at every age should be doing. Aside from independence, benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle for seniors include:

 

  • More energy
  • A social lifestyle
  • Mental sharpness
  • Disease prevention
  • Decreased risk of falls/injuries

 

So, what exactly is a healthy lifestyle? When you think about it, the term itself seems vague and unpromising. And usually, when something is vague, we associate it as a negative thing. However, this can be a good thing. If there is a broad term with no clear meaning, then it becomes your chance to define it and apply it to your life. In other words, a “healthy lifestyle” can be translated into an improved lifestyle that molds into your life.

 

That may sound great, but what are some examples of how to lead a healthier lifestyle? How can you start if you don’t even know which way to turn? Well, examples of a this includes:

  • A healthier diet
  • Exercise
  • Brain training
  • Adopting new hobbies
  • Dropping bad habits

 

And most of these are a lot easier than you might initially think. So let’s get into how you can incorporate each of these into your everyday routine.

 

A healthier diet

Take a moment to write out what you typically eat in a week. What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you snack between meals, or replace meals with snacks? Do you eat dessert? What do you typically drink throughout the week, and how often?

 

Addressing these questions is important because it forces you to look at the bigger picture of your typical diet. Maybe you eat a lot of meat, or not enough. Maybe you only get around to drinking a bottle’s worth of water every day, or there are days where you skip water altogether and favor iced tea or soda.

 

Once you write out what your diet tends to look like, it’s time to figure out what you’re wanting to improve. Is your goal to lose weight, reduce your sodium intake or increase your energy? Identify a goal before you can start creating a list of strategies and tactics.

 

Now comes the fun part: planning your meals. Compare what you’re eating with healthier options. If you enjoy red meat, like beef or pork, try switching to white meats, like chicken or turkey. If you’re not already, try incorporating fish into a meal, like Atlantic salmon. Ensure you’re getting a healthy balance of grains, greens and starches on the side, too.

 

Examples of these include:

  • Grain:
    • Rice
    • Oatmeal
    • Pasta
  • Greens:
    • Broccoli
    • Kale
    • Lettuce
  • Starches:
    • Potatoes
    • Corn
    • Bread

 

Eating a healthier diet will help you retain energy and promotes healthy aging, which is something you definitely don’t want to pass up.

 

Exercise

 

Many seniors believe they are well past their years of exercising. However, for a majority of seniors, this is not true. There are plenty of low-impact exercise routines that seniors can do at a great benefit. These exercises include walks, swimming, cycling and Pickleball.

 

Here are the benefits that each of these workouts give to seniors:

  • Walks. Walking may be the best form of exercise among seniors because there are a lot of advantages for seniors to go on walks. First and foremost, it does wonders for your health. Walking not only improves your heart health, but it also lowers your blood sugar. High blood sugar could leave to dizziness, trouble breathing, extreme thirst and more, which makes it all the more important to do what you can to lower it.Other benefits to walking include its ease on joints and low risk for injury. The tissue around your joints gets thicker as you age, which makes it harder for your joints’ ability to move in varying ranges, and your cartilage begins to thin out. That’s why it’s important to find an exercise that has low impact on your joints, like walking.
  • Swimming. Speaking of low-impact exercises, swimming is a perfect example of one. The water in the pool, lake or ocean that you swim in makes for the impact on your joints to be low. It also means that you don’t realize how hard you’re working out because you don’t feel it.Swimming is also great for helping you strengthen stability and lower your risk of falling. This is because you are helping establish yourself against any waves or currents, which is harder to do in the water than it is when you are on land.
  • Cycling. Seniors who regularly participate in cycling exercises are stronger overall, whether it be in other physical activities or in everyday life. Cycling is also a great relaxation sport that builds your stamina, especially among seniors who cycle on both flat land and bumpy terrains. This is because cycling requires your entire body to work, not just your legs.Additionally, cycling promotes a better mental health, too, which will leave you in overall better moods.
  • Pickleball. Pickleball is a sport that mixes in elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. It’s an increasingly popular sport, especially among seniors. In fact, there is a restaurant in some states that allows guests to play pickleball while they are eating.

Pickleball is a great way to quickly burn calories and strengthen your agility. It’s also a great sport for anyone who is recovering from an injury to get some cardio. NPR released a report that anyone who plays pickleball is burning 40% more calories than they would just by walking.

 

There is a Pickleball website available for anyone who is interested in getting started with the sport. It provides an in-depth lesson of how to play the sport and tells you where in your local area you can play the game. Luckily, it’s easy for everyone to pickup and offers a lot of fun.

 

Be more active

 

There are things you can do that promote healthy living outside of eating habits and exercise, including being more active. If you’re able to, opt for taking the stairs over the elevator. Or try the traditional form of shopping by visiting stores as opposed to shopping online. These are the little things that you can do to ensure you age in a healthy fashion.

 

You can also be more active by tapping into your creative side. Get more into art or cooking if these are somethings that you enjoy doing.

 

Prioritize mental health

 

One of the most important things for your overall health is to focus on your emotional and mental wellbeing. There are multiple ways in which you can strengthen your mental health by investing more time with your loved ones and your hobbies, as well as trying new things, like visiting your local senior center.

 

Another thing you can do is get a pet. Pets are great ways to relieve stress and let your fun side out. Different pets have different strengths, whether it be cats, dogs or fish. For example, dogs are great companions to help you deal with a crisis. Cats are great companions for those who are looking for a pet that is low maintenance. Make sure to do your research so that you know what kind of pet is best for you, as well as manageable. Analyze the pros and cons of each type of pet and see how you it would mesh into your family. One way you can do this is ease into it by fostering shelter animals for a few days at a time. This helps you understand what your strengths and weaknesses as a pet owner are, and what pet is best for you.

 

It’s also necessary to talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling and, if applicable, talk to a professional. Always prioritize your mental health so that in most situations you’re in, you’re still feeling your best.

 

Everyone needs to be healthy, regardless of age. There are a lot of hobbies, foods and exercises that are out there. Do what you can to be healthy and at the top of your game. Visit The Best Senior Services (TBSS) for more information about ways you can be at your best during your retirement years. TBSS specializes in education seniors about Medicare and other financial services so that you can spend less time worrying about retirement and more time enjoying it. You can get started by visiting our website or calling us at 855-979-8277 today.

 

Medicare vs. Social Security: What YOU Need to Know

By now, you’re probably familiar with both the social Security and Medicare programs that you may be offered as you reach your retirement. These are both great financial aids for you and your older years. As you look at your options pertaining to the two of them, you may begin asking yourself what the large difference between the two is and whether having one will affect your chances of gaining the other. There are a lot of questions you have to address with insurance and financial programs, but it all starts with discovering the basics.

 

So, what is the difference between Social Security and Medicare?

 

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What they do for you
  • Similarities
  • How one may affect the other
  • Things to keep in mind

 

What they do

Medicare is a health insurance plan that is offered to seniors or those who qualify through their disability. It’s broken up into four parts that tailor to the recipient’s needs: Parts A, B, C and D. Generally, a recipient is 65 years old and has a specified period of time in which he or she can enroll in Medicare.

 

Social Security is a benefit program that is run by the federal government. Generally, the earliest a recipient is able to start collecting his or her Social Security benefits is at 62 years old, assuming he or she meets the other specified qualifications.

 

To be eligible for Social Security, you must be working and paying the Social Security taxes. Although you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for Social Security, you must work in order to earn the benefits. This is translated into having 40 credits, which you can gather as you pay the Social Security tax on your earnings. You can earn up to four credits per year, equating to 10 years’ worth of work.

 

To be eligible for Medicare, you must have been working long enough to be able to receive Social Security benefits. You must also be a citizen of the United States. The final qualification for Medicare doesn’t apply to everyone, but it may apply to you. You may also be eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse is a government employee who hasn’t paid into Social Security but has been paying payroll taxes for Medicare.

 

You may have already known about the basic functions that the two offers, but you may still be wondering about what makes the two similar. Let’s dive into that.

 

The similarities between Social Security and Medicare

The first similarity is one we briefly touched on earlier, and that is that the two are federally funded. It’s also important to note that the two aren’t exclusive to those who are approaching retirement age. The two programs also provide benefits to those who have disabilities.

According to the federal government, you can qualify for Medicare below the age of 65 if you:

 

  • Have been entitled to Social Security benefits for at least 24 months. These months do not have to be consecutive.
  • You receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board and meet certain conditions.
  • You have Lou Gehrig’s disease. This is formally known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • You have permanent kidney failure.

 

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can qualify for Social Security benefits as a child if you are unmarried and:

 

  • Younger than 18.
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12).
  • 18 or older that began before the age of 22.

 

In special cases, benefits can also be awarded to stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren or adopted children if they:

 

  • Have at least one parent who is disabled or retired and eligible for Social Security benefits.
  • Have a parent who has passed away after working long enough to earn enough credits at a job where he or she has paid Social Security taxes.

 

The final core similarity between the two is the enrollment. Believe it or not, you must enroll for both programs through the Social Security Administration. On the SSA’s website, you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits, as well as check the status your applications or appeals.

 

How one may affect the other

Although the two programs offer different things to recipients, there are a couple of ways in which the two programs work in tandem. Here are some examples:

 

  • If you’re already receiving Social Security, you will have automatic enrollment into Medicare Part B. You can receive Social Security benefit as early as 62, but you cannot enroll in Medicare until three months prior to your 65th birthday. So, if you began collecting your Social Security early, you will be enrolled into Medicare Part B when you are first eligible.
  • Medicare premiums can be deducted from your Social Security benefits. Part A of Medicare is free for most people, but you are expected to pay premiums for Part B, your medical coverage. However, you can deduct your Part B premium from your Social Security payment. Let’s say you receive $1,800 a month from Social Security, and your Medicare Part B premium is $200 a month. That means you will receive $1,600 as your payment.

 

Things to keep in mind

Many people confuse Medicare with Social Security, and it’s easy to do so. Noting the similarities and differences between the two is important to know because that core understanding will help you maximize your plans to your benefit. But there are also a few other things you need to keep in mind while you consider the relationship between the two.

 

First, you can begin your Social Security benefits anytime between 62 and 70. And, unlike Medicare, it’s encouraged – if you are healthy and able – that you receive your payments as close to 70 as you can, because that way, you will earn a higher paycheck. With Medicare, however, it is important to enroll during that initial enrollment period, which begins three months before you turn 65 and lasts until three months after you turn 65. Otherwise, you face permanent penalties.

 

You also want to keep in mind the fact that you do not have to be receiving Social Security benefits to enroll in Medicare, nor do you need to be enrolled in Medicare to receive Social Security benefits.

 

If you are not enrolled in Medicare, then it is important to determine what the important enrollment dates are. You are first eligible for Medicare when you are just about to turn 65. If you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, then there is still time. You can enroll during the Annual enrollment Period, which is held annually from October 15 through December 7.

If you have any remaining confusion about how Social Security and Medicare share a relationship, let us help you. At The Best Senior Services, we specialize in educating seniors about programs that apply to them and their loved ones and connecting them to a local licensed agent who will help seniors get what they need at their best interest. Don’t delay any longer. Call us at 855.979.8277, or visit our website today.

When Should I Write a Will?

Most people do not consider writing a will or testament unless they are directly concerned about the loss of their lives or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. However, there are many reasons why you should write a testamentary will well before you are advanced in years or diagnosed with a serious illness. Consider the guide below for information on the process of writing a will.

Signs That You Should Write Your Will

Listed below are the most significant reasons to write a will, regardless of your age or health. Remember that, while no one plans to pass away, not planning a will can make it complicated for your spouse, children, and family to manage what has been left behind.

  1. You Have Children and/or Grandchildren. You should include instructions regarding what money, items, or other accounts from your estate will go toward benefitting your children or grandchildren. If you are the legal guardian of any child under the age of 18, you should leave behind legal instructions for who gets guardianship over him or her in the event of your death.
  2. You Have a Spouse. If you have a spouse, you should write a will. This ensures that your spouse will be guaranteed to receive their due from your estate. This is especially important if you have a spouse and children, as your spouse will be financially responsible for your children on their own in the event of your death.
  3. You Have a Trust or Inheritance. If you have any type of inheritance, even if it is still in a trust, you will need to write a will. This ensures that your inheritance goes to a particular person or group of your choice in the event of your death. This can be written as a testamentary trust.
  4. You Want to Leave Specific Items to Specific People. If you have anything that you want to leave to a certain person or group, such as a charity or foundation, then you should write a will to ensure everything will be in legal order after your death. It is common for familial conflicts to occur over who gets what assets in the event of a death. If you want to give an individual or group something specific, a will is the best way to accomplish that goal.

What happens if you do not write a will before your death?

If you do not write a will before your death, your estate will be handled according to state laws. This will vary from state to state, but the state law may not line up with your intentions for the money, objects, and estate that you leave behind. This is why it is important to write a will if you have any specific intentions for your estate, or if any number of your family members will be relying on your estate in the event of your death.
If you are not sure when you should write a will, keep the above guidelines in mind.

How to Begin the Process

Before we begin listing the steps of the process, there is one vital thing you need to do first before you do anything else. This key step is finding an attorney or program that will guide you through the steps necessary to write your will. Different steps will need to be taken depending on your financial and familial situation to tailor your will to your needs.

Without an attorney present, you can mistakenly create a will without understanding some of your state’s guidelines, which could heavily complicate the process when you pass away. Or, if you don’t utilize the correct legal terms and language, it could be deemed invalid.

Although it may be nerve-wracking to have an attorney present, you will be helping yourself and your beneficiaries by drafting one.

  1. Choose a Beneficiary: Your beneficiary could be anyone from a spouse to a family member, friend, institution or organization. You can also have multiple beneficiaries if you wish to distribute your assets between certain individuals. This shows that you truly have free reign as to who you would like your beneficiary to be and how you can distribute your funds. If you have children, it may be smart to delegate them to be beneficiaries, especially if they have children of their own. For example, if you state that you would like your grandchildren to use your life insurance benefit toward their education should you pass away before they turn 18, your children could be excellent beneficiaries. This is because they will be able to handle and distribute the funds properly.
  2. Choose an Executor: An executor is the person in charge of distributing your assets according to the guidelines listed in your will. This person should be extremely trustworthy, as they will have a certain amount of power over your assets until they are distributed fully. Ensure your executor is available and willing to serve this role to its fullest capacity. This means it’s ideal to have someone within a close proximity to you, and someone who has experience with taking inventory of estates as well as handling funds and assets. You do not have to select a friend or family member to be an executor. However, if you select a third-party executor, you will have to be prepared to pay fees. The fees will be set by your estate and can vary in prices.
  3. Allocate your Estate, Be Specific: Once you begin to make decisions about which family member will receive which items or funds after your death, it is recommended to be as specific as possible to avoid later conflict. It is important to predict how each family member might respond to the situation you describe in your will. For example, if you have four children, and you state that all of your assets should be distributed equally between them, but one child insists on keeping one valuable item to themselves, conflict may arise.  Although it may be difficult to decide which family members receive which items, it is likely that your family will benefit from those choices in the future.
  4. Attach an Explanatory Letter: This is a step that is fairly self-explanatory, so we won’t spend too much of your time going over it. What you need to know is that an explanatory letter can serve as a way to comfort your family members and explain the conditions listed in your will. If you want to give a special item to a certain family member, there is no doubt that having a written explanation of your gift to them will be valuable. You want your family to be on the same page as you, which is another reason why you’ll want to include an explanatory letter.
  5. Sign Your Will: In many cases, states will require one or more witnesses during the signing of your will. Without witnesses or a notary of some sort, it’s possible that your will is going to be deemed invalid by the state government. Check with a lawyer or professional who specializes in assembling wills and testaments to find your state’s requirements.

Summary

It is important to plan for the future. Writing a will can be an emotionally draining and difficult process, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family will not have to distribute your estate is worth the effort. The Best Senior Services (TBSS) recommends enlisting professional help for the creation of a will, especially if you have many assets to balance and distribute.

If you need more help in understanding when the best time to write a will is, you’ve found the right place at TBSS. We educate and inform seniors about topics surrounding retirement so that they can spend less time worrying about their retirement years and more time enjoying it. Additionally, we connect seniors with local licensed agents who will help answer any outstanding questions.

Visit our website or call us at 877-979-8255 to get started today

What Do People Think About Annuities?

If you are familiar with annuities, you’ve probably heard about what people have to say about them. Many people have mixed opinions about annuities, which can be expected. Annuities are like any other financial plan because they have advantages and disadvantages. Each person is affected by annuities in a different way, so it’s important that you understand how they can affect you before jumping to any conclusions about whether they’re inherently good or bad. And, luckily for you, a great place to start is with The Best Senior Services.

 

In this article, we are going to explain the pros and the cons about some of the available annuity plans, and how they could affect you.

 

What are annuities?

Annuities are best described as an amount of money that goes to you over a period of time. They are typically linked to life insurance policies, and they can be seen as the “savings accounts” within those policies. In fact, just about everywhere you look to learn more about annuities will tell you that it’s a contract between the annuitant (you) and the insurance company. And the websites/videos that tell you this are right: this is a way you should be thinking about it.

 

There are two types of annuities that we will be covering in this article today: fixed and variable. There are multiple types of annuities that exist, such as indexed, immediate, deferred and more, but for brevity’s sake, we will only be focusing on fixed and variable.

  • Fixed: Fixed annuities are in play when your insurance company invests your funds and provides you with a payout in a fixed amount. This fixed amount is like a Certificate of Deposit (CD). Fixed annuities are also designed to protect you from losses. The reason why they are called “fixed” is because there are fixed rates of return that are based upon your interest rate. Your interest rate can be changed once you reach the end of your pre-determined period.
  • Variable: Variable annuities are different from fixed annuities and need to be approached as such. First, you are able to decide how these funds are invested, rather than your insurance company. The returns you receive will depend upon the performance of the investments that you choose, so it can become a risky game. Variable annuities are also intended to fund your retirement, so as a result, these annuities should not be used for any short-term financial goals you or your loved ones may have. 

 

Why people don’t like annuities

A lot of it comes down to the fact that people are misled about annuities, and don’t understand the full picture of them when they purchase a plan. And although we are only discussing fixed and variable annuities, there are other annuity plans people don’t recommend, like immediate annuities.

 

Are there any positives to annuities?

The short answer to this question is: Yes, of course! there are advantages to having an annuity plan, regardless of what you have. There are even benefits to variable annuities, the plan that you may be warned about the most.

 

Below are some of the advantages that come with fixed annuities:

 

  • You have a strong return that is guaranteed to you. This is because the money you are investing will be accumulating. This is something your insurance agent/broker should be disclosing to you, so that you understand what you will be receiving out of this plan.
  • Investment minimums are low. In order to fund a fixed annuity plan, you have to have to begin by investing a certain amount of money. Luckily, for a fixed annuity, it isn’t expensive to do so. You only need $1,000 to get started.
  • The money earned will be tax-deferred. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage. Whatever is accumulating within your fixed annuity will not be taxed. However, if you decide to take out distributions of it, you will be taxed.
  • You have the option to annuitize. Your fixed annuity can later be used to become a sort of retirement income for you and your spouse if that is the direction you would like it to go. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of this deal, so it goes unused by many.

 

Below are some of the advantages that come with variable annuities:

  • You have the ability to choose what you will be investing in. This one speaks for itself, so if you want more freedom over what your funds will be investing toward, this may seem like a major bonus.
  • There is an unlimited number of contributions that can be put into your variable annuity. The same could not be said for other retirement accounts that may be suggested for you, so this is a really nice feature.
  • Like a fixed annuity, the money earned will be tax-deferred. When your annuity is in its growing phase, you will not be taxed on it. That is, unless you begin to take out distributions. In that case, your rate could possibly be higher than other investment distributions. However, as long as you are not taking out distributions, you are able to re-assign that money within that fund. And you can do that without having to be taxed, too.
  • There is an included death benefit. This benefit will go to your heirs. Whenever you pass away, your heirs will have two options for how they will want to receive the money. The first option is to be given the amount that you have previously paid into the annuity. The second option is to be paid what the annuity is valued at at the time of your passing.

 

How annuities can affect YOU

Those who collect annuities do it for a few reasons. A common reason is the fact that they want some form of guaranteed income for either the remainder of their lives or just a set amount of time. Another reason can include the fact that they simply just want a return on their investments. Each reason is valid as to why someone would be interested in an annuity.

 

However, it’s important that you understand the risks of annuities and how you and/or your loved ones can be affected by them. Annuities may seem glamorous, but you need to remember that these are products of insurance, meaning you won’t own anything that you’ve just purchased, unless you want to consider your contract as something. And when the money is returned to you, it means that you’re getting back what you’ve already paid them, so you’re not earning anything out of this. Not only that, but the amount that is returned is stretched out over a long period of time, so you have to wait throughout that period to receive your money back.

 

Below are some of the ways that fixed annuities can negatively impact you and/or your loved ones:

  • There is a penalty for early withdrawals. This may not come as a surprise, because you will also receive penalty fees from taking early withdrawals from your 401(k) or IRA accounts. Similar to your IRA, if you pull from your fixed annuity account before you reach 59 ½, you will incur a 10% penalty fee.
  • They are not insured by the FDIC. If a service is covered by the FDIC, then that means the depositor (in this case, you), is insured up to $250,000 in the event of bank failure. And, according to FDIC.gov, it “does not insure nondeposit investment products, even if they were purchased from an insured bank, including annuities, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, government securities, municipal securities, U.S. Treasury securities.” In addition, safe deposit boxes and robberies/other thefts are not insured by the FDIC.
  • Limited liquidity. When you agree to a fixed annuity plan, you are agreeing that the funds will either be distributed over a certain number of payments, or a pre-determined deferral period. This circles back to the penalty of withdrawals, as it reiterates how important it is that you do not take out, or move around, money within these funds.

 

Below are some of the ways that variable annuities can negatively impact you and/or your loved ones:

 

  • They are extremely expensive. In fact, they’re so expensive, that they are considered one of the most expensive financial products available. One of the first things to make it costly are the fees. These fees are mutual fund subaccount management fees, contract maintenance fees, and mortality and expense fees. These will basically replace the tax that you’re deferring, and that can quickly become burdensome for someone who wasn’t expecting it.
  • Other investments are more liquid than variable annuities. If you decide that you no longer want to participate in your variable annuity, you better hope that at least seven years has passed.
  • There is high risk associated. One of the benefits associated with variable annuities is that you are able to choose what you are investing in. However, because you are choosing where your investment funds are going, your returns are based on the investment portfolio’s success. Typically, people seek risks. But when it comes to your finances, it’s worth considering whether it would be better to be playing it safe. One way you can play it safe is by purchasing a rider who will maintain the gains you’ve earned after a certain date. Some even offer that you will get some sort of payment regardless of the portfolio’s success.

 

Our advice

Annuities are a really complex service to grasp, so it’s not surprising to hear that many feel as though they weren’t given the full story when signing up for a plan. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. If you or a loved one is considering getting an annuity plan, you have every right to do so.

 

Make sure you understand what all is entailed within the annuity you are looking into. Like we disclosed: there are multiple different annuities that you can invest in, and we only covered a few of them in this article. Our advice is to talk with a licensed agent, or a financial specialist, about whether an annuity is the best plan for you.

At The Best Senior Services, we want to make sure that you are speaking with someone who prioritizes your financial needs. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to educating seniors about Medicare and other financial services. If you are interested in being connected with a local, licensed agent, visit our website or call us at 855.979.8277 today.

Differences in Medicare Plans

Medicare is something you’ve heard about throughout your adult life. And if you’re approaching the age in which you can sign up, you’ve probably familiarized yourself with it a little bit more. Even if you’ve read just a few of our blogs, you’re pretty well-acquainted with Medicare. However, it’s one thing to know about Medicare, and what its basic functions are. But it’s a completely different thing to understand how Medicare will apply specifically to you.

That’s why The Best Senior Services (TBSS) is taking the time to explain the differences in Medicare plans so that you can spend less time worrying about what you need, and more time preparing for your needs.

 

Original Government Medicare (OGM)

The OGM plan is administered throughout the federal government. Within this plan, there are two parts: Part A and Part B. You’re probably familiar with both Parts, but for a quick refresher, let’s dive into what each offer.

Medicare Part A: Part A of your OGM plan is going to be hospital insurance. In other words, it covers in-patient hospital care, hospice care, nursing home care and more. You are eligible for Part A if you are at least 65 or if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). For many Americans with Medicare, Part A is free. Well, kind of. Most people will get Part A for “free” if they (or their spouses) have been paying into Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years and/or have a specific number of quarters of coverage (QCs).

Now, this is where it gets tricky. According to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “the exact number of QCs required is dependent on whether the person is filing for Part A on the basis of age, disability, or ESRD.”

  • Medicare Part B: Part B of your OGM plan is going to be medical insurance. In other words, it covers out-patient medical care. According to Medicare.gov, this includes “medically necessary services” — like those that are used to diagnose you and/or treat you for an illness — and “preventive services” — health care that prevents an illness, or detect it at an early stage, when its treatment will be most effective.

    Unlike Part A, everyone will have to pay a monthly premium for Part B. However, how much an individual is required to pay will vary from person to person. Many people believe that this is based upon your location or what state you live in, but it’s actually based upon your income.

  • Medicare Part D (optional): Part D of your OGM plan is going to be prescription drugs. It is responsible for covering drugs that would otherwise be uncovered by Parts A and B.  Like Part B, individuals who have Part D will have to pay monthly premiums, as well as yearly deductibles, copays and the gap in coverage. Rates will also vary upon the individual.

    However, on the bright side, the federal government will fund 75% of the medication costs under Part D. According to Medicare.gov, how much you will owe on the coverage gap depends on:

 

  • “Your prescriptions and whether they’re on your plan’s list of covered drugs,
  • What ‘tier’ the drug is in,
  • Which drug benefit phase you’re in,
  • Which pharmacy you use,” and
  • Whether you utilize Medicare’s “Extra Help” program for paying for your drug coverage costs.
  • Medicare Supplement Plans (optional): Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap, is designed to help individuals cover costs that otherwise would not be covered by their OGM (Original Government Medicare) plan. These costs could be along the lines of copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance. It is important to note that you may only enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan if you are enrolled in OGM, and no other Medicare plan.Medicare Supplement premiums are separate from Part B premiums, meaning the two must be paid for separately. Individuals with Medicare Supplement plans can pay for their monthly premiums through their private insurance provider.

 

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)

As opposed to the Original Government Medicare plan, there is a Medicare Advantage plan that is offered to individuals. Also known as Part C, this plan is offered by private companies that have been approved by Medicare. Being a part of a Medicare Advantage plan will give you both Part A and Part B, as well as the optional Part D. However, an individual with Part C will be unable to enroll in Medigap.

Medicare.gov has laid out the different types of Medicare Advantage plans that you need to know about:

 

  • Health Maintenance Organization plans. In most Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), your plan will have a network. Within this network, you will have a list of doctors, hospitals, or health care providers in which your plan will be accepted. When you go outside of this network, services will not accept your plan. However, this network is not abided by when you are in an emergency situation. This means that, if you are out-of-network, and you are in an urgent situation or in need of dialysis, you will be able to seek services.
  • Preferred Provided Organization plans. Preferred Provided Organizations (PPO) allow you to pay less for specific services if you stay within your network. These services induce doctors’ visits, hospital visits and other health care services.
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPS). SNPs includes unique health care for a limited group of people. This limited group includes people with both Medicare and Medicaid, those who live in a nursing home, and/or those who are living with chronic medical conditions.
  • Private fee-for-Service plans. The Private fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS) allow you to go to just about any doctor, hospital and/or health care provider, just like you would be able to if you have the OGM plan. Your PFFS plan will help you determine how much it will be paying for these visits, and how much you will be paying when you go to these visits.
  • Medical Savings Account plans. Your Medical Savings Account plan (MSA) will combine a bank account with a “high-deductible health plan.” Medicare will deposit money into this account, and you will be able to use it to pay for your health care services. However, drug coverage is not offered by MSA plan. You will have to get Part D in order to acquire prescription drug coverage.

 

Essentially, you will find that a Medicare Advantage plan will cover most of what the OGM plan will cover, with exception to the hospice care. With Medicare Advantage plans, you will be covered for all types of emergency care. The only way in which you will be unable to receive these services while out-of-network is if you are no longer in the country.

A benefit that Medicare Advantage offers, that is not offered by Original Medicare, is dental and vision care, as well as wellness programs.

One thing that is important to note is that there is no “right” or “wrong” Medicare plan. It’s just a matter of what is the best plan for you and your loved ones. Each Medicare plan has a lot of benefits that are available to you, so it is worth exploring what options are available to you based off of your current location.

When you’re more familiar with Medicare, you feel more at ease about signing up for your plan. And The Best Senior Services can help with that too. If you have any more questions about the differences within Medicare plans, don’t hesitate to contact TBSS today. Not only do we educate seniors about Medicare and other financial services, but we also connect you with local licensed agents who are more than happy to answer any of your questions and walk you through your options. You can get started with us by visiting our website or calling us at 855.979.8277 today.

 

Are Your Medicare Supplement Rates Going Up?

Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap, are subjective to having their rates change. In fact, if you’ve had a Medigap plan for at least a year, it’s likely that your premium has occasionally increased. If this stresses you out, don’t let it. It happens to everyone at some point.

The short answer to the question of, “Are your Medicare Supplements rates going up?” is yes. They are. But if you want to know why, and what you can do to prevent your rates from becoming crippling, then you don’t need to look any further.

This article will help explain why your rates are increasing, how to know they are going up, and what you can do about it. Let’s get started.

 

Why are rates increasing

There are a few reasons why your rates could be increasing. The first reasoning lies within the cost of healthcare as a whole. Like many other insurance services, healthcare can undergo inflation to its prices. In fact, it can even go through a deflation of its pricing, but that is a rare occurrence. So, as this change in pricing occurs, insurance companies have to mirror that in what they offer.

This can be mirrored through the concept known as “community-based pricing,” meaning that the price of your Medicare Supplement’s rates increases on account of inflation, utilization, and tobacco usage. A community-based pricing plan will have you spending the same amount on your rates as someone who is older than you, as well as someone who is younger than you are.

The second reasoning has to do with other things in relation to your demographic, such as where you live, what gender you are, how you pay for your rates and more. For example, depending on the state you live in, your rates could be different from a friend or relative who is living in a separate state. And because women tend to be healthier than men, it’s possible that women’s rates will be slightly less expensive than men. However, there are still other things that will impact what you will owe.

The third reasoning has to do with your age, it lets you know whether your rates are going up. Read further below to see how.

 

How to know if rates are going up

There is one sure-fire way to find out whether your rates are going up, and all it takes is knowing how old you are. A lot of Medicare Supplement plans are sold on what is called an “attained age pricing structure.” Essentially, it means that as your age increases, so will your rates.

So, basically, you can expect your rates to go up as you get older.

You can also expect your rates to be higher if you waited a longer time to sign up for a Medigap policy. For example, someone who has signed up for a Medigap policy at 65 will have lower rates than someone who has signed up at the age of 70. This is a concept known as “issue-age pricing,” in which the cost of your rates is based upon the age you are when you sign up.

However, you must keep in mind that policy plans will differ depending on the state you live in. Research your state’s laws online, or speak to a specialized agent, about Medigap pricing to see how you are charged for your policy.

 

How this can affect you

The great thing about Medicare Supplement policies is that it is designed to help you pay for the gap in coverage between your Medicare plan and prescription drug costs. This is especially helpful for those who would struggle to pay for that gap. But what happens if the increase in rates begin to get to be too much?

Some people are finding themselves in situations in which paying for Medigap premiums are becoming more difficult as the years go by. In these situations, it’s worth sitting down and looking over Medicare Supplements.

If you are in this situation, then there are some things you can do to reduce your costs. However, it is also recommended that you speak with your agent to determine what it is that you can do.

 

What you can do

Although it is inevitable that your rates will increase, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. One thing that you can do is switch Medigap policies. This is a common solution for many Americans who are looking to lower their Medicare Supplement premiums. However, it is important to know that once you switch to a new policy, you lose your old one and you cannot get it back.

You may also want to consider switching to a Medicare Advantage plan. The reasoning behind this could fall within both your health and your affordability. Because Medigap is linked to Medicare, you can sign up for a policy, or switch to a new one, during the annual enrollment period. However, in order to switch your Medigap policy, you will have to go through medical underwriting. This basically means that your medical history will be evaluated in order to ensure that you are actually able to switch. But let’s say that your health is deteriorating, and your medical underwriting is not approved for switching. If you can no longer afford your current Medigap policy, then it may just be time to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Part C. However, this something you should think heavily on before switching. You will want to speak with an agent, who will provide you with advice, to make this is something you should do.

However, many Americans are happy with the Medicare Supplement plan that they already have, and they’re not looking to switch anytime soon. If that applies to you, then there are still options you have to manage these increasing costs:

  • Switch carriers. One thing to consider is simply switching Medicare Supplement carriers, which is something you can do while maintaining the same plan. Contact different agencies to see what their rates for Medigap are. If they’re significantly less than your current carrier, it may be worth switching over.However, it is important to know that there will always be uncertainty about how your carrier will increase its rates throughout the years. Increases to your Medicare Supplement rates are inevitable, so switching carriers with hopes that your rates will never raise again would be an act in futility.
  • Household discounts. These are a way to keep your plan and lower your rates at the same time. However, it requires at least one other person to be living in your household who is also eligible for Medigap. If you meet this criterion, you will want to know how you can utilize household discounts to lower your rates.Household discounts are Medicap deals in which your monthly Medicare Supplement rates will be discounted whenever there are two people enrolled within the same Medigap insurance agency living in a singular address. The percentage that would be discounted will not be the same for everyone, however. How much you receive off will be determined on your location (or state) and the Medicare Supplement carrier you are using.

    You will want to get in contact with your carrier to determine whether you qualify for a Household Discount or contact a local agent to objectively determine the benefits of this discount.

 

With inflation, age and other factors determining what your Medicare Supplement rates will be, you can find yourself in a confusing and overwhelming situation. Luckily, with the help of The Best Senior Services (TBSS), this doesn’t have to be the case. With TBSS, you have a guaranteed place to go if you are looking to learn more about Medicare and other financial services. In fact, if you have more questions that are based off of your specific needs, you can be connected with a local, licensed agent who will take the time to answer your concerns. You can visit our website or call us at 855.979.8277 to get started with us today.

 

How to Reduce Your Life Insurance Premiums

Although a life insurance plan is essential for your loved ones to be able to manage financially if something happens to you, the costs can be expensive and difficult to manage. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the cost of your life insurance premiums while still having the protection you need. The best way to start saving on your life insurance is to shop around for a policy. Premiums, as well as what is excluded from the policy, can vary greatly from company to company.

Make an estimate

Insurance is often confusing and many of the exclusions within policies are hidden. But it’s essential to know the exclusions before the policy needs to be claimed. If you don’t know them, you fall risk to paying premiums that you’re unable to claim. A specialist broker can do this for you. The amount of insurance you need will have to be considered. If you take too much, you will be paying more than necessary, but, if you don’t cover yourself for enough, your loved ones could lose out when it comes to claiming. In order to determine the correct amount, you should ask yourself how much money your loved ones would need in order to cover immediate expenses. Then, determine how much income your loved ones would need in order to sustain the household. This should give you a good starting point as to how much to insure your life.

Get help from a specialist

The next step in reducing your life insurance premiums is to seek help from a specialist. There are a couple of options you have when starting your search. The first option is to seek help from an independent life insurance broker who works closely with multiple insurance agencies. This broker will provide you with objective information and suggest quotes among the agencies. The broker will consider your needs before searching throughout different agencies to find your best deal. The second option is to seek an insurance agent who represents a single insurance company. This agent will have in-depth knowledge of the pricing and services that is within his or her company. Your third option is to visit The Best Senior Services (TBSS). At TBSS, we specialize in educating seniors about Medicare and other financial services because we care. We also connect seniors and their loved ones to local licensed agents who will discuss the options that are best for them.

Think about which option will suit you and your loved ones best and seek help with them toward reducing your life insurance premium.

Make some lifestyle changes

There are many benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that we look great and feel better. It also saves money on the cost of your life insurance. A great way to keep your insurance cost to a minimum is to keep yourself fit and healthy. This includes the basics: drink more water, eat healthier, cut back on your smoking and/or drinking and increase your exercise time. The reason a healthy lifestyle reduces the cost of your life insurance is because you are lowering your risk of getting some of the medical conditions that would raise your life insurance premiums. Some of these conditions include heart disease, obesity and heart disease. Think about it this way: when you lead a healthy lifestyle, you lower the risk of getting sick. So, when you apply for life insurance, you’ll present yourself as a low risk for the insurance company, which ultimately lowers your premium.

Doing this presents a win-win scenario for you. Not only are you healthier, but you’re also spending less on your life insurance premiums!

Personalization

Certain conditions could mean that you would be better off going with a specialist insurer. This is because an insurer who specializes in certain conditions could save you money on your premium. If you and your partner are both looking to be insured, then taking out a combined policy could save you money on individual premium costs. This is also known as bundling. Bundling occurs when you purchase multiple policies from the same insurance provider. Insurance companies will offer discounts when you purchase more than one policy from them so, in the long run, you will be able to save more money than if you had different plans with differing companies. However. each person — or each couple — will have differing preferences when it comes to his or her premiums. That’s why it’s helpful to seek advice from a specialist who can help you personalize your premiums, so that you can determine what is best for you and your loved ones.

Utilize online resources

Sometimes, all it takes is an internet search to find great resources. These resources will give you tips on reducing your life insurance premium while also pointing you in the direction of an agency or an independent broker that is tailored to your needs. Not only that, but this is a convenient way of doing research. You are doing it on your own time, and you can get answers to the specific questions you are asking.

Ask for a reexamination if your health improves

Now that you’re aware of the fact that an improved health will reduce the cost of your life insurance premium, it’s important to be reexamined when you’re able to achieve that. It’s also important to note that different insurers will have differing policies in regard to your change. This means you may have to take a health exam. It could also mean your insurance agency will seek out updated medical records from your doctor. Whatever the case, it’s important to start making phone calls to see what is required so that you get to pay less on your premium.

Why this is important

Life insurance premiums can become costly based on what your needs are. Knowing you can reduce these costs is important. This is because there aren’t a lot of insurance premiums out there in which you can work toward lowering the payment costs. And doing what is needed to reduce the amount you own on your life insurance will allow you to focus on the things that you really care about, like your friends, family, passions, and hobbies

 

There are multiple ways in which you can lower the cost of your life insurance premium. It starts with evaluating what you have and researching ways to get started on saving. It’s important to at least consider taking the steps on how to reduce your premium costs, so that you’re benefitting yourself – and your loved ones – in the event that something happens to you. Once you begin to take these necessary steps to save on your premium, you’ll be glad you did.

If you have any other questions about your life insurance premiums, The Best Senior Services are here to help. You can get started today by visiting TBSS online or calling us at 855-979-8227.

Why Do I Need Mortgage Protection Insurance?

Many people think spontaneity is the beauty of life. Little surprises will boost their day and uplift their mood. But sometimes, surprises can come in devastating forms that unfortunately, you can’t plan for.  If you find yourself in a position where you are no longer able to work, you’ll likely be in a position where you need some sort of relief. And this relief can come in the form of mortgage protection insurance (MPI).

In this article, we’re going to explore why you may want to consider getting mortgage protection insurance for your household. But first, let’s learn more about what it is.

What is mortgage protection insurance

If you’re unfamiliar with mortgage protection insurance, you’re not alone. Some are unaware that mortgage protection insurance is offered, and don’t know what it means. A mortgage protection insurance plan will provide coverage for your mortgage bills every month. It serves those who have been struck with unforeseen circumstances – like a sudden job loss, an unfortunate sudden death or an accident that hinders their ability to work – and are unable to make timely payments. However, an MPI won’t cover all of your home expenses. That means you’re still going to have to pay for your property taxes and homeowners’ insurance, as well as any other payments that are expected of you.

Could an MPI (mortgage protection insurance) be for you?

Mortgage protection insurance is not for everyone, but it’s a great tool to provide some peace of mind to you and your loved ones after an incident occurs. That’s why it’s possible you could need one. Ask yourself: What is my plan if my husband or wife is unexpectedly injured? What if he or she unexpectedly passes away? Are you losing a source of income if that happens? These aren’t the most pleasant thoughts, but they’re ones you need to be thinking about so that you can decide whether an MPI is the right move for your family.

Begin creating a backup plan for what you would do if a tragic situation left you without a source of income. Think about the ways in which you would be able to pay your bills. Would you have family help you out? If your loved one passes, will you have access to his or her life insurance? If you are unable to come up with a solid game plan, then you may heavily want to consider getting an MPI.

Disadvantages of having MPI (mortgage protection insurance)

With every insurance option comes advantages and disadvantages. So, of course, there are some disadvantages toward having a mortgage protection plan.

  • MPIs can come with costly premiums. In the beginning, you’ll probably find that the premiums match the coverage you get from the protection plan, but as time progresses, you may pay more than what you’re receiving.
  • There may be other options out there for you. If you have a low mortgage payment, a mortgage protection plan may not be in your best interest. This is because you can invest your money into an emergency fund that will be able to help make the monthly payments on your mortgage. Or, if you are the beneficiary of life insurance payments, that may be able to cover your mortgage as well. Make sure to look into the alternatives available to you before making any decisions.
  • It is less flexible than other types of insurance. MPI plans have some similarities to life insurance plans because they both provide death benefits. However, the death benefit on your MPI doesn’t go to a loved one. It goes to your lender. It’s possible that this would help your family because it would mean that they’re safe from mortgage debt. However, if your family no longer wants to live in the home or needs the money for more pressing issues, then the loved ones you are leaving behind don’t really benefit.However, if you had a life insurance policy, then the death benefits would go directly to whom you designated as your beneficiary. This is an important difference to note between the two that ultimately becomes a disadvantage for an MPI

Advantages of having MPI

Although there are some disadvantages to having an MPI, there are also some great benefits that come alongside it. These benefits could be the determining factor as to why you decide you need to get a mortgage protection plan. These include:

  • Peace of mind. Think about it: it helps your family. It’s one less thing to worry about. If your spouse is injured, having an MPI will allow you to focus more on tending to him/her instead of wondering how you’ll be able to make the monthly mortgage payment. You’ll also be relieved to know that this loan will also be fully repaid, regardless of the condition of your spouse’s health.
  • No one has to pass away in order to receive coverage. We’ve mentioned this multiple times already, but it’s something that people easily overlook or quickly forget. That’s why it’s worth repeating: your family can qualify for an MPI if you or your spouse become disabled or unable to work.
  • You’re guaranteed acceptance. If you have health issues or were recently injured, this is a great relief because you’ll get the help you need at a faster rate. Some other insurance policies also offer some form of guaranteed acceptance, but it’s possible that you will have to wait up to two years before you receive the benefits. This is especially important because if you pass away before you are accepted, then you will not receive a death benefit. With MPIs, applicants are quickly accepted and don’t have to worry about waiting those long periods of time. And what makes this greater is that you will be accepted for mortgage protection insurance even if you wouldn’t have been accepted by a traditional life insurance plan.

Where should you go to get your MPI?

Now that you’re thinking about how a mortgage protection services could benefit your home, you could be asking yourself what the next step is. Where should you turn?

This is where we can help. An internet search may be able to help you find an insurance agent to work with, but a generic internet search doesn’t know your situation or concerns like The Best Senior Services does. The Best Senior Services works with you to find you the best insurance agent that will help prioritize your needs and set you up with a mortgage protection plan that benefits you. Call us, or visit our website, to get started and find out who can help you.

 

Surprises can be great. Surprises can also be a complete misfortune. The tricky thing about them is that you can never plan for them. That’s why there are plans like MPIs (mortgage protection insurance) to help you get back on your feet if you’re suddenly unable to work. It’s important to figure out whether an MPI is valuable to you and your family. At the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow, you won’t lose any sleep knowing your MPI has your back.

The BEST Financial Decisions a Senior Could Make

All throughout your life, you’ve been responsible for making financial decisions. Whether it be determining where to go on vacation or when it is best for you to retire, you’ve had to take some time to make these choices. You’ve worked hard to enjoy your senior years, but those days can be hard to look forward to if you don’t have a stable handle on your finances.

This article is designed to tell you the best financial decisions that a senior can make, so that you can go into your retirement knowing how you can bring yourself some peace of mind.

 

  1. Budget carefully. You’ve heard this time and time again, especially from us, but this is advice that will never expire. Set limits. Think ahead. Be mindful. These are all quick and simple ways in which you can budget carefully.

 

Your income is likely to be lower during your retirement years than when you were working, so this means you will have to save more and spend less. You can do this by drafting a list of things you want — like new clothes or a quick get-away trip — and things you need — health insurance, nutrition, transportation and more. Determine how much money you are realistically willing to spend on the things you want and how much money you will have to spend on the things you will need. This will help you begin your budgeting phase.

It is also always safe to partner with a financial specialist who can help you determine how to budget your money.

  1. Establish a good relationship with your bank. There’s nothing better than having a good relationship with your bank, and there’s nothing worse than having a bitter relationship with your bank. You can maintain good grounds with your banking institution a number of ways: being open and honest, display financial strength and clearly define how your bank can help with financial goals. Doing this will significantly help you in the long run — especially if you find yourself in a financial emergency and need all of the help and support you can get. Trust us, your bank is something you will want to have on your side.

 

  1. Enact fraud safeguards. Older generations are more likely to be scammed, or experience fraud, for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is because they’re trusting and don’t understand that people are solely after their hard-earned money. Luckily, there are ways in which you can prevent yourself from being scammed. One of these ways is to get your family involved. If you have children, download apps that will alert you and your children in the result that there was a large sum of money withdrawn from one of your accounts.

 

Another way you can protect yourself is to not believe everything you read, especially if it’s coming from the internet. Be careful about what you read online because that is where a lot of seniors are targeted.

Being scammed, or having fraud committed against you, is a scary experience. That’s why one of the smartest financial decisions you can make is to be to protect yourself and always beware.

  1. Prioritize paying off high-interest debts first. When many think about their debts with high interest, they think of their credit cards. And they wouldn’t be wrong. Prioritizing these debts is an important thing to keep in mind. Doing so will provide two major benefits. First, prioritizing your high-interest debts will let you pay off all loans and debts faster. Yes, you read that right! Second, you will end up saving money. That’s because you will pay less in interest if you pay off your high-interest debts before your low-interest debts. So, keep this in mind: the quicker you pay off your high-interest debts will result in lower interest payments.

 

  1. Consolidate any debt you can. You’re familiar with what it means to consolidate your debt. It’s even possible that you already consolidate some of your debts. If so, keep it up! Not only will this reduce the number of payments you will have to make, it’s also possible that it will lower your interest rate and monthly payments. Monthly payments can be lowered because your payments will be spread out slightly further into the future.

 

Other advantages to debt consolidation include:

  • Your credit score could be improved.
  • Your budget will be simplified and easier to manage because you will have fewer monthly bills.
  • Less stress because of the aforementioned benefits.

 

  1. Research, research, research. Did we mention research? Seriously, do it. Making any financial decision blindly increases your chance of facing financial disaster or being scammed. If there is a new insurance policy that your spouse wants to try out, or if there is the opportunity for you to become a part of a deal, you will want to do as much independent research as you can before you make any final decisions. The worst thing you can do is dive head-first into a deal without any research invested into it, and it end up being a terrible one.

 

You can conduct this research by talking with a licensed agent or referring to government-approved websites to see what potential advantages and disadvantages are. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

  1. Take on at least two mindsets when faced with a deal. If there is a deal being pitched to you, put yourself in at least two different pairs of shoes. Think about what you would be coming away with, but also think about what the person pitching to you will also walk away with. Doing this comes with a lot of benefits: not only are you slowing your pace and taking more time to consider this offer, but it also allows you to weigh the pros and the cons.

 

If the person who is pitching this service or product to you is very obviously getting the better end of the deal, whereas you benefit by only a little, then it may not be the smartest move. Make sure that you come away from every offer feeling equally as empowered as the seller. This may require negotiation, or it could mean that you turn the offer down altogether.

 

  1. Utilizing The Best Senior Services. One of the best financial decisions that you can make throughout your senior years is getting into contact with The Best Senior Services (TBSS). Not only will you gain education on Medicare and other financial services, you can also be connected with a local licensed agent who can answer any questions or concerns you have. TBSS works for seniors because we care about your well-being and financial success.

There are a number of financial decisions that you can make, and each will come with advantages and disadvantages. Before coming to any conclusion, you will want to slow down and consider your options. Conduct research, think about everyone involved and how it can help you with our budgeting plan.

 

If you want to learn more about how you can get in touch with TBSS, then we have you covered. You can get started with us today by visiting our website or calling us at 855.979.8277. We look forward to getting in touch!

How Can YOU Prepare for an Emergency?

The question of what will happen in the event of an emergency is a passing thought that a lot of people have, but it bears asking on a regular basis. If there is a crisis, what can you expect? What are you going to do? Are you prepared at all? Looking at this question from an objective point of view will make it easier to answer.

 

And, luckily for you, The Best Senior Services is also here to help you figure out what you can do if there’s an emergency.

 

This article will discuss the type of emergencies you could face, how you can handle them and the importance of recognizing a crisis. Let’s jump right in and define what kind of emergencies we will be discussing.

 

What classifies as an emergency?

There are a lot of things that can be classified as an emergency. In fact, too many things to compile into one list. That’s why we are only going to be focusing on a few of the basics. Luckily, these are all instances you can prepare for.

  • Natural disasters
  • Medical emergencies
  • House fires

 

Natural disasters

What classifies as natural disasters are: fires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms, typhoons, tornadoes, extreme cold freezes/heat waves and more. Unfortunately, these aren’t necessarily preventable. Sometimes, they aren’t even predictable. But most of the time, they are. If you are thinking about moving to a new state during retirement, you may want to consider researching areas where natural disasters are considered low.

 

For example, the Louisiana coastline is susceptible to hurricanes because it has an elevation that is almost equal to sea level. California experiences a lot of earthquakes because it lies on the San Andreas fault line. California also experiences a high number of wildfires because of its hot weather being paired with its dry climate.

 

If you live somewhere where natural disasters may be common, you can protect yourself by:

 

  • Having a physical copy of all evacuation routes on hand. There are multiple reasons why this is important. First, only memorizing evacuation routes may not be as effective as you think. You will likely be experiencing a lot of fear and, as a result, you won’t be thinking as clearly as you usually do. This means you could experience trouble remembering all of the exits from the city in which you live.

 

Second, you will also want to make sure that the copies you do have are on paper, and not electronics. This is because you may be experiencing power outages in your home. That means if you keep the listed routes on your computer, you won’t be able to pull them up. If you’re thinking that you can just refer to your phone, you may be right, but with a power outage comes a loss of internet and the inability to charge your phone. You will not want to have to look at your phone if you don’t have to because it will drain your battery.

 

You can access evacuation routes by contacting your local officials. They will be able to provide you the ways in which you can leave your city.

  • Have an emergency plan and kit. If you live with your family, you will want to get together to discuss how you can collectively escape an emergency. Assign each family member a role: one person will contact help (if possible), one person will retrieve the emergency kit (which will hold important documents, identifications, emergency money, medications, etc.), one person will be responsible for gathering food and water, and more. Assigning roles, if at all doable, will help keep tan organized flow when disaster strikes.

 

If you need assistance in creating a family plan, you can contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at its toll-free number, 1-800-621-3362 or visit its website. You can also contact your local government to get a more specific plan based on where you are located.

  • Have a portable radio. In the event that power is lost, a portable radio will help you stay up to date on what is happening in your area, and how you can stay safe.
  • Keep your gas tank as full as possible. If you are in a position where you are able to leave your home in favor of a shelter, or you’re able to safely leave your city altogether, the odds are high that other people have the same idea. This means that gas stations will be filled with people trying to get last-minute gas.

 

If you have the availability, keep gasoline containers in your garage that can be readily accessed to fill your car. These can be accessed at your local Walmart or Lowe’s Home Improvement.

 

Medical emergencies

There are all sorts of medical emergencies that can happen. A few common examples are difficulty breathing, heart attacks, strokes, fainting, broken bones, poisoning, and excessive bleeding. Unfortunately, medical emergencies happen suddenly and without much of a warning. However, if you have a history of medical issues, you can prepare yourself for the possible next one.

 

You can prepare by:

  • Knowing the quickest route to an emergency room and/or hospital. Knowing this will help you avoid taking unnecessary longer routes.

Google Maps and Waze are great apps to help you determine what the quickest route to your local hospital or emergency room.

  • Have emergency phone numbers on stand-by. These are the most important numbers to have a copy of. These will include your local police and fire department, the ambulance center, your hospital, your doctor, and poison control. Keep a copy of these posted on your refrigerator so that you are regularly reminded of where they are. It is also useful to have all of these phone numbers saved on your phone, so that they are one quick phone call away.
  • Wear your medical identification tag (if applicable): This is especially important if you have chronic illnesses. This will assist personnel by letting him or her know what you are experiencing. He or she will then be able to properly give you what you need.
  • Have an emergency supply kit. Things you may want to consider having inside of your kit would be eyewash solution, instant ice/heat packs, tongue depressors, applicators, thermometer, and pain relievers. Your emergency supply kit should also include supplies that are specific to your needs, whether it be an asthma inhaler or an EpiPen. If your kit is going to include an EpiPen, make sure there are instructions alongside it so that if someone is having to administer it to you, he or she will know how to effectively use it.

 

House fires

These can be one of the scariest things you can experience. Not only has your safety hub become dangerous, but your personal belongings are also at risk of being destroyed. And the older your home is, the more likely it is to be caught on fire. These are fearful realizations to have, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, on the bright side, there are measures that you can take to ensure a house fire prevention.

 

You can prevent house fires by:

 

  • Regularly checking your smoke detectors. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), you need to inspect your smoke detectors at least once per month, and you need to change your batteries once or twice per year. This is one of the most important things you can do because your smoke detector will be your first official notification that there is a fire starting within your home.

 

Once every 10 years, you will want to replace your smoke detector.

  • Keeping an eye on your appliances. Appliances like your stove, microwave or washing machine set can pose as a significant fire hazard. Sometimes, all it takes is one cycle in the washing machine, or one pot on the stove, to set something off.

 

An all-too-common fire that starts from your appliances is the grease fire. These are specific fires that should not be put out with water. In fact, water will only make it worse. To put out a grease fire, you should turn off your heat source and cover the fire with a metal lid. You will then want to pour baking soda on the fire. If these do not help it get lower, you will want to have a fire extinguisher nearby to suffocate any growing flames. If all above fail, call 911 and leave your property immediately.

  • Being careful with candles. Candles are a quick way to start an accidental fire, whether you drop one or forget to blow it out. If a candle is lit, you should always make sure that it is in your vicinity. Never leave the house, or go to a completely separate area of your house, with the candle still lit. The wax is combustible, and it can result in a devastating house fire.
  • Practicing safety protocols. You remember stop, drop and roll, right? Good! It still applies today. If in any instance you are hit by flames and your clothes catch fire, you will want to stop what you are doing, drop to the floor and roll. Other safety protocols include how to use a fire extinguisher. An easy way to remember this is through the acronym PASS. This stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.

 

Why is it important to recognize an emergency?

Each emergency will be different. So, no matter how many crises you have lived through, no two crises have been the exact same. That’s why it’s important to always know what to do in the event one happens. Treat each emergency like it’s your first, meaning that you should not know exactly what to expect.

 

Additionally, it’s important to recognize an emergency because it could be the matter of life or death. Acknowledging this helps you and others in the event of a disaster, fire or medical emergency.

 

Other things to keep in mind

There is a lot of planning that goes into preparing for an emergency and it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where exactly to start. This is where The Best Senior Services can help. If you need more information on how to begin planning on an emergency that you believe could happen to you, call us today at 855.979.8277, where we will have a local licensed agent waiting to speak to you on the other end.

 

As scary as emergencies are, it doesn’t mean you can ignore them in hopes that you won’t be hit with one. You should always be prepared. You’ll thank yourself later!