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Seniors and insurance

Probably one of the most dramatic changes in your budget this decade and going forward will be the high cost of insurance -- especially anything medical. Here's some guidance for trimming costs without losing the coverages you need.

Understanding long-term care insurance
Long-term care insurance helps cover what Medicare doesn't. It could potentially cover nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, adult day care, in-home care and other functions that help us get through everyday life. It is not medical insurance; it is simply for everyday life functions and living.

Links:
Long-term care insurance: A critical consideration, 12 questions for long-term care insurance

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Eligible for Medicare insurance
If you or a spouse paid Medicare taxes while working, you qualify for Medicare insurance once you are 65 years old. Even if you don't plan to receive benefits right away, you still should sign up for Medicare three months before you reach age 65. Check out the official Medicare Web site for more details.

Life insurance may not be necessary
Only buy life insurance if your death will cause a financial hardship for people you care about. If you have no dependents and your spouse will be taken care of through Social Security, pensions, IRAs and savings, you probably do not need to buy life insurance.

Links:
The basics of life insurance, Major types of life insurance at a glance, Life insurance: Thinking about the unthinkable, How much life insurance do I need?, Stock market killing your life insurance?, Viaticals: How to sell your insurance policy, Longer lifespans will lower insurance rates

Protect your property
You want to keep your insurance costs down without reducing your needed coverage. Here's how to cut costs when you can.

Links:
Plan ahead to save your home from disasters, ABCs of your homeowners insurance policy, 10 things you need to know about homeowners insurance, Homeowner's insurance is going to the dogs, Keeping the price of auto insurance low, 9 ways to save on auto insurance, Should you buy title insurance?, Does your insurance cover terrorism?

-- Posted: Jan. 20, 2003

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