Many retirees are surprised by the cost of health care during retirement. Although you have been paying into Medicare during your work career, many retirees fail to realize the limitations of Medicare coverage. You will likely need a supplemental insurance policy to cover the gaps in Medicare coverage. With that said, here are some tips for keeping medical costs under control:
Make The Most Of Your Medicare Coverage.
Consulting with a health insurance professional is one way to minimize out-of-pocket costs. If you aren’t expecting high medical expenses, it may make sense to obtain a lower premium medigap plan. As your medical costs increase, you can adjust your plan during the open enrollment period each November. Working with an agent can help you evaluate the best options available to you.
Commit To An Exercise Routine You Can Stick To.
As you age it’s important to be aware of what your body is capable of doing. Prior workout routines may be too strenuous as you age. Alternatives to a gym membership may be taking morning walks or signing up for local exercise classes. Online fitness options have made it easier than ever to try a new class or speak with a personal trainer.
Once you find a workout that works for you, set a schedule that you can stick to. It may help to use reminders, such as an alarm on your phone, or leaving your running shoes by the door.
Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health.
Maintaining mental sharpness is as important as maintaining your physical fitness. For those who aren’t ready to fully give up work, opting for a phased retirement can give you more time to do activities you enjoy, while retaining your identity. Fully retired folks can maintain purpose in their life by structured learning, or volunteering for a worthy cause.
Picture your retirement in three phases. At the beginning of retirement, you have time, resources, and health to lead an active life. In the mid-retirement, you will likely start to slow down, and at the end, many retirees begin to prioritize their safety and well-being.
In the third phase, health care costs often times increase significantly, depending on needs and available family support. It may make sense for retirees to purchase long-term care insurance in anticipation of assisted living or home health care. Entering a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) while you are still healthy may allow you to retire comfortably, knowing you can access greater levels of care as needed. All too often, individuals put off the tough decisions until it’s too late. Be smart and change before you are forced to.
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