Limited Income, Unlimited Life
At Aging Well Advocates, we know saving money as a senior has never been easy. However, if you are willing to make a few changes to your lifestyle, you can live your best life without having to sacrifice niceties for necessities. Small actions, such as downsizing your home and looking for discounts you are already entitled to, can add up to huge savings each time. When you are on a fixed income, you cannot afford to let go of any dollar you don’t have to. Discounts for veterans
Veterans are deserving and entitled to hundreds of discounts, and you might not know about all of them. If you or your spouse served in the military, make sure you are aware of which companies offer special pricing with a military ID. Deal News lists more than 150 stores, sites, and services that honor our nation’s active and former military men and women with hefty discounts. A few of the best include discounted rates and cabin upgrades on Carnival Cruise Lines, $60 in savings to join Costco, and bonus cash plus discounted leases and purchases on General Motors vehicles. Searching for dollars
Even if you are not a veteran, plenty of ways to save money and get the most out of your monthly budget. To start, take an inventory of the services you pay for. Car insurance is one example. Talk to your provider about senior discounts, or consider shopping around for a new policy. Compare prices and pay careful attention to potential discounts for having a safe driving record or an automobile alarm.
You can also take stock of your living space. Many seniors find that as they get older, they don’t need the house where they raised a family, and downsizing can be a budget-friendly choice. A smaller home or condo will require less maintenance and upkeep, and if you have a fair amount of equity in your current home, you could sell and use your profit to buy a smaller place outright. Eliminating the potential for a mortgage in retirement.
Another way to access discounted services is through your Medicare plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans include fitness center memberships through Silver Sneakers at no added cost to you. You might also be eligible for some lifestyle benefits, including transportation services like Veyo, which offers nonemergency medical transportation in case you need to get to a doctor's appointment but are not comfortable driving to a specific location. Spending to save
Sometimes, it makes sense to spend a bit of money when you are trying to save. One idea is to bring in a senior caregiver a few hours each week. Care.com estimatesthat this might cost as little as $13.25 per hour. If you live in a rural area, it may be even less. Bring in someone a few hours each week to do things like tidy up, prepare meals, and organize your medications. This assistance can improve your health and budget by limiting the amount of take-out food you eat, ensuring you take your medications correctly and on time, and giving you a safe and clean home to enjoy.
Alternatively, if you don’t need care now but want to look to the future, it’s a good idea to work with an Aging Life Care Manager from Aging Well Advocates. One of their experts in the field of aging can help you determine current and future care needs, as well as help organize and solidify legal or financial needs for later in life. Earn On Your Terms
Saving is one thing, but if you find the need to supplement, you’ll want to do that on your terms now that you are retired. Enter the gig economy. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it simply means the act of working only when you want to work. There are many ways to do this, from freelancing to signing up for flexible shift work during the hours that you are available. Even if you only earn an extra few hundred dollars each month, that’s money in the bank that you can use for whatever you need.
When combined, your savings and earnings can help you pay for assisted living later down the road. This is an important thing to consider since Medicare doesn’t cover it, and you will most likely have to pay out-of-pocket.
One last piece of advice: If you’ve adapted to the Internet Age, the web offers many tools that can help you keep your budget on track. Handling your banking transactions online, for instance, saves you from spending gas driving to the bank and gives you access to your financial information on-demand 24/7. You can also grocery shop, make telephone calls, and even find free movies and TV all from the convenience of your computer or smart device.
Living on a budget does not mean you have to put aside the most important aspects of your life. You can still have money to do the things you love if you’ll take preemptive steps to lower your everyday expenses.
Files coming soon.
How to Prepare for a Doctors Visit:
Tips for the Empowered Patient
By: Barbra London, MSW, LCSW, LNHA
It requires effort ahead of time to get the most out of a doctor’s appointment. As a geriatric care manager, I have accompanied many elderly clients to their doctor’s visits and the most fruitful and successful visits were those when the client and I were able to discuss expectations and the anticipated outcome of a visit ahead of time. When that happened, we came away with a firm understanding of what the doctor said because we took notes and had the benefit of two pairs of ears.
How to get the most out of your visit
While these tips are crucial for seniors, they are useful for anyone preparing for a doctor’s appointment—in a medical office, via telehealth, or as an in-home visit (house call).
* Be picky when conducting your doctor search, from your primary care physician to your specialists. Every patient is different: some like straightforwardness, others seek kindness and softness. You may want to understand every detail, or you’d rather trust the doctor’s orders. If a friend or family member recommends a doctor and you don’t care for them, go ahead and make a change, sooner rather than later.
* Take an active role in planning for visiting your doctor. In advance of the appointment, keep a diary of your symptoms, feelings, contributing factors (diet, sleep, exercise, medication compliance, etc.) and questions to ask your doctor. Remember that how you feel emotionally—such as stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, irritable, or anxious—is as important to discuss as how you’ve been feeling physically. Be sure to document these feelings on your medical history form as well.
* Bring a list of your medications, dosages, and how frequently you take them. The most frustrating thing for a doctor is a patient who does not know their medication regimen and tries to describe pills by color and shape! That’s a waste of time for both parties. Any herbal, vitamin, supplement, or family remedy you use also should be disclosed.
* Bring someone with you! It is always a good idea to bring a trusted relative, friend, or care manager with you to appointments. Have you ever nodded in agreement, even though you didn’t understand what was being said? It happens. Sometimes hearing loss, or the doctor speaking too quickly or not explaining clearly can contribute to confusion or misunderstandings. A second set of eyes and ears can elicit better information and bring comfort and clarification after the visit.
* Be honest. Do not leave out details or feel embarrassed. Doctors have heard it all. If you want to discuss something privately, you always may ask your companion to leave the room temporarily.
* Keep an open mind, and do not self-diagnose. The internet is a powerful tool and source of information, but sometimes when we research our own symptoms, it can have a negative tunnel effect and send your health care provider down the wrong path. For example, don’t request a specific test because you “read about it online.” Describe your symptoms, rather than naming your condition, and trust your doctor to know the difference between a tension headache and a brain tumor. That being said, if you feel your doctor is not really listening to you, find one who does!