Make Better Retirement Decisions With These Eight Resources
Informed decisions make the difference in helping Social Security and retirement savings last as long as you do. TSCL has created a new online Retirement Resource Center to help you maximize your retirement resources. Here are eight resources to get you started:
- Retirement: How long will your money last? Mutual of Omaha has a retirement savings calculator that can give you a general idea of how much can you withdraw each month without running the risk of using up your money too soon, based on the “systematic withdrawal” system.
- Benefits: If you or someone you know struggles every month to meet financial obligations, there are benefit programs that can help pay for prescription drugs, healthcare, food, cooling and heating and more. Use this online tool developed by the National Council On Aging to help screen you and connect you to programs and benefits at BenefitsCheckUp.org.
- Finances & Savings: With more people living longer, more adult children, even those at or nearing their own retirement, are caring for aging parents who have depleted their savings. APlaceforMom.com has a Guide to Financing Senior Care and calculators to help you figure the costs of senior and elder care.
- Medicare: Did you know that if you chose your Medicare prescription drug or Medicare Advantage plan through an insurance agent, you probably don’t have the best coverage? That’s because insurance agents are paid a commission based on the plans they represent. There may be better choices for you but you never learn about them and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more on prescriptions than you need to. The most effective way to save on healthcare costs is to compare drug and health plans each fall during the Medicare Open Enrollment period October 15 through December 7. Using Medicare’s Drug Plan Finder will show you the options for coverage where you live, and calculate the costs for each plan based on the prescriptions you take.
- Health: How many times have you had more questions after leaving the doctor’s office than before you got there? Join the club. Visits with doctors are notoriously short and often spent with the doctor furiously typing your data into a computer, leaving little time to answer your questions thoroughly. When you have questions, www.WebMd.com is a good place to find answers. You can search by disease or condition, and if you have suspicious symptoms try the Symptom Checker — the link is located under the Search box on the home page.
- Housing: Housing is the biggest expense that most people have in retirement. Does it make more sense to rent or to own your home in retirement? The New York Times has this popular online calculator that can help you answer the question of the costs associated with buying a house and computes the equivalent monthly rent.
- Consumer Protection: Have you ever tried to keep track of the suspicious phone calls and door-to-door handy men? Older Americans are square in the cross hairs of con artists and crooks. Scammers know the effects of age and count on the fact that people may not report crimes, fearing family members will think they are no longer fit to live autonomously. The FBI website has information on the most common scams and frauds, as well as tips for the best ways to avoid getting taken.
- Recreation & Educations: Road Scholar offers educational travel adventures created by Elderhostel, the not-for-profit leader in lifelong learning since 1975. Road Scholar trips have all inclusive prices and even scholarships for those who don’t have the financial means to participate. To learn about educational adventures, visit RoadScholar.org.