Who are seniors? Does that mean old folks? Does it mean retirees?
What is the actual definition of a senior? Here is the definition from Webster’s dictionary: “an elderly person, especially one who is retired and living on a pension.”
So those folks who retired early and are living on their pensions are seniors? I have a good friend who retired at 57; does that make her a senior? The whole this is silly when you think about it. Shouldn’t the stages of our lives be just that, stages? Why do we have to have labels and designations?
As an example, one common trait “seniors” or of folks living on a pension (or fixed income) is three things.
- Living to long
- Dying too soon
- Fear of illness
A recent study of those retired or about to be retired repeated what most folks have known, getting older requires adjustments to their past experiences. The study identified the three segments of those retired.
A premature death could mean we have died before we have finished accumulating enough money this creating hardship for those who are dependent, such as a surviving spouse. Luckily this can be covered by insurance; it is called life insurance.
Living too long can be a real problem. How do we make sure our money lasts as long as we do? What happens to us and our dependents should we live beyond our life expectancy? Of course, this can also be insured; they are called lifetime income annuities. Living too long is not all about money, it is about emotional changes, it is about social adjustments, and it is about dealing with a physical body that is more and more restrictive. Along with that is the underlying fear, a fear of being a burden, a burden to family, friends, and society.
The tough one is illness, critical illness. What do we do? How do we pay for it? Fortunately, insurance is available to help both in the home and in a facility. But insurance can be expensive, and premiums for Long Term Care insurance are not guaranteed, they can and will increase. Critical Care can use up a nest egg very fast especially if it is a permanent situation. Through government programs, safety nets are in place to help those with limited options. Those who reach the correct age can benefit from Medicare for general health insurance, but often that just doesn’t all the expenses, so a supplemental policy is usually required.
Insurance products do exist to help with all three stages of concern; life insurance replaces lost funds, an annuity can protect income streams, and a critical care rider is available to help with long-term needs. I mean when you think about it, would you go for a day without fire insurance on your home?
Why not investigate what is available and how the right type of insurance could help lower your stress?