One of the cornerstones in the retirement plans of most Americans is the ability to enroll in Medicare. They feel like their health care will be more affordable and reliable after they reach eligibility age, and that their finances will be less worrisome.
While it’s true that Medicare will pay a lot of medical expenses, there are some that it will not cover. You need to think about which of these may apply to you, and begin making plans for them at the earliest opportunity.
Set Aside Money For Your Health
There are always a few expenses associated with our health that we don’t necessarily think of as health expenditures. Many of these have to do with mobility.
One example is trading vehicles. Your car may be in good condition and serving your needs, but you may have to buy something different after you or your spouse suffers an injury, develops arthritis, or otherwise struggles to climb in and out of your current car. You’ll need to get something more suitable to drive, and you may be out some extra money.
Other times you can adapt to changing mobility. Your two-story home isn’t practical once someone is having trouble climbing stairs, so you’ll need to have money set aside for home stair lifts that will keep you safely in your home.
The point is simple: Not everything you may need for your health will be covered by health insurance, so you’ll need money for those things.
Enroll In A Supplement Plan
Medicare covers too many people to be tailor-made for every single one. For that reason, Medicare is designed to split the middle and cover the most common needs. Beyond that point, you’ll either need to add other Medicare coverage or get a supplemental plan.
Research these plans carefully. Check with your employer and your retirement system to see if they offer plans. If you are widowed, your late spouse’s system may offer these plans to you. Look carefully at what’s covered, and gauge each plan’s value based on your current conditions and medications.
After enrolling, review things periodically. Your medication deductible may become large enough to justify a more expensive plan, or you may remove drugs later as your health improves. Just understand your situation and all the options before committing.
Get Healthy And Stay Healthy!
Speaking of improving health, make this the heart of your health care plan. Some people assume that they must simply accept a growing list of conditions and resultant medications as just the reality of getting older. That’s not the case.
A proper diet, good exercise program, and better health habits are helpful at any age. Cut out the fat, salt, and sugar. Get up and get moving. Quit smoking. No matter if you’re 25 or 75, these steps can benefit you, and they can lead to a reduction in your medication needs, fewer doctor visits, and best of all, a better qualify of life.
Don’t neglect your mental health, either. If you’re struggling to adjust to retirement, find something to fill your hours. Volunteer with a charity or school. Join a civic club. You might even get a part-time job. Whatever route you choose, let it fill some of your days so that you aren’t just staring down 168 hours of blank space each week.
Taking care of your health is a complicated thing. You have to think about your exercise, diet, existing conditions, medications, and so much more, and on top of that, you need to make sure you can pay for everything.
Very few people reach a point where they have no choice but to struggle financially to maintain their health. Many such crises can be avoided with some advance planning. As you review your plans for retirement, make sure you have a comprehensive picture of what it will take to stay healthy enough to enjoy your golden years.