Salt Lake City, and the rest of Utah, is home to some of the healthiest and longest-living seniors — and certainly the most active ones. Utahns, on average (barring accidents), don’t lose their mobility until they’re 80. However, a long and active life can lead to a few problems.
The average American senior has close to $200,000 in their 401k upon retirement, but the median number is closer to $50,000. While Utahns have it better than most seniors in the country, 18 percent will still retire with more debts than assets. Even with a 401k worth $200,000 to $300,000, it would be difficult to maintain your financial security for more than a decade. Utahns typically have 15 more years of living healthy and mobile lives after retiring; merely staying at home and saving up on money is just not possible.
Most Utah seniors value their independence, so living in a nursing home or with family should be put off as long as possible. However, accidents and illnesses can put severe stress on your finances, cutting your options as your money dwindles. Social Security is also close to burning its reserves (experts predict by 2030), so payouts might be reduced by up to 20 to 30 percent.
Sometimes an accident or sudden illness can disrupt your finances significantly. Make sure to keep emergency money in the bank so that you can have instant access to it when you need it. A few missed payments on your home can have you calling a foreclosure defense attorney from Salt Lake City to ward off the banks. So it’s a good idea to keep your money accessible. If you belong to a church, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Most churches have emergency funds for their members, and they encourage turning to family and the church before seeking public-sponsored welfare.
Prepare for the Future
One way to secure your retirement future is to pile on the savings. Maximize your 401k contributions. You’re allowed to compensate in the years before your retirement, so put in as much money as you can. You can also diversify your income by investing in reliable stocks or opening a business. Hospital trips can be expensive, so make sure you have additional Medicare coverage. Standard Medicare won’t pay for your medication, non-emergency hospital stays, or preventive medication and surgeries. Get Medicare Plus or additional insurance coverage so that you won’t be paying directly from your pockets.
You can also minimize your hospital visits by staying fit. Obesity is linked to higher risks of diabetes, heart problems, cancer, and many other illnesses and conditions. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life will reduce your risk and keep you out of the hospital. Reduce the chances of accidents in your home by making it more senior-friendly—particularly the bathrooms. 80 percent of accidents in the house occurs in the bathroom. Adding a few grab bars and supports can make your trips safer and more manageable.
As life expectancy gets longer, preparing for one’s retirement becomes crucial. Manage your finances, avoid the pitfalls, and be ready for the unexpected.