Your insurance needs will change in retirement.
Whether you plan to travel the world, run marathons, serve your community or spend more time with family, retirement will bring radical changes in the ways you spend your time. And whenever life changes, so do the risks you face — which means retirement is a good time to look closely at your insurance coverage.
You might need more, less or different coverage, and you might also qualify for new discounts.
Here are five insurance tasks you should prioritize as you enter retirement.
1. Ask about car insurance discounts and coverage
There are a couple of ways you can save money on car insurance once you retire:
¤ Tell your car insurance agent or company you’re no longer commuting. Driving fewer miles may reduce your car insurance rates.
¤ Take a defensive driving course. Most states and the District of Columbia require car insurers to give discounted rates to older adults, usually ages 55 and up, who complete these classes. AARP and AAA are among the groups that offer the courses, many of which are available online for less than $20.
But you might also need more or different coverage. For example, if you plan to rent cars in other countries, you might need international liability protection, advises Scott Johnson, manager of Marindependent Insurance Services in Mill Valley, California. Most standard car insurance policies don’t cover you when driving abroad.
You could be covered through your credit card or stand-alone trip insurance policies. But those options might not provide enough coverage if you’re in a wreck that causes injuries. And the coverage from an umbrella liability policy, which offers protection above the liability limits of your car and home insurance policies, might vary by the country you’re in and how long you’re there, Johnson says. Ask your agent whether you have enough liability protection to cover your assets no matter where you travel.
Your coverage needs might also change if any of your adult children have come back to live with you, Johnson says. Even if they have their own cars and insurance, they might need to be listed on your policy.
2. Contact your homeowners insurance company
Find out if your homeowners insurance company offers discounts to retirees. Some do, reasoning that retirees are at home more often, reducing their risk of burglary, fire and other problems, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Planning a big remodel? Update your total coverage amount to include the improvements. It should cover the cost to rebuild your home.
Travel plans could also impact homeowners insurance. If you’re going to live in Tuscany for six months or spend the summer visiting grandkids, and your home will be vacant, you’ll need to get an endorsement — an addition to the policy — to cover the risk, Johnson says. Tell your insurer, too, if you plan to rent out your home through a service like Airbnb while you’re gone. You might also need special coverage in that case, Johnson says.
3. Re-evaluate life insurance
If your kids are grown up, your house is paid off, and you have enough retirement savings to support you and your spouse, you might not need life insurance.
But there are a few reasons why getting life insurance quotes and buying a policy as you near retirement might be a smart decision, says Marvin Feldman, president and CEO of industry group Life Happens.
“Some of these factors are pretty predictable — such as the financial obligations brought on by dependents and mortgages — but your unexpected death could prove to be a huge financial burden for your spouse, reducing your Social Security benefits and possibly pension benefits and bringing about unplanned medical and funeral expenses,” he says.
If your death would still hurt someone financially, consider a permanent policy, such as whole life insurance, to cover funeral and other final expenses, Feldman says. And if your estate will be subject to taxes, your heirs can pay them with life insurance proceeds.
Permanent life insurance policies can be complicated. Talk to a financial planner if you’re considering one.
4. Sign up for Medicare
Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for people 65 and older. You can sign up during a seven- month window, starting three months before your 65th birthday. Learn about the different parts of the program at Medicare.gov.
Stay on top of the enrollment period. You’ll usually pay a higher price for Medicare if you enroll late.
5. Plan for long-term care costs
Long-term care includes a range of services that help with daily tasks, such as eating and bathing, if you can’t do them yourself. Paying for it is American consumers’ No. 2 financial concern, second only to retirement saving, according to the 2016 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and financial services research group LIMRA.
Seventy percent of 65-year-olds will use long-term care eventually, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In many cases, Medicare won’t pay a dime for it. Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low- income people, pays for nursing home care, but only after you’ve spent down most of your assets.
So planning is critical. You can:
¤Save money for long-term care.
¤Buy a long-term care insurance policy.
¤Rely on life insurance that includes long-term care benefits.
“The first place to start is to recognize and determine your needs,” Feldman says. “Given the vast number of products that exist, speak with a financial advisor or agent who specializes in long-term care to better understand and navigate all the options.”
Many years of planning and saving got you to retirement. With some careful attention, you can protect all that hard work going forward.
(Read More at : usatoday.com)