Alert1 Blog

Go Back

5 Financial Tips For A Fiscally Fit 2014

Updated 7/31/15 11:15am | Alert1 medical alarms wants to share the endless promises and possibilities of this New Year with you. While the New Year remains unknown, it’s clear that your aging loved ones will be safer with a senior fall detection device. Alert1 wants to help you strive for improvement in whichever cause you choose. We know that all too often, your resolutions are forgotten by Groundhog Day. Getting financially fit in 2014 is a resolution that we can all aim to achieve.

In the future, we know that seniors can’t rely on pensions, Medicare or Social Security. Independent seniors all have to be more self-reliant. We want you to live well for the decades to come, so Team Alert 1 Wallet Watch has included some helpful tips below to help you get on your way. 

1. Spend Less

First, spend less. This doesn’t include things like medicine, doctor's visits, trips to Niagara Falls that you've been wanting to take, medical alert system costs or gifts for your kids. Rather, eliminate the small indulgences that add up. The chips on the snack line, the skittles at the checkout—small amounts of money accumulate!

Sign up for the rewards program in your local grocery store or pharmacy. Rewards programs are usually free and can reduce your spending for your weekly grocery outings. Often, deals in grocery stores are only available with your rewards program card or your phone number. Those 2-for-1 deals need just a swipe of a membership card.

Avoid buying water. Buy refillable water filters and bottles instead. Bottled water costs 2,000 times more than tap water and twice as much as a gallon of gasoline. In most cases, water in the U.S. is filtered anyway. Save yourself money; switch to filtered water.

Cook more. While many establishments have great deals available for seniors looking to save, nothing beats a home-cooked meal shared amongst friends. The average American spends $151 per week on food. Splurge on the nice treat for yourself and your family. Save on the day to day, use the new rewards card you just signed up for and then showoff your hosting abilities by inviting friends over for dinner!

Check out your local library. Not only are libraries a great place to rent movies and books (thereby reducing your cost of entertainment) but they are also a great social opportunity as well.  Moreover, libraries are great places to brush up on your computer skills too.

one dollar. alert1 medical alert systems

2. Check your credit

As we've often discussed, retirees can be a favorite target of scammers and unsavory characters. Make sure you check your credit and your credit card statement regularly to ensure that you're not getting ripped off. A credit report includes all your transactions including payment history, current balances and maximum credit allowed. With this report, you can determine how banks view your credit-worthiness and if there are any errant cards under your name that you will want to shut down.

Annual Credit report is a free service that will allow you to check for free annually.  Annual Credit Report is NOT the same as Free Credit Report dot com. The latter is a trap with hidden fees.

You can also ensure that your credit report is accurate by directly contacting the firms themselves. Equifax (800-685-1111), TransUnion (800-888-4213) and Experian (888-397-3742) are the major credit bureaus that can provide you with your credit report. They are required by federal law to provide one free report per year.

credit cards. alert1 medical alert systems

3. Investigate but be wary of reverse mortgages

Reverse mortgages can be great tools for seniors whose primary asset value is tied to their primary place of residence. Reverse mortgages used to be for seniors from ages 62 onwards to maintain their homes since they disregarded mortgage payments and provided supplemental income. Reverse mortgage laws changed in 2014, so contact your tax advisor and estate planner to learn details.

For example, minimum qualifications are now in place for reverse mortgage benefits. These include: a solid credit history of making payments as well as the ability to pay insurance and taxes.

old house. alert1 medical alert systems

4. Shift your asset allocations towards bonds

As we age, our risk tolerance decreases. For young people, the risk/reward of stocks outpaces bonds, but that switches in our 50s or so. Bonds should increasingly make up a larger size of our investments until we're well into retirement. The best asset allocation really depends on age, so it's important to take to a financial planner regularly.  

 

calculator and markets. alert1 medical alert systems

5. Begin estate planning. Speak with a tax planner.

Who do you want to make your medical decisions if you are incapacitated? Who will handle your financial affairs? Who receives your assets? Drafting a will isn’t just for seniors. At any age, you can create or update your selection on the Power of Attorney who will answer these necessary questions. From investments to retirement savings and insurance policies, a detailed will shall allocate your beneficiaries. Even the possibilities of setting up a trust can determine how you distribute your assets and under which conditions.

Speaking with a tax planner will help guide you through this important process. Get answers to questions such as: how can you leave your spouse tax free money for future security?

 

men tie. alert1 medical alert systems

Regardless of how you tackle the future, financial foresight is important in being prepared for the New Year and the future to come. Be resolved to stay on top of your financial health!