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Insurance and Retirement

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You might actually be able to save money on your total bill.

Posted January 12, 2011



Once you’re retired, your need for insurance changes. It is a good idea to look at your coverage options and figure out what you need and don’t need and where you might be able to achieve some savings.

Life Insurance
You might no longer need life insurance. If your spouse or other dependents won’t lose any income when you die, life insurance may be unnecessary. On the other hand, sometimes life insurance can be used as part of an estate plan to help pay estate taxes or to build up a tax-free inheritance for your heirs. And don’t forget the leverage you receive by paying a modest premium while your estate receives a large death benefit. This can also serve as asset protection from declining values in an IRA whether from required minimum distributions, market conditions or both. If you have a current life insurance policy you might be able to exchange it for a new policy with lower premiums or a higher death benefit due to changes in actuarial tables. And don’t forget to check the beneficiary forms for those policies you are keeping. Just as with IRAs, you want to be sure the benefits go the right heirs and you can only do that by keeping your beneficiary forms up to date.

Homeowner’s Insurance
As long as you’re staying in your home, you’ll still need homeowner’s insurance, but check with your insurance company to find out if you’re entitled to any discounts. You might be eligible for a discount because the home will be occupied more often. If you have enough cash to pay a larger deductible, you might want to consider raising your deductible in order to save money on the premium.

Auto Insurance
Check with your insurance company to see if you’re entitled to any discounts. Many companies offer discounts to drivers between the ages of 55 and 70. In addition, you might be able to save on premiums if you are no longer commuting every day.

Health Insurance
If you retire before Medicare kicks in at age 65 and your employer doesn’t offer retiree health benefits, you’ll need to buy health insurance. You might be able to stay on your company’s group policy for up to 18 months through a federally mandated program called COBRA, but after that you’ll have to find an individual policy.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance can be a good investment to help cover nursing home or other expenses if the need arises. While the policies are can be expensive, the younger you are when you buy a policy, the cheaper the premiums.

Ed Slott and Company has been called "The Best" source for IRA advice by The Wall Street Journal, and "America’s IRA Experts" by Mutual Funds Magazine. Ed is a widely recognized professional speaker and author. Get more IRA information from America’s IRA Experts.

 

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