Dear Savvy Senior, How much does your claiming age affect your Social Security benefits, and what are the most popular ages people start taking their retirement benefits? Nearing Retirement Dear Nearing, You can sign up for Social Security at any time after age 62. However, your monthly payments will be larger for each month you delay claiming them up until age 70. This adds up to around 6 to 8 percent higher payments every year you delay. To get a breakdown on exactly how much your claiming age affects your benefits, go to … [Read more...] about The most and least popular ages to claim Social Security
Dear Savvy Senior, What tips can you offer on helping an elderly parent with their finances? My 84-year-old father is having trouble keeping up with his bills and insurance, and I just found out that he’s been making contributions to a suspicious charity. Reluctant Daughter Dear Reluctant, Many adult children serve as financial helpers to their elderly or ill parents. They provide services like paying bills, handling deposits and investments, filing insurance claims, preparing taxes and more. Here are some tips and resources … [Read more...] about How to help your elderly parent with their finances
Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about balance exercises? I’ve fallen a few times over the past year and have read that balance exercises can help me regain my steadiness, but I’m not exactly sure what to do. Unsteady at 70 Dear Unsteady, Most people don’t think much about practicing their balance, but they need to. As we age, our balance declines if it isn’t practiced, which can lead to falls that often result in a broken bone. Every year more than one in four people age 65 and older fall, and the risk increases with … [Read more...] about Keeping your balance as you age
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any good devices that help seniors with tracking down misplaced items? My wife misplaces everything including her car keys, eyeglasses, cell phone, purse and more. Always Searching Dear Always, There’s actually a wide variety of tracking devices that can help you and your wife find items that are commonly misplaced. Here are some top options to consider depending on how tech savvy you are. Bluetooth Trackers If you or your wife uses a smartphone or tablet, you can easily track down lost … [Read more...] about Technology that can help you locate things you misplace
Dear Savvy Senior, I will turn 65 in a few months and plan to keep working for several more years. I have good health insurance from my employer now. Do I have to sign up for Medicare when I reach 65? Looking Ahead Dear Looking, Whether you need to enroll in Medicare at 65 if you continue to work and have health insurance through your job depends on how large your employer is. The same rules apply if your health insurance comes from your spouse’s job. But first, let’s review the basics. Remember that original Medicare has two … [Read more...] about Do I need to sign up for Medicare if I’m still working?
Dear Savvy Senior, I am interested in getting my mom, who lives alone, a medical alert system with a wearable pendant button that will let her call for help if she falls or has a medical emergency. What can you tell me to help me choose one? Too Many Choices Dear Too Many, A good medical alert system is an effective and affordable tool that can help keep your mom safe and living in her own home longer. But with all the different products and features available today, choosing one can be challenging. Here are some tips that can … [Read more...] about How to choose a medical alert system
Dear Savvy Senior, What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for retirees in 2020? My income dropped way down when I was forced into retirement last March due to COVID, so I’m wondering if I need to file a tax return this year. Unexpected Retiree Dear Unexpected, Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year actually depends on several factors: How much you earned last year (in 2020), the source of that income, your age and your filing status. Here’s a rundown of this tax season’s IRS tax … [Read more...] about How much do you have to make to file income taxes?
Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any resources to help seniors find and pay for senior apartments? My aunt, who’s 75 years old, needs to find a new place to live but has very little money. What can you tell me? Searching Sarah Dear Sarah, Finding affordable senior housing options can be difficult depending on where your aunt lives. Senior apartments for some retirees are a good option, and you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of government programs that can help out financially. Here are some tips that can help you and … [Read more...] about How to find affordable housing for seniors
Dear Savvy Senior, What tips can you recommend for making a bathroom senior-friendly? My 78-year-old mother has mobility problems and fell getting out of the bathtub last month. I’d like to modify her bathroom with some safety features that can help keep her safe. Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, Great question! Because more accidents and injuries happen in the bathroom than any other room in the house, this is a very important room to modify, especially for seniors with mobility or balance problems. Depending on your … [Read more...] about How seniors can make their bathrooms safer and easier to use
Dear Savvy Senior, I am the caregiver for my 81-year-old mother, who recently fell and broke her hip, and have a lot of questions about how original Medicare works and what it covers. Where can I get some help understanding this program? Overwhelmed Caregiver Dear Caregiver, Excellent question! Having a working knowledge of Medicare can help you take full advantage of the coverage and services it provides to ensure your mom receives the best care possible. Here’s what you should know. Medicare Assistance A good starting … [Read more...] about What caregivers should know about Medicare