While Medicare provides important healthcare coverage to senior citizens, affording hospitalizations and other medical expenses can sometimes be hard to handle. A new study finds that more than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries spend 20% of their income on medical costs. Unfortunately, this healthcare news comes just as many senior citizens and Medicare recipients (from those on Medicare Part A and Medicare Advantage, to those who have Medicare Part D) are getting ready for summer travel and activities.
As the season approaches, you might be looking into ways to save money. Saving can help you live better, manage stress, and enjoy the months ahead with family and friends. Here are some ways to keep money in your pocket to save for your summer adventures, and perhaps keep some on the side for any unexpected medical costs.
- Shop smart
Jeanne Gibson of Senior Living Magazine suggests making lists and buying only what’s on them when you’re at the store. Many of us wander through the grocery aisles, picking up impulse purchases when we really only need a few things. Meanwhile, Ageinplace.com advises shopping on a full stomach, so that you don’t buy extra food you don’t need. Try shopping for the whole week, or at least for three days in advance.
- Save on travel, and eating out
As you may be shopping, eating out, or travelling, Dawn Alcott of seniorliving.net suggests asking whether the establishment offers a discount for senior citizens. Many places offer some savings opportunities even if they don’t advertise them.
Planning to travel this summer? Take a drive instead of flying. We suggest one our beautiful National Parks—a lifetime National Park pass for seniors is only $10.
For dinner plans, Gibson suggests staying healthy by eating out less and cooking at home more. Also, eating out less will make going out more of a special treat! And, whether you’re at a restaurant or at home, U.S. News & World Report suggests drinking tap water (filtered if needed) instead of soft drinks – you’ll be healthier and save money at the same time.
- Don’t spend money on books and movies
Rather than buying books and movies, make use of your local library to check them out. Many libraries now offer digital lending for eBooks too. Take a friend and make it an outing! Most libraries have nicely air-conditioned rooms as well.
- Organize your estate
Estate planning is a very important step to take to ensure your affairs are in order for your children and grandchildren. According to the National Council on Aging, estate planning documents that you should have in place are a will, living will, durable power of attorney, and a written plan for distributing personal property to loved ones or charities. Make plans now to ensure extra costs aren’t incurred later.
- Enroll in Medicare
A practical way to save money and stay healthy is by enrolling in Medicare. If you are already enrolled, make any needed changes to your Medicare coverage each year during the open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7. Changes in policies, prices, and what’s covered can take effect each year.
As you look forward to summer, take control of your finances. Make a plan, and take action today to save money and be a healthier you.
The new Medicare Plus Card saves you up to 75% on things not covered by Medicare
Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.