How senior citizens should strategise insurance buying

health-insuranceLifestyle changes with age and so does aspirations. In this case, you have to take a special review of your insurance portfolio, especially after 50 years of age. There are many people who buy different types of insurance policies during their young age. That’s good and it helps in developing a sizeable corpus along with protection against risks.

Nonetheless, after the age of 50, life brings forth many more complications besides the physical feebleness. Retirement issues haunt the mind and responsibilities that have not been fulfilled yet rob most of the space in the life. Since you have spent all your lifetime in procuring the assets and securing your future, you should take care that your belongings are not left astray to various uncertainties. At the same time, it is imperative that you protect yourself and take care of your health to spend the remaining life happily.

Here are a few tips on what should be considered after the age of 50 to optimise the insurance portfolio without losing on any financial aspects.

Health insurance: During old age, you require due care and attention to your health. After 50 years of age, you can focus more on a comprehensive health insurance plan. You might wonder whether or not insurance companies in India offer health insurance to people above 50 years. The answer is: yes.

Until a few years ago, insurance companies were reluctant to provide health insurance coverage to people above 50 years. But now it is different scenario. In 2009, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) categorically asked insurance companies to extend health insurance coverage to people up to 65 years.

The regulator also prevents refusal of health insurance services or undue charging of premium amount due to old age.

There are companies which have specific health insurance plans for people above 50 years age. In fact, many offer coverage against pre-existing conditions and provisions without medical tests. Amount of premium is indeed higher in such cases but that ensures a complete peace of mind.

Some plans also offer additional riders such as provision of medical reimbursement for tests as well. As per the IRDA ruling, the amount of reimbursement in such cases should not be less than 50 per cent.

Life insurance: If you think very logically, you will realise that life insurance is meant to replace policy holder’s income in case of death. It may sound brutal but going by this rationale, you may think of reducing your investment in life insurance premium to an extent which is bare minimum. This amount should be able to provide necessary support to your dependents. Over that, you can invest more in regular income producing instruments.

Naturally, these instruments could be insurance plans that provide a combination of health insurance, life insurance and pension scheme.

You may consider liquidating traditional endowment insurance policy as it may not serve your purpose after a certain age.     

Car insurance: There seems to be no evidence of increase in premium due to the old age of the driver. However, if you have been a responsible driver for quite a long time, insurer may renew your car insurance policy at a comparatively lower rate of premium. If nothing else pays in the old age, experience holds you for what you have achieved in so many years. For the same reason, there are lesser probabilities of you getting into a collision.

Then again, if you have recently got the possession of car and you are new to driving, you should not acquire the car insurance policy in your name in order to avoid the higher premium rate.  But if there is no other choice, insurer may charge higher price against providing you the protection.

You can consider pooling wherever possible, if you need to use car frequently. In that case, you can also prefer other modes of transport. This will not increase the number of miles run by your car and you can ask your insurer to reduce the premium due to the same.

Pension plans: Pension plan is widely used as retirement tool to enhance the savings and increase the financial security during the old age. You must be on the verge of receiving the annuities by now. Even if you do not have any pension plan yet, it is never too late to plan for the future.

You can utilize your savings to acquire a retirement plan. Since you have already reached your age now, you do not need to defer your annuities. Instead, you can pay the lump sum premium for the first and the last time and you are ready to receive annuities as regular monthly income immediately.

A lot of preference is given to senior citizens in India. Moreover, insurance companies have dedicated cells to address the issues of senior policyholders. You just need to keep your insurance documents and birth certificates or related documents handy to smooth out the renewal procedure of existing policies or to make the purchase of new ones an easy task.

This article has been contributed by www.policyx.com.  The views expressed in this article are that of policyx.com and are not necessarily the opinion of Old is Gold Store.

 

From the Hindu – About older people and technology

Today’s youngsters think that technology can take care of their parents while they live abroad, claims a senior citizen.

AD: Hi, what’s up? You seem pretty upset.

BC: Just got back from my neighbour’s place. I get all worked up when I see someone choose another country as their home and expect technology to bridge the gap between them and their folks.

AD: I don’t understand…

BC: Most people settled abroad think that they’ve done their duty by calling their parents a couple of times a week. They simply don’t understand that it doesn’t make up for their absence back home.

AD: Not all of them.

BC: Even if they take a vacation, they would rather holiday at some exotic place than visit their parents.

AD: Look, life abroad is not as rosy as you think it is… Besides, in today’s world, you have to find ways of keeping in touch — e-mails, Facebook, chats…

BC: Not all senior citizens are comfortable with technology. It’s so difficult to learn something new after a particular age, especially for those who have never stepped out of their homes.

AD: There are so many ways to learn these days… And there’s online help as well.

BC: What if even getting online is a problem for them?

AD: But it’s so easy to operate services like Skype.

BC: There we go again — even if they learn to operate a laptop, turn the Internet on and sit in front of the camera, they begin to panic if the image freezes or the audio doesn’t work for a few seconds, because they don’t know what’s going wrong.

AD: But operating a mobile is easy, right? And there are several apps that can help them to…

BC: You’re looking at things from your viewpoint. You were born with all this technology around you. In their case, they are having their grandchildren teach them things. There’s a big difference… Some of them are uncomfortable, others get intimidated.

AD: So why are you blaming technology for it?

BC: Because its presence is what makes today’s generation think that it’s fine to keep in touch with parents back home through some new-fangled device. They don’t realise that the older lot will also be forced to adopt the same technology in order to respond.

AD: But technology is getting friendly.

BC: Hardly! Electronic goods manufacturers are so keen on making products child-friendly or child-proof, but unfortunately, when it comes to the older lot, they show scant regard…

AD: Why, what do you want them to do?

BC: What about special mobile phones for senior citizens who are probably not very comfortable with the current smartphones or the tiny keypads in regular mobiles? What about computers that are voice-enabled…

AD: There are mobiles, computer keyboards and tablets designed especially for the older users.

BC: But I haven’t seen much on the shelves here. I hope you aren’t going to suggest that they buy these gadgets online…

AD: Don’t you think senior citizens need to embrace the changing world?

BC: You also need to consider the other problems of old age — failing eyesight, trembling hands, a nervous disposition, poor memory…

AD: That’s the reason why technology has ushered in a concept known as pervasive computing. Based on this, computers — equipped with sensors and requisite software — observe and learn more about a person’s habits non-intrusively. Soon, they become familiar with a senior citizen’s habits and take over as a guide, in case his memory fails him or if he forgets to do something, like take his medicines, for instance.

BC: Sounds good, but these things need to move from being a dazzling experiment to a way of life for us to feel their utility.

AD: So what are you trying to say? That technology is a senior citizen’s biggest enemy?

BC: You’re exaggerating, but the point is, people abroad must understand that filial duties go beyond swinging by once in a while and gifting their folks an iPad.

The original article is here.

The high court asks the government to establish old age homes in every district

gavelThe Allahabad High Court (HC) has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to expedite the formulation of rules for the safety of senior citizens in the state.

Directing the government to make rules under the Senior Citizen Act and also to constitute a body to hear and redress problems being faced by the aged, the high court asked it to establish old age homes in every district.

These shelters, the court said, should be big enough to house 150 people and should be given proper staff and health facilities for which the state government should make budgetary provisions.

A bench of Justices Sunil Ambwani and Dinesh Gupta also expressed their dismay at the fact that while the Senior Citizen Act was passed by parliament in 2007, nothing serious had been done in Uttar Pradesh to get it implemented.

The government counsel told the bench that while the notification for implementation of the Act had been issued by the state government, the rules were being framed and were under process.

The court directed the principal secretary (social welfare) to issue a fresh notification and give a sworn affidavit of its implementation by Feb 10.

The court gave these directions Tuesday while hearing a public interest litigation filed by lawyer Junaid Ezaz with regard to senior citizens whose children were not looking after them.

You can read the original article here.

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