Your Changing Insurance Needs: Four Things To Consider as an Empty Nester
Perhaps your children have flown the coup and you’re wondering how to approach your new life with an empty nest. You’ve spent years worrying about the needs of your entire family, especially those youngest members in the fold. Now it’s just you and maybe your spouse under the roof, and it’s time to focus on your own wellbeing and future. As your adult children’s dependence on you changes along with the family dynamic, it’s time to start thinking about your needs. This could include areas in which you can cut back as well as those in which you should consider ramping up. Here are four things you should keep in mind when it comes to insurance for empty nesters.
1. Do You Still Need Life Insurance?
When you were starting out as a young family, the most immediate thought that prompted you to sign up for life insurance were worries that your spouse and children wouldn’t be taken care of in the event you met an untimely and premature death. Now that those same children are grown and you’ve found yourself with an empty nest, it can be tempting to drop the life insurance and save some money rather than paying on your premiums.
Continuing to pay into your existing life coverage, or choosing to pick up either a term life or permanent life plan, still helps to provide some financial support to those you would leave behind. Whether the benefit assists with funeral costs, helps to pay mortgage payments on your family home or covers some of your child’s college tuition, having this coverage in place provides some peace of mind that loved ones will still be cared for.
2. Protecting Your Home Assets
If you planted roots in the same house for years to watch your family grow up there, it’s possible that the beginning of your empty nest years are coinciding with the end of your mortgage payments. If your home is paid off and you no longer owe a monthly payment, this also means that your lender would no longer require you to carry homeowner’s insurance on your property. If you do still have homeowner’s coverage on your house, this is a great time in your life to give it a review if you haven’t recently done so. The reason for this is over the years, the value of your home and possessions may have grown and it’s best to ensure that rise in value is accounted for should there be an unexpected damage or loss.
3. Changing Health Care Needs
Ever since your children entered the world your top priority has been ensuring they have the care and coverage they need to stay healthy. Whether your child has headed off to college or has just moved out into a place of their own, you don’t want to leave them high and dry without health coverage if they’re unable to secure their own right away. Current laws state that adult children can remain covered under a parent’s plan until the age of 26; however, now that you are facing an empty nest, it’s time to focus on being prepared to meet your own health needs.
If this time of change coincides with retirement plans, consider your health care options as you leave the workforce. If you’re younger than 65 and leaving behind employee-provided health coverage, think about purchasing a plan to bridge the gap between retirement and the time you blow out 65 candles on your birthday cake. This milestone age is when coverage through Medicare can be requested. There are several options to explore for gaining health care coverage:
- a still-employed spouse’s employer
- the HealthCare.gov site or through a program in your state
- a private insurer
4. Investing in Extended Care Coverage
As you embark on your empty nest years it becomes necessary to think about what would happen if you were to face serious impairment or illness. If you need assistance with everyday activities, such as getting dressed, eating or bathing, these long-term care plans help to cover obtaining the support you need. Don’t assume basic health coverage provides benefits in this instance, as in most cases the kind of care necessary in this event is beyond what’s covered under most plans.
Finding yourself with an empty nest sparks a time of major change in your life. While some of these changes can be exciting and others overwhelming, take the time to consider your insurance needs to ensure peace of mind and a secure future. If you have questions feel free to reach out to us at 410-305-9796.