With open enrollment just around the corner (October 15-December 7) thousands of seniors around the country will be signing up for Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. Knowing this, identity thieves, hackers and impostors step up their efforts during this time of year as well, taking advantage of seniors who may provide personal information more freely as they shop for insurance plans.
During this time, seniors should be weary of certain people and should take steps to protect their information. Below are some ways to guard against theft and hacking.
Don’t Give Out Your Medicare Number
A common goal for predators is to get a hold of a Medicare Number. Similar to a credit card number, your Medicare Number will allow others to charge services to your account.
Medicare will never contact you to ask for your number. If you receive a phone call, an email or are approached by someone who asks for it, do not provide them with any information.
Be Cautious of “Free Gifts”
When things appear to be too good to be true, they usually are. In order to get the vital personal information they are after, hackers and impostors will usually create some kind of incentive. One of the more common schemes is to offer a free gift or a special offer. In order to receive it, however, you will need to provide some personal information, including a Medicare Number or social security number.
Also be suspicious of anyone looking to rush you into buying Medicare or Medicare Supplement Insurance quickly to take advantage of some special offer. There are no special offers or discounts for signing up for Original Medicare early.
Ask Questions to Educate Yourself
Staying informed about your policy and other health insurance policies that are offered is the best way to detect a fraudulent offer. Hackers and identity thieves rely on ignorance and naivety. Understanding how the system and the policies work will allow you to stay one step ahead of the scams.
When you don’t understand something or have questions about your policy, reach out to an informed representative to get the information you need. While Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance policies can be difficult to fully grasp, it is important to keep asking questions so you know what to expect from your plan.
Keep Records of All Appointment and Payments
If you are not diligent about checking your statements and keeping a record of everything involving your Medicare policies, you could be allowing a third party to use your account. For those who visit doctors pretty regularly, it can be difficult to track all the details regarding appointments, procedures, medications and payments. This leaves you susceptible to identity theft, which is why creating a calendar could be a useful tool for staying on top of everything.
The old cliché, “Age is just a number,” runs true in the business world. The numbers on your birthdate should never be an indication of the level of success you can achieve. Many successful business men and woman started later than you would expect. For example, it wasn’t until Ray Kroc was 52 when he began business with Richard James “Dick” McDonald and Maurice James “Mac” McDonald. Together they created the fast-food powerhouse that is McDonald’s. Ando Momofuku, the creator of ramen noodles, was 48 until he began selling precooked instant noodles and Harlad Sander, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) did not open his first franchise until he was 65. Their success stories are a true testament to the power of determination and inspires all whom want to create their own business.
Careful on Borrowing Money
You are at the point in your age where your retirement must be on the forefront of your mind. You have to be protective of your assets and consider whether you can live off them once you no longer want to work. If you want to invest more in your business, you must consider the high risk it could take: Do you want to sacrifice a chunk of your savings account or do you want to increase your retirement funds? It’s a decision that can go uphill or downhill fast, but make sure that you always do it in your best interest. Don’t let what you want, hinder what you will need in the future.
Keep Your Body in Mind
You’ve worked very hard to accrue a great savings account, garner a lot of experience and go on great business ventures, so let your body rest. Between traveling, fast-paced environments, and the emotional stress business can take on your body, you’re reaching a point in your life where you need to focus on what’s to come (retirement) rather than what’s passed. If you want to keep going in your business, make sure you start listening to your body and recognizing trigger points that may highlight when it is safe to continue a business venture.
For example, if you find yourself extra tired sometimes, it may help to organize your day in advance to supplement extra sleep. If you feel that you need to engage in light exercise to waken your mind and continue the days’ work, then make extra time in your day.
Capitalize on Your Experience
If there’s one thing you have over those young, 25-year old entrepreneurs, investors, and businessmen, its experience. You know what works in your industry and what doesn’t, so make sure you utilize your knowledge to the best of your capability. You have the wisdom all the young people want, so show them that you still have the upper hand and mentally outwit them. If you’re running a successful business, then don’t fix what isn’t broken. Continue and focus on making your retirement bigger so you can live as if you were still working.
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Like the rest of our body, our vision can decline with age. Free radicals and inflammation caused by high energy light can damage the sensitive structures of the lens and retina of our eyes. Vitamin C, carotenoids, alpha-lipoic acid, and omege-3 fatty acids are especially critical to eye health. Spinach, kale, and broccoli are filled with important carotenoids the eyes need. In addition, two servings of fish a week can lower your risk of macular degeneration.
The air pollution and other toxins you are exposed to on a daily basis take their toll on your lungs. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cabbage contain antioxidants and sulfur compounds that keep your lungs clean and free of toxins. The carotenoids in red or orange colored fruits and vegetables that keep your eyes healthy can also reduce your risk of developing asthma and omega-3s have a beneficial effect on those suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. Vitamin-C rich foods make your lungs more efficient at oxygenating your body. Spices such as ginger, turmeric, and garlic as well as fruits such as blueberries and apples also promote overall healthy lung function.
Found in fatty fish, flax seed oil, and walnuts, Omega-3 Fatty Acids reduce inflammation throughout the body, and that’s good news for your heart. Inflammation can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease. To increase your intake of this vital nutrient, add walnuts to your salad, or flax seed oil to your salad dressing. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish per week to reduce your risk of heart attack. Grass-fed beef and enriched eggs are also high in omega-3s.
Olive oil is a source of healthy, monounsaturated fats proven to actually slow brain aging. Recent studies have shown a diet high in blueberries and strawberries can slow mental decline in areas such as memory and focus. Although Popeye ate spinach to build muscle, you should eat it for the antioxidant lutein, which is thought to help protect against cognitive decline. Walnuts help promote blood flow, which in turn allows for efficient delivery of oxygen to the brain and can improve memory, as does caffeine, in moderation. And last but definitely not least, dark chocolate. The flavonoids in dark chocolate regulate and lower blood pressure, which in turn increases blood flow and fosters brain health.
There are many variables that determine how long you live, only you can influence how well you live. Following a healthy lifestyle, staying active, and eating an antioxidant-packed diet, you can help slow the aging process and perhaps even stave off age-related effects on your body. Adding these healthy and delicious super foods to your diet keeps the effects of aging at bay.
Your skin has sustained a lot of sunlight throughout the decades, especially if you lived in warm states like Florida. If you think that skin care protection should only be a concern for the young, you are wrong. Just because your skin has tolerated a lot of skin damage, especially through tanning, it does not mean that it is more immune to skin cancer. You can still get it at any age and that is why it is more important than ever, when you are older and your skin tends to be more fragile, that you protect it.
Don’t Purposefully Get a Tan
If you have spent a lot of your 20’s and 30’s worshiping the sun, it may not be in your best interest to sit outside and tan for a lot of hours during hot afternoons. When your skin tans, it is an immediate reaction to the burning of your skin which makes it more prone to skin cancer. The more tans and sunburns you have, which your skin has probably sustained, the higher your risk of skin cancer is. If you are going to engage in outdoor activity under harsh UV rays, make sure to protect yourself by using SPF 40 or higher.
Stay in the Shade
Just because your skin may be more sensitive to the sunlight, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy the outdoors. Stepping into the shade as often as possible can help you protect your skin from the sun without sacrificing enjoying the warm weather. If you’re going to participate in activities that don’t have a lot of shade like the beach, pool or big parks, bring an umbrella and keep yourself safe from harmful UV rays.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
As skin ages, it becomes more susceptible to dryness which makes it more vulnerable to sun damage. Remembering to moisturize daily in your personal hygiene routine will help keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays and eventually become a habit. You can even find moisturizers that provide SPF protection for extra coverage. This will not only allow you to continue to explore the beautiful weather and ambiance summer creates, but will keep you protected in the meantime.
Be More Careful With Your Clothes
When you step outside during very hot days, it is recommended to wear light colored clothing. Wearing light, neutral shades like white, creams and yellows help repel extra, unnecessary sunlight that can be damaging to your skin. This is because dark colors attract sunlight and can make you feel hotter. Also, wear protective and lose clothing that will help shade your skin. When possible, wear long sleeved shirts so you have automatic protection and don’t have to keep reapplying sun screen. If it is too hot to wear long sleeved clothing, wear a big hat that provides shade for most of your body. This will automatically repel harmful UV rays.
Protecting yourself from the sun is important at any age. Make sure you stay conscious of the harmfulness of UV rays and take the appropriate measures when enjoying a sunny day.
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As you grow older, it is important to take the proper amount of vitamins and minerals. It’s natural for your body to use vitamins differently as you age. Eventually, you’ll need to learn to supplement the vitamins and minerals your body is using differently to continue normal bodily functions. However, just because your body changes, your lifestyle doesn’t have to. Here are some vitamins and minerals you should consider to keep your body strong.
Vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium and other nutrients, but crucial in bone growth and strength. As you get older, your body doesn’t absorb vitamins and nutrients as well as it did in younger years. The main intake of Vitamin D is through at least 30-minutes of sunlight every day. However, as you get older, this may be sometimes harder to do. To help supplement your body from the natural light it’s not receiving, you can take Vitamin D pills. This will help you and your organs stay strong as you age.
In conjunction with Vitamin D, you may also want to increase your calcium intake. Calcium is usually found in your bones and as you age, your bones become frail. To avoid bone deficiencies that lead to permanent damage like osteoporosis, it is important you keep your calcium level high. Engaging in light activities such as golf, brisk walking or small weight training will help keep your bones strong.
You can avoid it by taking calcium in consuming dairy products like milk. However, you can also take calcium supplements to further the strength in your bones. If you have trouble consuming milk or food items high in calcium, look to taking supplement pills to help your bones stay strong. You can also strengthen your bones by consuming dairy products high in vitamin D, like milk or yogurt.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Your heart will need extra support as it gets older. To keep your heart healthy, doctors recommend taking extra Omega-3 fatty acid pills to boost its strength. Omega-3 helps prevent inflammation, reduces plaque buildup in your arteries that can lead to a strokes and reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats. It is suggested you take at least 1,000 mg of Omega 3’s in either the pill or food forms. Great foods that contain fatty acids are flaxseed oil, fish (especially salmon), walnuts and edamame. This will also help keep your heart strong to help you stay active when you want to engage in physical activity.
Taking care of your body is essential to continuing the life you want to live. Just because your number increases, it doesn’t mean your life decreases. Enjoy what you’ve always loved, but be more cautious about your body and its needs. If you’re looking to understand your body more and what it needs to be supplemented with, contact your doctor today. If you’re looking for ways to cover the costs of those doctor visitations, call Bankers Fidelity now.
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As you head closer to retirement, money becomes more of a concern. Questions such as, “Will your assets help you live without a full form of income” or “Will your money help cover any costs that will come-up during retirement?” may start to arise. You shouldn’t have to change the way you want to live to supplement the change in income. There are ways you can help supplement life changes, especially through life-insurance.
Life expectancy continues to rise so you want to make sure you are covered all the way through retirement. Feeling secure during a rough period of time is important. You always want to make sure your family is protected. In the case a dire emergency happens, you want the peace of mind that your family’s lifestyle will not be affected by your passing. Life insurance is one of the safest ways to make sure your family is covered in a sudden death. Even if you are receiving a pension, your pension will cease once you pass. This could mean that your significant other is automatically put in a tough situation, one that can be avoided if you use life insurance.
Life insurance can mean more than protecting your family once you pass. On top of protecting who you value, it can also protect what you value. If you are looking to add an extra means beyond your income, protect your business, or set up a trust after retirement, a life insurance may help. This form of life insurance may help insure income longevity and help you keep track of the money you will receive in the future.
If you are looking to purchase life insurance, there are several ways you can make a claim and do it on a budget that still meets your needs.
When you stay in good health, you possess less risk to the company and therefore receive a higher rating. When you get a higher rating, you lower the cost of you insurance plan, which will help make life insurance more affordable overall.
Just as you would with cars, you want to compare the different types of ratings and reviews life insurance policies have. Do your research and find out what has been said about your provider and if they are trustworthy. Receive a quote from them and see how they compare to other companies. If you are working on a budget, this will be one of the most effective ways to save money. You will see what actively works for you and what does not.
Usually the older you are, the higher your premiums tend to be. However, with the considerations above, you may be able to lower the cost of your payments. Contact Bankers Fidelity today and see how you can get covered with the right individual insurance plan.
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Understanding Medicare Supplement
Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. The Medicare Supplement products issued by the Company are insurance policies. Policy form series B 21092 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company®, Atlanta, GA; policy form series B 21492 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Assurance CompanyTM, Atlanta, GA. Limitations and exclusions apply; actual policy provisions control. Rates subject to change on a class basis. Individually underwritten; application to determine eligibility required.
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