6 Reasons elders inspire innovation

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One undeniable fact is once Baby Boomers start retiring, America is going to lose a large part of our workforce. But in a paper recently published by the journal PLOS ONE, a group of researchers believe having a larger aging population could be to our advantage.

Here are six reasons why:

1. More people will have time to innovate

Think about the innovation potential of the tens of millions of retiring Baby Boomers. They are relatively healthy, educated and financially secure and now have the leisure time to tinker and innovate.

2. The education level of our workforce will increase

An overall increase in education level will offset the loss in our labor force. “Think of America’s future workforce in terms of a smaller pool of highly productive workers rather than a shrinking pool of average productivity workers,” writes Dominic Basulto of The Washington Post.

3. More people will be healthier, greener and more productive

“Think of this demographic shift as a net gain of people who are healthier, greener and more productive,” writes Basulto. “These people will care more about innovations in areas ranging from health care (since they are living longer) to renewable energy (since they will be consuming fewer energy-intensive goods.”

4. There will be more “encore entrepreneurs”

The AARP and the Small Business Association (SBA) recently promoted the idea that “encore entrepreneurs” older than 50 might be an unexpected source of innovation activity for the American economy. “Many new entrepreneurs are saving their best acts for their encore performance,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “They’re using their decades of expertise and their contacts to start new businesses and to finally pursue that venture that has been stirring their dreams for all these years.”

5. Retired Boomers will fund late stage Venture Capital financing

A renewed focus on encore entrepreneurs might lead to a boost in late-stage venture financing. “With all that extra leisure time on their hands, Baby Boomers might decide to launch new ventures in fields that help them lead better, more productive lives as they age,” writes Basulto. “Who says you can’t launch a new venture at age 65? Or become an angel investor in a new start-up at age 80?” 6. America will be forced to create innovations for an aging society A larger aging population will force us to develop the kind of innovations that cater to their needs. “We need to focus on the quality of life of elderly people and that’s going to require big changes,” writes Basulto. “Perhaps states like Florida with a high concentration of retirees may one day become a hub for the development of technologies devoted to aging Americans.”

Read the story here.

Shared with permission from Passare.com. 

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5 Retirement healthcare savings tips

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One of the biggest expenses retirees will face will be paying for health care. How can you manage your medical costs to ensure your wealth lasts through retirement? A story by USA Today recently shared five ways to save.

1. Get a Medicare Supplemental Plan

One of the biggest misnomers is the idea Medicare will cover all your medical costs; not true. Even for those who qualify, Medicare can come with very high deductibles and co-pays. To protect yourself against out-of-pocket expenses, enroll in a Medicare supplemental insurance plan called Medigap. It can help pay for any co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles that Medicare doesn’t cover. Keep in mind, there is a monthly premium for Medigap and to get a policy, you must already have Medicare Part A and Part B. Also Medigap policies only cover one person, so if you want coverage for you and your spouse, you will have to buy two separate policies.

2. Enroll in Medicare Part D

While Medigap can help pay for some expenses, it won’t cover everything. For example, it does not pay for prescription drugs. To get coverage that helps pay for drug costs, enroll in the Medicare prescription drug plan called Medicare Part D. Be aware, Most Part D plans also have a coverage gap or “donut hole,” which limits your coverage after you’ve spent a certain amount on drugs. The good news is prescription drug companies are required to participate in Medicare’s Coverage Gap Discount Program, which offers discounts on drugs to people who fall in the coverage gap. With all the insurance plans available, it’s important you choose a plan based on your prescription history. Medicare offers a free online Plan Finder Tool that can help you decide what is best for you.

3. Save Money on Prescriptions

When possible, retirees should switch from brand-name drugs to generics. They’re just as effective and can result in big savings. Also it’s important you choose the right pharmacy to fill your prescriptions. According to a Consumer Reports study, Costco’s pharmacy offered the lowest prices while CVS had the highest. Another way to save on prescriptions is by ordering in bulk. Ask your pharmacist if they offer a discount on bulk orders.

4. Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Poor health can result from a lack of physical activity, poor diet or bad habits. By staying active, retirees can increase their energy, require fewer visits to the doctor, improve heart health and potentially live longer. According to the American Heart Association, physically active people save $500 a year in health care costs. With fewer visits to the doctor and limited medical bills, overall health expenses should decrease.

5. Plan Early for End-of-Life Care

Medical costs during the last year of life can drain your savings. To make a plan for End of Life care, the first step is to create an Advanced Directive or Living Will that specifies the medical actions you want taken if you’re no longer able to make decisions for yourself. Next, consider buying Long-Term Healthcare Insurance, which covers home care, assisted living, hospice care and nursing homes. It can be a good investment if you can afford it, as it helps cover out-of-pocket expenses, which most people will eventually need. According to Fidelity Investments, the average retired couple will need more than $220,000 to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses during retirement. There is also a tax benefit to having Long-Term Healthcare Insurance. The IRS considers their premiums a medical expense. Finding answers on your medical assistance and long-term care questions can be difficult. This list of resources may be helpful to you as you navigate the medical system and weigh your options.

Read full the story here.

Reprinted with permission from Passare.com.