How to avoid common tax season pitfalls

Discussing Long-Term Care Options with your Loved Ones

When it comes to elder care, there are many options out there—and it can be an incredibly daunting task when making critical decisions about the future. As a result, you may gravitate toward long-term care, or services that meet your loved ones’ personal needs over an extended period of time. These include home-based health care, day centers, assisted living facilities, and independent living communities.

But how should you broach the subject with your loved one? Being a support system for your aging parent or loved one often means having important conversations about the best choices for their health and well-being. Here, we address some common questions about long-term care—including when to consider it and which options are right for them—to help you navigate that key discussion with your loved one. We hope it will point you toward the best choice for your loved one’s situation.

How Do You Determine Whether Your Loved One Needs Long-Term Care?

It is important to note that no specific behavior indicates when it’s time to pursue care for aging parents or loved ones, but the behaviors listed below warrant further action.

If your loved one is displaying any of the following signs, they may need some form of long-term care support or services:

  • Physical deterioration
  • Mental deterioration
  • Environmental deterioration
  • Loss of two or more activities of daily living (ADLs)

Initiating the conversation early on—at the first sign of deterioration—can prevent undesirable outcomes. Early intervention can radically slow physical or cognitive decline, allowing you to avoid or delay short-term care alternatives, such as hospice care. By staying ahead of the curve, you can help your loved one lead a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life.

How Should You Start the Conversation About Long-Term Care?

Before initiating the discussion, all involved adults—including the loved one’s children, siblings, and in-laws—need to be on the same page about what they see and the best course of action. Once everyone agrees on what should happen next, follow these tips below:

Smooth out any conflicting opinions, and don’t spring the issue on your loved one(s) without warning. Instead, ease into the discussion by pointing out the things everyone agrees they’re seeing. Then, discuss ways they can help with finding home care or assisted living.

Emphasize the positive side—in particular, that this decision will improve their lifestyle and safety. Suggest touring some facilities, meeting with home care services, or consulting with a geriatric care manager.
Reassure your loved one that they will have a support system every step of the way, and encourage them to ask questions. It is essential that they feel secure and that you conduct an ongoing open dialogue about the process.
If they do react negatively, be patient with them. Try to listen to, empathize with, and support them.

What Long-Term Care Options Are Available?

While there are many elder care options to choose from, the best course of action will depend on your loved one’s needs, including the personal and medical assistance they require. Long-term care is available in the following forms:

  • Assisted living facilities
  • In-home care
  • Nursing homes
  • Independent living communities

Depending on their needs and desires, your loved one may prefer one setting to another—if they’re open to the idea at all. Certain choices may ease their transition process, encouraging them to embrace change over time. If your loved one isn’t interested in an assisted living facility, for example, a home-based option—where caretakers assist with cleaning, cooking, and more private personal care needs—may be a good alternative.

Similarly, day centers may serve as a meaningful stepping stone to independent living communities or nursing homes. Of course, when it’s time for assisted living, there’s little doubt that these changes are necessary. Still, there may be resistance, which is why approaching the topic with compassion and sensitivity is so important.

Pursuing long-term care can be a gradual transition that starts at home. But it’s a decision that can drastically improve your loved one’s quality of life—especially given the drawbacks of getting by on their own or receiving devoted care from family members.

It is also important to understand costs and how to pay for them via Medicare, Medicaid, income, assets, and insurance.

Is It Possible to Delay the Need for Long-Term Care?

There’s no guarantee that your loved one won’t need long-term care at some point. That’s why it’s never too late to start planning for costs and live as healthy as possible, which can delay or even prevent the need for care in the future. The sooner you start, the better!

Here are some great ways for aging adults to adopt a healthy lifestyle:

  • Frequent exercise
  • Puzzles and other brain games
  • A healthy diet
  • Alcohol in moderation
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Proper sleep

Nothing wipes out retirement faster than the onset of health problems—which is why staying healthy is one of the smartest financial investments a person can make.

My Loved One Isn’t Ready for Long-Term Care. What Happens Next?

You’ve approached your loved one about entering long-term care, but they feel it isn’t the right time. What should you do?

Try to understand. Your loved one will likely appreciate your concern but let you know they’re capable of performing ADLs. They might also maintain that any assistance from family members, such as driving or housekeeping, is minor and not medical. However, this discussion is an opportunity to discuss their wishes for the future and organize finances, estates, medical directives, and power of attorney (POA). During this conversation, everyone involved can determine their roles when the time comes.


Discussing long-term care with your loved one can be intimidating, so you should navigate the conversation with sensitivity and respect. Ultimately, you want what’s best for your loved one—both now and in the future. You can thoughtfully convey that message and ensure all parties are on the same page by following these steps.

Concerned about the costs of long-term care? Life settlements, which involve the sale of your loved one’s life insurance policy, can provide the financial security you’re looking for. These proceeds can be used for any purpose, including long-term care. In some situations, there may be tax advantages. By pursuing a life settlement, your loved one can receive about four times the cash surrender value of their policy—a significant addition to their retirement income.

If your loved one is ill, you may want to consider viatical settlements, which are life settlements for those with chronic or terminal conditions. Though each situation is different, viatical payouts tend to be higher, and—for certain patients—are entirely tax-free.

Seeking out the best long-term care option can be challenging: after all, each one meets a distinct set of needs. We hope this page can serve as a beginner’s guide to navigating long-term care—its benefits, costs, and timelines—and help you locate the best fit for you and your family.

The Senior’s Guide to Travel: How to Travel on a Budget

Traveling to exotic places and seeing the most astonishing and unique cities in the world is something everyone should do in their lifetime. Breathtaking views, exploring mysterious islands, and sampling local cuisine don’t have to cost a fortune—especially for seniors. Traveling is a great way to stay young in spirit, and stepping out of your comfort zone or routine to visit new places can improve your mental health.

Many people travel after they retire when they have more time on their hands and have saved up their hard-earned money. Unfortunately, traveling isn’t exactly cheap, especially for seniors with a fixed income. To help you plan your next dream vacation, we compiled our best travel tips for seniors to make the most out of your trip and ensure an unforgettable experience.

How Is Travel for Seniors Different?

Living on a fixed income, health concerns, and decreasing mobility and endurance can cause older adults to find traveling a challenge. Many seniors also struggle with technology, especially when booking travel and lodging accommodations. So, it’s no wonder many seniors find themselves financially stressed planning and booking a trip. But, it doesn’t have to be, as senior travel can become more manageable when done right.

Can a Senior Travel on a Fixed Budget?

The good news is: Yes! Seniors can still travel on a fixed income. When people think of retirement, exploring the globe comes to mind—and taking advantage of the seemingly limitless amount of free time they will have. Retirement is a great opportunity for seniors to travel since work-related stresses and constraints are behind them. Yet, many older adults are on a fixed income. Some may think that affording a trip in their retirement can be difficult, but there are plenty of options to enjoy travel without burning through savings.

6 Travel Tips for Seniors on a Budget

Plan ahead to get the best deals

Spontaneous travel is exciting, but one of the biggest travel tips for seniors is to plan ahead. If you have a destination in mind, you can get the best deals and save money by shopping early. When traveling on a budget, you should first come up with a plan, including an itinerary for each destination and the exact route your trip will take. Most travel and accommodations become much more expensive as you get closer to the travel date, so booking well enough in advance can help you maximize your potential savings. Be sure to look on travel sites like Expedia and Kayak to find deals, though it’s usually cheaper to book directly with a hotel than through a fare aggregator.

Take advantage of travel senior discounts

Senior discounts are a great way to maintain your budget, even when traveling. Many hotels, car rental companies, and cruise lines offer discounts for seniors and AARP members. By taking advantage of these savings, you may even be able to travel more often.

Cruises are usually all-inclusive, making them a relaxing and easy way to travel to faraway destinations. Cruise travel is available to everyone—even those with reduced mobility. Cruises can be an enjoyable destination for older adults with planned itineraries, wheelchair-accessible common areas, and activities you can enjoy at your own pace.

Although senior discounts on flights were common in the past, many airlines discontinued these special rates. If you can’t find a discount on the flight you want, try concentrating on deals for other parts of your trip, such as meals or lodging. To save money while on your trip, take advantage of discounts at restaurants, museums, parks, and other activities. Be sure to call ahead or check online for airlines, accommodations, and your destination city for the most up-to-date information before completing your booking or buying tickets.

Travel during the off season

When traveling, you should avoid trips during school vacations when the travel industry hikes prices to take advantage of families who can only travel during these times. Instead, research the best time to visit your intended destination. Then plan to travel just before or after those dates to take advantage of all that city or country offers. It’s often called the shoulder season. The destination will be relatively empty of tourists, which is a great time to avoid crowds and long lines. It’s also an excellent chance to save on travel costs because prices tend to be lower than in peak periods. That means you can reduce the price of an otherwise expensive trip and enjoy off-season hotel rates and lower airfare. If you don’t mind the weather differences, traveling during the off-season can also be a savvy way to experience a different side of popular locations.

Use travel insurance

While travel insurance will add to your overall travel costs, it protects you from any fees associated with cancellation or rebooking. Relative to the cost of your vacation, travel insurance provides reassurance that you’re covered if things hit a snag. It can also give you the peace of mind and confidence necessary to explore the world.

If you injure yourself or contract an illness while traveling, travel medical insurance will ensure you receive the medical care and attention you need without facing major medical bills later. Medicare doesn’t cover your medical expenses while you’re abroad, so this added protection is good for traveling seniors. If you take more than three trips a year, it may be wise to purchase annual travel insurance. This way, you can save money and enjoy year-round protection with a travel insurance plan that covers emergency medical care, trip interruptions, and lost luggage.

Avoid eating out for every meal

One of the quickest ways to blow through your travel budget is to eat out for every meal. You can grab a cheap lunch from local supermarkets rather than dining in an overpriced cafe or restaurant. As you explore a new city, wander around before choosing a place to eat so you can scope out inexpensive restaurants. Restaurants in tourist areas are typically overpriced, and you may end up overspending. If you have access to a kitchen, consider cooking your meals to save a significant amount of money, especially on longer and more relaxed trips and vacations.

Minimize alcohol purchases

Along with eating out for every meal, alcoholic beverages can slowly add up—so opt for water instead. Alcohol can be less expensive in some places and may even cost more than a decent meal. While going to a new city is all about experiencing something new, and some bars around the world are certainly unique, you don’t want to waste your travel time in crowded bars. Instead, look into activities that may be available at night in the location you’ve traveled to. You may find local dance classes or night tours around the historic district. Don’t let alcohol drain all your money in your travels, and opt for experiences instead.


Unless you’re a millionaire and never have to worry about money, budgeting your finances and planning for unforeseen events will be an essential part of your travels. Even with a large budget, managing it well could lead to a longer vacation, better attractions, and even cash leftover for another trip.

If you have exhausted all options for traveling on a budget, such as travel discounts and flexible travel dates, life settlements can help you maximize a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. They’re a savvy way for seniors to uncover more retirement income to invest in travel and other activities or purchases that will make retirement more satisfying and enjoyable. Seniors allow $100 billion in life insurance policies to lapse each year so they lose the opportunity to make the most of their retirement. The experts at Retirement Genius can talk you through your travel options, including budgeting, life settlements, and senior discounts. Contact the experts at Retirement Genius today to start discussing your retirement plan.

Disclaimer: Check the local and state guidelines for cities and countries you are visiting for the most recent COVID requirements and regulations.

What Seniors Need to Know about Medicare

Understanding Medicare and all of its moving parts may seem difficult at first, but all it takes is a little bit of research to understand how to get the most out of it. As a U.S. government health insurance program, Medicare is divided into different plans that cover a variety of healthcare situations—some of which come at a cost to the insured person.

Medicare offers excellent health coverage you can customize to fit your health needs and budget. While this allows the program to provide consumers with multiple-choice options for costs and coverage, it also introduces complexity for those signing up. To alleviate confusion, we created this guide to help you through the process of enrolling in Medicare, including what the different plans are and who’s covered.

What Is Medicare

Medicare is the federal health insurance program that covers 61 million people nationwide and spends over $800 billion every year on healthcare. As the second-largest expenditure in the federal budget behind Social Security, Medicare funds almost a quarter of all healthcare spending in the United States and can be considered the single biggest “insurer” covering Americans. The basics of Medicare include both plans provided by the federal government and those available through private insurers. Different types of plans can cover other parts of your health care.

The plan covers people age 65 or older, younger people who meet specific eligibility criteria, and individuals with certain diseases. As the most common form of healthcare coverage for seniors, it’s divided into four programs: Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage), and Part D for prescription drugs. The program has been in existence since 1965 and provides a way for older Americans to have their health needs taken care of after they retire from the workforce.

Medicare Part A and Part B

When you become eligible for Medicare, you have to decide which plan is best for you. Original Medicare is provided through the federal government and includes Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, which both handle different parts of your health care. It’s important to remember that Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything, such as vision and dental coverage.

Known as “Hospital Insurance,” Medicare Part A covers costs billed by hospitals or similar inpatient-like settings, such as skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and some home-based healthcare. This plan doesn’t cover long-term or custodial care. When you receive notification that you’re eligible for Medicare Part A, you’ll also be notified about your eligibility for Medicare Part B coverage, which is optional and has a premium for all enrolled members. Generally, Medicare Part B covers costs for outpatient care such as doctor visits, preventative services, ambulance services, certain medical equipment, and mental coverage. This plan also covers certain prescription drugs.

Medicare Advantage vs Medicare: What’s the Difference?

Budgeting for healthcare costs in retirement is tricky since there’s often no way of knowing whether your expenses each year will be minimal or massive, and Medicare isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach. There are specific differences between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage that are important for people to understand when they first become eligible for Medicare and during the Open Enrollment period.


Traditional Medicare is offered directly through the federal government, and you receive a red, white, and blue card to present to providers. The same level of coverage is available to all enrollees across the country with no pre-existing condition limitations or waiting periods. You can see any doctor, medical provider or visit any facility around the country that accepts Medicare. However, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care, but it will cover short-term rehabilitation for the first 100 days. There are limits on your charges when you visit participating or non-participating providers as a Medicare beneficiary.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is part of the Medicare program offered to seniors and disabled adults who qualify through private plans that contract with the federal government to provide Medicare benefits. Also referred to as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies instead of the federal government. Medicare Advantage plans have fixed networks of doctors and hospitals, so your plan will have rules about whether or not you can get care outside of your network. Of course, you’ll pay more for any care you receive outside your network like any plan.

Medicare Advantage enrollment boils down to plan variety, choice, and costs, benefiting healthier people who use fewer services with lower costs. Enrollees are looking for the cost protection of an out-of-pocket limit and the variety of plan options with different premium, copay, and deductible schedules. A range of service options, such as dental, vision, pharmacy, and wellness benefits, are also available.

Choosing Between Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare

If you plan to travel or split your time residing between more than one state, you will want to enroll in Original Medicare, so you can access care providers anywhere. If you don’t plan to travel and prefer a “turn-key” Medicare experience, an Advantage Plan makes the most sense. You should make sure your desired care providers are part of the approved network before you enroll. Going out of the network for care will result in higher costs and possibly even denials. The current divide between enrollment in the two options is 2/3 Traditional and 1/3 Advantage Plans.

If you sign up for Original Medicare and later decide you would like to try a Medicare Advantage Plan—or vice versa—remember that there are specific enrollment periods when you’re allowed to make changes. You should also keep in mind that different areas have different Medicare Advantage Plans.

When Is Medicare Open Enrollment?

The annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for current Medicare recipients to change their coverage runs from October 15th-December 7th. You can change between traditional coverage and Medicare Advantage, switch Part D prescription plans, or move between Advantage Plans as your needs change. It’s also important to compare plans during each enrollment period, as coverage and plans available near you can change year to year.

Since Medicare covers everyone individually, this is also an important time for couples to make sure they are coordinating and re-calibrating coverage to find the best balance for their needs. For example, if one is covered by traditional Medicare and another by Medicare Advantage, and travel plans increase or decrease, should both move to one or the other together? Likewise, if certain drugs become necessary based on changing health conditions, every Part D plan needs a review to determine which plan will best fulfill those needs for the following year.

Special Enrollment

You can change your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage for life events such as moving, losing existing employer-provided insurance coverage, or getting married. The opportunity to make changes are called Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). Depending on your SEP type, you may have 60 days before or 60 days after the event to enroll in a plan.

Do You Have to Pay for Medicare?

It’s important to understand that Medicare does come with costs, and those costs will vary depending on whether you have enrolled in Original Medicare or an Advantage Plan. Medicare Part A is free for most individuals because of payments made through payroll taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). You can also qualify for free Medicare Part A due to your spouse’s work history.

Generally, the government will automatically enroll you in Medicare Part A at no cost when you reach 65, as long as you’re already collecting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits. All you need to do is check your mail for your Medicare card, which should arrive about three months prior to your 65th birthday. Coverage is automatic for anyone who receives Social Security benefits, but for those who don’t, enrollment can be done through the SSA website. If you’re not eligible for premium-free Part A, you may be able to purchase the coverage up to $499 each month in 2022. Most people will pay the standard Medicare Part B premium amount, which is $170.10 for 2022.

Under Medicare coverage, you will pay a deductible for your health care before Medicare pays its share. These premiums and out-of-pocket costs will need to be included in your monthly budget. If you miss the correct windows to enroll in Medicare coverage, there may be delays in coverage, or you may get locked into the wrong or inadequate coverage as your care needs change. There is also the risk of financial penalties that will increase premiums, and depending on your annual income levels, you may also pay higher premiums.


Medicare was enacted over 50 years ago and has since become one of the most important, popular, and best-run government programs in U.S. history. However, to get the maximum value from the program, enrollees must make informed choices. Understanding enrollment, costs, services, and matching your lifestyle with the specifics of Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage will help you gain the most out of Medicare. In addition, talking with your financial advisor can help you decide which Medicare program is best suited for you and help answer any questions you have during the enrollment period, so contact the experts at Retirement Genius today.

International Living: Best Places to Retire Abroad

When a senior loved one can finally retire, it can be emotionally gratifying. For many seniors, the newfound freedom afforded to them by retirement is an opportunity to think about and start making significant, positive life changes — and key among them is making a move. So, helping the loved one who’s made such a difference in your life purchase a home somewhere new can be an exciting and satisfying experience.

But moving internationally can be overwhelming. There are many factors that can make a difference when choosing a country, including:

  • Cost of living
  • Climate
  • Daily life
  • Language
  • Banking and currency
  • Residency-visa process
  • Healthcare
  • Safety and stability
  • Distance from family

Read on to learn more about what living abroad may mean for your loved one, and how these factors will form the foundation for a new life for them.

International Retirement: Tips for Getting Started

Moving internationally for retirement is a huge commitment, and doing it the right way takes a lot of thought and care. Here’s how to get started:

Evaluate Expectations

Ask your senior loved one what’s most important to them when thinking about where they want to move, and pay close attention to what comes to their mind first. These early thoughts can indicate any strong preferences and deal-breakers they have, which can be helpful to create a shorter list of choices.

For example, if they say they want to live somewhere affordable, moving to Denmark or the Bahamas might not be the best option because these countries are expensive. If they don’t want to worry about shoveling snow off the driveway in the winter, they probably wouldn’t enjoy life in Japan. Also, if a medical condition discourages them from being in the heat too long; they can’t afford to live in a country like Spain that’s hot year-round.

Regardless of their desires, it’s not selfish to consider how you and the rest of their family will factor into their new life abroad. For example, is it financially feasible for someone in the family to travel to check in on them? After all, they likely won’t be taking the family with them to their new home, so picking somewhere that’s less of a hassle to visit can be beneficial.

Distance moves can also bring an overwhelming sense of culture shock, especially regarding language barriers. If your senior loved one is adamant about moving to a country where the primary language is unfamiliar, help them learn some of the basics of reading and writing. Or, consider choosing a part of the country with enclaves that speak their native language. The process of absorbing a new language may ultimately dissuade them from moving to that country — and it’s better to come to that realization early.

Native commerce and banking can be a language unto itself. It’s important your senior loved one understands how to convert from the dollar to the new currency. They should also know the legal rules and regulations for banking properly before they step off the plane and realize they can’t make a simple purchase. It’s also a good idea to help them understand the country’s system of government and laws. In doing so, you may come to realize that they may be considering an unstable country. They shouldn’t have to live in an unsafe place.

Immerse Your Senior Loved One in the Environment

It’s one thing for your senior loved one to commit to living in a new country when they’ve been there as a tourist, but spending time in that place can help them understand what it is. So, consider working with your senior relative to help them find and rent a home for three to six months. Give them the space to immerse themselves in this new country so they can understand what it means to live there daily.

How easy is it to procure food they like? Is paying their bills more complicated than they want? Will they be able to afford a hospital visit? Does the country’s healthcare system offer good long-term care support and services available when they need them?

Being able to answer questions like these and much more confidently is easier when a person has lived through the relevant conditions. It’s one thing to read about the typical drive time commute from a web page. But it’s another thing entirely to frequently experience traffic delays that result in a late arrival to an important appointment. It’s also not good to learn that electricity is three times as high for a smaller home in the US.

Commit to the Process

Once you’ve done your research and helped your senior relative spend plenty of time in the country where they intend to move, help them tie up any loose ends in their domestic affairs. Take stock of their belongings, store what they might want to keep if they return home, and sell off the rest to afford them greater financial security. For anything they plan to take with them, make sure they have a plan in place that ensures their goods are transported abroad safely and can make it to their new home without hassle.

Have them contact their bank and phone providers to inform them of their upcoming address, ensuring that necessary documentation doesn’t get mailed to their old location. If they want to sell their home, help them put it up for sale early to ensure they’re not making payments on a property that isn’t their primary address.

Check to make sure their passport is renewed and consistent with their most recent personal information well before they move. It’s critical that they are able to establish legal residency through the visa process. Receiving full citizenship may also be necessary in some cases. Without completing these legal processes, they may not be able to live in the country long-term. Likewise, if they decide to take up a part-time job to pass the time and earn some income, they’ll likely be required to prove their right to work in that country.

Best Places to Retire Outside the US

Now that you have valuable information resources to plan your senior loved one’s relocation, you can get to work helping them figure out where to live. But with over 130 countries to choose from, even when you know what to look for, it can still be overwhelming.

Here are some lists that can help you narrow down the choice that’s right for your senior loved one:

Top 5 Most Expensive Countries to Live (out of 132 countries):

  1. Switzerland: Rent alone in many cities in Switzerland is over $2,200 with salaries to match — but your senior loved one is here to retire, so it may be too expensive for them.
  2. Norway: Seniors should expect to spend between $2,200 and $4,300 a month to live in this Nordic country.
  3. Iceland: A senior should expect to spend in the ballpark of $1,100 to live in Iceland — and that’s before rent.
  4. Japan: Making a new home in the land of the rising sun will cost your senior loved one about $1100 a month before rent.
  5. Denmark: Before rent, life in this Scandinavian country will set your senior loved one back around $1100 a month.

Affordable Countries Based on Region:


This country known for its sunkissed cities will cost your senior loved one around $590 a month before rent.

  • Slovenia: Living among this country’s beautiful landscapes before renting will cost a senior about $710 a month.
  • Montenegro: This Balkan country, a well-known tourist destination, costs $510 a month before rent.
  • Spain: Enjoying siestas and tapas in this country will cost the senior in your life $1,200 a month.
  • Italy: Life in the land of the Renaissance costs around $820 a month before rent.
  • Malta: This warm country with beautiful landscapes costs $810 a month before rent.

Latin America

  • Ecuador: Seniors can enjoy life among the Galápagos Islands for $490 a month before rent.
  • Mexico: Life in this vibrant country full of great beaches will cost about $450 a month before rent.
  • Argentina: Argentina’s daily living will cost about $430 a month before rent.
  • Belize: This country, beloved for its scuba diving sites, costs around $630 a month before rent.
  • Panama: Settling into this country infamous for its canals will cost $690 a month before rent.
  • Colombia: A senior building a new life in this country known for its coffee will cost about $400 a month before rent.


  • Malaysia: Living in this country, well-known for its coastal locations, will cost about $460 a month before rent.
  • Indonesia: Relocating to Indonesia, home of various multicultural islands, will cost around $450 monthly before rent.
  • Thailand: This country full of natural wonder will cost around $600 a month before rent.
  • Borneo: Life in this country famous for its elephant and sun bear will cost around $490 a month before rent.
  • Vietnam: To live in this country where motorbikes rule the road will cost around $450 a month before rent.

Top 5 Countries for Safety and Stability (ranked by affordability):

  1. Czech Republic: Life in this country respected for its safe communities and low crime rates will cost around $610 a month before rent.
  2. Portugal: Living in this country known for low crime rates and a stable political scene will cost your senior loved one around $590 a month before rent.
  3. Slovenia: Your senior loved one will spend $710 a month before rent in this country known for low crime rates.
  4. Canada: Law enforcement is known for responding quickly in this country will cost around $890 a month before rent.
  5. Austria: This country known for legal and political stability will cost about $920 a month before rent to live in.

Countries With Well-Established Senior Living Communities and Long-Term Care Services:

  • England: Seniors in this UK country benefit from comprehensive long-term care legislation and structure and will spend about $850 a month before rent.
  • Panama: Living in this country known for providing quality personalized care for senior residents will cost a monthly total of around $1,100.
  • Mexico: This country is respected for its wealth of long-term care options costs around a monthly total of around $1,600 to live in.
  • Japan: Life in this Asian country famous for its technology and entertainment and excellent long-term care will cost about $1030 a month before rent.
  • New Zealand: To live in this country known for picturesque landscapes and excellent long-term care services costs around $930 a month before rent.
  • Malaysia: Living in Malaysia costs a monthly total of $1,300 and provides seniors long-term care through welfare homes, private nursing homes, and care centers.
  • Philippines: This Asian country costs around $500 a month to live in before rent and has many excellent senior living communities.

Top 10 Places to Retire Abroad

After carefully reviewing the factors above, here are ten countries that score high on the Retirement Genius International Index:

Costa Rica ($1,400/mo.)

  • Known for biodiversity
  • Low cost of living
  • Good healthcare
  • Loved by people with an active lifestyle
  • Bolstered by a stable system of government
  • Friendly people
  • Supported by a sound banking system
  • Close distance to the US

Panama ($1,100/mo.):

  • Great climate year-round
  • Good healthcare system
  • Low cost of living
  • Strong network of expats
  • English commonly spoken
  • For those who enjoy cosmopolitan living
  • Low taxes
  • Uses US currency
  • Offers a National Senior Discount Program

Spain ($1,200/mo.):

  • Good healthcare system
  • Inexpensive food
  • Low cost of living
  • Beautiful beaches and mild weather
  • Very diverse climate

Thailand ($600/mo.):

  • Low cost of living
  • Excellent cultural and metropolitan life
  • Strong networks for US expats
  • Known for promoting an active lifestyle
  • High degree of biodiversity

Peru ($2,000/mo.):

  • Exotic, vacation-style lifestyle
  • Low cost of living
  • Semi-arid, subtropical climate
  • Many activities to take part in

Portugal ($1,700/mo.):

  • Amicable people
  • Highly safe and stable living
  • Low cost of living
  • English commonly spoken
  • Beaches and cosmopolitan living
  • Diverse climate
  • Easy visa with Golden Visa program (requires proof of $1,200 in monthly income)

Colombia ($1,000/mo.):

  • Good healthcare system
  • Low cost of living
  • Beautiful tropical climate
  • High degree of biodiversity
  • Cosmopolitan lifestyle filled with exotic locals
  • Easy visa with proof of $2,500 in monthly income

Malaysia ($1,300/mo.):

  • Exotic lifestyle
  • Low cost of living
  • Excellent climate
  • English commonly spoken

Ecuador ($1,500/mo.):

  • Humid tropical climate
  • Low cost of living
  • Uses U.S. currency
  • High degree of biodiversity
  • Mix of metropolitan and rural living
  • Strong network of US expats
  • English commonly spoken
  • Excellent local food
  • Great senior discount programs

Mexico ($1600/mo.):

  • Low cost of living
  • Tropical climate
  • Great biodiversity
  • Number of beautiful beaches
  • National healthcare system
  • Close distance to the US


Being able to retire overseas comes down to making personal choices that reflect what a person wants out of life and what they can afford. But most importantly, a choice as big as this one represents who they are as a person. So the key to helping them decide the right place to move is to do extensive research. In doing so, you can help them fully understand everything there is to know about this significant life change — before they make a move.

Selling your senior loved one’s existing life insurance policy as part of a life settlement is a great way to ensure financial security as they transition to their new life abroad. Visit our life settlements page if you’re looking to help overcome the upcoming financial challenges your senior loved one may have as part of a move abroad. You can start turning their outdated life insurance policy into cash they can use now by selling their policy to a dedicated life settlement provider.

The Importance of Daily Routine

senior couple working our
Getting older doesn’t have to mean a life without companionship, mental stimulation, good health, and purpose. With just a little motivation and effort, there are a variety of actions people can take now that will contribute to a joyful aging process throughout their lives.

It is never too early or late to start working toward a healthy and meaningful retirement, no matter your current lifestyle. Daily routines are crucial components of a healthy lifestyle—leading up to and during one’s senior years. Read on to discover the ins and outs of daily routines, ranging from their typical components to their various benefits for seniors.

Why a Consistent Daily Routine Is Important for Seniors

Seniors face challenges unique to their life stage. Isolation, decreased mobility, inconsistent schedules, lack of stimulation, constrained budgets—when allowed to fester, these problems can burden seniors with unnecessary stress, limitations, and damaging influences. However, consistency helps seniors overcome these challenges by grounding their days with regular and positive practices.

It’s critically important for seniors to develop routines that provide the structure to set daily expectations, form good habits, and dedicate time to self-care. Maintaining a daily routine helps seniors avoid slipping into unhealthy patterns. Still, it can also help them minimize the potential adverse effects of aging—loneliness, boredom, and decreased physical and mental activity.

What Should a Senior’s Daily Routine Look Like?

While negative aspects of aging can make some doubt the possibility of a relaxing and rewarding retirement, this life stage comes with many underemphasized advantages. For example, retirement gives seniors the freedom to pursue whatever hobbies and interests strike their fancy. The same applies to their daily routines. While the essential components of a daily routine should generally stay the same, seniors can shape the specifics of their day-to-day schedule based on what they enjoy.

Seniors’ daily routines should contain some essential elements: exercise, healthy eating, socialization, mental engagement, and rest. However, they can choose which form these activities take according to their interests. For example, if they enjoy reading, joining a book club could be a great way to invest time in their hobbies while satisfying their need to socialize. Enjoy going on walks? How about playing a sport like golf or tennis? The benefits of a daily routine that provokes joy include improving physical and mental health and increasing the likelihood that seniors will stick to their routine in the long run.

The Benefits of a Daily Routine for Seniors

It can be difficult to believe that something as simple as a daily routine plays a significant role in creating a pleasurable retirement. Daily routines can help seniors and those close to retirement develop better habits and a satisfying schedule despite current daily habits. Read on to see how the importance of daily routines manifests itself in seniors’ overall well-being, relationships, and acuity.


Taking on life and aging with a positive attitude is a fundamental cornerstone of a high-quality lifestyle. Do you take on life’s challenges with zeal or dread? Are you active or sedentary? Do you nurture relationships and pursue hobbies, jobs, or volunteer activities?

Daily routines give a senior’s life structure and purpose that necessitates neither. With purpose comes striving for a healthy mind, body, and, importantly, attitude. Daily routines can provide seniors with a renewed focus, everyday joys, and occupation, boosting their moods and improving their outlook.


Your ability to adjust to the changes in yourself and the world around you is an important skill. Darwin has always been right about one thing—those who best adapt to change are best at thriving. The one thing you can count on in life is that change will be constant. Therefore, prepare to do your best to manage in a positive way changes to your body and mind, your loved ones and relationships, your career and activities, and the world around you.

When the world around seniors transforms, a daily routine is essential. Daily routines create stability in an environment of continual change, helping seniors adapt to incremental changes and major life shifts. Reliable staples in daily schedules allow seniors to remain grounded during transitions.


A person who nurtures and seeks to build new relationships is more likely to enjoy a higher quality lifestyle. We give and take from our relationships with significant others, our families, friends, and colleagues—they help give our lives purpose. Being connected is part of being human. It is important to stay socially engaged as we grow older, whether through in-person interactions or from afar.

Even when relationships change over the years, seniors should continue to build new relationships throughout their lives. Daily routines create built-in windows for social interactions, ensuring that seniors make time for meaningful relationships. These routines can satisfy their socialization needs and feed a spark for life.


An object in motion tends to stay in motion. So, an active lifestyle consisting of hobbies, work, volunteering, family, friends, culture, and nature is more meaningful and healthy than being a couch potato. One of the continuities among people who live long lives is that their lives continue to have meaning even as they age.

Staying engaged in activities through a busy daily routine will allow seniors to bring meaning to others and themselves. Luckily, there are several ways seniors can occupy themselves in their retirement and add exciting activities to their daily routines. Many people continue working or take on a second career in later life. Others find fulfillment by pursuing hobbies, volunteering, learning a new skill, or getting more involved with their family. Though seniors have significant flexibility when choosing activities for their daily routines, all paths will lead to an active and meaningful life.


We are what we eat. The food and drink we ingest impact our health and quality of life. A diet high in fats, sugars, and salt not only causes obesity but also promotes cardiovascular problems. Vices such as soda, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs can negatively impact longevity. Maintaining a daily routine that sets aside time for preparing healthy meals and drinking sufficient water makes it easy to maintain a consistently healthy diet.

Seniors should create a routine that involves staying well-hydrated, eating leafy vegetables, legumes, grains, and proteins. At the same time, unhealthy items such as sweet treats, alcohol, and salty snacks are enjoyed in moderation. When healthy eating and drinking become a habit after being ingrained in a senior’s daily routine, this has proven to improve quality of life and increase life expectancy.

retired couple cooking


As we age, all of our bodies undergo constant change and challenges. Exercise is the key to keeping your body (and mind) sharp through this ongoing process. It is important to incorporate exercise into a senior’s daily routine—improving their strength, balance, flexibility, and constitution as they age. Embedding regular exercise in a daily routine will increase a senior’s longevity and contribute to mobility, independence, health, and happiness throughout the rest of their lives. As these areas become harder to maintain as they age, a daily routine of exercise and movement will mean a better, healthier tomorrow.


One component of a daily routine that many people take for granted is rest. The amount of sleep a senior receives directly impacts their body, mind, and attitude. The optimal daily routine will set aside at least eight hours for sleep. However, the importance of daily routines for a proper sleep schedule does not stop with establishing a consistent bedtime.

Daily routines prevent the development of bad habits that get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Several factors can conspire to prevent sleep: what we ingest (caffeine, sugar, alcohol), how we manage stress, how active we are, and how soon we put down that book or turn off that screen. Daily routines help seniors develop the discipline to resist these detrimental habits and adopt better ones to help them manage their sleep schedule and combat the negative impacts of fatigue and exhaustion.

Mental Sharpness

As we age, it is not uncommon for memories to dull slightly, but this is not a guarantee for everyone. There are numerous measures people can take today to keep their minds as sharp as possible throughout their lives. The benefits of a daily routine include creating the structure and incentive to remain physically active, socially engaged, well-fed, and rested. These aspects of overall well-being play an essential role in strengthening a senior’s mind over the years of potential mental slowing. In addition, setting aside time for challenging themselves through “brain exercises” will improve a senior’s problem-solving skills and keep their mind engaged. Seniors can incorporate these brain exercises into their daily routines. For example, reading, writing, math, word games, puzzles, and strategy games such as cards and chess can help exercise the brain.


Aging can be physically, financially, and emotionally challenging. But, with awareness and self-care, it does not have to be the end of a senior’s passions, health, and love of life. Daily routines enforce good lifelong habits and provide seniors with the consistency to adapt to disruptive life changes. When having no schedule threatens an aimless existence with nothing to do and no places to go, daily routines can renew a senior’s joy and purpose.

However, this investment in a senior’s well-being is just that—an investment. Establishing a more active daily routine can come with a significant price tag. Whether adding social engagements, hobbies, or exercise to their days, seniors will find that many of these activities require purchasing new equipment, supplies, instructional classes, or even membership in social or sports clubs. For seniors living on a fixed retirement income, the prospect of these high costs may generate serious concern. Finances can cause many retirees undue stress, detracting from any gains made by a healthier lifestyle.

To truly incorporate wellness into their lives, retirees should release the weight of financial stress if possible. Fortunately, seniors are not without options to supplement their retirement incomes and help bear financial weight. Life settlements have helped many seniors rid themselves of the financial burdens which cause stress and threaten healthy lifestyles.

This unique solution entails selling a qualifying senior’s active life insurance policy in return for an immediate payoff. Every year, seniors allow as much as $100 billion in life insurance policies to lapse without getting out any of the money they put into their insurance. A life settlement is a tax-advantaged vehicle that allows seniors to recover a generous portion of their life insurance death benefits in the form of cash they can use towards any daily routine expense.

By submitting your policy for review through our life settlement calculator, you can discover how much you could make in the policy sale to put towards your daily routine. To see if you qualify for a life settlement and learn more about your daily routine financing options, contact the experts at Retirement Genius today.

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