Retirement is one of the bigger milestones in life. As you take the plunge into retirement, give your personal protection plan a quick review: Adapting your personal insurance to your new status as a retiree may not only save you money, but will also set you up for the future.

What does retirement have to do with my auto insurance?

If you recently retired or if your driving habits have significantly changed otherwise, give us a call so we can adjust your auto policy to match your new lifestyle. You can actually lose quite a bit of money in higher payments if you retire and don’t call your insurance agent. Here’s what to look for:

  • If you no longer commute, you’ll likely drive significantly less than you used to. Less mileage means less time on the road and, in insurance terms, less exposure to risk. If the usage of your car drops from a 50-mile-per-day/five-day-per-week commute to “pleasure use,” you can reap big savings on your auto policy!
  • Another way to save is to complete a Defensive Driver Class. You actually don’t have to be retired to benefit from this. Anyone 55 years or younger can take a class and save money on their auto insurance. These classes are offered by AARP as well as other providers in your area for a small fee.
  • Adjust your deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly insurance payments. It may pay for you to increase your deductible. (Your deductible is the amount of money you pay after an accident before the money from the insurance kicks in.)
  • If you have an older car, or a car that you barely use but hesitate to sell, give us a call. We can help you evaluate the situation and make a recommendation on how to save insurance dollars while still providing you with adequate protection. Please be sure to give us a call before you decide to drop any coverage.

As you reevaluate your auto insurance during retirement, please be very careful to keep adequate liability limits on your policy. The last thing that you want to happen is to be considered “at fault” in an accident and be held responsible for a sum of money that exceeds your policy limits. Don’t jeopardize your retirement funds, and don’t risk having to return to work!

We can help you set up a high-value insurance plan that makes the most of your insurance dollars and provides you with adequate protection and peace of mind during your sunset years. You deserve to enjoy them worry-free! Give us a call today at 1-800-333-7234 for a free policy review.

Retirement and homeowner’s insurance

It is very important that once you’ve paid off your mortgage you continue to carry homeowner’s insurance on your home.

It is true that a lender requires you to have homeowner’s insurance, and that requirement no longer applies when your mortgage is paid off. But unless you can easily afford to pay out of pocket for losses or even rebuild your home after a total loss, you should never consider dropping your homeowner’s insurance.

In addition, it is important to regularly review your homeowner’s policy to ensure that the value of your home, rebuilding cost, and value of your personal property are still adequately reflected. We are happy to help you with this, and if your policy hasn’t been reviewed since you signed the mortgage documents, it’s a great reason to schedule an appointment with us!

I’m a “snowbird” – how do I need to set up my insurance?

Do you have a house that you retreat to during the winter months? We can help you protect your house, car, and other property that stays here while you’re away. In addition, we can set up insurance for your winter home and belongings.

Unfortunately, things tend to get a little complicated when it comes to insurance plans that cross state borders. To make it a little easier, let’s split this question up into various insurance scenarios:

Homeowner’s Insurance

Let’s assume that you own a home in Massachusetts and would like to purchase a second home in Florida. This may trigger a variety of questions. For example, where is your primary residence? In which state should you get insurance?

Your primary residence is the residence that you spend most of the year in. Let’s assume, in this example, that this is the Massachusetts home. It needs to be insured in Massachusetts by a company and agent that are licensed in Massachusetts. Eastern Insurance can help you with that!

If you purchase a second home in Florida, it needs to be insured in Florida through a company and agent that are licensed in Florida. If you are looking to find an agent outside Massachusetts, please give us a call. Eastern Insurance is licensed in most continental US states.

Auto Insurance

Let’s continue to use our example of Massachusetts and Florida. If you own one or more cars at your primary residence in Massachusetts, they need to be insured in the state of registration. That is usually the state of your primary residence. If you own cars that you are absolutely sure won’t be driven in your absence, you have the option to pare down the insurance in order to save money. We can provide you with recommendations and price quotes.

Be sure to keep adequate insurance on the car that you intend to drive and on any car that might be driven – for example, by your son or daughter who watches the house. If an uninsured car ends up being driven and the driver causes an accident, you will be held financially responsible no matter who drove the car!

If you drive your car from Massachusetts to Florida and use it there for the months you spend “snowbirding,” your Massachusetts auto insurance policy will extend while you are away. But give us a call if you plan on spending an extended amount of time out of state so we can make the necessary adjustments to your policy and ensure that it meets the other state’s minimum insurance requirements.

If you purchase a car in Florida and intend to leave it parked at your secondary residence while you are back in Massachusetts, you need to obtain registration and insurance for this car in Florida. We can help you find a local agent.

Umbrella Insurance

If you carry umbrella insurance in your home state, the policy will extend to cover the underlying policies no matter where you are. However, it will not apply for homes and cars purchased, registered, and insured out-of-state.

Health Insurance

Whenever you leave home, be sure to contact your health insurance provider to ensure coverage at your destination.

Do I still need life insurance after I retire?

If you’re wondering about the need for life insurance after you retire, you are not alone! Thousands of people are facing this question every year: “My term life insurance expired. Should I renew it?”

Unfortunately, the answer is not easy and depends on you and your family’s individual status. Sit down and answer the following questions:

  • If you passed away, would your spouse have to make significant restrictions to the current lifestyle?
  • Are you currently working part-time, which would represent a loss of income?
  • Are your debts paid off?
  • Are your funeral expenses covered?
  • Is your estate of a size that would trigger a tax burden to your family if you died?
  • Do you have enough retirement savings to provide for you and/or your spouse for another 10, 20, 30 years?

When you answer these questions, you’ll have a better idea of whether you still need life insurance during your retirement years.

Keep in mind that life insurance rates increase with age. If you had a term life insurance policy and find that you need to continue your life insurance during retirement, you will likely have to renew your policy, which requires you to reapply and complete another medical examination. Unfortunately, your life insurance rates might soar if you renew your policy at this stage in life. You can save money on your life insurance renewal by purchasing the minimum amount of coverage for as short a term as possible.

None of this applies to you if you have whole life insurance. Permanent or whole life insurance remains active until you pass away. We don’t recommend treating a life insurance policy as a savings plan for your beneficiaries. Consider a meeting with a financial planner for ways to optimize the investment of your money.

Retirement and Long-Term Care Insurance

It’s a fact that more and more retirees move to an assisted living community or to a nursing home. In order to plan your retirement and get your affairs in order, you should consider long-term care insurance. But where to start?

It’s a fact that more and more retirees move to an assisted living community or to a nursing home. In order to plan your retirement and get your affairs in order, you should consider long-term care insurance. But where to start?

Unfortunately, long-term care is not covered by health insurance. You are responsible for the expenses for assisted living or a nursing home out of pocket. This is where long-term care insurance comes into play. It can protect your assets, your savings, and your inheritance. The earlier in life you start planning, the lower your rates. Consider this: If you purchase long-term care insurance in your seventies, you might likely pay monthly rates that are six times higher than if you had purchased it in your fifties!

The question is, are you really going to need long-term care insurance? Consider chronic diseases and family history. If you rely on family members for care don’t just assume. Talk with them.

If you have sufficient funds and investable assets to carry the cost of long-term care yourself, you may opt to self-insure rather than invest in a long-term care insurance plan. To determine your individual financial situation, get advice from a financial planner and obtain quotes from a variety of long-term care insurance providers several years before you retire.

As you consider long-term care insurance, whether you are single or married also plays a role. If you are single and can sell your house to finance the living expenses in a nursing home, you may have sufficient funds. But if you are married, you may find that only one spouse needs the care of a nursing facility while the other stays at home. In that scenario, you can expect your living expenses to double in order to accommodate both spouses’ needs.

This topic does not lend itself to an easy answer. But with a little research and planning ahead of time, you can start your well-deserved retirement with peace of mind. Contact Eastern Insurance Group LLC today at 1-800-333-7234 and let us help you answer your important questions and arrange the best possible insurance options for you.