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Senior Years

By the time you retire, your accumulated wealth is probably at its height. The challenge now is to manage your assets so that they last as long as you do. Insurance still plays an important role at this stage of your life.

Mature drivers are some of the safest on the road. They have fewer accidents and tend to drive safer cars. Some insurance companies give discounts to drivers between the ages of 50-70. As drivers age, however, their abilities change. Older drivers, those 70 and older, have higher rates of fatal crashes, based on miles driven, than any other group except very young drivers. These older drivers should expect to see their rates begin to rise. Many states mandate discounts for seniors who have successfully completed driver refresher training. The AARP, for example, offers one such state-certified program.

Seniors are the most experienced drivers on the road. And mobility is vitally important to this group, particularly where public transportation is not readily accessible. Yet, as a group, older drivers, particularly after the age of 70, are involved in more serious accidents. Because of their age, they are increasingly vulnerable to serious injury. In most cases, seniors themselves, sensing that their physical skills are not what they once were, begin to restrict their driving – limiting themselves to daylight hours and familiar roads, for example. And while many states require more frequent vision and, if necessary, driving tests later in life, it appropriately should be an individual and family decision when it is no longer safe to get behind the wheel.

Unlike auto insurance, where the state sets minimum coverage limits, the bank that holds your mortgage usually requires you to have homeowners insurance. Once you pay off your mortgage, it’s still important to have protection in case of fire, burglary, and natural disasters. Many insurance companies provide discounts for retirees, because they spend more time at home; take the time to properly maintain their property; and are more likely to act promptly to correct small problems before they become big problems.

Some retirees stay active by working part-time. If you work at home, you may need a supplemental liability policy that covers your work-related activity. Consider also an umbrella policy to protect your accumulated assets. Real estate, securities, and savings could be wiped out by one lawsuit. Umbrella coverage adds another layer of protection above what is provided in your standard homeowners and auto policies. Generally, it is relatively inexpensive, and provides an additional million dollars or more in liability insurance.

**Information provided by The Insurance Information Institute: www.iii.org**
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