Tag Archives: insurance

Food for Thought: Maintaining Brain Function as You Grow Older

Imagine if there were a magic pill that you could take that would improve your brain
function every time you took it! We’d all stand in line for that pill just so we could be
smarter, or at the very least have a better memory, right?

An elder couple is in a good health condition. - Shutterstock

The sad truth is that there is no such magic pill, and thus we’re stuck with a mind
that slowly degrades as we age. Mental function declines, your ability to remember
things is reduced, and your mind just isn’t as speedy as it once was.

But what if you could eat to get your brain back in shape?

Brain Foods

Check out the list of foods below – foods that can help to keep your brain
functioning properly as you age:

Turmeric — We all love turmeric in our curry, but did you know that it’s a food with
health benefits as well as great taste? Turmeric contains curcumin, an antioxidant
that has been proven to improve our memory and recall, reduce the degrading of
our brain as a result of Alzheimer’s, and even help to create new cells. It can reduce
swelling in your brain cells, and reduce the amyloid plaques believed to be linked to

Blueberries –WebMD confirms that blueberries are more than just tasty little
bundles of antioxidants, but they’re actually brain foods as well. The antioxidants in
blueberries reduce oxidative stress in your brain, and can help to prevent
Alzheimer’s and other age-related brain disorders.

Celery — Who knew these crunchy veggies could be so awesome? Celery contains
luteolin, which helps to reduce inflammation in the brain cells. With inflammation
being linked to neurodegeneration, luteolin can stop your brain from degrading as
you age.

Salmon — Everyone knows that Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for your health,
and they’re now linked to improved brain function. The anti-inflammatory properties
of the Omega-3 acids will reduce brain decay, and the fatty acids will provide your
brain with the fuel that it needs to produce neurochemicals.

Crab –While crab may not be a “superfood”, it’s definitely a brain food. Crab
contains phenylalanine, which is the amino acid that is needed in order to produce
dopamine – a vital neurotransmitter. Phenylalanine is also vital for the production of
noradrenaline and adrenaline, as well as hormones in your thyroid. It’s a wonderful
source of Vitamin B12, and there’s less risk of the mercury poisoning common with
certain types of fish.

Avocadoes — These tasty veggies are often avoided due to their high fat content,
but the truth is that avocado has been given a bum rap. The fat in avocadoes is
very healthy, and it will help to improve circulation in your body – particularly to
your brain. These foods can lower blood pressure, considered a factor in declining
brain health.

Brewer’s Yeast — Yes, we may have hated it when our mothers sprinkled this
yeasty powder onto our yoghurt as children, but it did our brains a lot of good.
Brewer’s yeast contains thiamine and pyridoxine – also known as Vitamins B1 and
B6. Thiamine deficiency has been linked to one type of dementia, and pyridoxine is
necessary for your brain to produce new neurotransmitters. It can be hard to get
enough of both of these B vitamins, so adding Brewer’s yeast to your diet is the way
to go!

You’ve got private health insurance to cover your medical costs should you get sick,
but why not prevent illness and age-related disorders by eating healthy foods? Add
the foods listed above to your diet, and you’ll be so much healthier as a result.

Life Insurance for Seniors

There are many aspects to take into consideration when deciding to purchase life insurance as a senior. If you are making this decision already in your senior years, you likely are trying to ensure that the financial consequences of your passing do not negatively affect your surviving family members.

Consider the reasons why you need life insurance

There are several ways life insurance can protect your family after your passing, but you should consider what the reasons for it are before purchasing. It would be nice if we could pass on enormous financial legacies to our heirs, but this is not what term life insurance is for. Term life insurance is to mitigate the effects of the detrimental financial consequences of your death on your family, and there are several ways it can help.

The first is if you feel you need to cover the expenses of your funeral and your burial so that these expenses do not rest on your family. These costs can be over $10,000, and can be very burdensome for surviving family members. The second important reason for life insurance is to cover any unpaid debts that may remain to your loved ones after your passing. When a spouse is a co-signer on a mortgage, for example, they may be left with the mortgage after your death, but without your income to pay it. Term life insurance can provide funding for either of these situations, but you have to be realistic in what its purpose is.

Image: Shutterstock

Consider how much insurance you really need

If you find yourself wanting to protect your family from these financial consequences, consider how much insurance you really need, and only purchase that much. Life insurance for seniors can be very expensive, so consider what it is you really need to protect, and insure to protect that amount. Also consider other financial strategies to buffer compliment life insurance. For example, if you are able to set aside $10,000 of your retirement funds to cover your funeral expenses, that may be the cheaper than purchasing term life insurance well into your retirement years.

Start planning early

If life insurance is in your financial strategy, then consider that the earlier you are able to purchase life insurance, the cheaper it will be in the long term. If you buy a long-term life insurance contract early, you will spend less money than if you had to repurchase short-term contracts repeatedly. Premiums that are decided based on your health at 65 will be much cheaper than those decided when you are 75, so try to get the cheaper premiums early and find a plan that provides guaranteed renewals when you need them. Often, these renewals will increase your premiums, but it allows you access to life insurance if your health situation has changed in a way that wouldn’t otherwise allow you to qualify.

Stay healthy

Most people think they would choose to stay healthy if they had the option, so it seems crass to say you should stay healthy in your retirement years. And while there are many factors of aging that are beyond our control from a health perspective, there are many more that are within our control. It’s never too late to commit to a healthy lifestyle, eating whole fruits and vegetables, not smoking, getting regular check-ups and a maintaining relatively active physical and social lifestyle. These factors can give you a clean bill of health that can significantly reduce your life insurance costs (not to mention help you enjoy your retirement years!).

How to avoid scams

If it looks too good to be true, that’s because it is. If you are a senior looking for insurance, be aware that there are a number of scams out there that can take advantage of your or a loved one’s situation. Contact trusted, independent, legal or financial advisors if you would like to get sound advice on life insurance for seniors or on a particular insurance contract, and contact your state regulatory agency immediately if you believe you have been a victim of any kind of insurance scam.

In the end, you should get a life insurance policy that meets your specific needs. Your friend may have a radically different financial strategy from you and that is okay. Consider what specific risks your family faces financially if you pass away earlier than expected and what financial products can mitigate that risk. Be realistic in what those financial products can provide, and shop around for the best options. Remember that life insurance is not a way to make your family rich when you pass away it is simply one of many financial strategies that can protect them during financially difficult times.