Simple Debt Managing Strategies For Seniors

As seniors near their retirement years, it is important to have more financial freedom in order to have a worry-free retirement. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many especially with the current state of the economy. There are a significant amount of seniors who are currently struggling with all types of debt that turns retirement into a concern rather than something to look forward to. As most would agree, this is a period in one’s life that should be enjoyable and stress-free.

Here are simple strategies to help you save more and owe less:

1. Live within your means. Do not spend on non-essential items if you can’t afford it. The reason why a lot people are in debt is that most people live beyond their means. Some are even spending their money even before receiving it.

2. Higher priority on higher interest rate credit cards. Be sure to prioritize paying off your credit card balances, starting with the one with the highest interest rate. Even though the balance is relatively small, all the interest will add-up and you might end up paying more on interest than your original balance.

3. Pay more than the minimum. Credit card companies will require you to pay only the minimum amount due. If you follow this, it will not only take you a longer time to pay-off the entire balance, but you will also end up paying a large amount in interest.

4. Reverse Mortgage. If your age is 62 years or older, you might want to consider this type of mortgage rather than using a standard home loan or a home equity line of credit. For seniors, incurring more debt with a conventional loan may not be the best option, as you one will be required to make payments to the bank every month.

A reverse mortgage is a special type of loan that allows seniors to convert a portion of the equity of their home into cash. As a result, you will you have the option of getting the money monthly or in lump sum without having to repay the loan. The debt will be paid upon death or when you sell or move to another house. To learn more about this, read 10 Things to Know About Reverse Mortgage. We highly suggest that you talk to your Financial Adviser or a Reverse Mortgage specialist for more information.

5. Downsize. This can be another realistic option. You can sell your current house and move to a smaller house that is less expensive. This will also allow you to use the money from the sale of your current home to pay off your debts.

You might also be interested to read Downsizing Tips for Seniors.

6. Life Insurance Settlement. If you are in financial distress and seriously need money, you might want to consider a Life Insurance Settlement. It is a financial transaction, which allows you, the insured, to receive an immediate payout higher than the cash surrender value offered by your life insurance company. You can do this by selling your life insurance policy to a third party at fair market value. To explore this option, please be sure to talk to your financial advisor that has a good understanding of life insurance policy options.

7. Use Generic Drugs. As we all know, prescription drugs are not cheap and the prices have been increasing significantly over the past years. You will be surprised that you can actually save anywhere from 30 to 60 percent compared to buying brand name drugs. To learn more about Generic Drugs, read 10 Things to Know About Generic Drugs. Click here to check generic drug approvals.

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A Guide To Canadian Drugs

The cost of medicines and medical care is rising slowly but surely in United States, owing to high expenditure. The FDA and American legal system have imposed stringent measures towards health care market. Not withstanding medical insurance, the burden of buying drugs at high prices forces people to look for cheaper sources of the medications they need.

Re-importation of drugs exported to Canada from United States and drugs manufactured at a lower cost in Canada has had an effect on pricing of drugs. Production of drugs and their cost is regulated by certain restrictions and rules applied by Canadian government. Demand for such reasonably priced Canadian drugs has increased the world over. Many American citizens have shown an interest in purchasing drugs from across the border.

Food and Drugs Act of Canada, passed in 1920, was recently revised in 1985. This Act ensures that Canadian drugs are safe, and not sold as food or cosmetics. It is mandatory to declare chemical composition of all drugs on their labels. It also states that cures for diseases like cancer cannot be advertised.

The Canadian government has extremely stringent requirements with regards manufacturing of drugs. These requirements are similar to those in United States. Most generic drugs are manufactured in Canada under these strict laws. A greater part of Canadian drugs are cheaper than drugs of similar chemical composition in the US. Canada has a policy of restricting drug costs through its national health insurance system, which is something the US does not have.

Canada manufactures a limited proportion of standard prescription drugs for its own use. Shortfall is filled up by importing the remaining requirement from countries around the world. The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board keeps prices high, discouraging patented drug manufacturers from using price reductions as a cutthroat strategy. This permits companies that produce generic drugs to charge higher prices and protects them from any effects of price competition among brand-name competitors.

The Brands That Are Considered Generic Brand Drugs Will Be Checked by the FDA

Generic drugs are medications that are manufactured and distributed without a patent. The generic version can carry a patent on the constitution, but not the active ingredient. The history of generic drugs products began during the 1970s when Al Williams left his job as a label lines manager and began his own business called Keynote Marketing.

He manufactured 20 ‘no name’ generic drugs under an ordinary white label and sold them to grocery chains in the USA. Shortly after, the major chain stores followed suit and began introducing their own ‘white label’ products, which were made by various manufacturers.

When it comes to medication, the main criterion is that the generic must contain the exact active ingredient as the branded formula. The FDA insists that generics are compliant with the bioequivalent range of the branded version with regards to pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties. This basically means that a generic drug must be identical in its strength, intended use, method of administration, dose, safety and efficacy.

Generic medications are made available when the patent acquired by the original company has expired. When they become available to the public, competition in the market place leads to substantially cheaper prices for the generic and the original branded product. In America, it usually takes 20 years for a patent to expire.

Generics save insurance companies and patients a lot of money. As already mentioned, this is due to stiff competition among drug producers. Because there are fewer expenses in making the generic version, companies can pass these savings onto the consumer while still making a healthy profit.

Third world and other developing countries are even able to afford generics because they are so cheap. Thailand recently imported millions of blood-thinning generic tablets at a cost of only 3 (USA) cents per pill. This included shipping from the manufacturer in India.

Generic companies are able to take advantage of any preceding marketing strategies and campaigns devised for the branded drug. This will include advertising promotions, giving away free samples, and drug presentations. There are hundreds of generic drugs that have been in use for more than 10 years.

Some people are still suspicious about generics. Claims have been made that they are manufactured in sub-standard facilities, and that they are inferior to the branded versions. Neither of these statements is true. The FDA demands exactly the same requirements of all drug manufacturers, irrespective of whether they make branded products or generics.

In fact, numerous manufacturers make both generic and branded versions of drugs. According to the FDA, half of all generics are made by brand-name companies. And yet claims are still made that generics are inferior. This cannot be so because the FDA tests generics to ensure they are as effective and work just as quickly as the original brand.