Tag: parents

The Top 8 Cities for Retirement in the U.S. in 2019

retire united states

Once you reach retirement age, it’s important that you are able to manage your finances properly. Stretching the dollars you’ve saved may mean you’ll want an inexpensive place to live out your retirement. If you’re looking for U.S. cities with a low cost-of-living, check out our list below.

Where to retire in the United States in 2019?

8. Cleveland, OH

Cleveland’s annual living expenditures total around $36,000. This figure factors in important items such as your housing, healthcare and transportation costs. Frugal spenders who have managed to save a modest amount each year throughout their working lives will have no trouble managing their expenses in this city.

7. Augusta, GA

You can expect to spend $35,781 on an annual basis should you retire in Augusta. In addition to low costs for your basic needs such as food, housing, medical and transportation expenses, there are other reasons to choose this city in Georgia. Relatively warm summer temperatures are a major draw and many current residents report a high happiness index.

6. Brownsville, TX

There are several cities in the state of Texas that make excellent choices for retirement living. Brownsville is one such city, boasting a low cost of living of only $35,461 each year. Because it’s Texas, you’ll also enjoy warm or moderate temperatures all year round. If you want to experience other cultures, you’ll find a large Spanish-speaking community in Brownsville that is eager to welcome newcomers.

5. Toledo, OH

We’re back to Ohio, where you’ll only have to spend about $35,095 annually to enjoy a relaxing retirement lifestyle in Toledo. Groceries for an entire year will only cost you $3,375 and even the highest estimated expense – transportation – comes in at an annual total of $6,814. Current residents report high happiness across various age groups and enjoy access to many of the city’s amenities.

4. Memphis, TN

Memphis offers you warm temperatures and friendly greetings for just $33,859 in annual costs. The city combines a laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for easy-going retirees along with the amenities and upscale venues one might expect from a major metropolitan area. If you’re looking for a slower pace as you enter retirement, but don’t want to sacrifice the modern conveniences of a major urban area, you should definitely consider Memphis as your retirement destination.

3. Jackson, MS

A move to Jackson might be perfect for you if you enjoy distinctive culture coupled with a low cost of living. Annually, you’ll only need to spend $33,676 to enjoy a pleasant lifestyle in Jackson. This, combined with the area’s Southern charm and culture make it an appealing option. Jackson is also currently undergoing revitalization, so you’ll be able to see the old merge with the new during this transformation.

2. Detroit, MI

Detroit is another place where you’ll see history and culture come together with modern innovation. Retiring to this city will only cost you $33,356 each year, which includes everything from housing to transportation. The metro area borders Canada, so you can experience the unique influence of the early French settlers. While parts of the city are sparse, the city is still a modern metropolis with plenty to offer to keep you entertained during retirement.

Magna Life Settlement Calculator

1. Birmingham, AL

Birmingham tops our list because we’ve found that it’s one of the least expensive cities to live in across all categories. Housing costs are a little higher on average than some other cities we’ve cited here, but Birmingham makes up for that with much lower costs in most other areas. Average healthcare costs for this city are comparatively low, as are the transportation costs. Birmingham capitalizes on this by offering modern, urban areas and attractions at more affordable prices than some bigger cities. Even as you stretch your dollars, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for entertainment or new experiences here.

This list showcases our top eight picks for affordable retirement choices in the U.S. While we’ve given you the best overall annual average costs, keep in mind that these can vary somewhat depending on things like your specific transportation needs (public or private) and your grocery budget. Your personal finance plan may be able to reduce these costs even more.

How To Pay For A Senior Living Community With Your Life Insurance Policy

Woman holding man's hand

It’s a common refrain: seniors who have always thought they would want to stay in their home as long as possible have a change of heart when they realize how convenient and enjoyable a senior living community might be. Oftentimes, however, there is a high, one-time entrance fee that can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. These entrance fees are used for future long-term care costs. Additionally, monthly prices for such facilities can range from $1,500 to $6,000.

Seniors may be drawn to retirement communities for different reasons—the availability social connections and arts and enrichment activities, the convenience of meals and other services, or the understanding that the regular upkeep of a house has become too burdensome. But since studies show that only about 3 percent of Americans buy long-term care insurance, the desire to move into an all-inclusive community can also bring plenty of financial uncertainty. Even those who have engaged in careful retirement planning are often unprepared for the mounting expenses, and long-term care becomes more expensive every year.

Enter the life settlement, an option for seniors who are holding onto life insurance policies they no longer want or need. By selling an unwanted policy for a payout larger than the surrender value, people over 65 can use the funds to help pay for the entrance fee and/or monthly costs of a retirement community. Life settlements can be the answer for those who find that their monthly income is insufficient to pay for the living situation that best suits their needs in their golden years. A life settlement serves seniors financially two ways: 1. by providing a sum of money to help meet expenses and 2. by removing the burden of paying regular insurance premiums.

It’s easier than ever for seniors to research life settlements and, if they qualify for a favorable sale, to walk through that process with a life settlement company like Magna. The first step is to use Magna’s simple life settlement calculator tool to determine initial eligibility, and from there an individual can schedule a phone call with one of Magna’s settlement specialists to learn more about the settlement offer and the steps to convert life insurance into a windfall.

If your senior living situation is less than optimal and the lack of resources has become a barrier to moving into that retirement community you have been researching, find out today if a life settlement might be the answer. Every day more seniors are learning that their old life insurance policy has hidden value that can improve their lives now.

Magna Featured on Lifetime’s Designing Spaces

Designing Spaces on Lifetime Television featured Magna Life Settlements in November! During the episode, an older couple explored the process of a life settlement, the advantages of pursuing a sale of a life insurance policy and the various ways the cash from a settlement can meet the family’s needs during their retirement years. Clay Gibson, Magna’s senior vice president for origination, shared how families can benefit from life settlements.

The Joels, who were featured on the episode, are a retired couple looking to make their golden years golden. Mr. Joel started buying life insurance shortly after the couple got married, but the premiums became too expensive and he was considering either selling or surrendering the policy.

When their daughter Donna Eichner comes over to discuss the possibility, the Joels explain the possible benefits of selling a life insurance policy. Taking a life settlement would allow them to have additional funds for their retirement years. Mrs. Joel speculates on the ways they could use the extra money generated by a life settlement, including travel plans an donating to charity.

Clay Gibson explained, “Life insurance is actually property, and it’s property that can be sold. Half a million insureds are lapsing their policy every year, and that’s half a million insureds that could have come to Magna Life Settlements and received an offer above and beyond what the insurance carrier would have paid them for their policy.”

Mr. Joel enters his information into Magna’s life settlement calculator, and after viewing the results the Joels and their daughter conclude that a settlement is the wisest choice for their family. Their daughter, Donna, said, “I know myself and siblings are well taken care of, and now my parents can do what they want to do.” For the Joels, a life settlement will take an insurance policy that had become burdensome and convert it into a financial asset.

For families who, like the Joels, are seeking to make the most of their financial situation in their senior years, Magna life settlement specialists stand ready to offer information on the benefits of life settlements. Call today to consult with a Magna specialist, or visit the FAQ section of our website for more information on the particulars and process of settlements.

Life Settlements are like Reverse Mortgages

life settlement reverse mortgage - reverse life insurance

According to the National Institute for Retirement Security, the deficit of retirement savings in the United States is between $6.8 and $14 trillion. As the cost of retirement precipitously rises, it’s more important than ever that seniors stay informed about sources of extra income like reverse mortgages and life settlements.

The features and requirements of reverse mortgages and life settlements are different, but each is a vehicle to create a source of extra cash for retirement. Seniors shouldn’t hesitate to do their own research and ask their financial advocates for information about these two opportunities that create immediate resources from long-held assets.

What follows is a look at the primary differences, along with some similarities, between reverse mortgages and life settlements:

Value Source

A life settlement turns the liability of an unwanted life insurance policy into an asset through the sale of that policy for a cash payout. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners to convert part of the equity in their house into cash. Both create opportunities for seniors to find value from investments they have already made.


In most cases, life settlements are available for individuals over 65, although in some cases younger policyholders can qualify if they have certain health impairments. Reverse mortgages are generally a possibility for homeowners who are age 62 or older. Unlike life settlements, which are more favorable for seniors with health impairments, reverse mortgage eligibility has nothing to do with medical status.


Whereas both tools can help meet financial needs in retirement years, they differ in the amount and delivery of the cash payout. Life settlements are distributed in one lump sum, whereas reverse mortgages often come as a regular payment from the lender to the mortgage holder (hence the term “reverse mortgage.”) Another difference is the determination of the transaction value; in a life settlement, the amount paid to the policyholder is determined by the settlement market, while the payout in a reverse mortgage is determined by the appraisal value of the home. Both products have factors that can reduce their payout amount—the price structure of the policy and health of the insured for life settlements, and the presence of liens on the property for reverse mortgages.

Both life settlements and reverse mortgages are gaining in popularity among retirees, and seniors can find peace of mind in the fact that both are regulated—reverse mortgages by the Federal Housing Authority and life settlements through growing state laws that now cover 90 percent of the U.S. population. For more information on the requirements and potential benefit of a life settlement, visit Magna Life Settlement’s FAQ today.

How A Life Settlement Can Help Resolve Key Man Insurance Issues

Key man insurance is often a common strategy to protect the interests of a business, particularly a small business that could be in peril if its founder, president or other key employee passes away suddenly. But what options do a company or retiring key employee have when that policy is no longer necessary? In some cases, a life settlement can provide a resolution that is much preferable to a policy surrender.

One key consideration for a company weighing its options regarding key person insurance is the reason for the employee’s departure. If a key employee leaves for another opportunity while he or she is still relatively young, the business will be better off surrendering the policy. But the situation is markedly different when a key man or woman retires because of advancing age or health issues. Particularly if that person is in poor health, a life settlement might be the best way for the company to recoup some of the costs it paid out in premiums over the years.

Often a company will offer to sign the insurance policy over to the departing employee as part of retirement package. That individual’s decision to accept or decline the policy will be contingent on the costs of the premiums and the level of life insurance that person already carries. The retiring employee might inherit the policy, then opt to investigate a life settlement, or if the company is left holding the policy it can also pursue a sale to a settlement provider.

Another circumstance that could spur the possibility of a life settlement for key man insurance is a significant change in a company, such as a sale or a merger, that shifts that person’s role and makes them less vital to the company’s success. In a cost-benefit analysis, the business leaders might decide that the expense of the premiums is no longer necessary compared to the potential effects of losing that employee.

Several variables dictate whether a settlement is a more profitable option for an unneeded life insurance policy, most notably the health of the insured and the original price structure of the policy. A company holding key person insurance on an employee who no longer works there needs a path of action to get some equity out of the policy, and a life settlement could have a considerably higher yield than a surrender. To determine whether your key man insurance policy is a good fit for a life settlement, consult Magna’s life settlement calculator today.

Bankruptcy Soars Among the Elderly

elderly bankruptcy: Bankruptcy Soars Among the Elderly
Financial concerns have always been a part of the retirement landscape, but two recent studies indicate a precipitous situation for many seniors, with bankruptcy rates for the over-65 population surpassing those at any other time in history.

Some of the most significant data came from a study compiled by four professors in partnership with the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, which collected bankruptcy data from 1991 to 2016. The study’s authors went beyond the unmistakable trends from the numbers to pinpoint the sociological causes for those patterns. Among the most compelling findings of the CBP report:

• The number of people between the ages of 65 and 74 who filed for bankruptcy increased more than 200 percent in that 25-year period. As a result of that jump, the number of seniors within the U.S. bankruptcy system has increased fivefold. One in seven bankruptcy filers in 2016 was over the age of 65.

• As a result of inadequate income during retirement coupled with skyrocketing health care costs, the median senior filing for bankruptcy enters bankruptcy with negative wealth of $17,390, as compared to more than $250,000 for seniors who have not filed.

• More than 62 percent of the respondents in the CBP study identified increasing medical expenses as a “catalyst” for their bankruptcy filings.

“With few exceptions, the road to bankruptcy is long,” the report said. “Combined, more than six out of ten older debtors struggled for at least two years to repay their debts before they turned to bankruptcy for help. Struggling for several years to repay one’s debts is an unfortunate way to spend one’s retirement years.”

Other considerations that the study respondents reported as key factors in their late-in-life financial struggles were shifting Social Security eligibility and the shaky status of many pension plans. The research detected a growing gap between the haves and have-nots among the over-65 population, mirroring a similar chasm between the higher and lower income groups in the population at large.

The second significant study examining the financial challenges of seniors was conducted by the Urban Institute, and it focused on the future distribution of retirement income, as well as the minimum wage and wage inequality. The section of the study related to retirees concluded that the top fifth of U.S. earners between the ages of 67 and 75 will see a steady increase in their income in the next seven decades, whereas the bottom fifth will see a drop twice as dramatic as the increase seen by the top fifth.

“People who experience high wage inequality during their working years are likely to experience high retirement income inequality, because Social Security benefits are tied to lifetime earnings, and people’s ability to save for retirement depends on how much they earn,” stated the report’s summary.

Using solid data, these studies prove statistically what many seniors understand anecdotally—that retirement years often present difficult financial challenges even for those who prepare. Many seniors are unaware of life settlements, which can provide a valuable source of income for those who need extra help with health care or other expenses. To find out if you might qualify for a life settlement, start with Magna’s life settlement qualifier.

How to Navigate Your Expenses in Retirement

How to Navigate Your Expenses in Retirement - Magna Life Settlements

It’s something every adult understands—saving for retirement is a necessity. But beyond the nebulous idea of “putting money away for later,” how much do we really know about the actual costs incurred by American seniors? Retirement expenses are rising, making it more imperative that people over 65 and their advocates understand the details of income options like life settlements. Following are some of the primary areas where expenses are rising for seniors:


This is the category that hits many senior adults the hardest, because of the obvious surge in medical needs as people age. An article from CNN Money estimates that the average 65-year-old man will spend $189,687 on healthcare in retirement, while an average 65-year-old woman will spend $214,565. Because medical situations and their attendant costs are unpredictable, those expenses are one of the key reasons seniors need to seek alternate sources of income.


Even if healthcare costs can mount fast, housing expenses are the most consistent hits on a senior’s budget. A 2015 study from the Social Security Administration indicates that households with people over 65 spend about 35 percent of their funds on housing, more than twice the amount spent monthly on out-of-pocket healthcare, which came to 13 percent. When all of the costs associated with housing are considered—mortgage or rent payments, utilities, maintenance and furnishings—seniors spend an average of $14,034 annually, according to a breakdown in U.S. News and World Report.

Transportation and Travel

Even though some seniors see a drop in gas costs when they stop working, transportation is still the second-largest expenditure, according to the Social Security Administration study, comprising 15 percent of the average senior’s budget. Transportation costs, as well as money spent on hotels, food and other entertainment, tend to rise in the retirement years because of the extra time for travel in retirement years. To mitigate this expense, seniors should seek travel discounts just for those 65 and older, and they should also take advantage of the freedom to travel during off-peak times when working people are unavailable.

Even though those three categories are typically the ones that cause the most headaches for seniors, other expenses can also be unexpectedly high during retirement—food, education costs for family members, insurance and entertainment, to name a few. Because retirement years can be expensive and seniors want to get the most they can out of that time in life, a life settlement can turn a burdensome unwanted life insurance policy into a valuable asset. To learn more, set up a call with a Magna representative today.

Population Growth in Seniors Over 65 Indicates Progress in 3 Key Industries

Population Growth in Seniors Over 65 Indicates Progress in 3 Key Industries

According to data collected in 2012 by the U.S. Census Bureau, the sector of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to double by 2050, comprising about 20 percent of the nation’s population. This trend of aging baby boomers will affect demand in a number of industries geared toward seniors. Specifically, the graying of America is affecting life settlements, healthcare and care giving.

What are the implications for advocates and professionals seeking to serve the growing needs of U.S. seniors? 

Three key industries and the projections for how they will keep pace with surging demand

Life Settlements

Every year more than 500,000 life insurance policies lapse, with the policy holder getting no financial benefit, while only 1,250 seniors choose to sell their policies for a life settlement. With the surge of people over 65 and the growing profile of life settlements as an option, companies that help seniors get top dollar for their life insurance policies are more responsive than ever. With minimal research, seniors can decide whether life settlement is right for them and find the right buyer without a middleman.

This direct-consumer relationship in life settlements will become more prevalent as more seniors see the benefit of turning their life insurance policies into income. The percentage of seniors opting for life settlements, now only a quarter of one percent, will grow along with the older population, especially since a recent study by the Insurance Studies Institute shows that 90 percent of seniors would have sought out a life settlement if they had been made aware of the option.


Even with the boom in the senior population still mostly in the future, health care facilities are reporting a shortage in caregivers trained specifically in geriatric care. As the over-65 population approaches the number of 83 million estimated by the middle of the century, this nation will have a pressing need for doctors, nurses and physician’s assistants who can care for the elderly, and home health care and preventative medicine for seniors will also grow exponentially.

The American Nurse’s Association estimates that by 2022 the U.S. will need more than one million new nurses to care for older Americans. And primary care medicine isn’t the only sector of the health care workforce that needs to intentionally address the coming influx of senior patients; there will also be a need for specialists like psychiatrists, optometrists and podiatrists who specialize in serving people in the over-65 bracket.


A surging population of seniors also means that this country will have more middle-aged adults than ever trying to care responsibly for their aging parents. Serving as a good advocate for elderly loved ones is complicated, and caregivers will need more education than ever to examine the options for financial planning, long-term care, healthcare and other key areas.

Life settlements, which can help seniors pay for healthcare or long-term care using profits from a life insurance policy that is no longer working for them, is one decision caregivers should learn about to help their parents navigate the often-murky world of senior adulthood.

Staying Healthy and Happy as You Age

Senior Health Guide - Life Insurance Settlements

There are many negative perceptions when it comes to getting older in America. The good news: the pessimistic perception of aging is changing. Most seniors feel younger than their actual age and a study that polled more than 10,000 seniors found that people grew happier as they aged.

The aging process doesn’t have to be as bleak as some make it seem. With the right mindset, you can shift your perspective on growing older to best enjoy retirement. With the right plan of action, you can ease the difficulties of the physical part of the process as well.


How to Help Your Parent Decide Whether They Should Sell Their Life Insurance

sell life settlement policy - help with parents

The senior years are full of financial decisions with considerable implications for both the older generation and their children, and the plague of scams against seniors lead their advocates to proceed with extra caution. But for many people over the age of 65, selling a life insurance policy is a wise move with the potential to help meet other needs.

The life settlement industry has undergone significant change in recent years, and if your parents have an insurance policy that is no longer serving them well it might be the optimal time to look for a seller. But what considerations go into such a decision? How do you know if it’s the best choice for the seniors in your family?

When to sell your life insurance policy?

First, children seeking the best option for their parent’s life insurance should educate themselves on the potential reasons for selling. If your mother or father is having trouble paying the premiums, if they need extra income for medical or long-term care, if they are over insured or the situation of their beneficiaries has changed so they no longer need the policy, they might be better off arranging a sale.

Your research should also include questions about the tax implications of either holding onto a policy or selling it. For example, recent changes in the estate tax have created added value for whole and universal life insurance policies, which are usually the types of policies best suited for a settlement. A trusted CPA or financial advisor can be a valuable voice in helping determine the best option for your parent’s individual situation.

Once you determine that your parents will benefit from a life settlement, an easy next step is the Magna Life Settlement calculator, which projects the approximate payout for your life insurance policy.

Because the sale of a life insurance policy affects family members beyond the policy holder, the consideration of a life settlement should be approached carefully, with plenty of input from everyone involved. After you have gathered all of the pertinent information and are ready to begin the life settlement process, you may begin by filling out an online application. If you have any questions, please contact us! Magna has case administrators trained to answer all of your questions and clarify the steps and timetables of your life settlement.

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