SENIOR ALERT: Tips to Navigate the 21st Century

Kerr: ‘Imperative’ that Arkansas seniors develop a strategy

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr today released the following statement encouraging Arkansas seniors to be prepared for retirement and offering tips to secure their future:

"We know that planning for the future can be unsettling, but it is imperative to develop a strategy. ‘Baby boomers’ are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, and too many are behind in their retirement planning.  As Insurance Commissioner, I am committed to helping Arkansas seniors realize retirement security by offering tips to take some of the fear and guesswork out of planning ahead.”

Commissioner Kerr offered the following tips to assist Arkansas seniors successfully navigate the 21st Century:

  • Be wary of fraudulent phone calls and emails. Never give out your social security number, credit card information or bank account details over the phone. Do not reply to unsolicited emails requesting personal information — even if they claim to be from someone you know.
  • Think twice before sharing personal and financial information online. If a website seems fishy, proceed with caution. A secure website’s URL should begin with “https” rather than “http.” The “s” stands for secure.
  • Review your credit report at least once a year. You can check your credit report for free. Make sure the information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Look for anything that seems suspicious and follow up with any fraudulent activity.
  • Learn the policy terms for your banks and credit card companies. These organizations typically offer fraud protection. Victims of identity theft may be eligible for free credit freeze services.
  • Find out if your homeowners policy offers identity theft protection. Before signing up for additional coverage, weigh costs vs. risks. Coverage may not refund what was lost, but instead cover the costs associated with restoring a stolen identity.
  • Know who is liable. Through the “sharing economy,” renting a stranger’s home, car, boat or other personal property is easier than ever and can sometimes be a good option. Before using a sharing platform, such as AirBnB or VRBO, understand the insurance implications.
  • Ride with caution. If a ride-sharing driver has an accident, learn whose insurance covers damage and medical bills.
  • Keep policies current. If you move in with your adult children, revisit your homeowners coverage to make sure your belongings are covered. Review your life insurance policy as your lifestyle changes.
  • Ask an expert. If you are considering buying an annuity or long-term care insurance, make sure it’s the right product for you. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you suspect you have been a victim of deceptive sales practices, contact the Arkansas Insurance Department Consumer Services Division at (800) 852-5494.
  • Have ‘the talk’ with your family. Make sure your loved ones fully understand your health coverage, long-term care plans, insurance policies and end-of-life wishes.