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Finances: What is important in old age?

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Retiring and living carefree on your well-earned pension without having to worry about financial matters - it could be so nice. But unfortunately this is rarely the case and even in old age one is not spared having to deal with money matters. That is why everyone should know their rights and obligations. Having the right perspective on finances, pensions and taxes protects you from unpleasant surprises. Knowledge is important for financial security, but also for perceived security, especially in old age.

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How high are the losses if I apply for a pension early? Does the pension strategy I chose when I was young still correspond to my current life plan? Is it still in line with changed life goals? New times require a new pension concept. However, the financial products and constructs on offer are becoming increasingly complex, and the layperson is quickly overwhelmed. The financial crisis of 2008 made it clear how little small investors, among them many older people, were aware of their risks and how little informed they were before some lost large parts of their assets within a short time.

It is difficult to keep track of financial issues

Many older people find it difficult to find their way through the jungle of regulations and laws, to keep track of the supposedly right strategies for increasing income and savings. And anyway: finances and pensions, taxes and law - these are topics for the experts. Or, at best, the spouse's business. For some, the range of topics is therefore exhausted by consumer questions such as: Can I still exchange the red blouse after ten days? Or: How long is the warranty on the new lawn mower? Meanwhile, the spouse takes care of the finances, checks the account receipts and is annoyed about the high fees, moans about the zero increase for pensioners and makes the big financial decisions - a typical, but not harmless division of tasks.

Because things get difficult when the partnership ends. Then, after the grief over the loss of a partner through death, after the emotional upheavals resulting from a divorce, comes the second big shock wave: insurance law, asset protection, pension claims, capital investments, inheritance arrangements, maintenance ... Countless questions need to be clarified. Good professional help is offered on almost all financial, tax and pension issues. Pension insurance institutions, tax offices, consumer centres, self-help organisations and interest groups offer reliable advice, most of them for only a small fee or even free of charge.

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Deal with difficult issues in good time

The book market also has some worthwhile guidebooks to help close gaps in knowledge and alleviate the widespread allergy to small print and conditions. In the end, however, it is always your own decision that counts. With health questions like this: Do I choose the dental implant or a bridge? In financial matters: How do I invest the money from my life insurance wisely? Or with legal questions: What should be in the health care proxy, what should be in the living will? It always makes sense to deal with all these questions in good time, calmly and without the stress of the acute situation.

The Irish writer Oscar Wilde once formulated the most striking insight on the subject: "When I was little, I believed that money was the most important thing in life. Today, when I am old, I know it is."

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