Senior couple going over bills and experiencing financial stressThere’s no question that stress is bad for our health. It’s been proven countless times just how negative chronic stress is for our emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

For the most part, stress is stress, no matter where it’s coming from - but there’s something particularly difficult about financial stress. This is especially true for seniors, as they have both fewer years to recover from a financial setback, and more potential to experience serious (and expensive) health problems.

Financial stress is all-consuming, and affects every area of our lives. If we’re paying for long-term care or a home health aide, or even simply trying to pay for monthly prescriptions, this stress is compounded - often, families find themselves so caught up in struggling to pay each month’s healthcare costs that they’re unable to enjoy what time they have to spend together.

The other serious problem with financial stress is that we can become so accustomed to it that we assume it’s just a part of life. We may think that we’re out of options. Thankfully, however, this is not always the case.

By making sure we understand all the possible scenarios that are available to us, and taking steps to manage financial stress, we can greatly improve our emotional and physical health, and thereby, our quality of life.

Ask your financial advisor about life settlements

The most effective antidote to financial stress, of course, is to handle the root of the problem: not having the funds that you need.

When you’re retired, or when you or your loved one is in need of long-term care, this can seem like an impossible issue to fix. You could sell off physical assets, like a home or a car, but this can mean a drastic change in your lifestyle.

An alternate option that many seniors aren’t aware of is a life settlement. In a life settlement, a life insurance policy owner sells his or her policy to third-party investors in exchange for a lump sum that is greater than the policy’s cash surrender value.

To do this, policy owners work with their trusted financial advisors, who in turn work with life settlement brokers like Ashar to facilitate the sale.

A life settlement broker will shop the policy around to multiple institutional investors to ensure that the policy owner receives the best possible value. We’ve seen life settlements in which the owner receives as much as 800%, or more, of the policy’s cash surrender value.

This influx of much-needed cash can be life-changing for seniors and their families who are paying for long-term care, or retired seniors struggling to meet their monthly living expenses.

Commit to practicing proven stress management techniques

In some cases, changing one’s financial situation isn’t possible, or may not be enough to change the underlying behaviors or thoughts that are keeping us stressed.

That’s why it’s so important to perform proven stress management techniques like meditation, breathing exercises, and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Seniors are already at a higher risk for health issues like heart attacks, strokes, and decreasing cognitive functioning. Since stress is an additional risk factor for these and other problems, it’s important to do what you can to manage it well.

Letting financial and other types of stress run rampant can exacerbate health problems, cause issues with family relationships, and even lead to serious mental health problems like depression.

If you’re experiencing financial stress, make sure to talk to your financial advisor about your options. There may be alternatives, like life settlements, that you weren’t aware of.

For more, read our post “3 Signs Retirement is Stressing You Out - and What to Do About It.”