Retirement on the horizon? 5 questions you should ask about health insurance

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Retirement equals lots of exciting plans for many people — as well as worry about transitions, finances and healthcare. What are the options for health insurance for retirees? These insights help you learn more as you start planning. Waking up on your own time clock. Hitting the gym after rush hour has passed. Meeting friends for lunch. If you're getting close to retirement, the good stuff is easy to understand. More complex: figuring out health insurance . Here's what to think about first. 1. When should I start exploring my options? You can enroll in Medicare three months before your 65th birthday month, but give yourself time to learn what the program offers, says Rebecca Kinney, acting director of the Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling for the Administration for Community Living with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Her advice: Dive in six months before your 65th birthday. You'll have a seven-month window to sign up, "but prices chan

Backyard structures and home insurance in USA

Is your shed, detached garage or swimming pool covered under your policy?
If you have a freestanding garage, shed, pool or other structure on your home's property, it may be protected under your homeowner's insurance policy.

Sheds and outdoor buildings

The coverage amount varies from policy to policy; check your policy for the specific coverage related to these items. For more visit the Insurance Information Institute.

Remember to notify your agent or carrier of the existence of these items and keep the rebuilding cost of these structures in mind when purchasing your home insurance policy.

The items inside a shed, garage or backyard building may also be covered by your homeowners policy, but you might consider a Personal Articles Policy for some types of machinery or sports equipment (limitations apply). This type of policy protects items beyond the limitations and deductibles of a homeowner's insurance policy. You should review your personal property coverage with your agent or carrier to verify you have the correct coverage for your personal property.

Swimming pools

Whether you already have a swimming pool or are thinking about getting one, review liability coverage options with your insurance agent or carrier. Most home insurance policies include some liability protection, but you may want more if you have a swimming pool. The Insurance Information Institute recommends increasing your amount of liability protection or purchasing an umbrella liability policy.

You can also take additional safety measures to help prevent accidents and reduce the potential liability exposure:

Add a high fence with a self-closing, locked gate to keep guests from entering without your knowledge, to help prevent accidents and reduce potential liability exposure. Enforce safe pool rules, such as not diving into shallow water and walking, not running, around the edge of the pool.

Provide non-slip surfaces around your pool to prevent falls.

Maintain adult supervision of children in the pool at all times.

Keep necessary first aid equipment near the pool.

Contact your local municipality to determine if your pool and surrounding fence meets requirements for size, depth and other safety features.

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