Insurance App Provides Caregivers Deals, Peace of Mind

For caregivers, a busy schedule and a stressful job can leave little time and energy for personal tasks. It can be time-consuming to do something like search for the best deal on insurance. The Cover app can help caregivers find a good deal and easily compare providers for several different kinds of insurance. 

When users first download the Cover app, they need to create an account and verify their phone number by entering a code sent to them in a text message. Then they are taken to a home screen with an option to either search for new coverage or compare existing coverage to the offers in the app.

If users choose to compare their existing coverage to the offers in the app, they need to enter more identifying information, such as their address, type of insurance, plan ID information and a signed authorization for the app to access information provided by their existing insurance company.

If caregivers would like to search for new insurance in the app, there are several options. These include car, home, renters, pet, jewelrey, Apple Watch and more. When users select one of these, they have the option to scan their drivers license into the app the auto fill much of the pertinent information. 



Once users scan their drivers license, the app presents some simple questions to identify the level of coverage needed. For example, for renters insurance they ask for the number of units in the building, the number of people who live in your unit, etc. It asks you to take photos of the most valuable stuff to help assess the level of coverage needed as well. The app then requests quotes from the companies with works with and alerts users when their quotes are available to review.

Another feature of the app allows caregivers to set alerts for price drop opportunities. Especially for caregivers who may have tight budgets, this feature will be particularly useful over time. The app can also searche the terms of your existing credit cards for coverage for services like renting a car.

 The Cover app is available for Apple and Android platforms.

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Caregivers Make Resolution to Organize Finances Using App

The beginning of a new year marks the perfect time to re-examine your personal finances and monthly budget. Especially for senior caregivers who might be on a tight budget to begin with, even finding small spending habits to eliminate can add up to big savings over time. The Clarity Money app offers a free tool for caregivers to examine their spending habits and recognize monthly subscriptions that could potentially be canceled to save more money. 

When users first open the Clarity Money app, they need to create a profile and then log into online banking for any accounts they'd like to track. The app can pull in information from multiple banks to track on one profile. Then users will be taken to the home screen of the app, which displays most of the different features as you scroll down. 

At the top, users simply see a breakdown of their Cash and Debt in the connected account, as the app pulls in checking, savings and credit card information. Then, the app shows how much money the user spent yesterday with an optional drop down menu to review all transactions on the accounts, or only the most recent. 

Below that, a chart breaks down all of the user's spending for the month into specific categories. In addition to establishing monthly patterns, this also helps caregivers see where they might unexpectedly be spending more money than they realize, such as on shopping. If a number seems oddly high on shopping, ask yourself where you can save money at the grocery store, or if you can do without that new sweater. 

The next section of the app offers to create a savings account with Clarity Money to meet goals, such as establishing a Rainy Day Fund or saving for an upcoming trip. The app offers several options for how to set it up, with varying dollar amounts to choose from and customizable frequency. Caregivers can set it up to pull a certain amount of money from the linked account of their choosing weekly on a certain day of the week, or monthly on a specific date, i.e. the 2nd of every month. 

The app also identifies recurring charges to your account for monthly subscriptions for services such as Netflix and displays them all in one area to help caregivers see what they're paying total on a monthly basis. Perhaps you realize that you pay for a Netflix subscription, but you haven't been using it. That makes for an easy decision to cancel it and save $10 per month. 

The app also features ways to check your account balances, credit card activity and your credit score. The app does an excellent job of presenting a snapshot of your overall financial picture from several angles to make planning and budgeting easy. 

The Clarity app is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Tax Assistance for Caregivers Using IRS App

It's the time of year again when tax forms begin to flood mailboxes. For senior caregivers in particular who may be self employed, doing your taxes might seem overwhelming. Gather all of your tax forms as they come in from employers, banks, insurance companies, etc. and look to the IRS2Go app for resources to help prepare help pay your taxes. 

The IRS app feels rather bare bones, but it contains a lot of useful information for users. The first screen that shows up features the Refund Status tool for people who have already filed their taxes and are expecting a refund. 24 hours after your tax return is accepted by the government, you can enter your Social Security Number, Tax Filing Status and exact Refund Amount into the tool and the app will show you when your refund will be issued. 

The next section of the app gives users who owe money on their tax return the opportunity to pay online via their online bank account, debit card or credit card. Users need to enter the Reason for Payment in addition to the amount and Tax Period for Payment. 

The Free Tax Help section of the app shows users where they can go in their community to get free assistance in completing their taxes. When users enter a zip code, a list of locations and the programs they sponsor for free tax help pop up. Organizations like the Center for Economic Progress and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program operate to file taxes for free for low and moderate income families and individuals. 



Along with the locations, the Free Tax Help area tells users the exact hours of the tax help services, and whether or not an appointment is needed. It also specifies which program that location operates, so caregivers can look up whether or not they meet the qualifications for help before they go in person. Most services offer help to people making below a certain amount of money, so caregivers can look online or call the program to inquire about their personal situation.

The Stay Connected tab of the app offers ways to stay connected with the IRS via social media, Youtube and an e-mail list for tax tips. The Youtube channel offers videos about specific tax topics to improve understanding for tax payers. While the app may not be much to look at design wise, it does its job of presenting the information in a useful format for taxpayers to use. 

The IRS2Go app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Coupon App Offers Cash Back in Time for Thanksgiving

My grandpa used to go through the coupons that came in the daily paper to find the best deals at local grocery stores and then take me or my brother with him to go pick up the bread, milk or half a pound of lunchmeat on sale. These days for senior caregivers finding the best deals doesn't require scouring the paper insert, but instead using the Ibotta app to find local deals offering instant cash back. 

The main focus of the Ibotta app centers around grocery shopping and finding deals at chain stores, although other retail categories exist in the app as well. Users can browse by a specific category on the homepage, such as Thanksgiving. Once the category is selected, a list of all participating stores pops up and users can scroll through their specific details. However, even though the app collected my zip code as part of registration, the stores listed don't necessarily all have locations in my area. 


Oncer caregivers weed through and find the stores close to them, they can select an individual retailer and see all of the in-app cash back deals on products offered there. Once a caregiver decides to take advantage of a deal on a product, they need to "unlock" it within the app by pressing the unlock button. This brings up a separate page, sometimes with a promotional video for the product or a common recipe the product is an ingredient for. The bottom of the page displays an unlock button, and only when users click it will the deal be available for them to claim cash back on. 

Users can view all deals they have unlocked deals on under the Shopping List area of the app. Most importantly, users must upload their receipt from the store after their shopping trip as proof of purchase to access the cash back. Once the app accepts the proof of purchase, users will begging to build a total in the cash back area. 

Users have a few options for redeeming their cash back within the app. Once they build up a minimum of ten dollars, they can have it transferred to either Paypal or Venmo or select a gift card for a participating vendor such as Starbucks, Walmart, Express, etc. If users opt to receive a gift card, instructions on redemption are sent to their e-mail. 

The Ibotta app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko


Caregivers May Save Money and Invest Over Time with The Stash App

Investing for someone who's never done it before can sound intimidating and the number of options might seem overwhelming. And for senior caregivers, there might be a misconception that investing can only be done if you have thousands of dollars to invest from the start. The Stash app takes the difficulty and confusion out of investing and gives users the opportunity to invest starting with as little as $5. 

When users first create an account, they enter all of their pertinent information and then answer basic financial background questions such as annual income, value of everything owned minus debt and when they plan to use the money they're investing. The app then uses the responses to these questions to suggest a portfolio for the user. 

First time users need to make a starting investment as part of their account set up, so plan to have at least $5 available to transfer from a bank account when you create your profile. The transfer itself requires only an online log in for your bank. Users don't even need their routing and account number which makes it quick and easy to complete. 



The portfolio options vary dependent on risk level and interest. Stash recommends investing options to users based on personal interest sorted into categories such as "I Believe," "I Want" and "I Like." In the "I Believe" category, users can browse through investment options in companies that align with their personal beliefs. Options include small companies, green companies, or companies that support equal rights for all. Under the "I Want" category, users see the traditional investment options ranging from an Aggressive Mix to a Conservative Mix. Under the "I Like" category, users can invest in innovators, entertainment companies, internet titans, retailers and other leisure type companies. 

From the basic home screen, users can scroll through and see their balance history, investment potential and recommended investments based on their portfolio and risk profile. The investment potential area in particular gives users the ability to see how their investments could grow over time based on Potential Monthly Deposit and Growth Potential. 

The Stash app breaks down investing to make it easy for senior caregivers to understand where their money is going and how their investments are performing over time. The easy navigation throughout the app ensures that user experiences are free of any frustrations. 

The Stash Invest app is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko




Discounts for Seniors

The poverty rate among seniors in America is already high and growing. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the poverty rate for Americans 65 and older rose (albeit slightly) from 8.9 percent in 2009 to 9.0 percent in 2010. The growing cost of food, housing, and especially medical care, which tends to increase as we age, adds to economic instability for many of our elderly.

Sure, Social Security is a net to help prevent seniors from abject poverty, but recent economic recessions have forced many older Americans, those without employment income, to live hand-to-mouth. In many instances, seniors deplete their savings to a point that they are outliving their money.

Former Caregiverlist Sherpa Vera Perekoteyeva, who is always on the lookout for ways to help seniors and their caregivers, passed along this link from MOGUL that lists discounts available for older consumers; some discounts apply for those as young as 50 years old.

While senior discounts won’t cure the ill of elderly poverty, every dollar saved is a win. Discounts can be had across the board of consumer goods and services. Many times the only prerequisite for savings (besides age) is you have to ASK for the senior discount.

Senior discounts for restaurants tend to be found in fast-food and chain establishments. Caregiverlist is a great proponent of aging well which includes nutritious eating. Remember  that you can find healthy dining options, even at fast-food restaurants.

Here are the top senior discounts for 2015 making their rounds on the web (caveat — this list is found on many sites all over the web; I have not verified these discounts, if you ask for them and are met with a blank stare, don’t shoot the messenger!):

RESTAURANTS:

  • Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
  • Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
  • Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
  • Bennigan’s: discount varies by location (60+)
  • Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
  • Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
  • Burger King: 10% off (60+)
  • Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
  • Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
  • CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
  • Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 10% off or free coffee (55+)
  • Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
  • Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
  • Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
  • Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
  • Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
  • IHOP: 10% off (55+)
  • Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
  • KFC: free small drink with any meal (55+)
  • Long John Silver’s: various discounts at locations (55+)
  • McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
  • Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
  • Shoney’s: 10% off Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
  • Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
  • Subway: 10% off (60+)
  • Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
  • Taco Bell: 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
  • TCBY: 10% off (55+)
  • Tea Room Cafe: 10% off (50+)
  • Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
  • Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
  • Wendy’s: 10% off (55+)
  • White Castle: 10% off (62+)

RETAIL & APPAREL:

  • Banana Republic: 10% off (50+)
  • Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month (55+)
  • Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
  • Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days (55+)
  • C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
  • Clarks: 10% off (62+)
  • Dress Barn: 10% off (55+)
  • Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
  • Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
  • Kohl’s: 15% off (60+)
  • Marshall’s: 20% off every Tuesday (55+)
  • Modell’s Sporting Goods: 10% off
  • Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
  • Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
  • TJ Maxx: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
  • The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off (55+)
  • Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+)

GROCERY:

  • Albertson’s: 10% off first Wednesday of each month (55+)
  • American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday (50+)
  • Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
  • DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
  • Fry’s Supermarket: free Fry’s VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday (55+)
  • Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
  • Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
  • Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
  • Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
  • Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
  • Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
  • The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday (50+)
  • Publix: 5% off every Wednesday (55+)
  • Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
  • Uncle Guiseppe’s Marketplace: 5% off (62+)

TRAVEL:
Airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines: 10% off (65+)
  • American Airlines: various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
  • Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
  • Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
  • United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
  • U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
  • Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
  • Greyhound: 5% off (62+)
  • Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+

Car Rental:

  • Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members
  • Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members Best Western: 10% off (55+)
  • Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
  • Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
  • Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
  • National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members

Hotels:

  • Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Econo Lodge: 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Hampton Inns & Suites: 10% off when booked 72 hours in advance
  • Holiday Inn: 10%-30% off depending on location (62+)
  • Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
  • InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
  • Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler’s Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Marriott Hotels: 15% off (62+)
  • Motel 6: 10% off (60+)
  • Myrtle Beach Resort: 10% off (55+)
  • Quality Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
  • Sleep Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT:

  • AMC Theaters: up to 30% off (55+)
  • Bally Total Fitness: up to $100 off memberships (62+)
  • Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)
  • Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
  • Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
  • U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
  • Regal Cinemas: 30% off Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket (55+)
  • SeaWorld Orlando, FL: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)

CELL PHONE DISCOUNTS:

  • AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $29.99/month (65+)
  • Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service (50+)
  • Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+)

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Great Clips: $3 off hair cuts (60+)
  • Super Cuts: $2 off haircuts (60+)

The serious issue of senior poverty won’t be resolved with 10 percent discounts. If you are in or near Chicago over the next few days, The Aging in America Conference will be held from March 23-27 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, where over 2,500 attendees from across the nation and abroad will discuss issues of aging and quality of life for older adults. On Thursday, March 26, from 9-10am, Paul Nathanson, JD, Special Counsel, National Senior Citizens Law Center will present Let’s Talk Senior Poverty: What Are We Doing About It? Learn more about ASA’s Aging in America Conference here.

File Taxes Using TurboTax App

Filing taxes can be difficult when given several different forms from jobs and banks to describe your financial activity in 2014. Senior caregivers who work independently also may need to file their taxes as self employed. Instead of manually filling out a tax form yourself, caregivers can use the TurboTax app for a guided step by step process to complete their tax forms correctly and to avoid error. 

When the TurboTax app launches, it initially displays a screen that asks for an overall financial picture of your life in 2014. Were you single or married, did you have any dependents, own a home or a business, etc? Place a check mark in the box for all that apply so the app knows which sections to focus on as they take you through the tax filing process. Based on your selections, it will suggest which version of their products and which form you should use to file. The basic Federal Tax edition of their filing is free to all users.

Once users create an account, the app will begin to guide them through filling out the tax form by asking targeted questions. Caregivers should gather all of their tax forms together before they begin this portion of the app so that they can fill it out quickly. What is your occupation? Do you have a W-2 form? If so, enter the information from the form as requested into the system. TurboTax makes it easy by telling you which boxes on the W-2 to find the information needed for each box in app. If you instead have a 1099 form for self employment, TurboTax has a spot for that as well. 

TurboTax continues after wage information to ask about investments, health insurance, deductions, etc. The key to getting the most out of your taxes is to think back at your financial activity over the past year and make sure you include any dependents, interest on student loans, charitable donations, etc. Luckily the TurboTax app asks the questions that caregivers may not think to ask themselves to complete their 2014 taxes. 

The TurboTax app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Beginning Investment by Rounding Up from Purchases

Understanding how to best invest your money and save for the future can be difficult. We all know that long-term investment and having money tucked away for a potential future rough patch is important, but it's often easier said than done. The Acorns app takes some mystery out of beginning investment by helping people start a portfolio without needing to put down a lot of money upfront. 

To start and build the funds in your portfolio, the app links to your checking account or credit card of choice and rounds your purchases up to the nearest dollar. This adds the spare change from your every day purchases to your portfolio and over time builds it from the ground up. The account does not require a minimum balance, so anyone can start saving without worrying about putting down money upfront. An extra 30 or 40 cents from every purchase may not seem like much, but if you make 15 purchases with your debit card in a month then it adds up to $4.50 in your portfolio. 

Once users download the app, it prompts them to create an account using easy to navigate steps. First, users must enter their personal information and link the app to their bank account or credit card of choosing using the online log in feature. Users can connect one checking account or multiple accounts and credit cards. Users also provide information about their job, net worth and investing timeframe so the app can best match a portfolio to user needs.

The app will suggest a portfolio based on age, income, investing time horizon, etc. and will display a graph showing the future projected value of your money based on a monthly contribution of $10. It will show you how the investment will grow over time. Once users accept the portfolio laid out by the app, it can begin rounding up from future purchases. 

The Acorns app is free for Apple and Andriod platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Mint App Helps Caregivers Keep Track of Personal Finances: Caregiverlist Senior Care App Review

Budgeting and keeping track of the way we spend our money can be difficult. Checking our bank accounts shouldn't be shocking, but sometimes the swipes of our debit or credit cards add up in a way we didn't expect. Using the Mint app, senior caregivers can connect multiple bank accounts and loans to the app to monitor spending and create a personal budget to meet their financial goals in 2014. 

Mint asks new users for information on all applicable accounts, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, etc. It then creates a personal summary of the user's finances, which shows how their debts compared to their actual money in the bank. Users can then set various goals to pay off debts and test various monthly payment amounts to see how long it will take to break even. 

Mint also breaks down all charges to debit and credit accounts into various categories, including grocery, travel, fast food, restaurants, etc. to help users recognize exactly how they're spending their money. Caregivers can set goals for how much they'd like to spend on each category in a month, then see how their actual spending compares. This feature can be particularly useful for caregivers who help their senior clients shop for groceries and other items to monitor how much they're spending. 

Mint aso offers financial advice on how to make the most out of your investment and savings options to put you in the best financial situation long term and monitors users' credit scores. Overall, the app provides a very useful financial snapshot.

 

The Mint app is available for free for Apple products.

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

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