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Constance Craig-Mason

2019 CSA Conference


Constance Craig-Mason

Financial Coach & Insurance Broker
Transamerica Agency Network



How To Own Your Wealth & Health Over Age 50

According to a recent study commissioned by Transamerica (Communicating on Wealth and Health, Deloitte Consulting, LLP 2017), the majority of respondents (adults ages 40-65 with an annual household income of at least $50,000) perceive a viable connection between Wealth + Health. The study offers detailed correlations, including:

  • • People who have at least $300,000 saved for retirement by age 55 are 41% more likely to take   at least 8,000 steps in a typical day. 
  • • People who use fraud alerts on their credit cards or other financial accounts are nearly twice as likely to regularly participate in moderate to high intensity group exercise classes (such as spinning). 
  • • People who have at least $1,000 saved in an emergency fund are 46% less likely to often feel it is difficult to focus or concentrate.   

We will learn & discuss how viable these areas interest are to a client in their 50s and 60s:   

Sharing the wealth planning

For married clients, if only one of them has been  doing the financial planning, it’s probably a good time for both of them to get on board. Why? Financial planning can be tricky. They’re going to need all the help they can get to make the right choices for their family. It affects both parties. Make sure that both are on the same page about the choices it might take to prepare for retirement. Though it’s no picnic to think about, more than likely, one of the spouses will outlive  the other. Financial illiteracy could lead to poor financial decisions that opens the family up to financial risk. In another no-picnic scenario, divorce among older populations has been on  the rise. Both spouses could use a certain amount of financial acuity and knowledge about their situation to avoid financial harm in a divorce  settlement.   

Getting a mental workout

Clients entering their fifth decade often means more noticeable signs of aging and a higher risk for disease, including Alzheimer’s and other dementias. These scenarios can force seniors into expensive long-term care and have an impact of the emotional health of a family. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are things clients can do to help prevent cognitive decline and cut their risk.   

Watching the waist and the budget

As clients age, their metabolism slows and their body starts naturally replacing muscle with fat. This change is essentially par for the biological course. But too much weight gain can lead to obesity, raising their risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and poor mental health. Not exactly the picture of a happy retirement. With years of hard work saving and making solid financial moves, it makes sense to pay serious attention to their weight during their 50s – if at least out of duty to their wallet. The experts over at recommend continuing to stay active throughout their 50s and beyond, as well as adding muscle-building exercise (such as resistance training or high intensity interval training) to their routine.   

And while clients may be earning more than ever at work, depending on their situation, it’s not a bad idea to start being a little more fastidious with where and how they spend their money. To help ensure a comfortable retirement –one where they spend money on the things that make them happiest – they can start learning the habit of budgeting in the areas in their life that aren’t as  important to them. The classic example would be: Opting to make coffee at home instead of mindlessly grabbing that $4 cup on the way to work. These kinds of trade-offs are the oil that keeps the retirement machine running. If they start good budget habits now, it might help reduce the sticker shock of retirement on a fixed income later.   

One activity that could address the issues of both weight and budget is gardening. One study found community gardeners report lower BMIs and concluded that “community gardening may offer an approach to offset age- related weight gain.”   

Catching up and consolidating

If clients chose to divert some of their retirement money towards saving for their kids’ college tuition, or other expenses and debts, their 50s are a chance to catch back up. The government allows, in 2019, anyone over the age of 50 to  contribute up to $6,000 of extra cash toward their retirement. And if clients changed jobs, or switched retirement accounts along the way, their 50s are a good time to consolidate everything into one easy-to-manage place. Doing this can limit their fees and paperwork. It also makes it easier to update your beneficiaries.   

Whether or not to take Social Security early.  One of your biggest financial decisions will come early on in the sixth decade: Whether to take Social Security benefits early (at 62) or wait to get them on time (67 for those born in 1960 or later). Some clients choose to take them  early. Either out of monetary necessity or due to health concerns for the future. But taking their benefits early comes with a hefty penalty – a 25% deduction in benefits every month. On the flip side, if they wait, they get income increasing credits of 8% every year until 70.   

Navigating Medicare 

As with Social Security benefits, there’s a lot of confusing and difficult terrain in navigating Medicare. Clients can apply for Medicare up to three months before they turn 65. The enrollment period lasts seven months. The three months before turning 65, the month they turn 65,  and the three months after. It’s important to pay close attention to the government’s enrollment periods and rules in order to avoid a gap in their coverage, a late enrollment fee, or a penalty. For example, if they aren’t enrolled in an employer sponsored health plan and they don’t sign up for  Medicare Part B, they could be penalized.  It’s also important to understand that Medicare does not cover long-term care should they need to live in a long-term care facility. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people who reach age 65  can expect to use some form of long-term care in their lives.   

Having vitality & longevity in retirement

According to the Social Security Administration, on average, a man and woman who reach  age 65 today can expect to live to 84.3 and 86.6 years, respectively. And one out of four 65 year-olds today will live past the age of 90. Maintaining relatively good health along the way and utilizing strategies that prevent clients from outliving their savings are crucial factors in financial security.     

Learning Objectives

  • To learn and discuss the intersection of wealth and health.
  • To learn and discuss ways that clients can invest in lifelong habits that contribute to the well-being of their body and their bank accounts.
  • To learn and discuss ways to educate clients on the intersection of wealth and health.

About Constance

Constance Craig-Mason is a passionate, dedicated and experienced Licensed Insurance Broker, Financial Coach and former Small Business Consultant. She has been helping individuals, families and businesses for nearly 10 years. Being licensed in Maryland and Pennsylvania, she has been blessed to have worked some of the top insurance carriers to include Transamerica, State Farm, Baltimore Life and Primerica. Constance provides a full Complimentary Financial Analysis that includes spending plan, short & long term savings, credit restoration, debt elimination, insurance protection & retirement supplement strategies. As a Financial Coach, Constance works with her clients to develop realistic strategies that reflect their current needs and future goals, periodically following up to make sure that they are making positive strides and reassesses, if things have changed.

Constance is active in her community and is an Awareness Advocate for breast cancer, sexual assault and mental health. As a Board Member of Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes (SSPW), an Ambassador for Heal A Women to Heal A Nation (HWHN) & About Her Business (AHB), a member of Women in Business International (WBI), an Influencer Member of the International Women’s Association (IWA), she is obviously very passionate about women’s empowerment. Constance is proud to be a Silver Member of the Black Speakers Network (BSN).

In November 2015, Constance guest-blogged on the topic of life insurance on Dr. Maria James' Pocket of Money, LLC ( In April 2018, she received an award from Women In Business International (W.B.I.) for her efforts in the community and was a guest on LaDawn Black’s “In The Groove” 88.9FM WEAA. In July 2018, Vital Magazine selected Constance for the cover, the featured interview and awarded her the honor of Financial Coach of the Month. In August 2018, she was a guest on Cheryl Wood’s “Impact the World Radio” show discussing Financial Literacy. In October 2018, Constance presented at Lori Pelzer’s “Girl It’s Your Life Success Tour” in Toronto, Canada. And in November 2018, she held a workshop at WBI’s Passion Purpose & Pumps 1st Women’s Conference and was interviewed by SwagHer Magazine as a Wednesday Wonder Woman. Lastly but not least, Constance hosts a free quarterly financial literacy and networking workshop called, "Who's On Your Financial Dream Team" for individuals & business owners, where she hand picks a panel of local financial industry experts to teach and answer various frequently asked questions.

Constance believes there is no other career that has been more rewarding than being directly involved in her client's successes. She also believes that financial literacy is the key element in shifting the negative behaviors, habits and emotions about money that impede our growth.

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