Imagine you just turned 75. It is 10 years to the day since you retired. You’ve tackled two-thirds of your bucket list and feel pretty confident in your health and the money you’ve saved.
What happens if things change? Are you prepared for any of the items below?
- Experiencing the unexpected loss of your spouse
- Ending up broke because you lived longer than you planned for
- No one to choose as your agent in the general durable power agreement
- Falling prey to a financial scam and have your hard-earned retirement savings stolen
- Realizing how expensive proper care can be
- Someone making healthcare decisions that go against your wishes and causing you needless suffering
For people ages 75 to 100 (a life stage known as Social Support), these very possible situations are all too common and rarely discussed. Yet planning during this time of your life is often forgotten.
During this stage, you begin experiencing normal cognitive aging along with changes to your personal health, family structure, and social support network. It’s one of the most vulnerable periods in your life.
To Plan or Not to Plan?
The future will come whether you plan for it or not. Failing to plan can risk your safety and security as you age.
In my work as a Certified Financial Planner, investment advisor, and former healthcare practitioner, I encounter older adults who don’t have a plan. This is caused by thinking errors such as overconfidence, denial, status quo, and optimism.
When these thinking errors are not acknowledged or left unchallenged, they can result in poor decisions. Not only can your hard-earned money and investments be at risk, but it affects your ability to live your best life to the end.
What Will You Choose?
You may be saying to yourself, “That won’t happen to me” or “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Not doing anything leaves you vulnerable and opens to the door to others making decisions about your welfare.
You’ve been independent your entire life. Why would you want that?
Planning to Age Well
No one knows the future. Creating a plan and learning what it will require for you to age successfully into your 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s removes uncertainty and empowers your support system.
What should be included in a plan for later life?
- Visioning of what you want life to be like when you are frail or have dementia
- Preparation for psychological and physical changes
- Preparation for medical emergencies, identity theft, fraud, and abuse
- Prevention of health declines & accidental injury
- Assessment of your home, community, and how it will age WITH you
- Management of social support and readiness for advanced care planning
The “Oldest Old” is the fastest-growing segment in our population, and many of us will live ten or fifteen more years past our 85th birthday. What will you do to ensure you have choice and independence to the end of your life?
It’s time to invest in yourself today for a better quality aging experience later.
If you are interested in learning more about our planning services for people facing retirement or for those in retirement who wish to plan for security as they age, check out our Strategic Life Planning options and personalized services.