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Planning Ahead Helps Your Golden Years Stay Golden

By Mike Clark

For many of us, the thought of preparing for life after retirement is not a subject we like to talk about or even think about. However, it is a subject that everyone needs to think about, no matter their age. It is never too early or too late to think about how you want to spend your elder years. Do you want to age in place or retire at some exotic location? Well, preparing now for what you want as you get older is the best way to achieve your retirement goals.

 

You Only Die Once

You only die once, your job is to choose how you will spend the time between now and then. Dying is a taboo subject. We all are aware of it, and we all know it will happen one day, but it’s still one of those topics that we just don’t want to mention. 

You can’t just bury your head in the sand and pretend that the day will not come when you become old. Everything will not just work itself out. You have to decide how you want to spend these years and preparing for them starts now. It is your job to decide how you want to spend your time when you retire and how you will be taken care of.

It costs a lot of money to make sure you are cared for as you get older. Recently I spoke with a marketing director at an entry-level Senior Living Community, the cost for this type of facility can start at $2,500 per month. If you are wanting something more luxurious then get ready to open your pocketbook, because they can be pricey. The cost will only increase as time passes. The price for aging in place with a part-time caregiver is soring and can start between $20 to $27 per hour, depending on your needs.

Planning for the costs of aging may all seem grim, but it will make your life easier, in the long run, the more you prepare. There are lots of steps you can take to make your old age a lot more comfortable.

Get Organized

Make things easier for the people that will have to come in to help facilitate your care. Organize and make sure your financial documents and plans are in one place. Make sure you keep a clear list of what your finances are, any savings and investment accounts, any property you may own, and debts you may have.

Write A Will

A will is one of the most important parts of planning for your future as a senior. Life is unpredictable and having a will together early on can help your loved ones immensely if something were to unexpectedly happen. Writing a will does not mean you have to hire an expensive lawyer, you can write down your final wishes and have the document witnessed. There are several charities that can help you with this process, and there are even resources online that help by providing fill-in-the-blank wills. It’s important to keep your will up to date whenever things change in your life, getting remarried or selling your property are a few examples of this. 

 

Have A Discussion

Now that you have decided to meet your aging process head-on, you need to tell your family what your final wishes are. You should inform them where you keep all your important documents, where you want to live, and any other important details about your wishes for life as you age. This discussion should happen sooner rather than later because life happens quickly, and it doesn’t go by anyone’s timeline but its own.

Prepare A Living Will

A living will is different from your last will and testament. This will is personal and expresses how you want to be treated in different situations if there comes a time when you do not have the ability to make decisions on your own. The living will make sure that your loved ones understand your wishes and know how to proceed with your personal belongings, health, care, etc.

Power Of Attorney

There are five types of power of attorney. This is something you should set up in advance because it is not something you can do if you are deemed not to be able to make decisions for yourself due to mental capacity. 

Setting up your power of attorney is an important step in planning for your future as a senior. If the time comes when you are no longer able to make decisions on your own, there needs to be a plan in place for who takes over the responsibility of your care. What most people don’t know though is that there are five types of power of attorney.

Durable Power of Attorney – This type is effective immediately after you sign it unless stated otherwise. It allows your agent to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. 

Medical Power of Attorney – This is also known as an advance directive. This type allows you to name a health care agent. They will make medical decisions for you if you cannot do so yourself. 

General Power of Attorney – This gives your agent the ability to act on your behalf for making any financial, business, real estate, and legal decisions. 

Limited Power of Attorney – This allows your agent to make decisions on your behalf for specific purposes, such as cashing checks for you, but they won’t be able to access or manage your finances fully.

Springing Power of Attorney – This type is conditional and only goes into effect if specified events or medical conditions occur which are specified in a power of attorney.

You can learn more about the different types of power of attorney here.

Become Debt-Free

Not to state the obvious here but becoming debt-free before retirement is essential in making sure you can accomplish your goal of aging as you would like. The ability to pay off debt after retirement will become more difficult compared to when you were working.

Write A Retirement Budget

It’s always a good idea to budget your income but it becomes more important during retirement. There will be only so much money each month and you must make that money cover all of your expenses. If there is a bucket list, new hobbies, travel, or major purchases that you want to make during retirement then you must plan in advance for these expenses.

Conclusion

You can’t control and plan for everything or every situation. You will get older and unexpected things happen, so plan for what you can, and then just relax and enjoy your golden year, you’ve earned it.

Dwell at Home is bringing in-home senior care into the palm of your hand with a mobile application that values convenience, personalized mentorship, and trust.  You can download the app in the Apple App store today by clicking here!

Dwell at Home is not a licensed medical professional and all information provided is provided “as is” with no warranties. You should consult a licensed physician for any questions related to your health.  Dwell at Home makes no guarantee about any application or third-party website mentioned in any article on this website.