You may remember Sally and John…I’ve written about them in earlier posts. To refresh your memory, they are each 70 years old and enjoying retirement. According to John, aging is the sign of a successful life. After all, when you think about the alternative, aging isn’t so bad. Sally and John knew they wanted to “age gracefully” years ago and started seeking self-sufficiency for their retirement years well before they reached sixty-five.
When I met John, he shared with me some very good wisdom and advice…he said, “Even if you haven’t yet planned for retirement, don’t shun the planning stages.” I couldn’t have agreed more…it is very important to address planning no matter what your age. Any preparation is better than none at all.
Planning can provide you with some peace of mind, lower your anxiety, and can help take some of the pressure off your family members who would otherwise have to make their own income adjustments so they could provide you with money to support your cost of living.
Sally and John, like most of us, didn’t want to become a burden to their children. They feel good to be able to provide for themselves. John told us it was an incredible relief to know that he and Sally had a solid plan for today as well as contingency plans for their future. While it can be hard work and tough to face the reality of how much it will take to cover your future living expenses, putting off the planning stage doesn’t lead to easier or better outcomes.
One key element in their decision process was to consider their location. Many seniors, like Sally and John, want to live out their lives in their own home…but there are many things to consider when you this is your goal. As part of this process, John came up with a list of things they considered when deciding to stay in their home, such as…
- Can their home accommodate a wheelchair?
- They are fortunate that their bedroom is on the first floor so they don’t have to go up and down stairs.
- Their property taxes are reasonable.
- They can enjoy all four seasons where they live.
Once you know your location goals, it’s often helpful to do some worst-case planning. Adverse health and unforeseen life events can ravage your finances unless you are already managing a sizeable sum of assets or have incorporated the proper planning to better manage this situation. One option may be to get advice on how to turn a nest egg into retirement income. Or how can you add to your long-term care insurance or establish some long-term care insurance. Thinking particularly about in-home care is also very important if your goal is to stay in your own home as you age.
I hope you have your own success story about aging, just like Sally and John’s. I encourage everyone to spend some time into planning their retirement. It requires careful thought, planning, and decision making for the best outcome possible for you and your loved ones.
If you ever have a question or need some additional insights into your own situation, Just Ask or stop by for a Complimentary Meeting…neither cost you anything but could help get you on the path you desire as you age. As Sally says, “Embrace how you prepare for your senior years no matter what your age is, and the sooner the better!”