Life Planning

life-planning-meeting-MGI-Seniors.jpgAs you near retirement, you’ll want to start planning for the later years of your life. By getting your affairs in order early, you’ll be better prepared for any unforeseen challenges.

Set up a plan to meet your needs for finances, health, and housing. You can work with your dependents and family members on these issues, and the plan can evolve as your needs change.

Assess your post-retirement financial means. How much money have you saved up in a 401(k) or other retirement savings account? Do you have other resources you will be able to draw on, such as mutual funds or investments? How much income will you receive from Social Security and Medicare?

Once you have an idea of how much money you will receive each month and how much you can draw on from savings, you should look at your expenses. It may be necessary to adjust your lifestyle or even continue working part-time if you don’t think you will have enough income at your disposal. Even if you can live comfortably, your budget should also have enough padding to pay for unexpected emergencies.

Employers seldom cover retired workers under their health insurance policies, so you’ll want to look into getting a separate policy to avoid being stuck with hefty medical expenses. A life insurance policy can help support your dependents in the event of your death.

Exercise and a good diet can help you stay healthy, but you’ll also need to consider the possibility that you will need more medical assistance in the future. Look into options such as assisted living and home health care aides to see which ones you might prefer. Some seniors might want to move in with one of their adult children, which can also allow them to spend more time with their grandchildren.

Consider whether you want to stay in your home or move. If you choose the former option, you may need to make modifications to keep the residence more comfortable. For example, setting up a bedroom and laundry room on the first floor can be helpful if you are having trouble with stairs.

Moving can allow you to buy a smaller home which will be easier and less expensive to manage. You might also want to move to a senior community, which often allows for easy transition to assisted living if your needs increase.

While it is not pleasant to think about, you should also start making plans for how your estate will be distributed after your death. Consult with an attorney specializing in elder care to prepare advance directives such as power of attorney or a living will. These documents can firmly establish what you would like to do with your money and other assets at the end of your life, which will make it easier to distribute these resources.

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