As we close the month of August and September comes into view, many of us look at ways of reset our lives. I guess my feelings are related to summer ending and school starting when I was growing up.
As I look at pushing the reset bottom, I like to reflect on my professional development and the projects I am working on to see what I want to change or add to my to-do list.
This year, I am looking at how I am aging and what I want to change, so I am prepared as time marches on.
My husband and I are asking tough questions like do we want to age in place in our current home? Do we want to stay in Florida or move up north to be closer to family and friends? Do we have the money to do what we want to do? It seems like each question opens the door to more questions that make us ponder more.
Luckily, we have prepared for this time by living within our means over the years and sticking to a consistent saving schedule. Still, the cost of aging and some of the decisions we must make are eye-opening.
Whatever age you are on your timeline – it is essential to prepare. Here is a checklist of some of the things you might consider making to ensure you are on the right track:
- Are you maximizing your savings? If you are still working, talk to your financial planner about increasing your savings, paying off debt, and maximizing your 401K.
- Review your advanced directives. Make sure they are up to date and cover the things that are important to you.
- Make sure your doctors have a copy if you make changes to them. Talk to your family and friends to make sure they know your wishes.
- Look at your home. Do you need to make any improvements to make it safe, accessible, and allow you to age in place? If you are still working, make the changes before you retire.
- Are you happy in your home? If not, where would you want to be? Start exploring areas where you might want to live.
- If you want to downsize, what type of housing are you looking for? Maybe it is a 55 and over community, a continuous care center? An apartment near your family, or do you want to move to a place you always wanted to live? This might be the time!
Depending on where you are in your life, this list may be different. Think about where you are and where you want to be at this stage of your life.
Spend some time with your financial advisor, who can give you a clear picture of where you are financially and what you need to do to live the next stage of your life in a safe, comfortable environment that meets your goals.
Some people may not want to retire at 65 or 66. I recommend that you work until you know it is time to stop. This time will be different for everyone. Just make sure you are doing what you can to conserve your saving and maximize your income so it can work for you.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section about how you plan your future! It might give me and others some new ideas!
Have a good week.
Anne, thanks so very much for highlighting the importance of advance directives for all of us. It is so easy for people to forget this step or put it off until it is too late. You do people a real service, thanks!
We are walking parallel lives as I retired from regular employment 5 months ago and have continued to work on my own terms as a consultant — and love it! We have also been “savers” and the pandemic has caused us to be more homebodies than globetrotters. Your advice on updating wills, advanced directives, and investigating housing options are wise at any age. Thanks for sharing and caring!
Hi Anne..you are on point as usual and your recommendations are quite valuable. People should have an action plan that includes knowing/feeling when the time is right. Retirement should be about enjoyment, rest and relaxation. Sadly and for a variety of reasons many people continue to work even with declining health only to retire with their bodies failing. Speaking with a retirement planner is essential because so many retirees might find themselves in better financial shape than when they were employed –with fewer work related expenses — and more opportunities. This new chapter should be one of enjoyment and careful planning will help that happen!
Anne-excellent summary of talking points with spouse, family and healthcare providers. Circumstances change quickly with a catastrophic illness or injury and death of a spouse. Follow the Scout motto “Be Prepared!”
Anne, Thanks for the stimulating thoughts for those who have not yet planned ahead. My Dad always said: no matter how much you save and plan for retirement, it is always never enough. Fortunately, he was a successful businessman and had planned. They did not leave much, but retired and lived in dignity.
My husband and I discussed this often, before and after he was diagnosed with Cancer. We had our plans in place with focus on when he was ready, to enter a CCRC. Unfortunately, he went to his demise before he was ready.
I had had the terrible thought: what if the country went into a depression and lost all of our savings; then what? That is why we decided on a CCRC. When he passed, I had my plan in place.
We all think the inevitable will never hit home. However, it happens when one least expects it so it is never too early to have a plan in place.
Continue discussions and set some plan in place, even if you, or anyone, does not have to utilize the plan for years to come.
I am making some arrangements, and this list will help me be clear about what I want.
Thank you so much,