Thinking about aging before you get old

A recent issue of Money Magazine (November 2012) included an article about issues that people have to think about as they get ready to retire.  Here are a few of the highlights.

  • Think about “longevity planning.”  A 65 year-old woman can expect to live past 85.   She’ll need more than a financial plan for that.
  • Moving when you retire is a dream for many, but by the time you’re 50 your home is where you have your marriage, your mortgage, your memories and your friends.  Less than 9% of the population ever picked up and moved to Florida, Arizona or some golf community.  In my experience, some people move to be closer to their children after retirement.  Most stay where they put down roots.
  • You may want to retrofit your home to make it more elderly-friendly: wider doorways, more accessible bathrooms, updated lighting fixtures.  Moving from a two story to a single story home.
  • Think about personal emergency response systems, especially if you live alone.
  • As people age they develop cognitive impairments that make it harder to manage their finances.  You need a network of professionals you can trust to help you.  That trust can only be developed over time, so begin early.
  • Think about other services that you need: who will care for the yard, shovel your driveway or even change your light bulbs when you can’t?

It’s not just about having the money to last a lifetime, but ensuring that you have the tools to live better longer.

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