By Liz Miller, GetSetUp
Planning for retirement involves a lot of factors that aren’t always clear from the get-go. It’s not just about planning for the basics like where you will live, living costs, and health costs. It’s also considering both the best and worst-case situations and planning for both. Planning for the unexpected aspects of aging or for the care you hope you won’t need around diseases like Alzheimer’s and other aging diseases is just as important as planning for the fun of retirement traveling and enjoying your life as you age.
While working with the senior population, Sara Finkelstein saw a trend – people are living longer than ever before. Her own husband’s grandmother is currently age 98 and his great-aunt lived to 106. Many of her clients live well into their 90s. Most people don’t prepare financially to live that long. Living a long life requires appropriate planning, so you have the money to support yourself, your health, your family, and your lifestyle.
“I learned as a trainee – People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. So much of what I do and how I help people are planning for the “what ifs” that happen to us down the road, as we retire, as our relative’s age, as we live longer lives.”
Top 5 Reasons To Start Planning For A Longer Lifespan Today
While we might not all live to be 106 like Sara’s great aunt we are living longer. The CDC cites that US citizens are living on average until 78.7 years. That’s up significantly from 100 years ago when the average life expectancy was about 60. The first step to making sure that we are also living better as we live longer is making sure we plan for our longer lifespans and for the effects of aging that come with that.
1. Assure Your Ability to Pay For Care – Make sure you are aware of what healthcare costs in retirement. Medicare is not free. Fidelity and AARP have done studies on how much to allocate for healthcare in retirement. It’s a big number that doesn’t include long-term care.
2. Guarantee An Income In Retirement – Make sure you can afford to maintain your desired standard of living in retirement. To do this you can combine a variety of assets – if you have them from planning ahead – to retire. Whatever your plan, make sure you have more than 1 stream of income. Ideally, the 3-legged stool for retirement Planning is
- Social Security – Pay attention to when you start collecting so that you maximize your cumulative benefits.
- Pensions – Many don’t have pensions anymore, they have 401k plans instead. If you do have a pension plan, consider yourself very lucky.
- Own Savings – Consider your personal savings, market investments, and other assets you have kept invested in for your retirement.
3. Protecting Your Loved Ones – If you are providing for spouses, children, or grandchildren make sure you have the money needed to provide for them and your wishes documented appropriately per your local regulations. Be sure others have access to your wishes.
4. Update Care and Beneficiary Forms – Make sure all the documentation necessary for wills and care wishes are up-to-date so you receive the treatment you desire when you need care and your assets go to the people and organizations you wish them to.
5. Account For Inflation – Inflation erodes our purchasing power so make sure you have a plan in place to keep up with inflation. The Rule of 72 states that if inflation is just 4%, that means you will need twice as much money in 18 years just to maintain the same lifestyle.
Want to learn more and get your questions answered? Join Sara’s Guest Speaking event on Tuesday, August 10 on GetSetUp. In this free live event, Sara will talk about how to avoid potential financial mistakes, understand the stealth tax, and why many retirees neglect to account for a hugely expensive bill in retirement, and why they need to. Plus those in attendance will have the opportunity to ask their questions live and get them answered.
Learn more about the event:
We all want and deserve to have a happy, carefree retirement. Retirement means different things to different people. However, all retirement plans require appropriate planning with the complete knowledge of “the what-ifs” and how they can impact you. Discover what you need to know so that once you retire, you can stay retired (if that is what you want)!
GetSetUp is a live, interactive learning platform for older adults who want to learn new skills, connect with others, and unlock new life experiences. Classes are taught by older adults and ensure everyone can actively participate. The platform helps older adults stay mentally and physically fit, creates economic opportunities through jobs and reskilling, and provides a community where people find meaning and purpose. To learn more, visit https://www.getsetup.org