Compared to even a few decades ago, people today can expect to live longer
and healthier lives. And they can expect their overall quality of life to improve as they age – if they have the resources to stay healthy, that is.
According to a survey of seniors conducted by the National Council on Aging, 80% of those contacted said they plan to age in their homes while 40% felt they would need a child or grandchild to eventually care for them. Almost one-third said they did not know if their money would last through retirement; some did not even have a financial plan.
What can you do to prepare for a good quality of life as you age? Start planning now to ensure you take full advantage of resources that can help you have a longer, healthier life. Start with financial planning by consulting with a certified financial planner. Candidly share your current financial situation, and thoroughly describe your goals for both before and after you retire. Together, create a workable plan that will help you achieve those goals.
Next, focus on legal and estate planning. Depending on your individual circumstances, your plan can be relatively simple or complex. At a minimum, make sure you:
- Create a complete estate plan: Living Trust, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare and HIPAA Power of Attorney, and estate planning letters.
- Name guardians for any minors and dependents.
- Create written instructions for locating important documents, including insurance policies, bank accounts, and other financial assets.
- Name retirement plan, 401(k), and IRA beneficiaries.
- Make funeral arrangements, whether pre-paid or pre-planned.
A comprehensive estate plan ensures that your assets are distributed how, when, and to whom you want. Plus it can relieve loved ones from the stress and emotional impact of making difficult financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com by Mark Eghrari