A Quality of Life Discussion is Critical

Greetings! I trust that this finds you well and enjoying life.
To live well in retirement, you have to embrace change and longevity planning.
As you get older your circumstances will continue to change, sometimes rapidly. What doesn’t change is your desire to be independent, to have social connections that enrich your life, and to participate in activities that bring you joy. Financial planning that can meaningfully address these qualities of life issues can make all the difference.
Here are key areas to consider.
Even in retirement, housing remains the largest spending category. Most retirees want to age in place. In a recent AARP survey, 89% of those 50 and older said they want to continue living in their homes indefinitely. However, there are a number of other options in retirement, and it’s best to think about the issue before it becomes an immediate need.
Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want to stay in your home? Will it need to be modified for aging?
  • What other housing options are available to you, and what will they cost?
  • Would you want to downsize, or relocate to a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood?
  • What is your family situation? Are there children you could live with harmoniously?

Health Care As We Age
As we age health care costs tend to add up. Consider that the average couple at age 65 can expect health care costs of $266,000 over a 20-year retirement, and that number doesn’t include any chronic conditions or health emergencies, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. An important part of financial planning is to help ensure that health care costs don’t become a drain on clients’ quality of life.
Questions to ask yourself:

  • What will the treatment of existing medical conditions cost over the long term?
  • Do you know what costs Medicare will cover?
  • Should you consider long-term care insurance?
  • Are there existing conditions that prevent the purchase of LTCI?
  • What health care facilities and providers are there locally?

It may come as a surprise, but transportation is the second-largest expense for individuals older than age seventy and accounts for about 15% of their annual expenditures, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s why you should prepare to account for it as a part of your long-term financial plan.
Questions to ask yourself:

  • How will you get to your favorite places in retirement?
  • Who will assist you if you can’t drive yourself somewhere?
  • What transportation options are available in your area?

It’s a sobering statistic: 70% of Americans age 65 (in 2014) will need some kind of long term care during their lives. At some point, you may be providing or receiving care, so this must be taken into account in long-term financial planning. Of the 10 million adults age 50 and above caring for aging parents today, those leaving their job to do so will be affected by lost wages and future Social Security benefits.
Questions to ask yourself

  • How will you get the care you need as you age?
  • Is long term care insurance a good idea for you?

Maintaining quality of life throughout increasingly long retirements is becoming a growing challenge for millions of Americans. With expanded longevity comes a whole new set of challenges.
If you have questions about any of the above or feel that we can help in any way don’t hesitate to call.
Best regards,
Jeff Christian CFP, CRPC

The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces.

Traditional Proverb

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