As we age, we seem to be more inclined to think about the future and make plans. Planning for the future is an important task for young people. But with the mindset of living now, planning and sacrifice for the future does not seem too important. There is lots of support for senior citizen planning. Seniors in every country are planning, as they are able, for their future and tapping into any support available.
Senior Citizen Planning
Perhaps the most important focus for senior citizen planning is personal health and heath care. Theweek.com shares that 22% of the world’s population will be over 60 by 2050. This will be a tremendous burden on health care systems around the world as the need for health care increases with age. In much of the world, seniors are no longer supported and provided for in a family atmosphere regardless of culture.
Good planning can help moderate health concerns for seniors.
- Maintaining good health and fitness can minimize the need for medical care. This involves diet, exercise, intellectual and social stimulation.
- Taking advantage of all available national and regional health benefits will minimize, as much as possible, the cumulative affects of poor, untreated health concerns.
- Maintaining dental health as much as possible will help stabilize health.
- Maintaining a proper diet has long term health affects.
- Being safe and accident free can help seniors avoid premature health issues.
- Outlook is important. Minimizing stress and being positive are preventative.
Health issues can also be environmental or genetic. This places health concerns outside the scope of personal prevention. For these, medical care will be needed. Senior citizen planning around health is essential from enrolling in health plans to good diet.
An online journal featuring information about investing called “The Motley Fool” sites 3 common mistakes made in senior citizen planning.
- Seniors fail to invest, if they are able, or invest too conservatively.
- Seniors tend not to plan for the future in terms of purchases and savings.
- Seniors often deplete their finances by supporting family.
Most seniors do not have the ability to invest, but saving is an important alternative. Any sum set aside can help in an emergency. Recently, a senior citizen, in the United States, found that a little thought of retirement account had accumulated about $36,000. Invested very conservatively in an IRA through a financial advisor, it began building about $1000 annually… around 3.5%. At age 72, this senior needed to withdraw, by law, 3% from the IRA. The principle remained intact, even growing by .5%. Eventually, the senior decided on a slightly less conservative approach. That initial sum began to earn 13% annually. If extra money is available, knowledgeable invest can help that money grow. Building a savings account or investing wisely is good planning.
Spending is a major issue for seniors as they adjust to less income and possibly more expenses because of health concerns. Housing, food and are the big expenses for seniors around the world. The National Center for Policy Analysis offers an detailed look at how seniors in the US spend their money. At a time when income is dwindling, many seniors buy their “last car.” Or they begin a new hobby to occupy their time. There is nothing wrong with spending as long as it relates the financial reality of being a senior.
Investing, budgeting, saving, conserving, foregoing and reusing are all words that need to play a big part in the financial practices of seniors.
Planning to the End
There are some unpleasant parts to senior citizen planning.
Even it it doesn’t seem necessary, a will or some form of final disposition is very important.
A Living Trust is like a will, but put in place while a person is living. The primary reason for a living trust is to minimize probate costs associated with the disposition of wills. From personal possessions to huge financial assets, designating what is to go to whom is important. Wills and living trust can make things easier for survivors. Noting a favor institution of cause is another important reason for a living trust. Organizations are subject to probate like individuals. Although do it yourself wills and trusts are attractive in terms of cost, the services of a lawyer are recommended. Ask friends about which lawyer they trust. Ask your financial advisor for a name. Interview lawyers you have found until the fit seems right.
Planning final arrangements is a sad, stressful time for family or friends. Seniors
should do at least minimal planning for a remembrance whether in the midst of a faith community or at a cemetery. Many seniors don’t want any time, energy or money spent on any kind of remembrance.
Planning Should Include:
- Stated preference for a remembrance.
- Place for remembrance.
- Format for the remembrance.
- Funds for the remembrance when possible.
Details can be left up to survivors, but naming someone to write an obituary, pall bearers, readers, speakers, hosts, etc. can be a big help. Its very important to let someone trusted know about insurance, special accounts etc. All of this can be written down.
Take a moment to share your thoughts on how you plan for the future as a senior in the comment section. Are you careful with your money? Have you thought about a final remembrance time?