How to Make Plans for Your Golden Years Important Considerations About Your Health, Lifestyle, and Estate

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As we all get older, it’s important to make plans for our golden years. Having a plan in place ensures your quality of life is as good as possible and that your needs are met as you age.

Some of the most important aspects of planning for later years is deciding how we will access home health care services and other health needs, creating advanced directives and other legal documents, and determining exactly how we want to live out the rest of our lives.

Keep reading to learn more about planning for your golden years and how to make decisions about important services you may need.

What Kind of Lifestyle Do You Want?
When thinking about the future and planning for your golden years, it’s important to decide on what kind of lifestyle you want. Do you want to stay in your home and downsize, or do you want to move to a retirement community or assisted living facility? Would you prefer to live with a trusted family member? Do you want a simple lifestyle with a small monthly budget, or do you desire extravagance, travel, or upscale living?

These are important decisions to make now, as they can have an effect on planning your end of life care and other health needs, as well as impact how much you’ll need to save for retirement. Unfortunately, considering how you’ll pay for your desired lifestyle is ultimately one of the most important aspects of planning out your golden years. Planning now means you can enjoy your retirement later.

What Are Your Health Care Needs, and How Will You Meet Them?
As you age, your health care needs will likely change and become more complex. That’s why you should start proactively making plans now.

Think about the medical conditions you currently have, how they could worsen, and what you may be more susceptible to as you age, such as arthritis, heart conditions, mobility issues, and more. Look into the possibility of private duty care options if you believe you’ll need help with daily living activities in your home as you age.

You also must ensure you’ll have the funds to pay for your care. Carefully examine your insurance policies, long-term care insurance, and other financial resources available to you. Make sure you understand what your existing policies will cover, and consider purchasing other policies to fill in the gaps. Examine your retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, and your monthly social security check. Will your income cover all the health care services you’ll require? Of course, you aren’t omniscient, but you can still be prepared for most things that could come your way.

Complete written advanced directives and assign someone to serve as your healthcare proxy (also called a durable power of attorney), should you be unable to make medical decisions on your own. These documents will ensure your health-related wishes are carried out. This includes making decisions about long-term care, including private duty care or nursing homes, both of which are beneficial for seniors who may need more attention or specialized care as they age.

What Are Your Plans for Your Estate?

Plan ahead for how you want your estate handled. A durable power of attorney and written will help to ensure your wishes are carried out and that your spouse or family members receive anything you want to pass along to them.

Setting up an estate plan now can provide you with peace of mind. You can be confident your wishes will be followed, and your loved ones will be taken care of. Planning helps you take control of the future, no matter what comes your way.

Be sure to consider your:

  • Real property, such as your home.
  • Personal property, such as vehicles or recreational vehicles.
  • Bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, and life insurance.
  • Valuables, such as jewelry and other collectibles.
  • Any other personal assets or items of monetary or sentimental value.

It’s Up to You!
The great thing about planning for your golden years is that ultimately all the decisions are up to you. And when you put down your wishes in writing and in official legal documents, you can ensure you continue to enjoy a high quality of life, even when you need help with day-to-day activities.

Once all your advanced planning is complete, you can sit back, relax, and fulfill all your goals you have for retirement, whether it’s fishing, traveling, writing a novel, or spending time with your grandchildren.