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None of us really want to get old because quite often with ageing comes challenges such as loss of mobility, poor health, failing eyesight, loneliness and a loss of independence. We take steps when we are younger to stave off some of these issues – eat healthily, take our vitamins and managing our stress, for example. However, it should go beyond that. Ageing healthily should also involve thinking about your financial, medical and family future.
What is your personal security plan?
In your last couple of decades of life, you face some important decisions. These can be quite tough, and it is important to start thinking about them and talking to your family about them sooner rather than later. Some of these decisions include:
Saving up for an enjoyable and comfortable retirement is a priority for many people. After all, after years of working hard and making sacrifices, it is nice to be able to enjoy your twilight years! You also want to make sure that while your money is well protected, you can access it if and when you need it. It is also essential to make the decisions about what is to happen to your money when you die, by making a will and preparing all of the relevant documents.
At the moment, your home may be a perfect size and easily accessible, but will it be in the future as you get older and perhaps lose some of your mobility? A large multi-level house can become problematic in old age, and many people think about taking out a lifetime mortgage to move into a more suitable home for their later years. If that is not feasible, perhaps look at what modifications can be made now to make it easy and safe to navigate in the future.
This can be particularly difficult to think about as no one wants to think about getting to a point where they need additional help, but sadly, it is a reality for many people. Ideally, your friends and family can help out, but sometimes, an older persons care needs may exceed what they can reasonably provide. Start to think now about what you want to happen if and when you get to that point. Would you rather have in-home community care or move into a residential care home? Make sure your family or next of kin are aware of your wishes.
Your health care
As you get older, there is a good chance that you will need more health care than you did as a younger person. For this reason, it is important to make sure you have the appropriate levels of health insurance coverage, and enough money put aside to cover any costs that your plan does not cover.
Your end of life wishes
When it comes to emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes, serious injuries or terminal illness, the last thing you want to have to do – or that you may be in the position to do – is make decisions about the next steps of your treatment. Of course, in some situations, the decision may be taken out of your hands, and it can be diffiult to know what you want to do when faced with particular circumstances. However, knowing what you think you want to happen and making sure your loved ones are aware of your wishes is something that you may want to think about.
Your funeral costs
The costs of funerals sadly fall on our nearest and dearest unless your life insurance or assets cover it. Funerals can be incredibly expensive, but there are things that you can do take the pressure off your relatives. You can plan your funeral so they know exactly what you want and do not want, and you can put payment plans into motion or even pre-pay the whole thing so when the time comes, it is all in hand.
None of us want to have to think about making these sorts of decisions. It always seems like something to do next year, when we are a particular age or to put off completely. However, by putting it off, you could be storing up all sorts of problems for not just yourself but for your loved ones. Making these plans and sorting things out now can avoid a lot of heartache and grief and tough decisions in the future for everyone involved.