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Planning for the Future

 

As we age we prepare for many things: new house, new baby, college, retirement, etc. We don’t plan on getting really old, we don’t plan on getting sick and we don’t plan for changes in our mental status. This needs to change. In order for everyone to age “well” planning needs to be done by everyone. 

 

Steps

 

First make sure you have POA (power of attorney) in place for healthcare and finances. This should be done at age 18 and can be regularly updated. The POA is not used unless you become incapacitated but will allow your POA to make decisions on behalf of you. Make sure this person is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart.

 

Once your POA is set up you will want to take a look at your estate. If you have a lot of assets you will want to protect them and do some tax planning as well. This is the time when you sit down with an attorney who specializes in estate planning, wills and trusts. You will also want to put a Living Will into place so everyone knows what you want should some tragedy occur. You may want to plan for and consider long term care insurance, life insurance that is convertible or other measures to ensure you can retire well.

 

Now that you’ve matured and are around retirement age you will want to review your trust, wills and do some more estate and long term care planning. Be pro-active in your planning so that you aren’t reacting during a crisis but smoothly transitioning into a new lifestyle and protecting your family. You will have to figure out your longevity by looking at your parents and grandparents lives. How long are they living or did they live? Do they have diseases or illnesses that you can potentially get? Do you have enough in assets, long term care insurance or other income to cover your life-span? If not, how do you plan on paying for your long term care needs? Public aid? Family? 

 

If something should happen to you what type of community would you like to live in? Do you want an urban setting, naturesque setting, an active community, a sedate community, one with great meals, one that allows pets, etc. These are things you should think about. When you’re ready for a lifestyle change it’ll be easier for you to decide on your living arrangements. Use an educated referral service like Elderwerks to help you find the housing that is best suited to you and your needs. The planning can happen in advance and a commitment won’t need to be made until you’re ready.

 

I believe that planning for the future can help families minimize the stress associated with an unplanned event such as a stroke, broken limb, and any debilitating illness. Knowing what your loved one wants will help them make decisions that are best for you. If you need more information or help planning please contact Elderwerks for your complimentary assistance at 847-462-0885.