Aging is a period of change, it comes naturally. Healthy aging, which we all want, necessitates planning ahead. It is never too early to create your proactive aging plan. So many people are living quite well into their middle 80s and beyond without too many problems. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about the future. However, now is the time to start planning for your Golden Years. If you are an adult child reading this then it is time to have “the talk” with your parents. The standard to follow is the 40/70 rule – when the parents are in their 70s and kids are in their 40s it’s the time to start talking about aging.
At this time you need to plan for your legal needs when you want to make sure your will is up to date and that you have selected the right individual to be your Health Care Power of Attorney and the financial Power of Attorney. The POA will make the critical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Bring those documents out of hiding and review it with your family. If you no longer want that individual to serve as your POA, still time to change names or beneficiaries.
Next is the financial aspect of aging. According to experts you will need at least 70% of what you make now. Calculate the exact amount with a financial planner .
Finally is your living arrangement. Are you going to “Age in Place” or live in a retirement community? If you plan to age at home then your home needs to be safe and home modifications need to be done now to ensure you can safely age at home. One of the biggest causes of disability and hospital admissions amongst seniors is the result of falls. Making sure your home is safe should be done now.
If your plan is to age in a retirement community start looking now, just in case your need for one comes before you anticipate. You can usually put a refundable deposit down to reserve a room. It’s also important to look sooner rather than later as many communities can have wait lists. Most adults have always been a part of the decision making in where they were going to live. Why would you want anyone else but yourself to pick out your retirement community, where you will be spending your golden years? Besides, it can be fun to tour communities especially when you are just looking, not during a crisis.
It can be very difficult to discuss aging, but not discussing it won’t stop it from happening and more often then not it will become a crisis, and every part of aging will become much more expensive and emotional.
To assist in bringing your healthcare team together and to help you set your plan for aging the way you want you can always hire a local senior care planner such as Caroline Bell with Preparing for Care, LLC. You can learn more about Preparing for Care, LLC at www.preparingforcare.com