However distant the future may seem, it’s never too early to start planning for your senior years. You should take action while you’re still young because you can never be too ready for what the future has in store for you.
Life is unpredictable, and even more so when we reach a certain age and everything becomes a challenge. Once you reach your senior years, you shouldn’t worry about anything, just enjoy life. To be able to do so, you should start planning for your future ahead of time.
Here’s a list of all the things you should consider when planning for your senior years.
Decide your living situation
Where would you like to age and live once you reach your senior years? For many people, the answer is their own home, for others, it may be the retirement home or community.
Regardless of your preferences, there are some things you need to consider. How will you move around once you’re too old to drive? Who will do the shopping for you, take you to your doctor’s appointments? What happens if you end up in a wheelchair?
Once you consider all of these things, you’ll be able to make a final decision about your living situation in your senior years. Sometimes, no matter how much we want to grow old in our own homes, the best solution is to retire to a seniors-only retirement community or a retirement home.
Get all your affairs in order
Another important step when planning for senior years is getting all your affairs in order. This implies gathering all your important documents and papers in one place and getting them organized. These important documents include personal and financial records.
Hire estate lawyers who will help you plan and draft and later implement your last will. An estate lawyer will make sure that all your wishes regarding your estate are respected and administered the way you wanted them to be.
Assign someone to manage your affairs
After you’ve got all your affairs in order, it’s time to think about assigning someone to manage said affairs.
Life is unpredictable and unexpected and the best we can do is make sure we have all the fronts covered. That means preparing for the worst kind of future as well. You never know how weak or frail, even physically or mentally incapacitated you may be in your senior years and you may not be able to manage all the affairs.
You may assign someone from your family as a guardian or you may appoint another person to make legal and healthcare decisions on your behalf through a legal document known as a general durable power of attorney.
Stay away from joint bank accounts
Avoid at all costs adding relatives to your bank account. Even though this is something that often happens and the elderly add their children or grandchildren to their bank accounts so that they can pay bills and make other transactions.
The wise thing would be to avoid doing this, because when you add someone to your bank account, that person becomes the owner, too. Your money is no longer only yours.
The better solution is to appoint your attorney-in-fact to manage your bank accounts. An attorney-in-fact is a person authorized to act on your behalf and this person doesn’t necessarily have to be a lawyer. This way the person authorized is legally responsible to manage your bank account and use your money wisely.
Protect yourself and your spouse
Unfortunately, the elderly are often taken advantage of. To protect yourself from being scammed, robbed, neglected, or abused, hire a lawyer who can help you plan and prevent any potential abuse.
Hiring a lawyer in time may prevent many problems and headaches. Similarly, you can make sure that your spouse is protected and taken care of in case of your death.
Protecting your spouse from poverty is something that you should think about in time. Again, this is something that a lawyer can help you out with. You just need to check all the options you have and arrange everything in advance.
Let your family know
Once you’ve gathered all information and consulted with your lawyer, you can let your family know about your decisions. Listen and consider their opinions, but know that you’re doing this for yourself. They don’t really have to agree with everything. Always keep in mind that the ultimate decision should be yours.
Making plans like these may seem so final but it’s not. By doing this, you’re simply making sure that your future is safe and secure. Retirement years should be the best years of your life – not thinking about anything else but enjoying the rest of your life.