Anyone thinking about retirement in the next few years needs to plan. Plan for both a healthy and unhealthy retirement ahead of them. You may be healthy now, plan to golf every day or pursue some other activity that you have always wanted to do. If you are healthy now, there is a really good chance that you will be able to do just that. But there comes a time when our health changes. We may need to change our lifestyle. As a result we need to be prepared to pay for the kind of support we many require.
Baby boomers are retiring in droves.. Many plan to lead healthy active lives for many years to come. However not planning for the unhealthy years may leave them in a situation that prevents them from enjoying a high quality of life. The transition to retirement is filled with many issues. For more information in this topic, click here.
Plan for Healthy and Unhealthy Retirement Years
What are some of the steps that baby boomers can take to plan for retirement years? When is the best time to put these steps into action and who should you talk to ?
The answer is to take the action immediately when you still can and are of sound mind. Involve your family in the decisions. Make sure that they are informed of your intentions and desires. Typically this is done through what is called a living will. This is a document prepared by you and your lawyer. It provides instructions to your caregivers while you are still. A living will covers who should look after your finances. More importantly make decisions about your health care. A power or attorney or living will is a legal document. It should be given to your family or at least the person you designate as the person who will look after you when you cannot.
You may also include specific instructions about health care, your financial situation and what is to be done with your home, car etc while you are incapacitated. Take into account the availability of the person you appoint. a Family member who is thousands of miles away vs. one that is living in the same town seems more practical. Do they have the right attitude and are they sufficiently mature to handle the decisions that are needed?
Plan for Healthy and Unhealthy Retirement Years – Power of Attorney
There is no sense in appointing someone who is of the same age or older than you are. Someone who is younger and has a higher probability of being available when needed is probably a better choice than your older brother or sister or an older attorney.
Finally baby boomers need to also plan financially for the time frame when they may have higher health related bills. Work with a financial adviser to ensure that you are positioned for both the healthy years as well as the unhealthy years.
Paying for special needs can place an extra load on a family in all kinds of ways. This post will take a quick look at retirement options and what it may mean for couples looking after someone with special needs.
Consider a special needs child who has no way of earning an income and depends on his parents for everything. As the parents plan fir retirement, they also must plan for an extra income that will look after their special needs child when they are retired and later when they are no longer alive. This is a very serious situation that keeps many people up at night worrying about what will happen to their child, their spouse or someone they are looking after. Another situation is where one spouse becomes sick or has a major health challenge and requires special care in a health facility costing thousands of dollars while the other remains at home with all of the normal home related expenses.
Paying for special needs – Set Up a Trust Fund
For many couples this means setting up a trust that will have sufficient money to look after their child as long as he or she lives. There also needs to be instructions as well for what to do with the trust when the child also passes away. There are also must be a trust administrator to make sure the trust is maintained and looks after the child’s financial requirements.
All of these factors can be handled by your lawyer or a trusted financial adviser. It is important to have things set up in a professional way with everything set out properly and clearly. While the paperwork and the financial plans are important there are other factors that need to be considered. For example, after you are gone who will administer the trust fund and more importantly make sure that your child is looked after? Selecting an administrator is an important decision.
The Personal Touch
While it is nice to have the money in place, it is also important to have someone that you trust to look after the special needs person. Usually this is a brother or sister, or a cousin that is close to the family and can be trusted to take good personal care of the person. Aside from paying for whatever services you may need, it is the personal needs, such as clothes, toiletries, visitations, medical visits etc that also need to be taken care of.
This can be a significant commitment for many people and sometimes it will be shared by members of the family so that not all of the time and the work is born by one person. When people share the responsibilities it can be much easier on everyone. Still there must be one person that takes the responsibility to coordinate and manage everything. Diplomacy is required since you want to avoid creating differences that become major issues at the same time. Choose wisely.