You’re Never Too Young to Plan for Aging Well

Life is full of events we need to plan for financially, like college, buying a home, and retiring. When it comes to retirement planning, we generally think about the obvious – where we’ll live and how we’ll spend all that free time. But, of course, we’ll also want to ensure that we’re aging well – which includes having plans and a budget for both planned and unexpected changes and needs.

It just makes sense to treat aging well as another “event” we need to plan for. Experts say we should plan our budgetary and other needs for at least 20 years beyond retirement age. That puts most people well into their 80s, but many more will live into their 90s and beyond. And expecting the unexpected is important.

According to an article published by the National Association of Plan Advisors, most respondents to a survey about retirement planning “underestimate[d] the cost of out-of-pocket health care for a couple in retirement, with 37% guessing between $50,000-100,000. In fact, for a couple retiring at 65, the actual average cost through retirement is three times higher, at $295,000.”

Fortunately, we’re seeing more and more adults – both couples and singles – in their 50s and 60s with aging well on their radar. Often they’ve helped their parents through some lifestyle transitions and have realized how important planning is. Others are referred to us by their financial planners, who recognize the importance of having advance plans and/or savings for in-home help, healthcare needs, senior living options, and end-of-life considerations. Here are some of the common questions these clients ask.

How does LifeCare Advocates help me with my financial plan?

We’ll help you understand the costs of:

  • Various living and care options (for example, senior living residences and in-home care). We can explain the different types of communities that are available, such as independent living or continuing care retirement communities, and the general costs involved.
  • Self-insuring (paying out-of-pocket) vs. long-term care insurance when paying for healthcare.
  • Healthcare expenses not covered by insurance or Medicare.

We respect your need for privacy. Some clients share their financial outlook with the care manager, while others prefer to keep it private. We can easily give you ballpark estimates for expenses and adapt accordingly.

How do you work with my financial advisor?

It’s up to you. We’re happy to meet with you and your financial planner. If you’d prefer, we’ll meet with you, and you can discuss matters separately with your advisor.

What about end-of-life wishes and estate planning?

When we meet we’ll discuss your wishes for end-of-life care and make sure you have the appropriate documents in place, such as your healthcare proxy appointment and personal directive/living will.

You may also choose to include either a copy of your estate plan or information about where it can be accessed and by whom.

What happens after we meet?

After our meeting, we’ll create a plan that you review and update as needed. With well clients – those not currently receiving care – your life care manager will contact you once a year to see if you want to make any updates. Your care manager will also share industry updates, such as new facilities or care options in your area, or changes to Medicare coverage.

We like to remind clients about the simple power of planning. Starting early will not just give you peace of mind, but will also give you more time to learn and explore options. You can always update your plans later – and when it’s convenient for you, rather than when the situation is urgent and time is limited.