Do You Have A Plan For Your Future?

iStock_000011860918SmallDespite concerns about finances and health, most people look forward to retirement. The idea is that people will have more time for personal interests since they no longer have to work or care for small children.

Of course, things aren’t always ideal.  A serious illness, dementia, or even death can mean that retirement won’t be so golden.  While many health issues can’t be prevented, they can be planned for, especially since a stroke, complications from diabetes or osteoporosis can lead to long-term care situations, such as assisted living or nursing home placement.

How do you plan for a future that may include chronic health issues when you aren’t sure what the future may hold for you?  These things can help:

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Signs an Elderly Loved One Needs Help at Home

There are signs to watch for that will tell you when your elderly loved one needs help at home.

There are signs to watch for that will tell you when your elderly loved one needs help at home.

It is no secret that we are living longer. In fact, the life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 81.2 years and for males, it’s 76.4 years.

Still, that doesn’t mean that elderly parents or relatives will always be spry and able to easily manage their activities of daily living. How can you tell if your loved one needs help at home?

You don’t want to offend them by imposing something on them, but at the same time you don’t want something to happen that could have been avoided, had there been some assistance in place. Here are some signs to watch for:

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Retirement Planning: Understanding Social Security Benefits

Social secruityNavigating the issue of Social Security benefits (SSB) can be a difficult process for individuals nearing the age of retirement.

Generally it is advised to wait as long as possible before taking SSB, however it is sometimes necessary for an individual to begin collecting these payments early. If the individual is able to continue working while collecting social security benefits it may be possible to increase the overall profit.

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When is the Right Time to Talk to an Elder Law Attorney?

Preparation is a key component when planning for the future. Choices about where to live, long-term care and how to protect assets are common age-related decisions. One way to keep these choices from becoming overwhelming is to seek the advice and guidance of an elder law attorney.

Planning Ahead

While many people feel they don’t need the help of an elder law attorney, there are instances where the guidance and legal support of an attorney may become necessary.

Often, people disregard the benefits of consulting with an elder law attorney because they see it as an unnecessary cost, especially when they do not have any persistent health issues. However, legal and health issues can arise suddenly and without the correct preparation, elders can have a difficult time recovering and managing healthcare expenses.

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Retirement Planning

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No matter your age, there are certain things that you need to do to prepare financially for retirement. The earlier you start, the better off you will be.

  1. Save!
    It is recommended that you put aside at least 10 to 15 percent of your annual income. You should put more away if you are closer to retirement and haven’t put much aside yet.
  2. Create an Emergency Fund
    Creating an emergency fund will insure that you will have some money to help you out if a situation arises where you lose your regular source of income. It should have enough money to last you three to six months. It is for emergencies only, so a purchase of a new flat screen TV doesn’t qualify.
  3. Pay Down Debt
    If you are struggling with debt, there is a technique by Dave Ramsey called the “Debt Snowball.” List your debts from lowest to highest. Pay the minimum balance on all of your debts, except the smallest, and pay down the smallest debt fast. Once your smallest debt is gone, move onto the next lowest debt and work on getting that paid. Continue this process until all debt is gone. Continue Reading Retirement Planning

Live With Family or Elsewhere

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A recent article in U.S. News & World Report dealt with multi-generational households. While having older parents live with adult children or other relatives is not new, the recession has lead to an increase in multi-generational households. In 2008, there were 6.2 million multi-generational households. In 2010 that number went up to 7.1 million households. So, in other words, lots of people are occupying spare bedrooms.

While sharing space is a great way to reduce expenses and care for loved ones as they get older, it isn’t for everyone or every situation. There are some things to consider before different generations decided to share one roof.

Lifestyle Differences

Early birds vs. sleep till noon.  Dinner is homemade and on the table at 6:00 p.m. sharp vs. Tuesday is Chinese Takeout Night. While the differences between the generation that fought in World War II and their Baby Boomer children have been mined for laughs on countless sitcoms, actually negotiating these differences is another story.  Is it possible to work something out regarding meal times, living space, having guests over, etc?

Children in the House

If your adult child has a child, can you deal with childhood in the 21st century, with its regimented activities and numerous electronic games? Would you be willing to help with childcare, such as taking the child to and from school and helping with homework?

Who is Going to Pay for What?

While most seniors don’t have to pay rent when they move into an adult child’s home, an extra person means added utility and food costs. Who is going to pay for those expenses or are you willing to do service in lieu of fees? Also, there is healthcare to consider, since Medicare doesn’t pay for everything. Do you have supplemental insurance or has your adult child agreed to pay for whatever expenses Medicare doesn’t pay for?

Relationship with Adult Children

It is not just the practical aspects of living in someone else’s home that a person needs to think about, it is the emotional aspect that needs to be considered, as well. Many times the relationship between parents and adult children are strained. Can you put aside past differences and make the best of the situation?  Also, you have to consider the relationship you have with your child’s spouse.  Many times that relationship is strained to begin with.  Imagine how much worse it can become living together under the same roof.

The above items highlight the need to work out a plan before packing up your things and moving to a son or daughter’s home. Yes, there are times when circumstances intervene, such as a sudden medical issue like a heart attack or broken hip, and it is not possible to plan ahead. Still, where planning ahead is possible, it is best to do so.

Working together to come up with a living arrangement that all of you can be comfortable with will go a long way in preventing any problems that come up when different generations live under the same roof. Of course, if you and your adult child can’t come up with a living arrangement that works for all parties concerned, then it is best to find other arrangements. Just because someone is your child, doesn’t mean that his or her home is the best place for you to live during your retirement years.