Surviving and Thriving
Each day in the United States, 10,000 people become eligible to retire. For these individuals, and the thousands of others already retired, retirement issues loom large. Though visions of retirement for most start out as a joyous anticipation of being engaged in activities we did not have time for when working, re-engaging with friends and family, visiting new and exotic places and the like, these visions can be short-lived for many unprepared retirees.
The primary reason? An episode with illness (such as a stroke, heart attack, cancer, or a diagnosis of Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or other form of dementia, among the several illnesses that can strike at the most inopportune time) can leave the whole family in chaos and render the ill person a huge burden on loved ones. Unplanned illness can lead to many undesirable outcomes, including:
This reality is quite visible to aging Americans who harbor significant anxieties over these issues. The concerns are well founded because of the fact that half of all Americans over 85 will deal with dementia-related challenges that will render us unable to care for our own needs without the assistance of others. For most, this will be the time when we will realize that Medicare does NOT cover long-term care needs in any meaningful fashion.
- A forced and unwelcome move to an institutional care setting;
- Loss of assets to cover the high cost of care not covered by Medicare; and,
- A significant burden being placed on loved ones of the ill person.
All this leads to the fact that a bout with illness can quickly render traditional retirement planning ineffective in addressing the most critical retirement concerns aging Americans harbor; however, the good news is with proper planning these concerns can be addressed.
So what is proper planning?
It is coordinated and comprehensive planning around healthcare, housing, financial, and legal issues. It is planning that can help you:
The AgingOptions Resource Guide is a primer on these issues and how to develop a plan to have a better retirement than might be possible. By following the guidance provided here you should be able to develop a comprehensive and meaningful LifePlan which will serve you well.
- Avoid institutional care if that is at all possible;
- Protect your assets not only from probate costs and estate taxes, but from uncovered long-term care and medical costs as well; and,
- Not become a burden on your loved ones in case of incapacity.
2011 - Rajiv Nagaich