"Preparing for your 60s and beyond means more than assessing your financial health. Experts say the best time to start planning is in your early 40s."
--FROM THE LANSING STATE JOURNAL (OCT. 17, 2010): YOUR FUTURE: 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT
I became aware of an article online last week, originally written for the Detroit Free Press and then republished by the Lansing State Journal. Writer Robin Erb outlined Five Things You Need to Think About, as you age. Her Top Five were worthy of passing along here:
- Your Decisions. Most people need to complete three critical documents – a will or living trust, a health care power of attorney and a power of attorney for financial matters. Generally, in Utah, your estate can be administered much easier with a properly funded and drafted revocable living trust which addresses real life concerns (e.g., incapacity, divorce of children, blended families, creditor issues of children, taxes).
- Your Home. Does your home need upgrades to make it user-friendly as you age? For example, is it close to the grocery store and the doctor’s office? Does it have a first-floor bathroom?
- Long-Term Care. Most nursing homes cost more than $50,000 a year, according to the national AARP. Long-term care insurance may pay for long stays in a nursing home, or may even off-set the cost of home-based medical care. You can read more about Long-Term Care Planning on our website, state elder care agency websites, or websites of national elder law organizations.
- Your Relationships. Beyond your family relationships, have you lost track with other friends and community relationships? Nurturing those relationships will help you stay active and engaged later in life.
- Your Health. Assess your family history and lifestyle. Talk to your doctors to determine how you can cut those risks. Prevention now can mean the difference between independence and being confined to your home later.
If you are a business owner, I would add planning for the succession of your business to this list (you can find a wealth of information for small business owners on our website as well as a number of other websites). If you don't know what legal issues may affect you in planning, please feel free to contact us for a free consulation.