“Although there are more options now for building financial security for your golden years rather than being dependent on someone else and hoping for the best, the financial side is only the tip of the iceberg if you want to live comfortably and enjoy retirement without a spouse or children.”
If you do not have your retirement planning written in stone yet, you are not alone. Many people are too busy with their day-to-day lives to set aside much time to think about the issues they will face as they get older. Then one day, you find retirement around the corner, and the decisions you must make can be overwhelming. Aging adults who live alone, have even more issues to confront. You need not worry. Here are things you must know about aging-alone plans for baby boomers.
Before Congress created Social Security, 401Ks, Roth IRAs, and other financial options, the typical retirement plan used to be that your kids would take care of you when you got older. That scenario does not work well now, because baby boomers had children fewer than their parents and many people facing their next chapter have no children. Those who do not currently have a spouse and did not have children, are sometimes called “elder orphans” or aging-alone.
Although there are more options now for building financial security for your golden years rather than depending on someone else and hoping for the best, the financial side is only the tip of the iceberg if you want to live comfortably and enjoy retirement without a spouse or children. Here are issues to think about:
- Does it make sense for you to stay in your home as you get older? Many in-home services are now available. You need not move into a retirement home just because you might not feel up to cooking all your meals or pushing the vacuum around the house. Making common-sense renovations to your house, can save you a fortune on long-term care costs. Some changes cost nothing, such as decluttering and removing rugs and other tripping hazards.
- Consider your house as an asset. Having someone live-in and exchange room and board for housekeeping chores, can give you better care and more attention than you are likely to receive in a nursing home. If you have the space and your town allows it, you could even put a tiny home on your lot and rent it out for a passive income stream.
- You do not want to outlive your money. Meet with a financial planner or elder law attorney to decide how to maximize your income and cash flow in retirement. You will want to discuss the right age for you to retire, when you should collect Social Security retirement benefits, your monthly and annual budget, your investments and savings and how to keep your health care costs down.
- Speaking of healthcare, your elder care lawyer can walk you through when and how to apply for Medicare and which Medicare plan is best for you. The wrong plan could spell financial ruin.
- Minimize your need for medical treatments and prescription drugs, by staying physically fit and mentally sharp. After decades of answering to alarm clocks, many people relish sleeping in and doing little once they stop working. Getting plenty of sleep is important for your health, but you must stay physically and socially active, if you do not want to spend your hard-earned next chapter suffering from poor health and cognitive decline. In retirement, you can stay active doing things you enjoy, like shopping or going for a walk with friends.
Create your best life for your retirement years with an aging-alone plan. Talk with an elder law attorney near you, if your state has different laws than the general law covered in this article.
HuffPost. “Elder Orphans: A Baby Boomer’s Aging-Alone Plan.” (accessed July 19, 2018) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-marak/aging-alone-plan_b_8886418.html