In May's article we talked about the earlier decades that encompass the 20's, 30's and 40's. These are the generations of the Millennial's, the generation who prefers to be called the Oregon Trail generation; those who aren't quite Millennials and they are not Generation X. They feel they fall in between these two other groups. I am hoping you found some common ground in the earlier generations we approached in last month's article, and that you found the information useful.
This month we are going to talk about the decades later in life, the 50's, 60's and beyond. So, let's get started!
The 50's decade
In this decade you may be thinking about early retirement. You are now considering what you have in place and what may still be missing to allow you to retire. I believe this is the decade where women start to take seriously what they want for themselves going forward. It is time to take inventory on your financial life. It is also time to determine if you are on track with your retirement goals.
Answer some questions for yourself to help you determine where you are now, and where you want to go. Maybe your home is now an empty nest and you're thinking you can go full speed ahead for the next 10 years putting as much money away for retirement as possible. If you are thinking like this, then you need to get active with a strategy to get you where you want to go. I have always said "Any road will take you somewhere, but you need to know the road that will get you where you want to go, You Need A Road Map!"
You can try doing this strategy by yourself, or you can ask for professional help. Don't put off for tomorrow what could be done today. Procrastination never helped anyone when planning a financial future for themselves.
Another question you have to answer is "does longevity run in your family tree?" You need to determine this because you could spend more years in retirement than you spent employed. Just think about spending 30 years or more in retirement. I think that's a scary thought.
Another item to consider is whether you will need long-term care, (LTC), for yourself. The Department of Health and Services says half the people who are 65 years old today will be needing some form of long-term care in the future. There are now more than just long-term care policies to cover this expense. There are also hybrid life policies that have LTC riders attached to the life policy. Seek some professional help to determine if the cost of these policies is less prohibited than an LTC policy alone.
I am finding from the women I work with that they prefer to have two options with their policy then just one. If they buy the hybrid for some face value, they know they will either use the product for their LTC, or they will leave the death benefit to the estate. One way or another they feel they are able to cover two components that will come up in retirement.
These few items we just discussed are Food for Thought in this decade. Remember I am here to help you with your decisions, you don't need to do it alone.
The 60's decade
This stage could be a game changer for you. It's a transition stage. Will you retire fully, or work part time? Are you still healthy, or is your life style changing? Do you start Social Security early, or wait until Full Retirement Age, FRA, or longer to claim your benefit? What does your savings look like? Do you still have a mortgage? Are your parents living with you now, or does it look like they will be joining you in the future? All of these things may be something you are thinking about in your 60's.
You also need to review your retirement money and what you think your retirement expenses will be. It has been said that people who retire actually spend more in their first year of retirement than in all other years going forward. This is because they are not used to all this "free" time. I tell my clients when you were working you had one Saturday and one Sunday. When you retire, you have six Saturday's and one Sunday. You have more free time on your hands then before, and you start doing things you didn't have time to do when you weren't retired.
Lastly, this decade is a time for some estate planning. Do you have the necessary Power of Attorney documents that will be needed? Do you have a will? Do you want to do a Trust? What legacy do you want to leave behind? This is a good time to start thinking about these things. Don't let these items make you anxious, just start moving forward on getting them done when possible.
In your 70's and beyond
By now you are most likely retired or getting there soon. If you are retired, you are having new adventures doing things you always wanted to do but couldn't. This is where the phrase The Golden Years comes into play. Depending on your health, the sky is the limit if you planned financially for these years. But, it is also a time to designate someone you trust to handle your estate when something happens to you.
You want to think about simplifying your life and your finances. You need to get your financial house in order for your loved ones, so they know where everything is should they need the information. It is a time to sit down with the person you will be entrusting your estate to after your passing. They need to know your finances, your medical coverages and providers, and your personal wishes.
I have a workbook provided to me by a supplier I work with. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please come in to see me and we can go over it together before you enter your information.
The time is now to get started while you are still doing well with your health. I was at a convention a few years ago and the speaker said that it was important as we age to keep in check our Vision, Memory and Mobility. I know she was right to say that and every now and then I do a spot check on those very items. They are important enough to me to keep them in the forefront of my mind. I hope they are things you will consider as well. Best wishes to you as you age.