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Health & Wellness > Health & Wellness 4 > HW 32

BEYOND RETIREMENT

Seniors are the fastest growing segment of the population, not only in the United States, but in the world. Currently, individuals age 65 and over represent 13% of the U. S. population - about 41 million people - but this will grow to 20% -- 88 million -- in just a matter of 38 years. Seniors also control a great deal of the wealth in this country. (USNews)

Even though many seniors have put together financial plans or completed retirement planning, very few have a plan in place for later life needs.

Most healthy, active seniors ignore this type of planning. The need for later life planning is typically recognized when, due to the aging process,

  • the senior or senior's family realizes that their loved one's savings and investments will run out,
  • the senior is moving into a new living arrangement such as living with a child or living in an assisted living community or long-term care facility,
  • the senior's health is failing or
  • the senior is losing his or her independence.

It is often at this point that one or more of the children of the aging senior intervenes (or the senior themselves) seeks direction from a resource planning specialist on how to extend income for long term care, where to find government and private services and how to preserve assets.

Below are what you should be looking into NOW – and the resources to help you!

Optimize Income

  • finding new sources of income
  • finding government services to pay for costs
  • enhancing income derived from assets
  • tapping into real estate equity
  • reducing income taxes

 Protect and Preserve Assets

  • making and updating legal arrangements
  • implementing asset protection and estate planning strategies
  • structuring insurance
  • understanding and planning for Medicaid issues
  • using personal service contracts
  • implementing capital gains and estate tax strategies

Facilitate Favorable Outcomes for Health, Medical Issues and Final Preparations

  • implementing strategies for improving or maintaining health
  • understanding medical care issues
  • planning for major medical incidents
  • planning for end of life, including funeral trusts

Maximize Family and Community Support

  • identifying community support systems for the elderly
  • implementing personal service arrangements
  • identifying government and private support for eldercare
  • ensuring family consensus for caregiving -- a meeting of the minds
  • putting together a eldercare plan
  • solving family disputes over assets

 Find the Right Living Arrangements

  • identifying appropriate places to live, based on security, cost and support
  • identifying government support for living arrangements
  • tapping into equity
  • enlisting help for downsizing and moving
  • maximizing the sale of property

Seniors and their families who want to know more about their options and resources should contact their local Area on Aging, Council on Aging, and see visit our resource page.