As per the U.S Census Bureau, adults aged above 65 will outnumber children under 18 for the first time in America’s history by 2035. As time slowly guides the baby boomer demographic into their twilight years, it’s prudent to plan well to ensure that you can enjoy your old age peacefully and happily. So, do you want to know more about the best ways to prepare for old age? Consider the following points.
Organize your power of attorney
Many experts agree that sorting out your power of attorney details is also essential in your preparation for old age. Besides an executor for your will, you’ll need to assign a power of attorney to a trusted individual who’ll manage your healthcare, finances, and other vital matters when you are unable to. It would be best to name a durable power of attorney for your medical care and finances to ensure that important decisions and tasks can be taken and executed on your behalf when you can’t do so. Whoever you give your financial power of attorney can conduct financial transactions, make crucial financial decisions regarding your business, investments, medical care, and rental properties.
Your medical power of attorney holder can also make decisions regarding hiring a personal care assistant, your transition to an eldercare home, and any other general medical treatments. Your powers of attorney can be vested in one person like your spouse or child, who can even be your will executor as well. However, many experts recommend choosing someone you trust and who you feel is most appropriate and qualified to make vital decisions on your behalf.
Additionally, it’s crucial to note that you can revoke any power of attorney you make if you’re of sound mind. You may want to withdraw your power of attorney for many different reasons ranging from distrusting the individual you initially chose or identifying a more suitable holder later on. As such, it’s essential to know how to take power of attorney away from someone, ensuring that you follow all the necessary procedures to make your revocation legally effective.
Stay healthy, active, and engaged
Staying healthy, active, and engaged is another helpful way to prepare yourself for old age, so keep this in mind. It’s common knowledge that your mental and physical health starts deteriorating as your sunset years catch up with you. Therefore, it would be best to start making significant adjustments to your health habits to ensure that you can cope with old age’s burdens more comfortably. Doctors frequently advise that you should shed off some weight, quit smoking, and eliminate drinking or drink only in moderation to enjoy your senior years with fewer illnesses to worry about.
Additionally, it’s vital to eat well and engage in stimulating physical and mental exercises that keep your body and mind sharp. Everyday activities like walking and jogging improve strength and mobility, sharpen your mental capacity, and boosts healing, all of which are beneficial to aging. Also, considerable research encourages you to play brain-training games like crossword puzzles, chess, and sudoku to keep your mind active. Since healthcare is the highest cost associated with growing older, staying healthy saves you from spending too much on treatments in your later years, reduces or eliminates the burden of caregiving, increases the time you remain independent, and allows you to enjoy your old age better.
Make a will
Experts estimate that as many as 68% of Americans don’t have a will. This reality is worrying, given that having a will is one of the essential things you can do for yourself and your family. If you pass away without making a will, the law gets to decide how your money will be divided or put to use. As such, your assets may not necessarily go to those you want after your passing. Consequently, prioritize drawing up a valid, detailed, and formally prepared will instead of an oral or holographic will, as these may not hold up in court.
Your will enforces that your estate is handled and distributed the way you intend for it to be after you’ve gone. Your will’s executors will also cancel your credit cards, notify banks and other establishments of your passing, pay off any debts and bills, etc. ensuring that all your affairs are in order after you’re gone. Wills also specify who gets custody of your minor children and surviving pets. They help to minimize your estate taxes whilst allowing you to make charitable donations after death, etc. Therefore, ensure that you draft a will as this is one of the best and proactive ways to prepare yourself for old age.
Set up a pension
You’ll still need some regular income despite being old and retired, so setting up a private pension fund is an excellent way to achieve this. However, many people are disillusioned with the idea of paying into a scheme for decades before reaping any practical benefits from it. Still, financial experts say that a private pension fund is essential for a good number of reasons. Your pension allows you to maintain your standard of living even in retirement. You also have crucial supplemental income that can fund several unforeseen expenses. This way, you guarantee that you are less of a burden on family members, retaining most of your independence and self-sufficiency.
Do you know your pre-retirement salary could prove very beneficial to you? Many financial experts suggest saving not less than 70% of this salary to maintain your standard of living after retirement. Therefore, consider paying into a private pension as early as possible and set up separate savings accounts for after your retirement that you can pay into and earn enough interest to keep you comfortable.
Decide where to live
The decision regarding where to live as an older adult is a challenging but important one that you should put great thought into. Many seniors naturally opt for aging in place, right in the comfort of their homes. Others also look forward to assisted living, nursing homes, and many other kinds of available senior living options. However, it’s essential to make this crucial decision based on reality to guarantee your convenience. As such, consider concerns like your meals, personal care, household chores, health status, available support, and money management capabilities to know whether you are better suited for aging in place or will be better off in a senior community.
Aging in place and relocating to a senior care community or facility each have their respective pros and cons that you must thoroughly consider to make the best choice for you, so start thinking about your living options as soon as possible to make your sunset years more comfortable.
Specify your final wishes
It’s generally helpful to make critical decisions regarding your end of life in advance for many reasons. You’ll likely have mental and physical impairments that may make it challenging to make sound decisions as you near death, so making these wishes in advance is a proactive way to make things easier on your family after your passing.
Would you like to pass away at home or in a hospital setting? Do you want to be cremated or maybe donate your body to science? Would you prefer to be buried at a specific location? What end-of-life care preferences would you like? Answering all these questions while alive may be unpleasant but making up your mind concerning the inevitable makes your death’s aftermath less challenging for your family, so prioritize making all these arrangements to ease your family’s stress after you pass on.