Thousands of books have been written about finances and retirement. Unfortunately most of them don’t look far enough into the future. If you are entertaining the idea of living well into your 90s or beyond, you are going to give financial planning closer scrutiny. We aren’t just talking about what you will leave your heirs, but about how you are going to be able to continue living life as you know it today.
People get into the habit of living from pay check to pay check during their affluent years, but what happens after retirement? If you haven’t been paying attention to your finances, expenses, investments, debt, taxes, and any other assets you may have, you may be in for a rude awakening. If you don’t have money to cover basic needs your lifestyle is going to be seriously limited. Even people with retirement savings may find that they don’t have enough money coming in to pay the bills, much less handle a serious illness.
So, how long do you have to work until you can afford not to work for the rest of your life? In this economy it may be longer than you think. Where will your income be coming from? Will your income be able to handle unexpected emergencies?
Guard your money. Get rich schemes should never be considered. Older people are easy targets for scam artists so hold your money near and dear. It has become common practice for young wage earners to live beyond their means. This has to stop. When you get older you no longer have the time to catch up or make up the difference between what comes in and what goes out. The time has come when you absolutely must learn how to live below your means.
Managing your money is a full time job. Who will manage your money as an adviser or representative if you can no longer manage? If you are managing your money and your investments now, could your spouse take over that responsibility if something happened to you? Financial experts often recommend setting up a trust with several individuals working together to protect your interests.
Longevity as well as the shifting economy may mean that leaving a sizeable estate for children and grandchildren is no longer a given. At this point meeting your own basic needs it a priority; as well as making sure that your family doesn’t go into debt caring for you. Your future has to have a place for you in it.