The Secret to Getting the Twilight Years You Really Want

4 The Secret to Getting the Twilight Years You Really Want Header ImageAre you ready for the hard parts of growing older?

It’s not the aspect of retirement that involves your dreams – the long sailing trips, the time with family and friends. These are the difficult decisions and unpleasant realities: the medical bills, reduced mobility, and possibility of living longer than your assets.

Few of us like to think about these issues, let alone manage them.

But while life’s ups and downs can’t be planned, they can be planned for – at least to some degree. And in that reality is the secret to getting the elderly years you’re hoping for.

Start planning now – no matter how old you are

 In our experience, there are many adult children who become gravely worried about their parents.

We’ve had clients ask us for our advice on a disabled mother who insisted on living by herself, a grandfather who it turned out was pinching pennies on groceries to pay for his blood pressure medication, and a multi-generational family struggling with the cost of specialized nursing care for a parent with Alzheimer’s.

These are very real – and extremely common – situations, and they arise in practices like ours every single day.

That’s why we emphasize the importance of planning for the long term. For the very long term.

Where to start

You can’t know if you’ll develop dementia or suffer a disabling fall, but you can consider your financial security in retirement.

We suggest asking yourself these questions to get started:

  1. What is my expected retirement income and how long can I expect it to last? A 30-year time horizon for your retirement income is not an unrealistic goal: if you’re married and age 65 today, the odds are 1 in 3 that one of you will see the other side of age 95.
  2. What are my key health risks, and what resources do I have in place to address them? For some retirees, long-term care insurance is a no-brainer. For others, it’s a second-best choice to other strategies. The right plan for you is unique and depends on your overall financial picture, your health, and your goals and risk factors in retirement. Be sure to consider them – and what you can do to reduce the potential financial impact of a health crisis.
  3. What are the best contingency plans for my situation? The possibilities here are wide, and the best solutions are as unique as you are. Some early retirees consider this issue and decide to downsize to a dedicated retirement community, where there’s a greater scope of services for aging residents. Others remodel their homes for accessibility. For other risks, retirees might decide to review their investment plans or insurance coverage, and still others reconsider their budget and asset mix.

How to Help Your Elderly Parents Navigate Their Twilight Years 

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Build fallback plans

This is the part where you ask yourself, “What would I do if…?” It’s not the most pleasant exercise, but it is an important one. Simply having a plan in place can help you bypass some of the worst pitfalls of various health, financial, and personal issues.

A few risk factors that retirees face can include: 

  • A chronic health problem that becomes progressively worse, such as heart disease
  • A health crisis like cancer or an injury
  • The need for a long-term stay in a nursing home
  • A disability or reduced mobility
  • The possibility of living to 95 and beyond
  • A market disruption that affects bond or equity investments
  • A significant decline in home values
  • The loss of a spouse

If you’re response to any of these situations is, “I have no idea what I’d do,” it’s time to start thinking.

Again, we are very sensitive to the fact that these are difficult questions to grapple with, but taking the time to do it when they’re not an issue, you’ll be far better off sh

ould any of these situations come to pass.

We suggest getting started with our special guides, downloads, and articles on these subjects. They’ll help walk you through some of the basics and give you a starting point in making your own plans.

Consider the unique aspects of your situation

For all of these issues, consider looking at some of the unique factors in your own life, whether financial, health-related, or family-based.

To start, it can be a good idea to have a hard look at your life expectancy – and the possibility that it will be a lot longer than you might realize. After all, you don’t need to come from a long-lived family to live a very long life!

You might also want to consider your health. Many retirees are healthy until they aren’t, while others go into retirement with chronic health issues or disability. Consider your situation, and recognize even if you’re in great health now that this may change.

In terms of family, having children or other loved ones nearby can also affect your possible outcomes. Some elderly parents prefer to move in with adult children or downsize to a home nearby so that it’s easier to get help. In the absence of family, it might make sense to factor potential costs like transportation, housecleaning, or home healthcare services into your contingency plans.

You’ve considered your retirement: what about your parents?

Helping an elderly parent or family member navigate the last years of life can be stressful – and scary. Download our free guide to the twilight years to get simple tools and smart action plans in managing a loved one’s later retirement – and get great ideas for your own.

Download How to Help Your Elderly Parents Navigate Their Twilight Years for free today!


How to Help Your Elderly Parents Navigate Their Twilight Years 

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Let Us Help!

We can discuss this topic and more at a complimentary appointment. As a bay area retirement planning coaches, we can give you a review and make suggestions based on your retirement objectives.

4 The Secret to Getting the Twilight Years You Really Want Infographic (1)

Important Disclosures

Material provided by Augury Consulting. Augury Consulting is not affiliated with Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services or United Planners Financial Services (United Planners). The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by United Planners.

To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional. Please remember that investment decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. Neither diversification nor asset allocation can ensure a profit or prevention of loss in times of declining values. United Planners does not render tax advice.

Securities and advisory services offered through United Planners Financial Services, member FINRA, SIPC. Pasquale Vitucci, CA Insurance Lic. # 0758212, is an Endorsed Agent of Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services CA Insurance Lic. # 0I06319. Vitucci & Associates Insurance Services and United Planners are separate and unrelated companies.
This page contains links to third-party company websites. By selecting a link, you will be leaving our website and launching a new browser window. These links are provided for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as an endorsement, sponsorship, solicitation or other affiliation with respect to any third parties. We are not making any recommendations or providing any advice on securities in particular or investments in general. Neither Vitucci & Associates nor United Planners Financial Services have reviewed the content of, and are not responsible for, the information or the results of the third-party websites.
Further Reading

Odds of living to age 95:

  • The Secret to Multi-Generational Financial Planning
    If you’re thinking past your own retirement to your parents, your children, and your grandchildren, you’re probably a little overwhelmed. How can you ensure that everyone’s interests, needs, and better selves are protected for the long run? The secret: Get advice – as a family. This might seem like the purview of the ultra-wealthy, but it doesn’t have to be. Planning for multiple generations just means prioritizing and organizing for the whole brood, and the benefits can be enjoyed by families of any size and means. Here’s how to get started.
  • 5 Insurance Products for Every Generation
    When people come to our offices, insurance strategies are not often at the top of the list of things they want to talk about. We think of insurance as the unsung hero of financial planning: it might not be exciting or even feel particularly pressing, but having appropriate insurance coverage in place can help you protect what you’ve built and give you a leg up for the future. In this article, we’ll cover some of the basics of insurance, including policies that are often used as part of a broader goals-based financial plan.
  • 2_How_to_Help_Adult_Children_Without_Risking_Your_Retirement_Header_Image[1]How to Help Adult Children – Without Risking Your Retirement
    When you see that your children need help, it can be hard not to step in. Whether it’s with time, advice, or even money, many of us parents have a lifelong urge to do what we can. But if you’re in retirement or close to it, you might want to think twice about offering financial help. After all, these could be some of the most fragile years for your long-term financial security. That’s because of “sequence of returns” risk. In a nutshell, sequence of returns risk describes the reality that there are long-term effects to short-term investment performance. Namely, a bear market early in retirement can have a lasting impact on your savings as a whole. We’d argue that the same risk holds true for large expenses early in retirement. Giving too much too fast – especially when it feels like you’re sitting on a significant pot of money – could put you at risk if your expenses ever have to go up. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help your children – it doesn’t even mean you can’t give money. But it can pay to be strategic about it. Here are a few alternative options for helping out without cashing out.