Thursday, February 22, 2018

20 More Things About Retirement (Part 2 of 2)

Here is the second half of the list of things to consider in retirement...

  1. Entertainment.  When you retire and have an extra 8 to 10 hours to fill each day, people often need to budget for things to keep them busy.  Things like a bowling league (around $10 a day where we live), senior roller skating day (about $8), hiking (costs vary), can really add up.  Of course there are a lot of free things to do such as walking, volunteering, or doing free activities (which abound in Las Vegas) which can reduce the cost of entertainment.
  2. You will need your (legal) ducks in a row.  There are a bunch of legal documents that every retiree should have including a Will, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Advanced Medical Directive, life insurance, etc.  These make the legal processes go much more smoothly if something should happen to you.
  3. Assistive devices.  As people age they may need a range of assistive devices--everything from dentures and hearing aids to glasses, a cane, or an electric scooter.  Some of these things may be covered by insurance, others may not be covered and they can be expensive so this is definitely an area to budget for.
  4. Watch out for scams.  For some reason, as soon as hubby hit about 65 it seems like he was targeted for scams.  Whether it was "scam likely" phone calls, emails, regular seems like it was raining "great deals just for you!" sorts of things that are nothing but scams.  It's like there is some sort of mailing list that can be sorted by age and those who are older are specifically targeted.  Never give any personal or financial info over the phone unless you specifically called for a service (like a mortgage lender or car insurance quote).
  5. Long-term care, nursing homes, assisted living--when you can't take care of yourself, who will?  This is a concern that many people don't deal with until there is a crisis but should be looked into along with your other retirement planning.  There is a massive difference between high quality (read, expensive) retirement centers and bottom-of-the-barrel Medicare-only nursing homes.
  6. Take care of your own death (financially speaking!).  When our elderly neighbor passed away I was really surprised (and impressed) that she had planned everything down to the last little detail about her death.  She had the money set aside to pay for everything (a big help to her family), all of her legal documents in order, she had even planned her funeral service!  This takes a lot of pressure off an already grieving family and paying ahead for all of your funeral/cremation/burial stuff takes a huge financial burden off the family as well.
  7. If you plan to work during retirement, either for something to do or for necessary additional income, know the rules about how much you can earn.  There are limits to how much extra income you can earn if you choose to take Social Security before your full retirement age
  8. There's this new thing called 'Swedish Death Cleaning' which is gaining in popularity.  Basically, you clean out all of your accumulated crap before you die so your kids don't have to.  It's actually a great idea--you live in a decluttered space (thus needing less living space in a downsized home), you can give away stuff before you die so your relatives don't fight over it afterwards, and it alleviates the problem of who gets to clean out the olderster's house/what to do with their junk that would otherwise happen after you are gone.
  9. Helping others.  We have always helped others whether it is giving to those in need, volunteering, or helping out the kids when they have a crisis.  This is actually a line in our budget because it isn't if but when a crisis will occur/someone will need a bit of help and since we have the money set aside to give, it is given as a gift with no expectation of return.
  10. Plan for a long life.  As this chart shows, a man born in 1900 would have had an average life expectancy of 47 years old (!) while a man born in the year 2000 has an average life expectancy of 80 years old.  Needing to pay for an extra 33 years of life takes a lot of extra money (one reason many pension funds are tanking...people are living so long and drawing pension funds for a lot longer than expected).  Whereas before people would need to fund maybe a decade of living after retirement, these days many can expect to live 20, 30, even 40 years after retiring which means a lot more planning (and funding) needs to occur for this possibility.

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