Thursday, August 7, 2014

Prepare for aging

Are you at that stage of life where you realize the years behind are many and those ahead are fewer? This stage can bring with it lots of questions—and, yes, also fears. We all wonder how our health will hold out. If we're still employed, we wonder for how long. Will we get to choose when we retire? Or will we lose our job? What will we do when we retire? And if we're retired, how shall we best spend our days? Can we do anything to prepare for illness? Do we want to downsize yet?

So many questions. So few answers. Although there is much over which we have no control (job loss, onset of illness, etc.), still we do well to make some plans. We do have a choice about what preparations we'll make. What do you want retirement to look like? What's on your bucket list? What are you doing now to take care of your health? Are there any changes in your lifestyle that will help you have better quality of life now and in the future?

It's also a good time to think about completing a Power of Attorney for healthcare and a Power of Attorney for finances. Do you have a will? Have you talked with your family about these things? Think, too, about a form such as the Five Wishes, which goes beyond a healthcare POA and says how you would like to be treated, what you want to have happen in your last days and hours. Perhaps it seems morbid to you, but those who do discuss this ahead of time say it makes things so much easier when the unthinkable does happen. I remember years ago trying to talk with my sons about my final wishes. They didn't want to hear about it. Then their father died (too young), and they realized the importance of such discussions. I also remember having good discussions both with my father and my mother long before they died. We knew what they wanted. How that simplified our lives!

If you would like to discuss any of these issues, please contact me for a complimentary strategy session.

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