Long-Term Planning 101: When to Start and What to Consider
Even if your official retirement is still years away, it’s never too soon to begin making long-term plans for your life, finances, and health. Long-term planning is your best strategy for realizing the retirement lifestyle you envision, and it’s a smart way to ease the impact of unexpected events, like an illness, that could impact your future.
Planning for your future needs early means you’ll be able to save more money, explore more options, and be better prepared for unknowns. Learn where to begin your long-term planning with this guide.
If the idea of planning for an unpredictable future has you feeling overwhelmed, take heart in knowing you can rely on experts who are well versed in long-term planning to lead you through the process. Two professionals you’ll want on your team are a financial planner and an estate planning attorney.
Long-Term Financial Planning
No matter what kind of retirement lifestyle you desire, you can expect it to be costly. Even if you’re healthy, over the years you can expect more doctor visits and age-related health conditions that require medication. If you need additional support, you can expect to pay an average of $4,429 per month for assisted living, and an average of $9,086 per month for a skilled nursing private room in a nursing home. If living at home is your preference, know that, based on an average of $24.72 per hour, you’ll pay more than $5,500 a month just to have a home health aide on site eight hours a day—plus all your household expenses.
A financial planner will help you evaluate your financial situation, discuss your future goals, and advise you on how to achieve a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Your planner can also address how your financial standing affects your estate and what tax liabilities you can expect in the future.
How you approach financial planning will depend on many variables, including whether you’re still working and any other sources of income. Your discussions will likely focus on savings targets and whether you need to modify your investment strategy to reach your retirement goals.
For example, if you’ve traditionally been fairly aggressive with your investing, now is the time to consider less risk-laden strategies that protect the assets you’ve accrued while offering more modest growth. Most planners will recommend a blend of cash accounts, stocks, and bonds that maximize your returns with minimal risk.
Another important role of a financial planner in long-term planning is helping you prepare for various scenarios and the costs that may be associated with them. Sophisticated applications can help predict whether your financial resources stand up to dozens of positive and negative circumstances that could arise as you move through your retirement years.
No matter the scale of your assets, estate planning ensures that your loved ones can avoid legal snags while honoring your final wishes.
Drafting a will ensures your wishes are clear regarding your financial assets, your belongings, and any other material goods you hold. Without a will, even basic assets like real estate can be tied up for months in court procedures. If more complex scenarios apply, for example if you own a business, managing your estate can become complicated and expensive.
Beyond your assets, an estate attorney can also play an important role in your long-term care planning by assembling legal documents that ensure your financial and healthcare plans are carried out and any decisions made on your behalf reflect your desires. Examples include:
Power of Attorney – Authorizes someone to handle your finances if you’re unable to do so as a result of illness, hospitalization, or other causes
Healthcare Power of Attorney – Defines who can make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated
Living Will – Outlines your wishes about whether to use life-prolonging treatment if you have a life-threatening condition
Advance Directive – Describes how you would like to receive senior care and other treatment in the event of a healthcare crisis when you can’t communicate your wishes (such as a coma, late-stage dementia, traumatic injury, etc.)
A Future You Can Count On
If you knew there were a way to create a more secure future for yourself, would you take it? For seniors who wish to remain at home as long as possible, Springpoint Choice is a comprehensive plan for the future. Members are able to protect their financial assets, while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’ll have access to a continuum of care when they need it.
Our dedicated team is here to help you and your loved ones navigate long-term planning for the future you deserve. Contact us to start a conversation about how Springpoint Choice can help you age on your terms.