What a journey these past two years have been for all of us, especially older adults! According to a November 4, 2021 article from Pew Research, a rising number of older adults have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic. If this describes you, welcome to your freedom! It can be a little scary at first taking the retirement plunge, however, you CAN generate peace of mind by having a PLAN for the future.
Unprecedented in most of our lifetimes, COVID-19 has affected everyone and changed our lives in many ways. Those of us who are Christians agree with the psalmist that “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.” Psalm 46:1. Nor do we fear when a virus rages. But we do, wisely, continue to move forward and make plans for the future.
Proper planning begins with answering some hard questions that are MUCH easier to face while you are still healthy and able-bodied, rather than when forced to make life-altering decisions under pressure. At Fair Haven, a retirement community in Birmingham, Alabama, we value planning, and want to help you self-advocate for your future.
If you are 65 or better, here are some questions that will help guide you to making the BEST decisions for what you want your retirement lifestyle to look like:
- Which family members do I want to live nearest to? Should I need a little help, will my family members be free to move close to me or do I need to make plans to move toward them?
- When is the right time to downsize or sell my house? Am I ready to unload the burdens of home ownership and maintenance? If not now, what will be an early trigger for me so that I do not wait too long?
- What is my financial situation should I live 20 more years? Consider all forms of income and potential income sources, including proceeds from the sale of a home, retirement savings, pensions, etc. Which of these income sources are exhaustible and which are perpetual no matter how long I need it?
- What is my chief source of joy day to day? Am I dependent on peer social relationships? Would a retirement community lifestyle help me better maintain friendships and social connections if I begin to have difficulty getting out of the house?
- What would my children define as my being a burden to them? How would I define being a burden? Would a retirement community lifestyle help me maintain my independence?
- How long has it been since I last updated my will? Is it time for an update? Have I completed my advance directives and power of attorney selections that direct my health care and appoint substitute decision-makers should I be unable to communicate my own wishes?
- What do I have time for I never had time for prior to retirement?
- What have I always wanted more of in my life?
To discuss these questions with a senior living expert, call me, Ardell Fleeson at 205-578-6787. I can help you write down answers, both practical and spiritual, to these questions in order to have an informed dialog with your family.