Every October, the financial planning community comes together for Financial Planning Week, an occasion that encourages everyone to understand their finances better. With last week’s event freshly in mind, I’d like to share my view on one particular area I think it’s important to focus on: planning for later life.
Why should you plan for later life?
A recent study from Sweden identified that the three most important things to achieve a healthy and independent life in older age are:
- to have a social life
- to have freedom of choice and power over your situation
- to have the possibility to choose independently your type of housing
While it can feel uncomfortable talking about the future and thinking of the possible challenges you might encounter, planning for later life can give you more choice, power, freedom, and control. It allows you to be prepared for whatever life brings.
What does planning for later life involve?
When I discuss financial planning with clients, I raise the topic of later life and encourage them to really think about what they want it to look and feel like.
We discuss various areas, such as the importance of having a will and Lasting Powers of Attorney, and ensuring that their affairs are in order and easy for someone they trust to manage if they cannot. We talk about where they may want to live, whether it’s important to stay in their home and, if it is, whether the property is suitable or would need to be adapted.
It is these important lifestyle decisions that inform any financial recommendations I would make.
How can you start to plan for later life?
The first step in starting to plan for later life is to ask yourself, what do you want your future to look like? Are you currently on track towards that goal?
Once you start this thought process, you might find that further questions come up, such as:
- Will I be able to maintain my lifestyle in retirement?
- Can I retire early?
- How can I meet the costs of long-term care if I need to?
- Can I help my family financially now without impacting my lifestyle in later life?
A financial planner who specialised in later life can help to answer all these questions. If you’d like to find out more, contact me for a complimentary one-hour financial planning meeting.
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