If your retirement plans firmly revolve around staying in your family home for life, you are not alone, but you may want to reconsider your stance. According to a 2015 survey on aging, more than 75% of older adults hold this exact plan dear to their hearts. Unfortunately, it fails to account for potential changes in your health and lifestyle. Finances, health, and social factors may change your course without warning as you continue to age. You can better manage the sting of your retirement plans deviating from their set course by taking a few key factors into account while you are completing the retirement planning process. Having alternative plans available will enable you to shift course and resume living happily through your retirement years, no matter what comes your way.
1. Housing Arrangements
Although you may strive to stay in your home for as long as possible, make sure to include alternative housing arrangements in your retirement plan, just in case anything changes. A mobility altering illness or injury, feelings of isolation and loneliness, or even the stresses of handling upkeep on a house can make staying in your family home unsafe or undesirable.
Moving into a retirement community just makes sense in these scenarios, and in similar situations. While writing out your retirement preferences, make sure to pick your ideal community early and spell out any budgetary changes this would require, so you can enact your plan without delay if your situation changes.
2. Future Needs
Everything from your dietary needs to your social life can change with each passing year. If cooking nutritious meals every day starts to feel like a burden or you find yourself isolated at home more often than not, living in a retirement community can help turn your life around. Since these problems tend to sneak up on you, create a baseline plan early and make the move when the time is right for you.
At a retirement community, you have the ability to make new friends, enjoy group activities and have balanced meals prepared for you every day. Maintaining a healthy diet and close relationships will help you stay in good health and spirits year round. Smart retirement planning ensures you stay on top of your changing needs.
3. Healthcare Costs
With the ongoing changes to the insurance and medical care industries, you may have noticed that many healthcare costs are being shifted to patients. Add inflation into the mix, and you have a recipe for medical expenses that are being rocketed into the stratosphere — especially when it comes to long term care. You can, of course, try to plan for these costs by using previous years’ increases to estimate your potential healthcare costs with some degree of success. Unfortunately, however, the ongoing changing in healthcare can make it difficult to predict the future, so these mock expense sheets will only act as a guide.
Creating a Comprehensive Retirement Plan
A well thought out retirement plan will help protect you from the sting of unexpected changes. Take your time creating your plan to avoid missing any steps and don’t feel obligated to complete the entire retirement planning process in one sitting. Gather all the information you can before making decisions. Speak with trusted friends and advisors. Consult professionals. Consider running mock budget scenarios to make sure your healthcare and housing plans will jive with your incoming finances. Contact retirement communities to find one that fits your financial, health and social needs. Once you are happy with your retirement plan, you can review it on a yearly basis and make alterations as your needs or preferences evolve.