Friday, May 6, 2016

What We Should Be Doing To Prepare For Later Life

Right now, you’re most probably focusing on marriage and children - your mind couldn’t be further from your golden years. It might seem like your seventies and eighties are a world away, but time flies and soon enough they’ll be here. You may not want to hear that, but it’s true. It may be a terrifying thought, but it’s just another part of life and should be embraced.

The truth is, aging is inevitable. It’s not something that anyone looks forward to, but it’s something that will happen to us all. You’ve most probably helped your parents a little more as they’ve aged, and have got an idea of what changes as you start to get older. You’ve most probably had to help them with things that in the past, they never needed help with. It might be a scary thought but in thirty or forty years, you’ll be where they are. People say the golden years are the best time of your life, so don’t let the thought of aging get you down.

The key to enjoying your retirement and golden years is preparation. Because the idea of aging is such a scary one, a lot of us bury our heads when it comes to preparing for our futures. However, we shouldn’t do, as no matter what, at some point we will age. By being proactive about things, you can ensure that you live comfortably, without any worries or stresses.

Want to know the best ways to prepare for later life, so that you can live out your retirement comfortably and without any worries? Then have a read of this.  

Knowing what you want is important

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It might be years until you retire, but even so, knowing what you want is important. It’s a good idea to start thinking about what you want now so that you can plan accordingly. The issue that a lot of people have when it comes to aging is that they don’t plan, meaning that as they age their options are limited. If you know what you want, you’ll find it much easier to organize your future.

If you’re aware of where you want to live as you age, for example, such as in a retirement home, this will make things easier. A lot of the time, older people leave it too late to make their decisions, and then they fall on their children. This means that not only do they end up being under a lot of stress, but that also, you won’t get as much say in what happens to you. If you already have a plan in place, and your family are aware of it, then that will make things a lot easier.

Get your debts cleared

Once you hit your mid-sixties or early seventies, you can retire. This means that you’ll no longer be getting a monthly income and instead, will have to rely on your savings and pension, if you have one. Pensions are something that we’ll talk about a little more, later on. Because you will no longer have an income once you retire, it’s important to get your debts cleared beforehand. Whether you have credit cards that need paying off or a mortgage to clear, it’s crucial that you do that before you retire.

The last thing that you want is to be worrying about money in your twilight years. Create a list of all your debts, make a payment plan, and work out how quickly you can pay them off. The important thing is that come retirement; you have everything paid off. If you’re not sure how to go about this, it could be worth getting in touch with a financial advisor. Financial advisors can offer help and support when it comes to dealing with debts.

Start saving for your future


As well as clearing your debts, you also need to think about saving for your future. Once you retire, you’ll no longer have an income from work, which means that you’ll have to rely purely on your savings and pension. The best way to start saving for your future is to open a high-interest savings account and pay a set amount into it each month. Work out how much you need saved for your retirement, and then calculate how much you’ll need to save each year, and split that into monthly payments.

To ensure that you save the amount that you’re meant to, set up a direct debit from your normal account to your savings account. That way you can ensure that you are saving the correct amount each month. To be able to save what you need, it may require some budgeting. This can be tricky when you have a young family to look after, but it’s not impossible. Even if you can only afford to save a small amount each month, it’s better than nothing.

Start a pension

If you want to live comfortably later in life, don’t put off starting a pension. If you do, you’ll regret it. A pension is savings that you make throughout your working life that are then paid to you each month as an income when you retire. There are lots of options when it comes to starting a pension, which is why doing adequate research into each is so important.

There are private pensions or workplace ones, what you choose to go for is up to you. Workplace pensions are taken out of your pay before you’re paid. The great thing about these is that often, employers are happy to contribute to your pension, increasing your funds. If this is the case, it’s worth taking advantage of workplace pension schemes. Then there are private pensions where you set up your pension through a scheme. These are also good, as often the scheme you’re on will contribute to your pension. It’s a case of weighing up your options and choosing the one that is best for you.

Get an idea of what care will cost

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As we age, often we can no longer look after ourselves properly. Sometimes we need help from a nurse with tasks like cooking, cleaning and washing, and other times we need constant help. If you get to an age where you can no longer live independently, you need to be prepared to consider assisted living and retirement homes. These can be great options for making life easier and more comfortable, however, they don’t come cheap. At least, the good places don’t, anyway.

That’s why it’s important to do some research into how much elderly care costs. While prices will rise due to inflation, this will give you a general idea of how much you can expect your care to cost. This is important as that way you can ensure that you’ll have enough savings to cover this. Of course, you will also have your house to sell to help cover the cost, but even so, it’s important to get an idea of what you’ll be paying.

Keep your mind and body healthy

As part of your preparation for your future, it’s important to keep your mind and body healthy. People who take care of themselves, are much less likely to become sick as they age. Studies have shown that when it comes to leading a long and healthy life, that keeping your mind and body healthy is crucial. The more nutrients your body gets, the stronger your muscles, bones and organs will be. Keeping your mind healthy is also important, as this helps to prevent mental health problems and dementia.

The best way to keep yourself healthy is to eat right and exercise regularly. Your diet should consist of lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and lots of water. You should aim to exercise three to four times a week, and do a range of different forms of activity. Ideally, your exercise regime should consist of strength training, aerobic exercise, and stretching. Doing a combination of these things helps to keep all areas of your body, as well as your mind, healthy.

Have a will prepared


Last but not least, in preparation for your future, it’s a good idea to have a will prepared. While you can prepare a will at any time, it’s best to do it sooner rather than later. That way, as you start to age, you don’t have to stress about it. Wills can be somewhat expensive as they require a solicitor to make. So it’s best to have your will prepared earlier so that you don’t need to stress about the cost.

Having a will is important as it will dictate who gets what when you pass away. It be a morbid thought, but unless you want your family to argue over who gets what and so on, it’s best to have a will in place. That way, you know that when you pass on, everything is taken care of. You won’t need to worry about your estate or what will happen to it, as your will dictates that.

Thinking about aging may not be something that you want to do, but it’s important. If you plan for your future now, you can ensure that you have no worries or stresses to think about during your golden years.

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