Are you ready for retirement? Most people aren’t, according to a recent survey of adults over the age of 50. Being ready means having the financial resources you’ll need to live comfortably and knowing how to protect your health as you enter a time of life when illness and accidents are more common. According to retirement-planning specialists and social workers who deal with older populations of clients, here are the five best ways to make certain that you are fully ready for a happy, healthy retirement:
Meet with a Financial Advisor
Number one on the list is to book a meeting with a financial advisor who specializes in retirement issues. If you already have such a person on your team, all the better. If not, ante up the modest fee and spend at least one hour finding out the state of your monetary health. Advisors are well worth the cost because they can spot pieces of your financial picture that need attention and can tell you exactly what you need to do to put things right.
Future-Proof Your Home
Now is the time to future-proof your home. That means taking action and seeing to it that there are no hazards in the design of the structure, like old staircases, sharp corners, and unsafe bathrooms. One of the things many owners are doing is installing home elevators. A Lifton home elevator, for example, is a convenient, safe way for older folks to travel from floor to floor without having to worry about falling on dangerous staircases. Serious future-proofing means creating a living space that includes no danger zones, like stairs, uneven walkways and slippery shower and tub floors.
Book a Session with a Lawyer
Even if you already have a will, speak with an attorney and get all your affairs in order before reaching retirement age. This is a must and, yes, it will cost you a bit of money. Call around and find a local attorney who has experience with retirement issues like wills, trusts, taxes and health insurance. In less than one hour, you’ll have a clear view of what you need to do.
Before you begin the session, let the lawyer know that you are happy to do research and fill out forms on your own, and that you are seeking help just to get an idea of what you need to do. Most legal experts will understand and will give you any paperwork you need to fill out to complete a will, open a trust account, or make other legal decisions. By offering to do some of the work yourself, the attorney’s fee will be much lower.
Get a Full Medical Checkup
There’s no way to put it mildly, but old age brings on an advanced risk for a number of serious illnesses. Now is the time to see where your health stands. Most insurance plans pay for an annual physical. If possible, tell your doctor that you want a full cancer-screening physical that includes a stress test and an EKG. Even if you are currently in very good health, it’s a good idea to get the entire health screening at least once every five years after you turn 40.
Brought to you by Justin Weinger.