Financial Literacy – Financial Independence
The retirement years
- In your retirement years, you have the financial independence to do anything you want, but health concerns may rise to the forefront.
- For many people, one’s health is the only thing more private and more difficult to discuss than money.
- Losing the ability to handle your own affairs is tough to face. But you need to have a plan in place with a strong support group around you.
As we move closer to National Financial Literacy Month in April, this is our fourth weekly post about age-specific financial literacy. If you’re just joining this series, in Part 1 we discussed how children can learn about donating, investing, spending and saving. In Part 2 we talked about getting young adults launched on the right financial path right out of high school or college. And in Part 3 we addressed the five major concerns that all of us have about money in our prime income-producing years to get to our retirement years. And now, we’ll focus on folks who are retired, typically age 60, 65 and older.
So, if you’ve taken care of the five major concerns of your prime earning years, (1) your wealth is preserved; (2) you’ve reduced your income taxes’ (3) you’ve been able to transfer — or have a plan in place–for transferring assets to your heirs; (4) you’re not having your assets unjustly taken and (5) you have a plan for charitable giving.
From lifelong saving to financial freedom (with health concerns)
In the retirement phase of life, you’re rewarded for your saving. You have the freedom and financial independence to do everything you want to do. But it’s also when you start to lose some physical and mental capabilities. It can be difficult for many of us to discuss our health and money issues with others, but as we get older, we become less able and sometimes less motivated to handle our own affairs. But you never know when that day will come.
Plan for the worst, hope for the best
We have a 104-year-old client, and it’s only in the last month or so that he’s needed help. On the other hand, we’ve had clients who’ve developed dementia in their 40s. So, for most of us, the best thing to do is plan for the worst and hope for the best. You need to be honest with yourself and your spouse and say, “Look, our health could really be deteriorating. Who is going to be there to help us out when we can’t handle our affairs?”
Losing the ability to handle our own affairs is a really tough element to face. You’ve been independent for so long, and you’ve done so well. You’ve built up a nice nest egg and everything’s fine on the money side, and then health becomes an issue. So, continue doing the things you love. But, bring in the other aspects we’ve discussed above and make sure there is a support group in place for you in your later years.
As I mentioned earlier, this is our fourth and final segment about financial literacy. We’re having a great seminar in March called Taking Charge of Your Wealth. We’d love to see you there. Feel free to bring a guest and have a meal on us. We’ll go over a lot of what we just covered in about 45 minutes, and I think you’ll really enjoy the event.
So, until next time, enjoy. Gary