Written by Jeff Smith
Most retirees save tirelessly for their entire careers to set up a nest egg large enough to enjoy their golden years. They plan out their retirement finances, make conservative projections, and plan for both expected and emergency expenses. But what happens if they begin to lose the presence of mind to handle their finances and their well laid out retirement plan?
Securing your retirement finances early on is extremely important, because if you are not prepared when you are older, it could possibly be too late - leading to elder financial abuse, not being able to retire, or finances being tied up entirely, and all the hard work that was put into retirement during your working years evaporates. Three simple steps can be taken early on in your retirement to prevent most of the issues that could crop up if your mental capacity starts to fade as you age.
1. Choose a Trusted Representative
Whether it is a family member, a close friend, or a professional financial advisor, choosing a person to act with some authority when it comes to your finances is important. The goal isn’t to give up your independence or control of your finances, but to have someone ready to go to bat for you in the case of a serious emergency. You should sit down with this person early on and discuss exactly what you want to be done if you lose the ability to manage your finances. A great candidate should be transparent with both you, and your family, so it’s clear that you are never being taken advantage of. They should also be privy to everything needed to represent you effectively.
2. Don’t Hide Important Documents
Your important documents need to be immediately accessible to at least one trusted confidant. Keeping important things like bank statements, wills, insurance policies, investment records, social security information, etc.… in a safe place is a great idea, but they have to be available in case of an emergency. It isn’t at all uncommon for families to lose access to important financial documents entirely because they are too well hidden or protected, leaving them high and dry during a crisis.
3. Plan for the Future
Creating important documents like a will, estate plan, or assigning Power of Attorney only becomes more difficult as you age. Most people don’t want to face down their mortality and divvy up their assets until they are already sick, or at an advanced age. But waiting too long can lead to major decisions having to be made under duress, or your assets being distributed unlawfully when you pass away.
Even with Power of Attorney in place, many financial institutions will not allow access to an account without specific paperwork being filed. We wouldn’t recommend sharing any accounts unless you know you can explicitly trust the person being given access. Before signing paperwork, you should consult with family members or a financial professional. Inaccessible accounts can become roadblocks to receiving long-term care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, so you should consider your options early on.
Plan Early = Enjoy Retirement
What it really boils down to is over-planning so you can under-worry. Establishing plans for the future while you are still sharp and your finances are fresh on your mind will allow you to enjoy your retirement without the constant specter of your financial future hanging over you. You know your family will be well taken care of no matter what happens, and that your hard-earned retirement won’t be squandered away, no matter what your mental state is as you age.
American In-Home Care refers qualified Nurses, Home Health Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants, and Companions that specialize in Alzheimer's and Dementia Care and many other services, and can help you and your loved one. Contact us today at 1-844-505-0004 for a free consultation to determine what care options are best for your family.