Whether you’re a senior single or couple, as you age you need to be aware the many challenges that come with increased life expectancy. Yet the possibility of diminished intellectual capability may seem outside your daily life.
It shouldn’t. If you want to help to prepare for the future, you can’t ignore the unpleasant possibility of age-related cognitive decline.
You can get ahead of potential problems, with being honest about your mental capacity as you age. Annually have conversations with your doctor. Ask your spouse if they see changes in your memory or behavior. Keep in mind, if you have difficulty with the names of friends and associates or you’re more forgetful this doesn’t mean you’re getting dementia it could just be an aging mind slowing down. But at the same time,
you need to be honest with yourself and discuss this with your spouse and doctor when you have medical checkups.
Don’t just assume your spouse is doing something to be belligerent to you, if you see trends ask your doctor to do some test. If you catch things earlier there may be drugs, diet changes and exercise that could help with the progression of cognitive decline.
Develop a “cognitive decline plan,” with “action steps” to take if or when there is cause. “The worst situation is to have no plan at all.”
Here are some of the things for consideration in developing an action plan. Many of these matters I am sharing with you are parts of plans other clients have used to protect themselves in matters of aging.
First up medical, put together a strong group of doctors to assist you as you age. Do medical checkups at least annually. Do a full panel blood test annually and share it with all your doctors. Put a list of vitamins and drugs that you take and update it as needed.
If you are on Medicare, meet annually with a Medicare specialist to see if you’re on the best plan for your needs.
In addition to long term care, today insurance carriers are developing plans with the ability to help with long term care and are developing many plans that could augment your financial needs in the long-term area.
Reverse mortgages, it is no longer just for someone who doesn’t have much money for retirement. I have done many reverse mortgages to help long term care needs. A reverse mortgage with a line of credit feature grows annually for any money not used in the line of credit. This means overtime, this line will grow. If you took out a reverse mortgage in your late 60’s or early 70’s, it would grow each year. This will mean more money to take care of you if you should need someone to provide cognitive care whether it is a spouse or someone you hire to assist you.
If you have any assets, you need a trust. I have professionals I can refer you. Set up your trust and every three years sit down with the attorney to do a review of any changes in the tax code that could affect your trust. Don’t forget to look at who you have chosen to be your executor. In my opinion you should bring this person along to the trust review so they get to know your attorney plus you can discuss what you want done upon your death or if you have issues medically that might require them to step in and assist you.
Create a binder with all your assets and keep it updated, put in place a plan to protect your assets, especially from your children. Many times, during my business career, I have seen a child or care giver move into the parent’s home to care for them. Only to find out later that they have spent your money. Money you might need to pay for important medical expenses or just home bills. Now it is gone. You need to create a wall where two people must sign off on financial expenses from your estate.
Nothing wrong paying people to care for you, just make sure they don’t financially squander the money that you need to live.
“Because financial exploitation is a huge concern, regular review of financial accounts and daily transactions is essential” as you age. Make sure no one is stealing your money.
I recommend credit monitoring service freezing your credit cards. Nobody will be able to spend money using your credit cards.
The older you get you should close many of your social networking accounts or put blocks on them for only confirmed friends. Don’t answer your phone when anyone calls you, listen to the message and then call back. If someone calls you to ask for money or threatens you in any way, even if it sounds legitimate, bring someone you trust into this conversation before you do anything.
The older you get turn over all your financial affairs to your executor and if anyone ask you for money you just tell them to speak with the executor, this might not sit well with you giving up this control, however, if you trust this person implicitly, they will protect your assets.
This is a great starting list of ways to protect yourself as you go into retirement, the older you get the more you need to have many of these ideas in place to protect yourself.
If you have ideas that I can add to this list call me, and I will update and publish this at least annually. Have a wonderful and safe retirement.
Call me at 888-839-3536. Thank you, Mel Samick