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Getting Ready for Your Golden Years: Plan Now, Enjoy Later

By: Commonwealth Senior Living / 27 Jan 2023
Getting Ready for Your Golden Years: Plan Now, Enjoy Later

Everyone wants to enjoy the golden years of their dreams. We spend the majority of our lives working and saving to ensure our retirement years will be comfortable. Unfortunately, most people don't plan to need supportive care until later in life. Without a plan in place, what happens if someone has a health emergency or a fall and is unable to safely live as they had before? Oftentimes, financial decisions and the choice of a senior living community ends up being made by an adult child or family member. The CPA Journal notes that it's typically these individuals who monitor their loved one's health, oversee financial decisions, and help arrange important appointments.

But what if you don't have children or other family to make responsible for those decisions? Typically, the court appoints a guardian, most likely someone you don't know, to make health and financial choices for you. This can be a lengthy process of weeks or months where a person could remain in the hospital or be moved to a skilled nursing facility that is covered by Medicaid. If a nearby facility can't accommodate another person, this may mean moving away from your hometown and community.

Our best advice for fulfilling your dreams for your retirement years, where and how you would like, is to have a plan for all situations. The backbone of this plan always begins with savings. For perspective, to have the same balance at 65 years old, someone starting to save for retirement 40 will need to save over three times as much each month as someone who started saving at 25 years old. Having a plan helps. Now is the time to take the next step in choosing a senior living community for when more support is needed.

Hook Law Center gives these tips for taking the reins of your retirement:

  • Retirement Planning: Today, many employers offer retirement plans with matching contributions instead of pensions. Take advantage of this opportunity by investing in this savings plan as well as an IRA, 401k, or Thrift Savings Plan.
  • Saving Early: The earlier you begin saving, the more interest is compounded. Starting to save later in the game may change your plan for how many years you had planned to work and the percentage you had planned to contribute each month.
  • Living within Your Means: Establish a budget that allows you to accumulate savings for retirement each month. Doing this encourages living on a reduced budget and helps you realize your retirement goals more quickly.
  • Consulting a Financial Advisor: Your advisor will help you develop a plan to reach your retirement objectives through answering questions like what age you want to retire, the number of years your retirement should last, and the amount of income you anticipate receiving from other sources like Social Security or rental properties.

But how much does senior living cost? How much should you save? It varies greatly by region and level of care. Generally, assisted living costs between $3,000 and $6,000 per month. Comparatively, home care costs between $3,600 and $6,600 per month in addition to costs of daily living like rent, utilities, and home maintenance.

View our pricing calculator to compare the cost of living at home with the cost of moving into a senior living community to begin creating your plan today.

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