I debated whether it was in my interest to post such a morbid topic so early in my blogging career, but decided it’s an important consideration people should think about.
Life is dynamic, and retirement is no different. When people first determine how much they need to retire, they have to make some baseline assumption of how long they plan on living. Even if its not an exact age, they have to make some guess at a range.
This is silly because you don’t know for sure exactly how long you’re actually going to live.
With the potential advances in healthcare, it’s likely I’ll live into my 100s. How can I say this?
Most of my relatives live beyond their 80s. At the decision to lose my anonymity, my great-uncle was recently featured as Kansas’ oldest bowler. I might add, this was after they got back from a wedding anniversary trip to the Bahamas!
The next wrong assumption people make concerns their general health. Similar to their age, people have to make some baseline assumption about what they will need and what they will be able to do.
This is silly because you don’t know for sure exactly how capable you’re actually going to be.
Mobility becomes a luxury as one gets on in years, along with being able to do things on your own. Various diseases and accidents can quickly take this luxury away requiring you to rely on others.
With all that’s been said, how well have you estimated your own retirement costs? Off the top of your head, what’s the average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home.
Anyone guess $80,000?
Here’s a chance to reference one recurring theme – education. Spending the time to learn about a subject leads to a better understanding, and in turn, better planning. The better prepared we are for situations, the easier we can navigate them.
If you’re willing to search for the information, you can always find something. There were numerous sites I found on this subject, and I’ll refer you to two.
MetLife has actually created the Mature Market Institute, which focuses on these very topics. Since this is a private organization, let’s throw in a governmental resource. The Department of Health created a straight-forward website to address many of the questions surrounding long term care.
Going back to the beginning, calculating your retirement expenses as static neglects this time in your life when money will be needed most. Re-examine your own retirement calculations. Have you already factored in this component? If not, how did it change?
Life will always throw us curve balls. The best we can do is – “plan for the worst, hope for the best”.
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