Retirement is meant to reap the rewards of a lifetime of work, savings, contributions and dreaming of a golden time. On our journey to Retirement we think about living life on our terms. We plan ahead to ensure we have enough income, enough savings and enough time to do all the things we couldn’t do before retirement. Travel, new hobbies, home improvements, education, relaxation…these are some of the things that come to mind. We prepared long in advance to live retirement on our own terms. The idea of that happy retirement should include protecting it along the way. Protecting the very house that we spent years building. The idea of better living through better planning means taking into account the longevity factor. We know that life expectancies are improving. As recent as 2011 the average life expectancy was 80 years. There are 43 million Americans today over age 65. Currently, there are approximately 55,000 centenarians in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That number is projected to grow to 442,000 in 2050.
There is much planning to do in order to ensure a better, happier way to live in retirement. Preparing clients for independent living, no matter what the future holds, is something that every financial advisor, planner, retirement specialist should be doing. A recent survey from Age Wave and Merrill Lynch noted five key findings among over 3,000 adults
- Health care expenses are the top financial concern for retirement among Americans age 50+, regardless of their wealth level
- Only 15% of pre-retirees have tried estimating how much money they might need for health care and long-term care in retirement
- Just 7% of those 55 to 64 feel very knowledgeable about Medicare options; a mere 19% of Medicare recipients do
- 71% of couples age 50+ haven’t discussed how much they need to save to pay for health care during retirement
- Health problems were the No. 1 reason people retired earlier than expected Knowing what we know today about living longer and the concerns of retirees, we have an obligation in our industry to provide information to clients so they can make an informed decision to ensure better living in their retirement.
Syndicated financial columnist and talk show host Steve Savant interviews nationally recognized long term care author and expert Maria Sarci.