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Plan Now to Live Your Best Life in the Golden Years


Many of today’s retirees can expect to spend 30 years or more enjoying the fruits of their labor. That’s why it’s increasingly important to plan not only for retirement but also for longevity in retirement. That includes all the ways your life will change and all the events you can’t foresee. Be sure and ask yourself these key retirement questions to ensure that you prepare for the future as best you can. Where will you live? Housing is often the biggest expense in retirement. While aging in the comfort of your home would be ideal, modifications to your home could be necessary as mobility challenges arise. It’s important to consider what housing options are available to you and what they will cost? You may even want to downsize, and local real estate agents can provide you with many options. How will you get around? This may come as a surprise, but transportation is a significant expense for many individuals older than 65. You should consider how you will get to your favorite places in retirement, who will assist you if you can’t drive yourself somewhere, and what kind of transportation options are available in your area. How will you safeguard your health? Many people expect Medicare to pay for their health care expenses in retirement; but in reality, it only pays 60% of health care costs according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. You still have premiums, copays, and deductibles to consider, and as you age, health care costs can add up. Who will take care of you? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of Americans age 65 or older will need some form of long-term care. There is a wide range of options. This includes possibilities such as someone to help with light housekeeping, assistance from home health aides, or more intensive care, such as at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Are you allowing enough funds for food and entertainment? It’s important to allow yourself enough cushion so that you can enjoy the extras you’ve worked so hard for such as travel, dining out, club memberships, and more. Socialization is important to your mental health, so make sure you allow for activities that can keep you connected with others. On average, most retirement planning research shows that the expenses for most senior citizens can be categorized as follows: housing, 35%; transportation, 15%; health care, 13%; food, 12%; entertainment, 6%; and other, 19%; for clothing, insurance, gifts, taxes, and personal care products, for example. Of course, each person is unique, so these percentages are likely to vary. Have you given thought to the way you want your assets to be transferred to your heirs? Now is the time to secure your legacy. Be sure and take time to specify to whom you want to give access to your important documents and information so your wishes will be in place when the time comes. Wealth Management professionals at Citizens National Bank can help you with the accumulation, preservation, and transfer of your wealth. While these are a lot of questions to consider, you can put your mind at ease with wise counsel. A local financial professional can help you plan for a variety of scenarios, work with you to develop an annual budget, and help you make wise decisions so that you will have sufficient assets to cover late-in-life care and housing expenses. Knowing that you have put a plan in place goes a long way to help you prepare mentally, emotionally, and financially for your future.

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