By 2035, the Census Bureau projects the 80-year-old population will double from 2016. As the senior population grows, it reminds us of the importance of planning for the future. Where do you plan to live? Are your affairs in order? How do you plan to pay for living expenses? All of these questions are important ones to consider as you reach retirement age.
Getting your affairs in order may be one of those things you keep moving to the bottom of your priority list, understandably so. An estate plan can help ensure your wishes are carried out and that your family is cared for at the end of your life. We have compiled some of the top factors to consider when estate planning to help make the process just a bit simpler.
List of Assets
One of the most important items on your estate planning checklist should be listing out your valuable assets, financial and physical. Keeping inventory of your owned real estate, vehicles, furnishings, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts is a great start. Once you have a completed list you will decide where these assets will be distributed.
Will + Trust
Creating a will or trust is productive step toward ensuring your wishes will be carried out after your death. A will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets and appoints guardians for minors. A trust gives another party the right to manage designated assets. If you aren’t quite sure which is best for you, talk to a financial representative to make the best choice.
Creating an outlined document that states your wishes gives your family a blueprint for managing your affairs. You can include information relating to the charities you prefer, contact and login information for your financial and personal accounts, care for pets, details on insurance coverage, or even funeral details.
Power of Attorney (POA) & Executor
Choosing your POA and Executor are important pieces in your estate plan. A POA appoints someone to handle financial or medical affairs on your behalf, in the event you become incapacitated. An executor is the designated person chosen to carry out the wishes outlined in your will. Both of these individuals should be trusted to make and carry out responsible financial and medical decisions.
Another big consideration as Americans move into their advanced years is housing. Maintaining a home, having safe access to housing, and simply affording housing can present a challenge. Over 10 million households headed by someone 65+ are cost-burdened, paying more than a third of their income on housing.
What about maintenance? Upkeeping a home in retirement and beyond can become challenging. From snow blowing driveways to mowing and making small utility repairs, home maintenance can take a toll. Or you simply may not want to spend your valuable time this way. Financially planning for extra help with home maintenance can help create a better quality of life all around.
Too much to maintain? Some retirees consider downsizing or moving out of home ownership altogether. A retirement community is a great way to alleviate the stress of maintaining a home, although the cost can be significant so planning ahead for this cost can be beneficial. Retirement investments or long-term care insurance can help pay for these costs to free up more time for the retirement activities you love.
Bankers Life is Here
Thinking through your estate plan is not always easy, but it is a good measure to take to ensure you are prepared for the future. Bankers Life is here to help you every step of the way. Reach out with questions as you work through creating your very own estate plan.