Retirement in 2020 looks completely different from the Golden Years of generations past. Today’s elderly travel around the world, enjoy a variety of hobbies, and have second careers in local politics. Whatever you want to do, the world is now your oyster. However, you still need to prepare for some of the challenges that come with aging. Here are five things to consider as you get older.
1. Put together a will.
Almost everyone needs a will as they enter adulthood. However, as you get older, the matter of what happens to your body and your estate becomes more important. Review your will to make sure your belongings are distributed and your debt is paid off. You can also set aside funds for your funeral and explain your wishes in regard to burial or cremation.
You will also want to consider a living will, which provides instructions for what to do if you are in a vegetative state.
2. Make plans for long-term care.
As you get older, you need to decide where you will stay when you are unable to care for yourself. Some people move into assisted living centers (where they are just as active as when they lived alone) or they turn to relatives who can care for them. Keep in mind that if you do move in with relatives, there are respite care services out there that can provide temporary breaks to caregivers.
A third option to consider is an in-home care provider. These are either live-in nurses or day-time helpers who assist with various tasks and errands. You can interview a few of these providers to see if they are good fits for you. There are also companies that provide caretaker services, like Serenity Home Care, which can help you find an in-home care provider in Beaverton, OR, or wherever you are.
3. Find doctors who meet your needs.
In your younger years, it’s possible to go several years without visiting the doctor. However, as you age, you will need a general physician who can evaluate your health and make recommendations to keep you mobile and pain-free.
Ask around so you can find a doctor who you can trust. You can also find a few specialist doctors to help with problematic issues. For example, if you can’t hear as well as you used to, look for hearing clinics nearby who cater to elderly patients.
4. Evaluate the needs of your house.
Throughout your life, your housing needs will change. You will need more bedrooms as you have kids and then fewer ones as they move out of the house. If you are preparing for old age, consider your needs. You may want to find a home with a master bedroom on the ground floor or move into a house without stairs at all. Condos are also popular for the elderly because they don’t have to worry about lawn care.
If you plan to stay in your home, there are some minor changes you may need to make. For example, a walk-in tub with shower enclosure can reduce your risk of falling, while safety rails in the bathroom can also help you move around. These changes can have a big impact on how you get around.
5. Find hobbies and communities you enjoy.
Once you retire, you might not know what to do with all of the free time on your hands. Now is the time to have fun and enjoy some of your favorite hobbies. Consider volunteering with a local theatre group or taking up a sport your enjoy that has a senior league. This is a great way to make friends, stay active, and spend your free time going what you love.
Getting older doesn’t mean you need to slow down or give up on what you love. However, you should have a plan for the future so you can maintain your health and independence.