Gen Xers are beginning to enter their 40s and 50s, which means that it’s time to start actively planning for retirement. When thinking about retirement, it’s not as cut and dry as ensuring a steady monthly income. There are many things to consider, including finances, investments, insurance policies, legal documents, living arrangements, and healthcare. Make a checklist for each category and planning to meet with your attorney can help you establish overall goals for retirement, asset protection, and legacy planning.
Things are not always what they seem, especially when it comes to longevity. Let’s face it, death is usually an unexpected event but will inevitably happen to all of us. While life expectancy is increasing around the world, Americans have seen a life expectancy decline for three years in a row. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned about this trend. Yes, some Americans are living to the age of 100 or longer, and heart attacks have decreased due to prescription medications. However, according to Smithsonian Magazine, there is “no large extension of adult lifespan in old age.” Planning for financial and healthcare in old age is not easy, but it is important.
The Realities of Old Age and Retirement
MDVIP Health and Longevity Survey reveal that more than half of Gen Xers want to live past 90, and some are even aiming for 100, and yet, nearly half of those surveyed had not had a comprehensive medical exam in the past five years. One-third of Generation X avoids going to the doctor at all due to fear. Two-thirds admit they could be doing better when it comes to regular exercise, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress levels.
There is good news, however. Generation Xers have a reasonable amount of lifespan left to identify changes that need to be made and implement them effectively. With the exception of unforeseen accidents or illness, time is still on your side to make retirement a success story.
The vision for retirement is different these days than it used to be. Many imagine a full life bustling with activity and interpersonal relationships. “Semi-retired” is the term many like to throw around these days. There are many excellent reasons to keep working beyond age 65. Continuing to earn an income from work is great for health reasons and economic reasons. Staying productive and useful is key to financial security and long-term health. Entrepreneurial pursuits and consulting are more accessible than ever and the rise of the gig economy, with many people working multiple income streams, is an opportunity worth review. Try pursuing or inventing a new career, perhaps that passion project you’ve always wanted to do and can now make some money at it.
Retirement Factors to Consider
Joint life expectancy, whether married or not, is an important consideration when planning for and working toward retirement goals. According to the Vanguard Group, in a heterosexual Gen X couple over the age of 50, the female partner has a 50% chance of reaching 85 years and her male counterpart has only a 38% chance of reaching that same age. Since the couple is most likely to pass away at different times, factoring in the longevity of the surviving partner is crucial to planning. A financial planner can help you to create scenarios that will accommodate finances, while an estate planning attorney can help you get your will, trust, and POA in order before a crisis hits.
At Michaelson & Associates estate planning law firm, we welcome the opportunity to work with you on your retirement goals to help create a legal plan that supports those goals. Contact our office at 702-731-2333 to set up a consultation today.