Modern medicine has had a tremendous positive effect on our global society and has extended the lives and life expectancy of many millions of people. Here in the U.S., the Social Security Administration calculates the average life expectancy for a man reaching the age of 65 to be 84.3 and for a woman turning 65 to be 86.7. Globally, it’s estimated that people born in 2007 should expect to live to 103 on average.
While most of the impacts of increased longevity have been positive, there have been unintended planning consequences requiring attention that go beyond making sure we don’t outlast our money such as:
- Decreased mental capacity
- Funding long term care needs
- Administering bill payment
- Stepping in if a current caregiver (such as an elderly husband or wife) is suddenly incapacitated or passes away.
Addressing these varying challenges when they happen often requires taking immediate action – making decisions - during what can be a very stressful time. For this reason, we continue to advocate for advanced planning; having these tough conversations with loved ones now about their long term care plans. Long term care doesn’t necessarily mean Long Term Care Insurance but rather having the plan in place which states when ‘X’ happens, do ‘Y’. “When I can no longer balance my checkbook and pay bills on time, my daughter Susan will step in.”
Even as difficult as these conversations may be, they will be easier than dealing with the aftermath of having no plan.