My crystal ball is in the shop....

Long before the emergence of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, families took care of senior loved ones regardless of cost, convenience, or care needs.  In the so-called simpler times, seniors moved in with adult children and grandchildren gave up time, attention, and personal space to dote on their elders during final years of life.  As time marched on, families began to move to various locations to raise their families and make a living, separating seniors from their adult children and grandchildren.  Distance has increased the expense of caring for our senior family members.  Expense that continues to increase as the number of seniors increases, the number of caregivers decreases, and state funding systems stretch to the breaking point.

The amount of money needed after retirement to maintain lifestyle and healthcare continues to be widely debated.  Articles regarding how much money is enough to live comfortably on in retirement have been making the internet rounds for quite some time (spoiler alert:  $1 million may not be enough....).  In one article, I read that only 44% of people have even thought of how much money they need to retire - and of those who have even thought about it, 67% think that $1M or less will be sufficient.  28% think that less than $250K will be sufficient. (www.hufffinancialplanning.com)  When there are several generations under one roof, the costs could be less.  When a senior resides in an assisted living facility, the costs could be higher.  Retirement planning is not an exact science and should be discussed with a professional who can help maximize an appropriate plan.

Without knowing how long someone will live a healthy, independent life without the need for additional care services, it may seem impossible to know exactly how much money will be needed. But there are steps you can take to secure your retirement.  According to AARP, a healthy upper-middle class couple who are 65 today have a 43 percent chance that one or both of them will live the see 95.  Plan accordingly.


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