IDENTIFY RETIREMENT STRATEGIES TO PUT IN PLACE NOW—LIKE ANNUITIES— TO LIVE RETIREMENT ON YOUR TERMS.
As the pandemic thankfully wanes, we are starting to see its impact and long-term repercussions on retirement planning and security.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Americans’ overwhelming desire to age in place. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control defines “aging in place” as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.”
In other words, living your retirement years on your own terms, on your own turf.
With about 40% of Covid-related deaths in the U.S. occurring in long-term-care facilities, new fears associated with long-term care facilities have emerged, intensifying the preference to age in place. The pandemic also underscored how essential access to in-home care is and the need to expand the availability of home health services.
As we approach 2024, there will be an unprecedented surge of Americans turning age 65, aptly dubbed Peak 65. This demographic milestone will put substantial pressure on an already strained retirement system, buckling under the weight of Americans retiring prematurely due to layoffs and other pandemic-related factors.
Peak 65 presents several challenges and unanswered questions, including where people will live and how they will obtain the care they need. Amongst a host of other issues, the rising demand may increase national health expenditures, further strain Social Security and stretch the healthcare workforce thin.
There is also growing alarm that the enormous bump in America’s elderly population will force many children, particularly daughters, out of the labor market to care for their aging parents. To help address this, President Biden recently advanced a proposal to spend $400 billion over eight years on home and community-based services—a major part of his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
You can start preparing today to determine exactly what needs to be done to your home to allow you to age in place safely and comfortably, and what the costs surrounding those changes will be. Research by AARP shows that only 1% of home environments are conducive to aging in place, so planning now will pay off big later.
“When we’re not planning ahead, we need to react quickly,” Dr. Rodney Harrell, vice president of family, home and community at the AARP Public Policy Institute, and a recent guest on the Alliance’s Your Money Map show, told The New York Times.
There are many easy and inexpensive home renovations and adjustments to help maximize your home’s usefulness throughout your life. Adding dimmable lights to improve visibility at night and to upgrading to a smart, keyless lock system for easy entry, for example, are two easy upgrades. AARP recently introduced Home Fit, a free augmented reality smartphone app that can also scan a room and suggest safety improvements to help turn a house into a forever home.
It is also more important than ever to identify what retirement strategies you should put in place now—like annuities—to help ensure you have protected lifetime income later. Careful financial planning can help ensure you have a protected income stream to cover maintenance and care expenses, and more, as you age.
There are a variety of options in and choices of annuities to help cover various essential monthly expenses, so enlist a financial professional to help evaluate your exact needs and recommend an annuity and plan that’s right for you.