Retirement Tips - 2

^z 25th May 2023 at 12:08pm

More highlights from notes I took in a pre-retirement class, October 2010 (see Retirement Tips - 1 for Part 1):

  • retirement has an impact on family and relationships in seven areas:
    • space-time: make room for yourself, for privacy and control
    • tasks: define turf, decide who does what, and re-allocate as needed
    • money: the single biggest source of conflict is a smaller income, so practice full disclosure of assets and debts — "No surprises!"
    • joint activity: find things to do that work for both parties in the relationship
    • kids (and grandkids): remember that "You're the engine of your own train, not the caboose of someone else's" — don't become a banker for your children, and if you still have aging parents yourself, prepare to help them
    • when you are going to retire: confer, decide, and have mutual respect for your partner's decision which may be different
    • where you're going to retire: be sure to take into account key factors including:
      • don't make a hasty move in Year One
      • consider renting a new place for 1-2 years to test before committing
      • be within 30 minutes of good health care facilities
      • pay attention to security against break-ins and robberies
      • look for an area with economic opportunity
      • check public transportation; by age 75, a third of people never drive again
      • find a neighborhood with other people like you, so you can make friends with common interests, join good clubs, etc.
      • seek out mental stimulation, such as at a local university
      • consider the possibility of assisted living and geriatric care in the area; beware of for-profit facilities
      • if you're signing a contract to move into a facility, check the conditions for getting your money back easily if you want out
      • consider staying in your own home (50% of US retirees don't move); do a home adaptation inventory, focusing on issues such as shag rugs, hard-to-handle knobs, showers without grab-bars, stairs to get to bedrooms and bathrooms and the street, etc.
  • other big things to take care of:
    • a will, to minimize family conflicts over possessions ("They might be mad at you, but you'll be gone and won't care! That's better than having them be mad at each other for 25 years.")
    • a "living will" or "advance directive", describing your desires in case you're incapacitated ("Put notarized copies in your medical file and in the hands of the #1 Doberman Pinscher in your family!" — someone aggressive who will act on your behalf when required)
    • long term care insurance — but don't trust smaller insurance companies, and get home care coverage (97% of people don't last more than 3 years in nursing homes)
    • a "need to know list" — a computer file with what somebody would need to know to manage for you, such as health plan ID numbers, doctors' names, data on your insurance policies, savings and retirement accounts, passwords, etc.; give hardcopies to relatives and update it every ~4 years
    • an advance funeral plan, describing what your last wishes are ("You're in charge of you!")
  • at age 60 and healthy, you have an ~80% chance of independence past age 80, so "You'd better have an agenda!"

^z - 2012-04-22