While many Canadians prepare for retirement, not as many prepare for old age. That’s according to Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, the director of financial security research for the National Institute on Aging.
MacDonald says preparing for old age is a necessity, given that we are living longer. She added, in the article in the Financial Post, that they leave these decisions about aging to the last minute, which puts a strain financially and physically on loved ones.
With most care falling onto unpaid loved ones, this calls for these caregivers to cut back on their work hours (thereby impacting their own retirement savings). Which is why, although it is not an easy conversation to have, talking to your loved ones about the plan for when you’re aging is your best plan. Having this discussion will help ensure you live independently as long as you wish and that your wishes are respected.
Ask yourself what you want your life to be like when you’re older. Do you see yourself in a retirement community or living at home as long as possible, with home care as needed? You’ll have to also consider how this will be paid for. By considering these questions now, before you’re faced with a crunch-time decision, you allow yourself the time to research, plan, and consult with a financial professional to establish what your options are.
For more details on how you can afford the care you want as you age, along with who needs to be considering how they want to live as they age (it’s not just those who are well into the 70s and beyond), read the full Financial Post article here.