The process of aging is no fun. It is, however, inevitable. As we age, brain processes slow down and it becomes difficult to deal with complex information and change. We all react to this process in different ways. Some people just go with the flow and deal with the effects of aging as they arise. Others dig their toes in, trying to fight off the inevitable. Yet another group plan for what lies ahead and restructure their lives accordingly.
As is often said, we enter this world with nothing and leave with nothing. Whether we like it or not, all we have is left behind. The question is, when do we let go? At the end of life, what we have is a place to live in, some personal possessions and with luck, some investments or money in the bank. The process of letting go relates to all three of these categories.
When it comes to financial affairs, keeping up with paperwork can be a challenge late in life. At some point, family members may be required to step in either to oversee what is happening or to take control through an Enduring Power of Attorney. It is sad to see elderly people with large investment portfolios clinging on tightly to their money. There comes a point where there are simply not enough years of life left to spend the amount of money available. Rather than cling on to the end, is it not better to distribute surplus funds to family or charities sooner? A planned approach to distributing wealth can help avoid family arguments over estates while also providing the satisfaction of seeing funds put to good use by the recipients.
Being prepared can lessen the impact of the effects of aging and make things easier for our families.