The Sunset Years

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As the saying goes, there is nothing more certain in life than death and taxes. The minute we are born we are on a gradual path towards the inevitable, while paying taxes along the way! Around the age of eighty people start to become conscious of their mortality. Beyond this point, a traumatic health event, such as surgery, a critical illness or a serious fracture, can trigger a sudden decline in overall health which may be difficult to recover from. The incidence of dementia doubles every five years between the ages of 65 and 90 and by age 95, dementia affects about 20% of people.

Reaching the golden age of eighty is a good time to take stock and prepare. The basics that need to be covered are:

  • Make sure your Will is up to date
  • Set up Enduring Powers of Attorney for your financial assets and your personal welfare so that your partner or a family member can act on your behalf
  • Simplify your financial affairs by reducing the number of bank accounts you have and consolidating your investments.

In the late stages of retirement, most people spend less. Take stock of how you wish to use your remaining financial assets. Have a plan to spend money on travel and comfortable living while you still have good health.

Where do you wish to spend your last years? Many retirement villages have long waiting lists. Moving to a cheaper house may allow you to free up funds to enjoy your last years or you could look at a home equity release loan. If you are worried about outliving your money, a variable annuity which provides a guaranteed income for life may be worthy of consideration.

As with anything else in life, things work out much better if you plan ahead.

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