Everyone knows they should plan for post-retirement – protect assets, set up health care directives, power of attorney, perhaps trusts, and a host of other planning instruments. And yet there’s a real hesitation in doing so, people put it off. We see that every day and it’s perfectly understandable, no one wants to think about growing older.
A big part of that surely revolves around an outdated concept – elder planning is planning for nursing homes and assisted care and …
That’s simply not true in 2016, witness: A retired football player turned Judge retired at 70 starting a non-profit with his wife; a retired teacher turned published poet; a retired social worker turned oboist; a sixty-nine year old laid-off from his managerial position starts a company that designs and manufactures sustainable packaging; a ninety year old retired comptroller becomes a Speedo model; an eighty year old grandmother discovers a talent for painting; a retired New York teacher wins the Pulitzer Prize with his first book in his late sixties.
The list goes on and on. What used to be an outlier – Grandma Moses, for one, who discovered her talent in her eighties, Colonel Sanders, for another, who started KFC in his sixties – has become common place.
People live longer and far healthier lives now. “Elderly’ planning is more and more about planning for life. The Legacy Project at Cornell University found that a majority of people 70 and over said they achieved a life dream or embarked on a worthwhile endeavor after turning 65.
Jan Hively received her PhD in education when she was 69. She promptly formed three organizations dedicated to empowering older adults to lead productive lives – her philosophy, “meaningful work, paid or unpaid, through the last breath.”
Elder planning, then, is more about taking advantage of what can be a wonderful time of life and doing so without worry than anything else.
Don’t look at planning as a Doomsday eventuality, look at it as the opportunity to get ready for a second act.
After all, Cézanne did his best work in his sixties..