In an AARP blog post last month A Tale Of Two Americas, I read about the fact that almost 20% of adults age 55 to 64 have no retirement savings. None. Nada. Zilch. That is a pretty scary statistic. What is the plan for these people – are they going to be working until they die (or worse, until they become disabled and can no longer work)? The AARP blog post also discussed the fact that, even among those who have saved, many will outlive their retirement savings.
In my practice, I run into this all the time – clients who bemoan the fact that they never thought they would outlive their savings. The number of baby boomers who have no retirement savings is scary because every month, more than a quarter-million Americans turn 65. Those that were in a position to save saw their savings depleted with the most recent financial crisis which took billions in retirement savings and forced many Americans to work longer than they had planned.
We need to be concerned about this because, as these individuals stop working, their contributions to the economy will also diminish, and they will become more dependent on their children and grandchildren. I am an advocate for educating people about the importance of making sure they have their basic documents in place regardless of how old they are. Yes, it is important to have a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Living Will and a Health Care Surrogate Designation, but even more important is making sure that we have enough funds to take care of ourselves into our later years.
Not only do we need to encourage people to save for retirement, but we need to encourage them to plan for their long term care needs. One of the ways to do this is through the use of long term care insurance which can help pay for care in the home, respite care, adult day care, and care in an assisted living facility or nursing home. To learn more about long term care considerations, check out LongTermCare which will give you the basics about what long term care is, as well as the costs involved, and it also provides information about what benefits are provided by Medicare, Medicaid, and the V.A.