By Guest Columnist Cynthia Touchton, Vice President and Senior Investment Consultant, Private Wealth Management, Robert W. Baird & Co.
Courtesy of Sheryl Hunter, J.D., www.lifelinesacademy.com
We all wish for a long life. We’re staying fit and eating right, or hoping we got the good genes! We dream of retirement years filled with more time with family, travel and pursuing interests that we haven’t had time to enjoy since our teens.
I hope your dreams for your “Golden Years” come true, but there is a new retirement reality that must be faced. Many people will run out of money because of the failure to plan for the blessing of longevity. The fact is that we are facing an unprecedented need to fund our lives for as many as 20 to 30+ years beyond retirement because it is now common to live into our 80s and beyond. We cannot leave planning to chance, expect the government to meet our needs if we run out of money, or unfairly burden our children with the tens of thousands of dollars that our care can require, each year! So, ask yourself, can you afford to live a long life?
TAKE THE LONGEVITY QUIZ:
- Do you have a written plan to make sure you don’t run out of money if you live long? YES NO
- Do you feel confident that your retirement savings will produce lifelong, monthly income? YES NO
- Might you have to financially support a family member in the future (child, sibling, etc.)? YES NO
- If you have a written plan, have you updated it in the last 2 years? YES NO
- Would you be able to pay $80,000+ per year for assisted living or nursing home care? YES NO
- If you are not currently drawing social security, do you know what age is best to begin? YES NO
- Do you realize that women need to plan to outlive their spouse/partner by several years? YES NO
- Are you, or do you foresee becoming, a family caregiver? YES NO
- Do you have current health risks, such as excess weight, diabetes, heart or mobility issues? YES NO
- Would you be able to work past retirement age of 65 if you needed to? YES NO
This exercise is designed to help you consider the question “Can I afford to live a long life?” by highlighting common risks. If you’re feeling unsettled by this quiz, the good news is that there are solutions and smart choices you can make. Even small adjustments now to your financial picture can be the difference between living in financial fear and having financial confidence. You need a written longevity plan, developed with the advice and counsel of an experienced advisor.
If you already have a financial advisor but he or she has not discussed longevity issues in detail with you, it’s time for a consultation with an alternative advisor. Or maybe it’s just time for a second opinion. How about your parents, siblings or children; maybe they need financial guidance. Have you had an open conversation with your family members about their arrangements? If not, don’t wait until you’re suddenly a caregiver to discover your loved one’s finances are insufficient. Adult children too often face a heart-wrenching choice to help a parent or protect their own financial security. Early action provides the most options so share this quiz with loved ones to open the door to an honest and open conversation about funding a long life.
My goal as a financial advisor is to have all of my clients answer “yes, I can!” to the question “Can I afford to live a long life?” As an advisor who specializes in longevity planning and retirement income distributions, I have developed strategies that can get you as close as possible to the retirement reality of your dreams. So eat your broccoli, exercise daily, talk to your family and find yourself an advisor who specializes in longevity planning!
Cynthia Touchton is Vice President and Senior Investment Consultant, Private Wealth Management, for Robert W. Baird & Co. with five Florida branches. Cynthia has been providing financial planning services to clients throughout the Tampa Bay area for over 18 years, and was a caregiver to her mother for 5 years. You can email Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 727-771-2249, or toll free: 1-800-925-5999.
Sheryl has combined her love for elders and entrepreneurs throughout her 17-year professional life. In 2009, she co-founded Lifelines Academy & Network, an online community dedicated to educating, connecting and promoting professionals serving seniors and family caregivers. Her legal experience includes estate planning, guardianship, elder abuse litigation, and business law.