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Understanding your needs as you age

We’re getting older and living longer, making it more and more important to have a plan for aging well. Aging is inevitable, but people prolong planning for a health crisis or medical emergency. Waiting or responding reactively can often add to stressful situations. You may never feel “ready,” but it’s better to be proactive when planning for aging.

A comprehensive plan should address longevity, health care, and end-of-life needs that are important to you and fit your finances.

Understanding aging: Assess your situation

Before you make any decisions about putting an aging plan in place, be sure to get a full picture of your needs and the kinds of help that are available.

Know your needs when it comes to aging well

To try to get an accurate picture of some of your potential needs, go through your daily routine and make a list of tasks you may need help with at some point. While some simpler needs such as cooking or cleaning might require help from only a visiting caregiver, other needs such as driving are more critical.

Look around your home—are there stairs, bathtubs, or narrow hallways that may need adaptive devices? This should factor into any decision about living elsewhere down the road.

Know who can help you as you age

Talk through the situation as a family, and gauge how much everyone will be able to help. Neighbors, church members or clergy, and friends also might be willing to help. Although it might feel like a difficult conversation to have with those you feel close to, it can be very important to understand what support you have around you as you age. Not only could this help you get a plan in place so you’re ready when you need it, you might also feel a little more peace of mind as you live your life.

Give someone access to your accounts

When you add an authorized user to your accounts, you choose the level of access to give them.

More to explore

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.