When we discuss estate planning and elder law we inevitably mention “all of the eventualities of aging,” and sometimes this is a nice way of saying that some not-so-pleasant things tend to happen as we get older. It is true that if you want to plan intelligently you do have to prepare for anything that fate may have in store for you, but there is no cookie cutter experience of aging. There are some things that are out of your control, but there are many things that are well within your control.
If you are fifty-years-old and planning ahead, you may have your eye set firmly on the prize that we call retirement. When you are engaged in retirement planning you are invariably going to identify how you would like to spend that free time and do what you have to do financially to make those plans a reality. This is as it should be, but you can’t enjoy your retirement if you are not healthy enough to do so. Ill health can also limit your financial resources after you retire as you pay for doctors and treatments rather than golf vacations and Caribbean cruises.
For this reason your retirement plan should be holistic. Planning financially to be able to pay possible medical bills is prudent and necessary, but are health problems an absolute given? There is a lot that you can do to take control of your health as you are aging, and the lifestyle that you may have been able to “get away with” when you were younger may not be sustainable as your retirement appears over the horizon and in the years after. The suggestion here is to make preparations for aging well by exercising, eating well, eliminating unhealthy habits, and staying in a mentally positive state of mind.