Let’s not forget the women who are childless when they retire!
Most all assumptions put women as widows at some point in retirement and figure their kids will take them in somewhere down the line. But for those who do not have families or spouses or significant others, how do you prepare for that probability? It becomes more important than ever to make some provisions while you are well and able to consider all the facts before you must make a decision based on urgency and desperation.
First, look at the expectations you have of where you will live in retirement.
Are you planning on being near family, maybe not siblings, but cousins or dear friends? As uncomfortable as it may seem, it would be a good idea to have a conversation with those whom you feel attached to and ask them if they would be willing to at least have your Power of Attorney (POA) to help you if you become incapacitated. This POA would allow someone you name, while you are competent to do so, to act as your personal representative in all things legal. S/he could sign a lease or a sales contract if you need to sell your home or register for an assisted living facility, sign checks or transact other banking including the ability to pay your bills and reinvest matured CDs or other investment vehicles. S/he would give you the peace of mind of knowing your financial obligations are handled and you have someone to be your advocate in the outside world.
We have a friend who moved to Oklahoma to be near a stepdaughter but gave his sister in NYC the POA to list and sell his apartment while he dealt with the physical move. This made his life so much easier. He is settled in OK and the apartment in NYC will close in a few weeks.
Not everyone will have a person they trust to have their POA. In that case, consider a bank trust department who provides all those services. If the bank is a national bank with powers to do business in all 50 states, it would be much easier to make all those plans work.
Please don’t avoid this conversation. It is very important to consider this sooner rather than later. For a free 15 minute consultation on this matter, please call us or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: SalFalko