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60 and Life is Good!

The “Golden Years” have arrived, a bit too quickly, but here you are!  Now is the time to enjoy the harvest of all of your previous efforts:  family, lifestyle and perhaps some wealth.  Thirty years ago, this was imagined to be a carefree situation: travel, enjoy life with your partner, be involved with activities that you desire to be involved with; no longer burdened by tasks that felt more like obligations!  Many people envision this time period as “Easy Street”: major life obligations have been undertaken and accomplished: smooth sailing ahead.

Now that you are here, it is not quite so easy though. Healthcare and the associated costs are a concern.  Another worry is the fearful prospect of being unable to care for yourself or your partner requiring special attention. Oh, and then there is the task of managing our resources through a thirty year (or longer) retirement cycle.  One more thing, how about an estate plan, what will happen to our assets after we are gone; what final arrangements are desired? Wow, this is a bit more challenging than many people arriving at the age of sixty had anticipated!

As usual, I recommend taking complex, multi-part situations and planning for each issue, individually.  If you have done some of this planning previously, wonderful; but still take some time to review your plans, especially if several years have passed since the plan was formed.  If you have not given serious consideration to some of these concerns previously, you can still strategize about how you will handle the items noted previously: healthcare, long term care, financial stewardship of your assets and estate planning.


Medicare coverage is available to people at age 65.  There are actually 4 parts to Medicare: A, B, C, D. There is a premium to be paid and some people will also pay a surcharge due to their higher income level.

I strongly recommend that you sign up for Medicare, when you are eligible.  The sign up period is three months before the month of your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday and three months after your 65th birthday.  If you do not enroll during this seven month period, your premiums will be increased due to a penalty assessed on late enrollment.

Please review your anticipated medical costs and determine if you want to enroll in the basic Medicare OR enroll in basic Medicare PLUS a supplemental policy OR enroll in a Medicare Advantage program.

There is an open enrollment period for Medicare every fall. You should again review your anticipated Medicare costs and determine if you want to stay with your current selections or switch to a different plan.

Long Term Care

Long Term Care Insurance will provide benefits to people, who require assistance with activities of daily living.  Keep in mind that each state regulates insurance sold in the state; as a result states have defined varying levels of coverage and eligibility.  Activities of daily living include: toileting, mobility, feeding oneself, transfer from one position to another, feeding oneself and others.

Medical/health insurance provides no coverage for costs associated with long term care such as: nursing home, assisted living facility, in-home aides, or adult day care.  Medicare provides very limited financial resources for these costs.

These policies are feature rich and your selection of benefits will affect the premium paid.  Please see the Long Term Care blog.

Consideration of the wealth you expect to accumulate for retirement plays a role in determining if this insurance is necessary and how much coverage is appropriate.

Shop for these policies while you are relatively young (middle 50s- early 60s) and in good health.

Financial Assets

Managing assets through retirement is not a “set it and forget it” situation.  Continued monitoring and adjustment of the asset base is wise.  The monitoring and adjustments are not recommended to be obsessive and performed daily; rather a semi-annual or annual review and rebalance is reasonable for most folks.  You certainly want to preserve the wealth accumulated through your working career.  You should also have part of the accumulated wealth invested for growth; to maintain your purchasing power.

Estate Planning

Now is the time to review the estate plan to determine if the plan is on target and will meet your goals.  Through the years, relationships, assets, estate goals can all change.  Creating or updating the estate plan will ease the burden on the survivors.  Seek the help of a competent estate planning attorney to ensure that these legal documents will achieve your goals.

As you can see, there is much to consider and maintain as you progress through your Golden Years.  Carefully addressing these items, reviewing them at regular time intervals (once or twice a year) will help to relieve your anxieties and make this time period in your life more enjoyable.