When we talk about planning for retirement followed by what are called your “twilight years” these plans involve preparing for anticipated expenses as precursors to the ultimate distribution of your remaining assets when you pass away. Things like incapacity planning and long-term care costs are factored in, and making sure that you and your family are prepared for these possibilities is the only responsible course of action. However, there are other types of preparations you can make as well and whether or not you choose to make them are going to go a long way toward determining the quality of life you enjoy during your retirement and beyond.
What your financial situation is going to look like and to what extent you are going to be able to enjoy the latter stages of your life is going to have a lot to do with your health. Even when you have Medicare and supplemental insurance there are going to be out-of-pocket fees and the cost of the insurance to contend with. Plus, the national average cost of residing in an assisted living facility in the United States in 2010 was $3,293 monthly or $39,516 a year (and in the New York Metropolitan Area much higher), so this another cost to think about.
The knee-jerk reaction is to get busy putting together financial resources to address these costs. That is one approach, but it sounds kind of stressful. Stress is one of the leading contributors to many of the health problems that you may wind up having to pay for as you get older. So are things like smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise. The point is that you can reduce the possibility that you are going to get sick and prolong your healthy years by making positive lifestyle choices along the way. If you are eating a fast food meal followed by some smokes while working a couple of extra stressful hours trying to prepare for future health care costs, you may want to reconsider and spend that time at the gym instead.