5 questions that should define your retirement planning strategy

Retirement planning has its challenges. We make decisions based on our individual perspectives, habits and situations, creating a life that is uniquely our own. This impacts our future far more than we realize, especially when it comes to a long-term goal.

Some people cruise into their future like jumping in their car for a casual Sunday drive, having no particular destination in mind. Hoping for the best, they keep moving forward one decision at a time. Should I turn left? Right? The road might take them anywhere at all, and that’s perfectly fine with them. It’s an impromptu life influenced by needs of the moment, inspiration or happenstance.

When it comes to retirement, they aren’t terribly concerned about what might happen down the road. They don’t plan, they react. What will be, will be.

Others are cautious movers who dip their toe in the water before they decide to put on their swimsuit. When they jump in the car, they’re pretty sure they know the way but have Google Maps tell them where to turn, just in case they’re wrong.

They’re saving for retirement as it seems reasonable, but not in an aggressive way. There’s probably not a “formal plan” in place beyond saving money. They’re current on options and smart about handling their money in a sensible way, but hesitate to make a formal decision. What if it’s the wrong one? Can they wait a few more years?

Then there are the highly strategic planners, intensely mapping out their future like a game of chess. Every decision counts. They’re following the rules and in the game to win. They have a destination in mind, carefully check Yelp reviews before leaving the house and arrive exactly on time.

Their retirement portfolio is perfectly diversified, they’re thinking about long-term care insurance and an estate plan, determined to be ready for whatever life brings. When their research is done, they buy, confident in their decision.

Does everyone fall into one of these three stereotypes? Of course not, but it’s fascinating to think about. How we move through our lives is an intersection of personality, experience and influences (such as finance, careers, lifestyles, health and relationships). We change and evolve as the decades pass, shifting decisions as appropriate.

If you’re just beginning to consider major retirement planning decisions, exploring long-term care options can help you decide which road to take, no matter what type of planner you might be.

Learn more: Long-term care insurance providers won’t tell you this

The following five questions are ones we often ask when discussing potential costs of long-term care in Arizona. As one of the most significant expenses that can occur during retirement, protecting your assets against long-term care expenses can significantly impact future income. It’s a key component of retirement planning.

  1. If your health declines, what will you do?
  2. Where do you want to get the care that you need?
  3. Who do you want to provide the care?
  4. How much do you think it will cost?
  5. How will you pay for it?

If you’d like a local non-profit resource available to help you process these questions, obligation free, we’re here for you. Contact Sun Health in Scottsdale at (480) 366-HOME or in Surprise at (623) 227-HOME.

Continuing care at home plans combine a proactive independent living lifestyle in your own home with resources to obtain and pay for long-term care, should it become eventually necessary. Even if you move or travel, the plan follows you. It’s a smart addition to every retirement plan. To learn more, attend an upcoming discovery seminar near you.

Sun Health at Home is the first CCaH program in the southwestern United States and the only one available in Arizona.

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