The pandemic has affected all of us, but perhaps no demographic has experienced change and crisis to the same extent as our seniors. And while no one is certain how the future will unfold in the wake of Covid-19, most experts agree that some change will be permanent.
This raises some critical issues for aging. It’s not just about the fear of susceptibility. We already knew that older people have a higher risk of getting diseases. But in this time of recession, costs aren’t just rising; they’re volatile. If you find caregiver services expensive now, how much more costly will they be in a year or two? It might be even more challenging to find quality services in the future.
Successful aging should be planned. That’s why we’re all advised to save some money for retirement, and take good care of our health. And as our world strives to recover, it might be even more imperative to start laying the groundwork for how you’ll age. Whether it’s a few years or a few decades from now, your final chapter will likely present the same challenges. How do you go about planning these things today?
The past decade has shown that a growing number of people would prefer to age in place. Doing so offers considerable convenience. You remain in familiar settings with a home that’s likely to be fully paid by the time you’re a senior. Existing relationships within the community also boost your social support network.
But in a changing world, location won’t always be a straightforward decision. Homes need to be modified for safety. And if you can expect a shortage of affordable labor, those jobs tend to become DIY projects. How confident are you in your all-around skills? The experts at Longhill Contracting would advise you to leave structural work to the pros, but can you budget for that?
Settling the issue of location can result in a significant reduction in expenses. Even if you’d rather age in place, it’s advisable to exercise due diligence and look around for other options. You might find properties ready-made for seniors, and be able to trade up or down. When you compare relocation versus the add-on costs of maintaining and remodeling your current home, you might still end up winning on the balance if you move elsewhere.
One area in which the pandemic will change our society is in the field of healthcare. Not only are people going to exercise more caution when it comes to going out and walking about, but attitudes will change. So will costs.
There are already case studies and reports on how the healthcare system is under-serving our elders. And while that can change, can you be sure which areas will be more progressive in handling older patients? Do you expect to have a large enough retirement fund to cover those expenses?
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. The first step to addressing this concern is building healthy habits into your lifestyle. Drop the stressful influences and toxic substances from your daily living, and replace them with exercise and a healthy diet. Not only is it cost-effective, but it’s something you can control years before you head into retirement.
A second area in which you can improve your health outcomes and reduce medical costs as you age is in the social realm. Even today, the cost of senior care is effectively out of the price range of many families. More millennials are acting as caregivers for their elderly parents and grandparents. If you expect this trend to continue, and maybe rely upon it yourself, then it’s wise to invest in the younger generations. Strengthen your relationships, and leverage your expertise to help them make smart choices and go further in their careers.
Before the pandemic, many people were continuing to work beyond the retirement age. While economic pressure is undoubtedly a factor, a lot of elders also chose to work for other reasons. Fulfillment and a sense of being occupied are things you might look for when you retire.
With remote work becoming ideal for many employers, it’s quite likely that the post-pandemic world will see even more seniors enter the workforce. After all, average life expectancy figures continue to hover around 80 years of age.
Even as you look forward to retirement, consider how and where you might want to continue working in your final chapter. After all, the answer could go a long way towards offsetting some of the costs associated with aging. It could enable you to live a healthy, comfortable, and fulfilled lifestyle for many years.