This is a lament that I get when I talk to my Mother. She is over 90 and dealing with dementia. She and my Dad did a great deal of planning for the future, and their plans seem to have worked.
Planning was imperative due to my oldest brother having health issues, so they planned for his future and ended up unintentionally including themselves. Their assumption that my brother would outlive them was a mistake, but it worked out for my Mother.
My Mother was sure she would not outlive my Father or most of the people who preceded her. I don’t know of many folks that say, “I don’t plan on living that long”, when they start financial planning, but many folks end up assuming that by their inaction. Mickey Mantle is an example of someone positive he would die young but did not.
The other assumption many folks make is that they will be able to continue working later into their lives. If this is your plan, disability insurance would be critical because things can go wrong.
Does anyone plan for Dementia? My mother, indeed, did not. She is sure she is fine, but Dementia is an evil ailment. You won’t know it is happening until you aren’t able to do anything about it. The planning you need to do at least is:
- Appoint a Power of Attorney for your Finances and your Health. Make sure it is someone you trust.
- Make sure your bank is aware of these as well. If your behaviour becomes erratic, they may contact your POA.
- Start leaving messages to yourself in the future. Not sure how you do that, but telling yourself you will know if you are “losing it”, you are mistaken.
Financial Planning without An End Date
Some folk I know have an idea of when they might die. Nobody so far has told me when they think they will become mentally incapacitated. I don’t have that plan yet, but I will piece something together. The minimum plan would be to appoint Power of Attorney for money and your health decisions.
No surprises here, tell the folks you have appointed, and maybe have a conversation about things. A Will is needed as well, get these done now, especially if you are married or have folks that rely on you.