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Happiness in the Golden Years requires long-term planning

The latter years of life, lovingly dubbed the "Golden Years," aren't always as easy as they should be. Unfortunately, many people reach these late-in-life years only to discover that a lack of long-term planning has left them unable to pay for the care they will need to combat failing health. While it is natural for one's health to deteriorate with age, for some people failing health is a more serious concern than for others. That is why planning ahead for necessities like long-term care should be considered vital to maintaining a good quality of life, not only for residents of Michigan, but for people all over the United States.

A recent news report out of Chicago highlights the story of an 83-year-old woman who has faced numerous health problems in recent years. She is now faced with the stress of wondering how to pay for it all. Medicare only goes so far, and when insurance runs out, many Americans (like the elderly woman's son) are left holding a bill they can't readily pay. The truth of the matter is that a large number of people fail to consider what the Golden Years might hold and therefore neglect to plan for the possibility of costly care and amenities.

Yet individuals' entering their Golden Years need not be an overwhelming source of stress and anxiety. Proper long-term planning during the prime of life can help to prevent many of the pitfalls elderly people face as they encounter failing health or economic hardship. This type of forward thinking may involve asking some hard questions, but can also end up providing invaluable peace of mind about the future.

Source: The Republic, "Many seniors lack long-term care plans and risk seeing their golden years tarnish," Deborah L. Shelton, Dec. 5, 2011

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