Whether you are 18 or 50, you need to prepare for an eventual retirement life. I call it the third stage. The first stage is from birth to 18 years old – the growing up years. The second stage is your adult life – you marry, you have a family, you work, you contribute to society. The third stage is when you retire – you give back to the community, your family, you travel, you grow old surrounded by the ones you love.
This third stage is the subject of this website. What you need to prepare for it, what things you need to look at, what resources are available. You need to have a good retirement account (IRAs, 401Ks, 403Bs, pensions, Social Security, Medicare, etc.). You also need a plan of what you are going to do everyday. Perhaps have a part time job, volunteer in the community, travel a lot, take care of the grandchildren, play golf, attend concerts, drive an RV, motorcycle. These a nice plans and you have to be ready for it.
Plan well in savings, town to live in, legal documents, health care documents, final wishes. Ensure that your third stage is free to do what you want and have the money & freedom to do it.
You also need to prepare yourself and your family to health care needs, wishes, health directives. Finally, you should also prepare wills & trusts to ensure what assets are left pass on to your loved ones with minimal fuss.
All of these things are key to a successful retirement. The older you get, the more important these are for you and your family. I have a friend that did not plan for his health deteriorating. He has a simple will but no power of attorney, no health directive. Therefore, no one can help him to make decisions about his health and his assets since he is incapacitated and cannot make his own decisions. You don’t want to end up that way. It is hard on you and hard on your family.