Financial security means different things at different times in a person’s life. Once people reach their older years, it’s important that they understand how to manage their money in this new and different phase. It is also important that as they go through their business lives, they understand how to prepare for their senior years. Not planning ahead when younger and not understanding how to best navigate later years can lead to running out of money too soon.
One of the most important ways to make sure that money lasts as we age is to be aware of how to limit expenses. Younger people concentrate on buying homes, starting families, paying for education and much more. As we age, being able to afford to stay in our homes, pay for health care and be prepared for unexpected expenses become issues that we need to prioritize. Eric Meermann’s book, “Looking Ahead: Life, Family, Wealth and Business After 55” recommends that aging adults spend less and also be more aggressive with investments, investing more in stocks and equities to earn greater returns. Saving money also means limiting financial help to children.
Cognitive decline is one of the biggest dangers for aging adults who can then not manage their own finances and are targets for fraud. Enlisting the help and support of children to navigate such times can make all the difference. Planning for these eventualities needs to be started well before there is any indication of cognitive decline so that things can run smoothly. Hiring professional help can also set up a safe path into the financial future for aging adults. On the other hand, older adults who are still cognitively healthy and interested in adding income to their later years should, by all means, pursue new paths to earning money.
One way that aging adults can give back to society is to teach their grandchildren about the importance of dealing with money, starting at an early age. Only a small percentage of grandparents do talk to their grandchildren about these subjects, and yet for those who do, grandchildren comment that their grandparents influence them positively. Catherine Collinson, President of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, remembers how her grandmother took her to department stores and showed her how to be creative by sketching dresses she liked and then going home to sew them. What a lesson for a young child to learn, how to get what she wanted while saving money.