The Risks of Aging

On the popular television show “Star Trek,” the Vulcan character Mr. Spock was known for his salutation “Live long and prosper.” However, those two concepts may sometimes work at odds with each other, especially if people don’t have a plan for their retirement income. Many retirees can live a prosperous lifestyle, but without a retirement income strategy, they may run out of prosperity for the very reason that they live a long life.

The risks associated with aging may increase over time. The buying power of our retirement savings is more likely to erode due to the long-term impact of inflation. We are more likely to need part- or full-time assistance with daily activities as we grow older. Our health care expenses are likely to increase. We may lose friends and loved ones and become more isolated. And finally, we risk outliving our retirement income sources. In short, being able to both live long and to prosper may require substantial resources and a well-thought-out retirement plan.

There’s a silver lining, of course. More time means we can pursue more personal goals. Living longer allows us to watch our loved ones grow up and achieve their own successes and prosperity. A longer timeline has the potential to give our income sources more time to grow, which may help to smooth over periods of volatility. We can help you create a retirement plan that takes into account your goals and income needs; give us a call to set up an appointment.

Many retirees can manage their household and their finances until they pass away, but that isn’t always the case. It’s a good idea to choose a power of attorney and complete the appropriate paperwork while you have the power to choose who you would like to look out for your interests.1 We encourage you to work with a legal professional who can help you make decisions to suit your personal situation. The risks that can be associated with aging may be many, but so are the people willing to help us face them.

1 Rob Carrick. The Globe and Mail. Aug. 4, 2017. “Power of attorney is your financial defence against the risks of aging.” Accessed Aug. 31, 2017.