Living longer can mean increased chances of health issues and added financial stress.
Author: Sound Choices
January 9, 2018
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. AGF is proud to support the Alzheimer Society of Canada – the leading nationwide charity dedicated to improving the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, their families and caregivers.
Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias are Increasing
|Did you know?|
|Dementia is an overarching term for a set of symptoms.
Alzheimer's Disease is a common form of dementia.
14.9% of Canadians over age 65.
34.5% of those over age 85.
|Estimated 60,000 new cases each year.
By 2031, 1.4 million Canadians will have dementia
(if little advancements are made).
Source: Dr. Jocelyn Charles, Sunnybrook Hospital Sciences Centre, Toronto, 2014.
When we think about retirement, we often think about the carefree early years, when we’re in relatively good health and living the retirement we’ve planned for. But as we age, the more likely we are to experience serious health issues that can decrease our independence and increase our expenses.
The average woman retiring at age 65 today can expect to live another 22 years, while a 65-year-old man can expect to live another 19 years.1 For many Canadians, financing these retirement years is becoming more challenging. Add to that the possibility of declining physical health (In 2012, 85% of Canadian seniors had at least one chronic condition2), and the reality is that the longer you live, the less likely you’ll spend your entire retirement living independently in your own home. Housing may, in fact, be your largest expense in retirement.
If you decide to stay in your own home, you may need to renovate to accommodate any health or mobility needs such as equipping bathrooms with grab bars and shower benches, changes to accommodate wheelchair access, stair lifts and more. Costs for these types of renovations can be significant. If you need to move to an assisted living facility, both public and private facilities may have long waiting lists and can be expensive.
Other financial implications
Beyond housing, seniors must also prepare for the additional cost of prescriptions or home care, not all of which will be covered by provincial health care coverage.
Driving and transportation are also important factors to consider. In your earlier retirement years, you’ll likely be independently mobile. But as you get older, you may need to pay for taxis or other forms of transportation to get to doctors’ appointments and run errands such as grocery shopping.
Talking with family about aging
Your family is an important part of your transition to retirement. It is crucial to share and discuss your plans, from whether you wish to stay at home or move to an assisted care facility, to basic health-care needs and how you plan to pay for these types of expenses.
You should also discuss a Power of Attorney for financial decisions and one for health-care decisions. This will help your caregivers in carrying out your wishes if required.
Your financial advisor can help you plan for these conversations to ensure you ask and answer the important questions.
- Talk with your financial advisor about the state of your finances and any opportunities you may have to grow your wealth now to cover future expenses.
- Make an appointment with your family doctor and other health-care providers to get a clear understanding of your current health.
- Initiate a discussion with your family and start making some important decisions.
- Research your health-care options and how to go about preparing for them.
- Learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease.