The most important thing you can do to prepare for the future is plan. Your planning can be as comprehensive as hiring an estate planner or it can be as simple as listing accounts, writing a will and getting it notarized, and discussing your wishes with family and family members.
Obviously, the more planning you do, the easier it will be when important decisions have to be made and when you find that an older family member needs increasing levels of care.
The section of this website on Legal Issues provides information on Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Living Wills, Guardianship, Hiring Help, Estate Planning, and Choosing an Attorney.
The section on Paying for Long-Term Care provides information on Private Pay (including long-term care insurance), Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran's Benefits, and personalized assistance. A lot of this information is relevant to planning for the future.
As you plan for your future, plan for your health and independence as well. Think of your housing situation and whether you will be able to continue to take care of the home in which you now live. If you think you may not be able to handle what is needed, consider moving to a smaller home with less maintenance requirements. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying someone to handle routine chores for you. Moving while you are healthy will be easier, both physically and emotionally.
Get involved in activities and utilize the free offerings of local Senior Centers (locate your local Senior Centers by contacting your Area Agency on Aging). You want to remain healthy and independent for as long as possible. It's less expensive and more fun!
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