Retirement: Challenges for Seniors Explained
Growing older is challenging enough, with all the new changes that take place in someone’s life as they think about retirement and how their lifestyles will change. But few people truly understand all of the challenges that a senior faces when looking at retirement. This can cause undue stress and anxiety to the senior aged person. But how do we avoid these challenges, and what are they?
In a recent article that Philip Moeller wrote for the US News, he listed twelve challenges that he felt needed to be overcome by seniors. Here is his list:
“1. Declining or stagnant income or loss of job
2. Loss or erosion of pension
3. Catastrophic illness or disability
4. Loss of health insurance or escalation of healthcare costs
5. Death of a spouse
6. Caregiving demands
7. Financial problems of children or other family members
8. Investment losses
9. Loss or erosion of social benefits
10. Living “too long,” or outliving one’s resources
11. Combination of scenarios
12. Windfalls: unexpected, but welcome, scenarios”
The article goes on to say that the people who were polled and asked the question of what was a challenge to them as a senior, it was learned that there were a lot of roadblocks to successfully living a serene life of retirement. And they weren’t just talking about how
unstable the Social Security system was. As you can see from the list above, these are major concerns that go above and beyond falling down and not being able to get up.
The truth is that sometimes just one of these challenges can totally change all of your retirement plans. It’s like the surprise that no one wants to get, because how do you prepare for circumstances when you don’t know what the circumstances will be like? What can do, however, is have some type of a contingency plan, a what-if list of options.
It’s like car insurance, renters insurance, or flood insurance…You buy it for your own protection in case something does happen. The same is true for being prepared to the best of your ability for the challenges that will face you as a senior.
The best plan is to take a single approach at a time and not become overwhelmed with so many scenarios and how you would handle each one. For example, maybe this year you could look at how you might be able to improve your finances or put more money aside. It’s one thing that you have to figure out. Then when you have found a solution to that first item on your list, then go to the second item, think it through, talk it over with friends and family, or even a consultant and then make a decision to implement it into your life.
We can overcome challenges, and we can adjust our attitudes to a challenge, but it takes practice and foresight to think about it now rather than later.