Phase Four: Going It Alone

Many retirees find themselves living years of their lives alone, and many lose partners before they even retire. Women represent 69 percent of the older Americans living alone. (Women typically outlive men.) The daily chores and activities of living as a couple may become much more difficult to complete as a single. Often, a sudden accident or fall can significantly impact the ability of a single person to live independently. For these reasons, it is very important to have a trusted person to act as your medical proxy, who knows your health care preferences and your intentions, if you should have a serious health crisis and be unable to make decisions for yourself. A medical power of attorney is a necessary complement to a financial power of attorney.

While the last decade or two of a lifetime certainly can bring significant challenges, they often brings a period of well-being a satisfaction of a life well-lived. The pace of life slows enough to allow us to enjoy the little things and not worry as much. If they have planned well, many people find this period to be a very rewarding and uplifting time. It is important to continue to maintain your social network and activities and to revisit the decisions you’ve made related to your personal care and financial plan to make the most out of your life. You have one life to live — live it to the fullest.


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