The quick later-life checklist

1 min readLast updated November 10, 2023by Lisa-Marie Voneshen

What’s better than growing old gracefully? Staying comfortable and solvent as you do so. There’s an art to navigating your later years, but with our quick checklist, you’ll have time to have fun in retirement.

Here’s a startling fact: most people retiring today will spend more than half as long retired as they spent in employment. 

Longer lifespans mean the 30-year retirement is no longer exceptional. Whether you find that encouraging or stressful may depend on how well-prepared you are. 

It’s misleading to think of retirement as a single life stage. After all, a lot can happen in two or three decades. 

Here, we run through some of the long-term plans you may need to consider – preferably at the start of your retirement when you have the most options. 

Where do you want to live? 

This sounds like a simple question, but the implications are huge. Now that you’re retired, you’re no longer bound by a workplace, so the world is your oyster. 

However, social ties may compel you to stay put. If property prices where you live now are high, you may be able to free up money by “rightsizing” – not buying a smaller property necessarily, but a similar or larger home in a cheaper area. 

On the other hand, what if you live in a low-cost area but want to be near family in a high-cost one? One solution is selling up and renting in a new location if buying is too expensive and using some of the proceeds of the old home to buy an annuity to cover the rent on the new property. 

Or you may decide you want to stay put and free up some of the value of your home by renting out rooms or through equity release. 

The choice is yours, but a financial advisor can help you consider all your options and determine which suits you best. 

Will you need extra care? 

The idea of long-term care might conjure up unpleasant visions for some people, but it can vary massively. It might include regular home visits from a medical professional, moving to a permanent retirement home, and ongoing medical costs. 

By planning your financial needs, you can ensure that your last years are comfortable while easing the pressure on your family. 

It’s worth talking to a financial advisor specializing in long-term care planning. A solution might be an immediate annuity, which pays a guaranteed sum. 

Have you set up Power of Attorney? 

Power of Attorney is the legal authority of another individual to make decisions on your behalf.  

It can be temporary, for example, for the duration of an illness or hospital stay or lasting, for instance, if you have been diagnosed with dementia and are not confident administering your own affairs. 

Of course, the time to decide who should get Power of Attorney – if possible, a trusted family member – is when you are in good health and confident of your own judgment. 

You can set up Power of Attorney via an attorney. Leaving your loved ones to sort it out will likely be more difficult and time-consuming.  

Have you planned your estate? 

If you want to pass on any assets after you die, your benefactors may be liable for estate or inheritance tax.  

It’s a good idea to talk to a financial advisor to ensure your inheritance is left to your loved ones.  

There are a few strategies to avoid paying inheritance tax, such as distributing assets before you die or buying a life insurance policy that is the same as the amount you want to leave behind. With the latter, you must ensure that the person you wish to receive the payout is a beneficiary. 

Who will pay for your funeral? 

It’s not something we like to think about, but it’s also upsetting to imagine loved ones scrabbling around to find money for funeral costs during a particularly difficult month. 

The costs could come from your estate, but a payout is unlikely before your funeral. 

Not everybody realizes you can take out life insurance, which can be used to cover funeral costs.  

Talking to an advisor can help determine if life insurance is right for your needs. Otherwise, it’s worth setting aside a fund for funeral costs so your family has one less thing to worry about. 

With the help of a financial advisor specializing in later-life planning, you can make the most out of all the good things about being older and carefree while knowing that all the necessary stuff has been taken care of. Unbiased can match you with your perfect financial professional. Get started today.

Senior Content Writer

Lisa-Marie Voneshen

Lisa-Marie Voneshen is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of experience writing and editing content across various areas, including personal finance and investing.