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Maintaining Independence as we go

As we age, change can become more and more difficult to handle. It’s all about helping seniors to understand how certain changes can help them have the quality of life they want and need. Think about what you can say and ways you can best explain this to help ease the transition and enable the senior to feel they are still in control of their life.

Having finances and other aspects of life management on what I call “Life Auto Pilot™” can enable the senior to maintain their independence longer while at the same time making it easier for the people that now help or will later help with their care. There are many things you may be able to do now to make current and long-term life management easier.

One way is to eliminate the need to file quarterly estimated income tax payments by increasing the amount withheld from pension and social security. Work with your tax advisor for how to properly accomplish this. It can be as simple as filling out one form.

Another way to implement “Life Auto Pilot™” is to consolidate financial statements. Many seniors find they have accounts with several banks/credit unions, insurance, brokerage and investment firms. Consider consolidating accounts to 1-2 banking relationships, and 1-2 brokerage/investment/insurance firms. They should not need to sell anything or incur early withdrawal penalties. Proper planning of the transfer of accounts can mean that all of the accounts report on fewer statements enabling the senior to more easily manage the paperwork.

Simplifying our financial lives as we age can help to maintain independence longer, something most of us strive for.

© Nancy Butler, July 2011