No parent is perfect and although we love them, sometimes they were caught in doing things the way their parents did. Times change and living a good life means preparing for retirement, unforeseen illness and whatever else may come your way. The older generation has different ideas and are often stubborn about what they accept as fact. Here is how to not make the same mistakes as the older generation.
No matter what your age, plan for your future.
For many people in today’s economy, the thought of retirement is a dream. Staying with the same employer until retirement age is something that doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Even if you feel that you will be working until the day you die, you need to be prepared for the day that a medical disability might keep you from earning a paycheck. If finances allow, having insurance that will help you to pay your living expenses should you become temporarily disabled is great to have. Have a savings plan and as you get older, make sure that it is reserved for your golden years. Do not use it to take that trip to some exotic location.
Downsize your life.
Once the kids move out, if they do, reevaluate whether you need that large home anymore. Not only is it more living space than you need, but what if you are unable to do the maintenance? You will be at the mercy of paying contractors or cleaning people. You may be in a position where you now are helping your parents out doing maintenance at their home, do you want to burden your children with the same situation?
Pre-plan your funeral arrangements.
Pre-planning funeral arrangements makes it simple for the family and friends that you leave behind. There will be no questions or arguments about what you would have wanted because it is all spelled out. Death is inevitable and even though we do not know when it will happen, having the arrangements set will take pressure off your children (if you have any).
Never assume anything.
Just because great-grandma lived to be 90, doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to live that long. Today we live with more stress and to compare your life to your great-grandma’s is like comparing apples to oranges. Great-grandma probably never worked outside the home and didn’t balance work and family. It is true that today we have access to better health care, but never assume that your life is going to go as planned. Plans change. Be ready to roll along with it.
Don’t get stuck in the past.
The problem with much of the older generation is the unwillingness to roll with the changes in life. From technology to financial expectations, life is different than it was 40 years ago. Try to keep up with the changes in order to be knowledgeable about how things work. Technology like online bill paying scares much of the older generation. Things like payphones are almost obsolete and many older people stubbornly don’t accept these kind of changes. Aging can be harder when you are stuck in the past. Keep younger people around you who can keep you a part of the changing world.