15 Signs You’re Doing Well Financially When You’re Over 80

Discover the surprising indicators that prove you're thriving financially after 80.

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Updated June 6, 2024
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Reaching the age of 80 is a milestone worth celebrating, but it's also an excellent time to test your financial fitness

While fiscal well-being means different things to different people, there are some common signs that indicate you're on solid ground, especially when you’re probably well into retirement.

These signs include some basic financial indicators, but they also extend to other areas of life, including your health, legal documents, and care needs that may arise down the road.

How does your life stack up?

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You have a steady income stream

lovelyday12/Adobe A hand deposits coins into a glass jug.

A steady income stream, such as a pension, investments, or annuities, is a crucial aspect of financial well-being in your 80s. It gives you security, knowing you have a consistent source of funds to cover your expenses and enjoy your retirement.

Some folks may continue working in their 80s if their health allows it, so your mileage may vary.

You put your bills on auto-pay

fizkes/Adobe smiling young woman in eyewear looking at smartphone screen

Automating your monthly payments is a smart financial move that ensures your bills are paid on time and helps you avoid late fees. Ideally, you don't even think about managing those costs.

Don't be afraid to ask a younger relative for help setting them up if there's a technological learning curve.

You have minimal debt

ariya j/Adobe yellow sticky note

One of the key indicators of financial well-being for anyone is the absence of overwhelming debt. If you have a minimal amount that’s manageable, it suggests that you've handled your finances responsibly.

Being debt-free in your 80s allows you to enjoy yourself without the stress and limitations debt can cause, giving you peace of mind.

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Your mortgage is paid off

Rido/Adobe happy grandmother with granddaughter

Having your mortgage fully paid off is a significant achievement for anyone, including seniors. It means that you own your home outright, providing a sense of security and reducing your monthly financial obligations.

This financial milestone also means you have equity if you need to sell, which may be necessary down the line.

You're able to travel when you want to

rh2010/Adobe senior couple hiking with trekking sticks and backpacks at the young pine forest

Fiscal freedom in your 80s includes the ability to travel at your leisure. If you can go on trips without worrying about how much the trip costs, you're doing well financially.

Depending on your health and mobility, you may not be hiking the Inca Trail in Peru or surfing in Hawaii, but plenty of lower-impact options are just as fulfilling.

You have a financial advisor

rido/Adobe senior couple planning their investments with financial advisor sitting in her office.

Having a financial advisor shows you have taken a proactive approach to managing your wealth. An advisor helps you make informed decisions, plan for your needs, and ensure your finances align with your goals.

Your financial advisor will also know how to allocate your investments so your income is steady. They will also be sure your money is not tied up in high-risk investments or accounts that will trigger high taxes when you withdraw money.

You're scam-proof

panuwat/Adobe phone scam

Being scam-proof is a vital element of financial well-being for everyone, especially in the age of digital transactions and online fraud. If you're cautious and able to identify potential scams, you'll be less likely to fall for one.

Anyone can be scammed, but seniors are more likely to lose more money in one, so protecting yourself is critical.

You go to the doctor regularly

pikselstock/Adobe friendly nurse supporting an elderly lady

Regular health care check-ups can play a major role in long-term financial health. According to a study published on the JAMA Network, regular screenings and visits to your primary care doctor can catch potential ailments earlier, saving you not just money but years of your life.

For example, the cost of a colonoscopy that results in the removal of a precancerous polyp is much cheaper and less grueling than chemotherapy for colon cancer.

You've made your home accessible

RioPatuca Images/Adobe patient on a wheelchair

Making your living space more accommodating as you age can extend how long you can stay in your home, potentially saving you money. It's common to lose mobility in our later years, so installing handrails, ramps, and other modifications makes your residence safer.

Moving to a senior community can be an equally viable plan, so don’t automatically take this potentially savvy option off the table.

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You've made plans for long-term care

Tyler Olson/Adobe physiotherapist consoling senior woman sitting in wheelchair

If you've made informed decisions about potential long-term care options, whether through insurance or other means, it reflects a proactive approach to preserving your and your family’s fiscal well-being in the face of potential health care challenges.

Acknowledging that you may need such care may not be easy, but it's well worth planning ahead for the sake of you and your loved ones.

You've revised your will

fizkes/Adobe husband signs insurance document

A well-drafted will is a fundamental component of family financial planning, especially in your later years. If you've revisited and revised your will to reflect your current wishes, you’re taking a proactive approach to estate planning and asset distribution.

This may not impact your financial health directly, but it's vital for your loved ones. Note that it's also advisable to consult with an estate attorney regarding your will.

You have an advanced health care directive in place

Prostock-studio/Adobe Patient talking to doctor during appointment.

Having an advanced health care directive means that your medical preferences are known and will be respected. It also prevents unnecessary financial burdens on your loved ones by clarifying your wishes regarding medical treatments and end-of-life care.

These costs can add up fast, so don't leave your family in a precarious position not knowing what you wanted.

You may also want to choose a health care proxy who can make decisions about your medical care if you're not able to.

You've designated power of attorney

sebra/Adobe businesspeople discussion advisor

Granting power of attorney to a trusted loved one is vital. It allows them to manage your assets and finances if you become unable to do so yourself. This designation protects you and your family’s financial stability, as your agent can legally make decisions on your behalf.

Those with power of attorney may also make important decisions about your health care interventions.

You've named an executor for your estate

wirojsid/Adobe senior man sitting across table signing document on clipboard on table

Appointing an executor is a responsible, albeit sobering, step in estate planning. The person you designate will handle the distribution of your assets according to your wishes, hopefully simplifying the process and minimizing the financial and emotional burden on your family.

Estates without executors can cause a nightmare for families, so don't neglect this important task.

You've accounted for funeral expenses

Alexandra W/peopleimages.com/Adobe financial advisor and paperwork

Pre-planning for funeral expenses is a considerate and practical aspect of end-of-life planning. It eases the financial burden on your loved ones during a challenging time and assures that your wishes are carried out.

It may feel like a morbid task to conquer, but it will bring you peace of mind.

Bottom line

Lumos sp/Adobe senior couple on their retirement

Achieving financial well-being in your 80s involves a combination of responsible financial practices, proactive planning, and thoughtful decision-making. Hopefully, you’ve already taken care of every item on this list.

You can avoid wasting money by proactively managing your wealth and being diligent about your and your family’s fiscal future. If your financial house is in order, you can enjoy your life without worrying about money.

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Author Details

Cat Lafuente

Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.