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?
Eliminate your late tax debt
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Easy Tax Relief could help you lower or get out of your tax debt for good. They’re well respected in the industry and have been recognized for their ethical standards when dealing with tax debt. While most tax companies just put you on a payment plan and file your taxes for you, Easy Tax Relief talks to the IRS directly. They can help you pay off your tax debt faster while potentially reducing what you owe.
Important: Not everyone will qualify. To take advantage of this special program you must owe more than $10,000 in past-due taxes.
You have a steady income stream
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.