Why It Matters:
We’re living longer than previous generations.
Increased longevity comes with a new set of concerns.
Estate planning isn’t just about preparing for death, but also preparing for a longer life.
Estate planning isn’t just about preparing for what happens if you die. It’s also about being prepared if you stick around.
The good news is, by and large, we’re living longer than previous generations. The Social Security Administration estimates a woman turning 65 today can expect to live to 86.6 years of age. For a man turning 65, life expectancy is 84.3 years of age.
Longer life comes with some concerns
Increased longevity carries with it other challenges — and it might be a good idea to have an honest discussion with your clients about those challenges.
“The stuff that used to kill us — like cancer, heart disease, and stroke — doesn’t always kill us anymore,” says Doug Ewing, a Certified Financial Planner® and director of Advanced Markets with Transamerica.
“As we live longer, we’re more at risk for dementia and other medical conditions that can impact our legal capacity.”
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, with that number potentially climbing to 16 million by 2050.
Educating your clients about preparing for incapacity — including powers of attorney and advance medical directives — can help them feel better prepared should potentially debilitating health issues arise.
For clients with an estate plan in place, you can help them keep it current as they move through life. Making sure designated beneficiaries on all retirement accounts are up to date is a relatively simple — but sometimes overlooked — task. The Advanced Markets Group offers a helpful beneficiary worksheet with some important points to consider.
If you have clients just now learning about estate planning, share this article offering a good overview. And for more in-depth information, the Advanced Markets Group’s Guide to Estate Planning provides a deeper dive.
Things to Consider:
Talk with your clients about preparing for incapacity and help them think about what might happen should they face a debilitating health issue.
Help them keep an estate plan up to date. Make regular reviews of designated beneficiaries part of your annual check-ins.
The Advanced Markets Group’s Guide to Estate Planning offers greater depth on the subject.