The risk of these changes, coupled with the increased risk that aging puts on mental health emphasize the importance of addressing retirement before 60. Some of the most common and frightening diseases associated with old age; Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, affect memory, cognitive processing, and even personality. With a retirement plan in place before an individual is at high risk, some of the stress for both the individual and their family members can be alleviated. (This is particularly beneficial to individuals who do suffer from diseases associated with aging, as studies have shown that high stress levels directly correlate with the quickened progression of disease.)
The population of 65 and older is on a steady increase, in 2010 representing more than twelve percent of the populace, in 2012 this increased to fourteen percent, and it is expected to increase to around twenty percent by 2050. Recent studies have estimated that by the time this population reaches 80, about half of them will not be in the position to make important financial decisions due to cognitive impairment. With a higher education and more assets than their predecessors, it is up to these individuals to address the daunting task of retirement before it is reached. Financial advisors have proposed a ‘keep it simple’ strategy as the most appropriate solution, with a passive buy and hold approach. As we age gracefully together, it is my hope that we can do so with a plan already in place.