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Plan for a bright retirement that’s affordable, accurate

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So where do we go from here? Over the past 8 weeks we have experienced changes — huge changes — to our way of life. What will the future hold for our retirement as we emerge into possibly “new normals?” We need to stay focused.

If you properly plan to protect you and your family, the changes do not have to be stressful. Don’t focus on your fears, but refocus on a bright retirement.

Retirement might be one of the most enjoyable periods in your life, and nearly three-quarters (72%) of workers are looking forward to this chapter, according to a report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

However, retirement can also be incredibly expensive. Between your general living expenses, travel, hobbies, health care and long-term care, retirement could easily break the bank if you’re not prepared for all these costs. And a new survey reveals that your senior years might be even more expensive than you think.

Just over one-third (34%) of retirees say overall living expenses in retirement are higher than they expected, according to a recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. In addition, around 4 in 10 retirees say they’re spending more than they expected on health care costs in particular.

Even if you create a thorough retirement plan, there’s still a chance you could be blindsided by the cost of retirement.

Long-term care is a cost that can potentially break the bank if you’re not prepared for it. Around 70% of older adults will require long-term care at some point, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the average semi-private room in a nursing home costs just over $6,800 per month.

Medicare typically won’t cover long-term care either, so unless you’re prepared to foot the bill yourself, long-term care insurance is a valuable asset in your retirement plan.

Seek out an experienced long-term care specialist. An independent specialist that does not work for an insurance company, but works for you.

Retirement isn’t cheap, and there’s a chance it could be more expensive than you expected even if you have a retirement strategy in place. By estimating your future costs as accurately as possible, though, you can give yourself the best chance of making your money last the rest of your life.

Ben Polis is an independent agent in Wake Forest with 20 years of experience in the senior insurance market, licensed in 12 states. He is an authorized agent with the Association of Mature American Citizens and a member of the Senior Information & Networking Group (SING) of Wake Forest. He conducts information interviews, policy design and applications with online screen sharing to provide his clients protection from COVID-19 concerns. Contact him at 919-279-0786 or