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How to plan for old age when living alone

Roughly 19.5 million of the people who live alone in South Carolina and other states are age 65 and older. While some people prefer their independence, a spouse or child can act as a caregiver as an individual gets older. Absent the support that family members can provide, it is important for older people to create estate plans that meet their needs. Part of this plan is to save as much money as possible while still a part of the workforce.

Money should be split between a 401(k) and a bank account that can be accessed at any time. It is also important for an individual to choose a person who can make financial decisions when he or she cannot do so. Whoever is given a durable power of attorney can take actions such as filing a tax return or paying bills on another person's behalf.

It is also a good idea for a person to create a will as this allows for more control over where his or her assets go after he or she dies. Individuals who live alone will need to plan for any long-term care needs that may arise. This may be done by signing up for an employer plan or a private long-term care insurance policy. The cost of such care can be up to $100,000 or more, and Medicare doesn't help to account for these expenses.

Individuals who need assistance creating an estate plan may benefit from consulting with an attorney. He or she may talk more about what a will or trust can do, and it may be possible for legal counsel to review an existing estate plan document. This may make it easier for an individual to retain control over assets after passing as opposed to leaving an asset transfer up to existing state law.

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