MEMO TO ME WHEN I’M 75

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PERSONALFINANCE -

From John to John Writ­ten: age 60 In­tended read­ing date: age 75+

1. Don’t try to or­gan­ise your chil­dren in their own homes; let them or­gan­ise you.

2. If it doesn’t mat­ter, don’t make an is­sue out of it.

3. Given your age, you prob­a­bly will be for­get­ful. Write things down and don’t re­peat your­self.

4. Pur­sue photography, wood­work­ing, bird­ing and golf­ing in­ter­ests to make your­self more so­cially in­ter­ac­tive. Also, try to be rea­son­ably up to date with cur­rent af­fairs.

5. Your chil­dren have grown older and wiser as well. Don’t re­ject their ideas. Re­spect their ideas, es­pe­cially those from fi­nan­cially wise chil­dren. Their ideas will be more up to date than yours, and pos­si­bly more ap­pro­pri­ate in the fi­nan­cial en­vi­ron­ment of the time.

6. Don’t pro­cras­ti­nate when it comes to re­lo­cat­ing to smaller, more ap­pro­pri­ate ac­com­mo­da­tion as per­sonal cir­cum­stances change. Avoid hold­ing on to the fam­ily home when your needs de­crease, even though the home may hold pre­cious mem­o­ries. If your chil­dren are urg­ing you to move, com­ply.

7. Ar­range later re­tire­ment ac­com­mo­da­tion around schemes with frail-care fa­cil­i­ties, good ac­cess to med­i­cal at­ten­tion and other ser­vices re­lated to older peo­ple. Don’t leave it too late.

8. Don’t fol­low your chil­dren around, but, if they seem rea­son­ably set­tled in one place, try to live near them. It will make it much eas­ier for them, es­pe­cially near the end.

9. Mi­grate your in­vest­ments to­wards cash-re­lated in­vest­ments as time pro­gresses. Con­tinue with in­de­pen­dent, ob­jec­tive ad­vice from a fi­nan­cial ad­vice com­pany.

10. Elim­i­nate un­nec­es­sary in­vest­ment clut­ter. (Con­sol­i­date rel­a­tively small in­vest­ments that are dis­con­nected from the main.)

11. Put ar­range­ments in place to make sure Jill (spouse) can be­come the prin­ci­pal med­i­cal scheme mem­ber with­out un­due dif­fi­culty.

12. Make sure Jill has enough cash to sur­vive for one year af­ter your death to tide her over the wind­ing up of your es­tate.

13. Up­date your will reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially the an­nex­ures that de­tail in­vest­ments and rel­e­vant ref­er­ence and con­tact num­bers.

14. Keep im­por­tant doc­u­ments in a cen­tral place so that your heirs can eas­ily ac­cess such in­for­ma­tion.

15. Look af­ter your­self and al­ways look pre­sentable. Your chil­dren would like to be proud of you.

16. Pri­ori­tise ap­pro­pri­ate and reg­u­lar ex­er­cise, es­pe­cially walk­ing and swim­ming.

17. Pri­ori­tise brain stimulation, es­pe­cially pi­ano play­ing and crossword puzzles.

18. Main­tain an­nual med­i­cal check-ups.

19. At the ap­pro­pri­ate time (around age 75), sign a power of at­tor­ney in favour of Jill or John ju­nior so that your per­sonal af­fairs can be man­aged dur­ing times of frailty or ill­ness. Brief them as to where ev­ery­thing can be found, es­pe­cially your will and liv­ing will. Don’t leave this too long.

20. Ev­ery­thing you say should add some value to the con­ver­sa­tion. Rather keep quiet than say some­thing for the sake of say­ing it.

21. If not be­ing spo­ken to, don’t in­sist on be­ing part of the con­ver­sa­tion.

22. Never em­bar­rass your chil­dren or grand­chil­dren. They will avoid you if you do. If they are too fat or too thin, it’s their prob­lem, not yours – don’t com­ment. 23. Be ruth­less about clut­ter. If you don’t need it, get rid of it.

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