In Part 1 in this series , Douglas Lamb, CPA, CA, CFP and Elder Planning Counselor, a Financial Advisor with Investia Financial Services Inc. in Toronto, provided insights about the active and less active phases of retirement and how to enjoy the fruits of your labour without compromising future financial needs. 

There may come a time when your activities and related expenses are greatly reduced, yet health-related expenses increase. To suit changing mobility and other health challenges, you may opt to get in-home help or move to an assisted living facility.

Here Doug offers his tips for navigating the most common second phase of retirement, when you may seek more help with your day-to-day needs.


Staying at home


There is an increasing trend for people to stay in their own home as long as possible. Unfortunately, decreased mobility or poor health may make it difficult to run a household, cook meals, or manage health care needs and personal care. In-home assistance from personal support workers and other caregivers can help you remain independent as long as possible. 

When considering how long to remain in your own home, talk to family members and experts about when and under what circumstances a move might be required . Don’t wait for a fall or significant health event to force the issue. 

Making the first move


The psychological implications of moving to an assisted living facility can be significant. Some who initially resist the move are surprised that many of today’s facilities are like an all-inclusive vacation, complete with meals, activities, dining hall, planned events and outings. They can also provide the social interaction that may be missing  when living alone.

When it came time to consider a move for his mother, Doug recalls that she was resistant at first, but after seeing a promotional video jumped at the opportunity to visit the featured facility. “When we walked into the dining room she knew half of the people there,” he says. “In the end, we couldn’t have stopped her from moving in. ”

When considering a move to an assisted living facility, consider these tips:

  • Plan in advance: Pre-planning is key for fit and finances.

  • One size does not fit all: Research a variety of facilities in your preferred community to find one that suits your needs and wishes.

  • Register early: Join a waiting list for the best chance to be in your preferred area and facility

Regardless of the level of support you think you might require in the future, work with your financial planner to plan and budget for any help before you need it. Being proactive can help ensure you make your own choices about where you’ll live and the type of help you’ll receive. 

In the next article in this series, Doug will share his tips for the third phase of retirement: Continuing or long-term care.  If you missed it, read Navigating retirement part 1: Active and less active lifestyle. For an overview of how to plan for a rewarding retirement, read Navigating retirement: Plan to make the most of every phase.

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