In the traditional model of aging (which, in our book, we call DefaultAging), except for your doctor you don’t really need or use a lot of ongoing advice. A lawyer drew up your will and maybe gets called on if you’re selling your house. An investment advisor or planner (and an astonishing 65% of American seniors don’t even have one) put together a conservative portfolio for you, and maybe reviews it with you once a year. Why do you need more? You’re not going to be around that much longer anyway.
But in the exciting new SuperAging reality, at age 65 you could easily have 20 or 30 years left (maybe even more). You need to be able to draw on a wider skill set, including more specialists, to help you maximize your opportunities.
This interesting article has one foot in the old model because it talks about experts you need to consult with “in your retirement.” Nevertheless it’s helpful in offering some suggestions as to the kinds of experts you should consult with. We’ve taken some of the ideas and added a few of our own, based on the research we did for our book.
Note that our list goes beyond the “expected” list you may already have. For example, you may already have a personal trainer or diet and nutrition advisor, and you no doubt have a doctor and lawyer. What we’re focusing on here are additional, or perhaps unexpected, services that you may not have considered (or may not even be aware of).
Think of this as your new longevity team. You may not need all of them all at once, but you should at least know who they are and what they can do for you. If you’re the quarterback of your future (and SuperAgers definitely see themselves that way), these are the people who can form the protective pocket and help you move the ball.
1. Financial planner – but specially trained and certified
The financial planning industry is scrambling to reinvent itself, to respond to the need for more detailed, active planning that can produce income for decades, rather than just a safe “set it and forget it” program. There are now several certificates or other designations (such as CSA, Certified Senior Advisor) that signifies additional training and experience in longevity-related issues.
From the article: “A geriatrician who specializes in elder care, can provide comprehensive health assessments and preventive care advice tailored to aging individuals. They can offer guidance on managing chronic conditions, medication reviews, and recommendations on lifestyle changes to promote longevity and wellness.” Your existing family physician may be able to do this, or you may want to/need to supplement those services by engaging a geriatrician. This is a tough one, though, because there is a serious shortage of geriatricians. It’s been estimated that the USA needs 17,000 geriatricians to meet the demand, but there are only 7,500 certified. In Canada, it’s worse – less than 500 geriatricians in the whole country. Our advice: start identifying available resources now.
3. Estate planning attorney
Your current attorney may be able to fill this function, but make sure you have it covered. An estate attorney specializes in wills and trusts, and in dealing with complex tax issues. As well, they can look at long-term health issues, power of attorney, living wills, and other related topics. You’ll need highly specialized skills and advice.
4. Seniors specialist realtor
Here’s another profession that has spun off specialized training and certification. SuperAgers may face much more complex real estate estate issues than they did when they were younger and real estate was typically a simple matter of trading up to a bigger home as the family grew. Now there are many more topics. Do you cash out and downsize? And if so, where to you move to? What about a reverse mortgage? How do you evaluate distant communities that may or may not be good locations for your next address? What about blended families (Baby Boomers have a high rate of second marriages)? Your agenda could be complicated and your realtor will need knowledge and experience.
5. Insurance specialist
From the article: “Understanding Medicare, supplemental insurance and long-term care insurance can be daunting. An advisor specializing in these areas can help you navigate the intricacies of your healthcare coverage, ensuring you get the best possible care without unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. They can also provide insights into updates and changes in policies, keeping you abreast of your coverage options.”
6. Occupational therapist
Here’s another profession moving rapidly to serve the SuperAging market by providing assessments and advice on aging in place. An OT can assess your current residence through the lens of what you’ll need down the road to maintain your autonomy, advise on products and services, and develop a plan to get you there.
7. Life coach
From our book: “A retirement coach? A trainer for reinvention? These roles not only exist but are part of a rapidly growing field. In fact, we predict that consulting with a retirement or reinvention coach will become as routine as seeing an expert on health and wellness or exercise or investments.”
For more information on many of these services, check the Resources page of this website!
(Photo credit: Master 1305 on iStock by Getty)