June 12

How to Build a Life Plan with Your Spouse

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What is the best way to start a life planning conversation with your spouse?

Many people find it difficult to have conversations about age-related topics, yet it is something we will all face one day. It may be a spouse, friend, parent, or sibling, but we are all aging — and eventually, we must tackle some of the challenges.

Let us help you prepare for those challenges by showing you how to start the conversation and build a life plan with your spouse.

4 Steps to Creating a Life Plan with Your Spouse

In order to create a Life Plan for your future care needs, you need to take the time to examine your finances and find out what options and resources are available to you. 

Step #1: Weigh Your Options

First, take a detailed look at your finances, where you are now and where you will be in the future. Take the time to research your options. You will find they will differ depending on your location and your situation.

If it’s up to you to guide the conversation with your spouse, it’s much easier to do when you’re informed on the specifics and know what you want to talk about.

Some of the topics you’ll want to research are:

  • How to set up a Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, a Living Will, and Advance Directives. 
    • An Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney can assist you in preparing these documents. 
    • Get more information on what these documents are and why you need them here: Advance Care Plan Steps — 6 Essentials You Can't Skip
  • The differences and costs of independent and assisted living in your home vs. in a care facility. 
    • Assisted living is available for people who are no longer able to live alone and need daily help with basic needs, and do not need intensive nursing care. 
    • Independent living is similar to assisted living, though seniors don't require daily care and assistance. 
    • Living at home is what you are most familiar with and comfortable, but you will need to make adjustments in your lifestyle and probably some changes to your home overtime to accommodate.
    • Learn more about that here: Independent vs. Assisted Living: How to Get Help with Essentials as You Age
  • Your options for paying for long-term care — out of pocket, Medicare, Medicaid, life insurance/annuities, and long-term care insurance. 
  • Local funeral homes and the different services they offer. Most funeral homes allow you to pre-plan and pre-pay for the arrangements and services you want so your family doesn’t have to. Or, if you wish to do something unconventional, perhaps you will want to investigate alternative burial options or donating your body to a research facility like the one at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke. 

An Aging Life Care Manager can help connect you with some of the best professionals and advisors in your area. Use the Aging Life Care Association search tool to find an Aging Life Care Manager or request your free consultation with our Aging Life Care Manager if you’re located in Southern Pines, NC.  South Central North Carolina. 

Step#2: Start the Conversation

Starting a conversation about life planning with your spouse isn’t easy if they’re not ready to have that conversation yet. But it’s not something you should put off.

The sooner you start making plans about your future and the care needs you might have — the better.

Do your research and make notes about what you want to discuss beforehand to help you guide the conversation. You’ll want to choose a time to talk when your spouse isn’t tired or busy.

It helps to tell them it would give you peace of mind to plan your future together, and you value their input. Let them know you want and need their help with this difficult task. It is important you both be on the same page.

Print a copy of our free Life Planning Guide and ask your spouse to help you fill it out. 

Consider involving a 3rd party to help facilitate the conversation. You could consult with your Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney, financial advisor, a physician, your adult children, or an Aging Life Care Manager to help get the conversation going and keep it on track.

Step #3: Use a Life Planning Guide

Our free Life Planning Guide helps you think about all the little details that are so important to plan for in advance.

Waiting until a crisis happens can leave you in a bind, not knowing where to turn. Don’t let that happen to you.

When you download our Life Planning Guide, you’ll be able to:

  • Maintain all your crucial information in one place, such as personal, medical, and professional information. 
  • Keep an easily accessible record of the contact info for the advisors and professionals you work with, so you and your loved ones can get in touch with them as needed. 
  • Create a care management plan for your future care needs.
  • Express your end-of-life wishes, such as funeral arrangements and memorial services.

Download and print your free Life Planning Guide to help you start and guide the conversation with your spouse: AOS Life Planning Guide.

Step #4: Talk to an Aging Life Care Manager

Our Life Planning Guide helps you keep all the important information in one place, but it doesn’t help you find the local resources and services you need.

An Aging Life Care Manager can connect you with other advisors and experts you need to consult with, and they guide you through all aspects of planning for your life after 50.

Their knowledge and guidance are invaluable, and they’re experts at helping people navigate the elder-care system.

No matter what part of the Life Planning journey you’re currently on — an Aging Life Care Manager can assist you.

Locate an Aging Life Care Manager in your area by using the Aging Life Care Association’s search tool, or request your free consultation with our Aging Life Care Managers if you live in Southern Pines, NC.  South Central North Carolina.

to help you get started and with our Aging Life Care Managers to find out what resources and programs are available to you as a Southern Pines, NC resident. South Central North Carolina.

Quick Recap

Building a Life Plan with your spouse might be difficult at first when they aren’t ready to have the conversation — but it’s necessary to start planning early.

  • Do your research and make notes on what you want your spouse’s input on to help guide the conversation. 
  • Take ownership of the conversation by telling your spouse how building a Life Plan will give you peace of mind and that you value their input.
  • Use our free Life Planning Guide to keep all your crucial information in one place and to help you make sure everything gets documented.
  • Consult with an Aging Life Care Manager to get assistance and access to local resources and programs that can help you as your needs change.

Don’t spend hours researching and building your Life Plan alone — let us help.

Let Us Help You Build Your Life Plan

There are so many factors that go into building a Life Plan that it can get overwhelming fast.

Don’t spend hours researching when our experienced Aging Life Care Managers can give you all the information you need.

“Your Speaker’s Guild presentation was excellent, and it gave us all a lot of vital information on preparing for aging in such a way that we can enjoy our “golden years” to the fullest.” - Jeanie

Download our free Life Planning Guide to help you get started and request your free consultation with our Aging Life Care Managers to find out what resources and programs are available to you as a Southern Pines, NC resident. South Central North Carolina.

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Life over 50 is complicated. From illnesses to general aging-related difficulties, there's a lot to learn and a lot to cope with. We understand and we're here to help answer questions and provide guidance on your options.


About the author

Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

President & CEO, Aging Life Care™ Manager

“I am dedicated to working with older adults and their families to maintain dignity and enhance their quality of life.”

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