Opinion: How to age with financial grace


Sometimes characters portrayed on television can teach us some life lessons that may not be immediately obvious. When “Grace and Frankie“Returns to Netflix NFLX,
There may be some important things to understand for viewers of all ages this week, as season six tells the stories of older women who are friends, mothers, and entrepreneurs.

For those of us who have watched all six seasons, we have seen that it is never too late to focus on staying relevant and using good judgment, making informed decisions, and knowing and knowing yourself who to trust, as well as finding one’s own courage and perseverance. What other wisdom can we take from these lively characters, and what else should we consider in order to age with financial grace?

1st credit: Are you taking steps to build your own credit – and have access to credit? Do you even know what it takes to have good credit? Don’t let society “scare you off” in the restaurant because someone else had the power to deny you access to credit. Do everything in your power to control what you can control now and to help yourself in the future. Everyone has the ability to build and maintain good credit from early adulthood by opening a mix of financial accounts, credit cards, and installment loans – such as auto, student, and personal loans – on their own behalf and paying their bills on time, every month. This includes all invoices for which you are a co-signer. It is beneficial to start young as credit age age affects creditworthiness. The longer the history, the better.

2. Home: If circumstances force you to leave your home, have you thought about where you would go? And if so, have you thought about the cost of living, the cost of home care and maintenance, access to health care, food, and other essentials? Not everyone has a second home or best friend to share the burden of, but as luck would have it, there are resources out there that can help. Reliance on crowdsourced data and actual reviews, similar to TripAdvisor, are helpful, and resources like AgeFriendlyAdvisor are available. Don’t become part of the statistics of current research that shed light on every third person who would have chosen to live elsewhere in their later years because two out of three of them did not do in-depth research.

3. Debt: Do you know your debts and how best to reduce them? More importantly, do you know how to save for emergencies, retirement, and the needs and wants of life? Manage your debt. Don’t let her manage you. Be careful and know exactly which financial accounts you are responsible for – and don’t forget which accounts you co-signed. Reducing debt – and saving – regularly and automatically are financial habits you will never regret. And carefully research and review testimonials for those you trust with your home, valuables, finances, and health so they don’t add unwanted debt and even leave you with a worse home.

Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

4. Children: Are you preparing your children of all ages to be financially secure? To make informed financial decisions and practice good habits? Most of us want our children to be confident, responsible adults with options for their future, and a foundation of good financial resources and habits can help them pave their way. (I think we all agree that Coyote could have benefited from a little knowledge in this area.) I worked hard to build that knowledge in my four children, but I still wonder – have I done enough? Apparently I’m not alone. An amazing three in four college graduate parents wished they had taught their children more about finance. Tools and apps are available. Find them and encourage the children in your life not only to acquire valuable financial knowledge but also to put it into practice.

5. A spirit of generosity: Are you able to dedicate your time, money, and sweat to the organizations, people, and causes that matter most to you? Today, social responsibility is becoming more and more important across the generations. Others share their time, expertise, and other resources to support causes that are important to them. No matter what it is, consider doing something useful for you – and always do your best. In recent research, seven in ten said community engagement is important to their general wellbeing, and six in ten who value community engagement said they are confident about their financial future.

Read: All the Tax-Friendly Ways Retirees Can Donate to Charity

6. Live online: What is your online presence like? Are you influenced by what you see on social media? Staying relevant, present, and accessible today can mean maintaining an online presence as these characters have learned firsthand what will benefit them personally and professionally. Recent research has shown that one in three regrets missing special moments from being on social media too often, and many regret posting too much of their life on social media for others to see and possibly judge . Then there is the other end of the spectrum: almost half of women get a glimpse into a moment in someone else’s life and suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) and influence their decisions and purchases.

Aging with financial grace is possible at any age. Stand up and take the steps to make good financial decisions. To build good lifelong habits. And to be a self-confident role model for the younger generations.

All statistics quoted are based on research commissioned by MassMutual over the past two years. Age Friendly Advisor is sponsored in part by MassMutual.

Teresa Hassara monitors the Mass mutual Workplace Solutions business that serves 32,000 retirement plans and nearly 3 million subscribers.


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