Retirement Planning, Estate Management, and Senior Living: A Complete Guide

Retirement planning isn’t something to put off until you are actually thinking about retiring. People of all ages and at all stages of their careers should be at least thinking about retirement: the lifestyle they hope to have; how to provide for children or a spouse as they age; long-term financial goals like home ownership; and preparing for inevitable financial emergencies, from medical expenses to car repairs to sudden job loss.

With people living longer, and medical technology allowing for easier management of chronic conditions, many adult children find themselves having to care for (or coordinate care of) an aging parent. As you undergo the journey alongside a parent or elder, it is wise to consider your own future and how you would like to approach old age, retirement, and all the health and financial considerations that go along with the final stage of life.

These resources are designed to help you start thinking about these topics, initiate important conversations with your family (as a parent, spouse, or child of aging parents), and understand how to set goals and achieve them. To get started, you may want to review and bookmark this glossary of common terms and topics that come up in relation to aging, retirement, and senior living:

Retirement 101: How to Save, Plan, and Financially Secure Your Retirement

How you plan and prepare for retirement changes as you age. Fortunately, there are steps you can take and decision you can make no matter how old — or young — you are. Even if you doubt your ability to start saving immediately, or are intimidated by the jargon and complexity of long-term investing, fear not: these resources will help you make sense of the world of retirement planning, and make progress on your own retirement journey regardless of your starting point.

Retirement Basics

Start with these resources if you just want to learn what retirement is, what it takes to retire, what benefits you can expect no matter how prepared you are, and how retirement might look different for you depending on your employment situation and age. From side-hustlers and novices, to seniors and savers, you’ll find all the basics covered here.

Early Retirement

This section is for the more ambitious saver or investor. What does “early” retirement even mean, and how can you put an early end to your working life without sacrificing comfort and security? You’ll find answers to all those questions and more below, where we outline the essential considerations for achieving early retirement.

Pensions

Pensions can be a confusing topic for people of all ages. What are they, how do they work, and how do you get one? Below, we break down the basics, address common questions about pension plans, and explain what retirement plans exist today alongside or even in place of pension plans. You’ll learn how to take full advantage of your pension plan, what to do if you don’t have one, and how to balance pension benefits with other sources of income.

Military Retirement

For service members and their families, retirement can be very different. Depending on the length and type of your service, your age, whether you held a non-military job after your service, and whether you contributed to a private retirement plan, you have even more variables to consider in preparing for retirement. You can learn the basics about military below, but may also want to review our other financial resources for service members and their families.

Retirement Housing and Senior Living Matters

Your housing needs and options are constantly changing as you age. Whether you have a mobility impairment or other medical needs, are concerned about providing a parent or family member with the best living situation, or simply want to make sense of the many terms and types of housing available at all ages, this section has you covered.

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages have become a controversial subject, in part because of misinformation and confusion. Though they are only available to people 65 and older, understanding reverse mortgages is important for people of all ages. This section will help you make sense of the subject, cut through the rumors and noise, and understand exactly what reverse mortgages are, who they are for, and how to determine whether they are the best option for you and your family.

Working and Volunteering in Retirement

With people living longer than ever and in better health, retirement doesn’t always mean a complete end to employment and work. Whether you want a job to fight boredom and add structure to retirement, need to supplement your retirement savings, or simply want the sense of purpose and community that comes from gainful employment, you’ll find the resources you need here.

Estate Planning and End of Life Matters

Nobody enjoys contemplating death, but end of life planning is important to you and for your loved ones. Your spouse, your children, and many others will be glad you gave some thought to what happens when you are gone, and will especially appreciate you making your wishes known to them. From medical decisions to funeral planning, dealing with debts and managing your estate, these resources will help you become fluent in end of life planning. Here, surviving family will also find answers to questions they may never before have asked, and learn how to take care of the basics when someone has passed.