Elder Care Firm January 2018

IS YOUR LIFESTYLE RETIREMENT READY? Why Rightsizing Makes for Better Life After Work

The earlier you can begin rightsizing, the more prepared you’ll be for the days when you no longer have an income from work. For most of us, what really matters when we retire is spending time with loved ones and having memorable experiences. Nobody’s greatest regret is not having enough stuff. With that in mind, here are a few tips that will prepare you for a fruitful and fulfilling retirement. CLEAR OUT UNNEEDED GOODS If you’ve been in the same home for years or decades, you probably have more stuff than you need. Start by discarding anything that’s broken, damaged, or simply not getting any use. You should also make sure you’re not acting as a storage unit for friends or family members. If they don’t have the space for something, it shouldn’t be your job to hang on to it. Eliminating clutter will free up your space and allow you to treasure what you have. MOVE INTO A HOUSE YOU CAN FILL Once all of your children have left the nest, you’ll often find that you don’t need as many rooms. Selling your home and moving into one that isn’t half-empty will generate some extra cash and help you to live more efficiently. As an added bonus, you’ll often find that a cozier home increases happiness. The less time you have to spend on home maintenance, the more you can devote to the activities you love. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET Too often, we suffer from the urge to “keep up with the Joneses.” If our neighbor buys something, we want it too. But to really rightsize, you should resist the urge to meet other people’s standards. Retirement should help you make the most of your life, not anyone else’s. Before you make a purchase, especially a large one, ask yourself what’s motivating your decision. If it’s not going to make your life better, leave it on the shelf.

As you approach retirement, it’s important to make sure your lifestyle is tailored to fit the end of your working life. This concept, known as “rightsizing,” can make your savings last longer, which provides you with the freedom to enjoy your later years. Kathy Gottberg, author of “Rightsizing: A Smart Living 365 Guide to Reinventing Retirement,” defines the concept as “conscious choices for a better lifestyle that more closely fits your new needs in retirement.”


Mike Grass of The Music Man

At The Elder Care Firm, our clients come from all walks of life. We’re fortunate enough to serve people who do some cool things for a living. One of those clients is Mike Grass, owner of Brighton’s The Music Man. Mike first picked up the guitar at age 7, but didn’t begin in earnest until he was 11. “A friend on the school bus told me we should start a band,” Mike remembers. “I figured I would need to learn how to play. That was the starting point for a career spent playing and teaching music.” After decades of touring, Mike opened up The Music Man, which has been helping musicians get the gear they need and learn how to play it for 25 years. Funnily enough, Chris took guitar lessons at The Music Man before he even met Mike. When Mike’s mother began suffering from dementia, he sought out an elder care attorney. Little did he know that it would end up being one of his store’s students. “I had heard Chris’s name around

town from other people,” Mike says, “so I contacted the firm.” As they sat down to discuss a plan, they quickly realized their shared connection. Mike was impressed with the care and consideration of The Elder Care Firm team. “Not only did Chris set my mother up, but the entire team was friendly,” Mike recalls. “They listened to my needs and developed a plan accordingly. Communication from every member of the team was excellent.” Mike was so happy with the attention he received that he recommended his girlfriend contact us to set up a trust, too. “Overall, they were great in every way,” Mike states. Chris’s children also take lessons at The Music Man. Ryan plays piano and Madison is learning violin. It’s fitting that Chris has been able to help Mike’s family, and Mike has been able to help his in return.

2 • www.MichiganEstatePlanning.com

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