Aging: Among our 10 Elements of Retirement Success

It’s not just how old you are that counts, but also how you choose to age. Aging gracefully is our 10 elements of retirement success. This article seeks to help you assess your approach to aging in retirement and set some meaningful goals.

Aging is a fact of life, and almost every element of retirement is shaped by the changes that come with it. But while the march of time is something we cannot control, we do have some choices when it comes to managing how we age. We want to do it with the right work, health, family and home. We want to think about growth and leisure, our social life, our contribution to charity and, of course, our finances too.

And, toward the end of our lives, when the effects of aging are plainer, there are a few issues that become especially important and that we’ll be glad we thought about well in advance and made the right plans for. Here are three of them.

Your home as you age in retirement

Many retirees wish to “age in place,” meaning they do not wish to move to a retirement community or care facility. We believe if your home needs alterations to make it more livable for you in older age, this is something you want to anticipate and budget for. That could be having an elevator or chair lift. It could mean installing a walk-in bathtub. It could involve replacing stairs with a ramp, widening doorways or adding smart home technology.

Your long-term care as you age in retirement

Another issue is long-term care. At some point, it may become necessary to have access to greater care services, whether that means bringing help into your home or moving to a community that offers you on-site access. We believe you also need to think about the types of care that might be needed—is it just help with meals and cleaning, or will nursing come into the picture? Often, these needs will change over time.

Your estate plan as you age in retirement

And then there’s estate planning and, along with it, the need to communicate your plans for your estate and your legacy with those who will be affected—like children and grandchildren. A proper estate plan includes a will, powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions, and often a trust or trusts that can help you transfer assets to future generations in a way that reflects your wishes and ideally reduces the impact of estate taxes.

In our view, this process of estate planning and engaging with people who might play a role in your estate, such as your executor and powers of attorney, should happen when you are still relatively young and healthy.

Although it may not seem relevant until the very end of life, to us, the time to plan and create the conditions for success is sooner rather than later. We believe it’s something you should ideally discuss with your wealth advisor while you map out your retirement plans.

Here’s a quick exercise that you may find helpful:

  1. Write down your current satisfaction with your aging plan on a scale of 1 to 10
  2. Now write down what you would like that score to be one year from now
  3. Finally, write down the top three things you can do to raise your score

Making proper plans for aging in place, long-term care and estate planning can give you and your loved ones greater peace of mind.


Continue to explore each element of retirement success:

  1. Work
  2. Family
  3. Home
  4. Growth
  5. Leisure
  6. Social
  7. Giving
  8. Money
  9. Aging
  10. Health


Charlie Jordan, CPA, CFP, CeFT

Charlie Jordan, CPA, CFP, CeFT

Partner, Wealth Advisor

Charlie is a Partner, Wealth Advisor in our Atlanta office. Previously, he led the Retiring Well Practice Management group at legacy firm Brightworth. Charlie focuses on helping clients think differently about retirement, integrating the technical and personal sides of money. Charlie is a CPA, CFP® practitioner and Certified Financial Transitionist (CeFT). He is a graduate of the University of Florida and received a Master in Accountancy from Kennesaw State University.


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