Identifying Your Goals as You Age Gracefully

Set Your Goals

Goal Setting is super important in order to ensure that you are able to live the kind of life that you want as you age.  Our whole mission is to make it so that responsible parties aren’t actually making decisions FOR you or a loved one. You or your loved one are creating your own playbook based on what you would want and the responsible party is following those instructions.

We believe: it’s your life! It should be lived on your terms, even if you get to a point where you can’t communicate that in the moment. Ideally, you have already communicated your goals so your loved ones can help you execute on them when the time is right. In order to do that, you have to identify what we call “the north star.” By this we mean, what is the ultimate goal for your own life? This will obviously be different for every person and their unique situation. Here are some examples of common North Star goals to get your juices flowing:

  • I want to die in my home of 50 years, no matter what.
  • I do not want to be a burden to my family. Where I live and die in my later years does not matter. 
  • I want to be able to leave a certain amount of inheritance and my plan should be based around that. 
  • I never, ever want my family providing personal care for me. 
  • I just want us all to get along and live a happy life. Whatever accomplishes that, I am good with. 

Pick Your North Star

Putting in the effort to identify your North Star is invaluable for you, your loved ones and your greater support system. We have worked with countless families who are tortured by decisions because “We never talked about it, I don’t know what they would want.” Not having direction can cause chaos, stress, and sometimes result in decisions that don’t align with what you would want, because people are guessing.

Start Planning and Grab a Pen

Once the North Star goal is determined, the planning can start! We recommend going through scenarios and writing or dictating to someone to write what your ideal outcome would be. It’s impossible to think of all the options, but the ones we can think of will help direct anything that comes up we haven’t specifically tackled. And we say write or dictate because IT NEEDS TO BE IN WRITING! Trust us, after a few months or years, the answers will become fuzzy, especially during a time of stress. We call this “the Playbook”. Write the North Star goal at the top of the first page of the Playbook. Then, start filling in information based on different scenarios and what you would like to have happen.

Finally, start giving important information:

  • Go through financials
    •  It’s great to want to stay in your home, but can you afford that? A little research on pricing of scenarios can often clarify your goals even further once you see the numbers. 
  • Insurance
    • List who your broker is if you have one.
  • Legal Documents
    • Where are your legal documents and who is listed as decision makers?
  • Other Services
    • Housecleaners, gardeners, hair or nail salons, handy workers to do home repairs, etc)
  • Assets
    • Where are they and what should happen to them? We think of it like this: if you were to suddenly be unable to communicate at all, does your trusted person know everything they need to to step in for you? The details, the house, the finances, and definitely your wishes! 


Next Steps

  • Grab a binder or notebook to start documenting all of this – and here is the key: TELL SOMEONE WHERE IT IS! Even better, go through it with your trusted person or people, together. 
  • Start to think about what matters the most to you, at the end of the day. At the bare minimum, I want THIS to happen. That is your North Star. 
  • Start planning and documenting. As things happen throughout the year, write it down. When tax time comes, what are the typical documents you receive in the mail, or at the very least, who does your taxes? Things will happen throughout the year that are important for your life, try to remember to jot them down in your binder or notebook as they happen. This will give a good snapshot of everything that needs to be handled for you, if that time comes. 
  • Start having open communication with your loved ones! This can be uncomfortable, so sometimes having an unbiased person in the room to facilitate can help. 
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