Retirees these days need plenty of money. They may spend almost as long in retirement as they do working. But that means that in old age, when our mental powers are in decline, we may need to be managing more money than ever.

The average retirement age is 62. For men who reach that age, they’ll live, on average till age 80. Women can expect to live unit 83. But that just means half of 62-year-olds will live beyond that. Financial advisors say its probably a good idea to plan to live until 90, maybe even 100. In order to tap into $35,000 of annual income, experts say, you’ll need about $875,000. That money will be divvied up between stocks bonds and other investments. Those investments will need to be managed–maybe professionally, but likely by the elderly retiree.

So a recent study on the declining abilities of the elderly to manage their finances is troublesome. First, though, is the findings that “the prevalence of dementia among Americans ‘explodes’ after age 60, doubling every five years,” according to SmartMoney.com. “By age 85, more than 30% have dementia. For Americans between the ages of 80 and 89, roughly half have dementia or a diagnosis of ‘cognitive impairment without dementia.'”

The result? “The cumulative effect is a lot of people living into old age, a lot of those people needing to have enough money to support themselves, and a lot of those people rapidly losing the capacity to manage their finances.”

But there’s hope. The authors of the study make a number of recommendations about how the government should make these investments of the elderly safer. I think a more practical solution is offered up by The Wall Street Journal. 1) Simplify your investments with index funds. 2) Consolidate your accounts. 3)


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