55+ Adults: Developing a Solid Aging Plan - Word&Way

55+ Adults: Developing a Solid Aging Plan

Growing older doesn’t happen overnight. You have many years to prepare and you should do it “deliberately” by putting plans in place while you still have control over what happens to you.”  — A smart senior

Frank FainFrank FainIn Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus communicated that house builders picked one of two foundations: either sand or solid rock. Today, adults pick one of two approaches to aging: “incident aging” or “planned aging.”

Most people follow the “incident aging” approach. They allow years to go by without much thought to their life journey. Then an “incident,” say a broken hip or forced retirement, forces them to face the fact they are getting older. The “incident” requires them to make quick and often poor decisions about their future. “Incident aging” is the most popular approach, but it is not the best aging approach.

The “planned aging” approach is a comprehensive, intentional and realistic process of addressing the major decisions we have to make as we get older. This “aging plan” lays out our preferred decisions and actions to maximize independence and control of our aging life.

Developing an “aging plan” takes time, so the ideal age to begin it is in your early 50s. But no matter what your age is, it is never too late to start. A major plus of the “aging plan” is you are not in a crisis, so you have time to do the research to clearly understand your options for each life situation.

Our “aging plan” gives us confidence that we are in control and have made the best decisions about our life. Our “aging plan” helps us to have few or no regrets about our choices for our last half of life.

Some of its major elements include: my aging attitude, spiritual development, grandparenting, physical and mental fitness, future housing, financial security, leisure time, employment, estate, wills, trusts and final arrangements. These elements will be the subject in future columns.

Jesus would tell us today that we are to build our house (and aging plan) on the solid rock of the teachings of Jesus. Are you ready to build your “aging plan” on Jesus, the Solid Rock?

Frank Fain is director of educational services at The Baptist Home in Arcadia Valley, Mo.