Welcome to Healthy Dudley. This is the new public health website.

Six areas of Later Life Planning

1. Planning for retirement and after

Take stock. Do you have a pension or other source of income for later life? Are you planning to live on state pension? Will the state pension, your private, or work pension cover what you would like to do in later life? Think about your plans now, what would you like to do in later life? Many adults below state pension age are at risk of not having enough retirement income. (A study by the Centre for Ageing Better and the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) June 2021)

What connections with other people will you have post retirement? How will you make new connections?  Many of your friends and family may still be working full-time when you retire. Especially if you retire early. So who will you socialise with, what connections with others can you make now that you will take into later life?

How will you make sure you stay as healthy as possible into later life so that you can do all the things you want to do?  What changes do you need to make now to maintain fitness levels through life?  Consider exercise, what you eat and drink, your mental health, etc.

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2. Staying in work

There is no longer a retirement age. You can work for as long as you feel able to. Staying in work helps to maintain connections with other people.
If you want to stay in work for longer, how will you decide that? What would suit you? What might the obstacles be to staying in work and how would you overcome them?
You may still want to work and stay in your current employment but need changes? You may want do something different?  What other skills do you have? Do you have a skill that you enjoy that you could use in a different job?   You don’t have time right now and may need a full-time income, but as you get older you could do this part-time.  Look ahead, beyond the here and now.

3. Getting back into work

It can become harder to get back into work after the age of 50. Unemployed over 50s are two and a half times as likely as other age groups to be out of work for at least two years. (Office of National Statistics).

There are many reasons you may want or need to get back into work.

  • Redundancy
  • End of caring responsibilities
  • A career break to bring up children/travel
  • A long period of sickness that you needed to leave work for
  • And other reasons

This booklet gives sources of help that are available to get back into work.

4. Bereavement

Bereavement can lead to a sense of hopelessness,  loneliness and social isolation. This is more likely if it is a close family member.

We make plans for a birth but very rarely for death. How do you plan for bereavement? The questions in the booklet help you to do that.  It guides you through the discussions to have with family about your and their wishes. Practical thinking and planning ahead gives a sense of peace of mind going forward.  It also guides you to plan for maintaining connections with others.

Many times an individual will say, ‘I wish I had asked that’ after someone has died.  Take the time to talk and ask now. Think about what you would miss when a person is no longer here and record it.  What do you or they do or know that would be lost.

5. Preparing for own possible care

We don’t like to think that one day we may need someone to care for us. It is something very important to consider for plans for later life. The booklet helps you to open up those discussions with your family. This helps you to plan for your own possible care and also for the wellbeing of the person that will care for you.

Who would care for me? How could I make life better for my carer? How can I make sure they don’t become lonely and isolated? Who else would care for me to give my main carer time off?  Would I want my family or friends caring for me at all?  What other options are there?

Can I make preparations now for the event that someone may need to care for me? For example, can I make any changes to my home?  Would I be able to live downstairs in later life if I needed someone to care fore me at home? Do I need to think about making an advanced directive (a living will)? This will help others to know my wishes in the event that I need someone to care for me.

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6. Other life changes

One life change included in this booklet is preparing for children leaving home. This can help to avoid empty nest syndrome. If you have children they usually want to leave home when they grow up.  It can take you by surprise. For example, your grown child may suddenly leave and move in with someone else with no warning.

Making later life plans for this time in your life can help you to avoid a feeling of lonely and being on your own.

Many people’s connections with others are linked to their children as they bring them up. The booklet helps you to look at your own connections. Especially with your family and partner, if you have one.