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Transportation is an often overlooked but crucial aspect of retirement planning

When people engage in retirement planning, they often fail to think about transportation. They do not consider that a time may come when they will no longer be able to drive themselves, and will have to rely on others to go to doctors’ appointments and run errands.

Including transportation in your retirement plan is essential. After housing, transportation is the second-greatest household expense. The American Journal of Public Health states that Americans are outliving their capacity to drive in a safe manner. In general, the ability to drive safely as you get older is largely dependent on your health. While some people are capable of driving well into their 90s, others reduce their level of driving by age 65.

But many people do not think about the day that they will not be able to drive themselves, and will instead have to rely on public transportation or others to accomplish basic daily activities. When creating a retirement plan, you should think about whether you would like to remain in your community, downsize or relocate. A 2014 AARP study revealed that by age 65, 87 percent of people prefer to stay in their community as they become older.

Many older adults are benefiting from the Independent Transportation Network, a nonprofit organization that provides rides for the elderly. It has 27 affiliates throughout the country. There are also new transportation services that offer rides for a fee. These include Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. In addition, some senior housing communities provide shuttle buses that transport residents to doctors’ appointments.
When making decisions about where to live and your mode of transportation, perform an analysis of your neighborhood concerning the places to which you usually travel and determine how you might arrive at those destinations if you were not driving. You should also consider your social support network where you have formed relationships.

The elder law attorneys at Hook Law Center assist Virginia families with will preparation, trust & estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, long-term care planning, special needs planning, veterans benefits, and more. To learn more, visit http://www.hooklawcenter.com/ or call 757-399-7506.

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