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Setting lifetime goals now so you can live later

No matter where you are in life -- or what age you might be -- chances are you still have some goals. Whether those goals are to save up for retirement or to simply make it to your next Christmas, understanding how to break lifetime goals into smaller goals is a good step to achieving what you want to do. This is true for financial, social, home, career and educational goals, and it's also true when you're care planning.

Care planning means setting goals and setting aside resources so that you can be cared for in later years. If you're young, this might seem like a far-off concern that isn't relevant to your hear-and-now goals. In reality, care planning goals should be part of retirement planning goals, and experts will tell you it's never too late to engage in retirement planning. Here's a quick run down on tips for planning for long-term care.

First, set a measurable goal. Work with professionals to figure out exactly how much care you might need in the future and how that translates to insurance policies or savings. It's best to plan for a worst-case scenario and hope for a best-case scenario. If the former happens, you're covered, and if the latter happens, you have plenty of extra resources for retirement or to leave to heirs.

Once you set a specific goal, determine how long you probably have to reach that goal. Again, consider a "worst case" scenario to avoid being left with a sudden health crisis early in retirement and no way to cover care costs. Finally, divide your goal up over the years you have to achieve it, creating smaller goals that are easier to achieve.

For more information about how you can prepare for end-of-life and long-term care, work with an estate lawyer. While financial goals are important, it's also critical to mark essential legal items off your to-do list.

Source: MindTools, "Personal Goal Setting," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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