Whether you are a couple of young adventurers backpacking the globe, or well settled into suburban life, specific conversations with your spouse need to be tackled sooner than later. Rather than assuming your spouse shares similar views, here are five discussions about aging to have with your spouse now.
Quality of Life
What genuinely makes you happy? Where is the tipping point for you and your spouse regarding quality of life? Understanding what your spouse feels is essential to being happy, and knowing the reason they get up each day is integral when it comes time for carrying out their final wishes.
Until a couple has children or owns a house together, they often don’t consider their last will and testament a priority. For those with a will, when was the last time you checked it was up to date with your current requirements and wishes? Have the conversation about what you want to do with your assets now. In addition, check with a financial advisor whether life insurance is worthwhile to ensure your spouse and dependents are well-cared for in the future.
Have you asked your spouse how they would live out their years if money were no object? Do you envision traveling to exotic destinations or pottering in your own backyard garden? Sharing visions and goals are integral to creating intimacy in a relationship, so check in now and then to ensure your maturing dreams and plans for retirement are along a similar path.
End of Life Care
Do you know how your partner feels about assisted living? With the diverse spectrum of care options available for seniors, the lines between autonomous living and entering a seniors’ home are blurred. You (or even your parents) might not be at the stage of wanting to downsize your home, let alone move into assisted care. However, it is still worthwhile to understand the independent living options available in your area and the financial implications so that you can start planning.
If you and your spouse are not religious, then how you would choose to be celebrated and remembered might not be initially evident. For example, you may already know if your spouse would prefer to be buried or cremated, but numerous other burial alternatives exist to consider and discuss. Non-traditional burial methods include:
Water burial – Disposing of your remains at sea
Space burial – Ashes are encapsulated and sent into space
Tree pod burial – Eco-friendly alternative where the pod decomposes and feeds a new tree
Memorial diamonds – Lab-grown jewels and diamonds made from cremated remains
Cremation jewelry – Using a pendant to keep some cremation ashes safe
Cremation fireworks – Packing cremation remains into fireworks and letting them explode
Cryonic preservation – Freezing with the hope to resurrect one day
Plastination – Preserves the body indefinitely by replacing water and fats with plastic
Open conversations often start from necessity. However, its better to give yourself the luxury of time and spark small discussions about aging now, and ensure your future desires are understood by the person closest to you.
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