Preparing for emergencies in retirement

By Cathy Hamilton

Our thoughts go out to the thousands of people affected by the unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian. Look for ways to provide assistance at the bottom of today’s post.

The events of the last week in the Bahamas remind us how crucial it is to ‘expect the best and prepare for the worst’ in retirement.

We all have our own visions of how to spend our post-career lives: Traveling, spending time with the grandkids, hiking, attending classes, gardening, mentoring, volunteering at our favorite nonprofits, hanging out with old friends. But, all it takes is one crisis – tornado, flood, car accident, house fire, cancer or other life-changing diagnosis, late-life divorce, or other adverse event – to throw our plans off course.

That’s why it pays to make sure we’ve got all our boxes checked before we embark on our new retirement adventures…. just in case the worst occurs:

  • Have you updated your homeowner’s insurance coverage to reflect the current value of your house and its contents?
  • Do you have supplemental health care coverage in addition to Medicare?
  • Are your important papers and records in a safe, water-tight and fireproof place where you can easily access them?
  • Are your documents (living will, powers of attorney, end-of-life directives, etc.) up to date and notarized, if required?
  • Do your adult kids or designees know the names of your financial advisor, attorney, insurance agents, and other important professionals in your life?
  • Do you have a sufficient cash fund?

Emergencies happen. And, retired or not, it’s important to be prepared. Your retirement transition is an opportune time to make sure you are ready for any eventuality. For more information on how to get your ducks in a row, go to

To help Hurricane Dorian victims in the Bahamas, click this link.