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Still Making Good Financial Decisions or Are You Losing Your Grip?

Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Jan 11, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

when should you give up financial control

Can you guess the average age at which we are at our mental sweet spot?

Personal finance expert Jane Bryant Quinn wrote an article titled Losing Your Grip the January-February 2012 AARP bulletin, citing a Harvard study on financial decision making called Age of Reason. In her article, Jane makes the case for people over the age of 60 to consider turning over financial decision making to an expert.

The 4 steps Jane suggests those over 60 putting into action are:

  1. Getting your documents together including a Durable Power of Attorney, Will, Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney and up to date beneficiary forms.
  2. Get a second opinion from someone you know such as an adult child, a financial advisor or a long time capable friend.
  3. Read the fine print before buying a variable annuity with a nursing home waiver.
  4. Help your advisor to protect you by considering having on file with them an 'incapacity letter'.

Jane says that preparing for retirement is only part of the picture and that the next step in preparation is the reality that your thinking won't be as clear in the future as it may be today.

So what is that age at which our knowledge and agility are in optimal performance and in perfect balance? According to the above referenced study, 53.

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Image credit Hakan Dahlstrom