You Won't Be Able to Take Care of Yourself
Planning Ahead

There are many types of senior living options, and it's important to start planning for any old-age care you might need long before you ever need it. This helps ensure that whatever care you may someday need aligns with your desires and that you won't have to compromise on maintaining as much independence as possible [source: Swanson].

Many of us think that once we reach a certain age, we'll inevitably find our way to a dependent care facility, such as a nursing home. But did you know that only about 5 percent of elderly people live in full-time care facilities? Most live on their own in their homes or apartments, and many lead active lives in independent living communities [source: Simmers].

Getting older doesn't always mean you'll have to rely completely on others to help you get by. These days, there are countless options for late-in-life care, ranging from completely independent living to assisted living and full-time care. Furthermore, even if you do need help late in life, that doesn't mean you'll have to rely on impersonal care from strangers. In fact, for those who receive in-home help, 70 percent of the care comes from family and friends [source: Agich].