Does your retirement planning include how you will get around when you are too old to drive?
Florida State University surveyed Floridians 50 and older to determine how they thought they were going to get around when they were no longer able to get behind the wheel themselves.
- 23 percent said they will rely on family, friends or neighbors.
- 26 percent said they will walk.
- 9 percent said they never plan to stop driving.
- 3 percent said they will die before they stop driving.
- 3 percent said they plan to rely on a service like Dial-a-Ride.
- 36 percent said they don't know..
My family members already roll their eyes and say, "Driving Miss Jennie" is one of their jobs because in my Michigan small town, there are no good alternatives to driving. At night, I'm admittedly blind as a bat, and my kids say I'm not such a great driver during the day either. I think they exaggerate the problem, but it almost certainly isn't going to get any better the older I get. And there are millions like me.
The issue is getting national attention. Research provided by the American Automobile Club estimates that people on average outlive their ability to drive safely by seven to 10 years. "In less than 10 years, one in four licensed drivers will be age 65 and older, which means that millions of American families will be working through this challenge," says Jake Nelson, director, AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research.
There are no easy answers to this problem, but factoring possible solutions into the overall retirement plan is obviously the smartest way to go. What are you going to do after you hang up your keys?