How Will Climate Change Impact Your Retirement Plans?

How Will Climate Change Impact Your Retirement Plans?

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Planning for retirement turns into extra advanced because the impacts of local weather change rework our surroundings. The rise of heatwaves, wildfires, and drought, in addition to hurricanes and flooding, are all recipes for catastrophe within the lives of seniors not nicely suited to deal with these circumstances.

Climate change will affect retirees’ choices on the place to stay, keep wholesome, and keep away from monetary issues introduced on by excessive climate occasions. Retirees who began their golden years with a stable nest egg might discover their plans want to vary, too.

Here are just some issues to bear in mind as you intend for retirement.


Retirees who transfer to a brand new group or new state at all times have rather a lot to think about. Taxes, housing prices, and proximity to facilities, amongst different elements, could make financial savings go additional or out of the blue run dry. The altering surroundings can wipe out a stable retirement plan with a single sudden catastrophe. Rising sea ranges and extra intense hurricanes will endanger ocean-front properties and flood zones over the subsequent couple of many years – whereas the cost of insurance spikes and federal insurance coverage subsidies evaporate.

Climate change is making conventional retirement meccas similar to Florida or Arizona among the many worst locations to retire. So, the place are the higher locations to stay to keep away from the extra extreme impacts of local weather change? David Pogue, creator of the e book How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos, means that communities within the Great Lakes area, similar to Madison, Wis., or Duluth, Minn., are the higher bets, however no place is completely free of the ill effects.

Property house owners in flood zones alongside the coasts, in river basins, or in wildfire zones, should issue into their plans the price of insurance coverage. Flood and hearth insurance coverage costs will skyrocket as authorities insurance coverage subsidies are in the reduction of or eradicated.

It’s additionally necessary to know that house insurance coverage doesn’t robotically cowl flooding; discover including flood insurance coverage to your coverage. The common annual value of a flood insurance coverage premium is $700, based on FEMA. Unfortunately, most Americans are simply taking their probabilities; solely 27% say they’ve flood insurance coverage, based on the Insurance Information Institute.


The well being results of local weather change are already proving pricey – and are prone to develop worse. A current report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and others confirmed that well being prices associated to local weather change exceed $820 billion a 12 months within the United States. Those prices are linked to untimely loss of life, medical care after a significant pure catastrophe, misplaced wages as a result of climate-related sicknesses, and the worth of filling prescription medicines for these sicknesses.

The common senior actually can’t do as a lot as medical professionals or authorities policymakers in making an attempt to stem these prices. But the report says they and others could make life-style adjustments that enhance well being, battle local weather change, and decrease prices all on the similar time. For instance, strolling, biking, or utilizing public transportation as an alternative of vehicles, when potential, can scale back air pollution emissions and enhance folks’s well being. Of course, that raises the problem of senior mobility. Retirees must plan to stay close to the companies they require to stay comfortably, in different phrases, in cities or walkable suburbs.

Each of us can contribute to decreasing society’s carbon emissions by maintaining a healthy diet meals, reducing meat consumption, changing animal merchandise with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Better diets not solely enhance well being; additionally they scale back healthcare prices.

mature couple with arms around each other looking at lake
Home insurance coverage doesn’t robotically cowl floods. If you reside in an space vulnerable to flooding, think about including flood insurance coverage to your coverage.


The monetary impacts of local weather change for seniors will come from plenty of challenges that can require adaptation to beat. We are already beginning to really feel this accelerating drawback creep into our wallets as meals costs rise throughout droughts. Extreme climate causes power costs to spike  – the monetary challenges all of us face can push seniors’ financial savings to the brink.

The impression of local weather change on out there meals and water has turn out to be evident on the information and within the grocery retailer. Rising meals costs and rising shortage would require extra folks to depend on domestically or self-sourced meals gadgets similar to produce, eggs, and meats. The altering financial system does provide seniors extra choices for domestically sourced meals, similar to farmers markets and growing food at home. But, a scarcity of financial savings might power seniors to again on meat merely to increase their finances, not for the good thing about the surroundings.

Senior companies and meal supply applications shall be strained by the mixture of a rising aged inhabitants and local weather points. The social security internet will turn out to be extra frayed, leaving unprepared seniors in dire straits.

The value of electrical energy to energy air conditioners and gasoline to warmth properties can also be on the rise in areas that have more and more scorching summers and colder winters. People might want to look to various sources of energy similar to solar, wind, and hydro to assist fight these prices – and to keep away from shedding very important companies throughout energy outages.

As extra folks expertise detrimental well being penalties from the altering surroundings’s impression on breathable air, warmth waves, and excessive storm occasions similar to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires, they are going to be spending more cash on their healthcare … except they will discover methods to isolate themselves from these impacts or relocate to different areas to stay.

Plan Now To Be Prepared

The world has reached a “Code Red” second because the local weather has undeniably modified and can proceed to vary at an accelerating tempo. Unprepared and low-income seniors shall be among the many most weak and impacted folks because the monetary, well being, and life-style penalties of local weather change proceed to speed up.

About the Author

Chris Orestis, CSA, is president of Retirement Genius and is a nationally acknowledged monetary, well being/long-term care, and retirement points knowledgeable. Orestis can also be creator of the books, Help on the Way and A Survival Guide to Aging, with a 3rd e book Retire Like a Genius to be printed in 2021.