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A familiar scenerio on the forum: Elder parents have saved all there lives. Have a nice nest egg but haven't spent a cent on themselves or the house since Shep was a pup. My folks are mid 80s, have tens of thousands sitting in checking accounts but the house, kitchen, furniture is all nasty 40 year old stuff. Mom is nursing her last drop of prescription cream that she needs badly cause there's a 20 dollar co pay.

So after watching this for years I've decided to spend it all. Well not all, but my wife and I are looking around the joint and making some improvements that we probably will never do when we're old and stubborn. My wife loves my Dad, he's a sweet old guy, but she knows d@mn well I will be a carbon copy in about 20 years: Stubborn, tight, don't need a new sofa......

We are not wealthy by any measure but we can afford to improve our home for the years to come. I see so many old folks, with money, sitting around in horrible conditions. Hell with the kids. I want an RV! And a boat!

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its impossible for any of us to see the future .im cramming money back at a pretty decent rate considering im only working for 10 bucks an hour . i have va health care which would provide a variety of services for me from writing a will , to NH or hospice care . some savings will just give me more options . medicaid may never be necessary for me so theres a good chance my house could be willed to my youngest kid . he can spend the rest of his life fixing the lien that the irs will put on it because he wont even try to keep legal with the taxman .
i envision taking my cash and having that extended German vacation that i wish for . id stay till i ran out of money or they escorted me to a big catapult and tossed my @%s back over the sea ..
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Sorry a bit off topic there, but where I live now the house/land taxes are really low and I'm producing a lot of food for me and my dogs... the living is cheap.
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When Mommie Dearest went into a NH I bought a tiny dilapidated house on an acre in the middle of nowhere. I've always been country at heart and yearned for the simple life. Move in after Christmas 2012, me, my mother's little dog and four cats. First winter the heat bills were enormous yet we froze.

Year 3. house pretty much fixed up, wood stove and generator installed, raised veg beds, a greenhouse made out of old windows I found on the side of the road and a chicken coop and run. It's been a hard road, lots of $, blood, sweat and tears, but so worth it. We're home. Mommie Dearest passed last fall thank goodness so for once in my life I'm free and happy.
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Windy, I look around my own house and I am doing the same thing that my parents were doing.... buying a lot of duct tape :P For me, it's because my parents had taken up all my free time for the past 7 years that I didn't have time to fix anything. Now I feel too old and grumpy.

I am still frugal and will continue to be that way as I am scared silly I won't have enough to get me through my remaining years. I have no children, thus no one to help me as I age.... no siblings, either.

After seeing the hefty costs of just hiring qualified caregivers was enough to make my head spin. One time with my Dad when he had 24-hour care at home [fall risk with stairs] it was $20k a month. And Mom's long-term-care facility was $15k a month. Yikes.

Now with Independent Living Dad is paying $4k a month, plus another $3k a month for his caregivers who help out 5 mornings per week, plus extra cost for the facility to do pill management.... over $84,000 per year. Wow, what a deal compared to living at home. Glad my folks had saved for these rainy days as it is storming out there.

I am in the process of trying to sell my parents house. They did replace 5 windows with brand new ones, but didn't bother to replace the rest of the house. Carpets are 35 years old and look it. Newer washer and dryer... guess I am lucky Mom opted for a dryer as the house still had clothes lines strung all around the basement that Mom used up until she was 98 years old. Dad jerry-rigged a laundry sink in the basement that drains into the floor drain, just don't run more than a cup or two of water or it would flood the basement. Looked like a bottle of shellac tipped over in a large wooden storage cabinet, I can't remove the glass or anything else stuck in the shellac.

I need one of those really huge Hershey bars right now :)
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I could really care less about boats and RVs. Just making a point. It's just that I see my folks using jelly jar glasses and sitting on their dinette chairs with the duct tape and they have 30K in a checking account. Don't want to end up like that.
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Windy, I'm right there with you! We're looking around at things that need to be done, and are ticking them off one by one. As soon as something happens to the Old Man, whether it's death or a Nursing home, we're out of here, selling up and going to start living again! We probably won't want to buy another home or Condo, but then again, maybe, but it can't have stairs because of my crummy knees, and we both want to travel, mainly by car and see this great nation, which neither of us has been east of Montana, except Florida and Hawaii. I want to go to Europe and I definitely want to travel by RV, at least once before I die! We've had boats most of our marriage, so that phase is over, and we'll leave that headache to our kids! Lol! Yep, I'm ready to rumble!
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Personally I've never had enough money to ponder the question.
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The idea of saving for our old age is good, to a certain extent. But, we can't give up living and enjoying today. None of us knows how many days we may have. We may die or be disabled tomorrow. I can think of nothing worse than lying in a nursing home with a lot of "I wish I would haves" going through my mind. I have a bucket list. It's a short list, but it's my list of things to do before I can't and it gives me joy looking forward to doing these things as soon as I can.
The idea of leaving the kids something financial is nice but most of us will be lucky to get out of this life without being reduced to poverty. Letting our children know this so they aren't expecting anything from Mom and Dad is a kindness we can do them.
Plan for tomorrow but live for today!
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Apart from appliances the only thing bought new is my bed and that was 15 years ago. I inherited a bedroom set and flat screen tv from my mother. Everything else is from thrift stores or even off the side of the road. If I didn't have raised veggie beds I'd go for the rototiller.

It's a long weekend here in Canada and I just may clean house (don't hold your breath) but first I'm going outside to plant a climbing rose, water everything, deal with some straw and haul feed off the truck for the chickens. Puttering around the property is what makes me happy.
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Windy, are you having a mid life crisis? LOL

I grew up having very little, I worked and still had little of my own, although I was able to live a lifestyle beyond my means by living with my sis and family. If I win a million dollars tomorrow I will still worry that I won't have enough to carry me through. I think there are spenders, and there are savers, and never the twain shall meet!
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So I can go out and spend my money on the rototiller I want to buy instead of hoarding it for old age? Actually, at this point I doubt I'll reach that stage!

Maybe I'll spend my savings on Godiva chocolate instead - much more delightful than a rototiller.

Seriously, I am seeing things that need to be changed, areas in which to simplify, that I want to do when I'm still able. Getting a one story house with attached garage is a big change, for a starter.

I think there's another issue to older people's resistance to improving the house - they're battling with so many identity issues, loss of confidence, loss of mobility, medical issues, etc. that the condition of the house just isn't that important. Their hierarchy of needs has changed, just as it has changed for their caregivers.
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If you have the money maybe LTC policies would be good. That would be a great gift to the kids and yourself. With the cost of LTC policies, who could afford anything else?

I've known people who bought RVs and boats. After a time or two using them, they just set there. Seeing how things go, I think I would just rent or lease. Then you don't have this big albatross sitting in the yard or requiring a storage dock at a local yard. And you don't have to advertise to sell on down the road.
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