Stop kicking the can down the road!!

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Older people need to make decisions earlier in life and stop kicking the can down the road. Do it before your family has to step in and become the bad guy and make those decisions for you. Sit down with the people in your Durable POA, Medical POA, Will and Living Trust. If you don't have these get them! What are you waiting for? Talk to them and move closer to them so they can help you. Clean out your houses, sheds, garages, attics, basements and storage facilities. Purge all of that stuff you think your kids or whom ever wants. Get rid of it now while you can decide what to do with it. Don't place that burden on your kids like my father did! Stop kicking the can down the road and get off your butts while you still have the presence of mind to take care of it. Do it now!


I totally agree with you, T.
Done it, then, have you?

Mine is a work in progress... 🤔
Same here got a lot of the legal stuff done but back when I was in my late 20's. Time to update. Need to get mom set on a caregiver schedule & then I'll tackle my legal & personal stuff. Caregiving is an eye opener for sure
Great little nook called "5 at 55" really helped get the ball rolling in terms of legal docs.
Heavens, yes. The "lack of" much of that -- on my mom's & stepdad's part -- really soured my last 5 years with them.

Mom's and StepDad's inactions and non-decisions thrust me into the roles of The Scold and The Chore-Hog. I would have much preferred to "just" be their caring adult daughter. A companion who looks out for them and shares experiences with them and advocates for them. But that ship sailed. Actually, it sunk.

Mom & StepDad have been gone 4-ish years and 2-ish years. And I'm still doing their sh*twork. As are the out-o-town sibs, who were thrust into logistical roles.

When people want to get all "oh so sad" with me about these losses, I put on a false face and give the canned responses they're fishing for. My true reaction is resentment and "oh great, more chores." But I'm very careful about who I share that with.

Crazy. Just crazy. I loved Mom & StepDad and they loved me. But in the final years, most of our encounters were transactional. How can I take someone out for a nice meal, when they refuse to be out of the house for more than an hour? How can I have a nice day at the botanical gardens with someone who can barely walk and refuses to use the correct assistive device?

I can't. But I can stamp and address envelopes and rake leaves and fulfill shopping lists. And post-humously hustle the "life stuff" they left in a less-than-ideal-state. 

Sigh. I'll let y'all know when the misty watercolor memories start rolling in. Don't hold your breath. 

testdepth, sometimes we need to use "therapeutic fibs" to get our aging parents to do things. When I found my parents Power of Attorney and Will, these documents were older than dirt. So to get my parents into seeing an Elder Law Attorney wasn't easy until I told my Dad a therapeutic fib.... told him that their Wills were very old and the way they were written the State would get half the estate. IT WORKED !! I was able to get them appointment with the Attorney.

What a relief to have updated legal documents since my parents were in their mid-to-late 90's. Better late then never, but I was cutting it very close, couple months later my Mom had a very serious fall and spent the last 3 months of her life in long-term-care.... [sigh]

Once my folks passed, I am still going through old paper work. My Dad use to keep every financial document regarding stock. His broker has all the paperwork, so no need to keep stuff from the 1940's, just the last year or two until Probate signs off. Did a ton of shredding. Next are my parents income tax forms from the last 70 years !! Will keep the past 7 years, even though their CPA has those on file.

Boy, I learned from all of the above. Now downsizing isn't all that easy once someone gets to my age, early 70. The energy just isn't there. I do throw out stuff or donate, but it feels like it returns back to its place in the middle of the night :P
Dear testdepth,

Thank you for this reminder. It is a very good advice. I tried to help both my parents with all of this. But to be honest, it is hard. All the cleaning up and decluttering was hard on them. It look them a lifetime to accumulate everything and it wasn't easy to part with. Hearing others stories does help to know that we cannot delay.
BlackHole, why didn't couldn't you and your sibs pick out anything you wanted to keep, and then have an auction house or estate sale business come in and deal with the rest? (Not documents, of course, but all the material stuff.) This is what I have advised my kids to do (assuming I don't get everything downsized before I die.) So I am serious in wondering what the drawback to this plan is.
I would add - don't just plan for your retirement, plan for the day you will experience age related decline. What should your living arrangements be when you can't walk? Struggle with ADL? My grandmothers moved to senior living then to assisted living then to nursing home. my parents and my IL's on the other hand, have had 10-15 years of living the high life on retirement and their plan "to age in place" is "the kids will do it". all house work, all yard work, all laundry, all grocery shipping and doctor visit driving, all running to the pharmacy - then anger and browbeating when we just cannot do it all. Shame on them!

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