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More and more of the Boomer Sandwich Generation will be retiring as our parents pass on and we become the next senior citizens. How prepared are we for our own senior lives as we look at life after caring for our elderly parents?

If some of stories that I have read here are a representative sample, then I think several of us are in trouble.

We can't undo any previous choices that we have made so it is not really helpful to go over what we should have done or could have done.

What can, must or will we do now?

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Great disscussion. Glad it got pulled up again. I think there are many folks who are in bad shape for old age through events they can't control like illness, job loss and so on. But soooo many people are in bad shape due to poor life choices, bad relationships/marriages, stupid spending habits and living beyond ones means.

We've also got whole generations now that were raised in the philosophy that they are special and somehow entitled to fame and riches. Well guess what, you're just a brick in the wall like the rest of us and there's no mana from heaven.

My wife and I both came from hand to mouth working class families. We've both seen some hard times and have always been scared to death of debt and spending money. We were lucky to be able to retire in our early 60's while still healthy. We're currently waiting for the pets to all die so we can travel a little. We won't be living large by any measure but won't be eating dog food at the end of each month either. But if we do, we should be able to afford brand name dog food.

I have many frustrations in caring for my parents, wishing they had prepared better for old age, but I've come to appreciate them for setting a good example for me as a kid on how to take care of money, take care of things so they last forever, and not to squander money on stupid things.
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Oh my gosh, akdaughter, I was just thinking the same thing when I was re-reading this thread.... how nice it was back in the 1980's when we were getting 12% interest on our savings accounts :) Mortgages were in the mid-teens but buyers were still out there purchasing homes.

Fast forward to today from when I last posted on this thread 10 months ago and I see a whole different picture with my parents and their expenses. Dad is now paying for professional caregivers [licensed, bonded, insured] and it runs him $20k a month, yes a month, for 24-hour care. Fantastic people from an agency. Dad does have a choice to moving to Assisted Living, he's thinking about it.

I see what the cost is for Dad for a whole year $240,000 and I think with my retirement fund, that would only last me a couple of years of in-home around the clock care.... then what? Sell my house and go into assisted living to help save some dollars. Maybe win the Lottery??? Find a wealthy spouse.... no, wait, they were looking for gals 25 years younger !!

Then I stop for a minute and realize I will never get to my Dad's age of 94 [Mom is 98 and in long-term-care on hospice watch], so why am I worrying so much. I probably won't reach my 80's, either. The stress of dealing with my dear folks has drastically shorten my life :(
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Short of being generationally wealthy, I don't know how any of us can feel secure about the future. Money saved is earning next to nothing in the bank and the stock market hasn't done much for the past few years. Remember when financial advisors were using returns of 8%, 10% and higher to show us what our next egg would look like at retirement? I was beginning to consider a coffee can buried in the backyard! Instead, we bought a couple of "distressed" houses, spent long hours fixing them up and are now renting them out. Time will tell if that was a wise move. Medicare starts in 2016 for us, and, like CarlaCB, we will get a boost from the savings on premiums and copayments..

My mother is stuck with the low earnings which means that she no longer pays any income tax and will need Medicaid sooner. I imagine that lots of seniors are in that same position. It seems kind of like a snowball rolling downhill.
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I'm semi-retired and semi-prepared. I'm retired from my career and receive enough pension and SS to pay my expenses, but not to provide for my old age if my expenses are significantly more. So I'm planning to work part time for at least the next few years to put some savings away for later. Right now I'm taking a tax preparer course and I think I'll be working at that in the spring. I'm also looking into becoming an Uber driver in the off-season.

Overall, I will be doing better in a few years after I become eligible for Medicare because health insurance under the (Un)Affordable Care Act is killing me between premiums and copayments.
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I AM retired and I'm not prepared. Renting out rooms helps me keep my mortgaged house.
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Financial advisors are saying that even people who make a lot of $ and have been saving for years are not prepared to retire. I am 59, haven't been able to work for years because of chronic illness, but still need to care for my dad now. No savings left at all. Pretty bleak. The only thing I can think of is to put it in God's hands and listen carefully for direction.
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Great question and hopefully those of you who arent set, will be. I am also not set and am scared for my kids and me!
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igloo572, when the U.S. went to war with Iraq and Afghanistan, I knew down the line something would have to give... thus monies earmarked for each State was downsized to help pay for the wars year after year after year, thus social programs were starting to suffer. Then all the wounded warriors coming home who need specialized caregiving themselves.

Any time a district wants to raise taxes for whatever, the voting public usually says no depending on where someone lives. My area always votes *yes* for new schools, new fire stations, new libraries... that way funds aren't raided from other social needs to help pay.

USAToday had an article from April 2014 that stated: "About 36% of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions, and 60% of workers have less than $25,000."

What gets me chuckling under my breath is my boss [70+] complaining about the cost of goods and not being able to save while he is sipping his daily Starbucks and the UPS just delivered a box with a new $375 raincoat that my boss had ordered. What is wrong with this picture? I have more money in retirement than he does :P The last time I was in Starbucks was 3 years ago, and my raincoat was a hand-me down from a good friend.... hey, I will take anything free :)
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I think that there will be an overhaul of the current system for how Medicaid approaches care. Not done because to get a better way but done because the current payment system is unsupportable. The states won't have the money to pay for Medicaid for NH. The costs are staggering. No amount of MERP recovery $ will matter.

TX let facilities know that they are going to present a decrease in NH Medicaid reimbursement by 30% for next year. Right now, they paid about $ 145 a day (which is 49th lowest rate). So that means Medicaid payment about $ 100 a day. My crystal ball tells me, a lot of NH will be closing as there is no profit margin. They have to have a certain level of staffing to be compliant for Medicare and they can't do that with $ 100 a day payment from Medicaid. The one possible bright spot is that I'd bet that hospice - freestanding hospice facilities - will increase as they get Medicare payments which is so much higher.

The basic system was set up for the 1960's - mom was home with that apron on & dad worked for a company for decades and then retired with benefits for live. My fear is that those that write laws have no idea of the costs to maintain a household. Most elected at the higher levels are still men with wives who don't work. They are clueless for costs and the value of what women (& men) who caregive - whether it's taking care of preschoolers or your elderly parent - do for free.

Jeanne, I find you amazing to have been able to deal with all you did with your spouse with Lewy. taking care of a spouse is a whole different situation but the current structure assumes that most will be just as old & at need as the at-need spouse. Again how most couples were in the 1960's. I would think that it would change to spouse asset go to 250K and exclude the community spouse's IRA's and SPIA's. Not exactly swimming in the money pool but better.

I've been going through mom's bins and jettisoning paperwork. ( I swear those crates get it on and multiply in between the times I go in). I ran across my grandmother's NH approval from September, 1971: "State Department of Public Welfare - Level of Care authorized ICF 3. DPW monthly rate $ 272.50. Daily rate $ 9.08. Patient is to pay from Income $ 63.50. Total monthly charge for long-term care $ 336.00". This included all medications and incidentals. BTW grandma was born in 1878, so she was 93. She was in the NH, I think 2 years before she died. So the total cost for her to be in a NH for a year was $ 4K in 1971. Yeah, 4K annual costs for all care in a NH in 1971. That isn't even room & board for a month now 40 years later.

The current system can't support paying for the oncoming tsunami of baby boomers who will need & qualify for Medicaid for long term care. Everybody stay healthy,downsize, get out of debt and work as long as possible. And be really really nice & thoughtful to your kids & their partners…….
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Been doing all the things you suggested Olmaandme, since I was 18. We do own our dwelling outright and have no debts but there is no savings, never enough left over for that. We are self employed, work almost everyday of the week and our net income is about the same as yours. We raised three wonderful sons who have good educations now and are doing well.

I will be working until my body won't let me. After that I don't know. All of our sons tell us not to worry, they will be there for us but I don't want to ever be a burden. We are working on selling our place with plans to invest the money. We will rent a small apt which is actually cheaper than owning a home here. Taxes, repair, upkeep and insurance add up to quite a bit more than local apt. rents.
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I am happy for your good outcome!
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I just retired from a government job. Unfortunately, I only had 14 years in the pension part, but it was enough to make a comfortable retirement. The house and my last credit card will be paid off in less than a month. Because of the government pension, my Social Security is cut in half, but it is enough to pay a few expenses.

It is a significant achievement, because I was a single mom with three daughters for twelve years. When my father died unexpectedly, my mother could not afford to live on her own. She moved in with me and took over household duties. I worked full time and got my degree by going to school at night. I took advantage of bad economic times in 1990 and purchased a repo house. Four years later, I met a wonderful man and remarried as my youngest left the nest. Mother stayed on with us until we could not take care of her any more.

There will not be any trips to Europe, but I have the security of owning a house free and clear. Ironically, I finally have savings, and my budget allows me to continue saving money each month. Not having to buy a "working" wardrobe will save me more money. Not having to buy lunch during the work week, also will save me money.

Just do not give up the dream. Where there is a will there is a way!
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I agree with you emjo. It is important to choose yourself. When it became obvious that my mom could no longer live independently I briefly considered moving her in with me. Other family members, including my mom's surviving sister told me not to do it. I think it was clear to everyone that I probably do not have the temperament for caregiving and the stress would be more than I could handle. My mom can not be left alone in my house and it would be like having a young child all over again. Moving her into an assisted living facility was the right move, both for my health and for allowing me to work for a few more years. As far as the money is concerned, I figure that if her funds run out I will apply for Medicaid, but if I had given up my income for those years to care for her there is no guarantee that her money would outlast her and I would be out several years of earnings. Financial experts tell us that saving for retirement is more important than saving for your children's college expenses because the children can borrow money for college, but you can't borrow money for your retirement.

As for you, Jeanne, and others who are, or were, caring for a spouse, your situation is quite different. I think that the Medicaid rules need to be changed to take better care of the community spouse. I don't know how anyone could feel confident about retirement when they have been allowed to keep only about $100,000 and much of their income goes to the care of the spouse. I would like to see the rules changed to allow much more to be kept, and then let Medicaid recover anything that is left after the community spouse is gone. I don't think it is fair to sentence the community spouse to a retirement in poverty because of the bad luck of the spouse. I know of at least two couples who divorced rather than lose all of their assets because of the wives' chronic and terminal illnesses. Just seems wrong.
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ff - here it is either too cold for me to walk outside much - about 5 months of the year, or too buggy, as in the summer. The June bugs could knock you over backwards and bite a chunk out of you, and the mosquitos are ferocious. There are a few months when walking is pleasant, The latest is that walking briskly for 30 mins. gives cardio benefits, so that is what I aim at. Walking slower means you should walk up to an hour. To get to the recreation complex where there is a walking track free for seniors, means, in the winter, I have to brush the snow off the car, warm it up and get dressed in winter gear and make the drive downtown. It is much easier to walk in the house and I can do it any time of day or night, We have a recumbent exercycle, but I like walking better. I did it in one session then got plantar fasciitis in one foot from the hardwood floors, so now I break it up into two sessions and wear heel protection. I always feel better and brighter when I walk, and I notice my knees are better when doing stairs. Win-win!

If you don't look after you, who will? I have kids but my daughter has had more surgery than I have, and is not a caregiver personality, and the boys are busy with their women, which is as it should be, in my view. I am trying to downsize too, but sig other has serious packrat tendencies. But I persevere - a bit here and there - a little better than your parents. BTW, I was a saver from childhood too. My piggybank stayed full.

Carla, you said the point will come when it is her or me. I have chosen me, as well as getting mother the care she needs from someone else. I see that as a win-win.

Someone mentioned how do you know what you will need. There is info on the internet and other places about calculating your future needs. No one knows exactly what their situation will be, but there are guidelines that can help you. I did research and set goals for myself and met those goals. I am fortunate as I live in Canada where health care is largely paid for by gov't.

I didn't start planning for retirement until I was 50, which is late, but some things worked in my favour e.g. house value going up and I don't waste much money. I drive a 2002 Buick bought in 2004 (I never buy a new car) and will keep driving it until it isn't safe. I won't take on payments for anything again.

I might still be working, but mother's needs became too great, and I got the gut infection which knocks me for a loop and a shoulder injury. Because she is living so long, I feel I have no choice but to choose to have a life as well as seeing to her.

The latest quoted by Carol Bursack is that up to 40% of caregivers die before the people they care give. I intend not to be one of them. I do wonder of the remaining 60 70% how many develop health issues during caregiving that would not have developed otherwise, and that persist after their job is done. I believe both of my issues are, at least, exacerbated by caregiving. Stress is very hard on the body.
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Jeanne, I think you and I will still be working when we're 100. The good thing about this is it will give us a reason to get up every morning.
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emjo23, ah ha, good point of "caregiving myself".... I think many of us over a certain age need to think that way. I am trying to do that for myself. I hadn't thought of walking briskly in the house to get exercise, I will have to try that :)

I have been trying to do some downsizing.... less stuff to dust.... and less stuff to pack when the time comes that my 3 story house's stairs start to be too much of a challenge. My parents [mid-90's] are still in their 3 story home and Mom will only downsize by donating one knick knack per year :P
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I am retired and am better off than I thought I would be. I worked towards it for years, paying off the house and putting money away. My mother was a rare good example here as my father was much older than her and his pension did not offer her much. She worked till she was 65, and even contributed to my father's care in an tiered facility. At that time she had to live very carefully, even in a rented room at one point. She had sold their house and invested that money with a very good company and her main income in retirement has come from her investments. Once he died and she retired, about the same time, she was able to live as she wanted. She was never a spendthrift, but enjoyed some travelling. I worked until I was 73 to maximize my pension from work and also delayed taking one of the gov't pensions as long as possible to increase my cash flow in retirement. I renovated my house before I retired with a view to lowering the cost of utilities, making it easier to keep and more attractive to sell. Once G retires we will move south and possibly build with an age adapted house. I have 3 stories -basement, first floor and second floor and prefer a house with levels as walking stairs is good exercise for my legs. I suppose the time will come when less levels or a lift is advisable, and one of those step in tubs, though mother was able to take a bath in a regular tub into her 90s.

Another aspect of planning for and healthily living in retirement is maintaining your health and mobility. I developed a gut infection at least in part from the stress of care giving and it flares up during times of stress. It leaves me very tired and not able to do much, so my joints suffer more when I get going again. I am "rehabbing" myself by walking in the house about 40 mins. a day briskly and doing more stairs than usual and notice a positive difference after a couple of weeks. It is also a good stress reliever. I cook many things from scratch, include fish at least once a week, eat veggies and fruit and eat "healthy" in general - no junk food, few sweets.

Because the stress of dealing with mother affects my gut, I am backing away as much as possible. It takes months and drugs to get over a flare up and I want to avoid it as much as I can. I am approaching 80 and want to be able to do things with sig other once he retires, and have a decent quality of life now. I am not only caregiving my mother, but I am also caregiving myself - strange concept maybe, but I think valid.
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I was working part time from home when I started taking care of my mother 4 years ago. It was a professional job and I was making a good salary and getting benefits even working part time. That industry tanked in the recession and has not begun to pick up yet, and after losing my job I don't expect to ever work again in my prior field. I took early retirement, but I'm finding it hard to live on such a limited income (let alone save for later needs) and I'd prefer to be working in any event.

So, I researched job listings for a new field that would interest me. I need several semesters of college credits to qualify for an entry-level job in my new chosen field, and I may need to relocate for a job as well. I'm still my mother's primary caregiver, and she'll undoubtedly need more care as she gets older (she's 83). It will probably come to a point where it's either her or me. I'm starting the courses in a few weeks, knowing I'll be a lot less available to her going forward. It's hard to do, but I'm not getting younger either and I want to work. I'm not as prepared for retirement as I want and need to be, and I'm too young to retire in my own opinion even though I'll be 62 this year. Getting old is expensive - my mother's experience taught me that. I'd like to be working again in under two years and work another 8-10 years, as long as I'm capable.
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That does sound like a whole different ball game. I don't know what to say.
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I, too, cringe when I hear about older adults (or even younger ones) giving up a job and devoting themselves to care for a parent.

But ya know what? Caring for a SPOUSE with dementia is whole different ballgame, financially. And if that spouse is older and the caregiver has many years to try to be self-supporting after all the funds (and the spouse) are gone, that is a state of affairs cringing does not begin to cover.
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I am 68 years old, and I started saving back when I was 5 years old, my parents had me open up my very first saving account, and I saved like crazy..... all my birthday/ Christmas/ allowance/ baby-sitting money went into that account. In high school, back in the 1960's, we had a class on the stock market where we *pretended* to buy and sell stocks, well I got hooked and did it for real.

Both my sig other and I have always been very frugal, always lived below our means, learned that from our parents as they were the children of the Great Depression. Coupons, coupons, coupons. We won't even go to McDonald's without a coupon :P

Currently I drive a 1996 Jeep, that I purchased when it was 2 years old [still had that new car smell], and I paid cash [I refused to pay interest]. Love that Jeep, will drive it until the wheels fall off. When I met my sig other, he liked driving my Jeep so much he bought one a few years ago, yes it was a 1996 which wasn't easy to find... he paid $5,000 for it. Both vehicles have been very inexpensive to maintain :)

Both of my sig other's two grown children are deep in debt, they don't know how to handle money, and will shop until they drop. Heaven knows what they will do when it comes time to retire.
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I also cringe when I read about adult children in their 50's and early 60's.

My dad prepared all along for his retirement and retired well. For some reason, it upset my mother that he did focus on retirement preparation at such an early time. Since she was from a well off family compared to him, I guess she wanted more money for her to spend. Being focused so early on his retirement may have come from the fact that he was the first college graduated in his family thanks to the GI bill just like his dad was the first high school graduate in his family. (I was the first in our extended family to graduate with both a masters and a doctors.)

She did not stay in the workforce very long at all. Her retirement and social security check was tiny If she had not remarried, to a man that owned his own business, I don't know what she would have done. She was a college graduate as were both of her parents, but she just could not get it together in the workforce. M step-dad's business went bankrupt but not long after that his dad died and he got a huge inheritance of money and land which my mom and he lived on for years from their 50ties on and she lived at the beach in the beach house after I graduated from high school and stayed their until she was older and had a seizure.

After getting his inheritance from his dad, they sold their house and moved into a nicer section of town in a new house, but never put much into keeping it up. Before he ran out of his dad's inheritance money, he did start a trailer park on some of the farm land that he inherited. That has been a rather basic source of income for him. Compared to how they did live, they started living poorly and it was not long before the membership at the country club was gone. While my mother inherited a lot of money and some land from her mother back in about 1996, she used very little of that money for herself. .Her mom and dad had owned four farms and that land was split evenly between the three siblings. Some joint sales of some of the land to companies like Food Lion and Campbell Soup brought in a lot of money on top of their parent's estate that was equally divided between the three siblings.

She did have enough money though to pay premiums on a long term care policy which helped her a lot when she went to a nursing home. she chose to keep all of her money in separate accounts and separate investment from her husband. They lived on the money in the joint account from the money that came first from his inheritance after he went bankrupt and then from his trailer park income. His son, my step-brother, has been managing that trailer park at no cost for his dad for several years.

On the other hand, my continued to work full time down through the years,put money into the company retirement program, saved money and made a diverse range of investments as time and income moved along. He never made an extreme amount of money but lived well, was able to do a lot for me, and retired well, plus bought a long term care policy for him and his wife who thought it was s stupid idea, but it benefited her until her death and is benefiting him now.

I wish our oldest son was more frugal, he is beginning to see the light as a college graduate who plans to go to graduate school in the fall. However, our youngest son toward the end of his high school year started working on his own retirement with how he handled the money that he saved instead of spending that had been given to him as presents. He's finished with college, has his own IRA that he makes monthly contributions to from his two part time jobs while in college, has some of his money in a money market account, has been able to get and manage his own credit card with me co-signing, and has about $15,000 in the bank. He has always lived a frugal life and even wonders if we spend too much money sometimes. He and his brother both drove our ancient 1997 Buick LeSabre that we bought used in 2005. It only had to be replace with another used car this past fall. We have almost always bought used cars. I drove one car for 225,000 miles before a dear hit it. When in high school, college, and grad school as well as my early full time working years, I drove my grandfather's 1965 Buick Electra and I graduated high school in 1975.

I think the best was to plan for retirement is to start early, live frugally within your means, save money, invest with wide diversity, and if their is a pension plan at work participate as fully as you can. We can never know how much we will need as we age, but I bet you if past behavior is any predictor of future outcome, that my younger son will retire with plenty of money. I'm not so sure of our older son, but maybe he will see the light.
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Is it possible to ever be prepared for retirement? How can we ever know what we will need as we age? We have done most of the things suggested here - building our house (9 years ago) with wide doorways, main-floor bedroom with walk-in shower and higher toilet, lever type doorknobs and room to add an elevator in the future if necessary. We also have fruit trees and a vegetable garden and freeze excess produce. My husband is self-employed, so no pension for us but we have put money away for retirement. As we saw seven years ago, retirement money can take a big hit in a short period of time. The stock market has given up almost half of its 2014 gains in the first week of 2015. The government can make changes to Social Security and Medicare that will impact us. What will happen to prices in the future? What will our health care needs be? In short, I think that much of our future retirement situation is out of our hands.

That being said, I cringe when I read about children who have given up their job to care for an aging parent. Most of these children are in their fifties or early sixties, have raised their own families and now have an opportunity to save for their retirement. Giving up that income for several years could have a huge impact on the retirement of these children.
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Olma&me great advise.

Do what you can to lower your long term debt service. For each payment, try to add to it. If your mortgage is $ 1,456.00 round it up to $ 1,500.

If you have a home, see if the house makes sense to live in & be good for you as you age. I say this as we rebuilt a home after hurricane Katrina and did smaller & with aging in mind (wider doors & halls, grab bars in M B, lift); lots of our friends and neighbors did bigger, 2 story pretty involved homes, well here we are 10 years later & 10 years older and those homes are needing to be retrofitted or just too big with areas unused & lots more costly than ever anticipated. Really if you can downsize do it and don't spend the $ you make on the sale frivolously.

Force yourself to have a 3 month emergency account that equals whatever 3 months of your actual debts are. Have it in an account that you really don't touch but readily accessible. 6 months is better but just not realistic for most.

Be nice & supportive & thoughtful with your kids.
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In my opinion, investing through bonds, stocks and mutual funds can be a great. In addition to that, increasing your contributions in Social Security and savings plan can also benefit you in the future. You'll never know what can happen in the future so it's best to have save enough money that can cover additional expenses like medical care and long term care. It's also a smart move to consider ltc insurance, coverage that helps pay for home care, adult day care, nursing home and the likes.
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Well, I hope I've got the sense of humour. Other than that...
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Retirement isn't a plan for the future it's a lifestyle you should adopt early on.
Buy an inexpensive older home or new if you can afford it, the smaller the better with enough land to grow the fruit and veggies you won't be able to afford.
Owning is always better than paying rent.
No second floor.
Consider how you'll maintain the property as you age ( painting,mowing, plowing snow etc.). Don't expect your ambition, money or health will last forever.
Keep one credit card and use only in case of emergency cut up the other's.
If you can't buy with cash, you can't afford it.
Learn not to run to the doc for every sniffle, ache, sprain or blue day for pills or shots.You can manage these yourself and will have to as you get older.
Insurance,medicare and medicaid will pay next to nothing soon and certainly not nursing home or skilled care in the home for any length of time ( that already is a problem for many of us).
Learn to shop at re-use and benefit shops for EVERYTHING.
There's no shame in being frugal.
Learn to accept that inheritance you might expect or help from friends and family will not come.
Learn to cook,can and freeze.
Learn to live without your heat up to 68 or without air conditioning.
Don't be ashamed to ask for what other's what they might be discarding; Furniture, construction and remodeling project cast offs are often given away as it's cheaper than dumping it or waiting for the salvation army to pick it up.
If you have money "Invest" in a freezer.
Buy food in quantity when it's on sale. You not only pad yourself for financial set backsbut are ready in case of natural calamity.
When you remodel be sure bathrooms are fitted with walk in shower trays
( cheap and easy to install) as well as a taller commode.
I think you get the picture.
My hubby and I are 65 ( not collecting SS/ not on any entitlement program / no trust funds or bank account) and live my 94 year old mother ( no assets )who receives only very SS and receives no help other than ours.
We want for very little despite the fact that our combined incomes are less than $20,000 a year.
It can be done.
Develop self reliance and a sense of humor.You'll need both.
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When I cut my hours at work so I could handle my Mother's ever-increasing needs, I was fit and strong, and thought I would work forever. Now I've aged so much in a short time, had injuries, dislocated ribs and strained a heart valve catching her from falling, that I have serious concern about my ability to recover both physically and financially. I plan to sell my songs and stories online. That's the extent of my retirement security!
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screw retirement . the guys i know in construction take SS at 62 yrs old then get out and make some serious pocket change . SS pays the bills , the side jobs are pure profit .
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gladimhere, you have a good point. Although we do hope for the best, we have to accept that people including out siblings are what they are unless that have some compelling reason to change. For example, for step-sister use to be a real pain and she looked down on me about as much as her mother did. We never had much of a relationship. She was her mother's defiant wild child who considered me very boring. However, after some failed marriages and getting into a good marriage with a good husband compared to her previous picks, she has grown up and she has excepted the Christian faith that she was exposed to at church. She is now a completely different person and wonderful to work with in the care of my dad. However, I can't say the same about my step-brother on the other side of the family. He is still the control freak that he always has been since childhood and a bit of an actor as well. I am glad my step-sister has changed and she has even apologized to me about the past. However, I accept the fact that my step-brother is what he is. The good news is some people and at times it appears few, actually do change but we all have a free will and must make our own choices and live with them as well as other people have to live with our choices as well and that is not always nice.
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