Caregiver are you prepared for your own retirement?

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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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