As I read the many sad, sad, stories of guilt, fatigue, upheaval and resentment I ask myself, “Have you set up your future and do the kids know what you want?”

I definitely do not want myself or my husband to be a burden to my children ( 2 sons and a daughter), they have their families to raise. Fortunately we worked hard through our adult years and have resources and no debts. Property etc is in trust, one son is estate executor, also on checking account for notification of unusual checks and to be able to pay bills if necessary. He has copies of wills and trust and In addition, we have tried to consolidate any financial matters, accounts, etc and listed them so they are easily found. Medical POAs, DNRs also in order. Children also listed as ICE on cell phones. Now. The hard part. I want to make it clear that I do not expect them to take either of us into their home for care.

We are currently in our own home and as my husband is an invalid we have a daily caregiver. This is our choice, we are in our 80’s, no dementia so all is currently ok. Should circumstances change we want assisted living and then if necessary nursing home or whatever LTC necessary. I would feel terrible inflicting the burden on my daughter of caring for me or my husband and that is what I want most definitely to get across to them. I also don’t want them or our grandchildren to remember us as a burden.

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Kudos to you, BarbChicago! I think the trickiest part of a great plan is executing it before we "think" we need it. Health issues are obvious but dementia is much sneakier (usually). We promised ourselves that at the first signs hubs and I would start the transition so that our kids don't have to make this decision or downsize us in a panic or crisis. We had to scramble to get my MIL and stepFIL onto Medicaid and into facilities (different ones!) at the same time. It was so stressful. I'd never wish that on anyone.
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You are so wise to have done the paperwork, the savings the careful life, the speaking with your family about all this (and I am assuming they know your wishes for end of life care). I have been so luck as to have all in place as well as 78 for me and 80 for my partner. But I was a nurse lifelong and knew full well what happened if it was NOT in place.
We sure do see the lessons, ALL of the lessons on what NOT to do and what helps.
I raised my children telling them they would not/should not be responsible for me in age (the whole "put-me-out-on-the-iceflow-speech), and have discussed often with them what I want, and I know what THEY want, as the truth is that when we make plans, the gods laugh.
Yours is a great reminder. Say hi to my home town.
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I hope you have vocalized and put in writing what you want and what you don't want. All the legal papers are up to date, and that's great, but at some point you need to have the Big Conversation with your children.

If you're up to it, look into some retirement homes/nursing homes in your area. Get the literature and send it to your kids, and keep a file with that information in your house. If you tour any of those places, or even just from the literature, make some notes about what are positives and what are negatives of each place.

Most important, be sure your son the executor (and most likely he's the successor trustee, not an executor) already is up to speed on your finances, not just assigned to hit the ground running on the day he needs to take over. You can also consider resigning from your trust as my parents did, which allows him to have full control of your financial affairs before you're completely incapacitated. My parents did that when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He was the one with no dementia and was handling all their affairs just fine, but he had a very small window of time between his diagnosis and his death and he knew that I should take over immediately. I was able to ask him questions and go with him to banks and financial advisers before I only had a piece of paper to say I was in charge. HE told the banks and financial advisers I was in charge, and we went over everything before he became unable to. Two years later, I still have no questions that went unanswered, and that was an enormous gift to me. I know exactly why he invested the way he did, I know what accounts were for what purpose, and I know he fully trusted me to do what is in my mother's best interests from that point on.

There's nothing worse than not knowing what someone is thinking, especially when the only thing keeping you from knowing is asking (or telling). TELL your children what you want and don't want now. Our later years are when we need to become the most transparent with our loved ones.
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