When we think of retirement, there are usually two thoughts that come to mind.
- Sailing on a yacht to the Caribbean, sipping a cold one on the deck.
- The amount of money it’s going to cost.
Usually the first thought is so powerful that we forget to go back to the second, but the second is vital to your health and longevity.
Undoubtedly, there’s a lot you’ve been saving for your retirement: writing that novel (memoir), making that trip to Machu Picchu, crocheting a Christmas sweater, etc. What most people aren’t saving is money. This is just one of the things you need to consider when planning for senior living.
Start Saving Today
Obviously, there are always going to be expenses and if you’re living in the sandwich generation – like many of you are – then you’re going to feel overwhelmed with paying for your children’s college tuition while paying for your own parents’ elder care.
Despite that, where you have some extra money – or expenses you can cut down on – put it away in savings. You’re going to explore and do all the things you wanted to do in retirement, but chances are pretty high that after all that adventure you’re going to need some assistance. It may be minimal, maybe you just need help driving since your vision is waning, but you’re going to need help. You don’t want to survive solely off what the government gives you, that’s not a future to look forward to.
Start Talking Today
We’ve talked about this before, but there’s a taboo around senior care with our elders. We don’t want to talk about it until they need it, and by then emotions are running HIGH. Rather than wait, talk with your parents about their senior living plans: what they want should unfortunate circumstances arise and what they’re planning for now.
Chances are your parents have already thought about it and while you’ve been busy with work and your kids’ education, they’ve been researching and finding out first-hand what senior living options they want.
Start Looking Today (or Soon)
Much like a college application, many senior living options have wait lists or are full years in advance. It doesn’t hurt to see what’s available and how long it would take to be accepted.
Furthermore, drop the stereotype that retirement communities are stale and desolate places. If you’re healthy enough to take advantage of the amenities, you’ll never live a dull day in your life, but if you wait until you need help shaving and going to the bathroom, then chances are you’re going to miss out.
You might be thinking, “but I have a house, why would I give that up for assisted living?”
Maybe you wouldn’t, but nowadays there free tools that can analyze whether you’re better off owning a home or renting one.