Outliving your money? Bingo. Having to move to a skilled nursing facility? Bingo. Losing my freedom by turning in my keys? Bingo.
But how about this one: becoming a burden to my children. Many people do not address that one because it somehow takes a back seat to all of the above. Underneath all of those worries above, the most difficult for most retirees is having to move in with children, having to have someone accompany them to doctor’s appointments so they can remember what s/he said, having to be carted around by someone else because his or her reaction time is too slow to drive. Unspoken, but a constant theme.
Even more uncomfortable is the fear of those who did not marry, do not have children, and will need to rely on the “kindness of strangers” or nieces and nephews. With our mobile society, the latter may not even be anywhere in the physical area of the retiree.
We kind of look askance at the progressive type retirement communities but they serve to allay the fears expressed (and unexpressed) above. If you join one of these communities at the level of a secure apartment with parking for one car, pets allowed, and a front desk that screens all visitors, this may seem like a prison and not an attractive living arrangement. But the security it provides both physical and emotional may be very comforting to someone with no relatives in the immediate area.
The next step in these communities, the assisted living arrangement, will provide increased comfort to those who may need someone to prepare meals, do light housekeeping, laundry and other daily tasks we take for granted. What a consolation to a single individual who needs these services but fears for his or her safety by allowing outsiders to come to their home to do these chores!
The skilled nursing facility is the ultimate in personal care and the level of attention it provides cannot be underestimated to the “guest.” And this is where most retirees fear they will spend their last days.
Does it make sense to start now to consider this set up for your retirement and later years? If you are single and have no other family, perhaps.
Most of these communities have financial arrangements which allow you to pay the most upfront as a lump sum and monthly amounts for the services you require. It is worth an investigation if you feel you would not want “to be a burden to your children.”
Since none of us knows how we will spend our final years, it is worth the time and effort to consider something that allows for all levels of care and lessen the burden to our loved ones.