Jump to content

Menu

Too Poor to Retire and Too Young to Die


umsami
 Share

Recommended Posts

I stumbled across this article yesterday in the LA Times and it's been on my mind ever since.   Basically it's about older Americans who traverse the country in RVs...going from seasonal job to seasonal job.  Many of them had good jobs or had good education.  I don't know....it just strikes me as wrong.  When you're 80+ years old, you shouldn't have to work six days per week just so that you don't starve to death.  You shouldn't have to travel south so that you don't freeze to death.

 

Am I alone in being troubled by this?  Elder poverty is also something that affects women more.   I hope that with four kids this wouldn't be my future, but who knows?

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think many seniors do this.  For one, it would be more economical to live in a low cost area with jobs and not pay the fuel costs and the camping costs and the loan costs of an RV. You could still have a job but with 19K, and more with a job, a single person can live in a number of areas and do okay While theere are struggling seniors around, a bigger problem seems to be with women in their 50's and early 60's who have a high unemployment rater and are too young to get social security and medicare. Those single women are really struggling if they are unemployed.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No.

 

I read an article a few years ago about people doing temp warehouse work for companies like Amazon.  The workers in those places are almost all contracts, they have no benefits or job secirity.  A lot of the people were older workers, and they really struggled because the work was physically demanding and they would set the system to expect only top productivity from eveyone - anyone else was let go.

 

A lot of them were going from place to place doing this stuff on a short term basis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents owned a small business and about the time they really needed to retire due to my dad's health, the banking/mortgage thing erupted, and the economy tanked here. He couldn't sell the business for anything so limped it along. Now they can sell it for "break even", and will be forced to because dad has stage four cancer that has metastasized. Dad was NOT a good saver, not at all. He always thought he'd sell his business for a lot of money and that would provide his retirement so he never invested in retirement accounts. They have nothing. Nothing. Just social security. Dad never drew a decent salary out of the business. Never. He always kept the money in the shop which meant my parents have lived for my entire life on limited means. So the net effect is that what they can draw out now is rather low. My dad gets $1100.00 per month, and my mom $700.00. When he dies, she is entitled to the higher of the two but not both so she will have to find a way to live on $1100.00. She is welcome to live with us, but does not want to do so. I can't afford to maintain her house, pay the taxes on it, etc., and winter heat will take $300.00 a month out of that $1100.00. I don't see how she can do it.  Car insurance - due to no fault in this state - will run her $200.00 per month and her vehicle is on its last leg too. Cell phone - $100.00, electricity - $100.00, property tax - $75.00 per month - supplemental insurance - $250.00 - medication co-pays more than $100.00 - she's out of money and hasn't put gas in her car nor purchased any food.

 

She also does not want to move, and dh will have one more major, career relocation change for his current company before he retires. We aren't going to be here forever like we thought we might. My brother who lives only two blocks from us so again only four blocks from my parents is going to have to make a major move in the next year because the company he is working for is being sold, and the corporation buying it will be only offering 66%-75% of the current IT workers' salaries in order to keep their jobs. He can't afford that kind of pay cut, and the company that is buying it has a really bad reputation, really bad. So he is looking for a new position. There is nothing in Michigan, nothing for him. Right now his best job prospects are in North and South Carolina so he will be moving. He has offered for my mom to live with them in their new locale, but again she won't move despite that fact that when dad dies - which is likely within the next 12 months - she is going to be very alone if we have to also go within the same year. My brother has a daughter to get through college and some health things for his wife that he pays a lot out of pocket for, so he can't afford to pay for mom's living expenses here. She is being profoundly unrealistic, but won't budge. At 73, I am not certain where she is going to find a job that will float her along, and her health is not too great so I don't see how she can even go back to work.

 

I don't know what will happen to her. I will have three in college next year - assisting dd with her courses since her BS in chemistry has not netted her a good job and she is adding to her medical licenses (she is a paramedic) phlebotomy and EKG tech, plus the two boys, and two years from now all three boys will be in college at one time for a year. I am not going to have extra money for her. I will be going back to work soon just to help pay all of these college expenses so our guys can keep their student loan balances to a reasonable level. She has told other people though that she resents us for helping our boys and our married daughter instead of putting money away for her! :svengo:

 

I fear that the financial future for many retirees is dicey. They have health problems but even with supplemental insurance in addition to medicare, big deductibles - my parents' deductible is $4200.00 per year - may mean that they can't make it.  

 

Since mom refuses to live with us or with my brother so that all she has is her personal expenses and her medical deductible to pay for, my assumption is that she will pass away sooner than later from not being able to afford to address her health issues or pay for diabetes meds. My guess is many retirees who did not save for retirement will be in that exact same position. The worst thing is that though my dad's chances of surviving more than one year is less than 20%, they are still pursuing " a cure" for an incurable cancer that can't even be put into a decent remission, and making payments they can't afford to make on what medicare and supplemental doesn't cover. Ai, yi, ai, yi, yi! At this point, he has racked up $10,000 and the $4200 deductible reset on Jan. 1st. They can't afford this. I mean, it might be worth trying to afford if he had any chance at all of a couple of good years ahead of him, but he doesn't. Not at all. My brother and I are just appalled. Our only hope is that the hospital cannot come back on mom for the money. She has not signed a single paper accepting financial responsibility. Dad has kept it all in his own name. But we don't know how the law works in terms of whether or not medical debt is joint, marital debt or not. Maybe they can force her to make payments on it after he is gone. I don't know. If she has to make payments, she is so sunk it staggers the imagination.

 

I will say this though. There are a number of retirees in this area that worked for the car companies way back when, and invested heavily in the pensions. Their houses are paid off, and during the good ole days when they earned a lot in over time pay, they saved a lot of money. Those retirees have hit the road often in RV's working wherever just for fun, just to stay busy as well as doing a lot of volunteer work which I think is great. It isn't a matter of survival. Some have stayed local, but do a lot of odd jobs on the side - we've got a couple that work as auto-mechanics and carpenters out of their homes - and they use that money to travel with extensively or in the case of one couple  to give a handsome scholarship to each of their grandchildren as they graduate high school.

 

My parents should have planned better. They received a lot of sound advice over the years and rejected it. I don't know what to do about it because while I feel awful for them, I can't fix it either nor do we make enough to float an entire separate household.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadie I liked your post for a lack of "agree with you" option, but I don't "like" your post. I feel for you.

 

We have watched my parents' nightmare unfold over the years and thankfully, and have been in a position to save. Whew. We've been super lucky because his income went up regularly and decently for his entire career which is not true for a lot of people so his income increases outpaced inflation, but we were able to keep our standard of living the same. We know we are fortunate, very very fortunate.

 

That said, we still want to make the most of it and have determined that living state side may not be the best option for us at all. We are looking at foreign locales with lower costs of living but close to cities with modern healthcare systems. We have already identified one such country and city, and are actually looking at purchasing a home there or renting a ground floor apartment because our retirement dollars would go a very long way there compared to here, and we would have access to good, very reasonably priced health care. The only bummer of the whole thing is being so far away from our kids. Would that I could, I'd move all of them there too! But, only two of our four would likely be able to get good jobs in that country. My mom would be better off in that city as well, but she won't move so.....

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ehhh . . .as the owner of an RV, I see the subject of that article as having made some really, really bad choices.  Most people who work camp do so by choice and not necessity.  To the extent they need to work it's usually to fund the RV lifestyle they desire, which isn't inexpensive.  It seems the lady in that article made quite a lot of bad financial choices throughout her life, and it seems to me buying an RV was probably one of them.  She likely could have settled somewhere and earned enough money to support herself much easier and less expensively than it costs her to own, maintain and buy fuel to drive an RV from place to place.

 

Note I'm not saying or implying that all elderly people who struggle financially do so due to bad decisions.  Not at all.  It's unfortunate that the author of that article didn't pick out a better example.

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to think what will happen to the people in the article when the price of gas goes back up.  Or if they become unable to work.

 

And, in general, I wish that people would talk to the local social workers about getting on a senior housing wait list.

 

Senior housing costs a set percentage of income, and so it's affordable by definition.  I don't know much else about how to qualify--I know it's means tested, and that there is usually a waiting list, and that you have to establish residency to get on the list, but I'm sure there are other nuances.  Still, I would think that it would be an option to study.

 

I hate it that we don't have more of a safety net here.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to think what will happen to the people in the article when the price of gas goes back up.  Or if they become unable to work.

 

And, in general, I wish that people would talk to the local social workers about getting on a senior housing wait list.

Senior housing costs a set percentage of income, and so it's affordable by definition.  I don't know much else about how to qualify--I know it's means tested, and that there is usually a waiting list, and that you have to establish residency to get on the list, but I'm sure there are other nuances.  Still, I would think that it would be an option to study.

 

I hate it that we don't have more of a safety net here.

Michigan is pretty bad. The waitlist is so long in many locales that the person never, ever gets a place. In our county, there is retirement subsidized housing for exactly 50 people. That's it. And there isn't going to be any more either because part of the deal for getting it built is that both the state and the county have to chip in a certain percentage. Our county plus the neighboring two are in precarious financial positions - I mean we are likely to lose 4-H for the love of not being able to come up with $140,000.00 annually at the county level - so building senior housing isn't happening either. It has been brought up at the county commissioner's meetings, but federal and state programs that are legally required take up all the funding, senior housing is not a requirement. Short of some wealthy person donating a few million dollars - don't have any millionaires around here either - there will be no new units added.

 

It's a nice idea and good advice for people who live in much more economically robust areas or states not dealing with the Flint water fiasco and the Detroit Bankruptcy on top of an oil pipeline under the Mackinac Straits that hasn't had any maintenance in 50 years, and .......you get the picture.

 

Definitely, if you live in a better area, get on the list.

 

And yes I hate and despise that we are more interested in paying billions of dollars on war than we are on taking care of our citizenry. I have a real problem with the misspending on both federal and state levels that is rampant, and causing our safety nets and infrastructure to fall apart. Crazy. I can't figure out the priorities in politics, just can't. I guess it is because those that seek power can't make money off feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, or giving non-lead laden water to the people. If they can't turn a profit on it, it apparently isn't worth doing!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my mom and stepdad were camp hosts for years.  They had a really old camper and stayed 3-9 months at the campground depending on the needs that year.  All the other hosts had super expensive campers.  The large motorhomes. And homes elsewhere.  While my mom/stepdad had a home elsewhere, it was clear they had the dumpiest camper by comparison.  Most of the couples they worked with were there by choice.  My mom was a homebody for 23 years.  Once she got that camp host job she quit her job, sold her house, and moved to the beach to be closer to the camp.  They LOVED it.  But the people she met were already wealthy.  One had a home in Alaska on 600 acres.  Another had multiple homes.  These were not poor people driving around looking for temporary work. And most camp host positions have waiting lists.  My mom got lucky to get in when she did.  They did it for years, and loved it.  The rules kept changing and they finally decided it wasn't worth it.  The work they had to do weekly was more and more.  They finally decided to just enjoy being close by friends but no longer doing the camp host job.  

 

She subbed at other state parks in the area as well, and again, never met a poor couple among any of the people she met over the years.  

 

Personally, dh and I want to be like this when we finally get in age.  I would love to have a part time job near the outdoors I love.  I don't think the majority of these workers are poor.  Maybe I will find otherwise if I ever get the chance, but my mom's experience was the opposite.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wondering if there are actually two issues here: seniors without means and a migratory work force. I have known several people who participated in the latter but they were in a far better situation than the woman in the article.

 

We have a company that brings in a skilled migratory workforce annually to my area. I usually don't go to the laundromat except to wash comforters. Once when I was doing this, I had a fascinating discussion with two women who lived in travel trailers--part time in one case, full time in another--following seasonal work. The older of the two women had a house. Her husband was an electrician who had semi-retired around age 50. They lived in their travel trailer in the South in the winter/spring as he worked nuclear power plant refueling outages. They were always home in the late spring and summer to care for their grandchildren, attend end of school year concerts, etc.

 

The younger gal and her husband chose what she called a gypsy life style in order to save money. He was the skilled worker; she was not. They worked long shifts during refueling outages, migrating across the country and living in their trailer. She said that she was enjoying see the country but she admitted that this was a temporary thing for them. They were saving money to buy a house and have children.

 

Granted, not all migratory type workers are skilled. There was a couple on my street who traveled about four months a year. She was a nurse who would find temporary jobs in towns near Western national parks in the summer when populations swell there. He was a professional waiter who could find work. They lived out of a tent for a few months a year to enjoy this lifestyle. But it was a choice.

 

Seniors without means are another issue entirely.

 

My 23 year old son has a 401-K but he has told me that few of his colleagues take advantage of what is essentially free money that his company gives in a match. I suspect that not all young people have been educated by their parents on the necessity of saving--and that not all young people can save because of student loans, etc.

 

In my area, some assistance is available but it almost always involves transportation. Like much of the country, there is no public transit. so many people are isolated and out of luck if they cannot afford a car.

Edited by Jane in NC
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other thing that is tough is that it seems like small businesses aren't selling anymore around here.

 

In Sonora, the best LYS for miles around closed last year because they couldn't find a buyer at all once the owner needed to retire.  In Milwaukee, ditto (Ruhamas)--literally the best LYS I have ever seen ANYWHERE couldn't be sold.  I'm not talking about places that were not making money, like other LYSs around here that sprung up like weeds 10 years ago and had too much competition to survive.  I'm talking about established, excellent, community-forming, longterm outstanding stores.  

 

Right now the best non-chain kitchen store in Northern CA is for sale, and has been on the market for at least a year, and it's not clear whether the longtime owners will get anything for it.

 

Seems like the people who have enough capital to buy something like that don't really want to work 6-7 days per week to keep it going.  And the capital is a sunk cost, so the value just goes away if people don't keep the business going, and fresh, etc.

 

What that means is that small business owners who have kept plowing their funds back into their business are really stuck at the end, and also that big chains that are well capitalized with employee models take over all retail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ehhh . . .as the owner of an RV, I see the subject of that article as having made some really, really bad choices.  Most people who work camp do so by choice and not necessity.  To the extent they need to work it's usually to fund the RV lifestyle they desire, which isn't inexpensive.  It seems the lady in that article made quite a lot of bad financial choices throughout her life, and it seems to me buying an RV was probably one of them.  She likely could have settled somewhere and earned enough money to support herself much easier and less expensively than it costs her to own, maintain and buy fuel to drive an RV from place to place.

 

Note I'm not saying or implying that all elderly people who struggle financially do so due to bad decisions.  Not at all.  It's unfortunate that the author of that article didn't pick out a better example.

 

My thought exactly. She's made some very bad choices throughout her life. It said she never really planned for retirement, which is why she is living it by the seat of her pants.

 

I think most people just assume that the elderly are wise and if they are living in bad situations, it is something that wasn't their fault. It was the economy, or a horrible company, or bad financial advice. Although I am sure there are many who did their best and things are still hard, there are many more who were careless when they were younger.

 

Then the question here is, are we responsible for them at the risk of our own retirement?

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jane, it is crazy to me how many young twenty somethings do not realize that the employer matching part of a 401K is gold. Yes, your 401K may not be a great investment in terms of interest, certainly not a big earner like riskier things, but that money the employer sticks in there that they don't give you unless you participate, is huge, just huge. It doubles your money. You put in $10.00, they put in $10.00. What's not to love about that?

 

I don't know. Maybe many young adults are not getting a good financial education. I think that may be a big part of it.

 

Our eldest, the paramedic, has put money in retirement since she was an 18 year old EMT. No, she can't afford to put a lot in on that salary, but she knows the employer matching part is a really good deal so does what she can. She is also young so there is a lot of time for that money to grow.

 

I just want to scream up and down at these young workers, "TAKE THAT 401K CONTRIBUTION! PACK YOUR LUNCH AND PUT YOUR MCDONALD'S MONEY IN YOUR RETIREMENT!" Shoot, McDonald's money for 40 years could add up to quite an amount, and not eating it, makes for better health anyway.

 

My fear is just getting back into the workplace. I have some good ideas, some connections...things I've kept current so that this is an option. But still, it isn't going to be easy either. But that has always been the plan, the last ten years he works, I work too for whatever I can get to further build up the funds at the last and help kids through college. It was the trade off we made so I could homeschool since working and homeschooling together was getting to be too much for me.

 

My parents' situation has impressed upon us the need to make sure we are giving the kids a sound financial education as well. I think many, many young adults have not been taught anything about finances and future planning.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, you're not the only one who is bothered. I always feel so badly for the elderly women and men I see working thankless jobs at places like Walmart. They ought to be cozy at home drinking a cup of coffee and doing the daily crossword.  :(

 

But, you assume that they HAVE to.   Six months after he retired my grandfather was bagging groceries.  They didn't need the money, but otherwise he'd have never left the recliner.   Grandmother worked in a fabric store for the same reason.  My other grandmother had plenty to do making people around her miserable, that Grandfather didn't work but he was one of the all time highest number of VA volunteer hours.   He never said but we think it was so he had an excuse to get out of the house.  So, I imagine that there are lots of other older people working just to get some time away from their spouse.  

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thought exactly. She's made some very bad choices throughout her life. It said she never really planned for retirement, which is why she is living it by the seat of her pants.

 

I think most people just assume that the elderly are wise and if they are living in bad situations, it is something that wasn't their fault. It was the economy, or a horrible company, or bad financial advice. Although I am sure there are many who did their best and things are still hard, there are many more who were careless when they were younger.

 

Then the question here is, are we responsible for them at the risk of our own retirement?

Good question?

 

We don't want to be cold hearted with my folks. Not at all. But the rubber has met the road. We can either continue saving for retirement and help our own children get out of college with minimal student loan debt, or we can subsidize the elders. It doesn't have to be an either or and especially for mom when dad is gone because again, she has a home with my brother or with me. However, she is determined that some how we owe her some sort of subsidy so that she can continue to live independently despite their ridiculous lack of planning and profoundly poor money management.

 

We do not believe we should be responsible for her to live independently in that house. Now my sister in France thinks we should. She is about $80,000 in debt for her undergrad at a Christian university and currently working on her PH.D, but thinks that some how though she is exempting herself from responsibility, our brother and I should support her. I don't get her logic. She thinks that a lot of student loan debt is okay...and of course she's in France and basically thumbing her nose at the bank and not paying on it. They'll never recover it because she is now a permanent resident of France. So I guess her philosophy is "game the system". But, we don't take that approach when teaching our sons about loans. Essentially it boils down to we have a choice to help our kids or help mom and dad. We feel our kids get first priority. And again, mom does not have to be in this boat. She is choosing it.

 

That said, things don't have to be this grim for the elder population no matter how they came to fall on hard times if the spending priorities of the powers that be were different. We could be a nation that helps because we value human life at all stages. But we aren't. We are an oligarchy - the United Corporations of America - and helping the needy is not a profitable pursuit for the oligarchy.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents owned a small business and about the time they really needed to retire due to my dad's health, the banking/mortgage thing erupted, and the economy tanked here. He couldn't sell the business for anything so limped it along. Now they can sell it for "break even", and will be forced to because dad has stage four cancer that has metastasized. Dad was NOT a good saver, not at all. He always thought he'd sell his business for a lot of money and that would provide his retirement so he never invested in retirement accounts. They have nothing. Nothing. Just social security. Dad never drew a decent salary out of the business. Never. He always kept the money in the shop which meant my parents have lived for my entire life on limited means. So the net effect is that what they can draw out now is rather low. My dad gets $1100.00 per month, and my mom $700.00. When he dies, she is entitled to the higher of the two but not both so she will have to find a way to live on $1100.00. She is welcome to live with us, but does not want to do so. I can't afford to maintain her house, pay the taxes on it, etc., and winter heat will take $300.00 a month out of that $1100.00. I don't see how she can do it.  Car insurance - due to no fault in this state - will run her $200.00 per month and her vehicle is on its last leg too. Cell phone - $100.00, electricity - $100.00, property tax - $75.00 per month - supplemental insurance - $250.00 - medication co-pays more than $100.00 - she's out of money and hasn't put gas in her car nor purchased any food.

 

She also does not want to move, and dh will have one more major, career relocation change for his current company before he retires. We aren't going to be here forever like we thought we might. My brother who lives only two blocks from us so again only four blocks from my parents is going to have to make a major move in the next year because the company he is working for is being sold, and the corporation buying it will be only offering 66%-75% of the current IT workers' salaries in order to keep their jobs. He can't afford that kind of pay cut, and the company that is buying it has a really bad reputation, really bad. So he is looking for a new position. There is nothing in Michigan, nothing for him. Right now his best job prospects are in North and South Carolina so he will be moving. He has offered for my mom to live with them in their new locale, but again she won't move despite that fact that when dad dies - which is likely within the next 12 months - she is going to be very alone if we have to also go within the same year. My brother has a daughter to get through college and some health things for his wife that he pays a lot out of pocket for, so he can't afford to pay for mom's living expenses here. She is being profoundly unrealistic, but won't budge. At 73, I am not certain where she is going to find a job that will float her along, and her health is not too great so I don't see how she can even go back to work.

 

I don't know what will happen to her. I will have three in college next year - assisting dd with her courses since her BS in chemistry has not netted her a good job and she is adding to her medical licenses (she is a paramedic) phlebotomy and EKG tech, plus the two boys, and two years from now all three boys will be in college at one time for a year. I am not going to have extra money for her. I will be going back to work soon just to help pay all of these college expenses so our guys can keep their student loan balances to a reasonable level. She has told other people though that she resents us for helping our boys and our married daughter instead of putting money away for her! :svengo:

 

I fear that the financial future for many retirees is dicey. They have health problems but even with supplemental insurance in addition to medicare, big deductibles - my parents' deductible is $4200.00 per year - may mean that they can't make it.  

 

Since mom refuses to live with us or with my brother so that all she has is her personal expenses and her medical deductible to pay for, my assumption is that she will pass away sooner than later from not being able to afford to address her health issues or pay for diabetes meds. My guess is many retirees who did not save for retirement will be in that exact same position. The worst thing is that though my dad's chances of surviving more than one year is less than 20%, they are still pursuing " a cure" for an incurable cancer that can't even be put into a decent remission, and making payments they can't afford to make on what medicare and supplemental doesn't cover. Ai, yi, ai, yi, yi! At this point, he has racked up $10,000 and the $4200 deductible reset on Jan. 1st. They can't afford this. I mean, it might be worth trying to afford if he had any chance at all of a couple of good years ahead of him, but he doesn't. Not at all. My brother and I are just appalled. Our only hope is that the hospital cannot come back on mom for the money. She has not signed a single paper accepting financial responsibility. Dad has kept it all in his own name. But we don't know how the law works in terms of whether or not medical debt is joint, marital debt or not. Maybe they can force her to make payments on it after he is gone. I don't know. If she has to make payments, she is so sunk it staggers the imagination.

 

I will say this though. There are a number of retirees in this area that worked for the car companies way back when, and invested heavily in the pensions. Their houses are paid off, and during the good ole days when they earned a lot in over time pay, they saved a lot of money. Those retirees have hit the road often in RV's working wherever just for fun, just to stay busy as well as doing a lot of volunteer work which I think is great. It isn't a matter of survival. Some have stayed local, but do a lot of odd jobs on the side - we've got a couple that work as auto-mechanics and carpenters out of their homes - and they use that money to travel with extensively or in the case of one couple  to give a handsome scholarship to each of their grandchildren as they graduate high school.

 

My parents should have planned better. They received a lot of sound advice over the years and rejected it. I don't know what to do about it because while I feel awful for them, I can't fix it either nor do we make enough to float an entire separate household.

 

Yeah, we're facing a similar situation with a family member. I think that reality is a dififcult thing for some boomers to accept. it seems this way more with women than with men. I've seen too many boomer ladies whose dh's did all the financial work and they have NO CLUE what day to day expenses will be and how quickly they'll add up. There's also a pile of wishful thinking involved with some boomers. (It'll all work out.)

 

No, if you didn't plan well for retirement, you WILL HAVE to sell your house and if you live in an area where the economy has tanked, your house will be worth what someone will pay for it. The end.

 

If you don't have money, you may not have a choice about moving in with your kids.

 

If you don't have the money, you many not have a choice as to working part time.

 

If you don't have the money, there are lots of things that you will not be able to do.

 

I've seen too many people falling to this wishful thinking.

 

I do have an aunt and uncle though, who did really well financially. Now that they are in their 80s with some health problems, they've sold their home and moved into a retirement community. I think they wanted to enter the senior years on their own terms. They don't want to come home from a major health event to find that their kids have sold everything and moved them into assisted living. I really appreciate that.

 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want to scream up and down at these young workers, "TAKE THAT 401K CONTRIBUTION! PACK YOUR LUNCH AND PUT YOUR MCDONALD'S MONEY IN YOUR RETIREMENT!" Shoot, McDonald's money for 40 years could add up to quite an amount, and not eating it, makes for better health anyway.

 

 

You and I were probably also screaming internally back in the day at the parents who bought stacks of Lunchables and every Disney video/DVD when it came out.  I saw college dollars floating by...

 

My son is always surprised by members of his crew who buy Clif bars (the food that fuels archaeologists) at convenience marts as opposed to quantity buying at the grocery. Or by peers who spend over $100 monthly on cell service.  Maybe we have had too many financial conversations on this end.

 

Some seniors have perhaps made bad choices but I don't think that we can assume that all seniors without means have. This is tricky by the nature of how we fund health care, drug pricing in the US, the extreme measures used to keep people alive. We'll keep saving though.  It is just my nature.

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But, you assume that they HAVE to.   Six months after he retired my grandfather was bagging groceries.  They didn't need the money, but otherwise he'd have never left the recliner.   Grandmother worked in a fabric store for the same reason.  My other grandmother had plenty to do making people around her miserable, that Grandfather didn't work but he was one of the all time highest number of VA volunteer hours.   He never said but we think it was so he had an excuse to get out of the house.  So, I imagine that there are lots of other older people working just to get some time away from their spouse.  

 

someone asked jimmy stewart why he did a *commercial*.  he really didn't need the money - and was a very accomplished man in many areas, not just acting.

 

he did it because he was bored.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thought exactly. She's made some very bad choices throughout her life. It said she never really planned for retirement, which is why she is living it by the seat of her pants.

 

I think most people just assume that the elderly are wise and if they are living in bad situations, it is something that wasn't their fault. It was the economy, or a horrible company, or bad financial advice. Although I am sure there are many who did their best and things are still hard, there are many more who were careless when they were younger.

 

Then the question here is, are we responsible for them at the risk of our own retirement?

 

I think absolutely not.  

 

It was a year-ish ago that I read about a son being forced to be responsible for his mother's nursing home bill because she'd frittered away what money she had.  That really bothered me.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You and I were probably also screaming internally back in the day at the parents who bought stacks of Lunchables and every Disney video/DVD when it came out.  I saw college dollars floating by...

 

My son is always surprised by members of his crew who buy Clif bars (the food that fuels archaeologists) at convenience marts as opposed to quantity buying at the grocery. Or by peers who spend over $100 monthly on cell service.  Maybe we have had too many financial conversations on this end.

 

Some seniors have perhaps made bad choices but I don't think that we can assume that all seniors without means have. This is tricky by the nature of how we fund health care, drug pricing in the US, the extreme measures used to keep people alive. We'll keep saving though.  It is just my nature.

 

Agreed. Completely agree.

 

And again, you bring up another example. What do we do about those unbelievably costly end of life extreme measures?

 

I mean, I am pro-life (I don't mean in the abortion argument way) so I want to be supportive of life, of living, of helping. But there does come a time at which we have to ask ourselves, "Is this for the best for anyone?" I am pretty certain that my dad's cancer treatment and hospitalizations for Sept. - Dec. 2015 has been close to $100,000.00. He's 72. He has a bad heart, his cancer is not only incurable, it is not even the type of cancer that has remissions of any decent length in people over 55 or 60. His prognosis is less than a year WITH treatment, and in misery too. If there was some great cutting edge medical treatment on the horizon that would give him five or ten years, even maybe three, then it might be worth it. But I keep asking myself, "Should taxpayers be subsidizing this when there are children in this nation that want for decent health care?" I don't know. I've never been a fan of "rationing" health care, however as I watch this play out knowing that his outcome isn't going to change, but the taxpayers will have put out probably a quarter million before he passes, I sometimes wonder if there shouldn't be some sort of limit on certain things. I don't know. It's such a moral conundrum. I don't want to engage in that kind of speculation. It hurts my heart. However, I can't help myself because I'm suddenly confronted with the absurdity of what is going on within my whole family. Now that said, I don't think he has had the best advice from medical practitioners. There just hasn't been the kind of level headed, unbiased counseling that there should have been. There are lot of palliative things that could have been done to make his last year of life much better than what it is actually going to be, but he needed a lot more information about the outcomes of his cancer, more stories, more evidence, in order to come to the conclusion that maybe fighting it was not the best plan.

 

Maybe what I want is not so much that there is any kind of rationing, but that information and good, therapeutic counseling be more readily available on the tax payers' dollars.

 

This whole thing is made manifestly worse because dad is now very mentally ill, and really can't make good decisions for himself at all. But he fought the whole idea of making end of life directives, so did nothing prior to this, and he never, ever discussed anything with my mom. She is rather in the driver's seat - though he legally makes decisions for himself, she has a HUGE influence over him - and is all rainbows and unicorns, refusing to embrace reality at all. I mean it is crazy just how delusional about his situation that she is. Crazy. Some of this might have been avoided if they had discussed this stuff a decade ago, and came to some conclusions before the need arose. Again, learning from experience, so dh and I are discussing these things now.

 

I don't know what the answer is. I do know that we have going on as a nation now is just simply broken and bad.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sad to say this looks like my future. Not that I am going to move around in an RV, but after taking care of parents and kids in college at the sametime, plus running a small business in this less than stellar economy, there is no economic room in our budget to save for retirement. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And the really bad part of being a "sandwich" generation is that being unable to save because one is taking financial responsibility for elders at the same time as assisting children in being launched into adulthood is that you become a generation that didn't save which pushes the very same stresses onto the next generation if you become infirm and can't "work until you drop".

 

If we support our parents at the expense of saving, then we will end up doing the very same thing to our own kids. This is a problem that needs to be addressed and one important reason that our safety net in this country needs to be improved so the burden on this generation and the next can be lighter so we can help out kids get launched in life and still put something away for when we can't work anymore. I know that most of us on this forum probably feel pretty strongly about trying hard to not be an over burden to our adult children when we are aged, but how is that supposed to happen when things like college tuition hikes have outpaced tuition 415% while the financial aid net as shrunk exponentially, when the safety net for elders is so poor, when states just keep cutting assistance for elder care, when deductibles on medicare and supplemental insurance keeps climbing, when while our own healthcare costs skyrocket so far past our wage increases that it's mind boggling? it is an untenable situation.

 

Too poor to retire, too young to die is going to be a reality for a huge portion of the population if this continues. Our generation isn't earning enough to take care of ourselves, plus a generation on each end!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 .

 

I can't imagine having financial expectations of adult children is very helpful to the relationship.

This!

 

It has come out, from my dad, that one of his resentments is that my sister and I did not marry men who wanted his business, nor did my brother, and he felt it was our responsibility to take it over and then give him a life salary out of it when he was ready to retire. My mom feels this way too. We always new they were disappointed that none of us wanted the business, but we never knew until now that they were harboring huge resentments of us.

 

To be honest, I used to have a great relationship with my parents, but since this has happened and all of their attitude, bitterness, and expectation has spewed all over me, I find myself feeling really exhausted. I'd love to spend some quality time with my dad before he passes, but he makes it impossible to be with him for more than a few minutes. I think that because he is so hateful to us due to his financial expectations, I think he is going to die lonely with only my mom around. He has verbally abused my eldest son - "That $5000 dollars your parents gave you last semester belonged to me!" - and not much better with the younger ones (the senior he has tried to convince behind my back not to attend college and go to work to give them money "we'll let you live in the spare room for free"), so they are distancing themselves as well.

 

I guess the moral of the story is, no matter how much you can or can't plan for your elder years, please don't turn into self-centered, bitter individuals so you can still have loving relationships with your kids and grandkids.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Faith - offering  :grouphug: from here too.  My dad is in a similar financial position to your mom having made oodles of poor choices over the past few decades.  I keep giving him viable suggestions.  He keeps doing nothing.  I'm pretty sure he expects us to send money, but even if we did, it would most likely go to the same poor choices as before.  Living with us is not an option with his mental problems.

 

My mom, OTOH (they're divorced) has made excellent decisions and is doing well financially.  We'd love to have her move in with us, but she resists leaving "home" too.

 

Hubby and I have it as our dream retirement living on the road or in a small beach cottage in a lower COL country.  Only time will tell how our finances hold up.  Our boys are our Plan B if we need it, but it would be moving in with/near them and helping out as we can - not expecting them to send money.  We've talked about this already with them and they're very much in agreement with our thoughts/plans.

 

I'm not sure what the answer is to those who made poor choices over and over again for years.  (Dad's debt and lack of current funds tends to come from years of gambling and acquiring junk.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sad to say this looks like my future. Not that I am going to move around in an RV, but after taking care of parents and kids in college at the sametime, plus running a small business in this less than stellar economy, there is no economic room in our budget to save for retirement. 

For us as well. Life isn't easy--we've made financial mistakes, yes. Weird economies don't help much. These days we are still helping our adult kiddoes get established. I thought we'd be able to save more in the last ten years...but health issues have a way of wiping out those thoughts.

 

It's very depressing...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Faith - offering  :grouphug: from here too.  My dad is in a similar financial position to your mom having made oodles of poor choices over the past few decades.  I keep giving him viable suggestions.  He keeps doing nothing.  I'm pretty sure he expects us to send money, but even if we did, it would most likely go to the same poor choices as before.  Living with us is not an option with his mental problems.

 

My mom, OTOH (they're divorced) has made excellent decisions and is doing well financially.  We'd love to have her move in with us, but she resists leaving "home" too.

 

Hubby and I have it as our dream retirement living on the road or in a small beach cottage in a lower COL country.  Only time will tell how our finances hold up.  Our boys are our Plan B if we need it, but it would be moving in with/near them and helping out as we can - not expecting them to send money.  We've talked about this already with them and they're very much in agreement with our thoughts/plans.

 

I'm not sure what the answer is to those who made poor choices over and over again for years.  (Dad's debt and lack of current funds tends to come from years of gambling and acquiring junk.)

We are so much alike, LOL. Our dream is a small cottage or ground floor apartment in COL country where we can be of service. We may have found our spot in Egypt, along the Nile. We'll see. There is definitely an opportunity for both of us to do meaningful volunteer work, and make our retirement money go A LOT further than staying here. I'd love to take my kids and their families with us just because I think things are going to get a lot tougher in this country before they get any easier because it has been allowed to go so low without any steps taken to fix things.

 

Dad is mentally ill. However, we have gone to a therapy session with him and his counselor who has a ton of experience with this has told us that dad has been harboring resentment and just about rage at all three of us for easily two decades but was able to hide it and act like everything was fine until he became so sick, and then had the total mental break down. So the hard thing for us is that we are having to face the fact that what we thought was a good relationship with dad was really a big acting job on his part. Maybe things would not be so bad now if he'd been willing to be more honest a very long time ago. I don't know. I know my mom is not mentally ill, but she is doing this thing with him where she is willing to be awful to us in exchange for doing what he thinks, he wants, etc., and not hurting his feelings, or upsetting him which is only making her situation more dire.

 

My sincerest wish for everyone here is that they have the difficult conversations with their adult children while they the parents are in good health, working and supporting themselves, and stable so everyone knows what to expect before the fir hits the fan. It's really, really important to do this, and it may save relationships in the future.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Margaret, I understand completely. My parents made my widowed maternal grandmother work as a low paid, in home housekeeper and cook - room and board plus $100.00 per week and her only day off was Sunday - until she died young from untreated health problems because, well, one can't see the doctor, get to the pharmacy, etc. when Sunday is the only day off. They did that because they were not willing to let her live with them, nor were they willing to financially subsidize her.

 

The sad thing is that I didn't understand when I was growing up so didn't think anything of it. My grandmother was, however, an absolutely loving, giving, nurturing woman, and a great cook. Those Sundays at our house we relished because she was pure joy to be around, and loved us so much. She would sit next to the piano and say, "Again Faith, again" or the same with my brother and his clarinet. She would have been such a delight for us to spend our teen years with, and a great help to my folks. But they had this idea that they shouldn't have to support elders, and people should buck up, suck it up, take care of themselves. Interesting to see how this has played out in their minds now that the shoe is on the other foot.

 

I think my mom, without my dad, has the potential to be a wonderful addition to our household. But, she is determined that she should not have to live with us, and we can't give her the kind of money per month that she is going to need, so it's going to be bad, really bad. However, I also know that I can't fix that. I can't make her do anything, and if she is miserable living here because she has some idea that this awful, that we are abusing her by not supporting her independently, then it isn't going to be a good thing. Her choice.

 

Sigh....I just pray that when dad passes and she no longer has the weight of so much on her shoulders, that she will change her mind and want to be a part of our family. There is a lot she still has to offer to these grown and nearly grown grandchildren not to mention the two great-grands and potential future great-grands. But it all hinges on her having a change of heart.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know anything about RVing. I'm thankful that I've never had to deal with losing a house, job loss, etc. I know those things happen to people. But I look at my in laws and at my parents. My parents had (good teaching jobs with benefits), but we hardly ever took a vacation, (and when we did it was 3 days at a cheap place), and no new cars, etc. my in laws, otoh, had various jobs and lost them due to sometimes themselves and sometimes forces beyond their control. But yet they had new cars, week long or more vacations every year, eating out, etc. etc. They had a much more lavish life than my parents. But now, my parents are living a pleasant, if frugal, retirement. No worries about money, they can get their needs and many wants. They aren't vacationing at fabulous places, but they are comfortable. In laws, due to job loss, poor choices (which should not be ignored!!) divorce, poor health (partially due to aforementioned poor choices), are struggling, seriously struggling. Both of my grandparents, children of the depression, had adequate retirements...but no frills, ever. My grandmother saw the ocean twice: 1940 and 2000. And she lived only 200 miles from the ocean. But she had two paid for houses and adequate money at her death. We save for retirement before anything else, and I can go without frills if need be.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one of the problems is that so many elderly think they are OWED a separate house, with money to do what they wish. Remember the old days, when grandma and grandpa lived as part of the family, working alongside the family? The grandma rocked the babies and grandpa helped with chores. They didn't plan on subsidizing a zillion stupid "charities" and they didn't give away all their money to ONE child and then expect ANOTHER child to bail them out, all whilst insisting on their OWN place, own car, etc. They didn't buy expensive cats and waste a pile on unneeded vet bills. They didn't buy a newish car every two years. They didn't expect to live in seniors' housing where every whim was catered to. They weren't so busy with their "ministries" that they couldn't help out. They came alongside the family they were living with, listening to piano practice and stirring the soup. Yeah, sore subject around here. 

 

One of mine asked my dd if she was going to college? Because if she was, SHE was going to starve to death! I grabbed the phone and said, "If you ever bring this up again, not only will you never see your grandchildren again, but they won't come to your funeral!"

 

Sore subject around here too. Life could be so much easier for everyone involved if the idea of just living together wasn't akin to living under a bridge. Don't even get me started on that one.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think absolutely not.  

 

It was a year-ish ago that I read about a son being forced to be responsible for his mother's nursing home bill because she'd frittered away what money she had.  That really bothered me.  

 

horrible

Edited by Sharon77
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we will be seeing a lot more of situations like this. We are at a point where a large number of people retiring are the beginning of the generations who did not work for companies that offered pensions. Lots of people did not fund retirement plans very well. 

 

Our retirement is way underfunded. We had a lot of health care expenses for all three dc. One of our dc has intellectual disabilities and will never live on his own and our state ranks 49th in services for persons with disabilities. One of our dc is 2E and having a prolonged launch. 

 

So, I plan to work. I'm trying to get healthier and maintain that so I can work a long time. It would be nice to pack up for a lower COL. However, if my youngest has any chance to get support, I need to stay in line where I live. 

 

My parents have a friend who bought a place in Mexico. Where she's living there's a huge group of US retirees. She has been happy with her medical care. She has enough money to come back a few times a year to spend time with her grandchildren. My parents talk about this like it's awful situation and can't understand why their friend is happy. I would love to be able to do that one day, it's highly unlikely. I've got a pretty strong tether where I am. 

 

I am fortunate that my parents are well funded and will not lean on us. I'd buckle if that happened. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, hard to answer this.  My dad has lived on a very fixed income for awhile.  It's close to the income he will get when he retires (which is very soon).  He manages on it fine.  But for one thing he never had money so it's not a step down.  He is used to it.  I can imagine if one is used to a certain lifestyle that it is hard to go without.  He lives in a very very tiny apartment.  He has a very old car his mother gave him because she was too old to drive it anymore.  He eats at my sister's so doesn't buy much food (just gives her a bit of money for food).  So he does ok.  He always gives the kids xmas gifts and stuff.  He has enough clothing, etc.  He's doing fine.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed. Completely agree.

 

And again, you bring up another example. What do we do about those unbelievably costly end of life extreme measures?

 

I mean, I am pro-life (I don't mean in the abortion argument way) so I want to be supportive of life, of living, of helping. But there does come a time at which we have to ask ourselves, "Is this for the best for anyone?" I am pretty certain that my dad's cancer treatment and hospitalizations for Sept. - Dec. 2015 has been close to $100,000.00. He's 72. He has a bad heart, his cancer is not only incurable, it is not even the type of cancer that has remissions of any decent length in people over 55 or 60. His prognosis is less than a year WITH treatment, and in misery too. If there was some great cutting edge medical treatment on the horizon that would give him five or ten years, even maybe three, then it might be worth it. But I keep asking myself, "Should taxpayers be subsidizing this when there are children in this nation that want for decent health care?" I don't know. I've never been a fan of "rationing" health care, however as I watch this play out knowing that his outcome isn't going to change, but the taxpayers will have put out probably a quarter million before he passes, I sometimes wonder if there shouldn't be some sort of limit on certain things. I don't know. It's such a moral conundrum. I don't want to engage in that kind of speculation. It hurts my heart. However, I can't help myself because I'm suddenly confronted with the absurdity of what is going on within my whole family. Now that said, I don't think he has had the best advice from medical practitioners. There just hasn't been the kind of level headed, unbiased counseling that there should have been. There are lot of palliative things that could have been done to make his last year of life much better than what it is actually going to be, but he needed a lot more information about the outcomes of his cancer, more stories, more evidence, in order to come to the conclusion that maybe fighting it was not the best plan.

 

Maybe what I want is not so much that there is any kind of rationing, but that information and good, therapeutic counseling be more readily available on the tax payers' dollars.

 

This whole thing is made manifestly worse because dad is now very mentally ill, and really can't make good decisions for himself at all. But he fought the whole idea of making end of life directives, so did nothing prior to this, and he never, ever discussed anything with my mom. She is rather in the driver's seat - though he legally makes decisions for himself, she has a HUGE influence over him - and is all rainbows and unicorns, refusing to embrace reality at all. I mean it is crazy just how delusional about his situation that she is. Crazy. Some of this might have been avoided if they had discussed this stuff a decade ago, and came to some conclusions before the need arose. Again, learning from experience, so dh and I are discussing these things now.

 

I don't know what the answer is. I do know that we have going on as a nation now is just simply broken and bad.

Thankfully , Medicare is now reimbursing for end of life planning, so hopefully that will help long-term in the US. Both my dad and my father-in-law had detailed plans in place and chose hospice at the end of their battles with cancer, and it made it so much easier on them and their families.

 

My parents medical care is located in LaCrosse, WI and as I've mentioned before here, that city and it's two hospitals, one associated with the Mayo System, are leaders in getting everyone talking about and planning for end of life, regardless of age or health status. There is a great podcast on Planet Money about how it all started with one hospital ethicist and spread from there. Although temporarily derailed by Sarah Palin's lies about death panels, paid access for end of life planning is now available for Medicare recipients.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh that my parents would avail themselves of the paid counseling. But they think Sarah Palin is wonderful, and fully believe that there are death panels and that unless he keeps his head down, he will be refused palliative care, pain meds, etc. and might even be euthanized by a hospice nurse. No joke, I am dealing with total irrational thought, and there a bunch of elderly in their church who believe the same thing! I feel so sorry for their adult kids as well. It isn't pretty.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh that my parents would avail themselves of the paid counseling. But they think Sarah Palin is wonderful, and fully believe that there are death panels and that unless he keeps his head down, he will be refused palliative care, pain meds, etc. and might even be euthanized by a hospice nurse. No joke, I am dealing with total irrational thought, and there a bunch of elderly in their church who believe the same thing! I feel so sorry for their adult kids as well. It isn't pretty.

I'm so sorry FaithManor, but I've heard similar stories from friends. One had a mom who was living with her, and constantly talking about all sorts fears that seemed so irrational to her, although she seemed mentally fine otherwise. My friend finally figured out that it was almost completely related to her mom listening to Fox News for a good part of every day. Once they were able to put an end to that, things got much better.
  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankfully , Medicare is now reimbursing for end of life planning, so hopefully that will help long-term in the US. Both my dad and my father-in-law had detailed plans in place and chose hospice at the end of their battles with cancer, and it made it so much easier on them and their families.

 

My parents medical care is located in LaCrosse, WI and as I've mentioned before here, that city and it's two hospitals, one associated with the Mayo System, are leaders in getting everyone talking about and planning for end of life, regardless of age or health status. There is a great podcast on Planet Money about how it all started with one hospital ethicist and spread from there. Although temporarily derailed by Sarah Palin's lies about death panels, paid access for end of life planning is now available for Medicare recipients.

 

I find it ironic Medicare is reimbursing for end of life planning when they won't cover end of life care. My MIL is on hospice in TX. She lives in an assisted living facility. We have discovered that medicare no longer covers end of life care unless the person is at home or in a nursing home. Medicare will cover an aide several times a week, a nurse daily if needed, meds to be comfortable, and DME. However, as she becomes weaker and likely bedridden, she will have to pay for her own nursing care around the clock for IV meds or changing bed pads or turning her on a regular basis to prevent bedsores or whatever else she needs medically. Medicare doesn't pay for any part of the assisted living facility, but that seems to be the only place they won't provide end of life care. Moving her isn't what she wants and we would like to support her with her last desires. We had very different expectations of end of life care and are thankful MIL and FIL were very frugal. I hope this is something that's mentioned when planning for end of life. It was a real eye opener!

 

Oh that my parents would avail themselves of the paid counseling. But they think Sarah Palin is wonderful, and fully believe that there are death panels and that unless he keeps his head down, he will be refused palliative care, pain meds, etc. and might even be euthanized by a hospice nurse. No joke, I am dealing with total irrational thought, and there a bunch of elderly in their church who believe the same thing! I feel so sorry for their adult kids as well. It isn't pretty.

 

My sil is a nurse in WA, where physician assisted suicide is legal. Some of the hospice companies are known for how quickly their patients pass away. She told me, "Their patients were medicated till they died" (i.e. overmedicated.) Some patients choose those specific hospice companies based on that info because they want to pass away quickly.

Edited by wilrunner
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm surprised that many people here think that the elderly poor are there because they made bad choices.  Sure, some did...but for many women...they were homemakers for years....and if they are in their 80s, well, then college was rare for women back in the 50s.  Careers back then were often secretary, nurse, or teacher...and in some situations you would lose your position if you married.  Women's positions were less likely to pay as well.

 

Too Many Senior Women Live in Poverty

 

"According to new Census Bureau data, 12.1 percent of women 65 or older live in poverty, compared with 7.4 percent of men the same age...The percentage of senior women who are impoverished increases to 14.7 percent when the supplemental poverty measure is used instead of the official one, the census report found."

 

"Without Social Security, the poverty rate among men and women 65 or older would jump from 14.4 percent to 50 percent, according to the census report."

 

 

 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course there is the opposite happening as well- like some very distant relatives of mine who skimped, pinched and saved their whole lives and put money away for their older years - got into the habit and continued to skimp and save right into their 90's  Health is now failing and they really need to go into a nursing home - but daughter is making a huge stink because she lived way beyond her means all her life and is jut about retirement age - and was counting on a large inheritance to pay off her bills. If her parents go into a nursing home then there will not (according to her) be enough to pay off her bills. So elderly parents are bullied into struggling on at home

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why we decided to get serious about being debt free and finally are.  Dave Ramsey.  Start NOW. Teach your kids to live debt free from the get go.

 

My maternal grandparents (WW2 soldier and war bride) lived very frugal blue collar lives until they died in 2009 and 2011. She was a stay at home mom and he worked his way up to middle management at the gas company) and retired with more than enough to get them through comfortably.  My mom and step-dad (70 and 73 years old) live very frugal blue collar lives (he was printer for the newspaper and she worked full time as a secretary  until I was 3 then  at a flower shop starting when I was in high school) and are retired with enough to get them through comfortably.  My dad (73 years old) lives a very frugal blue collar life (he worked his way to middle management in Motorola's inventory department) and is retired with enough to get him through comfortably.  They all avoided debt like the plague except for manageable mortgages on humble homes they've lived in for many decades, they NEVER used credit cards, and they contributed to their retirement and invested conservatively all along. They didn't think paying interest was a sin, but their negative attitude toward paying interest was as close to seeing it as sinful as you get without actually going there which saved them lots of money over the long haul.

Their kids shared bedrooms, they always bought used cars and drove them for years and years, we rarely ate out, meals were cheap but nutritious, clothes were outlet and sale priced, wardrobes were minimalist (get a job and buy extras on your own dime, kid) no one had an expensive hobby or expensive extra curriculars, vacations were tent camping most of the time (once we went to Disneyland for a few days when I was 6) , Christmases were modest, we bought a lot of things used, etc.

Mom and step-dad's financial planner says most Baby Boomers made bad financial decisions (eating out too much, buying too many things, buying things without being price conscious, vacationing too much, vacationing more expensively than they could really afford, buying their kids unnecessary expensive things too often, buying too much house, buying too much car, rarely living on a budget, not taking retirement planning seriously until it was too late, etc.) and have most have debts at retirement age.  My grandparents and parents didn't have debts then and had saved and invested well even with their blue collar, one income lifestyles. 

We also have a culture of a social safety net. All the siblings/step-siblings have chosen to live nearby so we can help care for the grandparents and great-grandparents (my Grandmother's Alzheimer's and my grandfather's leukemia for several years, and the brother who went through a ridiculously expensive divorce and is back at mom and step-dad's with his teen daughters while he financially recovers, and the teen mom niece, and me when I was on bedrest during pregnancy with my 2nd, and my dad's heart surgery, and my step-dad's surgeries, and my mother's neurological medical condition that lasted a couple of years, and to help my nephew's mother (she and my brother were never married) through an extended hospitalization and recovery, and my husband's sister's stage 4 breast cancer.....Something that should be considered before choosing an out of town job offer.  Notice I said considered, not expected in every situation. It's not always possible, but so many people never let it enter their heads what the long term consequences to extended relatives hit by unavoidable problems might be if they take an out of town job offer they don't absolutely have to.

It's weird to me when people here ask, "What are you going to do after you graduate the last kid from homeschool?"  I suspect I'll be helping to care for my elderly parents and in-laws because that's the circle of life in the real world.  Is this a trick question?
 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stumbled across this article yesterday in the LA Times and it's been on my mind ever since.   Basically it's about older Americans who traverse the country in RVs...going from seasonal job to seasonal job.  Many of them had good jobs or had good education.  I don't know....it just strikes me as wrong.  When you're 80+ years old, you shouldn't have to work six days per week just so that you don't starve to death.  You shouldn't have to travel south so that you don't freeze to death.

 

Am I alone in being troubled by this?  Elder poverty is also something that affects women more.   I hope that with four kids this wouldn't be my future, but who knows?

 

I guess I should be troubled but that was my plan, personally... I was hoping to chop wood at the national parks. I thought that sounded feasible. Then I could send my kids to college.

 

We started debt free but would have ended up in a perpetual poverty cycle if we had not used our social capital (i.e. credit scores) to achieve what we wanted, socially. Now we are much better off thanks to that. Debt free sounds great if you are in a low COL area, but during a huge recession when you need to stay connected to where the wealth is... it can really hurt you. I mean, just try to get a college degree and a graduate degree debt free. It's not so easy, but I did most of it. I still have student loans.

 

I don't want my kids to have debt. I want them to live the life that everyone talks about. Let them be free, amass property. That is what our families need, real middle class wealth building.

 

But given that we have zero inheritance and will on the contrary care for our parents, that means that we need to be prepared to live our final years in poverty or think about an early end to life. There is no option of "you care for your parents, you take care of your kids through college, you take YOURSELF through college, and also, you retire." That is not an option. One generation, particularly one that goes through a recession with multiple years of under-employment and a decade of wage stagnation, cannot do that. Our parents didn't support their parents: those people had pensions. And our kids cannot support us: their wages are likely to be the same as ours, with twice the costs. I mean god knows we are trying. But... I did chores while my mom worked so she could go to school, so I could stay with an adult on the weekends. I stayed at home alone at night all through high school. I paid that. I paid my own college loans, my own living expenses, and I will pay for my kids' college.

 

No, Umsami, I have to say... if we end up with an RV and a job at the age of 80, we will be extremely grateful. More likely we will be living with his parents and my mom all together in a slum somewhere, all of us alive, trying to make ends meet.

 

I understand your concern but I think you're worried about the wrong people. The RV team has it going on.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sil is a nurse in WA, where physician assisted suicide is legal. Some of the hospice companies are known for how quickly their patients pass away. She told me, "Their patients were medicated till they died" (i.e. overmedicated.) Some patients choose those specific hospice companies based on that info because they want to pass away quickly.

 

I live in Washington. This is extremely common and it is written into my, my sister's, and my mom's living wills.

 

NOBODY wants someone to get rich off their long death. You wouldn't believe how people suffer because their children are screeching at the nurses and doctors, "JUST DO SOMETHING!!!!" I mean I get it, they are freaking out, and I don't blame them. But that's not how those decisions ought to be made.

 

Luckily for us in WA and OR you are allowed to deny treatment and just go peacefully and leave your money to your kids.

 

Otherwise, the HMOs and hospital execs would take every last penny and then some. Just to have you die more slowly. Yay, more pain, less money! But "higher survival rates". Oh, yay. Just what I always wanted to be, a statistic!

 

Why, I know someone who passed just five months ago using assisted suicide laws. We were all very grateful for the law. She was able to pay off her loans and her kids didn't have to mortgage their own futures to pay for her funeral. Took the opiates, had the wake, and that's that. Sure, it would have been nice if she could have caught the cancer earlier, but she didn't. So why prolong it?

 

I know I don't want to. And "died peacefully in her sleep" is a million times better than "died unexpectedly" [no explanation given].

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...