Aging Selves

We've long had the thread on Aging Parents. (I follow it faithfully, praying for those going through difficult times, and thanking God for all that my late sister did for my parents.)

I'm wondering if there's any interest in a discussion about how we're caring for ourselves, and what preparations or planning we're doing as we age.

My "spring project" this year has been to deal with some of these issues. I'm in my late sixties with no family, so I decided quite some time ago that any plans and decisions have to be made by myself, preferably while I'm in a (reasonably) sane state of mind. I've met with a Funeral Director about pre-planning and pre-paying for a cremation. Once my Rector has recovered from Holy Week and Easter I plan to discuss my plans with him. I've met with an elder care Attorney about some changes in my will and making sure all my paper work is in order. Several years ago I purchased a niche in my church's Columbarium. I've also met with the marketing person and had a tour of the retirement center where I plan to move in another 5-8 years. (Once they accept you, they'll care for you for the rest of your life -- providing advanced care or facilities if and when needed. But they won't accept you if you're already diagnosed with dementia.)

Just wondering how other people are dealing with some of these -- and other -- issues.



Comments

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I’m doing Pilates twice a week to, hopefully, keep my balance in good trim.

    :smile:
  • @Pigwidgeon, Jolly Well Done™ for thinking, and acting, so positively about all these things!

    Yes, I've made my Will and funeral arrangements (I'm 68), though you've reminded me that some updating may be necessary.

    Meanwhile, I religiously take my prescribed medication, and go to Pilates (1-to-1, on the dreaded Reformer) once a week, in the hope of improving my currently rather limited mobility.

    I have my Pensioners' Bus Pass (a benefit of living in Ukland), and my Disabled Persons' Parking Badge, so that I can park the Episcopal Chariot close to the supermarket door, or on yellow lines etc.

    I have purchased a Wheelchair, which I can use at Church (it's a huge building, and walking to-and-fro several/many times on a Sunday morning is rather tiring). If I'm on duty in the sanctuary/chancel, I use my Walking-Stick (aka scaffolding) as well, or instead of, the Chair.

    I realise I'm comparatively young by today's standards - our Father NewPriest, over 2 years older than I, is in splendid health, and far fitter than I. But he is aware of his age, and tells me he has made provision accordingly.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    I’m doing Pilates twice a week to, hopefully, keep my balance in good trim.

    :smile:
    Good for you and Bishop's Finger! I should do that as well. I tried Yoga last year (mostly because of balance concerns), but it just wasn't right for me, but that may have been the instructor.

    I do eat a healthy diet (lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds, lean protein), but I really do need to do something about physical exercise. Thank you, both, for the reminder.

  • I suppose you could call it planning, but these days I am far more aware of the location of public conveniences and the relative degree of (in)convenience offered than I was in my youth.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 22
    Hah! Just so - but the lack of public WCs in This Fair City is a bit inhibiting, unless one is patronising a Pub, Restaurant, or Supermarket.

    AFAIK, even the loo at the Bus Station is Out Of Order.... :grimace:

    Forward planning (or plain Common Sense) is, as you say, necessary.
  • Hah! Just so - but the lack of public WCs in This Fair City is a bit inhibiting, unless one is patronising a Pub, Restaurant, or Supermarket.

    AFAIK, even the loo at the Bus Station is Out Of Order.... :grimace:

    Forward planning is, as you say, necessary.

    Oxfordshire where I lived for five years was a pain as they had privatised all the PCs and charged 20p for a pee. One doesn't mind having to pay but it was annoying having to make sure one had a 20p! Also more than once the door swallowed my 20p without delivering the necessary relief. One could say they were taking the piss, except...

    Happily Mendip Council where I currently abode do not (yet) charge users.
  • One of the side perks in building my own mini camper van is that it will include a portable potty. It was one of the big selling points to convince Mr Image that we needed a camper at our age.
  • My preps:

    1. Met with financial planner last month to get finances in order, figure out retirement income, purchase life insurance, etc. Met with attorney to make a simple will & advance medical directives

    2. Walk regularly, eat poorly but a bit less than in the past

    3. Moved to a smaller house that's easier to care for and all on one level (before lived in a 5 level "vertical" house)

    4. Vote Democratic in the vain hope of retaining some social security and medicare benefits.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    My family know what my final wishes are.

    I have an annuity that will run out in two years. When that happens I will be below the poverty level. So this summer I plan to visit A Place For Mom, which is a senior living referral service, for advice. I need a place that will take me now, with my current income and assets, but will keep me once I need to be subsidized.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    My best piece of planning was buying my own home. Our Government paid Superannuation is enough for me to live on, although it is considered to be below the poverty line, but if I had to pay rent I would be financially challenged.

    (Actually it wasn't really planning at the time. My then landlord - a nice enough chap went to the South of France for a holiday which I realised I had subsidised). It's amazing how envy can lead to a good decision :smile:
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    I also hereby give Miss Amanda and/or Zeke permission to "out" me should I predecease either of you. Please post it on the Ship (but not on the "Celebrity Death Pool" thread!).
  • Here is how I have been preparing:

    Walk, an hour or so every day when I am not going to be otherwise active. I also walk the golf course (well, in the summer, most of the time).

    Eat, better than I used to. A little better, that is.

    Get a full physical exam from my doctor every year, and try to follow his advise. I get all the blood and other tests done he requests, and take the medicines he prescribes (so far, just for high cholesterol and diabetes).
    Except for the diet thing, where I just try to do a bit better this year than last.

    Keep my life insurance paid up. Lots now, until I turn 65, at least, when the insurance from my previous employment starts to decrease. But there is outside life insurance we purchased some 25 years ago.

    Updated our wills a couple years ago to ensure our kids are well taken care of, and our assets protected.

    And we will have our mortgage paid off soon.

    And I don't stress over things out of my control. Except for where my wife is concerned. I worry about her, and will until she retires next year.

    That's about ready as I think I can be now, at 60. My concern is that there is Alzheimer's disease in my family history, so not sure how many more "good" years I might have, and I have tried to prepare for an uncertain future.


  • Thankfully when we retired my mother-in-law came to live with us so we bought a house with her needs in mind. It is one story and has a walk in shower and such.
    Although in a rural area our home is close to medical care and stores, and has a great senior center. All of these were thoughtful for my mother-in-law which we now find good for us. Like Hula the best thing we did was invest our money to buy the house outright and now have taken out a reverse mortgage that will gives us extra income to hire the help we need, housekeeper and such. We pre-paid our funeral expenses in our 40's so our kids can now drop our ashes in the ocean and it only cost us $200.00 each way back then.
  • If yoga and Pilates don't suit you, do try t'ai chi - it's very good for balance, not demanding physically and requires no special clothing or equipment.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Second the T’ai Chi, which is my one slender thread to anything approaching exercise.

    I find it difficult to think of the future, because it is likely to contain widowhood. When that happens I will be well enough found financially -no debts, a substantial house, my own pension and that from being the relict of Mr F.

    I think I would probably sell everything, bar the paintings, move to the small village in France where my SiL has a house, and live out my days as La Veuve Irlandaise.
  • I first considered retired about 5 years ago. But basically decided not to so long as I can contribute. One of my colleagues who is in mid-70s is my model. I might consider stopping if we have something as equally happy to do, perhaps with grandchildren who have not appeared. One thing we're learning is that you cannot as an older adult plan your life around what your kids might be doing.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    There's a part of me that rather resents people continuing to work into their mid-70s, "just because they can". It's a different matter if they're doing it because they can't afford not to, which is likely to be the situation D. and I will find ourselves in (even if I find a job - not an easy task when you're in your late 50s).

    He's lucky that he gets paid for doing what he loves, and should be able to continue doing it for as long as his health permits; but he's less fortunate that doing what he loves tends to be very badly paid, and saving for retirement is not really something we've been able to do much of.

  • I dunno. We're in the "work till you drop" group, both for financial and "want to" reasons, and I don't think our employment is taking any jobs away from younger people, as both of us do one-of-a-kind work and won't be readily replaceable when we do drop off the branch. And in my (obviously limited) experience, most of the people I know who retire either go back to work (usually in a poorly paid job) or die a couple years after retirement. Correlation is not causation, but ::scared smiley::
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    And when I die or retire, no one will be hired to take my place. I enjoy my job, and I'm good at it - and I need the health insurance.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    I've been happily retired for seven years. I have neither taken another job nor died.

    I'm happier and healthier than ever before in my life.
    :smile:

  • Piglet wrote: »
    There's a part of me that rather resents people continuing to work into their mid-70s, "just because they can". It's a different matter if they're doing it because they can't afford not to, which is likely to be the situation D. and I will find ourselves in (even if I find a job - not an easy task when you're in your late 50s).

    He's lucky that he gets paid for doing what he loves, and should be able to continue doing it for as long as his health permits; but he's less fortunate that doing what he loves tends to be very badly paid, and saving for retirement is not really something we've been able to do much of.

    When you say "rather resents", I'll counter that'd probably be selfish to stop actually. And I feel a little "you didn't know me" and resentful myself. But you are probably reflecting on your own situation and feelings about you not me. If I was plugging up an employed position I could agree with you. But self employed, creating work for others. I'm a risk taker with ideas and money, realized years ago that most people value security over that. So have developed things which wouldn't exist otherwise. And have given away scads more by mentoring others and directly back into the community and province in the form of best practices. I suppose we could have structured things just to make piles of money and if had done that your resentment could
    be warranted. I've spent decades of professional life giving things away. A principle I absorbed in 1976. So right now we've a lovely bunch of millennials who we're trying to get to take over some things. Already have Gen Xers managing, and everyone can have a piece of everything if they share the values we started with. And it seems people still want to be helped, so that's what's going to happen. I'm no longer a believer in the notion of doing what God wants or being called, rather am confirming the sense of responsibility to doing the best possible to contribute beyond self.

    And if I'm riffing too much off off what you posted, sorry about that. It made me happy to so riff.
  • I don't know that it works to say that older people have some sort of obligation to dispose of themselves simply so younger people can step in. That implies that the world of work is a zero sum game with fixed categories, instead of a complicated bit of interdependence where various jobs are constantly created and destroyed. No doubt it would be easier for me to rise straight up the ladder into my conveniently retiring boss's place; but his/her stubborn refusal to die or retire doesn't stop me from looking elsewhere, going self-employed, or starting a business. (Other factors may stop me from doing those things, but my boss's simple continuing existence ... well, it's a bit much to blame all my employment woes on that.)
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    I've been happily retired for seven years. I have neither taken another job nor died.

    I'm happier and healthier than ever before in my life.
    :smile:

    May it long be so!
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I think as well people of very different incomes will say they can't afford to retire, because everyone has different lifestyles and different ideas of what is necessary to live on. There are many people who I think could easily afford to retire, but they would say they can’t. And equally a lot of people would say they couldn't live on my income. But something I have done is arranged my life so that I can live on very little, because I've always had a low income, and now it's much lower because I only work very part time, because of health issues. So for me, I guess that was my way of planning - it’s hard in general to plan ahead when income and health are poor and unpredictable. I guess I more try to prepare mentally - working on mindfulness and focus on God, not being attached to worldly things, and finding simple things that bring joy. Though I am still in my 40s, so I guess it’s less specifically planning for ageing and more just planning ahead in general, in an unpredictable world, when one’s resources are limited.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    I've been happily retired for seven years. I have neither taken another job nor died.

    I'm happier and healthier than ever before in my life.
    :smile:

    Me too - and I love my volunteer roles which are challenging, fun and absorbing.

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    [ If I was plugging up an employed position I could agree with you. But self employed, creating work for others ...
    That puts a different light on it. I was rather thinking of someone we knew whose father retired from a job in one province because at 65 he had to, and then moved to another to a similar job (in an academic library IIRC) in another province where he could stay on to 70.


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