My Mother has recently retired and it should call for a celebration, right? No. Her 401K has lost thousands of dollars due to the economy and she is only 61 years old. She was almost forced into retirement due to her position being eliminated. Out with the old and in with the new.
Since she is only 61, she cannot obtain Medicare until she is 65 years old. I know, I probably sound like a bad political complainer, but it is reality. She has not been in good health the last 10 years, surviving breast cancer twice, removal of a foot of her colon and hernias. Her insurance is going to cost her over $500 per month for the next 4 years.
In my mind, my Mother is still a young chipper, but we had a close heart to heart conversation about the possibility that she may have to join a retirement community someday. I wanted to share this story since I think it is common that people do not talk about these things and are ill prepared.
Do you know how much it costs to put in loved one in an assisted living facility? How and who is going to pay for it? Are your siblings aware of the parents wishes? What about mortality questions such as: Do Not Resuscitate? Do you want to be cremated or buried?
These questions may not be the best dinner subject matter but they are very important. My Mother is actually the one that brought up the conversation and we now have established a plan. My first intuition was to tell her stop talking about these things, but instead I listened. I am glad I did. Some of her wishes were not what I had expected.
I have recently experienced some deaths in my life that raised this very issue. I first-hand have witnessed the aftermath of a person not having a will and the awful fighting that takes place between siblings afterwards. It is discouraging.
My advise is make sure everyone in the family is aware of the family members wishes. Try to have the loved one put it in writing. Discuss retirement facilities. Discuss living situations. Discuss mortality. Make a plan and stick with the plan.
About.com provides this information on preparing for retirement. http://retireplan.about.com/od/?once=true&
Assistedlivinginfo.com provides information on assisted living and how to find a suitable placement for your loved one. http://www.assistedlivinginfo.com/alserve.html
Wikihow.com provides instructions on how to write your own will http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Your-Own-Last-Will-%26-Testament.
Have you already had this conversation and want to share your own personal story?