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Old 08-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #61
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I have to remember that, so when our time comes, we will be more willing to give up the large single home we can no longer take care of, nor be able to enjoy.
Makes perfect sense but...

Only one data point, but that's what my parents thought too - until they were faced with the actual costs of staying at home vs an apartment, assisted living and/or a nursing home. My Dad has found he can hire "people" for anything and everything at far less cost than even the cheapest assisted living facility. And there is no way they would have the same amount of space/sqft, which they seem to enjoy, in any assisted living site. After having 3000+ for the past 35 years, they're not sure they could adjust to something half the size for 3X the cost.

And my MIL had to be forced by her doctor and family to go into assisted living even after going seriously downhill physically. She wouldn't have ever done it on her own. We looked into her having 24/7 nursing care at home (which she now requires), would have increased her spending literally 8 times! Not an option for our families.

So easier said than done for some at least. Again, only one data point, YMMV.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:19 PM   #62
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People generally are resistant to change, as I myself am. Then, I read about other posters who wrote that after the move, their parents admitted that they should have done this long before. So, that opened me up to the possibility.

Hopefully, I still have a couple of decades before I need to decide on that for myself. However, my own mother may need to start thinking about this in a few more years.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:24 PM   #63
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...Nursing home and assisted living expenses aside, I am watching this play out in real time with my parents in their early 90's who are determined to stay in their home. So they've hired maids, lawncare, pool maintenance - all things they did for themselves until the past 2-3 years. They have also had to hire people for most basic household breakdowns that my Dad would have happily fixed himself, he simply can't do it himself anymore. ... Bottom line, their living expenses have increased by at least 1/3rd, and the inconvenience of having to call someone and wait to fix things has been frustrating for them. ....

So expenses will probably go up somewhat at least with/without nursing/assisted living IME.
Thanks for that data point, it is exactly what I figure could happen to us. It might not, but if it does, what is plan B for those who did not prepare?

RE - downsizing...

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Makes perfect sense but...

Only one data point, but that's what my parents thought too - until they were faced with the actual costs of staying at home vs an apartment, assisted living and/or a nursing home. My Dad has found he can hire "people" for anything and everything at far less cost than even the cheapest assisted living facility. ...

So easier said than done for some at least. Again, only one data point,

YMMV.
I've always thought of my home as a 'back pocket' buffer against increasing costs as I age (I don't count it in my FIRECalc runs). But recently I did some mental estimates, and I agree with you, it doesn't seem to be any big bonus for us, unless maybe we also moved to a lower cost area.

Take the full equity times 4% (mortgage would be gone by then), add in property tax, and it's a big number, but it doesn't sound so big compared to rents in a nice place.

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Old 08-12-2013, 12:28 PM   #64
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Many posters have shared positive experience with moving their parents into assisted living arrangements. I have to remember that, so when our time comes, we will be more willing to give up the large single home we can no longer take care of, nor be able to enjoy.

There are phases in life, and we need to adapt as our needs change.
Probably good advise. However, I am more like Midpacks parents. I have lived in my house only 10 years, but it has already become part of my identity. His parents have been there 35 years, so I can only imagine what place in their minds the home means to them. Hopefully I have a few decades to change my mind and become adaptable, but as of now, someone would have to trick me and tie me up to get me out of my house and into a nursing home.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:53 PM   #65
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People generally are resistant to change, as I myself am. Then, I read about other posters who wrote that after the move, their parents admitted that they should have done this long before. So, that opened me up to the possibility.

Hopefully, I still have a couple of decades before I need to decide on that for myself. However, my own mother may need to start thinking about this in a few more years.

One of the memorable pieces of advice my Dad gave me was that 'most people wait 10 years too long to move after retirement". And he practiced that thought. He built a smaller house by a resort lake, and within 2 years of retirement, moved there. Then when he got tired of the stairs, he moved to a one story condo in the same area. My Mother still lives there at 88. I'm planning the same type path.

Conversely, as if to reinforce the point my Dad was making, my MIL and Aunt-in-law both stubbornly stayed in their big houses until they fell down and hurt themselves, and had to go directly into a nursing home.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:26 PM   #66
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A subdivision next to mine consists of smaller homes with less square footage and less yard. The houses are also single-story. We often go through the area in our walk and like the area. Because it is a more upscale neighborhood, the price range is the same as my neighborhood, if not a bit more expensive even.

Thought about it, but it's not yet the time. I would have no place to keep my motor home, for example. Maybe in another 10 years.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #67
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One of the memorable pieces of advice my Dad gave me was that 'most people wait 10 years too long to move after retirement". And he practiced that thought. He built a smaller house by a resort lake, and within 2 years of retirement, moved there. Then when he got tired of the stairs, he moved to a one story condo in the same area. My Mother still lives there at 88. I'm planning the same type path.

Conversely, as if to reinforce the point my Dad was making, my MIL and Aunt-in-law both stubbornly stayed in their big houses until they fell down and hurt themselves, and had to go directly into a nursing home.
He sounds pretty wise! I like his advice.

It's hard for me to imagine retiring in a big house with stairs. That must be quite a burden. I suppose that if I was in a house like that, I'd stay on the first floor almost all the time and get one of those stair lift chairs to use when I absolutely had to go upstairs.

In a sense, I guess I was lucky. I divorced at 50, never a pleasant process, but the silver lining is that by the time I could afford to buy a house I was already 54. Consequently my house is reasonably practical for my old age.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:45 PM   #68
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Actually I don't think that is what I said at all.

I said we are spending more now in any event because we have kids at home and in college. That is, our spending now is higher than it will be in the future independent of whether we decide later to spend more based upon thinking spending will be less in the future. We are spending more now because kids are still at home and in college not because we expect to spend less in old age.

As for that later period (after kids are gone), I also don't think I said I had a firm belief I would spend more then based upon lower spending in the future. I think I indicated a possibility I might spend a few thousand more a year depending on what the budget indicated after the kids are gone.

I tried to show the tentative nature of this through my language:

I do think that once the kids are gone and I have a better representation of how certain expenses change once they aren't here (utilities, groceries, for example) that I will firm up those budget categories and may well end up spending a bit more in the nearer future than what I expect to spend 20 years from now. FWIW, I expect this to be a difference of a few thousand dollars, not a huge difference.
Oh, sorry Kat. I misunderstood.

It sounds then that while you've observed some folks who are spending less as they age, you're not actually applying that concept to your own current budget via the 95% formula, the Bernacke plan or similar.

I've observed some folks who spend less in geezerhood too. But I've also observed many who spent the same or more, despite the data indicating otherwise. So, as stated a number of times, our WR is based on planning for continued spending at current levels as we move ahead.

Since you're planning on the difference between your current and future spending (adjusted for the kids moving out, etc.) not to be too different from today, it sounds like our outlooks are more similar than it first appeared.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:43 PM   #69
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He sounds pretty wise! I like his advice.

It's hard for me to imagine retiring in a big house with stairs. That must be quite a burden. I suppose that if I was in a house like that, I'd stay on the first floor almost all the time and get one of those stair lift chairs to use when I absolutely had to go upstairs.

In a sense, I guess I was lucky. I divorced at 50, never a pleasant process, but the silver lining is that by the time I could afford to buy a house I was already 54. Consequently my house is reasonably practical for my old age.
DW and I get plenty of exercise. I'm 65 and cannot imagine when the stairs will actually be an issue. But from all the talk about seniors needing one story structures, this has me wondering how many years of stair climbing I have in me.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:05 PM   #70
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DW and I get plenty of exercise. I'm 65 and cannot imagine when the stairs will actually be an issue. But from all the talk about seniors needing one story structures, this has me wondering how many years of stair climbing I have in me.
It's mostly random. Right now I am glad I don't have to go up and down steps all day long, as I have painful one hip arthritis. But I do make at least 5 trips up and down daily. Soon I hope that hip will be repaired, and I'll be back to normal. My Doc says I 'll be able to climb the stairs into my apartment 2 days post op.

I know and have known many mid-eighties people who not only climbed stairs, but took care of stock, gardened, etc. Still, if we live long enough, there will come a time when it is hard to impossible to handle stairs with safety. Then, if we can still cook, take care of hygiene etc., it will be time time for an apartment in an elevator building.

I would say one important thing is that an older man have the sense to stay off his roof. More than anything, that seems to be a problem.

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Old 08-12-2013, 04:22 PM   #71
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I live in a two-story house with the bedrooms upstairs (and the first floor is 8 steps up from the sidewalk), so I like articles that tell me that is a good thing :

The Doctors TV Show - Show Synopsis - How You Can Live to 100!

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Dr. Wareham ... built a two-story house when he was 80 years old....

"I made [the house] purposefully two stories tall," Dr. Wareham says. "When I was building my house 15 years ago, I read an article that was put out by Stanford, and they said that if you climb a flight of stairs 20 times a week, you will decrease your incidence of heart disease by 46 percent. It's pretty hard to live in a two-story house and not climb the stairs three times a day, and that made 21 times a week. So that accounts for my two-story house, and I think it's helped keep me healthy."
If we ever move to a one-story house, we'll look for articles that say that's a good thing.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:35 PM   #72
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All my previous generation relatives lived in two story houses, some still do. Those that left did so not because the stairs were difficult to maneuver, but to go to assisted living or nursing homes because they were no longer mobile, even on one floor. My grandfather had a prosthetic leg and he lived in a two story 'til the end, in his 80's.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:42 PM   #73
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Thanks for the positive "2 story" stories. Words of encouragement as DW does not like it when I bring up the subject of moving as we get into advanced years.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:52 PM   #74
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Falling down the stairs was what started my FIL decline. He was already 89, however.

Thinking back, skipping the stairs would only buy him perhaps another year or two, as he fell again twice within that period, after recovering from the hip injury and relocating to downstairs. Each time he fell, he broke something new until he entered the nursing home.

One just buys some time, that's all.

PS. I remembed it wrong. First, he cracked a shoulder blade because of the way he landed on the stairs landing. Then, the 2nd time, he broke a hip. The 3rd time, he broke an arm. After that, he became bed-ridden and wheelchair-bound in the nursing home.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:54 PM   #75
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spending i would think assuming you have the money shifts to doing things for kids and grandkids instead of yourself.

i guarantee you give an extra million bucks to an elderly group and they will have no problem spending it.

to date the spending studies looking at spending as we age have been inconclusive .

older folks have less social security, less money as a pension since they earned less than more recent workers and may have mental differences as well.

the 85-95 group may be great depression babies and their spending may have lagged their entire lives.

we really do not know if cuts in spending are voluntary or just the fact older have less to spend as a group.

no study ever followed the same group from 60's through to their 90's to see what they do,.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:22 PM   #76
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...(snip)...

the 85-95 group may be great depression babies and their spending may have lagged their entire lives.
...
This is an interesting thought. People who are 83 now were 20 (starting jobs) in 1950 and so were probably riding the US prosperity wave.

But maybe they and some of the younger ones (like those currently 65 to 83) were directly or indirectly affected by their parent's Depression era traumas. I know I was.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:59 PM   #77
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Nursing home and assisted living expenses aside, I am watching this play out in real time with my parents in their early 90's who are determined to stay in their home. So they've hired maids, lawncare, pool maintenance - all things they did for themselves until the past 2-3 years. They have also had to hire people for most basic household breakdowns that my Dad would have happily fixed himself, he simply can't do it himself anymore. And I live 2200 miles away, so I do all I can when I am there - I repaired their fence gates last time, Dad knows what to do just doesn't have the strength to do it. Bottom line, their living expenses have increased by at least 1/3rd, and the inconvenience of having to call someone and wait to fix things has been frustrating for them. DS has offered to move in with them, and that will eventually be the next chapter one of these days.

So expenses will probably go up somewhat at least with/without nursing/assisted living IME.
This is why I think people should sit down and try to project out their own expenses year by year to get some idea of how things might change.

For my own mother (almost 90), she does now pay for house cleaning and yard work which she didn't use to do. Even so, that increase in cost is more than offset by her not wanting to do much driving, being tired enough that she doesn't like to go out all that often and other reductions in activity chosen by her (note that this has nothing to do with lack of money - she doesn't like to go out and do stuff even if we are paying).

In my own case, for example, in the projected budget I have included expenses for things like yard work that we do ourselves now. However, we aren't big on DIY repairs/maintenance so there probably won't be much overall change increase in spending in the future based upon this.

OTOH, some might have projected savings due to likelihood of less travel in advanced old age. However, for us, we don't get a lot of savings out of that since our budgeted travel is already fairly low.

So, this really is individual.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:24 PM   #78
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This is an interesting thought. People who are 83 now were 20 (starting jobs) in 1950 and so were probably riding the US prosperity wave.

But maybe they and some of the younger ones (like those currently 65 to 83) were directly or indirectly affected by their parent's Depression era traumas. I know I was.
Well we never really had a definitive study thst proved anyone who can still afford it spends any less as they age then they did prior.

Many just shift from spending on themselves to spending on others.

The 65 year olds today will have larger incomes than the 65 year olds of decades ago who are now much older. They will show they are spending more than the 90 year old group but it may just be income related.

Most older folks spend less from having less more ofton than not.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:09 PM   #79
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The 65 year olds today will have larger incomes than the 65 year olds of decades ago who are now much older. They will show they are spending more than the 90 year old group but it may just be income related.
As more and more people hit RMD time (or start withdrawing by choice), this will jump up tax burdens since this younger cohort will have been in tax deferred savings for longer than earlier generations. That will pump up spending quite a bit for some in my generation.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:20 AM   #80
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it is the age old sill un-answered question about senior spending. don't think for one second that seniors won't be able to spend or want to spend that extra million you hand them. they will all spend it very easily.

i would venture to say say studies that show spending less as we age are showing it because seniors brought less to the party , have lower incomes FROM PENSIONS AND SS THAN MORE RECENT COUNTERPARTS or already spent down quite a bit and are fearful of running out of money.

throw in differences in cultural backgrounds, mental obstacles like being a great depression kid and we may find these cuts the bls shows are out of need rather than choice.
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