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Old 08-11-2014, 01:41 PM   #121
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A mistake in retirement that I see is people not planning for deterioration in various abilities as age progresses.
Exactly, and this is why we're moving to a CCRC sometime in the next five to eight years. FIL's lack of planning resulted in a huge burden to DW the last two years of his life, and especially the last year when it was almost a full time job for her. In contrast, my mother moved to a CCRC in her early 70's and it worked out great for her. She was in independent living for 11 years, had a lot of fun times, and in assisted living for about six months. During that last six months I was handling her finances but that only took less than an hour a week.

Like most, I'm not real keen on moving to a community of all "old folks" but perhaps my perspective will change since I will then be one. And the gritty reality is that since I'm 64 in ten years I'll be 74. And I really want to get this done before it becomes a crisis, unlike FIL, and our options become limited by time and availability.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:47 PM   #122
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I had the opposite situation. In my 20s I moved to another continent. Within a year, parents' health problems began. I have no siblings. The next 18 years were spent trying to support, and increasingly manage, my parents' needs at long distance. I accumulated many frequent flyer miles! After my father passed, I offered to bring my mother to this country, buy a home suitable for her needs, etc. She would have none of it. I think she made the right decision, but I had to make the offer. I did everything I could that they would agree to, but I still felt guilty for "deserting" them. While it was never articulated, I suspect that my parents had me in part to ensure that someone would look after them in old age. It didn't work out quite the way they expected. But those decisions were taken long before retirement.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:09 PM   #123
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Meadh , You did the best you could for your parents . A lot of us are in the same situation without the across the pond flight . I live in Florida & my Mom lives in Pa. luckily she went ,into an independent living facility that has assisted living when she needs it which may be soon since she is 98 . My older Sister ( who also lives in FL. ) & I visit at least yearly & more as needed . My younger Sister who is a Nun in Pa. visits every third week if she can . Between us & her Sister who is 80 but in great shape we have it covered until the next crisis .It's tough managing the long distant care of elderly relatives . Having them in Independent or assisted living with monitors in place makes it easier for everybody .
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:15 PM   #124
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It's tough managing the long distance care of elderly relatives . Having them in Independent or assisted living with monitors in place makes it easier for everybody .
I agree. I plan to move near DS (my only child) when I hit my mid-70s, but I'll find a good CCRC.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:43 PM   #125
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It's tough managing the long distant care of elderly relatives . Having them in Independent or assisted living with monitors in place makes it easier for everybody .
Thanks Moemg. At one point, I actually persuaded my mother to move to an independent living facility, which she really needed. It was beautiful and the care was second to none. She lasted for three weeks before engineering her escape to the (3 storey) old homestead. I was devastated. I realized then that her need for control trumped my need to care for her. After that I just went with the flow and tried to mop up the messes as they occurred.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:55 PM   #126
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The point is that you did what you could, Meadbh.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:56 PM   #127
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Thanks, steelyman.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:38 PM   #128
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My biggest mistake in retirement was not realizing that as you age your body declines and those trips which looked great when you were still working now look difficult to pull off so if you want to hike , raft , swim with the sharks or visit Machu Picchu do it now before your health gets in the way .
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:12 PM   #129
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My biggest mistake in retirement was not realizing that as you age your body declines and those trips which looked great when you were still working now look difficult to pull off so if you want to hike , raft , swim with the sharks or visit Machu Picchu do it now before your health gets in the way .

I've learned from my elders to get as much done as I can before 80. Most of the elders are still reasonably mobile well into their 70s. 80 seems to be a tipping point for most. Of course there are plenty of younger and older exceptions to argue against the above.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:23 PM   #130
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #131
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The problem I have faced is wonderful but stubborn elderly relatives who not only want to be cared for 'by family' but who adamantly refuse to move closer to the generation that could provide the care. If they live hundreds/thousands of miles from the desired provider(s), that's just not realistic. Nor is any idea that anyone still working would necessarily be able to quit their job to care give. We have a very small family, and I seem to mostly be "the one" who will step forward. But I am also single, hundreds of miles away from them, and need to support myself, so there are limits to what I can realistically do.


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Old 08-11-2014, 05:41 PM   #132
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I've learned from my elders to get as much done as I can before 80. Most of the elders are still reasonably mobile well into their 70s. 80 seems to be a tipping point for most. Of course there are plenty of younger and older exceptions to argue against the above.
I might be one of those exceptions being able to do a lot of things I did 20 years ago now at 70 1/2. I still work on my car and just replaced all four wheel bearings, radiator, transmission fluid and filter, etc. This was recently completed in 90+ weather. I built a workshop out in our garage this winter (workbench, shelving, cabinets, storage area, etc), and changed two toilets in the house. I cut down two trees and dug a 60 foot trench for a new gas line in the back yard also this Spring. I still cut my own grass and do all the yardwork that needs being done.

One thing that is obvious is my ability to recover from a hard job like above. I don't have any problem with movement, etc the next day, but I don't seem to have the ambition to get back to a big project until after the next day. I'm sure a few more years of this stuff will turn out to be a different story.

Like said above, get all the vacations in and big self-done projects before your joints stiffen up and your staying power has a shorter timeline.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:46 PM   #133
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Good idea to get strenuous vacations and projects done early in retirement. My mother was going on vacations to Europe until she was 85+ and quite arthritic, and my brother climbed Macchu Picchu at age 68 and 100 pounds overweight. But let's face it, although they had physical problems they were not really bad off, and just plain lucky compared with many/most seniors. I don't necessarily expect to be able to do much of anything at those ages, despite doing my best at the gym right now. Maybe I will be lucky, but who knows? A lot of people just aren't physically able to engage in strenuous travel or projects as they grow older and I suspect that usually it isn't their fault, it's just the luck of the draw.

Just the thought of moving is sounding like a whole lot more effort to F and me now, than it did five years ago.

Extending this line of thought, the capricious nature of declining physical capability is yet another reason to prepare for early retirement just in case, even if one wants to work longer.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:56 PM   #134
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Just the thought of moving is sounding like a whole lot more effort to F and me now, than it did five years ago.
You guys better git while the gittin's good...
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:08 PM   #135
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Like said above, get all the vacations in and big self-done projects before your joints stiffen up and your staying power has a shorter timeline.
Absolutely. There were mixed blessings in marrying a man 15 years older than I am. He's developed some health problems in the last 12 years that have somewhat cramped his style although he's got a positive attitude and we get in at least one major trip a year (this year was Alaska). He's got a bit of a balance problem from a couple of falls, and a creaky back. It was pretty easy for me to do the math and realize that if I retired at 65, he'd be 80, and it would not be a good idea to postpone all the good trips till I retired. So, travel has been a major financial priority (after saving and paying the bills, of course) from the beginning. I'm so glad we did it that way. The travel may have to stop at one point but we've been to wonderful places and have a lot of good stories to tell.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:59 AM   #136
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Great new observation about doing the physical things early and not waiting! This is a big common mistake.

80 is a tipping point. We have a hiking group of very active people. Many drop at or soon after 80. At lot of them "feel it" during their 70s, but are still very much able to deal with strenuous hiking.

And yes, this is an awesome group. Our group consists of 40 to 80 year olds, with an occasional youngster thrown in for good measure.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:03 AM   #137
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The problem I have faced is wonderful but stubborn elderly relatives who not only want to be cared for 'by family' but who adamantly refuse to move closer to the generation that could provide the care. If they live hundreds/thousands of miles from the desired provider(s), that's just not realistic.
This reminds me a bit of my mother. She is 90 and is doing reasonably well in many ways. She is a bit forgetful, but manages on her own fairly well and stills lives in her own home. I am the only child. She was very close to some of her sisters, but they have all died know except for the one sister who has been estranged for years (and is in much worse shape than my mom).

I live about 250 miles away. We have offered (many times) for her to move in with us and we will drive up and bring her down here for visits as often as she wants.

But, she complains about us not visiting her enough. We have 5 dogs plus we have and the cost to board them to go out of town (there are no other care options) is astronomical. We do it sometimes but can't do it often.

So she wants us to drive up there for a 2 hour visit and then go back home on the same day. We have done that a few times but that is about 9 hours in the car for us to go up there for 2 hours (my kids -- in college -- aren't enthusiastic about spending a weekend day doing that either).

And, when we do visit for a few days (boarding the animals) she gets upset if we visit anyone else during the trip (other people I know or my husband visiting his daughter and grandchildren who live about 30 miles away). Basically, to her, a visit doesn't "count" as being a visit to her unless we spend the entire visit just seeing her. The last trip we spent 3 days up there and we visited someone else for one afternoon/evening and she took the position that we really came up to visit them rather than her. Sigh.

I do want to help her and it would be so much easier if she would move down here. I understand her not liking to live in someone else's house, but I wish she would be more flexible on how we visit. At one point I reconnected with a couple of friends from high school and started to visit them some when we came up to visit her, but she complained so much I just quit doing it (if I could have come up there and spent a few days and seen these friends during the trip I would have been more willing to come up more often. But, she isn't happen with me doing that).

Her only solution to any of this is to tell me to sell or give away our pets so we can all come up and visit. (She also fails to understand why it is hard for the kids to come up and visit for a weekend during the college semester).

OK -- rant over.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:53 AM   #138
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This reminds me a bit of my mother. She is 90 and is doing reasonably well in many ways. She is a bit forgetful, but manages on her own fairly well and stills lives in her own home. I am the only child.

But, she complains about us not visiting her enough. We have 5 dogs plus we have and the cost to board them to go out of town (there are no other care options) is astronomical. We do it sometimes but can't do it often.

So she wants us to drive up there for a 2 hour visit and then go back home on the same day. We have done that a few times but that is about 9 hours in the car for us to go up there for 2 hours (my kids -- in college -- aren't enthusiastic about spending a weekend day doing that either).

Her only solution to any of this is to tell me to sell or give away our pets so we can all come up and visit. (She also fails to understand why it is hard for the kids to come up and visit for a weekend during the college semester).

OK -- rant over.
I sympathize! As we age, some if us regress to our childhood way of thinking, when we thought the world revolved around us. Remember the "terrible twos"? Seen through the eyes of a once again toddler, expectations are not rational and nothing can ever be quite good enough. I have been through this with elderly parents, as have many of my friends. I think Vicente posted about this too before his mother passed. Assuming that depression has been out ruled (which is important) I think it's helpful to try to think of this as a symptom of aging over which the person has no control, and to tune it out as "noise". That can be exceedingly difficult when the aging relative lives with you. I can honestly understand how it can lead to elder abuse. Sometimes an outsider can help the elderly person put things in perspective.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:33 PM   #139
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I'm surprised no one mentioned our own VA Collector, who retired with his entire nest egg in BofA stock before the financial crisis. There's a terribly depressing thread that took place over the course of a year or more, documenting the collapse of the stock and his determination to 'stay the course'. He ended up going back to work and quit posting here (though he's made a few cameos).

Sad story and it unfolded right before our eyes. He was a real mensch about it, I wish he'd come back and post at some point.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:47 PM   #140
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I sympathize! As we age, some if us regress to our childhood way of thinking, when we thought the world revolved around us. Remember the "terrible twos"? Seen through the eyes of a once again toddler, expectations are not rational and nothing can ever be quite good enough. I have been through this with elderly parents, as have many of my friends..
This really hits home. My Mom had my Sister drive three hours in a snow storm so she could have clean sheets when she had a cold .My Sister was nuts to do it but she always gives in to my Mom's demands . She had me drive 2 1/2 hours to take her to the beauty parlor .I am flying up to visit her next week and I am sure my days will be filled with errands including buying depends .I love my Mom but she can be exhausting .Two years ago she broke her shoulder so I went up to help her . Thank God for wine !
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