Retirement Blind Spots
Posted date : Dec 13, 2019.
Enjoyed James Dolan’s article, but suggest one other BLIND SPOT: Aging Parent(s)
Assumption: They have always been quite independent and self-sufficient and will remain so.
Reality: Maybe not. As they age, mobility may become an issue, memory loss, ability to drive, bank, shop, etc. may put more responsibility on siblings who are also retired.
Parent(s) may not want, or be financially able, to acquire the additional assistance or move into an independent or assisted living establishment. The onus would then fall on the sibling(s) to either hire the necessary home care assistance or provide it themselves. More difficult if the siblings are not in the same city as the parent(s); harder still if there is only one sibling or only one who is willing/able to step up to the responsibility.
All home care organizations are not equal; service can be spotty and timing irregular. In my parents’ case, they had 23 different PSWs in one 30-day period – basically strangers on their own schedules, at unpredictable times, which they found very disconcerting!
The effect on the siblings is to dial back their own expectations for retirement, i.e. reduced travel that results in absence from their caregiver responsibilities or reduced disposable income with which to enjoy their own retirement.
Just thought that I’d mention it, as it was certainly not something that we considered in own our retirement-planning process.
Ed.: Been there, done that, still doing that! There is much joy in being able to take care of your parents in their later years, but it is not easy and it can get very expensive. That safari, that world cruise, that walking tour of Europe we dreamed of in retirement all seem very far away, but we have no regrets. We have always brought our parents to Florida when we came for parts of our winter. They were never snowbirds and now they are; and it is wonderful to have them with us.