Lifestyles over 50 Finance & Money
Who’s in Charge?
Part 1 of this series told the story of my 88 year old mother-in-law, Aggie, and the 2-year struggle she faced to make the changes she clearly had to make. Then, in our second installment, we found Fear of the Unknown is the biggest obstacle to thinking about moving: The process of moving looked Overwhelming to Aggie… as it does for many of us.
Medical developments mean we’re living longer than ever, many into our seventies, eighties and even nineties (as Aggie did!). Many of us have lots of productive years left though that doesn’t mean we won’t need some help. Ironically, independence in our later years means we’ll need some help.
Whom can we rely on? Our children? They have busy lives and also often feel overwhelmed. That’s why, as my husband’s family did, your family may suggest you sell the family home and move to a safer and more convenient place.
Here it would be easy to be resentful. But don’t! Your family members are only trying to let you know they, too, have limitations. Of course, this change is pretty daunting for a retiree like yourself. You’re tempted to resent changing your entire life. The result: You become paralyzed, causing your family frustration because you’re FEARFUL and OVERWHELMED.
You absolutely have to start talking to your family openly about all this. Your loved ones need to know you’re hearing their own fears and concerns. “Mom, is it safe for you to live alone?”, or, “Dad, you’re going to hurt yourself cleaning those gutters!” They need to know you hear them! Then they can begin to hear your concerns.
Are there health issues or financial constraints that impact your ability to live independently? Worried you won’t find a place you’ll like as well as your current home? Not sure you can afford a place where you can get the care you need as your needs change?
There has never been a better time to be a retiree with the host of resources to assist you and your family with your living requirements.
Certified Senior Financial Advisors, Seniors Planners and Elder Law Attorneys can review your financial situation, your needs, future liabilities, available assets and eligibility for programs to assist or subsidize the cost of housing.
Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES) take specialized training in the dynamics facing retirees after many years in a home. They access your home and provide an estimate of your home’s worth given the real estate market and repairs that may need to be done. You will have a clearer idea of your net assets to help your financial advisor.
Liquidators and Movers will help you determine what to do with all you “stuff”. Estate sale planners will come into the home, price the items you want sold, advertise and conduct the sale. Professional movers will box up, move, and even unpack your belongings in your new home.
Moving from a family home can be terrifying. You just aren’t sure what you are facing. Good family
communication and the right
information reduces stress and fear for both parent and family alike. Take the process step by step: gather
information, discuss the options, think about what works best for everyone. Everyone’s feelings and fears are important to understand because, finally, your love will have to be the source of strength and courage you need to face this challenging process. Take charge of the process and, like Aggie, you’ll be in much better place than you ever imagined.
This article is the third article in the Should I Stay or Should I Go series. The next will feature So Many Choices!