retirement- freedom

The Secret To Aging Gracefully

 

Getting older is a given. Nobody can avoid it. But there are some people who age with Grace. These people don’t necessarily skate through life unscathed. That have their health challenges just like everybody else. But they don’t get stuck there and I think that’s the difference. So what is the secret to aging gracefully?

 

Bring Joy! Find A Purpose!

Seniors who are aging gracefully have learned a valuable lesson. These people have learned how to bring joy into their life. No matter what the situation. They found a way to stay joyful and happy. Having a purpose has made all of the difference.

 

 The Nursing Home Roommates

 

Have you heard the story of the two men in the nursing home.? The first man had a bed by the window. The second man was away from the window and couldn’t lift his head to see outside. He longed desperately for what he didn’t have. So, the man by the window told him every day, what he saw outside. He talked about the birds, And the trees blowing in the wind. He described sunrises and sunsets. Additionally, he even described people on the street walking by and children playing. He talked about little boys playing marbles.  And about liked girls jumping rope. He painted a vivid picture for his roommate to bring joy.

 

And It Felt “As If” He Was Right There

 

The men laughed as they remembered their own childhoods and the things that they did. And they both felt joy and peace.

 

The Time Has Come

 

One day The Man by the window passed away. And the other man immediately asked if could he have his bed. He wanted to be close to the window.  A new person might not describe in detail what was going on. And the old man wanted to continue to see the world.

 

A Brick Wall

 

But when he got there all he saw was a brick wall. The man was confused. Why would his friend make up such stories? There’s nothing but a brick wall. The nurse came in hearing that the man was terribly distraught. Your roommate was blind she told him. He couldn’t see a thing. But he knew how important it was for you. So, he made up these stories.

 

But the Blind Man Could See

 

Just not with his eyes. He saw With This Heart. And it brought him joy to bring someone else Joy. He could see more clearly than anyone.

 

Finding a way to bring joy to others will bring joy to your heart as well. It’s one of the best ways to age gracefully.

 

Struggling With Retirement

 

How do you handle it when your retirement has not been planned? A job layoff or a health condition may have caused your life to change quickly. For many people, this can be a real challenge. Staying positive and joyful may not seem possible.

John had a life-altering event at age 63. He had a stroke. It cost him his business. As a self- employed person his business failed when his health failed him. He had planned to work until 70 at least. He could have easily fallen into depression and given up. But he had a wife and children who counted on him. In fact, he still had a teenage son at home.

So, John picked up the pieces. And he spoke to his son about hard times that everyone goes through. He soon found part-time work that he and his wife could do together. His son got a job and life went on. And, he went out of his way to help others with encouragement.

 

Everyone Needs A Purpose

 

The blind man next to the window had a purpose. And that was in helping his roommate. By describing scenes that he visualized in his head he helped both himself and his roommate. Days became more enjoyable for both men.

 

How Can You Find A Purpose?

 

Opportunities abound in the Cypress and Tomball Texas area. There are many organizations that look for volunteers to help. A new one in the Cypress Texas area is the Living Legacy Center. Founded by Elizabeth Hilbun and Teresa Trull with The Hilbun Law Firm this organization is dedicated to helping people in the Cypress Texas area. With a focus on serving veterans and seniors, the organization has recently launched its Oasis Garden.

 

What do you enjoy doing? How can you give back and find your purpose?

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Retiring Single

Retiring Single- Over 65- How To Make a Plan

When you are retiring single there may be a host of concerns you have. If you have no spouse or children it is doubly important that you have a plan in place for those “what if’s”.

Are You An Elder Orphan?

Sometimes referred to as elder orphans or solo-agers this is a group that is growing. In fact, according to research by Dr. Maria Torroella Carney, 22% of people 65 and over are either an elder orphan or at risk of becoming one. Only 12% of the women who were 80 to 84 years old in 2010 were childless, but that will increase to 16% for that same age range in 2030, according to a report by AARP. And even those who have children may be estranged.

There are a number of concerns people may have when they are aging alone. Who will help take care of me if I get really sick? Will I die alone in a nursing home with no-one to advocate for me? If I begin to have cognitive decline who will help me manage my finances and legal issues? Will I be taken advantage of?

“I am not concerned,” said Kendra “I am perfectly capable of caring for myself. My mind is sharp and I do what I need to do to keep my body healthy also. In fact, I just ran a marathon and did quite well.”

Kendra is 70. And while we all applaud her for being in such good health at 70 the truth is things can happen that are out of your control.

Judy lived on her own until she was 91.

She cooked for herself, went to exercise class and drove where she needed to go. But a blood clot in her leg changed all of that. She went into the hospital. And due to several mistakes, that were made she returned home unable to care for even her basic needs. 24/7 care was needed. Luckily for her, her children, along with a paid caregiver stepped in to help. Without her children, she would have been forced to go into a nursing home. And she may not have had anyone to advocate for her. Besides the cost, she would not have had anyone to hire and manage the caregivers.

So how do you plan for the rest of your life when you are over 65 and single?

 

Step One: Talk to an Elder Law Attorney

Set up all of the necessary paperwork to plan for your long-term care. Your attorney can also help you connect with other professionals in the area who can help. You will probably need a financial advisor. It is also important that you have someone you really trust designated as your Power of Attorney.

Step Two: Consult with a Geriatric Care Manager

Have someone lined up who can be your advocate and make sure your needs are met. Care managers usually have a background in Nursing or Social Work. Talk to the person who is your POA to make sure they know about the Geriatric Care Manager you have chosen. If you are incapacitated someone with authority to act on your behalf would need to hire their services.

Step Three: Have a Good Support System

Having a strong social circle is important for everyone. Make sure your circle included younger people as well.

“All of my really good friends are 15 to 20 years younger than me” Edythe, 96 “I feel more alive being around younger people. They are more positive and fun to be around. Plus, when I had to stop driving last year it wasn’t a problem. There was always someone available to take me where I needed or wanted to go.”

 

Step Four: Consider Alternate Living Arrangements

Owning a home is wonderful when you are young. But do you really want to spend your time and money with upkeep and home maintenance projects?   If you really want to keep the home, have you considered roommates? Think Golden Girls!

According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. From 2005 to 2015, the older population grew 33 percent, while the number of older home-sharers jumped 88 percent.

One reason may be financial.

Many boomers have not really saved enough money for their retirement. Sharing a space can allow you to stay in a home. Or you could live in a home in the area you want to be but cannot afford on your own.

Of course, you want to make sure you are compatible.

And it is important to have a set of ground rules. If you really don’t like cats and your roommate comes home with one that could be a problem. Also, how often will the family be coming to visit? Who will be coming and how long will they stay?  Do you smoke or allow others to smoke in your home?  Do you expect we will cook together or eat independently? These are just a few of the questions you should ask.

So Where Do You Find A Compatible Roommate?

In the last few years, a new industry has begun to blossom. Companies such as Roommates4Boomers, Silvernest, and Let’s Share Housing pair renters with homeowners.

And always consult your attorney before you enter into an agreement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I Retire Too Early? When Is The Right Time to Retire?

Time to Retire

Hit your 60’s and you are bombarded with lots of advice on when the best time to retire and start taking that social security check. Some advisors suggest you should wait as long as possible so that you receive a larger monthly check during your retirement. Others say you should start taking it earlier. They believe that you may be leaving money on the table for the long haul. And still, other advisors may suggest that the wife takes her check early and the husband delays as long as she can. The thought behind this is that most women will outlive their husband. As such when he dies, she will receive his check instead of hers. If he can wait, his check will be larger ensuring a better retirement for his wife.

The Truth is Everyone’s Situation is Different.

My own father was forced into early retirement when he suffered a stroke at age 63. After a couple of years, he took a part-time job doing real estate appraisal work. It was great because he could set his own hours and Mom could go with him and help. It gave them some extra “spend money” for eating out and watching a movie once in a while.

They were able to work into their mid-70’s. And they enjoyed what they were doing. Dad lived to be 91 and Mom 93. Going back to work was a smart step.

A couple of friends have recently taken early retirement. I have changed their names for privacy reasons. But their stories are being played out across the nation.

Bill and Angie Decided to Take Early Retirement.

time to retire

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

The also decided to sell their “too large” home and move into an RV. They planned to stay on the road for about 5 years and then settle close to their children in Colorado in a much smaller home. Angie was 62 and Bill 63. They started taking their social security check at that time.

“We didn’t need the large home anymore. And we were tired of the upkeep. Getting rid of most of our possessions was freeing. And both Bill and I have not really missed anything.” Angie

But the cost of living keeps rising. Groceries were a lot more than they budgeted for. And the cost of living in an RV is not as cheap as we thought it would be. The gas to pull the vehicle is a lot and the RV rental places are not that cheap. Sometimes they boondock (a term that basically means Dry Camping parking anywhere without or with limited amenities) But places to do this are not always available and they miss having amenities like a place to wash your clothes and to dump your sewage.

The Honeymoon Phase Wore Off

“The first six months were great. It was like being on an extended vacation. But the honeymoon phase has worn off. We are getting bored. And we have to really watch our budget. This is something we have never really done before. A few health conditions recently ate into some of our savings. I think it is time to get back to work”

Since Bill is a master carpenter, he has been able to pick up a few jobs here and there. But the nomadic life does not make it that easy to create some steady work. This couple is now looking for a small affordable home where they can settle down. Bill can get a small customer base.

But Angie worked as a massage therapist and does not see that in her future. “Arthritis in my hands has gotten really bad,” she told me. She is looking into pet care. Dog walking and pet sitting may giver her the flexibility in her schedule she desires and will keep a few extra bucks coming in also.

“I wish we would have stayed at our jobs a few more years. We could have saved more money and our SS checks would be larger. But we can’t look back. We just have to look for opportunities now.”

When Retirement Isn’t Your Choice

Paul and Lisa were in a different situation when they took early retirement. Paul had been laid off from a job he held for 38 years. It is a common story these days. Having worked that long for one company did not make Paul a desirable employment catch he soon found out. His age was already a strike against him and the longevity with his company was strike two. Employers were concerned that Paul may not be able to blend into a new company culture very easily.

After a few rejections, Paul decided to claim his social security check at 62 years old. Both he and Lisa took their checks. And they continued to live life just as they always had done when he was employed.  Big dinners out on the weekends and vacations continued. But they started having to take more and more money from their retirement accounts. Paul’s Mom became sick and when he realized how much it cost to bring in help, he got worried. What if something happened to Paul or Lisa?

From Retired To Working Again

At 65 Paul has returned to the workforce. He is hoping to be able to work until he is 70.  Lisa continues to collect hers. But they both decided that as long as he is working, they will live off his paycheck. Lisa’s SS check will be put into a Roth IRA. This way they will be in a better place when they are ready to retire again.

Planning ahead for all of life’s twists and turns is important to do. The Hilbun Law Firm can help you make sure you are prepared for unexpected health issues. Attend an Estate Planning Workshop today.