Be nice to your children. After all, they are going to choose your nursing home. ~ S. Wright
I have to tell you, I was blown away. Actually, so blown away that I don’t think my reply was very coherent or perhaps it never even got close to the question asked. It was at a workshop I host in the area on planning for where to live in retirement. We had just started with the basics when someone said, “Well, I don’t really see the need to plan. You can stay in your home until your money runs out and then just move to a nursing home where you have to be taken care of.” Can you hear my jaw dropping again as I just think about that moment? I’ve never actually heard someone articulate that their plan was to move into a nursing home. And then another part of my brain kicked in and I realized if this person was thinking it so were others. Have you heard this or thought of this too?
Now, let me be clear here; I’m not putting down nursing homes as a level of care. There are great facilities that do great work. And yes, for some people, at the end of life, this is the appropriate level of care. For some people, whose medical needs are difficult or impossible to meet at home this is an appropriate level of care. But as a planned option? I don’t think so.
Let’s go back. Life planning is all about putting as many options in front of you that you can possibly come up with. It’s about taking control and making sure you’ve thought out any number of possible scenarios. This is what I want for you! I want you to have a plan, to have a full and wonderful retirement!
What I don’t want for you is to feel that you have to struggle, get along, hope for the best and if that doesn’t pan out, think to yourself, “oh well, I’ll just let the state put me somewhere.” Again, I’m not putting down options that might be out there and available for you if all other options run out, but I suspect you want to take control of those pieces yourself.
Yes, there are levels of care if you need them but wouldn’t it be so much nicer to take control and pick for yourself? The time to plan how you want things to play out is now. You will have so many more choices if you take the time and think through what you want.
What options are you looking at? How’s this going to play for you? Now that I’ve given you something to think about for the week I’ll wish you the best for whatever lies ahead!