I’ve been blessed by the love and influence of my parents throughout my life. Several years ago we began having some very direct conversations about aging well and the potential risk of one, or both of them, needing care in the future. We spoke honestly and clearly regarding expectations.
I’m glad to say that we recently moved my Dad & Mom into a lovely cottage at a local retirement and care community. While the end result is very good, the road to getting there has been challenging. There were so many decisions to make and so much work that needed to be done. A significant downsize and move can be daunting for anyone, but much more so for older individuals who may be experiencing diminishing physical and emotional capacity. Our family has banded together to help, and we’re getting close to the end of the lengthy process.
As I’ve been reflecting on this season of life for our family, I will offer a few suggestions for anyone who is in or approaching this stage of life.
- Be intentional about decluttering, simplifying, and avoiding excess accumulation.
- Have a family meeting with very candid conversations, and remember to “speak the truth in love“(Ephesians 4:15). If family is not available, choose some trusted friends to include in these essential conversations.
- Explore all available options with an open mind. These options could include planning to move to a retirement and care community, having personal or professional care brought into your home, or moving in with a family member. (The moving in with family option requires an even greater level of candid discussion and clear communication of expectations.)
- Do the above activities sooner rather than later (Proverbs 22:3). In my 28 years as a financial advisor, I’ve never heard clients say that they tackled this topic too soon. Rather, I’ve heard many express regret that they waited too long to address these all-important issues.
At Master’s Advisors, we endeavor to do your financial planning well, we strive to manage your investments well, but we also want to assist you in the process of aging well. For those of you who would like to tackle this challenge head-on, we now offer a new planning service. The “Long-term Care Planning Service” module is quite robust and takes a very objective and comprehensive look at the decisions you will face and what is involved in the process of aging well.
As always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback and would enjoy having a more in-depth conversation with you regarding planning well for this stage of life.