The other day, I was working in the coffee shop I usually go to for blogging. I overheard a couple talking about the woman’s grandmother. I know it’s bad to eavesdrop, but as soon as they started talking about her grandmother’s finances, I couldn’t help myself!
Running Out of Money In Retirement
They were discussing how her father wanted to put her grandmother into a nursing home. Why? Because her grandmother lived alone and was running out of social security/pension money. She was cashing out about $3500 per month for her retirement, but still needed $500 from other family members to support her lifestyle.
The woman mentioned her father was sick of adding $500 to her grandmother’s retirement considering he himself doesn’t even get to live off $4000 a month. She also mentioned how unfortunately the cheapest nursing home within her grandmother’s budget (based on what I assume was the remainder of her retirement fund) would require her grandmother to share a bathroom.
Compromises During Retirement
Can you believe it? You’re in your blissful retirement years, lived most of your adult life on your own terms, but you didn’t save enough for retirement so now you’re stuck considering going back to your college days and sharing a bathroom with a stranger.
From the sound of it, her grandmother wasn’t very excited by the idea of sharing a bathroom with someone else. But it also seemed like her grandmother wasn’t willing to downgrade her life in any other way. Who knows? Maybe she has crazy medical expenses. Maybe she still has to pay the mortgage on her house if she even lives in a house? They didn’t really discuss the other details of her situation.
It doesn’t change the fact that her father seemed resentful of having to support the grandmother’s stubborn attachment to her current living situation. Which makes sense considering he has to contribute to it. Or maybe her father is being a brat being resentful having to financially care for the woman who raised him. We’ll never know, but it doesn’t change the reality that the grandmother is running out of money. And it doesn’t change the fact that her son doesn’t want to pay for her anymore. The reality is the grandmother is now facing limited options because money is running out.
Create Options For Future You
Properly planning for your retirement is creating options for yourself. Because who wants to be 80 years old and share a bathroom with a total stranger? Ok, maybe some people might find it comforting to have a friend connected via toilet and shower, but the point is, it will be your choice if you plan for retirement correctly.
It’s easier said than done. I’m 27. I just *really* started saving for retirement a year ago. What do I know? I haven’t had my retirement portfolio weather the storms of a market crash. I haven’t had to suffer loss of income with my own family to take care of. I don’t have to contribute any of my take home salary to parents in need of financial help. But that’s kind of what makes it the perfect time to start planning. I don’t have anything working against me right now.
I know it’s not the most exciting thing in the world to think about how long you might live and when you want to stop working. In fact, it’s just plain scary. It’s not fun thinking “what if” you get some terrible illness when you’ve quit working that’s going to cost a lot of money. It’s not fun thinking how much money 30 or 40 or 50 years of living life could cost you if you actually have to make withdrawals on your nest egg principal.
But do I really want my options to be limited when I’m too old to want to think about this stuff? Do I want to have to start driving for Uber/Lyft when I’m 80?! Do I want my children to resent me for taking away their financial freedom due to poor planning on my part? NO.
Do you plan for retirement? When and why did you realize you had to?