The Swing Awaits… we have received the news we could potentially “retire”… Although retirement is not really my style… When I was unemployed last year I found tons of interesting things to do…permaculture, volunteering, knitting, exploring cooking and food, deeper spiritual experiences, more environmental work, travel and so on. Going back to work 1/2 time… 40 hours every other week is okay, but the distance to the job is a problem.
So the essential question we’ve been wrestling with these past several weeks is the elusive question of how much money do you need… I want to talk about this without getting specific. Our financial adviser had a number which we thought was pretty high… but then you contemplate catastrophic events and then you think OH NO! WORK LONGER. We don’t have long term care insurance… should we buy it? Can we afford it?
My grandparents did not have it, and my grandmother did live in a Long Term Care facility for several years and died before her money ran out. She was not happy about outliving her spouse by 12 or 13 years, but she was not unhappy those last few years. She died before she turned 100 by about 6 months.
My father is fragile and may go at any time, but I suspect Long Term Care will not be part of his future, thankfully. My mother may last a long time yet, but she plans to pay for her own Long Term Care if needed.
My Father-in-Law lived with a son and his girlfriend, they took good care of him in his own home, where he died. He had a modest estate that was shared by his many children.
But we are young at 57 and 58… so when we contemplate not going to work every day it is scary. Will we get on each others nerves? Will we get bored staring at each other across the table? Will we have enough money to do what we want to do, make repairs, replace broken things, travel?
I have a good friend who did it. She and her husband retired when he turned 58. They have not looked back. They wrestle with health issues occasionally, cared for her daughters family for a year, then her mother for another year, but have traveled all over the United States, Canada and some to Europe. They are happy they did it. She says I talked her into it, I had read a book called Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, and she read it too, and did what the book suggested.
We are not so different from them… we like each other, we like to travel, we like to garden and have infinite volunteer opportunities, so I suspect we will do just fine. We have been doing many of the things in Your Money or Your Life and we are almost there. I still don’t know what to do about Long Term Care Insurance.
What is a permaculture solution to Long Term Care?