Where we left off:PLAN FOR DIFFERENT SCENARIOS, INCLUDING THOSE THAT I MAY NOT WANT TO FACE.The question is, am I one of those seniors who has actually done that planning now?
Top of mind is everything! After blogging last week, I called and requested a CCRC application based on my new determination to act like an adult who is now aware than I am 60+ despite the fact that I still think like I am 30. Woo Hoo! I am ahead of most of my prospects – doing rather than just contemplating!
As an aside: I am right back to being one of my prospects for whom change is hard, when I say – sorry, it will take me a while to incorporate the words Life Plan Community into my natural vocabulary – even though I like the immediate feeling I get from the term, which makes me feel like I am being empowered to make plans about my future.Yes, change is hard, but I realized something else.True change requires intention as well as attention.
Let me tell you about the feelings I experienced when requesting that application.
Struggle and bifurcation. Should I make a decision that would make me happiest in my retirement years, or make the lives of my children easier if and when those adversities that I deny will happen, actually happen?
I know that we always tell our prospects: choose the location and community that you like because your children might move. Most of the time, I would agree, as many adult children have jobs that relocate them; some adult children are 20-25 years younger than their parents and will therefore themselves retire before mom and dad pass away. In both cases, I would worry about my location as it pertains to my children. However, in this area I am a different than a number of prospects. I have a daughter whose husband’s job is permanent in locale, I had my children later in life, and my family bloodline rarely lives beyond 80, so I will probably leave this earth before my children retire. Ultimately, I act on the advice I share with prospects to choose for me, what makes me happy.
You may ask why or you may accuse me of being selfish. In the long run, my move to any Life Plan community will positively affect the lives of my children. Also, let me reveal that I use the pronoun “I” when I am stating opinions for my husband and me as a couple. Rest assured, my husband and I have spent loonnnggg hours discussing these scenarios. To this day, we don’t agree on which type of residence – apartment, villa, freestanding home, etc. I am unsure how many of my prospects and their spouses had discussions as often or as deep as the ones between my husband and me, although I suspect the answer is not enough. Plenty of them sure do disagree on residence type, with one of them compromising, so I am certain a similar concession awaits me – or my husband.
Here comes the selfish part:
- Girls just wanna have fun...and that doesn’t change with age.
I want my retirement years, even when I am much older, to be rich and fun.I want to be around people with whom I feel comfortable.I want to live in the environment and culture where I can find and fit into my own niche. The particular community I selected is NOT in a town where my children reside.One child lives in New York City, and that is a no-go. The other lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I have trouble navigating now and whose traffic I can’t imagine managing when I reach 78 years old. I just wanna enjoy my life with the freedom to continue to grow and experience, even when I am older.I want the freedom to drive my car far into my advanced years, thus enhancing my ability to experience life to its fullest and grow. I just wanna…
- Remember the previously-mentioned research about positive thinking affecting decisions.
Well, blame this decision on the optimism that leads to over/under-estimation of outcomes.I am rationalizing by saying I am “playing the odds.”My feeling is that I will have far healthier, thriving months and years than I will have those that require my family to face my personal hardships.Therefore, my choice is based on the ROI (return on investment), or maybe lifetime investment and lifetime return, of choosing a place that makes me and hubby happy and content.We will be happier longer than my children will be inconvenienced.
- Distance can be a convenient, natural buffer between sanity and irrationality.
If I am too close to my children during times of infirmity, will I be more demanding of them?Will my expectations of them be too high because they are close by? They need lives of their own.Would proximity create a desire on my part to lean on them too much?
Location and choice of community are certainly personal decisions that will be affected by the strategies others utilize to narrow down the field of choices. I am just illustrating my journey. Each person has to determine his dominant values and how they come to play in the lives of all concerned.
Of course, since I am never growing old, nor sick, nor have impairments of any kind, I’ll seriously worry about all that stuff another day…..
LESSON TWO: BITE THE BULLET AND TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN PLANNING. GATHER INFORMATION AND ANALYZE WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
Blog Author: Patty Scotten
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.