Are you a "solo ager?"

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brandy
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by brandy » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:12 pm

I know this thread seems more geared to loss of mental ability/dementia, but those with aging bodies also need help that is or may not available via family or friends.
I'm about to have another birthday. I read this and similar threads, then try to go farther than what I have done so far, which is basically lamenting, "what to do, what to do..." I have been on my own for many years, have two distant and estranged adult children, am on a small SS and a small pension. I have insurance, but LTC is almost non existent. As my daughter said a few years ago, "I pay my house keeper more than that." I have 2 disabling conditions, both of which have pretty much kept me home bound since 1998. (Thank God for all the grocery delivery services!) One is severe MCS/EI so I have no real friends, and not much chance to make any, everybody wears fragrance products. Nursing homes, CCCommunities are out.

My PCP is no longer my PCP, she was fired by the facility she worked for. I went today to meet the new one and get my prescriptions renewed, for 3 drugs I have been taking for years, that work for me. This new one wants to change all of them, she says there are newer, better ones... She said she doesn't have ANY patients on one of them, I said I'll be your unique patient. I do not want to change drugs. Actually, if she insists, I'll probably look for another doctor.
At any rate, after reading through this thread I did a bit of searching due to the link to Cost of Assisted Living in (your state) https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/fin ... ssistance/ ------
and found a few resources that I was not aware of even through the local council on aging. One is at
https://www.payingforseniorcare.com and include this one:
Non-Medical Home and Community Based Services (NMHCBS)

Local seniors 60 or older who don’t qualify for ALTCS may be able to get help through ___’s NMHCBS. Those eligible receive the following services at no cost:
Adult day care Adult health care Home delivered meals
Meals at a senior center A home health aide Housekeeping
Personal care Respite care Transportation A visiting nurse
Although there are no income or asset limits, applicants must be functionally impaired and need help with Activity of Daily Living. For additional information, consult our NMHCBS guide.
That word, MAY, is probably the operating word...
Maybe there is similar in other states/cities.

I have been able to get some help through a local 501(C) (3) organization.

My main concern is money management and making plans for helpers if my mental state declines, even though that has not been a problem in the family history. How, when do I hire a fiduciary and or a CPA? What questions, How much do I tell prospects--my daughters--about my assets, my needs, my fears, hopes, expectations--and when?
Where do I make note of that? What other questions do I need to ask, information about them I need to know?

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tooluser
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by tooluser » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:18 pm

fposte wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:50 pm
Johnnie wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:22 am
I am likely in this boat and have been planning accordingly. Once the financial plan was in place and funded my thoughts turned increasingly to the social side. I have a small circle of cronies in the community where I plan to retire, but they are not getting any younger either.

So the "build a community" bit is what caught my attention in the articles, specifically the value of "weak tie" communities:

'People who don’t expand their social networks can find themselves isolated and lonely as friends die or move closer to their grandkids. Strengthening ties with relatives and making new friends, particularly younger ones, can counteract that trend. So can cultivating relationships with neighbors, coffee shop buddies and other acquaintances. A 2014 study found people with more of these “weak tie” relationships reported being happier.'
I agree strongly with this, and I do think that's a big part of the value of a CCRC/ILF/intentional community--there's less labor involved in developing such ties. And the coffee-shop buddies is a big cultural thing around me. Regulars at the "liar's table" check in on one another, share/provide medical transport, etc.
It's also good not to center down on averages and statistical majorities. Humans are a diverse lot. Some don't mind being isolated and never feel lonely. But they still want good care when they need it.

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Elsebet
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by Elsebet » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:20 am

I have been thinking more and more about this as a business opportunity but as a not-for-profit endeavor. I googled around collecting information for a business plan and found a pretty good link that described something similar to what I'd like to do. I would structure it as a member-owned business. Just wanted to share:

https://www.bestguide-retirementcommuni ... using.html
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

GR8FUL-D
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by GR8FUL-D » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:02 pm

More depressing news to add to an already depressing topic:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... edirect=on

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CULater
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by CULater » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:38 pm

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:02 pm
More depressing news to add to an already depressing topic:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... edirect=on
This article touches on an issue that people may not be aware of -- the availability of care providers. I'm familiar with this because of all the years of caring for my mother and living in ALFs and now LTC. The staff are not exactly overpaid in these facilities, or as home care providers either. With regard to the latter, we hired a home care provider through one of the businesses that do this. We paid an hourly rate of about $20-$25, but the provider only gets a portion of that amount; perhaps half or a little more. So, it's not too surprising that we are relying on people to provide care who are themselves living at a low income level. And caring for elderly people is a difficult and unpleasant job. More and more, I observed that the staff are recent immigrants. Not to divert into political issues, but it's not surprising that we'll probably need to rely on this population even more as our society ages and requires more and more elderly care providers. Some very difficult issues to consider and deal with.

BTW, I found that ALFs and LTC facilities can operate very differently when it comes to staffing. Many for-profit facilities don't actually hire and retain their own care staff; rather they contract with staffing agencies who ship in staff. The staff are actually employed by and re-imbursed by the staffing agency and not the facility where they are working. They come and go like chaff in the wind and have no loyalty to the place where they work. We found this out one day when there was an issue with a staff person at the ALF where my mother was. We were told that the facility could not discipline or manage the staff issue; rather the only recourse was to have the staffing agency replace them. I've found that non-profits tend to hire and employ their own staff. with consequent differences in the in-house culture and management of staff issues. I'd look for that as one of the factors in determining where you or a loved one is placed if/when they require residential care, and avoid - if possible - the ones that contract for care staff from the outside.
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jebmke
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by jebmke » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:51 pm

^ I have heard of some of this around me. The nursing homes around here are also starting to get squeezed financially and some may decide to close. It really started with the hospitals here. Rural hospitals are under the gun and they are either shrinking or closing completely. Depending on where you are, the local hospital, if it is still viable is more of a front line service - anything serious and you get shipped off to Baltimore or Annapolis. That can create logistical issues since there is only one bridge across the Chesapeake Bay and they have to decide if you are stable enough for what may be a 2-3 hour ride during beach season or do they put you on a helicopter.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by Whakamole » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:12 pm

I've seen how much effort it takes for multiple kids to help an ailing/aging parent. I don't have much hope that my nieces/nephews will be there for me if I end up in poor health - and I don't blame them, it's hard enough taking care of their own parents, and if they have families of their own, what are they supposed to do?

GR8FUL-D
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by GR8FUL-D » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:11 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:12 pm
I've seen how much effort it takes for multiple kids to help an ailing/aging parent. I don't have much hope that my nieces/nephews will be there for me if I end up in poor health - and I don't blame them, it's hard enough taking care of their own parents, and if they have families of their own, what are they supposed to do?
100% agree. However, if you have significant assets, your nieces & nephews might be motivated by for less-than-altruistic reasons to "be there for you" in the hope/expectation that you'll leave them a sizeable inheritance.

Whakamole
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by Whakamole » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:18 pm

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:11 pm
Whakamole wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:12 pm
I've seen how much effort it takes for multiple kids to help an ailing/aging parent. I don't have much hope that my nieces/nephews will be there for me if I end up in poor health - and I don't blame them, it's hard enough taking care of their own parents, and if they have families of their own, what are they supposed to do?
100% agree. However, if you have significant assets, your nieces & nephews might be motivated by for less-than-altruistic reasons to "be there for you" in the hope/expectation that you'll leave them a sizeable inheritance.
Then you have another problem: if you are banking on this, and end up with a long-term illness that could/will deplete your assets, you will be completely SOL, and that is when you need caretakers the most - and that's assuming it's still feasible for them to do so (good luck if they live across the country), and they aren't a Boglehead like me who has enough money stashed away that being a caretaker for solely financial reasons is completely unappealing.

If I have enough money that this isn't an issue, then I can also afford whatever care I need from CCRCs or whatever institution is around in the future.

visualguy
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by visualguy » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:26 pm

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:11 pm
Whakamole wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:12 pm
I've seen how much effort it takes for multiple kids to help an ailing/aging parent. I don't have much hope that my nieces/nephews will be there for me if I end up in poor health - and I don't blame them, it's hard enough taking care of their own parents, and if they have families of their own, what are they supposed to do?
100% agree. However, if you have significant assets, your nieces & nephews might be motivated by for less-than-altruistic reasons to "be there for you" in the hope/expectation that you'll leave them a sizeable inheritance.
Correct, but then you need to make sure you take that into consideration when making financial and retirement decisions during your life. You have to plan things so that there are significant assets remaining later on. Work longer, spend less and save more, etc.

The other challenge is how to create some kind of a linkage between help from family and how much you leave them. It's not straightforward, particularly when you're old, frail, potentially in a nursing home, and maybe with dementia, etc.

visualguy
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by visualguy » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:54 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:18 pm
If I have enough money that this isn't an issue, then I can also afford whatever care I need from CCRCs or whatever institution is around in the future.
Family help is needed beyond what a CCRC or nursing home can provide. You need someone to advocate, monitor, deal with doctors, manage finances, visit, bring various items, the list just goes on and on. My mom is in the nursing home part of a CCRC, and the family still does a lot. I can't imagine how her situation would have worked out at all without family involvement.

InMyDreams
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by InMyDreams » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:26 pm

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:11 pm
...your nieces & nephews might be motivated by for less-than-altruistic reasons to "be there for you" in the hope/expectation that you'll leave them a sizeable inheritance.
I've seen the opposite, too - the family household, including the care-dependent person, was relying on the income that the dependent person received, that would go away upon his/her death. There is a point where I (and others) would find that level of medical intervention undesirable.

bayview
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by bayview » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:50 pm

Hi, brandy, I picked these out from your post:
brandy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:12 pm
I have 2 disabling conditions, both of which have pretty much kept me home bound since 1998... One is severe MCS/EI so I have no real friends, and not much chance to make any, everybody wears fragrance products...
Really? Everyone wears fragrances? No exceptions? No one will skip the fragrances when they visit?
brandy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:12 pm
Nursing homes, CCCommunities are out.
Why?
brandy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:12 pm

My PCP is no longer my PCP, she was fired by the facility she worked for. I went today to meet the new one and get my prescriptions renewed, for 3 drugs I have been taking for years, that work for me. This new one wants to change all of them, she says there are newer, better ones... She said she doesn't have ANY patients on one of them, I said I'll be your unique patient. I do not want to change drugs. Actually, if she insists, I'll probably look for another doctor.
But why? Is there a possibility that there are meds that in fact would work better for you? As a mom of (now grown) kids with ADHD, I sympathize, as insurance didn't want to deal with new meds.
brandy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:12 pm
At any rate, after reading through this thread I did a bit of searching due to the link to Cost of Assisted Living in (your state) https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/fin ... ssistance/ ------
and found a few resources that I was not aware of even through the local council on aging. One is at
https://www.payingforseniorcare.com and include this one:
Non-Medical Home and Community Based Services (NMHCBS)

Local seniors 60 or older who don’t qualify for ALTCS may be able to get help through ___’s NMHCBS. Those eligible receive the following services at no cost:
Adult day care Adult health care Home delivered meals
Meals at a senior center A home health aide Housekeeping
Personal care Respite care Transportation A visiting nurse
Although there are no income or asset limits, applicants must be functionally impaired and need help with Activity of Daily Living. For additional information, consult our NMHCBS guide.
That word, MAY, is probably the operating word...
Maybe there is similar in other states/cities.

I have been able to get some help through a local 501(C) (3) organization.

My main concern is money management and making plans for helpers if my mental state declines, even though that has not been a problem in the family history. How, when do I hire a fiduciary and or a CPA? What questions, How much do I tell prospects--my daughters--about my assets, my needs, my fears, hopes, expectations--and when?
Where do I make note of that? What other questions do I need to ask, information about them I need to know?
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

brandy
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by brandy » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:45 pm

bayview wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:50 pm
Really? Everyone wears fragrances? No exceptions? No one will skip the fragrances when they visit?
It took DECADES to change understanding, attitudes, practices, regarding the toxicity, the effects of not only smoking, but also of second hand smoke. Yes, most people wear fragrance products. Fragrance chemicals are ubiquitous and inimical. Unless one is working to avoid fragrance products, it doesn't happen. I hope it doesn't take that long for chemicals, but...
When I became disabled by MCS, I lost everything: job, (to support myself) health, friends, family, all kinds of activities including recreational, volunteer, everything, as most people affected by this do. When I moved to my present city hoping to find medical relief, I was too reactive to be with people for more than a few minutes/seconds, making friends didn't happen. Over the years the reactions lessened BECAUSE I was alone most of the time, avoided exposures. And yes, most people are unable or unwilling to be free of fragrances. Or don't understand, either HOW to be FF, or think we're crazy, faking it, and won't be.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "skip the fragrances when they visit? "[/quote]
Do you mean, not putting perfume on the morning of the visit, or washing it off those spots you applied it to before you come to my door? (did you get it out of your clothes and hair?)

Being FF means a lot more than that. It means seeking out fragrance free products in the stores, buying, then bathing with FF soaps, body products, hair products, and laundry products. It means reading labels to determine if a product has perfume/fragrance/some kind of scent in it. And if it does, not buying it, not using it (unless you washed that chemical away) before coming to my home. It's not just fragrances for me: it's chemicals, chemical fumes, smokes, etc that affect me.

If you are doing that, it possibly means that you understand that chemicals, chemical fumes, smokes, etc (Fragrances are chemicals/chemical fumes) are toxic, cause numerous health problems. I would bet that by eliminating all the fragrance products in your home (box them up, put them in the shed) one, if not more, health situations in your home/family would see relief within a week or so. (Don't forget the insence, air fresheners, scented candles, cleaning products) From sniffles to erectile dysfunction, to urinary system problems, to various other body discomforts.
You're right: Most people won't /can't be free of fragrances, I don't get many visitors. FWIW, a month ago, a new friend invited me to join a small group of women for a social gathering on Mondays. She assured me no one wore fragrance products, except one woman who hadn't been there for a few months, it wasn't known if/when she'd be back. Well, she did return with her perfume. I no longer go. The inviter will let me know if she is expected to not be there, I will return.
That's what I need you to do if you come to visit me.
bayview wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:50 pm
brandy wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:12 pm
Nursing homes, CCCommunities are out.
Why?
see above.

I hope you read this far. Take some time to go to https://ourlittleplace.com/ and scroll down to the links re multiple chemical sensitivity. Go to the links and read there. Also read THE SPOON THEORY. That is relate-able to MCS/EI

visualguy
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by visualguy » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:27 pm

brandy,

Definitely watch out for Uber cars which tend to be loaded up with enough air freshener chemical to qualify as chemical warfare. Some drivers actually say things like "I just dropped an air freshener bomb". They know it's bad, but still do it. I once had a driver who dropped such a bomb and then proceeded to open an aftershave bottle and rinse his hands with it. I don't have MCS, and I was still dying. I opened the window and stuck my head out.

Just curious - what caused your MCS? Was it some acute chemical exposure?

Anyway, not sure how we got here from "solo aging"...

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dm200
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:41 am

Regarding "fragrances" in cars and other places -

One very pleasant, to me, change in the last few years is that I have not experienced annoying fragrances (women's cologne, perfume, etc.) in quite a while. When driving a car that had been driven normally by someone else, the steering wheel was commonly "soaked" in perfume or cologne.

Some things in life get better -

Same thing with getting rid of smoking in offices,hotels, motels, restaurants, most cars, and so on. Fortunately, as well, the smoking rate in this area is lower than average and seems to be dropping as well.

I used to think that all hotel and motel rooms just smelled bad. BUT - then when there were non-smoking rooms, I noticed there was no such smell. Once, I ended up in a "smoking" room - and that smell came back.

retire2022
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by retire2022 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:03 am

Op

Check out this recent NPR article on making new friends, I think this is relevant to this topic as well as in my case as single ager

https://www.npr.org/751479810

GR8FUL-D
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by GR8FUL-D » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:12 am

retire2022 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:03 am
Op--Check out this recent NPR article on making new friends, I think this is relevant to this topic as well as in my case as single ager https://www.npr.org/751479810
While I agree that the above article is interesting & tangentially-related to this discussion, I hope it doesn't evolve into a derail of the OP, which was to to discuss the challenges of managing finances & healthcare as a solo ager. By "solo ager" I think OP intended that to mean "single with no children", not necessarily to mean without any extended family and/or few friends.

Perhaps someone should create a new thread about the challenges of finding & cultivating new friendships as a solo boglehead ager? We could combine it to encompass what it's like dating for those of us who are FIRE. Personally I've found that very challenging...

BogleLearner
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by BogleLearner » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:44 pm

We have seen some families with children where parents were literally sold out of their homes
after giving power of attorney to the children. The lesson was - have a system check in place.

brandy
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by brandy » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:12 pm

BogleLearner wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:44 pm
We have seen some families with children where parents were literally sold out of their homes after giving power of attorney to the children. The lesson was - have a system check in place.
That's critical to remember. It happens.
If I have advance notice :mrgreen: I'll put my house up for sale just before I die, and hopefully my heirs will sign the papers the day after! (with enough time to clean it out, of course.)

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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by GR8FUL-D » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:02 pm

BogleLearner wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:44 pm
We have seen some families with children where parents were literally sold out of their homes
after giving power of attorney to the children. The lesson was - have a system check in place.
I have no doubt this happens--and while clearly elder abuse is a legitimate concern & checks & balances should be put in place--I'm guessing things like this are the exception and not the norm.

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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by GerryL » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:11 pm

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:12 am

While I agree that the above article is interesting & tangentially-related to this discussion, I hope it doesn't evolve into a derail of the OP, which was to to discuss the challenges of managing finances & healthcare as a solo ager. By "solo ager" I think OP intended that to mean "single with no children", not necessarily to mean without any extended family and/or few friends.

Perhaps someone should create a new thread about the challenges of finding & cultivating new friendships as a solo boglehead ager? We could combine it to encompass what it's like dating for those of us who are FIRE. Personally I've found that very challenging...

Although I fit your narrow definition of a solo ager, the term is used more broadly. In fact, the Geber book "Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers" states right up front, "The truth is, we're all Solo Agers if we live long enough." People who were married find themselves divorced or widowed. People who raised kids may find themselves estranged or just physically distant from those kids or other family.

Building and maintaining a social network is very important for people who find themselves aging solo, and that is not something that necessarily gets easier as we get older. You can't just wake up one day and say, "Gee, I need someone I trust to make sure I am okay when I can no longer fend for myself -- physically or fiscally." You need to work on those connections so they will be there if/when you do need them.

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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by theac » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:46 pm

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:02 pm
BogleLearner wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:44 pm
We have seen some families with children where parents were literally sold out of their homes
after giving power of attorney to the children. The lesson was - have a system check in place.
I have no doubt this happens--and while clearly elder abuse is a legitimate concern & checks & balances should be put in place--I'm guessing things like this are the exception and not the norm.
About 20 years ago I had a distant aunt who was in a "Retirement Home" (polite wording instead of "warehouse for the old"). I had never known her while growing up, and her only offspring, a daughter, had committed suicide many years earlier. So other than a couple of brothers and a sister, she had no one. The sister lived nearby so I guess she was her only regular visitor. Now that "dementia" was setting in and she couldn't live alone, even tho she could still walk and talk quite well, that's where she was. She had always had a good job and had good insurance so money was not a problem. Overall it was a pretty nice place.

Hearing of this, I decided I should go visit her even if I didn't really know her, figuring it might be good to hear any stories she might have about old family history etc. which could be of interest, plus I've always liked being around older people, even as a kid. They're not all in a rush like most younger people are, and have seen a thing or two, so I've heard some pretty good stuff by giving the elderly my ear over the years. I only got to visit her about 3 times total tho.

One Saturday (or Sunday?) morning I'm sitting with her in the lobby talking and they wheel in a little old lady that looked pretty close to the end. Then an older couple come in with their teen age daughter and son to see "Grandma."

Man, it was so obvious those two kids were only there by force, and had a lot better things they could find to spend their time on than "this." And I didn't get the impression that either of the two adults were all that joyed about being there either. It was pretty obvious to me that everybody was just there because "payday" ain't too far off! :moneybag

Some years later when I was watching "Gran Torino" with Clint Eastwood I got a chuckle when he goes into the garage and finds his "granddaughter" having a smoke in secret, then she asks the most important question she can come up with, referring to his classic car:

"...so...what are ya gonna do with it...when you uh...like...die?" :happy

It reminded me of the little scene I took in that day sitting in that lobby.
Ain't nothing like seeing it live and in living color to really drive the point home.

And over the years, I've seen other things, and heard stories from those who have seen other things, which lead me to believe it's a lot more widespread than most would like to believe.

In addition, I've traveled to other countries where the aged are not warehoused or brushed aside, but revered and respected...and loved and cared for right up to the end, "at home."

They may not be the richest countries in the world, but the people sure do seem a lot happier and connected.
"We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well...and live." Ben Hur...and The Taxman! hahaha

GR8FUL-D
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by GR8FUL-D » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:27 pm

theac wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:46 pm
One Saturday (or Sunday?) morning I'm sitting with her in the lobby talking and they wheel in a little old lady that looked pretty close to the end. Then an older couple come in with their teen age daughter and son to see "Grandma."

Man, it was so obvious those two kids were only there by force, and had a lot better things they could find to spend their time on than "this." And I didn't get the impression that either of the two adults were all that joyed about being there either. It was pretty obvious to me that everybody was just there because "payday" ain't too far off! :moneybag

In addition, I've traveled to other countries where the aged are not warehoused or brushed aside, but revered and respected...and loved and cared for right up to the end, "at home." They may not be the richest countries in the world, but the people sure do seem a lot happier and connected.
It's a sad story you describe about the elderly Grandma & the parents and grandchildren who reluctantly visit & probably only do so in hopes of receiving some kind of inheritance. Truly sad. Maybe her children & grandkids are shallow, self absorbed ass@%*s. Very possibly, probably even likely. But it's also possible that this woman wasn't that great a Mom / Grandmother when she was younger, and now in her last years she's just "reaping what she sowed" in terms of having a poor relationships with her family. Not everyone who is old is a saint...

With regards to the way the elderly are treated and cared for in other countries: I spent the better part of four years backpacking around SE Asia when I was in my early 20's and saw firsthand what you described. There are a lot of good things to say about USA, but I think we could learn a lot from Asian cultures in terms of the way they treat their elders.

GR8FUL-D
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by GR8FUL-D » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:29 pm

GerryL wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:11 pm
Although I fit your narrow definition of a solo ager, the term is used more broadly. In fact, the Geber book "Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers" states right up front, "The truth is, we're all Solo Agers if we live long enough." People who were married find themselves divorced or widowed. People who raised kids may find themselves estranged or just physically distant from those kids or other family.

Building and maintaining a social network is very important for people who find themselves aging solo, and that is not something that necessarily gets easier as we get older. You can't just wake up one day and say, "Gee, I need someone I trust to make sure I am okay when I can no longer fend for myself -- physically or fiscally." You need to work on those connections so they will be there if/when you do need them.
Great point, Gerry, and excellent advice.

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dm200
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:59 am

In my observation, as folks age and experience various types of declines - they often are impacted by what they perceive from others, perhaps embarrassment, etc. I believe these "perceptions" and related feelings can be just as much of a problem as the actual declines in physical and mental functioning.

My late father lived to his late eighties. In his last few years, he developed a "don't give a SH**T" attitude. He had, apparently, perceived that he had put up with a lot of crap from all sorts of folks for decades - and now he would let it all loose.

delamer
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by delamer » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:26 am

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:27 pm
theac wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:46 pm
One Saturday (or Sunday?) morning I'm sitting with her in the lobby talking and they wheel in a little old lady that looked pretty close to the end. Then an older couple come in with their teen age daughter and son to see "Grandma."

Man, it was so obvious those two kids were only there by force, and had a lot better things they could find to spend their time on than "this." And I didn't get the impression that either of the two adults were all that joyed about being there either. It was pretty obvious to me that everybody was just there because "payday" ain't too far off! :moneybag

In addition, I've traveled to other countries where the aged are not warehoused or brushed aside, but revered and respected...and loved and cared for right up to the end, "at home." They may not be the richest countries in the world, but the people sure do seem a lot happier and connected.
It's a sad story you describe about the elderly Grandma & the parents and grandchildren who reluctantly visit & probably only do so in hopes of receiving some kind of inheritance. Truly sad. Maybe her children & grandkids are shallow, self absorbed ass@%*s. Very possibly, probably even likely. But it's also possible that this woman wasn't that great a Mom / Grandmother when she was younger, and now in her last years she's just "reaping what she sowed" in terms of having a poor relationships with her family. Not everyone who is old is a saint...
This is an excellent point.

There is a continuum of relationships that people have with their elders, all the way from estrangement to a parent who is a best friend. Some, probably most, relationships fall in the middle. I know several people who feel an ethical obligation to see and help their elderly parent/in-law. It isn’t fun and their inheritance will be small (or nonexistent), but it is the right thing to do.

cautious
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by cautious » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:59 pm

I am a solo ager. I am now 85 and live in a CCRC facility. It was a choice for health reasons 10 years ago. Health problems and minor accidents crept in and when I could no longer climb around my steep rock garden, I decided not to wait until disaster. I wanted to be fully in charge of any move. So I made the rounds of CCRC marketing lunches to get a feel for the possibilities. Some were quite elegant but had all the ambience of a new high end hotel. I chose one that was older, had a lot of activity, residents with financial diversity, active politically and near town, with other options for activity. It also had a good reputation among professional women my age.

IRS 72-124 covers CCRCs, but our state, like so many others passed a Bill of Rights for residents to add more protections. Essentially it moved complaints from the DSHS to the Attorney General's Office. So that was an additional efficient safety factor.

Yes, the "buy in" took thought along with careful reading of the contract - take a copy home to check it carefully. I decided to risk the investment and have been very pleased. I have a large extended family who don't have to worry about me, and I can go on living instead of fretting about what I will do if... I have an on-site health care clinic and access to private caregivers if I want to avoid moving into supported living or dementia care. At least I will be in familiar surroundings as my mind and body begin to fail. Many 100 year olds here - with their walkers or wheeling around and outside in electric chairs - with 500 unofficial sets of eyes on them. And the benefit to couples is really important. When one declines or departs, the community is here. And life can resume and sometimes blossom in new ways.

Younger family members love to visit, enjoy the pool, activities, and an easy walk to town. It's great to have them here, disappear during the day, and tell me about their great excursions - sometimes with my car. I have all my End-of-Life documents set up so we are free to enjoy each others company. It's a familiar scene around here. Many couples moved in here because their parents did, and they appreciated that gift.

I do remember my rockery and wonderful home, but it was time to move on. We are both flourishing.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:12 pm

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:27 pm
theac wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:46 pm
One Saturday (or Sunday?) morning I'm sitting with her in the lobby talking and they wheel in a little old lady that looked pretty close to the end. Then an older couple come in with their teen age daughter and son to see "Grandma."

Man, it was so obvious those two kids were only there by force, and had a lot better things they could find to spend their time on than "this." And I didn't get the impression that either of the two adults were all that joyed about being there either. It was pretty obvious to me that everybody was just there because "payday" ain't too far off! :moneybag

In addition, I've traveled to other countries where the aged are not warehoused or brushed aside, but revered and respected...and loved and cared for right up to the end, "at home." They may not be the richest countries in the world, but the people sure do seem a lot happier and connected.
It's a sad story you describe about the elderly Grandma & the parents and grandchildren who reluctantly visit & probably only do so in hopes of receiving some kind of inheritance. Truly sad. Maybe her children & grandkids are shallow, self absorbed ass@%*s. Very possibly, probably even likely. But it's also possible that this woman wasn't that great a Mom / Grandmother when she was younger, and now in her last years she's just "reaping what she sowed" in terms of having a poor relationships with her family. Not everyone who is old is a saint...

With regards to the way the elderly are treated and cared for in other countries: I spent the better part of four years backpacking around SE Asia when I was in my early 20's and saw firsthand what you described. There are a lot of good things to say about USA, but I think we could learn a lot from Asian cultures in terms of the way they treat their elders.
Perhaps the elderly person has dementia, and visiting is painful for the relatives. Some people lose their "filters" and say horrible things to their loved ones, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes intentionally. Until you have walked in someone's shoes...

My MIL had dementia. When we visited, sometimes she was pleasant. More often than not she was not. Sometimes she was outright nasty, calling people names and accusing them of all sorts of things. Some was dementia, much was not. My FIL was pleasant even with dementia.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

delamer
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by delamer » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:24 pm

cautious wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:59 pm
I am a solo ager. I am now 85 and live in a CCRC facility. It was a choice for health reasons 10 years ago. Health problems and minor accidents crept in and when I could no longer climb around my steep rock garden, I decided not to wait until disaster. I wanted to be fully in charge of any move. So I made the rounds of CCRC marketing lunches to get a feel for the possibilities. Some were quite elegant but had all the ambience of a new high end hotel. I chose one that was older, had a lot of activity, residents with financial diversity, active politically and near town, with other options for activity. It also had a good reputation among professional women my age.

IRS 72-124 covers CCRCs, but our state, like so many others passed a Bill of Rights for residents to add more protections. Essentially it moved complaints from the DSHS to the Attorney General's Office. So that was an additional efficient safety factor.

Yes, the "buy in" took thought along with careful reading of the contract - take a copy home to check it carefully. I decided to risk the investment and have been very pleased. I have a large extended family who don't have to worry about me, and I can go on living instead of fretting about what I will do if... I have an on-site health care clinic and access to private caregivers if I want to avoid moving into supported living or dementia care. At least I will be in familiar surroundings as my mind and body begin to fail. Many 100 year olds here - with their walkers or wheeling around and outside in electric chairs - with 500 unofficial sets of eyes on them. And the benefit to couples is really important. When one declines or departs, the community is here. And life can resume and sometimes blossom in new ways.

Younger family members love to visit, enjoy the pool, activities, and an easy walk to town. It's great to have them here, disappear during the day, and tell me about their great excursions - sometimes with my car. I have all my End-of-Life documents set up so we are free to enjoy each others company. It's a familiar scene around here. Many couples moved in here because their parents did, and they appreciated that gift.

I do remember my rockery and wonderful home, but it was time to move on. We are both flourishing.
Many thanks for sharing your uplifting and well-told story.

I’m glad you found a “good fit.”

Dottie57
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:33 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:15 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:01 am
...
Hypothetically, if you are alone as you age and do become demented and on your own pass away sooner-what difference will this make?
Loss of cognitive ability is not loss of emotion, nor loss of the feeling of physical pain or pleasure.

On a personal note, the idea of being dead does not bother me. The dying process does.

PJW
+1

My dad had dementia. He couldn’t process and understand. But he could be happy sad, scared and other things.

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theac
Posts: 308
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by theac » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:30 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:12 pm
GR8FUL-D wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:27 pm
theac wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:46 pm

One Saturday (or Sunday?) morning I'm sitting with her in the lobby talking and they wheel in a little old lady that looked pretty close to the end. Then an older couple come in with their teen age daughter and son to see "Grandma."

Man, it was so obvious those two kids were only there by force, and had a lot better things they could find to spend their time on than "this." And I didn't get the impression that either of the two adults were all that joyed about being there either. It was pretty obvious to me that everybody was just there because "payday" ain't too far off! :moneybag

In addition, I've traveled to other countries where the aged are not warehoused or brushed aside, but revered and respected...and loved and cared for right up to the end, "at home." They may not be the richest countries in the world, but the people sure do seem a lot happier and connected.
It's a sad story you describe about the elderly Grandma & the parents and grandchildren who reluctantly visit & probably only do so in hopes of receiving some kind of inheritance. Truly sad. Maybe her children & grandkids are shallow, self absorbed ass@%*s. Very possibly, probably even likely. But it's also possible that this woman wasn't that great a Mom / Grandmother when she was younger, and now in her last years she's just "reaping what she sowed" in terms of having a poor relationships with her family. Not everyone who is old is a saint...

With regards to the way the elderly are treated and cared for in other countries: I spent the better part of four years backpacking around SE Asia when I was in my early 20's and saw firsthand what you described. There are a lot of good things to say about USA, but I think we could learn a lot from Asian cultures in terms of the way they treat their elders.
Perhaps the elderly person has dementia, and visiting is painful for the relatives. Some people lose their "filters" and say horrible things to their loved ones, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes intentionally. Until you have walked in someone's shoes...

My MIL had dementia. When we visited, sometimes she was pleasant. More often than not she was not. Sometimes she was outright nasty, calling people names and accusing them of all sorts of things. Some was dementia, much was not. My FIL was pleasant even with dementia.
I can't imagine why anyone would go thru the trouble of clipping out pertinent parts from my original post, which add to the context, so if there are no objections, in all fairness, I'd like to include those clipped out parts here (in red), just to better represent the entire picture I was painting.

And yes, there are "many possibilities" of what that scene I took in could have been all about, including the one that was pretty clear TO ME, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY EYES (and is reiterated) in the scene about Clint, his Gran Torino, and his " concerned granddaughter" (in red):

About 20 years ago I had a distant aunt who was in a "Retirement Home" (polite wording instead of "warehouse for the old"). I had never known her while growing up, and her only offspring, a daughter, had committed suicide many years earlier. So other than a couple of brothers and a sister, she had no one. The sister lived nearby so I guess she was her only regular visitor. Now that "dementia" was setting in and she couldn't live alone, even tho she could still walk and talk quite well, that's where she was. She had always had a good job and had good insurance so money was not a problem. Overall it was a pretty nice place.

Hearing of this, I decided I should go visit her even if I didn't really know her, figuring it might be good to hear any stories she might have about old family history etc. which could be of interest, plus I've always liked being around older people, even as a kid. They're not all in a rush like most younger people are, and have seen a thing or two, so I've heard some pretty good stuff by giving the elderly my ear over the years. I only got to visit her about 3 times total tho.


One Saturday (or Sunday?) morning I'm sitting with her in the lobby talking and they wheel in a little old lady that looked pretty close to the end. Then an older couple come in with their teen age daughter and son to see "Grandma."

Man, it was so obvious those two kids were only there by force, and had a lot better things they could find to spend their time on than "this." And I didn't get the impression that either of the two adults were all that joyed about being there either. It was pretty obvious to me that everybody was just there because "payday" ain't too far off!

Some years later when I was watching "Gran Torino" with Clint Eastwood I got a chuckle when he goes into the garage and finds his "granddaughter" having a smoke in secret, then she asks the most important question she can come up with, referring to his classic car:

"...so...what are ya gonna do with it...when you uh...like...die?"

It reminded me of the little scene I took in that day sitting in that lobby.
Ain't nothing like seeing it live and in living color to really drive the point home.

And over the years, I've seen other things, and heard stories from those who have seen other things, which lead me to believe it's a lot more widespread than most would like to believe.


In addition, I've traveled to other countries where the aged are not warehoused or brushed aside, but revered and respected...and loved and cared for right up to the end, "at home."
They may not be the richest countries in the world, but the people sure do seem a lot happier and connected.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sure it's great to hear about the good outcomes, also, but I really think we do ourselves a disservice if we choose to bury our heads in the sand just to avoid seeing "an unpleasant reality" that makes us feel uncomfortable or shatters any "rainbow and unicorn" illusions we may have, or like to hold on to.
"We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well...and live." Ben Hur...and The Taxman! hahaha

itiswhatitis
Posts: 15
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by itiswhatitis » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:23 am

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:12 am
retire2022 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:03 am
Op--Check out this recent NPR article on making new friends, I think this is relevant to this topic as well as in my case as single ager https://www.npr.org/751479810
...
Perhaps someone should create a new thread about the challenges of finding & cultivating new friendships as a solo boglehead ager? We could combine it to encompass what it's like dating for those of us who are FIRE. Personally I've found that very challenging...
GR8FUL-D,
Any chance you live in SC?
:happy

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Johnnie
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Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

Post by Johnnie » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:46 am

GR8FUL-D wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:12 am
retire2022 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:03 am
Op--Check out this recent NPR article on making new friends, I think this is relevant to this topic as well as in my case as single ager https://www.npr.org/751479810
While I agree that the above article is interesting & tangentially-related to this discussion, I hope it doesn't evolve into a derail of the OP, which was to to discuss the challenges of managing finances & healthcare as a solo ager. By "solo ager" I think OP intended that to mean "single with no children", not necessarily to mean without any extended family and/or few friends.

Perhaps someone should create a new thread about the challenges of finding & cultivating new friendships as a solo boglehead ager? We could combine it to encompass what it's like dating for those of us who are FIRE. Personally I've found that very challenging...
Grateful, not that it really matters, but I don't know that the OP or the thread title limits the discussion here to the physical and financial side. The OP included this:
Step 1: Build a community
Step 2: Choose your home carefully
Step 3: Enlist or hire your future guardians
I suppose the OP did include that list with an eye toward the physical and financial, but each step may be a necessary part of a whole and so relevent to discuss on its own.

I'm probably posting this because I have not seen previous threads explicitly addressing "solo ager" issues, so this one definitely got my attention.

Thanks.

:sharebeer
"I know nothing."

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