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Old 07-26-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
or not... Need to know how you will deal with plans Z and beyond.

I went from 32 yrs of very intense care-giving responsibility (disabled, combative parent). to early retirement (Pre age 50, I was ready!!!)

I got a 7 yr 'holiday', (and went back to college) and now back into care-giving for an ill spouse. Probably for many more yrs and certainly for all my few remaining yrs.
Not in my life. Best not to be disappointed in YOUR plans... Our plans / perception of what is good for us is pretty trite. I don't remember growing up much ACCEPT via adversity. (I'm a Slow learner)

For those spared the agony. Good for you! Spread some cheer!
I'm sorry for your adversity, it sounds as though you've been dealt a rotten hand.... Certainly not what any of us would ever pick for ourselves, but sometimes what gets handed to us, anyway. Sadly we don't always get a choice in that hand, our choices lie in how we deal with it. Your strength of character and your determination to keep going and care for your loved ones no matter what must be evident to all who know you, and you're a much admired individual for all that. That's not why you do it, of course, it's because of your integrity, sense of duty, and love for your parent and spouse that you do what you can to the end...

Perhaps it's wise, as you say, to plan for the possibility of Plan X, Y, Z and beyond, but I'm not so sure many of us do that in the event the worst we can consider happening to us does happen, I'd just hope that we could consider we'd be flexible enough to do what we could in those instances- even if that takes us way beyond anything we ever thought possible. Developing and maintaining the strength of character, and what resources we have while things are good, to take us through those rough times, perhaps.

I hope there are some times where you can find some measure of happiness, and reconciliation, perhaps some solace with the hand you've been dealt in this life. Perhaps even some relief is around the corner, even for a short time. You never know.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:30 PM
 
6,989 posts, read 6,983,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boater1 View Post
Not retired yet, but am a couple years away,
made some plans and beginning to look for that day

then my wife passed away 2 months ago, suddenly / unexpectedly

Now single, first time in 30 years,

Have to make all new plans for the rest of my life ....
Maybe I shouldn't plan ...
'Very, very sorry for your loss.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:39 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,147,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean_ji View Post
We returned yesterday from visiting our parents, they live 3 hours from each other. Here's a tale of two retirements:

My parents have each other and a good pension and are doing okay. They watch a lot of TV, Mom has slight dementia and Dad has macular degeneration that limits night driving, so their world is shrinking, but they've always been loners and independent. Our visit was a high point of their week and I felt sad leaving. They planned well for retirement, achieved their goals and are living well beyond what they expected to. Their house is quiet and you can hear the clock tick.

We went to my MIL's next. My FIL died eight years into retirement. MIL has a good pension and did consulting for 5 years before fully retiring. Her one wish would be to have those 5 years back to spend with FIL instead of working. Hindsight is 20/20.

So much for sadness. MIL had a list of little things for DH to do, only if he wanted when we got there.. First was to cut up a huge branch that came down in a storm. No problem, got that done and DH noticed some sucker branches growing on another maple and got the ladder out to to take care of them. One thing lead to another and we ended up pruning lower branches on five huge maples. These 'branches' required a chain saw and ropes to guide where these monsters fell. All through this MIL has pruners and loppers working side by side with us to trim things down to size. She did leave to pick up and drop off a great-grand at band camp both days we were pruning. She also left for a couple of hours to drive a friend to the grocery store and read labels to her since her friend has extreme low vision. When she came back she changed clothes and jumped into the fray again. All the grands and great-grands came over to visit and she made a huge dinner for all, with just a bit of help from me. The weekend before we arrived, she helped one of the grands move into a new house with other family members. She is the original energizer bunny.

I've been retired for two years and DH plans to in 5. We've done the financial planning and are letting the rest happen at this point. I don't think the who, what or where matters as much as the how does with retirement. I so want to be like my MIL and not my parents, as much as I love them. I want to be vital, connected, involved and always learning just like my MIL at 83. I love, admire and respect that woman, even more every time I see her now.
Thank you so much for sharing that little snapshot of two different retirement situations/styles! Your parents sound like dear folks but you hit the nail on the head when you said that their world is shrinking. It really is.

My parents are still involved in outside activities - in fact - my father at 84 still takes Sunday preaching engagements. He is preaching this coming month on two dates. BUT - they refuse to make the effort to learn how to use technology, so they are increasingly left out of communication between friends and family and do things "the hard -- and expensive -- way." My father still uses an old typewriter and was calling everyone asking if anyone had a source for a typewriter ribbon that was probably discontinued 20 or more years ago. We have given them TWO computers, one a laptop (MAC) that we should have just sold, as even with 4 grandchildren instructing them (on top of my sitting for over 6 hours total, making notes, color coding buttons) . . . they are "afraid" of the computers and printer and monitors. For ten years we (meaning, the whole family) have been begging them to just turn the things on -- or to leave them on and use them. My sister even bought my Dad a Kindle, but . . . HE WON'T USE IT. Says it is "too complicated." ????

They call asking "what is this hash tag thing we keep hearing about on TV?" and "what is a 'tweet'?" and when we explain, the response is - "oh lord, I don't care about that stuff. Why are they putting that stuff in a newscast."

People ask for their email address and of course, they don't have one (even though my sister and I have set them up with email addresses on gmail). They complain b/c no one "sends them photos" yet no one is printing photos out except rarely these days -- everyone shares on FaceBook, Instagram, Vine, etc. They refuse to "get involved with that silly stuff." They say things like "that is just a fad." They spend sooo much money reprinting articles, after mother finds one she think "everyone will be interested in" -- and it is a lot of money and effort out the window -- as it is always stuff that is readily available with a google search. She inundates us all with paper when folks (family and friends) are trying to get away from paper and putting things on memory sticks . . .

So my big lesson from my parents is this -- we can isolate ourselves if we don't try to at least minimally "keep up with how the world is changing." And it is changing rapidly! My Dad is fond of saying that his Dad's generation saw the world go from horse and buggy and outdoor plumbing to cars/tractors and electric stoves and air conditioning -- and how amazing the changes had been. But his generation got caught in the computer age. Only 14% of Americans do not use the internet! My parents are in that statistic. No computer, not internet, no texting.

Whatever the future brings, I am determined to make sure I am at least "aware" of the changes and involved at least to some degree!
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:47 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,147,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasminenirvana View Post
It is true that life happens when we are making other plans. I have been intensively researching retirement locations for the last six months and still can't find the perfect destination. But after visiting Naples, Florida and Asheville and Wilmington, North Carolina this year, I have come to realize that Connecticut is a wonderful place and I have lived here 22 years. Bloom where you are planted! I actually had to travel thousands of miles to realize I live in my own personal paradise. I practice mindfulness and living in the moment and also practice The book The Secret with positive thoughts throughout the day. I find these two techniques keep me positive and calm. Did you ever see the movie Under the Tuscan Sun? The women is always looking for things that are missing in her life and then she realizes she has everything she has ever wanted and has a great life! That is me!

You are so wise! Sounds like you took some time out to explore and discovered that geography alone is not what makes a happy person -- it's the "internal life" that makes the difference. Unless there are compelling reasons to "find somewhere else" to retire, why leave?

I really enjoy "Under the Tuscan Sun." Have watched it probably six times over the years. It does bring home the point - our lives are what we make them.

So glad you made those trips and in doing so, solidified your decisions about your future. Yes, very wise, indeed!
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
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Ani, I could use a good sermon, fire away.

There is the flip side to your exasperation regarding your folks being anti tech. Every time my mom crashes hers or gets a new camera or printer I have to walk her through installing things/debugging/removing spyware, etc. Be careful what you wish for.

Under the Tuscan Sun has a permanent place in my DVD cabinet. Your miracles are right in front of you, your ship has come in. If it's hold is full of lemons, make lemonade.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:14 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,745 posts, read 7,027,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Thank you so much for sharing that little snapshot of two different retirement situations/styles! Your parents sound like dear folks but you hit the nail on the head when you said that their world is shrinking. It really is.

My parents are still involved in outside activities - in fact - my father at 84 still takes Sunday preaching engagements. He is preaching this coming month on two dates. BUT - they refuse to make the effort to learn how to use technology, so they are increasingly left out of communication between friends and family and do things "the hard -- and expensive -- way." My father still uses an old typewriter and was calling everyone asking if anyone had a source for a typewriter ribbon that was probably discontinued 20 or more years ago. We have given them TWO computers, one a laptop (MAC) that we should have just sold, as even with 4 grandchildren instructing them (on top of my sitting for over 6 hours total, making notes, color coding buttons) . . . they are "afraid" of the computers and printer and monitors. For ten years we (meaning, the whole family) have been begging them to just turn the things on -- or to leave them on and use them. My sister even bought my Dad a Kindle, but . . . HE WON'T USE IT. Says it is "too complicated." ????

They call asking "what is this hash tag thing we keep hearing about on TV?" and "what is a 'tweet'?" and when we explain, the response is - "oh lord, I don't care about that stuff. Why are they putting that stuff in a newscast."

People ask for their email address and of course, they don't have one (even though my sister and I have set them up with email addresses on gmail). They complain b/c no one "sends them photos" yet no one is printing photos out except rarely these days -- everyone shares on FaceBook, Instagram, Vine, etc. They refuse to "get involved with that silly stuff." They say things like "that is just a fad." They spend sooo much money reprinting articles, after mother finds one she think "everyone will be interested in" -- and it is a lot of money and effort out the window -- as it is always stuff that is readily available with a google search. She inundates us all with paper when folks (family and friends) are trying to get away from paper and putting things on memory sticks . . .

So my big lesson from my parents is this -- we can isolate ourselves if we don't try to at least minimally "keep up with how the world is changing." And it is changing rapidly! My Dad is fond of saying that his Dad's generation saw the world go from horse and buggy and outdoor plumbing to cars/tractors and electric stoves and air conditioning -- and how amazing the changes had been. But his generation got caught in the computer age. Only 14% of Americans do not use the internet! My parents are in that statistic. No computer, not internet, no texting.

Whatever the future brings, I am determined to make sure I am at least "aware" of the changes and involved at least to some degree!
I agree with you that we need to be aware of the changes out there, and as involved as we need to be at least some of them. I'm just not sure I want to be involved in some of those changes- for instance, the day I live my entire life, or immerse my total being into social networking- entirely dependent on the internet and my "virtual" social contacts- what they seem to define as "friends" these days, will be the day that you know where freezes over, LOL.

Obviously, I do use the internet, and I even have a part-time contract job as an educational consultant that I do at home using the internet, and I'll learn the new technology as it comes along as I need to. But I don't do Facebook, Twitter, or any of those other social media site, because I just feel the need to maintain my foothold here in the real world, and don't believe that everyone in the world needs a picture of what I ate for breakfast, or how I look in the new outfit I bought the other day, or what color I painted my nails.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:28 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,147,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCc girl View Post
Ani, I could use a good sermon, fire away.

There is the flip side to your exasperation regarding your folks being anti tech. Every time my mom crashes hers or gets a new camera or printer I have to walk her through installing things/debugging/removing spyware, etc. Be careful what you wish for.

Under the Tuscan Sun has a permanent place in my DVD cabinet. Your miracles are right in front of you, your ship has come in. If it's hold is full of lemons, make lemonade.
My sister told me maybe 3 years ago that she was no longer going to "push" the technology with our parents (at which time we both stopped all efforts) b/c if we ever did get them to engage, we would be inundated with calls to "make this thing work," lol.

We did, however, encourage them to take advantage of the many FREE computer classes -- for Seniors - offered in the area. We thought they might do that last year but for whatever reason, they didn't follow through.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,147,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
I agree with you that we need to be aware of the changes out there, and as involved as we need to be at least some of them. I'm just not sure I want to be involved in some of those changes- for instance, the day I live my entire life, or immerse my total being into social networking- entirely dependent on the internet and my "virtual" social contacts- what they seem to define as "friends" these days, will be the day that you know where freezes over, LOL.

Obviously, I do use the internet, and I even have a part-time contract job as an educational consultant that I do at home using the internet, and I'll learn the new technology as it comes along as I need to. But I don't do Facebook, Twitter, or any of those other social media site, because I just feel the need to maintain my foothold here in the real world, and don't believe that everyone in the world needs a picture of what I ate for breakfast, or how I look in the new outfit I bought the other day, or what color I painted my nails.
The thing about social media -- it is what you make it. For me, it is just a way to keep in touch, but it isn't a substitute for actually interacting.

My FB page is a great way to share photos, recipes, prayer lists -- and my friends and I will set up group conversations on get-togethers. It really is wonderful to be able to put all info in one spot and have a group discussion about whether or not this is a good time to meet up, for example. When I plan a brunch or coffee meet up with friends (or they plan one) this is how we get the date and time straight. For the last several years, my friends and I create special pages for our events - birthdays, anniversaries, BBQ get togethers, etc - and it contains a map, tel #, guest list - everyone can comment, do updates, share what dishes they are bringing, etc.

It is just a convenience, really. Like having a group meeting to do planning.

I think Twitter is a waste of time. I will use it for business purposes and on behalf of clients, in order to get material out to a specific group, share a link to a site for a conference, for example. I never use Twitter as a personal communication tool.

And instagram is so much fun. You can keep things as private as you want and just share your photos with friends -- or you can reach out and share photos with folks around the globe.

Social media is a tool and can be helpful if you design it that way. Of course, it took a few years (got on FB in 2007) for me to get connected w/ all the folks in my group of friends. Gradually, they all ended up on FB, thank goodness! Once you get connected, then it is easy to make FB a fun place to share info and stay connected.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:49 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,428 posts, read 1,665,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Thank you so much for sharing that little snapshot of two different retirement situations/styles! Your parents sound like dear folks but you hit the nail on the head when you said that their world is shrinking. It really is.
My best friend's parents were at this same stage several years ago, starting at age 90 like my parents. She said they were just waiting to die. It's the same for my parents; all but one sibling is left and the cousins are gone, most of their friends and life is winding down. My one aunt just went into a nursing home this past winter, she is 94 and has been sharp in her mind but her body was failing and was housebound for the past year. In her later years she would not let a conversation continue until she remembered a name, place or date. She was not giving in to memory problems! We went to see her at the nursing home and she had to ask me my name three times. She was like an innocent child. The end does resemble the beginning sometimes.

My Dad embraced computers early on but Mom had no interest. I email Dad and talk to Mom on the phone, Dad has trouble hearing on the phone, so it all works out. My MIL was a computer analyst/programmer on main frames before she retired and was not into PC's, but she caught on quickly. She has a card in her PC to make a hotspot for the internet we can use when we visit.

My MIL is five years behind my parents and that makes a difference in vitality. Even with her unending energy, she has been showing small changes: a few more small dings on the car bumper and losing more weight. She can't use the riding lawn mower anymore because she doesn't weigh enough to defeat the child safety feature which is based on weight.

So in our families, from the late 80's on, the decline begins if there are no accidents or catastrophic illnesses. My take on this is to live a full and happy life like they did and to accept that it does end. I hope my retirement is as good as theirs has been.

Last edited by jean_ji; 07-31-2014 at 07:07 AM..
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,729,443 times
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As for the question in the thread title, I did NOT plan, and yet it all fell into place beautifully anyway.

1. I was aware from day one of my employment as a public school teacher in California that 8% of my salary was being withheld for the retirement system, so I knew I would have a pension. But it was years and years later before I started carefully checking exactly how the pension was calculated and how much it would be based on years of service and age at retirement. With a secure pension in the wings, one can perhaps get away with a lack of planning that would be deplorable in other circumstances.

2. I had a life-long habit of living within my means and just putting away the surplus every year. This was not "planning" in any meaningful sense, as I did not calculate any particular sum as a goal; it was just the correct way to live as far as I was concerned - a way to live which was in a comfort zone for me. I could not have (and still cannot) conceive of any other way to live.

3. When I was 57 or 58 years old and about three and a half years out from retirement, I was forced out of my apartment because it was being sold and the new buyer wanted to live in my unit and it was a condition of escrow that I be moved out. (There were only five units, and mine was the most desirable.) When I saw what market rent was, I decided to buy instead, so I bought a townhouse which I thought at the time would be a perfect place to retire in and to remain in until my death. Thirteen years later I have had no cause to change my mind.

4. As for location, I knew that I wanted to stay in the Los Angeles area. I love the cultural richness here, I have friends here, I have lived here continuously since graduate school (which was a LONG time ago). So no planning was required or even called for. Again, I have had no reason to change my mind.

Yes, I am very, VERY fortunate. I do feel sympathy for those who have to agonize about the various aspects of retirement. I cannot even claim that I somehow "deserve" my good fortune. But in my case everything just fell into place, retirement-wise.
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