Advocate for the Aging

Changing perspectives as I age

If you read my blog introducing myself, you know that I really changed what I wanted from life after 20 years in the IT training business. Well, working in senior care has really changed my perspective, also. In some ways, I'm trying to prepare for the future. I know so much about aging that I never thought of before. I know that Medicare won't pay for long term care. I know I don't want to depend on Medicaid--sorry to the elder care lawyers that make their money helping us become qualified for Medicaid, but that's just not my vision of my golden years. I know how expensive care can be; whether I stay at home or choose to live in an assisted living community, it will be expensive. So, I am thinking about that and trying to get a handle on long term care insurance.

On the other hand, I'm trying to live for today and not fritter away any chances. We cared for a woman younger than me--I'm 55. It's already out there, so there's no point in denying it now!--who had advanced Alzheimer's. She still had a son in high school. I am now losing people I know and work with to various diseases or disabilities. I have spent time at the bedsides of people who are dying. You know what? I have never heard a dying person regret the time they spent traveling, or the time they spent with their family. They just don't ever say "Gee, I should have spent more time at the office."

I know couples who put off that trip to Europe for retirement and never got there because one of them died. I'm sure we all know people who had had this experience. So, I'm not putting off the trips to Europe. My husband and I spent last May cycling the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia with VBT and then went to Italy for a week in September to spend time with my parents and my father's family near Rome.

The trick is, how do I continue to live for today and still have enough left over to be decently cared for in my old age? Well, besides looking at long term care insurance, I'll be sure to check my social security closely and pay more attention to the advice my financial advisor gives me. I know this balancing act is just beginning, but I'm sure having a great time along the way.

I'm looking at Portugal next. Or maybe Greece.

By

Toni Reinhart

 |  October 21, 2010; 6:11 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: I never planned to live this long | Next: Do you need religion to live longer?

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