April 10, 2018

What Would You Do If You Faced This Problem?


You can probably guess what is the #1 concern of retired folks: their health, how it will hold up and how they will pay for it. In the United States our health care system almost guarantees that a large chunk of retirement savings will disappear into the pockets of insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, care facilities, and drug companies.


The second biggest concern is the one I want to focus on with this post: running out of money. Obviously, the #1 concern is a major reason for the #2 fear. Regardless of how dedicated you may have been to saving and investments, a major medical problem, or the need for a nursing home can knock a hole in your nest egg so large, there could be little left. 

The other reasons someone could run out of money are less dramatic but still very real. If you spend a lot on vacations under the "I'll see the world while I can" your later years may suffer. If we live through another recession of the severity of 2008-10, your portfolio may not have enough time to recover. Companies go bankrupt and leave a sizable investment of yours worth pennies on the dollar. You may find yourself supporting or caring for a family member or relative. 

I don't really need to elaborate why you may face a serious money shortage at some point during your retirement; you have a vivid imagination and can come up with plenty of scenarios on your own. The real question, is what would you do? What can you do? 

Obviously, there is no one answer that fits every person and every situation. But, the basic step that must be taken is quite simple to say, and very hard to implement: reduce your outgo to match your income. If only it were that easy.

So, let's think about what you, or a friend or relative, could do if faced with a serious financial shortfall. I have five options. Then, I'd love you to add as many more as you have time to type! There are folks among us whose retirement could very well depend on what ideas we can generate.

1) Change housing. Downsize to a smaller home or condo. Rent an apartment instead of owning a house. Look at manufactured housing communities. Find someone with a spare room to rent. Get a roommate. 

2) Go on a financial fast for a month. For 30 days cut your budget to the bone. Only buy what is needed. Cancel, suspend, eliminate, cut out everything else for one month. After the fast, reassess your financial status. When you can, start adding back those things that bring joy and comfort to your life, one at a time. 

3) Consider government programs you might have overlooked before. If you qualify, check out Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), food banks, free clinics, housing assistance, help with utility costs. If you are caring for a grandchild under five, you may qualify for WIC.

4) Get a job, any job. The goal is to tide you over until you get back on your feet, not start a second career. Greeters, an Uber driver, Amazon warehouse worker, fast food counter help...anything to bring in some cash as long as it doesn't cause you to fail to qualify for government assistance.

5) Ask a relative or friend for help. This is usually one of the last choices folks make. A certain stubbornness or pride keep us from asking those who love us to help us. 


The number of people who really run out of money during retirement is quite small. Maybe savings and investments are dangerously low. But, even then there will be money coming in. Social Security payments continue along with any pensions that you might be entitled to receive. Medicaid provides basically free medical care since  even Medicare costs money each month to maintain coverage and generally doesn't cover dental, hearing, or vision care.

Now, I'd like you to brainstorm. Imagine for a moment this is your situation: you are running low on retirement money. What would you do before things became serious? How would you attempt to solve this problem?


46 comments:

  1. I change to a whole-food, plant-based diet; no added oils, sugars, or salt; no processed food. There are many wonderful cook books and loads of evidence-based research to help you along. I am 66 and on no medications and I feel healthy and vibrant. Obviously, I will save a lot of money if I take care of my health.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea. Plus, if you cut out meat and processed products, your food budget would be happier.

      Delete
    2. Not getting sick and dying is always a good objective though viewing evidence-based results you may need to be prepared with an alternative. Just sayin'

      Delete
  2. The primary reason I returned to work in my old group - on a reduced work schedule and with a different job - was so I could a) take less $ out of my retirement account each month, and b) keep the travel coffer ready for the next road trip. I realize that not many retirees have employers knocking at their doors as happened to me, but you never know if you don't ask!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are one of the lucky ones. Returning to work in some fashion is increasingly popular among retirees. Getting to return to your old employer with a reduced work schedule is the best of all possible worlds.

      Delete
  3. To "change housing," I'd add "change state of residency" and "change country of residency." The cost of living varies pretty dramatically, but people are often understandably reluctant to leave familiar surroundings and supports. What if you lived where you didn't need a car? Bingo, you've saved $5000 a year in fuel, insurance, and depreciation. (For occasional needs, use Uber, Car2Go, and Zipcar.) What if a medical procedure cost a half or a third as much?

    Also, keeping a super-detailed budget for a couple of months can be an eye-opener. Yes, we have fixed costs, but much of our spending is on discretionary items that add little to our quality of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will have a post in a few weeks about retiring abroad. For many that is one way to cut the cost of living dramatically. America may be very convenient and consumer-friendly, but it is very pricy for a typical senior.

      To your point, living in California, Hawaii, Connecticut or New York, for example, costs much more than many southern, desert, and Rocky Mountain states. And, that second car usually sits in the garage for 95% of its life!

      Delete
  4. My college buddies and I have had the discussion several times. Change housing is the number one for most of us. Three out of the five own houses outright. 1)Living together (as we did in college). My grandmother's bf lived with her for ten years. 2)Boarding houses. Each of us have discussed keeping the master bedroom and turning our other bedrooms into a place for professionals to land. The bnb of Europe is our inspiration. We are not as hot on Air bnb (although we all use it) - too much turn around.
    3)Check the budget. I know, approximately, where everything goes right now. I know how to get my groceries down to the minimum because I did it as a young mother on a little salary. I need a place to lay my head, calories to move, a type of transportation (my three wheeled bike can go a long way), and books (the library is my friend). Also, after having the grid go down for ten days in Kansas, I always have about a month of food in my pantry.
    4) If we are still young enough, substitute teaching. Every one of us has a degree, in something. Care sitting at a hospital is also a thought. Usually overnight shifts, we could all handle that one.
    5) Volunteer for a food bank. We have organizational skills! I have noticed that those who work for the food banks around here often are the first to eat.
    6) If it looks like funds are running downhill, be proactive. Both of our kids have offered room for a granny pod. Fund it up front and let it roll.
    7)My children would be horrified if I did not ask for help. They are not the last resort. We have clear lines of communication and they would know that we were in trouble long before we were in the thick of it. I might get a few eye rolls if I gave all our money to a king of Nigeria, but we are a family and they have made it known that two more at a table will never be an issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an excellent summary of a thoughtful approach to what may happen to any of us at any time. The theme to all of your thoughts is the word, proactive. Planning for bad times before they occur (if ever) is solid common sense.

      Your Airbnb thought is on the mark. While we use them when traveling and they can be a source of income, the folks that use that service are transitory - in the room for a few days and then gone. The cleaning, maintenance and marketing chores are nonstop. A longer term lease, like 6-9 months, reduces the workload tremendously for the owner.

      Delete
  5. I can’t think of anything to add. We have considered all of the things mentioned. When we visit smaller Az. Towns we see a lot of small houses,cabins, and park models (mobile homes) that would not be my first choice for lifestyle but it’s good to know there is a Plan B if the you know what hits the fan! I think of how content “Bag Lady in Waiting” is, in their park model in Tucson for half a year— Also, on a daily, and yearly basis, we continue to evaluate our expenditures. Our trip to Europe, while interesting, was not truly worth the $$ iit cost,in our opinion..so we are now planning travels differently.. more bang for our buck is the motto! Also, Ken’s older Acura is finally starting to need expensive repairs so we are going down to ONE CAR! WE bought me a nice new Mazda CX-5 smaller SUV with great safety features and good mileage last year..and we’ve left the Acura in the garage for a month and used just one car between us— it’s not hard at all. In particular, I am never in need of a car “right now...” except for a Thursday morning art group. This will save us on gas,tired,repairs, and insurance. We have gone back to strict vegan diet, and by subscribing to a meal planner for $4 per month, my meals are planned out, I get a grocery list, and I save time and $$$ . AND we are improving our health. Great post,Bob..thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am interested in knowing more about your Europe trip and what parts left you less than satisfied. Betty and I are going on a European river cruise next month. When I think of the costs I shudder, so it may be a one-time thing. Then again, maybe we will love it so much we will make cuts at home to fund more!

      We went to one car 5 months ago. There are a few conflicts, but very minor. As long as we look at each other's schedule a few days ahead of time, we work around the problem.

      Delete
  6. Hi Bob! As I've said before, my DH and I are not yet retired but we do have a flexible work schedule. We plan to work as long as we are able because we enjoy our jobs and have a lot of freedom in terms of time and even location (we can still work when we travel.) Setting up life that way BEFORE retirement is part of what I call rightsizing. But we have also discussed other ways that income can be generated doing things you enjoy....like dog sitting. Not sure if it's the same everywhere but dog sitters make between $30-50 PER DAY where I life. That would add to anyone's income in an easy way. And of course the big one is housing. We "rightsized" our home years ago so we have been able in the last 10 years to sock away savings and still live pretty well. To me a real key is not to wait until retirement, but planning to rightsize as soon as possible so you are prepared. ~Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No argument from me, Kathy. Rightsizing your possessions and impact on the earth before retirement are important to a satisfying retirement. Even so, with all that preplanning bad things can happen. Thinking through your response to a financial tsunami is just as important.

      Delete
  7. I've thought about this most of my adult life - what to do if funds run low? Just as Janette responded in her third bullet, I've learned to live minimally. In addition, I've learned to like what I can afford. There would be a hard assessment of expenses including all the technology that has somehow morphed into "necessity" and even pet ownership. Assets would be assessed to determine what could be sold including property and personal items. Earning power would be considered - sales clerk, housecleaning, cooking service/food prep, childcare, provide room & board, personal care/companion, sewing. What's the old saying - necessity is the mother of invention? Bartering for necessities is an option, i.e. live-in work situations. I would consider communal living/room mates to share expenses and responsibilities. Other readers have mentioned the money freed up without car ownership. What about bartering for rides with some service? I would first attempt to manage this on my own before going to family and friends. Would any of this be quick and easy? No. A female relative of mine experienced this when she lost a long-time FT job later in life. She moved from a city apartment to live with relatives in a rural area. She was able to get a job as a live-in caregiver to a disabled person, continuing to live PT with her family. Eventually she found subsidized senior housing that she could afford on her pension and PT income. She settled into small town living and enjoyed the social life that it provided.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your relative adapted to her changing situation. The ability to do that is important.

      We live slightly above our means at the moment. Extra travel, giving money to our grown children at Christmas, helping to pay for extra things for grandkids have increased our outgo. We expect this to continue for a few more years.

      Then, Betty and I know we will pull back on what we do and how, so the growth of our investments can fund our lifestyle, leaving the bulk of the principal for our kids to inherit. At least that's the plan. Even so, our kids have made it quite clear that we should not live less of a life just to leave them money. They are rather insistent that we enjoy the fruits of our labors.

      Good kids!

      Delete
    2. Bob I agree with your kids! Something I mention to all my friends who are hoping to leave a big estate to their kids is - "You know they will be 60 or 70 years old when they get this money? What's the point of that?" They often have not thought about that, they are just "kids" to them :) I say spend your hard earned money Bob!! Set aside enough to get you buried and then have fun with the rest, or give it away while you are alive so you can enjoy the giving. I hope to spend every dime and bounce the check to the undertaker ;)

      Delete
    3. Yes, waiting until we die to give our children access to the money would serve only one purpose: to help fund part of their retirements. What we are doing is giving a sum to each girl each Christmas. They understand it is part of their inheritance but are glad to receive it now when they need it the most. We will also make a decent donation to each child's college expenses as needed.

      My parents waited until their death to dispense most of their estate. Betty and I are being more proactive while still enjoying our life.

      Delete
  8. More than once, I've seen respectable sources note a figure of over $200,000 as the estimate for lifetime medical expenses for a retired couple who are both 65 years of age. Personally, I'm trying to do everything I can to keep my future medical expenses as low as possible - maintaining a healthy weight, exercising on a regular basis (both cardio & strength training), consistently getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night and eating a nutritious diet of lean protein, whole grain foods, low fat dairy and as many fruits and vegetables as possible. I may not be able to stop the clock, but I'd like to enjoy my "satisfying retirement" for as long as possible without concern about sustaining my lifestyle - either financially or medically.

    When funds are running low, your thoughts may turn toward reducing your expenses, and discretionary items are often the first to go from a budget. Rather than eliminating pleasures, I would encourage swapping them for less expensive pursuits. If you enjoy eating out, choose less expensive restaurants, limit how often you go or pack a picnic and take it to a local park. If you love movies, choose Netflix over the theater or borrowing DVDs from the library over Netflix. The same is true for book lovers - buy used or borrow from the library rather than paying full price for a new book you may only read once anyway. Give up the expensive gym membership for a less expensive gym or, better yet, switch to a completely free form of exercise like walking. (Maybe it's time to dust off your bike or tennis racket, too.) If a long weekend away with your friends is no longer in the budget, then host a pot luck supper and celebrate your friendship by playing a good, old-fashioned round of charades. I'd venture a guess and say that it would be just as much fun as that round of karaoke in the hotel night club. My point is this - unless it's absolutely necessary, don't eliminate the activities that allow you to enjoy your retirement. Even if our financial situation causes us to scale back our lifestyle, we can still enjoy the simple pleasures in life that bring joy and contentment - and an attitude of gratitude for what we do have and can still do makes a rough road a little easier to travel.

    Thank you, Bob, for yet another thought provoking post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, the latest figures are closer to $250,000. Just twenty years of Medicare, supplemental, and drug coverage at approximately $650/month for two takes about somewhere around $160,000 in premiums, so that is not an unreasonable total, but still quite a sum.

      I like your idea about not eliminating all pleasures but finding less expensive ways of fulfilling them. That makes a lot of sense. After all, unless the financial situation is so dire we are talking about survival, life without some of the things that bring us joy would be awfully depressing. Every example you gave is quite doable.

      Delete
  9. We downsized to move to the beach and it was a great decision. We've been doing fine with one car since then. So, aside from some minor adjustments and expenditures I think we're going to be ok. We were discussing a river cruise for our 50th in Oct. but, I'm reluctant because of the $$$. They are very expensive. Still on the fence.
    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the river cruise is very expensive. We take the 8 day trip down the Rhine next month. Even with a large discount on the second person, the travel medical insurance, the trip cancellation insurance, the airfare, the upgrades to premium economy, two extra days in Amsterdam and two in Lucerne is enough to buy a good used car!

      Delete
  10. One thing I do every few months or so is approach a month as if I have no money to spend on food. Instead of automatically going to the grocery store, I make myself design meals from what I have on hand. Fortunately I can approach this as something of a game, rather than an absolute necessity, so I can enjoy the challenge. This also forces me into using back of the pantry and bottom of the freezer items that have probably been around too long anyway. Incidentally, whenever I purchase anything in a can I use a sharpie to write the use by or best by date on the front. If I do have items that are approaching their date, I turn them upside down in the pantry as a signal saying "use this in a recipe!" (And yes I know that many items are still good past this date, but it keeps me from suddenly discovering an extremely outdated can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great idea. The amount of food that Americans throw away simply because they don't use it in time is staggering. For a typical pantry and/or freezer, there are probably close to a week's worth of main courses that can be put together.

      Delete
  11. I'm always confused about the huge medical costs that are quoted for the Medicare set. We have an HMO Advantage plan through Medicare and are doing fine with it. But maybe there are things I don't know here. So far all of our maintenance meds are free, with the occasional charge for something odd. Our house has been paid for with cash and the cars also.

    Three quarters of our income is from Uncle Sam, the other quarter from a union pension. It's possible the union pension could go away, although not very likely. We saved what we could with salaries that were never very high, and in the last three years we have purchased two new cars with cash. We honestly can't figure out anything that could go wrong that isn't a tad far fetched. 1. The house could go down in an earthquake, and we have no insurance for that as it seems like a very poor deal. 2. Are there catastrophic illnesses that Medicare will not help with? I don't know.

    So we have thought and thought and after 8 years of complete retirement we can't be very pessimistic considering there was never any chance our retirement accounts were going to be in the millions.

    One thing I do want to mention as regards to a safety net is the Reverse Mortgage. I realize it isn't highly thought of, and is supposed to be very expensive, but if you're really on your uppers, then I suppose it is a fallback place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cost I quoted above is for traditional Medicare, a top of the line Medicare supplemental plan, and a Part D drug plan. Medicare Advantage programs can be much, much cheaper, sometimes even free. We made the choice to avoid anything controlled by a private company that comes with networks and certain restrictions. But, if the budget is an issue, an Advantage program is the best option. Of course, once a year you can switch to another Advantage program or even back to traditional Medicare, so no decision is permanent.

      Traditional Medicare does not cover dental, sight, or hearing aid issues, while some Advantage plans do. Long term care is not covered. At a national average of $8,000 a month, that can put a serious dent in anyone's budget toward the end of life.

      Very few retirees actually run out of money before they run out of years. The fear is there, so thinking through options that may never be needed helps us sleep better at night.

      Thanks, Anne.

      Delete
  12. We're doing pretty well with getting glasses and exams from Costco. Also Zenni Optical has fantastic deals on frames. We can keep all that in the budget. But, oh those dental costs. Husband needs a root canal and crown this month, coming in around $2300. And we think we're lucky to get off with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why Medicare doesn't cover dental care is a mystery. It was strongly recommended by all sorts of studies over the years, but the costs scared away all the politicians. We use a dental discount plan that costs $100 a year for both of us, but saves hundreds on root canals or crowns, and $60 every cleaning visit. So far, it has been there for us.

      Delete
    2. Bob, I think I am safe in saying that dental bills are a huge concern for most of us in the retired set, as it’s pretty hard to postpone dealing with something that can be so painful. May I ask what discount plan you & Betty are using? Obviously there would be regional differences, and one wants to make sure their dentist is “in network,” but that sounds like a terrific help!

      Pauline in Upstate NY

      Delete
    3. Oh yes, I am interested in knowing more about that dental plan as well. Do tell.

      Delete
    4. The company is Secure One Dental Discount. I don't know if they operate in other parts of the country, but it is worth checking out.

      If not, I am sure there are dental discount plans in your area. They are not insurance. You pay a yearly fee and then get pretty substantial price breaks on all dental services.

      Delete
    5. Thanks Bob. I will look into it!

      Delete
  13. I live in a fairly affluent community with a high number of retirees. After working for 9 years in the local hospital I realized how many really poor retirees there are in my community. Many of them are in their mid 80's and above. They are still living in their own homes but those homes have fallen into disrepair. These people retired in their 60's but what seemed like an adequate monthly retirement check 20-25 years ago is no longer adequate to buy their prescriptions, buy food, pay for transportation and keep up their homes. Add to that beginnings of dementia or mild memory loss and the thought of moving is just overwhelming. Families are not always there - sometimes children have died and grandchildren are not able to step in, or the grown children are now in their 60's and are facing their own issues. When I would suggest moving to a retirement community they often said they could not afford it or that they did not want to "live like that". I have friends right now whose financial planner is telling them that they have saved enough (not my opinion) and that they should start to spend their money. He is not taking into consideration what inflation will do to their budget in 20 years and that both sets of parents lived to 90.

    I think the answer is save more than you think you will need and run the inflation numbers to see what your expenses are projected to be in 20 years. If it will be no problem paying for your needs then everything should be fine. The other thing to consider if you are married is the loss of a monthly social security and pension payment when one spouse dies. My personal feeling is that it will cost more than we think if we live another 20 years from today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The loss of a spouse's social security benefit is an important consideration for married folks. I think the surviving partner can take start receiving the larger monthly check, but not both.

      Your thinking is what restrains me from feeling comfortable about large vacation and travel expenses. My financial person tells me all will be fine if I don't overdo and don't keep this up for multiple years. My goal is to get the big stuff out of my system while still healthy enough to enjoy it, and then be sure our withdrawals from our investments stay well below whatever is the average return at that point.

      Delete
    2. Bankrate.com offers an excellent "retirement income calculator" with options to run calculations on retirement funds using different rates of return, tax rates, rates of inflation and life expectancy. I, too, am cautious about budgeting and spending, but running various numbers and scenarios through this calculator did give me a little more confidence with regard to spending issues and brought about some peace of mind, as well.

      Delete
  14. Regarding downsizing, my DH and I planned ahead and bought a townhome during the recession, which we moved into a couple of years ago when he retired. We also bought a smaller place for cash and within walking distance of downtown to rent out to our DD, with the idea that either both or whoever survived might live there. My DH has been asked back to work for a couple of weeks twice since he retired a year ago, which we use for travel fun. We, too, are trying to get the major travel done early enough so we can enjoy it in good health.

    Sheila

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be a lot easier if we knew when our healthy days were coming to an end, wouldn't it.

      Delete
  15. We bought a unit a few years ago to downsize into when we retire in five years. I've watched too many people stay too long in their family sized homes and being willing to downsize will make a big difference to our finances and allow us to retire a bit earlier. We also won't have to manage a big yard, which we are both finding difficult and that alone will free up time for us to spend time doing things we enjoy.
    in regard to health, we're also eating more plant based and have increased our exercise. We've gradually bought various home gym equipment over the years so we can exercise at home and avoid gym fees. As you get older I think health becomes the most important factor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is #1 in most studies I have seen.

      Our backyard is large, but was bought with the grandkids and various dogs in mind. When the grandchildren are old enough to not care about the yard and the dogs have gone to doggie heaven, we will likely downsize again, to something without the cost of maintaining such a space. I gave up personally doing the yard several years ago. Cutting the grass and trimming bushes during a Phoenix summer is not something I could continue.

      Delete
  16. I’ve enjoyed immensely reading your post and each reply. Some random thoughts:
    1-I just can’t quite pull the plug on the second car. We did loan it to our son for a month when he had car trouble. We did just fine, but the idea of full time one car only gives us pause.
    2-Earthquake insurance in Oklahoma is very reasonable, given our rash of quakes in the past few years. Our premiums are less than $100 a year.
    3-We downsized four years ago to a smaller house and city lot close to shopping, etc. We’ve never regretted it. Even though I was just 60 then, I was thinking about the senior years and their health needs. We did not want to do what our parents did- practically nothing. I asked my dad one time if he and my mom had ever discussed what they would do when aging problems hit. He said they just figured they’d wake up dead one morning. Father-in-law denied age completely. When the dr told him at age 95 he had cancer and wouldn’t live long, he said, “You’re giving me a death sentence!” The dr kindly told him we’re all trying to get where he was at 95, relatively healthy and living at home.
    Thanks so much for your blog.
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Jeff.

      We debated the one car-two car scenario for two years. Finally, the oldest car got to the point where it was undependable. We did a side-by-side comparison of putting $16-20,000 into a newer used car, or having that money available for travel. Travel won. We donated the oldest car to Goodwill.

      So far, one car has not been a problem. It helps that I am within walking distance of a car repair facility when needed. But, conflicts in our schedule have been minimal.

      When we "downsized" about 3 years ago, we ended up with a bigger house and yard. Go figure. But, it is single story instead of two, and is 5 minutes from the grandkids instead of 40 minutes. By adding a housecleaning and yard service, the move has worked out very well for everyone. I assume our next move will be into a CCRC when I am in my late 70's.

      Delete
  17. If something can be taken care of by being frugal for a month or two, that's really not a problem. You just do it and move on. Otherwise, I hope I have enough set aside to take care of everything not covered by Medicare and supplemental insurance. Fingers crossed. If needed, I could go back to my old job, they would love to have me back in any capacity, but that won't be an option forever. If something really drastic happens it will require a drastic response. My backup plan now would be to leave the country. There are lots of international options for retirement in general and long-term healthcare specifically. And they are much cheaper (and in some cases of higher quality) than here in the US. I just went through 24/7 long-term care for my Mom and even in-home options are 15-20K a month. That will blast through savings in a hurry. I changed jobs late in my career specifically so I would get a decent pension. So between my pension, SSI, equity in my home, and savings I should be covered. If not... Ola Mexico!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While researching a post on retiring abroad I was amazed at the cost differences, particularly in medical care and housing costs. I have several friends who drive the three hours from Phoenix to Mexico for dental work. Prices are less than half and the doctors are US trained and of high quality.

      Over 600,000 folks over 65 receive Social Security in foreign countries and that number increases every year. If you become an expat you will not be alone!

      Delete
  18. Lots of good suggestions here. The first thought I had was to stay in the area but move into a smaller home in a less expensive neighborhood. I would like to stay close to the kids if possible. Otherwise, Costa Rica here I come!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Costa Rica is warmer than your long ago home: Alaska!

      Same with betty and me. We would move into a condo or even apartment to stay close to family.

      Delete
  19. Between us, we have multiple financial streams: Rob’s pension, CPP, and OAS, and my investments, pension, and CPP. Not having all our eggs in one basket lends a greater sense of financial security. If finances were to become an issue, we could rent out the suite on the lower level of our house, or move into the suite and rent out the main part of the house. Or we could sell the house and downsize. If one of us were to pass away, I think the other would sell the house and move into something smaller close to our kids. I don’t worry too much about it. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, knowing that we have multiple options.

    Jude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have plenty of options, so not to worry. It's the folks with few or no choices that i worry about.

      Delete

Inappropriate comments will be deleted