Who Takes Care of the Caretaker?

My husband’s grandmother spent her life taking care of her family. And she loved it! She was so devoted to cooking for them, cleaning for them, taking them to doctor appointments, you name it, and she did it. She would literally clean the house every day, and at least once a week would pull the fridge and oven out to clean behind them. She took such good care of them that she might have missed taking care of herself. Sound familiar? At her husband’s doctor’s appointment, the doctor actually noticed something was off with her. After some nagging, he got her to sit down and be evaluated. Turns out something was wrong. She had cancer.

This took everyone by surprise since she was still taking care of everyone else and seemed fine. Maybe she was too scared to admit something was wrong because then who would take care of her and who would take care of her family?

This happens all too much when the caretaker ends up getting more sick and leaving us all too soon. As women, we tend to take care of everyone else first and only then will we maybe rest a little. The problem is women live longer than men and now more than ever women are more independent. Whether you are single or married, chances are you will be alone when you enter your 80s and 90s. This is why 80% of the people in nursing homes are women. I’ve seen this becoming a bigger and bigger problem when it comes to planning, financial planning.

Oh I know you’d rather plan out the beginning of your retirement and all the trips you want to go on. While this is important, so is planning out the latter part of your retirement. Who will take care of you when you get sick, have a surgery, get dementia? Where will you go? What will happen to your house? Who will organize your possessions? Who will take care of your money? How will everyone know your wishes? It is a growing problem and is so important!

I’ve heard from numerous women and clients that they can’t leave their state because who will help them if their washing machine goes? Who will bring them to a surgery they’ll need? They are terrified, and this fear is keeping them paralyzed. I’ve heard your complaints, and am creating a program to help you map all this out. It’s called finding your R & R: Retiree Recipe or rest and relaxation since that is what this program can help give you. It might not be as exciting as planning your trip to Hawaii but it is essential to get this type of planning done, especially if you are a single woman.

To get you started, here is the 4 pillars that will be included in the program with questions you would NEED to start asking yourself.

  1. Lifestyle: How will you spend your time?
    1. Volunteering,
    2. Traveling,
    3. Taking care of family,
    4. Hobbies?
  2. Money: This is about aligning your lifestyle with your budget.
    1. How will you invest your money to help insure a lasting lifestyle in retirement?
    2. What will you do if there is a market correction?
    3. How will you educate yourself on the changing investment markets and investment options?
    4. What will keep you investing properly according to your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon?
  3. Estate: What type of legacy do you want to leave your loved ones?
    1. How will you decide who should get what?
    2. How will you make sure you are making the most of each gift you leave someone?
    3. Do you want to leave a financial mess to your heirs or have it in order?
      1. If you’d like to leave it in order, how will you accomplish this?
    4. What tool can you use to make your last wishes known?
  4. Health: How will you stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible?
    1. What type of Medicare supplement policy is right for you?
    2. How will you pay for a nursing home?
    3. Who will help you find a nursing home, pack and unpack all your possessions, and take care of your current home?
    4. Who will handle your money, pay your bills, and taxes if you can no longer take care of it on your own?

There are so many questions to address, especially if you are single. No one will just know what you want to happen, and so this requires extra planning on your side. My program will include tools that can assist you with gaining clarity over each of these pillars from the social aspect to the incapacity planning. It requires various components to have in place so that you are taken care of when the time comes to needing extra help. Clarity is where it all begins, followed by putting in place the appropriate actions, tools, and people, and this leads to your plan or your R&R: Retirement Recipe.

I know you don’t want to think about it, BUT at some point in your retirement, you WILL need extra help. You can’t plan out exactly when or how it will happen, but we can make sure you are in great shape when it does happen. Wouldn’t that be nice? You can continue to enjoy your retirement, knowing that should something come up, you would be FINE. Not only fine, but won’t have to give up any of your goals. This is what proper planning can do for you.

Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.