Sometimes it seems like senior citizens have all bought RVs and have all hit the road, including myself. But… should you join us?
The answer is very dependent on you and your circumstances — social, medical and financial.
If you are a single woman, don’t stop reading — you may be surprised at the benefits of owning one. I certainly was. The only reason I got one originally was because my dad’s wife suddenly banned animals inside her house. Which meant I couldn’t visit her or my dad, unless I was willing to get a local hotel room and leave my two small dogs inside for hours.
Have you ever feared you might go insane? Perhaps you had a relative it happened to? Perhaps you worried about genetics?
In my case, it was an aunt of mine. I’ll call her Helga. When I was young, we’d see her for family holidays. She was fine then, married to a man she adored. She was an artist, a good one, who sold her paintings and taught art students on the side. I was impressed because she had a career at a time when that was extremely unusual. She had a daughter I liked and a chihuahua I hated (probably the only dog I’ve ever met I didn’t like).
One of the most memorable lines of Ageless Memory, by Harry Lorayne, is you can’t “forget” what you never “got” in the first place. What he means is that we easily remember what we find most interesting, challenging, shocking, etc. What we can’t seem to “remember” at all are things we never cared about in the first place.
This can have bad consequences as we get older. How many clueless physicians have asked a senior citizen to name the local mayor, or senator, or (before the polarizing Obama and Trump) the president. If they can’t, it is taken as proof the senior citizen can’t live alone any more. Continue reading “Dramatically Improve Your Memory — in 6-8 Minutes!”→
And it’s not his or her fault. According to the NY Times, doctors have to “guess” whether or not you should be taking a certain drug. And, if so, what your dosage should be. And what your likely side effects will be. They also don’t know which medical procedures that work fine on younger people will not work well for you. Ditto your response to different medical devices.
Looking for a fun pastime that exercises your brain? Want to finally get a degree to one-up a relative or friend? Or set an example for your children?
Most states offer free college for seniors! Some even pick up the “fees.” Some states just offer reduced rates — you might complain to your state legislators about how bad your state looks compared to others. In Part 1, Arizona was the anti-senior cheapskate. In Part 2, it was Indiana. No cheapskates in Parts 3 or 4. In this final part, we find four states that are offering seniors substantially less than other states: Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Many animal shelters across the country have a program called Seniors for Seniors. It’s designed to help senior dogs (or cats!) find homes (instead of death or shelter living). And it’s designed to help senior citizens get new love companions that fit more easily into their lives than puppies.
For the most part, I like the woman. I’ve read a number of her books and I’ve read her finance columns in the AARP Bulletin — and learned from them. She seems to be a very smart, very knowledgeable, hard-working, success story. I know nothing scurrilous about her.
However, every once in awhile, I find myself wanting to scream at her.
After spending 60+ years trying to GROW our nest eggs, we’re suddenly faced in retirement with SHRINKING them. This sudden about face can give us whiplash — and scare the heck out of us. In fact, one financial advisor told me his clients were more afraid of running out of money in retirement than they were afraid of dying(!)
Hogwash describes a lot of what we have read about financial planning for retirement. I’ve read articles and completed calculators that say if we don’t have at least $1.5 million in the bank — forget retiring. (Gee, I wonder how the 96% of us who are not millionaires ever manage?)