Many people look forward to retirement for years. But when the time comes, they trade their old sources of stress for new ones.
There’s a well-known phrase, attributed to Ben Franklin (but in reality a little older), which is that the only certain things in life are death and taxes. It’s not a fun phrase, but there’s a certain shoulder-shrugging wryness to it because there are some things in life one has to accept.
Just about any time you purchase or make a payment on insurance, you’re spending money you hope to never get back. Auto insurance is only used in case you have an accident, which, by definition, you aren’t trying to do. Same with home insurance. Health care is the only type of insurance you pay for (for most American readers) that you use regularly, but even then, hopefully, it is only during checkups.
One of the most inescapable facts of life is the law. This is often a good thing since lawlessness is usually a pretty bad scene. But it means that, if you have a legal issue and aren’t fortunate enough to have the right kind of lawyer on retainer, you need a representative or a counselor to help you navigate the warrens and mazes of our system.
“So, mom and dad, thanks for having me over for dinner. I wanted to talk to you about a few things. To start things off, I want you to think about how you’re going to die someday, probably not long from now. And with that out of the way, let’s talk about money.”
My father, with his well-earned wisdom, would often talk to me about his estate planning. “My son,” he would say, “I don’t plan to have any estate.” That was his basic philosophy when it came to life. He and my mom would help us out while they were alive, but he intended to enjoy the money he made.
“I don’t actually care about money,” April said, blowing gently on her cup of tea so that she could take a sip before finishing her thought, “I just care about not having money.”
Karen was a little concerned. At 72, she was starting to realize that living on a fixed income was tough. Not wanting to spend the rest of her life worrying about finances and struggling to get by, she decided to look for part-time work. But after a few months of looking, she still hadn’t found the right fit and feared that with her limited mobility she wouldn’t be able to find her footing in the modern workforce.
As we begin a new year, caregivers for older loved ones have a lot on their plates. You are facing another year with resolve and determination, with courage and with love, and with a plan to care both for your loved one and for yourself. This is what is on your mind. What might not be on your mind is taxes. But as you get ready to file in a couple months, it is a great idea to look back on 2017 and find out exactly what you can deduct due to your role as a caregiver.
Jules and Mary would never have tried some of the museums and restaurants and other outings they’ve enjoyed so much if not for the incentive of senior discounts. They now have a larger local group of friends who keep an eye out for special offers for seniors, and then they all get together to take advantage of the opportunities. Sometimes, they get dressed up for a fancy dinner. Other times, they put on their most comfortable walking shoes to explore the San Francisco sights.