There is a quote from George Bernard Shaw that goes: “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” With all the turbulence going on in America over the results of the 2016 election, it is easy to listen to many different voices about what will be or will not be. The amount of uncertainty and anxiety about the impact of change in our daily lives, even for those of us with a statistically shorter future, can be a destructive force.
In reference to aging in place/aging in community, the more immediate financial survival aspect of what will change is what I will address. Yes again it is the me me me generation thinking about ourselves, but the purpose of this website was to help people plan ahead. By taking better care of ourselves and having some foresight we lessen the burden on others.
People are already in over their heads with second and third mortgages. The traditional seeding a new smaller more manageable retirement home with the the paid off old house, is getting rarer. The new regulations that financial investment firms have to be more consumer friendly with our 401Ks, may be toast or in jeopardy. The Affordable Care Act has been woven in many changes into our Medicare. It may be altered slightly or drastically and benefits such as free preventive screenings and the closing the loopholes for Part D drug coverage gone. Medicaid has always been an important part of the safety net as it funds 60% of cost of nursing home care. Even if major Medicare changes are proposed only to those under 55 with more time to prepare, there are still consequences for all of us.
I have struggled the last few weeks to try and divert to simpler less controversial matters like the newest tech gadget or innovations in senior housing. I will get back to that as life goes has to go on while we wait for real outcomes. Being able to weave together a financially sound survival plan for aging in your own place as long as you choose, already had a bunch of challenges. Such a plan is the building block of an independent life- aging in your own place.
But now is not the time to become an island unto your self. Yes of course think and plan ahead how your budget may be impacted. But also think outside this box we are in right now. Read about all points of view. Read more, and the sources that speak the truth to you. Do not feel helpless- hopeless. More is under our control than we realize. Especially if we reach out to each other. Many aspects of our lives may now seem uncertain and have suddenly become somewhat surreal. Remember that together we are a powerful force.
I will go from Bernard Shaw to the lyrics of the Moody Blues. In the song, Once is Enough:
Sometimes you’re first
Sometimes you’re last
Then again you’re somewhere
In your “days of future passed”
If you can find yourself and know just where you are
Don’t let the wind turn you
You’re stronger than you think you are