The Golden Years 

Published 2:56 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

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When people get to be my age I’ve heard them say, “I’m going to go ahead and pay for my funeral and have that taken care of so my family won’t have to worry about the expense.” That’s not a bad idea if you want a big nice send-off. But, what about those precious years before you need a funeral? I don’t hear a game plan for that too often. 

Before you make plans for who’s getting the house, the car, the money left in the bank, maybe you should think about those few sweet years before the funeral. Do you have a plan for that, or do you just assume the kids will take care of you? I have seen lives turned upside down when there is no plan in place for a loved one who can no longer take care of themselves. 

Did you know that if there is a nice retirement home that’s somewhat affordable, there may be a waiting list that takes years to get in? Then you have to think about how you are going to fund it. Most parents think about their kids and think they are doing them a favor by making sure they get the house and everything else they have worked hard for their whole life. That’s not always a smart thing to do, and if you give it all away to the kids and then move in with one of them that can be downright cruel. 

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So, what if you picked out a good retirement home while you’re healthy, just like paying for a funeral? Put a deposit down, get on a list, and when your name is called you can move in or pass until you think you need it. 

How will you fund it? Maybe rent your home to pay the rent in the retirement center, or maybe sell your home to fund the rent payments. How about those high-priced heirlooms you’ve promised the grandkids? How can the ‘Golden Years’ be so golden, if you think you owe anyone besides yourself? 

Don’t think you should wait till there’s only one left standing before making such plans. You might be surprised by the peace of mind that comes with knowing you or your spouse will have a plan in place when something happens to the other. Live your life like you’re going to die tomorrow, but plan your life like you’re going to live forever.


Joey K. Johnson