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    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 10th Jul 18, 3:39 PM
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    BBH123
    Managing the guilt factor
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:39 PM
    Managing the guilt factor 10th Jul 18 at 3:39 PM
    I have been thinking about this and not sure there are any easy answers so would be pleased to hear the views of others.

    I am single and have plans to travel when I retire whilst I am young enough and fit enough to do so and envisage being away maybe 3 - 6 months or possible longer who knows. I wouldn't be averse to buying a property abroad to get away from our winters. I have pensioner parents who will be late 70's early 80's and who would prefer me to be around though and due to family reasons I am the only ' child' on the scene.

    How do / did you balance your desire to do things like travel / relocate etc when you have aging parents who will in all probability need you to help care / run the home for.

    I don't in anyway mean to come across as selfish but I have worked hard all my life to be able to afford a pension that allows me to do the things I want but its striking a balance between my need to for ' life ' and their expectations.
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    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 10th Jul 18, 3:55 PM
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    tempus_fugit
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:55 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 18, 3:55 PM
    It's not being selfish at all, in my opinion. You just have to find the balance that works best.
    Retired at age 56 after having "light bulb moment" due to reading MSE and its forums. Have been converted to the "budget to zero" concept and use YNAB for all monthly budgeting and long term goals.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 10th Jul 18, 4:08 PM
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    lisyloo
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:08 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:08 PM
    whilst I am young enough and fit enough to do so
    Ditto and get that.
    We like scuba diving and are early fifties and plan to do a trip mid-fifties because we certainly won't be doing this in our 80's and it just takes one of us to get a condition where we can't dive to prevent us.


    and who would prefer me to be around though and due to family reasons I am the only ' child' on the scene
    What state are they in? (we've been through the whole spectrum).
    What help do they need at the moment?
    Are there any nieces, nephews, siblings, neighbours, church who could help?
    Any relatives who'd be willing just to call once a week and get in touch in an emergency?
    Are you able to get back from where you are in an emergency?


    How do / did you balance your desire to do things like travel / relocate etc when you have aging parents who will in all probability need you to help care / run the home for.
    We would time it when appropriate.
    My MIL is in a nursing home, so is totally looked after, but of course we'd want to be around if she went downhill and also to suport siblings.
    We are aimply not going to our trip until she has passed away.
    That might not be the right thing for you as your parents are younger.
    Maybe the opposite is true for you and you should go NOW?


    You are not being selfish at all.
    Are their expectations realistic?
    Do they need you to be there?
    Is there anyone who wouldn't mind phoning once a week?
    Unless you're going to the desert or middle of the ocean (been there myself) could you contact them weekly?


    Our parents have needed daily care, been in hospital and then nursing home.
    I am only going on what you've said, but you might be better off going NOW.
    Last edited by lisyloo; 10-07-2018 at 4:10 PM.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 10th Jul 18, 4:30 PM
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    BBH123
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:30 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:30 PM
    Thanks for your reply, lots to think about,


    They are currently early 70's and both fit and well. At the moment they need no help at all and long may it continue.


    When I plan to travel they will be early 80's so not sure how they will be then, mind you none of us know how we'll be, it could be me who falls ill.


    There is one person who maybe able to help but she is quite a distance away and also will be retirement age so not sure what her plans are. No near neighbours either, not totally in the sticks but not close to any other houses either.
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    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 10th Jul 18, 4:43 PM
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    lisyloo
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:43 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:43 PM
    None of us knows, but I think I'd be looking at doing it earlier if I were you.
    Can you bring it forward?

    Where are you going? We went in January to the pacific ocean where we were one week from coming back to dry land (we were physically about 24 hours away but there were 30 other divers on our boat so would only have deviated in a medical emergency of someone on-board).
    Most places you are only a flight away from the UK.

    We are planning to go to the southern hemisphere (long way) in about 2.5 years, but my MIL is 90 so about 20 years older than your parents.
    We are not prepared to be that far away, so we will postpone until she is no longer a concern.


    You could train them up on skype/facetime so you can keep in contact.


    It's not reasonable to put off your plans for 25 years, so I'd be looking at bringing it forward.
    Last edited by lisyloo; 10-07-2018 at 4:47 PM.
    • kidmugsy
    • By kidmugsy 10th Jul 18, 4:46 PM
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    kidmugsy
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:46 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:46 PM
    What's the objection to going now? Is employment too inflexible to make it practical? (I ask because a young kinswoman took six months unpaid leave from work to go a-travelling.)
    Free the dunston one next time too.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 10th Jul 18, 4:53 PM
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    BBH123
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:53 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 18, 4:53 PM
    I don't want to go now tbh, financially and mentally I am gearing up to leave 58 / 60. I am enjoying my job and I also don't feel ready to leave just yet.


    Also I want time to plan my travels to get the best out of them.
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    • eastofeden
    • By eastofeden 10th Jul 18, 5:04 PM
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    eastofeden
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 18, 5:04 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 18, 5:04 PM
    I think Kidmugsy meant ‘going now’ to mean as in on your trip rather than leaving work? Have to say, I thoroughly endorse this. I took 6 months unpaid leave in my early 30s to go to Australia, The Philippines and Bali. An amazing trip.

    It does depend on the flexibility of your job/employers, although I was a teacher and when I asked, with great trepidation, the Local Authority person I met with said,’There’s more to life than teaching!”

    He was a lovely man and I might add that he himself died before retirement.............
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 10th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
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    lisyloo
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
    He was a lovely man and I might add that he himself died before retirement.............

    This is a very good point.
    There's about a 20% chance you won't make it to retirement.
    People do die in their 40's and 50's of natural causes.


    I have always been of the opinion of not putting things off, but I have the advantage that I love the planning aspect, so that part is no trouble for me.


    If you don't want to go yet there is nothing can be done.
    Unfortunately it doesn't sound like your parents have much of a support network and unfortunately they do get to a point where it's difficult to leave them.


    I've been agonising recently about a holiday, but my MIL is looked after very well day-to-day in a nursing home in terms of being fed, watered, washed, clothed and anything being picked up very quickly by qualified nurses.


    I also spoke to my insurers so know we are covered in the event of serious illness.


    We went ahead on the basis that she's very safe and we'd be very unlucky for something happen during that short period and if it did we have insurance, but I'm afraid there is no easy answer if they have no support network of their own. It's unusual for people that age not to have any friends or acquaintances at all.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 10th Jul 18, 7:42 PM
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    Kynthia
    So you're not planning to get off regularly for another 7-10 years? Don't worry about it yet then. A lot can change as tgey may remain in good health or not be here then. Other family may have moved closer or you put services in place like a cleaner/gardener/handyperson to pop by regularly or be on call. You may not be in good enough health to go. So prepare when the time is approaching.

    I too think you should make sure you are enjoying some things now and not putting off too much until a later date, not that I know for sure you are. I have lost a third of my aunt's and uncles between 54 and 60, only half of my grandparents lived beyond their early 70s and none lived beyond 82. So while I think saving for retirement is important I truly believe in not putting off too many dreams until then if you can achieve some now.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 10th Jul 18, 8:56 PM
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    DairyQueen
    I became an 'accidental retiree' age 53 as my mum is seriously disabled (MS) and dad (then mid 70s) was beginning to struggle caring for her. If I had had a crystal ball I would have planned things differently. Six years on and I am now unable to travel at all and we are unlikely to be able to follow our retirement dreams for many years. OH has continued to work despite being able to retire (what's the point?). I can't live where I wish. I can't leave the area for more than a couple of days. I can't work. The list of what I can't do increases each year.
    .
    You are not selfish in considering what the future may hold and having a contingency plan. I too am the only person available/willing to provide the support my parents need and those needs often require an immediate response.

    I wish I had taken time out six years ago when they were far less vulnerable. I didn't then and I regret it.

    If it's at all possible take that sabbatical now. My parents' neediness just kind of happened (drip, drip, drip) and one day I turned around and I realised that my life will effectively be constrained by their needs until at least the first of them dies.

    Do I feel like a bad daughter? Yep.

    Do I feel guilty for sometimes resenting the dependency that I happily helped to create when things were a lot less difficult? Oh yes.

    Bottom line is that increased longevity rarely comes without a cost. That cost is ill-health and frailty. Society can't afford the cost of supporting the multiple needs of our ageing population and the gap must be filled by family. I didn't plan this. I didn't think about this at all when I was younger. When push-comes-to-shove you simply do what you need to do at whatever cost because the needs of people you care about trump everything.

    In 5/7 years time your options may be far less than they are now. Grab the opportunity to do something just for you whilst you can.

    I doubt we will be able to begin living those retirement dreams before I am 65 or 70 but when I feel especially sorry for myself I simply look at my dad. He has been caring for her for nearly three decades. His life has been as blighted as hers. He has never complained. Not once. I have nothing to complain about.

    Warning to all mid-lifers. You too could be sleep-walking into a similar situation. Society is really up-front about the responsibilities/difficulties of parenthood but the reality of elder care is marginalised and, compared to parenthood, receives zero societal support. Millions of us are silently dealing with this social care 'crisis' every day of our lives. The media is practically silent on the subject. The government turns a blind eye as it simply isn't affordable for young taxpayers to pay the huge cost of providing for the needs of so many older, unhealthy people. Families are not just the last resort they are the only resort. Childless people (like me) should hope for anything but a very long life.

    Go for it now OP. Trust me, it may be 20 years before you have another opportunity.
    • kidmugsy
    • By kidmugsy 10th Jul 18, 11:52 PM
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    kidmugsy
    increased longevity rarely comes without a cost. That cost is ill-health and frailty.
    Originally posted by DairyQueen
    I saw a pithy summary: we're not only living longer we're dying longer.
    Free the dunston one next time too.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 11th Jul 18, 12:15 AM
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    elsien
    Parent is 80 and still going strong with 99% of marbles still intact. Family wise I am in a similar situation to you. Parent would miss me if I went away for any length of time and would probably prefer that I didn't.

    However they would never tell me that and would be very clear that I should do what I want to do, and they will manage whatever happens. There is no expectation that I put anything on hold because of them.

    I also think that in the days of skype, whats app and whatever else develops in the next 10 years before it may become an issue it is much easier to keep track of what is going on and most of the world is now only a plane ride away in an emergency.
    Techology such as lifeline can also be put in place in case of emergencies.
    I think it's about communication and every one saying how they really feel, rather than as DQ says having it creep up on you without realising. It also helps if the parents have enough money to start paying for help as they need it rather than having to go down the social services route. Parent is currently sorting out the house, turning the garden low maintenance and employing help for the jobs that are now a struggle. However they have been on their own for a long time.

    Without wanting to sound morbid it is likely to be much more of an issue if one parent passes away because being on your own after being part of a couple for so long hits people a lot harder and you will almost certainly find yourself being much more involved.

    Do you have the option to take a sabbatical now, for example?
    Last edited by elsien; 11-07-2018 at 12:21 AM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 11th Jul 18, 9:12 AM
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    lisyloo
    Do I feel like a bad daughter? Yep.
    You sound a lot like my SIL.
    She has always done the majority of the caring due to living closest but feels the most guilty.
    I don't entirely understand it, although I think women do suffer from this more than men who bear different pressures from the traditional expectation to be a provider.



    receives zero societal support
    This is not my expeirence, although I appreciate it varies.

    When my MIL started to have daily difficulties we called in social services. They assesssed her needs and sent a carer in daily to help her dress and wash (of course as she knew someone was coming she got dressed to be ready for them!). They also took her to a day center once a week. Transport was provided with an escort (she was in a wheelchair). This gave FIL some much needed respite. She only paid for her lunch.
    Her care was free and she was allowed up to £300 per week income before she would have to pay (generous IMO).


    She had a fall, went to hospital and it was clear she could not look after herself and also FIL (late 80's) could not be her carer 24/7. On advice from others we took him to the meeting where he struggled to walk with him zimmer, told them he couldn't cope and broke down emotionally.
    She was put into a nursing home funded by the local authority (the home was disregarded as FIL was living there).



    None of us could take care of her needs 24/7 as we all need to earn a living (I'm 50 so 17 years away from state pension age). In practice the decision was easy but obviously there is guilt.


    FIL started to struggle. Again we called in social services. He is not one to complain and said he was fine and needed nothing.
    Luckily the social worker saw through this.
    He had a carer coming daily, mostly for support/company to be honest and also a visit once a week to go out for a coffee and cake.
    Personally I think this is very good and the carers were free because again he was allowed £300 income per week before paying.


    Our only complaint is that when he needed a care home they wanted to split him and MIL up after 60 years of marriage to save money.
    We insited and the LA put him in the same home at £850 per week. The home was disregarded whilst his stay was temporary and for another 12 weeks.



    On the whole I think the LA have been more generous than we expected and we have no complaints apart from the attempt to split them up.
    With him being bed-bound and her in a wheelchair and difficult to transport, they would not have seen each other much whereas they were able to spend his last 11 days together. This did take excellent advocacy to acheive this (which is not right).


    But nevertheless a million miles from zero, although totally appreciate experiences vary.
    Not all family are financially able to leave their jobs or their children.
    Last edited by lisyloo; 11-07-2018 at 9:19 AM.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 11th Jul 18, 9:17 AM
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    lisyloo
    I saw a pithy summary: we're not only living longer we're dying longer.
    Originally posted by kidmugsy

    My MIL is suffering from dimensia and arthritis (had that 50 years).
    She can walk a little but only with assitance for her to get up and down, which means she cannot do anything including visiting the bathroom without assistance.


    She cannot pick up jigsaw pieces or playing cards as her hand are clawed.
    She does not remember her mum, husband, siblings are dead, so has no concept of the passing of time.
    She is starting to struggle to put together sentences.
    She cannot see or hear well, so cannot enjoy books, television.
    At 90 she never used computers so that's not an option either and even if we did show her she would not remember.
    If we give her anything e.g. coins, they will be in the bin, bottom of drawers, so she cannot have much money or decent jewelry or even hearing aids. Her glasses are gradually dissappearing.
    She is sat there all day with nothing to do bored out of her mind.

    The other residents are in the same state so can't hear/see each other.


    If we had a pill we'd gve her one and that's becuase we love her not because we don't.


    It's pitifully sad.


    We actually do not know how we are going to cope WHEN she gets worse.


    SIL feels constant guilt even though she is the one that does the most.
    She is 58 and could easily suffer with her own health.

    People need to take care of themselves as well. You can't pour from an empty cup.
    Last edited by lisyloo; 11-07-2018 at 9:23 AM.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 11th Jul 18, 9:34 AM
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    Malthusian
    Bottom line is that increased longevity rarely comes without a cost. That cost is ill-health and frailty.
    Originally posted by DairyQueen
    It's not a cost. When the average life expectancy was 70, people didn't reach 70 in the same state of health that a 70-year-old does now, and then immediately drop dead. They were in the same state of ill-health that an aged and frail 80- or 90-year-old would be today.

    It is true that someone might, say, live until 80 with the last two years spent mostly in bed rather than live until 70 with the last year spent mostly in bed. However if they find the extra year unbearable then they will find a way to resolve that, whatever the law says. So it's still not a cost. It's still an extra year of life, which is better than a slap in the face with a wet fish.

    On the question asked by the OP, I agree with everyone else. If this is a choice to be made in ten years then right now it's a waste of mental energy. Anything could happen.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 11th Jul 18, 10:31 AM
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    BBH123
    Thankyou all for your contributions, this is clearly an issue that isn't going to go away for many many families. My family is fragmented and relatives have all chased their dreams over the years resulting in family living as far away as Australia.


    I do take on board the cost implications and parents aren't wealthy but I envisage being in a situation where I can and will step in to pay for help ie cleaners, gardeners, chiropodists etc and the general care needs of the elderly. I refuse to do ' personal' care though and they know this so we'll cross that bridge if / when that time comes.


    I cannot take a sabbatical now as I have pets who need me and I will never leave them, they are all rescue ponies / dogs and as they had a rough start to life and darned going to make sure they have a fantastic second part / finish to life.
    Save 12k in 2018 challenge #14
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    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 11th Jul 18, 12:26 PM
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    Malthusian
    I do take on board the cost implications and parents aren't wealthy but I envisage being in a situation where I can and will step in to pay for help ie cleaners, gardeners, chiropodists etc and the general care needs of the elderly. I refuse to do ' personal' care though and they know this so we'll cross that bridge if / when that time comes.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    If it's just about paying for what they need then you can arrange that from the other side of the world without too much difficulty.

    Do they both have Lasting Powers of Attorney (both Property / Finance and Health / Welfare) in place?
    • kidmugsy
    • By kidmugsy 11th Jul 18, 12:34 PM
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    kidmugsy
    I refuse to do ' personal' care though


    I cannot take a sabbatical now as I have pets who need me
    Originally posted by BBH123
    Each to his own.
    Free the dunston one next time too.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 11th Jul 18, 1:59 PM
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    lisyloo
    Do they both have Lasting Powers of Attorney (both Property / Finance and Health / Welfare) in place?
    This is a very good point.
    I am currently trying to get deputyship for my MIL because she would not do LPA voluntarily.
    This is costing a lot, taking a long time (so flat is empty paying service charges on it) and is somewhat onerous in terms of record keeping.


    I set up my own EPA at age 39 and it's not a bad idea for anyone, but older people should definitely do it whilst it easy for them to make decisions.
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