Money! The root of all evil? The answer to all our problems? We’ve all heard the jokes about ‘money can’t buy you happiness – anyone who says money can’t buy happiness, obviously doesn’t know where to shop; money can’t buy happiness, but it sure make misery easier to live with; money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes a damn good down payment etc., etc., etc. (feel free to post your favourite in the comments below!)
Over the weekend I read a particular good article about the dreaded ‘money’ and some of the issues we, as a society, have about talking about it with our loved ones, by Janine Starks. A link to the article can be seen here.
Makes for good reading, don’t you think?
So, why am I posting this today? And how does it relate to aging? Well, I believe (rightly or wrongly), we are heading towards to two tiered health service for our aged care and support in NZ. And this may be determined by those who have money and those who have less.
I believe expectations play a large part in our ‘satisfaction gauge’ too, and I believe that by talking about what we have, what we want and what we expect to ‘get’ will help us all to be happier with where we might ‘end up’. Ergo, speaking honestly with our families about their wants, needs and expectations could help too.
If we know what we are likely to ‘have in the bank’ and what we and our loved ones are expecting – whether we (or they) will need some basic home support services, would like to perhaps pay for some companionship type services, may want to live in a supportive village environment, or even require residential care – we may be able to honestly discuss the affordability of these options.
So, perhaps you can’t afford it – isn’t it better to know that now? To make a Plan B (or C, D and E). If we start those discussions early enough (with our young children for example) can we even make plans on how to get there?
Realistic expectations and frank discussion may seem a little uncomfortable now; but I really do believe that having these discussions now may make one part of the aging process a little easier to deal with, if we are lucky enough to get there.
Good luck to those of you brave (of should that be wise?) enough to start these conversations. I hope you find some of the tips in Janine’s article helpful.