"What a drag it is getting old." (Rolling Stones)
Well it happens to everyone. The baby boomers who heard those lyrics are now in or approaching their 70s. Let's look at the good news first. Money. A good many baby boomers have saved for their retirement and are living on those savings today or plan to do so in the coming years. Retirement today can be a pretty long journey and that money needs to last. At the same time, there are lots of things pulling it out of retirees' pockets. Some more than others depending on the lifestyle one chooses to live. Where you want to live, how much you want to travel, etc. Of course, these decisions can change as retirement years stretch on.
How Did That Dream Get Derailed?
Tom and Sally had it all figured out. When Tom retired they moved to Florida, bought a condominium near the beach, and took at least one trip every year to see parts of the world they always wanted to explore. Their kids and grandchildren loved to visit and Tom and Sally would slot in the visits over the course of the year.
Well we all know nothing lasts forever and Tom and Sally were no exception. Sally came back from a routine doctor visit with some bad news and over the next several months the news got worse. Heart surgery was on the horizon. She recovered but it turned out to be the beginning of a long slide. After several follow up surgeries, there was no coming home. Tom just didn't have the stamina to take care of Sally. She would need professional care.
Tom, being a smart and analytical type, decided that it was time he did some homework. How to pay for this care. What would the government pay through their Medicare? It turned out – not much. Tom suddenly realized that he and Sally would have to foot the bill. And it was a big one. What Tom and Sally didn't foresee was that they and their family were headed for a disastrous financial hit. Sally would stay in the nursing home for three years, at a cost of nearly $300,000. And Tom started to think about himself. How many years might he face similar costs? Instead of providing a legacy for their children, the savings Tom and his wife worked so hard to build up and carefully invest over a lifetime of work were being drained by uninsured medical expenses.
Tom Decides to Help Others
Tom was always a stand-up kind of guy. Before retiring and moving to Florida, he was always involved in the community. Oftentimes volunteering on projects to help others less fortunate. So it was no surprise that Tom decided to help others from falling into the same trap that put such a burden on his and Sally's retirement savings. And what was his tool of choice? - Education. Tom decided to learn as much as he could about how to fund the expenses of uninsured medical bills. And he shared that learning with as many people as he could. He started giving talks in the central meeting room of his condominium association. His talks became quite popular and he started to draw an audience from miles around. Here are some of the things Tom shared.
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