What you shouldn’t have done – what you did and how badly it went wrong – part 2

Part 2 – In this episode, John Ross and Lisa Shoalmire discuss what happens when people make poor decisions as they approach retirement and the potential consequences of those choices.

Episode Transcript
John
That's not.
Lisa
The grass keeps growing. [chuckle]
John
And they had purchased this place. Their living environment was based on their income and assets. And part of their calculations in all of that had not included $15,000 for...
Lisa
Outside maintenance.
John
Outside maintenance.
Lisa
Yeah.
John
The other thing is, is that one of the other things that has come with this health event has been routine medical checkups. Lots of coming in for cardiac rehabilitation work. Spending time at St. Michael's rehab on a routine basis, and things like that. And so, I mentioned, they're 40 miles outside of town.
Lisa
Yeah, so it's... It's a beautiful piece of country.
John
Yeah, it's a beautiful piece of country. But, man, that's getting to be a long commute every day. Or every other day. And so, they're far away from their medical providers. They can't maintain the place. And so... It seems like this has come as a surprise to them.
Lisa
Right.
John
That they had this concept that this was going to be where they were gonna go. And it never really dawned on them. And so, they hadn't thought about what other alternatives are out there. And they're really kind of in a pickle now, because it's come down to the wire.
Lisa
Right. And they're gonna have to make some changes, or spend a bit more money, do something.
John
Yeah, so, for example, even having something like that, but, again, do you have the kinda support structure that can come in and help maintain it, if you can't? And if not, what are going to be your alternatives? Where are you gonna go next, and thinking through that. And it seems like, in their case, they had not ever gone through the concept of, "Where are we gonna go next?"
Lisa
Yeah, the thought processes.
John
And so, now, they're having to do it almost in a crisis scenario. And in their case, there's some differences of opinions.
Lisa
Ooh, you mean husbands and wives have differences? And their kids and all have differences of opinions?
John
Well, particularly in this case, it's the husband and wife. The wife is kinda saying, "Hey, why don't we go to one of these continuing care retirement communities?"
Lisa
Yeah.
John
"Let's just sell the whole mess off, and move into one of these places where we can have a little house, and then, we can move from there into the assisted living, and there, into a nursing home, as our life takes us." And, the husband...
Lisa
Husband's not into that?
John
He's not into that, so something, especially if you're a married couple, some things you might wanna be talking about, of, "Hey, this is our combined dream here, at 65. But when this dream becomes... "
Lisa
A little more than we can handle.
John
A little more of a nightmare...
Lisa
Yeah.
John
Then what's our next dream? And make sure you're on the same page for both of those.
Lisa
Yeah.
John
Between the two. Alright, well, we've gotta take one more break, so stick around. We'll be right back.
John
Welcome back to Aging Insight, everybody. This is your host, John Ross, and thanks to all of those folks out there who are watching us on Facebook Live, as well. And somebody gave us a like, so I don't know who it was.
Lisa
Woo-hoo!
John
The little picture popped up, but I couldn't see it well enough, so... [chuckle] But, hey, somebody likes us out there.
Lisa
Yeah.
John
But we were talking about this couple. They bought this ranch property, and it was great, but now, it's not great.
Lisa
It was great for a season. To everything, there is a season. That seems be a, that's a Bible verse, John. You may know it from the song. [laughter] But to everything there's a season, so they enjoyed their farm life, but it sounds like they might be transitioning to a different season.
John
Winter is coming.
Lisa
Oh, come on. Yes.
John
That's from a book, too, but it's a different book. Anyway, so we've had that. So, now I did have another couple that was coming in for retirement. And I was actually relatively surprised. Oftentimes, people are coming in, and I end up providing them a lot of advice, but this married couple, really...
Lisa
They were on top of it?
John
Yeah, they live in a smaller community surrounding Texarkana. But now approaching retirement. But they're basically already making plans. They're going to sell their house, and they're gonna move into Texarkana, where they're closer to all of the services that they routinely utilize, downsizing a bit. But also looking at making sure that they've got a very accessible place, that you can get a walker or a wheelchair through, if and when that ever becomes a problem. Not doing something crazy, like buying a two-storey house.
Lisa
Right [chuckle]
John
Like somebody's parents did, when they moved to Texarkana.
Lisa
Well, anyway, that's probably not a good radio discussion, but... But, yeah. So, there are people who are thinking about that. But one of the families I met with this week, the seniors had... You know, John, Texas is a popular retirement destination.
John
It is, and becoming more and more... And particularly, as I understand it, there's a growing shift into East Texas.
Lisa
Right. So, the hill-country's gettin' filled up.
John
Hill-country has gotten filled up and expensive, as all the dellionaires outta Austin retired out into Fredericksburg and opened wineries. Yeah, that got expensive and pretentious, and too many Californians, and so yeah, now people are startin' to look at our little slice out here.
Lisa
Yeah so Texarkana, Long View, Tyler, growing area, and of course Arkansas, Mountain Home is a big retirement area.
John
Hot springs.
Lisa
Hot springs. Yeah, hot springs. And what people are looking for is access to medical services, and affordability.
John
Sure.
Lisa
So I was visiting with family this week and mom and dad had spent a few working years in Texas. They were from a northern state, and they had spent a few working years in Texas, and they ended up, during their career journeys, back up north, retired up north, and then said, "Uh-huh, this is way too cold. We're goin' to Texas." [chuckle]
John
Yeah, I don't know how, frankly I don't know how anybody... Maybe next time we're at one of the national conferences, we may have to visit with... How in the world do people manage in those extremely cold climates with blizzards and things like that? There's days that you can't get outta your house or you open the front door and it's just a wall of snow and ice there. 'Cause yeah, I do think you gotta take into account your ability to get out of the house and get the things that you need and get back into that house.
Lisa
So I had this family, the mom and dad retired to Texas, near our local community here, and again, enjoyed that dream for that season, a little bit rural environment, and started to have some challenges. And so luckily, as those challenges became more difficult, one of their children moved from their home city up north, and moved across the street from mom and dad.
John
Yeah. Well that was very nice of them.
Lisa
It was nice. But, wow. And so now this child is thinking, "I left my friends and everything I knew and grew up with to come help mom and dad," and now they've been in and out of the hospital and it looks like we're gonna need some more intense care, but child's not all that happy in the rural Texas community as opposed to their home city.
John
Yeah, it's one thing if... I mentioned central Texas there and the Austin and the hill-country, if you've retired from Silicon Valley, California and moved to Austin...
Lisa
You wouldn't hardly know the difference.
John
You wouldn't hardly know the difference. And when your kids come, and have to stay around and take care of you, they're gonna find that they actually really like Austin too.
Lisa
Everybody likes Austin.
John
And unfortunately, they're probably also gonna move there and continue to corrupt the place. But, on the other hand, if you're talking about having family that's from a New York, a New Jersey, and you think, "You know what, I love the...
Lisa
Chicago.
John
The fishing and the hunting and the outdoorsy-ness of east Texas." When your family does need to come and assist, how well are they going to receive your chosen little neck-of-the-woods?
Lisa
Yeah, no, it's only the bonds of parental love that are holding this family member helping mom and dad. So it's pretty difficult.
John
Yeah and you better maybe think about exactly how much of that parental love there is. Depending on the... And we say this somewhat jokingly but generally speaking, we talk about it all the time, that people that we talk to, they want to age in their own home, they want to not be a burden on their family, and they don't wanna go broke trying to get through this process. And your housing choices through retirement are going to directly impact all three of those things.
Lisa
Yeah, it's huge. It's huge.
John
It's huge. Yeah, if you live in a multi-level home that has a little six inch dropdown every 30...
Lisa
Yeah, going from the kitchen to the den, and then to the family room...
John
That place is going to become a nightmare at some point if you're having mobility issues. So you've got to look around and all of a sudden now, just because of your house environment either you're not gonna be able to go to that home, and you're gonna end up in an institutional setting, or you're going to burden friends and family as they try to figure out how to build 15 ramps around your house so that you can get from one place to another.
Lisa
Yeah, and I think John, a lot of people, they just can hardly conceive sometimes of changing their housing situation. They paid off that 30-year mortgage or they've been very happy, they have wonderful memories, it's very nostalgic in that home.
John
Well, it's the American Dream, of buildin' and buyin' that house, and gettin' it paid for.
Lisa
And I will say, you're right. The housing choice, second maybe only to lifestyle choices like smoking or something like that, the housing choice probably has the biggest impact on navigating retirement years.
John
Yeah, absolutely. And so there's a lot of these factors. Look at the location of where the house is. What's your accessibility to things like a grocery... How can you get to a grocery store and back...
Lisa
Without major traffic snarls and...
John
Yeah, exactly. Can you get to your healthcare providers in the same way? How close are you to support structures? Not necessarily family but friends. Are you in a community that you've had a long association with, or is this someplace new? Because all of these things are gonna have an impact. And lastly, are you gonna be able to change this decision as life changes? Because the one thing is you can't predict how everything is gonna go. And since you can't predict how everything is gonna go, ultimately, you're gonna have to come up with some alternatives out there to say, "Well you know what? This is our dream retirement, we're moving to Margaritaville."
Lisa
Let's go.
John
We're moving to Margaritaville. And now, if we can't stay here in Margaritaville, then...
Lisa
Then what's next?
John
Yeah, then what's next?
Lisa
And so if anything, I would just encourage people to have a open mind.
John
That's right.
Lisa
Real quick shout-out to our sponsors, Edgewood Manor, the Barnett Agency, Dierksen Hospice, Riverview Behavioral, Cowhorn Creek Estates, and St. Michael's Hospital.
John
Thanks. Yeah.
Lisa
We'll see you next Saturday.
John
I was two seconds off. Bye-bye everybody.
Lisa
Bye-bye.

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