Budgeting for Life

Having two small children, it is of upmost importance to me that they develop a solid value system.  I want to ensure that they respect their surroundings and the environment, that they are kind to others, and that they are responsible about money.  I have found that the course of current events has made me hyperconscious of the importance of developing financial stability early in life.

My husband and I live within our means and budget and hope our children will learn from example. It’s vastly important to us that our children are given the tools to learn about fiscal responsibility for themselves. We’ve put forth a strong effort to ensure such valuable tools have been made available to our children.  Even small children can learn the value of saving, and it’s interesting to learn that small children are often more conservative with their dollars than older children. It’s important to foster this attitude with your children early in life so that they impart these values as they grow.

It’s Not Just Important for Children 

Currently, I’m getting a crash course in just how vital budgeting, preparing and planning for the future is to the stability of your financial future. My parents are both in their late 70’s and my father recently was diagnosed with diabetes. His usual diet of sugar and white bread has not served his health well. In addition to my father’s health issues, my mother is no longer able to drive anymore, so the little errands and doctor appointments that need to be done to aid my father have become a substantial issue in our family.

In light of these recent events, I have found that I’m not only serving as the primary caregiver for my own children, but my parents as well.  Of course it’s something one does out of love, but I am quickly realizing how difficult it can be managing these responsibilities, both in terms of my time, and also my emotions and my finances.

Long-Term Care 

Based on the current circumstances, I’m realizing the importance of speaking to my parents about long term care. I’m certain that if we don’t start having these conversations now, we’ll face huge costs later on. Most important is that my parents are getting the care that they need – whatever the cost may be. But this is a difficult subject to bring up for all concerned, even for a close-knit family like mine.  Regardless, I have decided to initiate the conversation now in order to define the type of care my parents want and need when the time comes they both need daily assistance.  Prolonging the conversation will only make things more difficult and costly in the long run.

The Planning Process 

Planning and preparing for the future is a never-ending process. And as evidenced by my parents’ situation, retirement doesn’t signal that the need to plan has ended. The conversation about the future needs to center on what my parents’ needs are, and how they envision their lives. Currently, we’re all managing, but we’d be remiss to ignore the fact that there is a progression in everyone’s life. My parents will get older. Their health might deteriorate further. Whatever the future may bring, we all recognize that there is a need to address these issues; we’re in long-term care planning 101.

Long-Term Care Options 

Luckily, there are a lot of options. If my parents only require help in running errands and in chores around the house, then there are home-aids who can come part-time. This is known as intermittent care, and obviously would be preferred. But a more active medical care solution may be required at some point, necessitating part or even full-time caregiving.

Bottom Line

The most important thing to consider is that the more knowledge everyone has about what’s entailed, the more comfortable everyone will be. Also, early planning ensures that finances are available and budgeted accordingly (and you’ll get the most economical long-term care plan the earlier you look into it – before health deteriorates and old age sets in). Finally, at a certain point, professional planning is necessary to save time, money and a lot of unnecessary stress.

So, how have you budgeted for life? What kinds of plans do you have in place?

Guest Post Author Bio: This post was written by Janelle.


Budgeting for Life — 5 Comments

  1. LTC Insurance is an great option for many people however the challenges revolve around getting approved. You have to be in fairly decent health and it’s best to get it at a younger age (maybe 50-65).

    LTC Insurance isn’t the only option though. Some families are fine relying on their children to provide the care for them and others are fine with Medicaid. Regardless of the route you choose, it’s wise to discuss the options WELL BEFORE they’re needed and have a plan on what you’re going to do.

  2. It is definitely a life adjustment for people but I don’t think it hurts quite so much when there is a plan in place. People seem to do better with change when they have something concrete, like a strategy, to grab on to. I hope your grandma is doing better now.

  3. I am a planner by nature so I bought Long Term Care insurance in my early 60s. I saw firsthand how assisted living costs depleted my mother’s savings. She lived 3 weeks short of 99 years old and spent many years in assisted living.

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