When you think about saving for retirement or financial independence, do you save for the unexpected things?
I know many of you save for the basics of food, transportation, medical and housing. Even within those categories we think about replacing cars, paying co-pays and insurances,household maintenance such as replacing roofing tiles, siding, and replacing heating systems and other appliances. We even think about accumulating many years of property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums. If you love to travel, you even build in funds earmarked for those trips and an amount for eating out or other entertainment.
But how many of you think about saving for the things that will make your life easier as you age? Do you assume that Medicare will pay for those items or that you will never need them? Sometimes I think we ignore those costs hoping that we will never need them. But guess what aging comes sooner than you think and you have to be prepared.
Nothing brought that last sentence home to us more than Hubby's stay in the hospital. I almost lost him and he is well aware of that fact. But thanks to the wonders of medicine, terrific doctors, and nurses and all of the prayers for him from family and all of you wonderful people who read my blog, he seems to be making a full recovery. They told me in the hospital that it would take about 3-4 months for him to fully recover his strength. After laying in bed all of those days and not eating for 18 days he was very weak. He is now starting to feel like his old self little by little. He has never lost his sense of humor and that is what is getting us through all of this.
But all of this has changed our lookout on life. He and I are no longer willing to wait for things. You know the kind of waiting that says I will do that tomorrow.
As you all know, we have two terrific grandchildren who we love with all of our hearts. In the past few years whenever they would visit and want to do something like go to the Zoo, we would go but without Hubby. Why you say? Because Hubby has had a bad back since his early twenties but in the past couple of years, it has become terribly painful for him to do simple things like walk to the mailbox, run errands, or walk any distance at a zoo or any other place. He has worked with back doctors for years and finally found one who gave him cortisone injections. They only worked for a couple of months.
Before Hubby went into the hospital, he had an ablation done on the right side of his back. He was supposed to have the left side done two days after he was admitted. Needless to say we had to cancel it. Since then his ablation doctor has moved to another state. We are waiting the arrival of a new one. We don't even know if all of this will help him.
But with the hospitalization, Hubby has decided that there is no way he will have spinal surgery if the ablations don't work. So he was determined to find another way.
His grandchildren and family are the most important people in his life besides me of course. I tell you all of this because we went and purchased this and it was delivered yesterday:
Yup, a motorized chair. Would Medicare and our secondary insurance pay for it? No way because Hubby can still walk even though it is painful.
However, Hubby wanted one so that he can go along on all those outings with the grandchildren and watch their faces as they enjoy life. He can again be part of the fun. He is so happy with this purchase. I am too because I know that there aren't many places he can't go now. We even are planning an outing when he gets a little stronger to the Falls( Niagara Falls) which is where we spent our honeymoon and we have gone many times. It never gets old.
But if we hadn't saved our money for the necessities of life, we wouldn't have been able to purchase this with cash and make his dream come true. When I think about stopping for coffee at Tim Horton's or grabbing something at a fast food place, I rarely do. That is because we have always spent our money for the important things in life not impulse purchases that we wouldn't even remember a week later.
The chair cost us $ 1300. but it is worth every penny to make Hubby's life easier and much more enjoyable. Hopefully most people in retirement could come up with $ 1300. cash but there are some that couldn't. It would be a shame not to be able to afford something like this and have to forgo such joy.
Hubby is also planning on having the bathrooms made elderly friendly and some other things done that will help us in the future. We never know when we may need those things. He also is planning on hiring a landscape company to take care of trimming all of our landscaping 4-5 times a year and mulching when necessary.
What do all of these things have in common? You need money. Money that we don't have to stress over because we planned ahead and invested wisely.
So when you are planning your financial independence think about all of those things that you will eventually have to have money to pay for. I don't want to see any of you have to go without necessities that make your life more enjoyable as you age.