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Scenario: Carl and Sarah have been retired for about 5 years. Carl retired in good health after 35 years as an insurance agent, and Sarah stopped working outside the home after their children were grown and had families of their own. Upon retirement, they sold their home and paid cash for a condominium that had about half the square footage of their home. This relocation forced them to pare down their belongings to fit into their new and smaller surroundings. As a consequence, though, they felt less tied down to possessions and felt more freedom to do the traveling they had anticipated for several years. Although they now live on a fixed income, the profit from their home has allowed them to live out the retirement they had dreamed about, that is, having the financial resources to sign up for Exploritas (formerly called Elderhostel) programs in other cities and to visit or host their children and grandchildren over the holidays. All is not completely rosy for Carl and Sarah, however. Though they enjoy their lives very much, they are faced with an increasing number of health problems. They have accepted this challenge and have begun to do brisk walking on a near daily basis. Also, Sarah has signed up for a yoga program. Carl joined a Tai Chi program at the senior center. They have also suffered the loss of good friends, several of whom have died, and their best friends and neighbors recently moved to be closer to their kids. Carl and Sarah are going to attend an orientation session at the local elementary school to help students read, in hopes of adding more meaning and purpose to their lives and to dwell less on their losses. They look to the future with a mix of optimism and anxiety. The optimism is based on their consistent ability to meet the challenges of aging, even those losses that are very discouraging in the beginning. The anxiety is based on the unknown: What if their property taxes increase beyond what they can afford? What if their Medicare Part D provider continues to raise premiums, deductibles, and copayments? Many questions arise, with no definite answers. But Carl and Sarah feel up to the challenge and adventure of aging into the future and take satisfaction in looking back at lives well lived.
Based on what you read in this chapter, tell how you would predict that Carl and Sarah’s lives might progress over the next 20 years? Consider the six instrumental needs presented in the chapter. What could Carl and Sarah have done when they were working to better plan for their retirement? If you had to give Carl and Sarah two pieces of health care advice, what would they be?
Scenario: Carl and Sarah have been retired for about 5 years. Carl retired in good health after 35 years as an insurance agent, and Sarah stopped working outside the home after their children were grown and had families of their own. Upon retirement, they sold their home and paid cash for a condominium that had about half the square footage of their home.