A new low: watching my health affect my parents’ retirement

Over a nice Father’s Day dinner, my parents and I started to talk about their plans for cleaning out their house.  They moved into that house more than 30 years ago, when I was just a toddler, and it’s finally time for them to move.  I know I’ll be sad when the time comes for them to leave it, but right now I’m really happy for them.  The house is a drain on them financially, mentally, and emotionally.  The houses they are looking at are new, filled with sunlight, large, and in great 55+ communities.  Plus, because of where these places are located, they are cheaper than my parents’ current house!  This will be a great move.

They decided to put the house on the market next spring, and I mentioned that at dinner in relation to how much time they have to clean out the stuff that has accumulated over 30 years.  That’s when they dropped the bombshell: they aren’t so sure of the date anymore.  They gave a couple of obvious excuses, but then pointed out that I might need to move in with them, and that would be difficult if they moved, especially if it was a 55+ community.

This floored me.  It’s not like it hadn’t occurred to me that I might have some financial problems paying rent in the near future, but somehow I kept ignoring the reality of it.  I have enough savings to last at least a few years (if I drain my retirement account too and live very cheaply), and it’ll be even longer if LTD comes through.  Then again, I might really be stuck at some point.

My parents and I get along really well, and I think we could live together pretty happily except for two things (from my perspective, at least):

  1. I think they should get to enjoy their empty nest.
  2. I think I should get to enjoy my independence.

I have worked hard for many years to save up a decent amount of money.  I am in my 30s and should be enjoying life.  I should not be forced to move in with my parents.  But more than that, my parents have worked hard for many years to save up the money to retire.  They are in their 60s now, will retire soon, and should be enjoying their new-found freedom.  They should not be forced to support their grown daughter.

There are many illness-related reasons why I may end up living with my parents but I truly hope it doesn’t happen.  It wouldn’t be fair to me or to them.  Especially to them.  They have taken care of me and raised me and it’s time for them to live their own lives.  This shitty illness shouldn’t be a drain on them.

But I am incredibly lucky that they are willing to turn their lives around to take care of me.  Damn, I’m lucky.

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2 Responses to A new low: watching my health affect my parents’ retirement

  1. Lola says:

    Well I can certainly relate. I have been battling scleroderma for 4 yrs now. From the beginning I have fought for my independence. My parents offered to have me move in. I knew that if I did they would want to take care of everything (meals, laundry, etc.) I wouldnt have to do a thing. Which may sound nice, but I knew that if I settled into “being sick” that I wouldnt fight to get better.

    I also want my parents to enjoy their retirement. They are also in their sixties, my mom is retired, but my dad still works. The other thing is that they are taking care of my brother’s three kids. Yea, they’re doing it all over again.

    You may be asking why. That is what parents do. They love their children and their grandchildren. And they will do whatever it takes. Even giving up their retirement.

    • chronicrants says:

      Wow, that’s amazing that they’re raising their grandkids too! It’s tough to be an adult and feel that I also need taking care of. I just wish I knew what the solution was.

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