Custom Search

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Karmic Bank Accounts and Thoughts on Retirement Living

My frugality is so deeply ingrained that I get a thrill not only from saving myself money but also from saving other people money. In fact, I started this blog when Friend-of-Frugal-Son asked me to help him save money on groceries. Well, said friend was premed and didn't have time to read the blog. He's a doctor now, by the way, and working at Walter Reed in Washington DC.

We recently hosted a Roommate-of-Frugal-Son. He was a guest at a wedding in our town. I suppose he lamented the $200 a night hotel rate and Frugal Son offered up our house. Happy to do it! I told him that in addition to saving him (a young fellow in his 20s) $400 for the two nights, I had made a deposit of $400 into my karmic savings account.

We enjoyed having our guest. He was not around very much for one thing. It was nice to chat now and again and to hear about his adventures at the wedding events.

It occurred to me that a young guest--or even roommate--would be a cure for some of what ails many of the elderly. My own mother --an extreme extrovert without a lot of "alone" interests--has been miserable in her widowhood. She lives in a large community in Florida with many activities, but the activities are skewed to those in their early 60s--the age of my parents when they moved there. She is thinking of moving to an independent living community near my brother and his family. That is probably what she will do. However, that involves leaving her Florida cohort, which is, perforce, growing smaller.

I suggested that she think of moving in with one of her children (with the houses modified for separate quarters). She was horrified. A roommate? That would be even more out of the question. I think these things are coded "poor" for members of that generation. 

Of course, if you present the issue of a lonely elder to someone of Asian, Serbian, or XX (the list goes on) descent, he or she looks at you in astonishment.  Of course! 

And of course when we told our guest that fancy weddings (rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, service, shuttle buses to reception, with various luncheons in the interim spaces) were a relatively recent "tradition," he was shocked. 

Like many people my age, I'm thinking about retirement living in all its senses. What the new "traditions" will be. At the moment, it seems easier to keep working.


SewingLibrarian said...

You are correct on all counts! My granny lived with us after my grandpa died. She would also visit my mother's sisters for a month each to give my mom a rest. (Granny had severe arthritis and required quite a bit of care.) She was a significant presence in my young childhood, reading to us children and playing card games with us. It about killed my mother when she could no longer manage the care and had to put her mother in a nursing home for the last few months. She visited every day until the end.
As for weddings, I remember when cake and punch, maybe some tea sandwiches, was the norm, at least in the Midwest.

Duchesse said...

Multi-generational living is historically the norm, not the exception, in most of the world.

It is •not• without trials and frictions, especially if the generations have lived apart for most of their lives, and then are suddenly roommates. The "granny flat", contiguous but private, is a kind of middle road. Here, people make basements (dug out to provide light), and even garages into comfortable living space. City zoning boards are beginning to change codes to accommodate such options.

Also, you may be interested in co-housing, too long to go into the various models here... that appeals more to me.

I remember those modest weddings too- the home reception or the dinner in the church hall.

Shelley said...

My Grandmother lived with Mom for the last 10 years of their lives. No one would ever say Grandmother was easy to live with, but Mom was prepared to put up with anything to know her mother was safe and cared for. I would have done the same with my Mom had she lived long enough to need it, no question of that. I didn't leave my home town until all my immediate family was gone.

So far retirement has not been at all complicated for us. I suspect it is old age and frailty that make life difficult, not the absence of paid work.

RacyLadies said...

Funny about Money here...Hey, I like your new plan to write about...whatever you're writing about! Stupid Google wants to sign me in as the persona for Camptown Races Press...oh well!

I took on a temporary roommate for the fall semester. She was very nice, quiet, and unobtrusive. And her presence reminded me why I decided, after college, after marriage, and after tossing out SDXB, that I never wanted another roommate again. ;-) There's a point at which one outgrows that experience.