The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


When is it time to move?

That's the tough question aging brings. We need to ask it sooner than later.

In the span of two months, I experienced the deaths of an elderly church friend and my father-in-law and the serious illnesses of my mother and mother-in-law.

Reflecting on the difficulties that aging brings, my husband and I felt it was important to promise our children that we would start thinking about our future.

Promising is one thing. Doing it is another. It's difficult enough making plans for next summer, much less 20 years ahead. Yet preparing for the future is exactly what God calls us to do to take care of and provide for each other. It requires heartfelt discussions around important questions. And no time is better to tackle this task than now, at the start of a new year when we're intent on making —and keeping —resolutions. Here are some questions we're considering. Perhaps they'll prompt your own reflections.

Planning ahead

Where might we be living at age 75? Still in our own home, or will we retire somewhere else? Will we be far from good medical care? Do we want to stay close to our friends, church and the activities we enjoy, or move closer to our children and grandchildren? Or both? Considering our parents' genetic history, should we look for a continuous care facility that will offer increasing help over time or care for special situations? What financial resources will we have and what will we need? Should we investigate long-term care insurance now? How can we not be a burden to our children, either financially or by leaving them a huge house to sort and clean out?

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