Seniors: Coping with Top Ten Worries (Part 2 of 3)

Dec 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Coping with the  Top Ten Worries (Part 2) confronts us with as serious issues as were  broached in Part 1.  Qualifying to come under the heading of the top 10 obviously means they must be serious in content, expectation and potential likelihood.  Not all of us, fortunately, will go through the throes of each of these dynamic and destructive life events, but many of us, either directly or indirectly, would be well advised to be prepared to cope with them.

The topics we confront in this issue are: Financial Loss and Resuming Employment.

*The first, Financial Loss, obviously has hit hard and heavy as many have found their Life Savings, their retirement portfolios and tucked away savings severely affected. The last couple of years has brought about the unexpected.  Many, perhaps few, were well prepared, if not wholly surprised, by the shaking of the financial foundations.  Any who were still faced with mortgages found themselves in houses with foundations made of sand.

These are the worries that, if allowed to haunt night and day, not only can address a lifetime of self building confidence but introduce the seeds of despair which may produce life threatening illnesses prompted by anxiety and fear.

Among the considerations to be addressed is to discover the actual damage done.  Likely this will mean a candid session with your financial counselor.  Questions to be asked and answers to be faced with candor will include: How serious is my financial situation affected?  Is any of it recoverable?  If so, over what period of time? What will be the impact upon my/our life style?  What adjustments in ordinary living expenses will need to be made? What strategies can be put in place to extend our ability to withstand this loss? Will it be necessary for me to resume employment? Iif my debt structure is moderate to heavy,  how will I be able to manage it?  Given our mortgage, will we lose our home?

None of these represent casual concerns.  They are very serious and require developing a very realistic facing of them and developing strategies for dealing with them.  If there are signs of depression, which develop on the part of either partner in the household, quick attention needs to be given to identifying appropriate help and support.

If changes need to be made in the management of household finances, those need to be put in place post haste, thus reducing and deterring further negative impact. 

*The second of the two top ten worries in this issue is:  Considering resuming employment.  There is nothing wrong with this consideration.  However, pollyanna approaches to this possbility include not assuming one can reenter the job force where you left off;  not presuming the same wage will be offered, or a package including all the former benefits enjoyed.  Weighing the pluses against the minuses will mean how much additional expense will a job have to cover before taking on new employment?  What will be the net income realized after those expenses are taken into account?  Is my health such as to handle a position that will require my handling it?  Will my Social Security be affected?  Will my health insurance be penalized?  If we have only one car, how will we handle the sometimes need for transportation collectively?  Are there any assets that we should consider liquidating before considering additional employment?  If necessary, and it comes to that, will and how would we be eligible for assistance?

Perhaps the most important question is, can I manage the emotional dynamic of having to take this step? It will likely affect ego and self worth in ways not yet taken into consideration.  That is why, throughout this process, having a support system or competent professional to walk with you is crucial. 

None of these issues is easy to confront.  No issue affecting a major shift in lifestyle and self worth is.  However, using a measured means of practicing reality and facing outcomes is a tried and true way to help keep you in control.

The third and final segment of this series will address these issues: Immobility and Loss of Memory, Life Threatening illnesses and Death.

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