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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Bell

Do You Have a Plan B?

“I don’t want to move – I know where everything is here.”  

“I am doing fine with the stairs – they help me to stay active.”  

“I am staying right where I am – my kids will take care of me.”  

“The only way I am leaving my house is in a box … . “

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

I attend events periodically with my Moving Seniors with a Smile Inc.display and I sometimes hear these kinds of things.  I understand if staying put is working for you but I have observed that life has a way of not quite working out the way we think it will … .

Sometimes illness strikes or an accident occurs and then there is a scramble to make decisions during a time of crisis.  A spouse or partner passes away suddenly and now everything seems just too much to manage… . 

While no one likes to face change, especially the kind that is thrust on us, it is preferable to do a little homework and know just what options are available in case you ever need a Plan B. 

Yes retirement residences can seem costly but compare that to twenty-four hour care.  Is a condo right for you?  Yes there are monthly maintenance costs but for one recent client, they turned out to be cheaper than her hydro bills in a house electrically heated and cooled.  One of my current clients shared that her maintenance fees on her new condo will be less than what she is now paying annually for snow removal, gardening and pool care.  

I recently provided a complimentary consultation to a couple in their eighties who are both facing complex and advancing health challenges.  With the help of their daughter they had re-located to a condo a few years ago from the four bedroom house that they had occupied for over thirty years.Their daughter lived nearby and while the couple did have a personal care worker come in a couple of times a week to help, they relied on their daughter extensively.  

A legal professional and gourmet cook in her spare time, she was one of those “make it happen” forces of nature.  This couple could always count on her advice, companionship, great food, and care-giving assistance as needed. That was all great - until it wasn’t.

Tragically this dynamic force of nature suffered a major stroke and things remain touch and go with her prognosis.  No one saw this coming.  She is only in her early fifties and her elderly parents are absolutely shell shocked. It is something that seems to go against the natural order of things when you are faced with the potential loss or loss of your child, especially one who has unfailingly been your rock.  

Fortunately most of you will not have to go through this kind of experience but life can be tough enough, without adding a “No Plan B” to the mix.

Yes, these folks are now forced to explore their options but I can’t help but wonder if they would be feeling just a little more confident about their own future if they had considered a few “What Ifs” ahead of this family crisis.  

I understand that no one wants to invite trouble and you can’t anticipate each and every possible scenario.  You can stay informed though and know what choices are available in your area if your present situation changes.

Considering their escalating health needs, this couple decided to check out a few local retirement residences. On a positive note, they are working with a trusted, knowledgeable and ethical realtor and I know that she will take sensitively take care of that end of things for them.  As several GTA real estate professionals do, she brought me in as a resource to remove some of the weight from her clients’ shoulders.

They will need to do some downsizing as well and I will do everything possible to make their upcoming transition as stress free and seamless as possible.

Sadly they are dealing with enough and no one likes to have to make decisions during a time of crisis. 

Have you considered a Plan B?

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