If you think that today’s 20-something is, “irresponsible” and “doesn’t consider the future,” get this: People over 50, and there are 76 million of us, don’t either. In a recent survey, fully ¾ of us said that we have profound worries about aging. Our top two concerns are, “losing our independence,” and “being a burden” to our family. The participants were then asked which on a list of 10 things they would be willing to put into place to address those concerns.
Here is the list:
- Have family or friend move in with them.
- Move in with children, other family members or a friend.
- Rely on your spouse, family member or a friend for care.
- Attend an adult day care facility.
- Hire an in-home aide or agency for care.
- Hire a live-in caregiver.
- Move into an assisted living facility.
- Move into a nursing home.
- Make modifications to your home.
- Use the value in your home (your equity) to pay for care.
Dare I tell you how many of us seriously considered those options let alone said we’d be willing to put them in place? About 20%. Stanford professor, Douglas Bernheim, recently did a study called, “The Baby Boomer Retirement Index,” with Merrill Lynch. He discovered that only about 1/3 of Baby Boomers have saved enough money for their retirement years. This, despite the fact that most of us feel we, “will maintain our same standard of living in our later years.” Are we victims of, “magical thinking?”
Quite frankly, I have friends who have planned out their funerals better than they have their aging futures. Which brings me to the cucumber. Did you know that sniffing the scent of one can relieve anxiety? Indeed, a recent study put claustrophobics in an elevator reeking of cucumbers and their symptoms were relieved! Dr. Alan Hirsch, renowned for his work with various odors declares that he can even cure migraines with the scent of green apples.
So don’t worry about the future. When we all get too old to take care of ourselves and run out of money or find ourselves in long-term care cubicles, just spray our rooms with cucumber and we’ll be happy campers.