Originally Posted by Spring Flower
Edited to add: For some reason I keep thinking of this scenario: A parent chooses to stay home on welfare for her children for all the benefits of SAH that we recognize, but then isn't self-sufficient, doesn't have the means to be self-sufficient in the retirement years, burdens the children with their care, AND causes the children to not be able to SAH with their own children because they must work to support grandma or grandpa. That makes me so sad.
I certainly wouldn't want my children to give up staying home with their children to support me -- and I don't see why they would have to. Dh and I do have a goal of getting our house paid off before retirement age. Other than that, we haven't been able to set aside anything for retirement.
We figure if our house is paid off, and all we have to do is keep up with real-estate taxes, home insurance, food, and other needs, we can find a way to manage somehow. We can manage without a car, if necessary, when dh no longer has to drive to the suburbs for work.
Of course, I don't know what we'll do about healthcare if there's an end to Medicare, Medicaid, and all medical discounts. I don't know if it's possible to make a good backup plan for that, it's just so prohibitively expensive.
Even so, I'd rather deal with my "ailments" at home, browsing the internet for cures, than have my grandchildren suffer. I'd want my children to put their own children first.
We actually want our children to feel welcome staying home as long as they want, and to feel they (and their families) can come stay with us whenever they need a chance to get on their feet.
I don't want to sound all "rosy-eyed" and idealistic -- but I don't think my children will see it as a hardship if we do need some help and care when we're older. I certainly wish my mom would rely on me for more help, not that I regret that she's in excellent health at age 82. I just think I might feel closer to her if she needed me sometimes.
There have been, and still are, societies where the "retirement plan" for elderly relatives consisted of children and other relatives pitching in and helping out as needed. I don't recall hearing that it "broke" the younger family members financially -- but then I guess healthcare costs didn't run into the gazillions as they do now.
After I raise my children, I hope to be around to help love and care for my grandchildren. But if I end up with some exhorbitantly expensive-to-treat illness, I'm at peace with God and I wouldn't be adverse to just letting things run their course. As I've already said, it would be unacceptable to me for my grandchildren to pay the cost by doing without a sahm.
I'm hoping I can stave off Alzheimer's by eating lots of salmon and avoiding the flu-shot -- but I realize there are things that happen beyond our control. And I guess they happen more frequently now that we're staying alive longer.
I don't have all the answers. From what I've heard, even people who've prepared really well, sometimes have to go through all their assets and end up on state care. I hope that never happens, no one ever wants it to -- but still, I'm not willing to sacrifice my children's early years just to make a stab at preparing for things that seem impossible to prepare for.