April 8, 2013

What Should I Do?

Recently I met with a lovely lady named Joanne who had heard me speak on the AM740 radio show emFrom a Woman’s Perspective/em. She lives in a bungalow in a nice Toronto neighbourhood. We began to chat and I asked her ‘How can I help?’. She said that she wasn’t sure.

Joanne is a widow, with adult children living a style=’color: inherit !important;’ HREF=’http://www.mykarkonosze.info’ title=’denmark’in Oakville. They/a are encouraging her to downsize and move to a retirement residence close to their home. She is living in about 50% of the space in her home, so downsizing doesn’t scare her. But she is very attached to her current neighborhood and community, with church, activities and shopping. I was shocked to learn that she is close to 90, because she appears to be much younger, and is certainly not in need of health care at this time.

My mantra for years has been ‘Plan Ahead’, and I shared it with Joanne. She agreed that now is the right time for planning. But she is really torn between whether to take action right now or not and she was hoping that I could give her the answer.

The discussion made me realize that there are really 2 important elements to the planning work. One is ‘what to do’ and the other is ‘when to do it’. Some people struggle with both, and some, like Joanne, know what they will do. They just don’t know when.

Here is what I suggested to Joanne. Take a piece of paper and write down the main reasons to move now. Then on the other side write down the main reasons to stay in your house. I suspect that the second side will have the longer list. When you are done put the page in a safe place and postdate a reminder to review it in 3 months. Do that and make changes. It will be obvious when the balance shifts and the longer list supports a move.

In the meantime, visit all the Retirement Residences that might be an option and be sure about where exactly you want to move in the future.

I find that when I am confused about almost anything the best first step to finding a solution is to write things down. For me at least, clarity often comes more easily when I’m looking at things in black and white on a piece of paper, rather than staring at the horizon.  Give it a try!

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