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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

How do YOU want to Spend Your Money?

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived. - James J. Lachard

Enjoying nature at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

You have worked your butt off for many years saving, investing and doing mostly the right things. Now you have accumulated financial assets and are ready to retire. All of the arrows are pointing up and you are good to go.

You retire and life is better than you ever expected. As the years pass your net worth continues to grow and you are feeling confident and have relaxed into your lifestyle.

Then you get sick.

Health insurance covers most of the expenses and you move on. Then something more serious happens and costs are exploding. You need in-home care and services which are not covered by your policy. You are starting to strain your nest egg and the financial security that you have worked your entire life for is slip sliding away.

Long term care insurance?

According to a recent MarketWatch story, a 55-year-old couple buying one common long-term care policy today can expect to spend more than $5,000 a year on premiums. Those with certain pre-existing conditions are not insurable or may have a waiting period before the policy kicks in, so it is recommended to apply for coverage earlier in your life rather than later adding years to your payments.

 

Paying for a long-term care plan when you are healthy is like a slow drip depleting your assets and what if you never use it? The money is gone, never to be recovered. Not only that, but what the care plan covers changes over time, so what you are purchasing in your earlier years is not necessarily what you'll be receiving in the years for which you might want the help.

We, too, are wrestling with this issue and looking for answers to “what if.” This is not a fun topic, and none of us want to talk about a possible dependent future, but the reality is that at some point we all are going to slow down and need care.

Time for reflection

Do you really want to spend your hard-earned money on high-priced health-related expenses?

No doubt this is a worrisome theme for all of us who are aging.

Fortunately, we have experienced living outside of the US and have enjoyed the reduced costs of living including quality healthcare for better pricing. Friends we made in these foreign countries in the early years of our retirement have since passed on, shedding some light on a possible care plan for our future.

From our experience and observation, our first choices for affordable long term care would be to settle down in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Chapala, Mexico or the Antigua/Panajachel, Guatemala area where you could hire a daily helper for an affordable price per day and where doctors still make house calls.

This is about as good as it gets in a tough situation other than depleting our assets and living out our final time in a nursing home in the States. We would prefer to gift our money to organizations and projects of our choice, not spend all of our hard earned cash out of need to cover our final days.

Aging in Place - Sample numbers to consider

Recently, we spoke to Dr. Luis DePena in Panajachel, Guatemala, who was able to give us some working figures for medicine and in-home care for this geographical area. It was his opinion that, unless one needed dialysis, which could not be done here in Pana and which is very expensive, generally speaking, pain and other various medications would cost approximately 5,000Q (about $660USD) per month per couple or about $7,920USD a year. Currently according to the government, the minimum wage for a resident of Guatemala to cook, clean and provide daily care is about $9USD a day or $3,285 per year.

The Adventurer's Guide to Guatemala

What about a doctor visit? They still make house calls!

At today’s price of $39.00 per house visit and allowing more than one visit per week would cost you $2,295 yearly all totaling about $13,500 dollars.

Of course you will need to spend money to feed your help, and most likely for a child that they would bring with them to your home. And there are costs for your rent, food, and other medical supplies like Depends, dressings and salves as well. But the estimated total expenditure for pain and other meds, in-home care and Doctor’s home visits would be just over $13,000USD per year. Again, this is per couple. If you budget $15,000 per year for this category of health expense, that would give you some slack in case you might want it.  

Pricing in Thailand or Mexico is very similar.

Care Resort Chiang Mai provides pools, sauna, Jacuzzis, fitness facility and a library

Compare that to what you might be able to find in the city or state where you are currently living. According to the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the median cost of a private room in a nursing home in the States is over $91,000 annually, while the median annual cost of a home health aide is $45,760.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance says the average stay in a nursing home is 2.6 years for women and 2.3 years for men. Using the above figures, you are looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars for a couple to spend their final 2-3 years in a nursing home, and a considerable amount of money for in-home care beforehand.

Do you have enough savings allotted for this future expense?

 

Opening up the options

We have written about continuous care before and have listed the prices you would pay in Mexico. Instead of $3,000 to $7,000 per month for assisted living in the States, one can find assisted living care for about $24,000USD per year which includes rent, meals, laundry, WiFi, cable TV, transport and many times, a fitness room, a swimming pool and a nurse on site. As Boomers age, we see these homecare opportunities overseas becoming even better as foreign lands realize the benefits for their citizens to take careers in health service and provide quality care in resort living facilities to an aging population. 

Some foreign facilities offer massage and on site nurses

Perhaps it's time for you to open up to your options. We realize not everyone is inclined to move overseas. Then again, not everyone can or wants to spend their assets to afford US pricing either. And some, for one reason or another, do not have family they can rely on to care for them when they age.

Even though it’s a difficult subject to broach, knowing you have affordable alternatives can bring you peace of mind.

The Adventurer's Guide to Destination Choices

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

For more information about financial independence and travel, visit our book store

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