My heart goes out to women, men too but right now it is women I am especially in connection with, who as they reach their 70’s and 80’s simply do not have the financial resources to live above poverty level. Dear god, how can we possibly live in a world where women who have devoted their entire adult life to caring for others in a myriad of ways, do not have what they need to eat, a safe and comfortable place to live, and the opportunities to reap the benefits of the seeds they have sown for decades?
Oppressive and extreme hospital bills took away my friend’s home many years ago and in actuality she was unable to ever really recover. No one helped her. No one noticed that she had little coming in and the same as everyone else going out. No one suggested something needed to be done in a different way until she has become so destitute that she can no longer meet expenses and has no place to live.
How can relatives who have reaped the benefits of her largess for years, her generosity way beyond financial, her love and insights, her laughter and joyful energy, turn a blind eye now? And that is what it is. Suddenly she hears from no one. Recently she experiences silence. As the world as she has known it crumbles around her, she finds herself alone when she has again and again reached out and offered care and attention, love and support. Where is everyone…….
We must learn to speak up. We must learn to check in with those who are vulnerable because of upcoming age, because of illness, because of lack of information. We must ask questions even when fearing we are being intrusive. It is our business if someone we love, admire, respect, have regard for is not going to be safe as they age. Our aging family and loved ones deserve to have us step forward and make our concern known. Often times life makes it difficult to plan for aging because our current status is taking almost all of our resources. But we will all get older. Think of the alternative: dying when far too young to be doing that. So if you intend to live, you must have financial help to do that.
Let’s begin to be intentional about helping each other age safely. Let’s talk more about how to connect to a financial adviser. Let’s confront self and others with the reality that it still costs money to live after we are no longer bringing in a salary. How do we live when all that is coming in is what we get from the government?
The obvious and unfortunate answer to that is actually we can’t. We can not survive on the miniscule amount of income provided by our government. Anyone you know who is aging needs more than poverty level income. Speak up. Help them understand the realities. Don’t be shy. You are giving a gift of love and support and information. It is absolutely time we all accept that we must be responsible for each other. Everyone needs help from time to time. What we need help with varies from person to person. Aging woman often need guidance with how to prepare financially for their aging.
So very much more to be said on this subject, but enough for right now. I urge anyone reading this blog to take a moment to think of anyone they know who might need your help in understanding how to be safe when they no longer have an income. And then if you will, please take a moment of silent loving for all those who are destitute and pray/meditate that they can feel love seeping in from somewhere and a glimmer of hope that relief can be found with our help, with help from a kind and generous source.
In profound sadness for women all over the world who have no safe place to live, no healthy food to eat, no medical care they can afford, no extra for pleasure and care of self.