-till children graduate from college;
-till cars are paid off;
-till we can retire;
Life was full of daily chores and must do's waiting for the big one to arrive.
Every decade brought a big sigh of relief. I remember when our last child left for college, how fortunate we felt managing to pay for all or most of their expenses, proud that they didn't have to be saddled with loans as we were. When our first went to college, we were still paying for our student loans!
When each found a love of their lives, how proud we felt for the wonderful people they met and cultivated. Each step they took, was one more goal we too had achieved, one more hurdle we managed to overcome.
Health issues, money issues, career issues. We fought the good fight. We managed to save, and plan and take steps to support ourselves and manage our lives. Responsibility and Commitment were our mantra all those decades, as we encountered detours and stops on life's highway.
The future at this point is not so well delineated. It feels blurry and foggy. We can't earn anymore, as jobs are scarce; and there are many young people with young families to support; a lot of people have more talent and especially energy to tackle anything that comes their way. And we are already living within our means, buying only what is absolutely necessary. We know our car will eventually need to be replaced, for instance, as will our deck, our roof, our windows...
We face the season of catastrophes, situations that we can't plan for. We see people who lost houses and all their savings battling a debilitating illness; their spouses moving in with their children; their possessions sold or given away as they packed hastily and were removed from their own neighborhoods.
Nursing homes, retirement villages, help centers are waiting with open arms for those who have means to afford such services. Each stage will require new services; each service will require more resources from family members.
We may not have had a fool-proof plan for aging comfortably, but I wonder if my children can save enough or insure themselves enough to prepare themselves for such foggy situations. How much money do they have to put away from the time they start working, and never touch it, and hope the value of that money grows or at least doesn't decrease, so they can pay for all the years and months they will be incapacitated and unable to pay for the care and services they will need.
Are we the only seniors worrying about such things?