Friday, July 19, 2024

Making Grand Plans: The Guide For Planning Your Second Half

HomeMoneyMaking Grand Plans: The Guide For Planning Your Second Half

Following a stressful senior caregiving misadventure several years ago, Susanna Barton established an online community called Grand Plans to promote meaningful conversation about aging, how best to prepare for it, and why most of us don’t. People were hungry to engage on topics of elder living. They were eager to share best practices, resources, guidance, and healthy ranting about navigating the senior stroll.

“The tragedy, as I see it, is that most people in the 65-plus demographic – which will climb to a staggering 94.7 million people by 2060 – have not packed very well for their senior stroll, the very one we should all see coming,” Barton says in her newly released book, Grand Plans: How to Mitigate Geri-Drama in 20 Easy Steps. The book is available locally at the San Marco Bookstore and the Literary Lounge, and via Amazon. “The perils and potholes of old age are inconceivable to most older adults until they stumble into one. And that’s when they realize not only are these liabilities real, but they are also expensive – sometimes too costly or too far gone to even remedy.”

In the book and its accompanying workbook, the Grand Planner, Barton relays 20 steps we can all take now – earlier than most of us think is appropriate – to reduce drama during our Golden Years. These inputs are based on stories and reflections from many smart and experienced individuals shared through the Grand Plans online platforms and its popular podcast.

Together, these 20 moves guarantee reduced stress for the loved ones who will one day be our caregivers. The first nine concrete, or “musts” steps include:

  1. Make lists of everything essential and create a “death binder.”
  2. Pen your obituary and plan your funeral objectives.
  3. Hire an attorney to get legit about your affairs.
  4. Get your financial house and plan in order.
  5. Write your prescription for health, hope and hospital issues, and consider your medical thresholds.
  6. Educate yourself on the cost, scope and reality of the geri-life you envision – particularly your residence.
  7. Minimize the hell out of yourself and your stuff.
  8. Consider pet acquisitions carefully.
  9. Relinquish the keys and be ready – eager even! – to be a passenger.

The final steps are more introspective but help complete the thinking on getting older gracefully.

Susanna Barton has worked as a professional writer in Jacksonville for nearly 30 years. Her book Grand Plans: How to Mitigate Geri-Drama in 20 Easy Steps and its accompanying workbook, the Grand Planner, are available in local stores and on Amazon.

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