Laurie from Maryland
I'm retiring early at age 57 from teaching to care for my husband, who is 69. He has Parkinson's Disease, and is having problems with short-term memory. He also has spinal stenosis with a spinal stimulator implant. He has been my companion and best friend.
We'll face financial challenges since his medications are so expensive, even with Medigap coverages. I plan on working afternoons after spending mornings with him since that is his most challenging time.
In addition, my father lives alone at age 76 and has five life-threatening conditions. Our relationship has always been very close, and he lives a 40-minute drive away. My husband and I visit him weekly, talk on the phone frequently, and are there whenever he needs us. At some point, we might have to move in with him. Then, I'll give care to both men.
My goal is to keep our financial heads above water and continue to find some social outlet for myself, even under those conditions. I know I'll miss the social network I have at my full-time job.
I have some of my own physical challenges resulting from work-related injuries and the health impacts of teaching in public schools with poor facilities. I could use some respite care in the future as well as some health care aide training that I don't have to pay for.